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

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12
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3answers
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Did the Huns contribute to the Great Migration of Germanic Peoples into the Western Empire?

I just listed to this episode of the British History Podcast (which is excellent I might add). During the podcast, the podcaster states that climate change was a major contributor to the Anglo Saxons ...
8
votes
0answers
162 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
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0answers
137 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
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1answer
80 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
149 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 ...
6
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3answers
542 views

Why did Churchill accept the Order of the Garter in 1953?

Churchill had refused the Order of the Garter in 1945, quipping that he couldn't accept the garter from the king after the people gave him the boot. But in 1953 he relented and accepted the honour? Is ...
4
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1answer
199 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
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2answers
209 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 ...
19
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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
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1answer
151 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 ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Why did the Protestants in Ireland in the 1800s not want Home Rule?

I know there was conflict between Protestants and Roman Catholic nationalists due to their difference of opinion on Home Rule, but why would the protestants in Ulster and conservative party want to ...
0
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1answer
62 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: ...
26
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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 ...
15
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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 ...
24
votes
6answers
7k views

Why did Great Britain switch its alliance to France?

England (and its succeeding states) were at war with France for close to 1000 years. First it was over land, then they competed over religion, then they competed over colonies. For much of that time, ...
5
votes
3answers
275 views

What language was the Charter of Liberties written in?

While researching my answer for the What was the official language used across European monarchies in the XII century? question I came upon the Charter of Liberties, or Coronation Charter, issued by ...
1
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0answers
45 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
638 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
226 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

Why did England consistently adopt red as their primary colour for insignia and uniform?

Throughout the last 1000 years red has become a consistent motif for military clothing and heraldic imagery in England. What are the reasons for this? Are there economic, environmental (eg. dyes used ...
16
votes
1answer
459 views

What household servants would a Tudor gentleman have had?

There's a lot of easily-accessible information about the staffing of a Tudor nobleman's household, but very little about that of a Tudor gentleman's. Was it basically the same as a nobleman's? Or ...
1
vote
0answers
39 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
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0answers
74 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
8k views

How effective were longbow archers against plate-armored infantry?

It is quite common knowledge that longbows most likely did not penetrate the plate armor worn by the French chevaliers at Poitiers and Agincourt. However, how effective were these longbows in ...
4
votes
2answers
391 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 ...
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2answers
551 views

How was King Henry VIII able to get syphilis?

How did King Henry VIII get this disease when syphilis was a disease originating from the Americas?
2
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1answer
189 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?
9
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2answers
599 views

Was King Henry VIII, mid-late in his reformation campaign, motivated more by theology or absolutist drive?

King Henry VIII expended much of his rule pursuing religious reformation of England. The six articles, proposed by the Duke of Norfolk and signed by the King, essentially (not in totality but more so ...
16
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1answer
756 views

What English company founded in the 1200s filed for bankruptcy in the 2000s?

I heard a news story about an English company that had been successful since about 1200 and filed for bankruptcy in the last ten years. I heard it reported on NPR's Morning Edition, in early spring of ...
13
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1answer
536 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: ...
4
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
368 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 ...
7
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1answer
181 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 ...
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0answers
98 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
163 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
529 views

What were the Government Press Prosecutions of 1858 and why did they occur?

In the second chapter of On Liberty, John Stuart Mill mentions in a note the "Government Press Prosecutions of 1858". He further writes that "The offence charged was not that of criticising ...
13
votes
1answer
314 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
429 views

When did the Commonwealth of England start being considered a Republic?

For instance, it was under the absolute rule of a person (Cromwell), and after his death the rule is passed to his son. When was it classified as a republic, as opposed to a monarchy? Was that before, ...
14
votes
1answer
746 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
7k 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.
15
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1answer
449 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?
6
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2answers
126 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 ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Were Shakespeare's plays written for “high culture” or “entertain the bawdy masses” during his time?

Currently, the plays of William Shakespeare are viewed as great English literature, and viewed as "high culture". However I heard someone say that Shakespeare was writing "bawdy, violence filled plays ...
4
votes
2answers
302 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 ...
3
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0answers
121 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 ...
24
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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
201 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 ...
4
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1answer
156 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, ...
2
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1answer
101 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 ...
14
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3answers
1k views

Why did baseball become more popular than cricket in the USA?

Recently I started reading a very interesting comic about high school baseball. I found that baseball shares so many similarities with Cricket. So I tried to look for some information regarding the ...