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Richard allen2a

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Ph.D. Welsh History. Aberystwyth
PGCE (History). Aberystwyth
BA (Joint Hons) History and Welsh History. Aberystwyth


Dr. Richard C. Allen was formerly a Reader in Early Modern Cultural History. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and joined the University in 2007. He was formerly (2006-7) the Fulbright-Robertson Visiting Professor at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri. He has received several fellowship and bursaries, including a Gest Fellow at Haverford College, Pennsylvania, and is currently a Visiting Fellow at Newcastle University. He is also a Series Editor for Britain and the World for Palgrave.


August 2007-2017 Head of History (2007-11)/Reader in Early Modern Cultural History. University of South Wales.
August 2006-July 2007 Fulbright-Robertson Visiting Professor of British History, Westminster College, Missouri.
September 2004-August 2006 Lecturer in History. Sunderland University.
January 2002-September 2004 Lecturer in History. School of Historical Studies. University of Newcastle. (inc. Programme Director [2002-3] M.A. in North East History)
January 2001-December 2001 ‘Nationalising Taste’ Senior Research Fellow. School of Arts and Social Sciences. Northumbria University. Newcastle. (‘Nationalising Taste: National Identity and Cultural Value in Eighteenth-Century England’).
1999- 2000: Senior Lecturer in History. Trinity College, University of Wales.
1997-1999: Head of Department and Tutor in History. Davies, Laing and Dick College (DLD), London.


In my capacity as a former Reader in Early Modern Cultural History, I played a full role in lecturing in the department, research and supervising research degrees.

My contribution to teaching included:
[a] Postgraduate (as Director of Studies):
3 Completed PhD students:
• Adam Coward, ‘Magic and the Supernatural in Eighteenth Century Wales’ (2012)
• David Howell, ‘The Heritage Industry in a Politically Devolved Wales’ (2014)
• Nathan Matthews, ‘Spatio-Temporality & Digital Tourism in UK Industrial UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites’ (2016)

Currently Supervising 5 PhD students as Director of Studies

• Erica Canela: A study of early-modern Quakerism on the English Marches
• Chris Gardiner: Boxing in nineteenth century south Wales
• Jim Criddle: Post-war Newport politics and society
• Sian King: Chapbooks and chapmen
• Paul Thomas: An Investigation of Pre-Roman Communications in South Eastern Wales: with Special Reference to Possible Surviving Iron Age Road Networks in Gwent

And co-supervising:

• Ceri Carter (Jonathan Durrant as Director of Studies)

Masters in History by Research

• Jake McDonald, ’Pills and Potions’: An in-depth study of patent medicines in Cardiff between 1850 and 1900

Research Internal Examiner for PhD and MPhil in History;

Programme Leader (2007-15) for the MA in Regional History and Heritage.

[b] Undergraduate:
Yr 1: Atlantic World; Nations and Empires.
Yr 2: Approaches to History.
Yr 3: Dissertations

As the former Head of History (2007-11) my administrative responsibilities included line management of the history staff, leading research activity and ensuring the quality of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. My duties also included the delivery of an annual Teaching and Learning strategy, responding to QAA audits and the revalidation of the undergraduate degree programme in 2010 and I have revalidated the MA in 2013. I was responsible for the History submission to RAE 2007 and I am the REF coordinator for the History team at the Caerleon campus in 2013.



1. Quaker Communities in Early Modern Wales: From Resistance to Respectability (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2007), pp. 304
This work was favourably reviewed by scholars including Professor Larry Ingle, who recognised its ‘excellent contribution to our understanding of the development of Quakerism in an area that has attracted meagre scholarly attention’.

2. (edited with Stephen Regan, Durham University), Irelands of the Mind: Memory and Identity in Modern Irish Culture (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008), pp. 240

Irelands of the Mind: Memory and Identity in Modern Irish Culture offers a compelling series of essays on changing images of Ireland from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. It seeks to understand the various ways in which Ireland has been thought about, not only in fiction, poetry and drama, but in travel writing and tourist brochures, nineteenth-century newspapers, radio talk shows, film adaptations of fictional works, and the music and songs of Van Morrison and Sinead O’Connor. The prevailing theme throughout the twelve essays that constitute the book is the complicated sense of belonging that continues to characterise so much of modern Irish culture. Questions of nationhood and national identity are given a new and invigorated treatment in the context of a rapidly changing Ireland and a changing set of intellectual methods and approaches.

