1588: Elizabeth’s Great Achievement

Robin Evans extols the outstanding success of 1588: not the defeat of the Spanish Armada but the publication of the Welsh Bible.

The defeat of the Spanish Armada was both a nationalistic and religious success and its effect on the English psyche has been such that 1588 remains a key date in English history. However, the year also witnessed another event within Elizabeth's realm whose short- and long-term effects were, arguably, far more significant than the Armada, especially in Wales.

Wales and the Reformation

Wales became part of the new English nation state by the Acts of Union (1536-1543), and religious legislation, so important in the establishing of that state, passed originally by the English Parliament of Henry VIII, now applied equally to Wales. However, the Welsh proved indifferent to the English Reformation - simply because they could not understand it! 

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