Profile of Ms Nia Powell BA (Wales) MA (Cantab)

Ms Nia Powell
Lecturer in Welsh History
01248 382249
Room 222.5 Main Arts



Nia Powell completed her undergraduate and postgraduate research at Aberystwyth and Cambridge, and was appointed Lecturer in Welsh History at Bangor in 1979.

Areas of Teaching & Supervision

  • Early modern Wales and early modern social and cultural history through the medium of English and Welsh.

Part One (Year 1)

  •  Wales: Princes to Tudors.
  • Cymru: Tywysogion i Duduriaid
  •  Birth of Modern Europe 1470-1560.

Part Two (Years 2 &3)

  • 'The Acts of Union': Wales and England 1525-1543.
  • ‘Y Deddfau Uno’: Cymru a Lloegr 1525-1543
  • Wales and Europe : Culture and Society during the Renaissance.
  • Agweddau ar Hanes Dysg yng Nghyfnod y Dadeni.
  • Wales 1660-1789.
  • Cymru 1660-1789
  • Owain Glyndŵr a’i Fudiad.
  • Owain Glyndŵr and his Movement
  • Law and Society in Wales 1558-1640 (special subject).
  • Cyfraith a Chymdeithas yng Nghymru 1558-1640 (pwnc arbennig)



  • Political, social, economic and cultural history of early modern Wales

The Acts of Union 1536-1543: A constitutional identity for Wales

This project consists of producing a newly edited text of sixteenth-century legislation relating to Wales.  The most recent printed version of these texts, central to the governance of Wales for almost five centuries, is 1901, and is in need of revision.  The monograph from this project will explore legal identity, linguistic identity, institutional identity and fiscal identity, and will consider the relationship between the centre and the so-called ‘periphery’ during the period of state formation during the early modern period.

Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates: with Dr Lowri Ann Rees and Einion Thomas

Research into landed estates has been a somewhat neglected field of study in Welsh historiography, but several fresh research questions emerged from a conference held at Bangor University in June 2013, indicating that engaging in new research into landed estates and the communities that surrounded them is a priority. Until now, there has been no academic centre in Wales that is dedicated to research in this field.  Landed estates are important for the study of Welsh history over several centuries, not only for their intrinsic social, economic and political significance, but also as potential prisms for investigating themes such as local governance, the structures of land use and ownership, and literary endeavour at different stages of Welsh history.

So, the primary aim of the Institute is to create a co-ordinating hub both for research and for the dissemination of information and research output to the community at large.  It would also be an identifiable institution to which estate owners could relate, strengthening their links with the University.  The Institute also aims to work in partnership with other organizations within Wales, including the National Library of Wales and other record repositories, and to collaborate with academics beyond Bangor in an advisory capacity so that research can be carried out on an all-Wales basis.  Collaboration is also being sought on an international level with centres such as the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates at Maynooth, Ireland in order to establish a comparative context.
The Inaugural Welsh Estates Conference was held at Bangor University in November 2013, and a series of research seminars will be held in 2014.  Biennial conferences are also being planned in cooperation with local history societies.

Wealth in Early Modern Wales/Welsh Tax Returns (ESRC funded)

A continuing interest is the study of wealth in early modern Wales, and includes the award of a major collaborative ESRC grant to develop the E179 database of lay and clerical taxation records at The National Archives.  In addition, other work includes a study of sufficiency in early modern Wales, and a revision of the accepted view of the uplands as an impoverished and backward subsistence economy.

The Urdd Centenary History: with Dr Mari Elin Wiliam

Following an approach by the Chief Executive of the Urdd in September 2012, this project aims to produce a centenary history of the organisation by 2022. This is at an incipient stage at the moment, but it is foreseen as a multidisciplinary project, and interest has already been expressed by staff at the Schools of Music, Social Science and Psychology (amongst others) at Bangor.  The project will be officially launched at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Bala in May 2014, and an academic conference will be held in Bangor in 2015/16. The research is likely to lead to at least one academic edited volume as well as a more popular history of the organisation.


Key & Recent Publications

  • 1989 ‘Crime and the community in Denbighshire during the 1590s : the evidence of the records of the court of Great Sessions’, in J. Gwynfor Jones, ed., Class, Community and Culture in Tudor Wales (University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1989), pp. 261-294.
  • 1990 ‘Trosedd a chymdeithas yng Ngogledd Cymru : dwy sir ar droad yr unfed ganrif ar bymtheg [Crime and society in north Wales : two counties at the turn of the sixteenth century]’, Cof Cenedl, 5 (1990), pp.29-55
  • 1991 Dyffryn Clwyd in the time of Elizabeth I (Coelion Lectures, Ruthin, 1991) pp. 29.
    1988 ‘Agweddau ar fywyd William Morgan a’i gyfnod [aspects of the life of William Morgan and his period]’, Y Traethodydd, 143 (1988), pp.118-134.
  • 1988 ‘Dr. William Morgan and his parishioners at Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant’, Transactions of the Caernarvonshire Historical Society, 49 (1988), pp.87-115.
  • 1999 ‘Robert ap Huw : clerwr gwyllt o Fôn / Robert ap Huw : a wanton minstrel of Anglesey’, in Welsh Music History/Hanes Cerddoriaeth Cymru, 3 : Astudiaethau Robert ap Huw Studies (University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1999), pp.5-53.
  • 2000 ‘Women and strict-metre poetry in Wales’, in Michael Roberts and S. Clarke, eds., Women and Gender in Early Modern Wales (University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 2000), pp.129-158.
  • 2003 ‘Arthur Bulkeley, Reformation Bishop of Bangor, 1541-1552/3’, The Journal of Welsh Religious History, new series, 3 (2003), 23-52.
  • 2004 ‘Dyfalu Dafydd Nanmor’, Llên Cymru (2004).
  • 2004 ‘Bulkeley, Arthur (c.1495–1553)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [, accessed 28 Feb 2013]
  • 2004 ‘Bulkeley, Sir Richard (c.1540–1621)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [, accessed 28 Feb 2013]
  • 2004‘Hughes, William (c.1535–1600)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [, accessed 28 Feb 2013]
  • 2005 ‘Do numbers count? Towns in early modern Wales’, Urban History, 32:1 (2005), 46-67.
  • 2005 ‘Cenedligrwydd, Cenedlaetholdeb ac Owain Glyndŵr, in J. Davies and T. Roberts, eds, Yr Angen am Owain: Darlithoedd Fforwm Hanes Cymru  (Llanrwst, 2005), 11-27.
  • 2007 ‘Urban Population in Early Modern Wales Revisited’, Welsh History Review, 23:3 (2007), 1-43.
  • 2007 ‘"Near the Margin of Existence"? Upland Prosperity in Wales During the Early Modern Period’, Studia Celtica, 41 (2007), 137-62.
  • With H. M. Watt., Information in E 179 Database at
  • 2008 ‘Genealogical narratives and kingship in medieval Wales’, in R.L Radulescu and E.D. Kennedy, eds., Broken Lines: Genealogical literature in late-medieval Britain and France, Medieval texts and cultures in northern Europe, vol 16 (Brepols for University of Hull Centre for Medieval Studies, 2008), 175-204.
  • 2012 ‘The Welsh context of Robert Recorde’ in G. Roberts and F. Smith, eds, Robert Recorde: the life and times of a Tudor mathematician (Cardiff, 2012), 123-144.
  • 2013 ‘Rawling White, Cardiff and the early Reformation in Wales’, in W.J. Sheils and C.E. Hayes, eds, Clergy, Church and Society in England and Wales c.1200-1800 (Borthwick Institute, York, 2013).