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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2
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3answers
280 views

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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1answer
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What was the Victorian opinion of the American Revolution?

BACKGROUND It's pretty remarkable to me, though perhaps it shouldn't be, how much British popular debate there was about the American Revolution. It was often condemned, but sometimes openly ...
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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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703 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!
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1answer
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Why didn't the Trafalgar Way messengers sail up the English Channel?

The dispatches from the British fleet at the battle of Trafalgar were brought by ship to Falmouth. From there, messengers rode by horse over land to the Admiralty in London, following a route known as ...
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760 views

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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1answer
107 views

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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265 views

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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2answers
201 views

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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1answer
337 views

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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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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444 views

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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What was life expectancy in early 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.
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Did the Welsh ever call Britain Albion?

I understand that the word exists in Welsh, but that it's a modern loanword from Gaelic referring to Scotland. Albion first appears in ancient Greek accounts along with Ierne as being part of the ...
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2answers
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Why did William Wallace lose while Robert Bruce won?

At the battle of Falkirk in 1298, William Wallace (aka "Brave Heart") abandoned the guerrilla tactics that served him so well at Stirling Bridge, and adopted a strong, but "conventional" defensive ...
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53 views

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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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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1answer
141 views

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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What is known about the possibility of a “real King Arthur”?

I once saw a documentary that discussed a discovered possible "round table" but wondered how "pie in the sky" this possibility was as well as just how much/how little evidence ...
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Why were British ships not of the same quality as French and Spanish ships until the latter part of the 18th century?

In Patrick O'Brian's 'Men-of-War', it says (apparently referring to around the time the Victory was built [1759-65]), ...most of the British ships were not nearly so well built as the French or the ...
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3answers
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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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172 views

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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782 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 ...
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What were British voting qualifications in the 1770's?

I'm writing a paper about what events and ideas led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and one thing I'm using is the corruption in the English government. My evidence includes the ...
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1answer
205 views

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

To illustrate 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 sein ...
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Did Anglo-Saxons make use of large-scale, non-military Roman ruins?

There are plenty of examples of the Anglo-Saxons using Roman ruins as part of their defensive and domestic architecture (i.e. Alfred building burhs that incorporated some Roman walls and roads). I am ...
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Is there a relationship between Gobekli Tepe and Stonehenge?

I was just reading an article about Stonehenge and about how the archaeological community is essentially agreed that the builders were a people who came from Anatolia (Turkey) around 6000 years ago. ...
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1answer
355 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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1answer
451 views

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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1answer
765 views

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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1answer
171 views

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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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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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 ...
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How fortified was Cyprus during WW2?

How fortified was Cyprus during WW2? By that I mean how many Allied naval ships were defending it, how many aircraft and airbases, and how many troops with what equipment? The period I'm most ...
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3answers
459 views

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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329 views

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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1answer
157 views

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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2answers
829 views

Could Battle of Stalingrad be won by Germany if they haven't lost so many aircraft in Battle of Britain? [closed]

So I come up with a question, maybe an irrational or a dumb one, but what effect would the Luftwaffe have had on the Battle of Stalingrad if they had had the ~ 2000 aircraft (lost in Battle of Britain)...
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1answer
2k views

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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149 views

How many instances of the Writs of Assistance were there? Are there any documented instances?

I have been in general frustrated by the lack of easily available documentation surrounding the 1760 Writs of Assistance, and the Writs of Assistance as they appear today in UK legislation, as pointed ...
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25k views

Was Henry II's “. . . turbulent priest. . . ” quote accurate?

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. ...
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596 views

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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137 views

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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1answer
370 views

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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2answers
10k 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?
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1answer
490 views

What is the earliest reference to King Arthur being raised by Sir Ector?

Thomas Malory's book "Le Morte D'Arthur" is the most famous account of King Arthur's life. It begins with the story of how Arthur's father Uther Pendragon desired Igrayne, the wife of the Duke of ...
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4answers
9k views

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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1answer
204 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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4k views

What is this flag?

The following flag is worn by Princess Isabella when she meets William Wallace. Actress Sophie Marceau as Princess Isabella in Braveheart
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Why did Latin disappear so completely in Britain after the Romans left?

My impression, wholly prone to error, is that despite centuries of Roman occupation, after the Anglo-Saxon invasions, Latin virtually became a dead language in Britain. Other parts of the Roman ...