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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10
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2answers
24k 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. ...
6
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2answers
8k 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
351 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) ...
2
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1answer
155 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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2answers
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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9answers
2k views

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 ...
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0answers
164 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 ...
8
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1answer
262 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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9answers
9k views

Has Britain's 1940 invasion of Iceland been downplayed by historians?

On the face of it Operation Fork (Britain's invasion of Iceland in 1940) wasn't so terribly different from Germany's territorial landgrabs in 1939 and 1940. Britain and her allies will have ...
38
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1answer
11k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
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How many British prisoners of war were taken by the Wehrmacht and how many died?

I've read here that 3.5% of British POW's held in Germany died. But haven't been able to find an estimate with sources of how many were taken and how many died. Here it says 170,000 were captured and ...
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1answer
627 views

When did the round house fall out of vernacular use throughout Britain and Ireland?

TL;DR When did roundhouses fall out of vernacular use? The time frame we have is full of gaps: They fell out of use in South-West Britain in the 8th Century. Wales may have had them potentially for ...
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3answers
4k views

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 ...
11
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1answer
372 views

Are there any ideas as to what the English landscape was like before the arrival of the Angles?

I am not sure if this question is within the guidelines (it may be), but I am curious as to this: In North America, for instance, it is often said it was heavily forested and that a squirrel could get ...
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3answers
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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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2answers
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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 ...
5
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2answers
166 views

In early WW2, how much of the merchant marine was American?

WW2, before the US entered, ran from 1939 Sep 01 to 1941 Dec 07. During this time, a lot of merchant vessels sailed in convoy to Britain. I am wondering, of all the people who crewed those vessels, ...
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5answers
904 views

What was the official attitude to Cromwell after the Glorious Revolution?

Under the restored Stuarts, obviously, Cromwell was vilified. Actually, his exhumed head was publicly displayed on a pike for more than 20 years during their rule (wikipedia devotes a separate article ...
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0answers
74 views

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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1answer
1k views

When did Aurochs (large wild cattle) become extinct in Britain?

Estimated to average around 150cm (cows) and 170cm (bulls) at the shoulder, the aurochs was an important animal to humans, during prehistory when it was widely hunted, and in some areas also ...
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3answers
458 views

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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1answer
318 views

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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3answers
676 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
93 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
140 views

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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1answer
270 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 ...
5
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1answer
251 views

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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1answer
222 views

During the Battle of Britain, what AA defenses were available, and where?

Regarding the Battle of Britain (1940 Jly 10 - Oct 31), I've never heard anything about the AA defenses on the ground. Surely they must have had some AA flak guns? What kind, how many, and where were ...
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0answers
125 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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2answers
594 views

How widespread was the consumption of rabbit meat by the poor in Medieval and Early-Modern Britain?

The Romans raised rabbits as livestock in Spain in the 2nd century BC and later brought them to Britain. French monks are believed to have domesticated them in the 5th century AD for their meat and ...
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2answers
355 views

Why did King Arthur have such a great influence in Brittany?

King Arthur, according to its literature, was a British leader. However, its influence in Brittany is huge. The Brocéliande, the mythical forest where Merlin was buried, is there, lots of family names ...
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2answers
200 views

What portion of the finance industry was British prior to WWI?

It's sometimes stated that Britain was the financial capital of the world prior to the First World War, and that it took extraordinary war spending like that in the Great War to shift the capital to ...
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1answer
159 views

Was The Great Game a war? [closed]

I know that The Great Game was between UK & Russia and done through parts of Asia, Middle East & Europe. I was wondering if the Great Game was basically two empires trying fighting each other ...
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2answers
525 views

When did furniture become common in the homes of most people in the British Isles?

When did they (regular people, rich people, etc.) start using stools and benches in the British Isles? My question is about daily life, not just the earliest archaeological finds. Specifically, I'm ...
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4answers
291 views

Why didn't continental eurotpeans aid the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms (Mercia, Northumbria, Wessex and East Anglia) against the invading Danes and Norse? [closed]

At some point during the Viking invasions of England, the Holy Roman Empire or France or even the Emirate of Cordova could've easily held the Vikings back in British soil if they would've decided to ...
20
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1answer
905 views

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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1answer
4k views

What date does a 1738 British author intend by “soon after the revolution”?

In the February 1738 The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume XIII at page 80: It is stated: A manuscript writen by a great Uncle of mine, who dy'd soon after the Revolution came lately into my hands. ...
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4answers
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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 is there for any ...
10
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1answer
485 views

What age were these Britons in A.D. 43?

I have been doing a lot of research on the Roman invasion of Britain and have come across a number of problems with information. My question is how old specific people were in 43 AD. I have ...
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3answers
2k views

Were/are the Gaels, Picts and Britons physically distinct?

Were they only different in culture and language or were there physical differences between the three groups? Did they all belong to the same ethnic group (Celts)? For those who don't understand "...
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2answers
1k views

How did the British Army unit size and structure in WWI change from 1915 to 1918?

Preface: For obvious reasons, we will assume ideal conditions for the purposes of this question. For convenience's sake, we will also ignore the original British Expeditionary Force that was almost ...
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3answers
4k views

What was the reason for inflation in Britain after the Black Death?

According to the Wikipedia article Ordinance of Labourers 1349 During this outbreak [of Black Death], an estimated 30-40% of the population died. The decline in population left surviving workers in ...
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0answers
80 views

What was the family relationship between British neo-Nazi politician John Tyndall and the 19th century physicist of the same name?

John Tyndall was a neo-Nazi British politician who chaired the National Front and who was the chairman of the British National Party from 1982 to 1999. According to his obituary in the Daily Telegraph,...
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0answers
332 views

When did the British gentry stop wearing wigs?

I'm researching dress in 18th century Britain. This article claims the following: "Brits stopped wearing wigs after William Pitt levied a tax on hair powder in 1795." The date seems odd to me, ...
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0answers
224 views

What were late eighteenth century British models of heroism?

The late eighteenth century (1780s, 90s) is sometimes characterized as a period of high idealism. Although it would be another few decades before Napoleon arrived in full force, and about half a ...
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0answers
190 views

In what contexts did male friends kiss in Europe in the 1700s?

In Stanley Kubrick's film Barry Lyndon, there's an scene where the title character's mentor, Captain Grogan, is gunned down by French troops. As he lies dying he asks Barry to "kiss me, my boy, for we ...
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3answers
742 views

In World War II, why was the ratio of killed to wounded of the Royal Navy twice that of the US Navy?

Casualty numbers for Navy personnel killed and wounded in WWII cited by Wikipedia (for the Royal Navy) and the National World War II Museum in New Orleans (for the US Navy) show a big difference in ...
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1answer
1k views

Was Celtic society promiscuous?

I have been trying to find an answer to the above question. In pre-Roman and Roman Britain were the Celtic peoples promiscuous or did they have only one married partner? Is there strong enough ...