For questions relating to the historic Kingdom of England prior to 1707, or the country of England within the modern United Kingdom that is one of Britain's Home Nations.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
1answer
115 views

How tight were shield walls in Saxon England?

After watching the BBC show The Last Kingdom, depicting conflicts between Saxons and Danes in the 800s AD, I was surprised by the multi-layered shield walls depicted. For example: or even: I had ...
4
votes
0answers
83 views

Reconstructing historic tide tables

I'm researching an event which occurred between mid-1794 and early 1796, but probably 1795; the even happened at a major English port with American shipping and a Royal Navy ship repair yard. I ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What Were the Primary Causes of 15th to 19th Century British Chartered Companies' Failures?

A Wikipedia list suggests that the earliest deemed English chartered trade monopoly organization was The Company of Merchant Adventurers of London in 1407 and presumably most, if not nearly all, ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

How did the French and English forces “stack up” toward the end of the Hundred Years' War?

I am of the opinion that Joan of Arc, an "amateur" general, started France on the road to winning the war because she understood something that the "professionals" did not; that is, that the French ...
6
votes
5answers
299 views

Non Altered European Castles

I recently paid a visit to Leed's castle, and was disappointed by the extent to which the manor had been refurbished and modernized. Importantly: What castles in Europe are accessible to the public ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

Did colonists “resign the power of voting” and have no more right to govern themselves than the Cornish people?

What exactly made the Americans believe they were different than the Cornish people besides the distance which divided them from England? Wasn't it the settlers' own free decision to move from ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

In 1700-1900 England, how were 'manners an end in themselves and not merely a means to achieve propriety by conformity'?

What does 1 mean: 'manners were [...] by conformity'? I know little about English history. How does 1 justify or mitigate 2; because to Anglophones in 2016, 1700-1900 English (e.g. Sheridan's opening ...
4
votes
3answers
181 views

Earning a living from teaching chess in 18-19th century England

Would it be possible for a common class person to teach chess or sciences to nobles during the Industrial Revolution? I think higher classes would be disgusted by the idea of a commoner teaching them, ...
2
votes
0answers
75 views

What was church life in England like after the act of supremacy in 1532? Did churchgoers find any change in the sacraments from day one? [closed]

Where did Henry VIII find the priests to administer the services? How were they bound? Could (or did) any priests refuse to follow the new ways? Why were only the monks targeted for dissolution? ...
7
votes
2answers
318 views

Why did England and Portugal cheap out on the Battle of Aljubarrota?

One of the most important and famous battles in the Iberian Peninsula took place in Aljubarrota. There were two main parties: Castille (With Aragonian, French and Italian support) Portugal (With ...
5
votes
2answers
213 views

Why was 17th Century England a particularly supportive place for groundbreaking thought? [closed]

Issac Newton, John Lock, Robert Hooke, Thomas Hobbes, John Milton, Robert Boyle, Francis Bacon...etc. Was 17th century England somehow more conducive to excellent new ideas or was it no more ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Did the Diggers view property as a sin?

The song, "World Turned Upside Down" by Leon Rosselson, says: The sin of property We do disdain No one has any right to buy and sell The earth for private gain Does this mean that the ...
2
votes
1answer
501 views

How were peasant houses constructed in medieval England?

What was the typical construction material and process for a house in medieval England? Specifically, for a typical farming serf, operating a few acres of land. This question is meant as a more-...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Book about Glorious Revolution

I am currently reading Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James: Why Nations Fail, which made me want to read more about the Glorious Revolution of 1688. I am particularly interested in an economic ...
7
votes
1answer
259 views

Black Monday, April 13, 1360

According to English Wikipedia ("Black Monday (1360)"), a severe hail happened on Monday, April 13, 1460 when the army of Edward III was camped in an open field near Chartre. The article says that the ...
0
votes
0answers
82 views

Historical information about dustmen in Edwardian England

I'm helping a middle schooler who was assigned Shaw's Pygmalion. I found a nice write-up about flower girls but now I need something about dustmen. For example, why does Alfred Doolittle, dustman, ...
8
votes
1answer
205 views

Is Lady Arabella Stuart wearing a Jewish symbol?

