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Title: Benign neglect : the activities and relationship of London yearly meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) to Wales, c.1860-c.1918
Author: Evans, Owain Gethin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 610X
Awarding Body: The University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis outlines the activity of London Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Wales in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods [c.l860-1918], examining its understanding and sympathy to Wales and Welsh identity. It explores the Quaker understanding ofnationalism, issues of Quaker self-identity, whilst locating the Yearly Meeting within the national life of Wales, at a time of renewal in Welsh national consciousness, with a confident Welsh nonconformity, and a hegemonic 'Welsh' Liberal Party. Undetpinning this the problematic of Welsh and British identity, and ofthe way the nature ofleadership and authority was exercised within the Yearly Meeting, is examined. The prism for analysis is through three themes: political issues, Quaker mission and spiritual awakening in Wales. In Welsh political affairs L YM was an . observer taking no active part compared to the Welsh nonconformist bodies, as evinced for example in activity around the disestablishment of the Anglican Church or the 'Welsh Revolt' in response to the 1902 Education Act. The home mission work ofthe Yearly Meeting proved crucial to the continuance of Quakerism in Wales without this the Society would have disappeared but this was geographically restricted to the urban English speaking urban areas of the South and Radnorshire, and never touched the industrial valleys or North Wales; general neglect and inability to use Welsh demonstrates this. The Welsh Revival of 1904-05 proved to be a stimulant to Friends some of whom saw it as the precursor to a broader Quaker awakening. This awakening was never realised as such, although in 1912 this seemed still to be a hope amongst some Friends as they conducted mission work amongst the 'Children of the Revival.' The study is enhanced by consideration of the contribution and lives of three Quakers living in Wales; Henry Tobit Evans (1844 -1908) a convinced Quaker publisher and minor politician of the Unionist cause; John Edward Southall (1855 -1927), an English birthright Quaker who proved to be a champion for the Welsh language and nationalism, and Hercules David Phillips (1869 -1944) a convinced Quaker and home mission worker who loyally witnessed as such in Radnorshire for all of his life. The thesis challenges and adds to the small amount of previous research in this area in highlighting the specifics of ~e Welsh context. The principal conclusion of the study is that by the nineteenth century, ~n rel:~tion to Wales, London Yearly Meeting was by default an English institution, living Its WItness there as an observer through an attitude of benign neglect. .
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available