3. (edited with Joan Allen, Newcastle University), Faith of Our Fathers: Popular Culture and Belief in Post-Reformation England, Ireland and Wales (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009), pp. 216

The study of popular culture has been an abiding preoccupation of historians and other academics, not just in the British Isles but elsewhere too. This volume of essays explores the manifestations of popular culture and belief in England, Ireland and Wales from the Reformation onwards. As an interdisciplinary collection it brings together specialists in English Literature, History, Celtic and Religious Studies. It offers new insights thematically via a selection of diverse contributions. The nexus between religion and popular culture links the contributions together, while the geographical spread of the topic facilitates a dynamic comparative methodology. What emerges from these explorations of rites of passage, festivals, revivalism, print culture and gender is the remarkable resilience of popular culture and the extent to which all levels of society were prepared to compromise.

4. (edited with David Ceri Jones, Aberystwyth University), The Religious History of Wales: A Survey of Religious Life and Practice from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day (Cardiff: Welsh Academic Press, 2014), pp. 281

This volume is an essential reference guide that draws together an impressive collection of academics and religious practitioners to map out for the first time the religious multiplicity and diversity of Wales. For the first 1,500 years or so of its existence, the Christian Church in Wales was a unified entity. The Welsh Church, initially Celtic, but then Roman Catholic, held a virtual monopoly over religious life and belief in the country. The 16th-century Reformation ended the notion of a monolithic Christendom; the proliferation of Protestant sects guaranteed that competition and variety would be the norm. By charting the gradual proliferation of religious communities in Wales, from the 17th to the 21st centuries, this volume seeks to dispel many of the myths of a monochrome Christian, Protestant, or even Nonconformist Wales. Each chapter also uniquely examines the persistence of faith, often in surprising places, in post-Christian Wales. The following religious institutions are discussed: The Church in Wales * Independents (Congregationalists) * Baptists * The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) * Roman Catholicism * Calvinistic Methodism * Wesleyan Methodism * The Moravian Church * Unitarianism * Salvation Army * Pentecostalism * United Reform Church * Seventh-Day Adventism * The Church of the Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) * Jehovah’s Witnesses * Evangelicalism * Judaism * Islam * Sikhism * Baha’i Faith * The Ecumenical Dimension.


1.‘Nantucket Quakers and the Milford Haven Whaling Industry, c.1791–1821’, Quaker Studies, 15.1 (September 2010), 6–31;
2.‘‘The origins and development of Welsh associational life in eighteenth-century Philadelphia’, Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, New Series, 15, 2008 (2009), 105–26;
3.“Turning hearts to break off the yoke of oppression”. The travels and sufferings of Christopher Meidel c.1659–c.1715’, Quaker Studies, 12.1 (September 2007), 54–72;
4.‘In search of a New Jerusalem. A preliminary investigation into Welsh Quaker emigration to North America c.1660–1750’, Quaker Studies, 9.1 (September 2004), 31–53;
5.“Mocked, scoffed, persecuted, and made a gazeing stock”: The resistance of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) to the religious and civil authorities in post-toleration south-east Wales c.1689–1836’, Cycnos. Publications de la Faculté des Lettres de Nice (2003), 23–47;
6.‘An Example of Quaker Discipline: The case of Dr. Charles Allen Fox and the Cardiff Quakers’, Journal of Welsh Religious History, New Series, 1 (Winter 2001), 46–73;
7.‘Wizards or charlatans ¬ doctors or herbalists? An appraisal of the ‘cunning men’ of Cwrt-y-Cadno, Carmarthenshire’, North American Journal of Welsh Studies, 1, 2 (Summer 2001), 68–85;
8.‘Catholic Records in the Attic: Details of everyday life found in the seventeenth century Catholic household of the Gunter family of Abergavenny’, Gwent Local History, 86 (Spring 1999), 17–30;
9.‘‘A Pilgrim’s Progress’. A Welsh Quaker’s Spiritual Journey. Four Papers written by Thomas Lewis of Shirenewton, Monmouthshire, c. 1741–2’, Transactions of the Third Conference of the North American Association for the Study of Welsh Culture and History, Ohio, and reprinted in Journal of Friends’ Historical Society, 58.2 (1998), 136–62.

