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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

6
votes
1answer
241 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
590 views

When were the heresy laws abolished in England?

We know that during the English Reformation several "heretics" were burnt at the stake. We also know that during the reign of Henry VIII both protestants and catholics were burnt or beheaded while ...
6
votes
2answers
138 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
245 views

Were Uncles referred to by surname in Victorian England?

Merry Christmas, everybody! And speaking of Christmas ... In Charles Dickens' novelette, A Christmas Carol, the main character Ebeneezer Scrooge is referred to several times by others as "Uncle ...
6
votes
2answers
240 views

Organisation of mercenaries

In the War of the roses how were mercenary units organised and administrated? Were they paid per lance, archer, knight etc? Would there be a King's representative who would go the mercenary ...
6
votes
0answers
134 views

Did Palmerston contribute to Louis Philippe's downfall?

I am reading this book and have come across a slightly puzzling passage on p. 154: [Palmerston] kept on good terms with Louis Philippe of France until he felt, in 1846, that Louis was taking an ...
5
votes
2answers
399 views

Was either side legally in the right in the Hundred Years War?

Legalistically speaking which side was right in the Hundred Years War. My view is that the Salic law combined with the principle that nobody can transmit a right greater than he himself can possess ...
5
votes
3answers
286 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
199 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
443 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
165 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
636 views

What English king died from water intoxication?

I vaguely remember reading a story about an English king that died from drinking too much water after a hunt. I'm sorry to say that all parts of this story may be untrue…I'm not sure whether it was a ...
5
votes
1answer
187 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
145 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
126 views

What made William Pitt beleive that it was in England's “interest of England to govern Ireland” when Ireland and England were unified? [closed]

William Pitt, the Prime Minister of Britain when the Union of Ireland and England was formed in 1801, said that it was in the "interest of England to govern Ireland". In what aspect of Ireland and its ...
4
votes
2answers
659 views

What is a knight of the windmill?

In Thomas Paine's The American Crisis, while ridiculing Sir William Howe and his recently obtained knighthood, said: As a proper preliminary towards the arrangement of your funeral honors, we ...
4
votes
4answers
645 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
869 views

Did Great Britain benefit economically from the loss of America?

I have been told by many acquaintances that the loss of the thirteen colonies actually BENEFITED the UK. Their claim is that the UK no longer had to pay for the colonies' defence and administration ...
4
votes
2answers
314 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
227 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
312 views

How were Warrant Officers appointed to Royal Navy ships during the Age of Sail?

As I understand it, Warrant Officers got their name from the warrant issued by the Admiralty (depending on the applicant having the correct qualifications). From the descriptions I've read, these ...
4
votes
1answer
665 views

Was it customary for an executioner in Elizabethan England to ask for forgiveness from the executed?

The question is basically in the title already. I recently saw what is supposedly a historically correct account of Elizabeth I reign in the form of a documentary. The executioner there asked Maria I ...
4
votes
1answer
95 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
161 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
135 views

Sect in England in the 18th century

As far as I know, the church at the time strictly forbade all heretical manifestations and was very strong. So I could not think sects existed at that time. But reading the book by Victor Hugo, "The ...
4
votes
2answers
222 views

What happened to the princes in Tower of London?

According to Sir Thomas More and William Shakespeare, Edward IV's sons were murdered by their uncle, King Richard III. But I've heard (in song) that this was a "Tudor propaganda" lie. If King ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Why did non prosecuted craftsmen go to the new world in the Roanoke era?

I've just been reading The Rise & Fall Of The British Empire by Lawrence James. In this book, James said that craftsmen, who were not prosecuted for their religion, went to the New World because ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

When did western medical certification start?

When did medical certification start being a 'thing' in western cultures, ex. among US denizens, the British, etc.? In particular, who (organization, person, etc.) came up with the first standards ...
4
votes
1answer
507 views

Did the civil wars of 17th century England facilitate an independent spirit in the American colonies?

From the 1620's on, it seems like England was endlessly dealing with battles between parliaments, kings and armies. Did these battles keep English leadership from getting overly involved in the ...
4
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
396 views

When and how did English become the Lingua Franca? [closed]

Specifically, how did it supplant French as the international language? Even in the height of Pax Britannica, many English upperclassmen still saw French as the more romantic language. How was this ...
4
votes
2answers
651 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
459 views

What was the impetus behind the British Empire's acquisition of what is now Canada?

What led the British to Canada as part of a plan to colonise North America? There are no good natural resources in Canada and, from what I can see, there was no point in getting a military ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is King Henry V regarded as such a great King?

In History magazine it says: King Henry V is well-known as a great man - charming, wooing, gracious, triumphant and an English hero. However, in a battle he ordered every male over 12 years old ...
3
votes
1answer
410 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
272 views

What role did British cartoonists play in the early 1800?

Can anybody explain the historical context and the reasons for which the comic below, preserved to the British Museum, was painted? What is its meaning? Why is Napoleon so little? And, more ...
3
votes
1answer
404 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
247 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

When was King Alfred first called 'Alfred the Great'?

In his book on Alfred the Great, historian Justin Pollard notes that it was in the 16th century that King Alfred was first called 'Alfred the Great' - no reference, no note, no bibliographical text ...
3
votes
3answers
159 views

Smoking as a throat cure

In the movie The King's Speech Prince Bertie at some point says his doctors had advised him to smoke, in order to improve his throat's condition. Does this stupid suggestion represent actual medical ...
3
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
84 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
494 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?
2
votes
1answer
392 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
831 views

What was the social and cultural role of a “country squire” in Victorian/Edwardian England?

In Agatha Christie's "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd", the following passage appears: Ackroyd has always interested me by being a man more impossibly like a country squire than any country squire ...
2
votes
1answer
262 views

What was the name for a group of 12 men in old England responsible for each others actions?

I remember learning in school about how men in England were grouped together in a group of 12 or so and were responsible for eachothers actions (breaking law, debt, etc). What was the name of this ...
2
votes
1answer
80 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
286 views

In the History Channel series the Vikings, who is Ragnar? [closed]

I've been watching the Vikings series on Amazon and I am curious who Ragnar, the main protagonist is supposed to be based on? I think he is supposed to be the "first" viking leader to raid England. I ...