In this portrait, Lady Arabella Stuart, a member of the Tudor royal court, is shown wearing a hexagram, presently known as the Star of David. It is unclear from the highest resolution photograph ...
5
votes
0answers
149 views

What evidence is there that Alfred paid the Danes to leave Wessex in 876?

The Danes struck at Wareham in 876. Alfred made peace there with Guthrum, and there was an exchange of hostages. However, the Danes broke the peace and during the night they killed the hostages and ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

How accurate is the respresentation of York/Jórvík in the manga Vinland Saga?

In the manga Vinland Saga, the heroes arrive at "York". Clearly, it should have been called Jórvík but let's forgive them that for now. Below is how the manga shows the city from the sky. Comparing ...
5
votes
1answer
172 views

Why was the Cornish Militia stationed in Devon in late 18th Century?

On Genealogy & Family History SE, I asked a question about Finding late 18th Century service record of Francis Green in Cornish Militia?, and it looks like it will need a degree of luck to find ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

What did English people really say when knighting someone?

A while ago I curiously looked up this question and found out that people did not say "I dub thee..." or "Arise..." to him who was being made a knight, but instead used a Latin phrase which I forget. ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

A Principality within England

Ages ago I came across a brief mention on the Web of a principality existing briefly within England. It was made up of the County Cheshire and some surrounding territory. I think it was created by ...
5
votes
1answer
286 views

Who was the last English king whose first language was French?

What I remember from my college course is that whenever a delegation of barons came to discuss their grievances in English, the King would hear them out politely without understanding a word, conclude ...
6
votes
2answers
246 views

Did any English duke ever grant away an earldom he held?

The standard idea said of feudalism is that nobles have vassals, which could have vassals of their own. So that noble might have an extra title lying around and grant it to someone in exchange for ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Primary Sources for the Seizure of the Mint

What primary sources are there for Charles the First's 1640 seizure of gold from the Tower mint? It is described here in the tertiary source, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

How long did it take for a letter to arrive in England in the 1830s?

How efficient was the postal service in England in the 1830s? For example, is it possible to estimate how long it would have taken for a letter to arrive if sent by a standard service from London to ...
26
votes
7answers
8k views

Was England considered a “colony” of France?

After the "Norman conquest of England", many things including languages, the ways of life, etc. have changed a lot in Europe. Especially it affected the English language significantly that a lot of ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

How many wives did John Thurloe have – or did he have a mistress?

John Thurloe - Cromwell's Spy Chief Most sources say two, but I suspect these all derive from the introduction Birch edition of the State Papers being “a lady of the Peyton family”- first name unknown ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

What was Prince Henry Fredrick's personality towards people of other religions like, especially Catholics, and especially those who were Spanish?

What was Prince Henry Fredrick's personality towards people of other religions like, especially Catholics, and especially those who were Spanish? I really want to know about his attitude towards the ...
3
votes
0answers
88 views

Bail bonds in UK Victorian period

If you were arrested in Victorian England, and the offense was 'bailable' (i.e. too severe) you could get bail and not be stuck behind bars before your trial. In the period, did you have to hand over ...
4
votes
4answers
668 views

Why was William III of England referred to as the British-Batavian Nassau?

While reading through the book Medallic illustrations of the history of Great Britain and Ireland to the death of George II vol. I, I came across this interesting description. My question is why ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why was the swordsman of Calais chosen as Anne Boleyn's executioner?

Anne Boleyn was executed on May 19, 1536. Displaying an act of "mercy", King Henry VIII dispatched a skilled executioner to perform the execution by sword rather than by axe or being burned at the ...
14
votes
1answer
703 views

Robin Hood: Muslims in England in the 12th century

Ever since the 1984 BBC adaptation of Robin Hood, the addition of a Muslim warrior to the band of Merry Men has been a staple of the mythology. From a storytelling perspective, the benefits are clear: ...
2
votes
1answer
234 views

How many illegitimate children did King Henry VIII have?