1.‘Quakers’, in Andrew C. Thompson (ed.), Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions Vol. II: 1689 to the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts (in press. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017);
2. ‘Nantucket Quakers and negotiating the politics of the Atlantic World’, in M-J. Rossignol and Bertrand van Ruymbek (eds), The Atlantic World of Anthony Benezet (Leiden: Brill, 2016), pp. 106-28;
3.‘Samuel Meredith (1741–1817): American Patriot and Welsh Philanthropist’, in Maurice Jackson and Susan Kozel (eds), Quakers and their Allies in the Abolitionist Cause, 1754–1808 (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2015);
4.‘Afterword’, in Stephen W. Angell and B. P. Dandelion (eds), The Theological Thought of Early Quaker Leaders, 1650–1700 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 293-304;
5.‘Restoration Quakerism, 1660–1691’, in S. W. Angell and P. Dandelion (eds), Oxford Handbook of Quaker Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 29–46;
6.‘Quakers’, in Richard C. Allen and David Ceri Jones (eds), The Religious History of Wales: A survey of religious life and practice from the seventeenth century to the present day (Cardiff: Welsh Academic Press, 2014), pp. 55–68;
7.‘Introduction’, in Richard C. Allen and David C. Jones (eds) with Trystan O. Hughes, The Religious History of Wales: A Survey of Religious Life and Practice from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day (Cardiff: Welsh Academic Press, 2014), pp. 1–11.

8.‘The making of a Holy Christian Community: Welsh Quaker emigrants to Pennsylvania, c.1680–1750’, in Tim Kirk and Luďa Klusáková (eds), Cultural Conquests (Prague: Philosophica et Historica, Studia Historica, 2009), pp. 45–61;
9.‘The Administration of Poor Relief’, in M. Gray and P. Morgan (eds), Gwent County History, vol. III (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2009), pp. 272–84;
10.‘An Alarm Sounded to the Sinners in Sion’: John Kelsall, Quakers and Popular Culture in Eighteenth-Century Wales’, in Joan Allen and Richard C. Allen (eds), Faith of Our Fathers: Popular Culture and Belief in Post-Reformation England, Ireland and Wales (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009), pp. 52–74;
11.‘Introduction’, in Richard C. Allen and Joan Allen (eds), Faith of Our Fathers: Popular Culture and Belief in Post-Reformation England, Ireland and Wales (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009), pp. 1–10;
12."I’ve come home, and home I’m gonna stay”. The Quiet Man (1952) in Irish-American cinematic history’, in Richard C. Allen and Stephen Regan (eds), Irelands of the Mind: memory and identity in modern Irish culture (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008), pp. 110–28; reprinted from a chapter in Sydney Celtic Studies conference proceedings in Pamela O’Neill (ed.), Exile and Homecoming (Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2005), pp. 393–411;
13.‘Introduction’, in Richard C. Allen and Stephen Regan (eds), Irelands of the Mind: Memory and Identity in Modern Irish Culture (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008), pp. 1–11;
14.(with Dr Joan Allen, Newcastle University), ‘Competing identities’: Irish and Welsh migration and the North-East of England’, in A. J. Pollard and A. G. Green (eds), Regional Identities in North-East England 1300–2000 (Woodford: Boydell and Brewer, 2007), pp. 133–160;
15.‘Remember me to my good friend Captain Cook’: James Cook and the North Yorkshire Quakers’, in Glyndwr Williams (ed.), Captain Cook: explorations and reassessments (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2004), pp. 21–36;
16.‘Establishing an alternative community in the north-east: Quakers, morals and popular culture in the long-eighteenth century’, in Helen Berry and Jeremy Gregory (eds), Creating and Consuming Culture in North-East England, 1660–1832 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 98–119;
17.‘A most industrious well-disposed people.’ Milford Haven Quakers and the Pembrokeshire Whaling industry’, in Pamela O’Neill (ed.), Nation and Federation in the Celtic World (Sydney: University of Sydney Press, 2003), pp. 64–94;
18.‘Taking up her daily cross’: Women and the early Quaker Movement in Wales, c.1653–1689’, in Michael Roberts and Simone Clarke (eds), Women and Gender in Early Modern Wales (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2000), pp. 104–28.

