Questions tagged [britain]

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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How did one get accepted into university in 19th century England?

So, here's all I (believe to) know on this topic and some follow up questions: Only the more wealthy (upper and middle class) did have the resources to send their offspring (of course mostly only the ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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What office or status did these individuals hold in Roman-Britain based on their attire?

I saw this Roman period wall painting in The Dorset County Museum. It was recovered from a mid-fourth century mausoleum located in a Roman cemetery from Poundbury between 1969 and 1970. The wall ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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When did the Royal Navy start to fill a given rank of admiral with more than one officer?

Admirals in the Royal Navy used to follow the coloured-squadron system. If I have understood correctly, when this practice first arose in the seventeenth century, there really were precisely nine ...
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27 votes
1 answer
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How likely is it that any non-Celtic language was spoken in the British Isles when the Romans invaded?

We know from Roman writers the names (or Latinized versions of them) of many ancient British tribes that they encountered, the Iceni, Parisi, Trinovantes etc. but the Romans were rarely interested in ...
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Did anyone in the 19th century deliberately use bank runs to bankrupt their competitiors like in *Tai-Pan* by James Clavell?

In James Clavell's semi-historical novel Tai-Pan, Dirk Struan and Tyler Brock head two competing British merchant companies that earn their income by trade with China around the time of the Opium Wars:...
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What were "prison-bars" (some sort of "amusement" or "athletic exercise")?

Richard Guest, A Compendious History of Cotton Manufacture (1823): The amusements of the people have changed with their character. Athletic exercises of Quoits, Wrestling, Foot-ball, Prison-bars and ...
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In light of genetic genealogy, are there any new theories for the introduction of Goidelic to Britain and Ireland

There is DNA evidence of two major waves of Indo-European migration to Britain and Ireland. The first wave of migration occurred in the early Bronze Age. The second wave of migration occurred in the ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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How much did King George III of Britain weigh?

I cannot, for the life of me, find out how much King George III of Britain weighs. I would like to know his physical stature, as I am making a rhythmic poem with my class.
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4 votes
1 answer
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How many Scots were present at the Battle of Bauge?

The Battle of Bauge According to Wikipedia the Battle of Bauge was a decisive battle in liberating France from England during the one hundred years war. Apparently the battle was won by a five ...
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1 vote
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When and where were British pub games first played?

I've been searching for the answer of the origin/ history of pub games in British pubs. However, this is what I've encountered in some different sources ( including Wikipedia): In his book, Beer and ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How were British monarchs educated about military strategy in the Middle Ages and early modern period?

It seems Erasmus and the like gave humanist education in classics and liberal arts. It also seems tactics were taught through childhood games, hunting, and archery contests. But what about the skill ...
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6 votes
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At what age did girls start wearing corsets in 1880s-1890s Britain?

So, I found some contradicting information to answer this on the internet and almost none of it was dated to a specific time of the victorian era, so I would like to know if anyone can answer this ...
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Why didn't the Allies use a naval invasion to retake Norway?

Norway was captured by Germany during WWII, and been liberated from Germany after Karl Dönitz signed the surrender treaty with the Allies. But there were some chances for Allies to create an assistant ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Has a British peer ever come to live in a typically lower class way?

Recognizing that social class in Britain does not correspond to wealth, that that peers have been gambling away fortunes since time immemorial, has a hereditary peer, a duke, marquess, or earl, ever ...
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1 answer
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Were titles in the British Peerage ever connected to land grants, and if so, when did they stop being connected to land?

I have been trying to understand the peerage systems of Britain as of late, and I have a number of questions. Let's assume we're in the middle ages. A baron-in-chief, Thomas Smith, holds a number of ...
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Which 4 states were not present to ratify the treaty of Paris on January 14th, 1784?

Which 4 states were not present to ratify the treaty of Paris on January 14th, 1784
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2 answers
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Is there a British equivalent in architectural history to American cabins?

