The Welsh Methodist Society

The Early Societies in South-west Wales 1737-1750

Author(s) Eryn M. White

Language: English

Genre(s): Welsh and Celtic Studies, Religion

  • June 2020 · 352 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786835796
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786835802
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786835819

About The Book

The evangelical or Methodist revival had a major impact on Welsh religion, society and culture, leading to the unprecedented growth of Nonconformity by the nineteenth century, which established a very clear difference between Wales and England in religious terms. Since the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist movement did not split from the Church to form a separate denomination until 1811, it existed in its early years solely as a collection of local society meetings. By focusing on the early societies in south-west Wales, this study examines the grass roots of the eighteenth-century Methodist movement, identifying the features that led to its subsequent remarkable success. At the heart of the book lie the experiences of the men and women who were members of the societies, along with their social and economic background and the factors that attracted them to the Methodist cause.


‘This is an excellent study, meticulously researched and richly documented, to present a comprehensive view of religion in west Wales in the period. Eryn White shows that this was the crucible of the Evangelical movement in the eighteenth century. This is a book that all scholars of Wales and religious history will need to read.’
-Professor William Gibson, Director of the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History

‘In this magisterial study, the author has returned to the subject that first established her reputation as our foremost historian of eighteenth-century Wales, namely the development of the Methodist societies. Drawing on subsequent research and a quarter-century of deep reflection, she has provided us with the definitive analysis which will be essential reading for social historians and historians of religion alike.’
-D. Densil Morgan, Emeritus Professor of Theology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

‘The transatlantic Evangelical revival of the eighteenth century had no greater impact than through Methodism in south-west Wales, the subject of this book. Eryn White perceptively shows how converted individuals were grafted into novel communities, the Methodist societies, which she analyses with exemplary thoroughness.’
-David Bebbington, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Stirling

Listen to Eryn White discuss her book The Welsh Methdoist Society on Dei Tomos


Chapter 1: ‘No part of the Nation more inclin’d to be Religious’?: The Religious Context
Chapter 2: ‘The Young Striplings’: Leaders and Exhorters
Chapter 3: ‘The Lord’s Peculiar Dwelling Place’: The Location of the Societies
Chapter 4: ‘The Great Shepherd’s Little Flock’: The Membership of the Societies
Chapter 5: ‘Iron Sharpens Iron’: The Appeal of the Societies
Chapter 6: ‘The World, the Flesh and the Devil’: Order and Discipline
Chapter 7: ‘This Furnace of Affliction’: Trials and Tribulations
Appendix: List of societies

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Eryn M. White

Eryn M. White is Reader in Welsh History at Aberystwyth University. She has previously published The Welsh Bible (2007), and co-authored The Calendar of Trevecka Letters (2003).

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