An island in North-Western Europe. Questions with this tag should refer to the history of the island of Great Britain, such as the relationship between the historical states of Britain. A separate tag exists for questions on history of the modern polity known as the United Kingdom.

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22
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4answers
386 views

How would you accurately use older British currencies when writing a story?

For writing a story set in Napoleonic Wars era, how should one use the currencies accurately? I read in novels they use currencies like shilling, pound, guinea, sovereign, four (or six-, etc) pence, ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Australian Head of State [closed]

Under the Australian Constitution, who will become Australia's Head of State if the British monarchy is suddenly dissolved or overthrown and Britain becomes a republic?
3
votes
2answers
449 views

What were the animals on the Coat of Arms of Edward IV of England?

(Asked after reading this answer in SciFi&Fantasy SE): I think that whole Stark (York) and Lanister (Lancaster) feud is reference to War of Roses. Both houses descended from house Plantagenet ...
20
votes
10answers
8k views

What's the advantage of the infantry column formation in the Napoleonic Wars?

In movies/books set in the Napoleonic Wars, the British are normally deployed into lines and the French into columns. The columns are usually the advancing ones, charging into the line as the line ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

What was the life expectancy in Medieval Britain?

I'm working on doing background research for one of my novels and I'm looking for roughly how old a male in the peasant class would've lived around 5th or 6th century Britain.
5
votes
1answer
232 views

What are the top 5 bloodiest battles in terms of British casualties?

I have done a bit of research and it seems the Somme, Towton and maybe Bannockburn are up there? Any more to throw into the mix? Great site by the way!
0
votes
1answer
111 views

What rank did cadet branches hold in the peerage?

I've looked at the answers for the question "How did cadet branches start?", and based off the information in that forum, I would like to know what rank equivalent to peerage the cadet branch could ...
8
votes
3answers
16k views
8
votes
5answers
341 views

What was the official attitude to Cromwell after the Glorious Revolution?

Under the restored Stuarts, obviously, Cromwell was vilified. Actually, his exhumed head was publicly displayed on a pike for more than 20 years during their rule (wikipedia devotes a separate article ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

What was the motivation behind prohibiting hunting in King's forests?

One of the typical pop culture motifs surrounding the Merry Men stories is the concept of them poaching the game and being hunted by the Law (or at least, Wardens) for that. This seems rather counter-...
12
votes
1answer
369 views

Were bookshops 'common' in the late 19th century, and how did they differ from modern ones?

I've been reading a little bit about Victorian publishing bit I'm struggling to get a feel for how common and how similar Victorian bookstores in London would be. This is all I've read. It sounds ...
2
votes
0answers
76 views

What was the relationship between the Tories and Quakers?

During the period of the American Revolution, most Quakers supported the British cause. But unlike many of the Tories, they were strict pacifists. What was the relationship between the British ...
-2
votes
2answers
213 views

Reasons for transfer of leadership in computing from Britain to US after WWII

Great advances were made in field of computing until end of WWII. Many of them happened in Britain. However, by about 1960 it can be safely said that US became home of computer science. Why didn't ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did the welfare state succeed in Bismarck's Germany but lagged in 20th-century Britain?

Otto von Bismarck pioneered the welfare state in Germany and Bismarck was/is greatly respected by Germans. Pre-World War I British Liberal Party made welfare reforms after the 1906 general election. ...
11
votes
3answers
407 views

How strong a land force did Germany need for a conquest of the British Isles in the summer of 1940?

In 1942, America's General Eisenhower summed up his gloomy assessment of an invasion of Nazi-held Europe in the "reverse" direction as 50-50 to get one division ashore, and one chance in five (20 per ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

What was the attitude towards Martin Luther among early non-Catholic Christians in Britain?

Were his writings and example praised, ignored, or shunned? Britain was abuzz with political and religious printed works at least by the time of the Civil War, so he must have been known about.
2
votes
1answer
259 views

Challenges Margaret Thatcher faced as a woman? [closed]

As the first and only woman who served as Prime minister for Britain, What are some challenges she faced as a woman and how she dealt with them? Its hard to find correct information about her because ...
16
votes
1answer
412 views

How common was banditry in 16th & 17th century Great Britain and Ireland?