I've been watching a lot of American horror movies, and a big trope is the characters staying in old, abandoned cabins in the woods. Or if not cabins then lodges, or in Westerns or haberdasheries etc. ...
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23 votes
4 answers
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Why did Churchill become the PM of Britain during WWII instead of Lord Halifax?

It looks as though both Churchill and Lord Halifax were considered for the top job in 1940, but Halifax turned it down and Churchill took it. History is not my area of specialization, so I cannot dig ...
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11 votes
3 answers
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Did Victorian parents raise their children "sexless" to prolong innocence?

I was reading the (albeit not very historical) Chatelaine article "Can You Actually Raise A Baby Free From Gender?" and came across the statement: The notion that a boy should have short ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Was it illegal to express sympathy for Nazi Germany during WW2 in Great Britain?

Was it illegal to express sympathy for Nazi Germany during WW2 in Great Britain? Say you are a citizen and you want your goverment to make peace with Hitler. You even want GB to become a puppet state ...
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When did Canada get the rights reserved by the 1867 British North America Act? [duplicate]

After becoming a country in 1867, Canada was not entirely independent. Britain retained 3 important powers: control of Canada’s defense, control of Canada’s foreign relations, and the requirement to ...
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What had caused Northumbrian to become similar to Old Danish before the Viking invasions? [closed]

As mentioned here, the difference between the version of Old English spoken in Northumbria around the year 800 and Old Norse as spoken by the Vikings (basically Old Danish) was much less than the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Can you identify these military tunes (17th-century)?

Would anyone happen to know the names of two historic tunes (fifth and drum) in the Revolutionary War? I linked the descriptions below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPbn_uipW10&loop=0&start=...
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4 votes
2 answers
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How did Britain and Russia block the railway in Iran?

Karen Armstrong (2000): [...] both Britain and Russia promoted only the technology that furthered their own interests and blocked such inventions as the railway, which might have benefited the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
493 views

How was sugar consumed by industrial revolution workers?

I seen several times the claim than sugar was an essential nutrient for industrial revolution workers (for example this blog) and even that sugar availability made possible the industrial revolution, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What happened to the North Saxons? [closed]

There's an old joke to the effect of "Wessex was the kingdom of the West Saxons, Essex was the kingdom of the East Saxons, Sussex was the kingdom of the South Saxons, Middlesex was the kingdom of the ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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How, where and when did Lily Pettigrew die?

Lily Pettigrew (born Lilian Pettigrew, on 25 Feb 1870, in Portsmouth in the UK) was a famous artist's model in turn-of-the-century London, alongside her equally famous sisters Hetty and Rose. She is ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What did the English people during the Peasants' Revolt know about the Ciompi Revolt?

The Ciompi revolt started in Florence in June 1378 and the Peasants' Revolt started in England in May 1381, just three years later. Did the news about Ciompi Revolt reach England in three years? Did ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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WW1 trying to identify squadron and aircrew

Recently discovered photo belonging to my grandfather. I was told he took this but not so sure... He was connected with 57 Squadron but I can find no info about it. Keen to be able to identify anyone ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Did any "tanks in front" tactic exist during WW2?

I am searching for a tactic that would be in service in the British and/or French army during WW2. It would consist in placing the tank on forward position of other elements, especially in front of ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Which factors led to the different casualty ratio betwen British and German forces during the Battle of Normandy?

I take for example the VIIIth corps of the British Army, which was part of multiple operations in Normandy in 1944. If you go through the different operations listed in the article, there are very ...
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1 answer
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Are the English Celts? [closed]

I was reading that a "native" English person (the average person tracing their ancestors in England say 200 years at least) has about 30% Anglo-Saxon DNA and 3% Viking DNA. Presumably the other 67% ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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A common find of metal detectorists across Britain is the silver "love token", from around 1700. Do any contemporary sources describe the custom?

A typical example. Anecdotally, a young man would give a love token to his intended who would continue to carry it around, or throw it away if she failed to return his affections. The majority are ...
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8 votes
0 answers
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Do any of the commercially produced Hinton cubes still exist?