I am aware of Henry FitzRoy, his illegitimate son that he acknowledged whom he had with Bessie Blount. Are there any other confirmed illegitimate children?
1
vote
0answers
110 views

Early medieval history of England as seen by ordinary people [closed]

I'm having trouble finding resources for the period around the conquest of England by Normans in 1066. I'd like to take it from a commoner's perspective and depict how ordinary people lived before ...
7
votes
1answer
271 views

How extensive was the slighting of castles in the English Civil War?

Wikipedia states During the English Civil War many castles and fortified houses were slighted by the Parliamentarians to stop them being used by the Royalists. Most of the destruction was in ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Why was the Old Wardour Castle not demolished after the English Civil War?

After the English Civil War, some strongholds such as Corfe Castle were slighted, that is demolished, by order of Parliament. Another Royalist castle, the (Old) Wardour Castle appears to not have ...
3
votes
2answers
270 views

Did Catherine Howard use some form of birth control?

Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's 5th wife was sexually experienced before marrying the king. She was also accused of having an affair with the king's groom while married to the king. She obviously had ...
5
votes
1answer
203 views

What is the term for a person who surveys the land and relays messages from a noble to his governed village?

The question is self-explanatory: What is the term for a person who surveys the land and relays messages from a noble to his governed village? The officer would: Survey the village or tenant, to ...
14
votes
1answer
756 views

Why is the charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations signed “HOWARD”?

Why is the charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations signed "HOWARD"? Note also that the Charter of Connecticut is likewise signed "By Writ of Privy Seal, HOWARD". But, the keeper of the ...
13
votes
1answer
357 views

How did this 900AD key work?

The Wikipedia Keys article shows this ancient Anglo-Viking voided key from circa 900AD: Unlike a tumbler lock which needs cuts at exact depths on the key to align its barrels, this key looks very ...
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?
8
votes
1answer
449 views

What was the reaction to English monarchs using the title “King of France”?

After the Hundred Years War (or "wars") the English had been wiped off France, but English monarchs kept using their official title "King of France". As I understand, this was to legalize their claims ...
3
votes
0answers
124 views

Sloop of War Hand

It was recorded in our family history by a R.N.Lt that a John Chandler (who had prepared charts of the North Sea) died when in 179? the sloop of War "Hand" foundered in the North Sea with all hands. I ...
4
votes
2answers
324 views

Were children often renamed in late Saxon England?

In Bernard Cornwall's The Last Kingdom the protagonist is renamed at age 10 or so after his brother, aged 16+, is killed by Danes. The protagonist is an Alderman's second son in Northumberland and is ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

When did challenging to a duel cease to be a practice in English culture?

In the Aubrey Maturin series of novels, there are at least two scenes where the protagonists are challenged to a duel: Post-Captain - Aubrey and Maturin about Aubrey's reputation with the Admiralty ...
1
vote
1answer
233 views

Was Henry III of England the first fully “English” king? [closed]

With his focus on Edward The Confessor, underscored by naming a his son Edward, did Henry III represent some sort of a political transition from from France to England? It also seems like there was ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Were the Barons who pushed King John to Sign the Magna Carta descended from the Normans? [closed]

In reading "The Plantagenets" I noticed the names of many of the barons had a name like "so-and-so De so-and-so". It's the "De" that caught my attention as not sounding very British or Anglo. Instead ...
4
votes
1answer
167 views

When did the Ecclesiastical courts in England lose the authority to mete out punishments such as imprisonment and execution?

In 1401, the ecclesiastical courts in England were given the power to burn heretics. In modern times the ecclesiastical courts have no control over anyone who does not belong to the Church of England, ...
6
votes
2answers
154 views

What type of ferry boats were used in England in the early 19th century?

In 1800-1820, what sort of ferry boats were used by the general public in England and how were they powered? In particular I am interested in ferries used to access the Isle of Wight, and also ...