Module Details

HR251-5-FY-CO: Life In The Three Kingdoms: Societies And Cultures In Early Modern Britain And Ireland

Note: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

Year: 2017/18
Department: History
Essex credit: 30
ECTS credit: 15
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: Yes
Outside Option: Yes

Supervisor: Dr Thomas Freeman
Teaching Staff: Dr Tom Freeman
Contact details: Belinda Waterman, Student Administrator,

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

The early modern British Isles were home to three kingdoms (England, Scotland and Ireland), five languages, and peoples with vastly differing cultures. The Reformation also created deep religious divisions in all three kingdoms with Catholics and various Protestant denominations persecuting each other. These separate kingdoms all came to be ruled by one monarch, yet the social, cultural and linguistic differences in the kingdoms persisted for centuries.
This module will examine the interactions political, religious, cultural and social between the populations of the three kingdoms. The progress of the module will be like the lowering of a microscope, yielding greater detail as the module progresses. We begin with the political history of England, Scotland and Ireland in the late thirteenth-century when it looked like all three kingdoms would be brought under the rule of the English king, Edward I. We will follow this political history through until the Act of Union in 1707 which formally united the kingdoms of England and Scotland. After that we will look at the progress of the Reformation in each of the three kingdoms and the religious divisions this created.

Then, in the second portion of the module, we begin by looking at the different cultures and languages of the early modern British Isles. From there we examine the social communities in which people lived, looking at issues of status, rank, honour and reputation. (This will also include violent methods of maintaining honour such as duels and feuds). And finally we will analyse the most basic social unit, the family, examining the different forms of patriarchy, kinship, marriage and parenting in the different societies of the early modern British Isles.
In summary, this module will teach you how the institutions and societies of the British Isles today were formed and the origins of the divisions that persist in them down to the present day

Learning and Teaching Methods

One-hour lecture and one-hour seminar per week.


50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark


Coursework consists of one 2,000-word essay (40%), one 3,000-word essay (50%) and a presentation (10%).

Exam Duration and Period

3:00 during Summer Examination period.

Further information