Works of Reference
• Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) – 21 entries including several Catholic priests, Quaker missionaries, the Chartist Samuel Cook, and Anglican clergymen.

Book Reviews (since 2008)

1. Estates, Enterprise and Investment at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Estate management and accounting in the North-East of England, c.1700-1780 by David Oldroyd (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007) in Archaeologia Aeliana, 5th Series, 37 (2008)
2. Knowing the Mystery of Life Within: selected writings of Isaac Penington in their historical and theological context by R. Melvin Kesier and Rosemary Moore (eds), (London: Quaker Books, 2005) in Seventeenth Century, 27, 2, (June 2012)
3. A History of Assimilation in the Coalfields: Welsh Americans by Ronald L. Lewis. (Chapel Hill: North Carolina Press, 2008) West Virginia History_, New Series, 3, 2 (Fall 2009), 101-3
4._The Diary of Elizabeth Drinker
by Elaine Forman Crane (ed.) (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010) for Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, 78, 1 (Winter 2011), 70-1
5. The World of John Secker 1716-95: Quaker Mariner by Andrew Hopper (ed). (Norfolk Record Society, 2011) in History_, 98, 330, 294–6
6._William Downing Evans: Poetry and Poverty in Nineteenth Century Newport
by Ian and Wendy Dear (eds) (Newport: South Wales Record Society, 2011) in Morgannwg (2012)
7. Benign Neglect: The Quakers and Wales circa 1860-1918 (Wrexham: Bridge Books, 2014) by Owain Gethin Evans, in Quaker Studies (2015)
8. The Life and Times of a Charlbury Quaker: The Journals of William Jones, 1784—1818 (Oxfordshire Record Society, 69) by Hannah Jones (ed.) in Oxoniensia (2015)

Peer Reviewer
Journal of Historical Sociology; History; Bulletin of the History of Medicine; North-West History; Quaker Studies; Llafur; Journal of Welsh Religious History; Morgannwg; Pennsylvania History Ashgate; South Wales Record Society


• Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
• Former Steering Committee, HistoryUK
• Friends’ Historical Society, UK (President 2015-16)
• Friends’ Historical Society, USA
• Gwent Local History
• Historical Society of Pennsylvania
• Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion
• Llafur
• Quaker Historians and Archivists International Committee Member (QH&A), USA
• Quaker Studies Research Association (QSRA), UK – International Panel


• Ph.D. Birmingham University, 2009, 2016
• Ph.D. Sunderland University, 2004
• MA. History. Teesside University, 2010-15
• AA100. Open University, 2012-16
• MA. History. University of Wales, Glyndwr, Wrexham, 2006-9
• Validator. MA. Museum Studies. Lorenzo de Medici College, Florence, Italy, 2008


• Presenter and advisor for ‘The Escape of Charles II’. BBC Radio Wales (April 2011);
• Presenter and advisor for The ‘Popish Plot’. BBC Radio Wales (March 2009);
• Presenter and advisor for a six-part ITV/Solo TV series on Folk Medicine (Summer 2002, broadcast in March-May 2003);
• Historical advisor for a six part adaptation of Marion Eames’ novel Y Stafell Ddirgell. S4C/Llifion (Autumn 2001);
• Presenter: ‘Welsh-Nantucketers’ BBC Radio Wales (Winter 2000);
• Researcher and consultant for the Llancaeach Fawr Manor (Mid Glamorgan) history and tourist centre (1987-92).


Richard works on the cultural history of early modern Wales and the north-east of England. His current work investigates the history of radical dissent in early-modern Britain and transatlantic emigration, principally to Pennsylvania, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He also explores pre-1834 poor relief in Wales.

Areas of Expertise

Early Modern Welsh, British and Transatlantic History

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