Welsh culture and history in the tumultuous 14th century.
Wales in the 14th century
BY DAVID ROSS, EDITOR
In the mid 14th century Welsh culture underwent something of a Renaissance. In the centuries following the Norman Conquest, the Welsh bardic tradition had fallen into a period of decay. Though not actively suppressed by the English, Welsh cultural traditions in general were overwhelmed by the Norman influx.
The Black Death arrived in Wales by early 1349, probably carried from southern England. Over the next year it accounted for the deaths of perhaps one-quarter of all Welsh. Further outbreaks of the plague occurred in 1360 and 1369, though these were thankfully not so virulent.
This decline in population also affected the monasteries. The sheer number of monks declined, and so, naturally, did their influence on Welsh culture. Fewer monks meant fewer chroniclers of the times, and the latter half of the 14th century is notable for the paucity of written records from the previously prolific monastic chroniclers.
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