I want to know about highwaymen and thieves and brigands who preyed on travellers. so, I am not interested in other organised criminal gangs such as smugglers or urban thieves.
6
votes
1answer
129 views

Did iron age Britons still use the ritual sites built by their neolithic ancestors?

Pre-Roman sites in Britain get lumped together as "ancient", but in reality they span a good couple of thousand years between the neolithic and the iron age. That made me wonder whether there was any ...
0
votes
2answers
441 views

Why did Britain place naval mines in their own Channel in WW2?

Reading about Naval Mines, I came across a curious claim: for example, during World War II, Britain declared simply that it had mined the English Channel, North Sea, and French coast. It's not ...
9
votes
4answers
871 views

How and why did trade unions in America become influenced by organised crime, but unions in Britain didn't?

There is plenty of organised crime in Britain, and there always has been. People have slandered the unions in Britain with almost every foul name under the sun, but one thing I have never heard is ...
2
votes
1answer
486 views

Why did any slaves or former slaves choose to fight against Britain in the Revolutionary War?

Considering the fact that they would have benefited more from a British victory, why would any slaves, current or former, choose to fight against the British?
16
votes
1answer
521 views

What was the political consciousness of a 15th century English peasant?

How did they feel about the monarchy and living under lords? Were they are aware of alternative political structures? Did they believe their lives were fair?
5
votes
2answers
577 views

What does a slitterman do?

On my Great-Uncle's Naval Entry Form, it says: Occupation upon entry: Slitterman (paper) I found this article, which says a slitterman is: A representative for the Travellers Aid Society ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What percentage of British and American troops were involved in direct combat with enemy in World War II

How large a proportion of British and American troops were involved in direct combat with the enemy in World War II? What was the casualty rate among those men?
33
votes
5answers
4k views

Has Britain's 1940 invasion of Iceland been downplayed by historians?

On the face of it Operation Fork (Britain's invasion of Iceland in 1940) wasn't so terribly different from Germany's territorial landgrabs in 1939 and 1940. Britain and her allies will have ...
5
votes
1answer
204 views

Anti-Semitism and Edmund Burke

Are there any historical references to Edmund Burkes' views on anti-Semitism? His works specifically deal with the British governance, and legal systems' that could guide the UK through the turbulent ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Thoroughbred horse history on British Islands prior to 1686

It is well established, but oft overlooked, fact that almost all thoroughbred horses on the British Islands trace their ancestry to a single stallion, called Darley Arabian, brought to Britain by one ...
5
votes
0answers
77 views

How was the transfer of personnel from British women's military services managed?

In the 1990's,the former women's services - WRNS, WRAC, and WRAF - were disbanded and women absorbed into the regular services. Whilst women still cannot serve in combat roles, they are armed and ...
4
votes
2answers
872 views

Were sailing ships of the line understaffed with gunnery crews so that there were not enough for 2 broadsides?

Is there any data to support or refute the hypothesis that sailing ships of the line were only complemented with enough gunnery crews to simultaneously fire 1 broadside but not 2? If it matters for ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

Were the Germans quoting Hamlet to describe their existential struggle in the Great War?

In illustrating how the Great War came to be viewed increasingly by Germans as an existential struggle, Max Hastings, in his Catastrophe: 1914: Europe Goes to War (p. 542), describes how The words ...
30
votes
11answers
8k views

Were the Medieval Britons aware of the existence of the Roman Empire?

I would like to know if the medieval people in Britain, by around 800 AD, knew that there was an empire that ruled Britain several hundreds of years before. Otherwise, were there any myths, legends, ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

British Slave Inventory

At what point were the numbers of slaves transported by the British to America first recorded? How many people were transported as slaves from Africa to America by the British? How many of them died ...
3
votes
1answer
428 views

In which places of the UK did the Vikings/Scandinavians have most frequent contact or colonies?