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, British mathematician Charles Howard Hinton developed a system for visualizing the fourth dimension in his books “A New Era of Thought” and “The Fourth Dimension”. ...
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16 votes
3 answers
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Can anyone identify the regiment and rank from this WWI photograph?

I am trying to identify the person in this WWI era photograph. I believe it may be my great great uncle John Hunt Marshall born Dec 29 1893 in Motherwell, Scotland. He graduated with a BSc from the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Why did the form Baron OF Somewhere drop out of use?

The Question In the various British peerages - i.e. the peerages of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom - one finds titles of the form Duke of X, Marquess of X and Earl ...
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Why were the British Union of Fascist outfits so bad compared to the Nazis? [closed]

Looking at Oswald Mosley's fascists "blackshirts", it struck me that the tailoring on their costumes was quite bad compared to their German counterparts. Photos I've seen look like black boiler suits ...
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25 votes
4 answers
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Was it possible for a message from Paris to reach London within 48 hours in 1782?

I used to have a paperback copy of Diplomacy of the American Revolution by Samuel Flagg Bemis, but now I can't find it. I seem to recall that American diplomats in Paris in 1782 (Franklin, Adams, Jay) ...
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2 votes
1 answer
246 views

How many RAF and USAAF/USAF airfields were built in the UK between the mid-1930s and 1960?

Whenever I fly over southern or eastern England I see a lot of runways, many of them disused. The majority were built during WW2 for the RAF and USAAF, others date back to the early cold war years. ...
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10 votes
4 answers
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How did American colonial rights and conditions compare to those within the British Isles?

A major point of contention between American colonists and British administrators was that the American colonists, being the descendants of Englishmen, allegedly should have been entitled to ...
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9 votes
1 answer
339 views

What would a Roman education include in the years 77 - 85?

In the year 77 Gnaeus Julius Agricola under Vespasian was made consul and governor of Britannia, among a series of military campaigns into north and west Britain he also pushed for various civil and ...
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39 votes
1 answer
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Why does this London Underground poster from 1924 have a Star of David atop a Christmas tree?

There is currently an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago displaying posters promoting London Underground transit from the 1920's and 30's. This interesting piece comes from 1924. A full ...
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34 votes
2 answers
8k views

When did Britain learn about the American Declaration of Independence?

When did Britain learn about the American Declaration of Independence? We all know the declaration was made on July 4th, 1776. But when did news reach Buckingham Palace and do we have records of ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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What are the per capita alcohol consumption rates of England from 1700 to 1900?

The rates are readily available for the period 1800 onwards but there is some trouble finding equivalent data for the period prior to 1800. Moreover, the data that I have some across so far even for ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Was pie crust originally meant for throwing away in England?

I'm trying to find the sources on youtube (last part about the English making a pie crust for throwing away) Also would that be a sin of gluttony in wasting food?
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is there a location to find the personnel roster of the No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron during WW2?

I'm working on a research project and I am looking to confirm that certain individuals were part of the No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron during WW2. Is there a place online or offline where one could ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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What is Street’s Jorrocks?

In the book “All Hell Let Loose” by Max Hastings, the writer mentions about the condition of British farmers during WWII: "Wiltshire farmer Arthur Street ploughed up his grassland as the government ...
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18 votes
1 answer
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What is the name and meaning of a World War 2 CCC Medal with both the Polish Eagle and British Statant Gardant Lion?

While looking through a collection of World War 2 medals, I came across this one (picture attached) and have been unable to identify it. It is in the form of a shield, appears to have a Polish eagle ...
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Anti militarism

I am reading “All Hell Let Loose” by Max Hastings and into the second chapter of The Polish Campaign. The writer mentions that British had a anti-militarist tradition and which was a source of pride ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Why did the price of eggs in Britain increase much more than for other basic foods during WWI?

At the beginning of WWI, Britain was only about 40% self-sufficient in food, a major problem given the tonnage of ships sunk by German submarines. Unsurprisingly, food prices rose. In First World War ...
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