I was in York, England and there was a museum called Jorvik Viking Centre, which spoke about the Vikings who lived there. It said that the area back then was mostly populated by the Vikings. Since ...
8
votes
1answer
239 views

Were British parliamentary seats really advertised in newspapers?

I have this vague recollection of reading about actual ads in newspapers selling seats in the British parliament (18th or 19th century pocket/rotten boroughs) Did they actually have ads in newspapers?...
-3
votes
1answer
710 views

Why did the British control Hong Kong over 99 years? [closed]

There is different version why British Empire took control over Hong Kong. Britain helped China to eliminate pirates in South China Sea. As a sign of appreciation China give control of Hong Kong to ...
-2
votes
1answer
104 views

Is the Scot referendum the biggest one of its type in modern history? And other questions [closed]

Also I know a lot of regions that are fighting/claiming independence. What convinced the union to come to this decision. What are the Scots woes that drove them to ask for it?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Actual quote from Henry II

I remember reading somewhere (might have been Simon Schama) that Henry II's famous quote of: Who will rid me of this turbulent priest Was inaccurate, and he actually said something much stronger....
8
votes
2answers
478 views

Could Great Britain have built the British Empire if it was not the pioneer of the Industrial Revolution?

Could Great Britain have built the British Empire if it was not the pioneer of the Industrial Revolution? Put another way: Was the Industrial Revolution the single key over-riding factor to its ...
0
votes
3answers
138 views

Is there a factual basis for the character of Morgan le Faye from the King Arthur tale?

What real life person, persons, or events was Morgan le Faye, cast as an evil enchantress in most King Arthur tales, based on?
5
votes
0answers
139 views

Age of Britons in A.D. 43

I have been doing a lot of research on the Roman invasion of Britain and have come across a many number of problems with information. My question is how old specific people were in 43 AD, I have ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

In what language did Caractacus deliver his speech to the emperor Claudius?

In The Annals, the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus wrote about the British chieftain Caractacus and how he was captured by the Romans. According to him, Caractacus was taken to Rome along with his ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What was the alcoholic beverage of choice for British soldiers during WW2?

The British army has throughout history plied soldiers with rum and grog to boost morale and quiet dissent. Did this policy continue into WW2, and if so, what was the drink supplied by the state?
2
votes
1answer
578 views

When did it become customary to address the King/Queen of England as Majesty?

In written sources I've read of Henry VIII's time the King is referred to as Grace (as nowadays a duke is) so it's probable that the Majesty appellation became current. But when exactly? And why?
12
votes
3answers
499 views

WWII boat-looking bus

What was the purpose of this WWII boat-looking bus? Description says: Royal Navy officers 'aboard' 'HMS SPURIOUS MARK II' - a bus converted to resemble the island of an aircraft carrier. The ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

What were the main reasons that the Industrial Revolution happened in Great Britain? [duplicate]

What were the main reasons that the Industrial Revolution happened in Great Britain? I know there were at least a few other European countries with some of the same advantages that Great Britain had (...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

Quesnay, Adam Smith, and Pitt

I am now reading the book Decadent Societies by R.M. Adams and on pp.66-7 he writes: Quesnay's ideas, which fell on stony ground in France, showed their basic vitality when picked up by Adam ...
9
votes
1answer
384 views

Why did Britain object to the Ottomans bringing its ships-of-the-line against Russia in the beginning of the Crimean War?

I came across this in the "Background section" of Wikipedia article Battle of Sinop. Fighting at sea between Imperial Russia and the Ottoman Empire had been going on for weeks, and the Ottomans ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Why was there an autumn recess in Britain in 1641?

Was it because the government just wanted to take a break in recess? Or was it because of conflicts? Wikipedia mentions that in October 1641, the Irish rebellion occurred, but it doesn’t mention that ...
4
votes
1answer
271 views

In the British Invasion of Greece, what happened to the British troops who were not captured?

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/british-forces-arrive-in-greece I also was wondering what happened to the soldiers who were not caught, if any? Where did they go, and what happened to ...