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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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4
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1answer
198 views

During WW2, did the merchant marine also return to Canada in convoys?

During WW2, a lot of cargo ships sailed in convoy to Britain. I am wondering, if they also made the return trip in convoy? If so, were such return convoys also escorted?
36
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12answers
12k views

Were Medieval Britons aware of the existence of the Roman Empire?

I would like to know if the medieval people in Britain, by around 800 AD, knew that there was an empire that ruled Britain several hundreds of years before. Otherwise, were there any myths, legends, ...
5
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1answer
555 views

How was George III able to appoint William Pitt as his Prime Minister?

Today British Prime Ministers are elected by the party that forms the government, having won a majority of votes. It seems this was not always so. How we got here, however, seems to be by convention. ...
7
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1answer
672 views

How many tons of bombs were dropped on Britain between 1940 July 10 and September 7?

1940, July 10 to September 7, was the part of the Battle of Britain before the Blitz. In other words, it was the part where the Luftwaffe primarily focused on airfields, factories, and if I'm not ...
6
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1answer
219 views

What do we know culturally about Cheddar Man?

There's a lot of press today about a new DNA study of Cheddar Man, who lived about 9,000 years ago in what's now the English county of Somerset. They concentrated on the genes for hair, skin, and eye ...
20
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2answers
4k views

How much materiel was shipped to Continental Europe per month, after D-Day?

Once D-Day landed (1944 Jun 06), how much materiel was shipped into Continental Europe by the Western Allies per month? Did this monthly figure change much by 1945 May? Materiel includes basically ...
2
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2answers
158 views

What was the wage of the soldiers serving in the CEF compared to the soldiers serving in the British army?

I believe that the title explains the question quite well however I will elaborate. We know that soldiers, even conscripted ones were indeed paid during their service in the two different armies. ...
12
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1answer
437 views

Did Roman Britannia leave any impacts on English?

I was discussing French influence on English language with some other users and while on the topic of if the Latin influence on English language came exclusively from the Normans, it occurred to me ...
5
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3answers
703 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
223 views

Did the Romans hold the Isle of Wight and surrounding areas before the invasion in 43 AD?

In this video it shows the Isle of Wight and the area around it including Southampton and Portsmouth being under Roman control beginning during Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain. However my brief ...
30
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2answers
6k views

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 ...
18
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3answers
3k views

Did early northern Europeans drink alcohol?

Before the Roman empire brought alcohol to areas of Northern Europe around two thousand years ago, do we know if the native people of Britain and Scandinavia drank alcohol? My preliminary search is ...
19
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6answers
6k views

Was there significant interbreeding between Romans and Native Britons?

During the days of Roman occupation in Britain (43AD to 450AD), did the Roman occupants of Britain interbreed and intermarry with the native British population substantially (is not only a couple of ...
11
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2answers
507 views

Did iron age Britons still use the “ritual” sites built by their neolithic predecessors?

Pre-Roman sites in Britain get lumped together as "ancient", but in reality they span a good couple of thousand years between the neolithic and the iron age. That made me wonder whether there was any ...
2
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3answers
2k views

When did the Roman empire start to hire Anglo-Saxon mercenary troops to protect Britain?

For some context, I am currently studying the history of Britain. We learned that the Romans had captured it in 43 CE under Claudius. We also know that when the Roman Empire was deteriorating and ...
51
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4answers
18k views

Why was it “acceptable” for Prince Charles to marry a divorced woman, when Edward VIII had to abdicate for marrying divorcee Wallis Simpson?

Heir to the British throne Prince Charles has married divorcee Camilla Parker Bowles without a constitutional crisis. When Edward VIII wanted to marry Wallis Simpson he had to abdicate. Of course ...
5
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3answers
2k views

How did the Crimean war change British society?

Background: My summer reading goal is to get a handle on Europe from 1850-1914, with a strong focus on the British Empire, and within that a focus on England. So far, I've seen multiple historians ...
3
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1answer
297 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 ...
8
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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. ...
3
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1answer
338 views

Average height of a Roman fortlet

I'm wondering if anyone knows where someone has recorded the 'average' height of a Roman fortlet in Britain (Scotland specifically), or some information on the ranges to which they were built? I'm ...
5
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2answers
7k 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?
3
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2answers
638 views

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 ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Are there any British peers whose surname matches their title? [closed]

Is it possible for a British peer to have the same surname and title? As in William Podunk, Duke of Podunk? I had been quite sure of the thing's impossibility till I thought of a counterexample: ...
6
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1answer
642 views

In the British Invasion of Greece, what happened to the British troops who were not captured?

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/british-forces-arrive-in-greece I also was wondering what happened to the soldiers who were not caught, if any? Where did they go, and what happened to ...
9
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1answer
236 views

Which town or village in Britain lost the greatest percentage of men in WWI due to “Pals Battalions”?

The British decision to create "Pals Battalions" of men from a single town or village led to unanticipated disasters when Pals battalions ran into heavy resistance, with large numbers of men from a ...
3
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1answer
266 views

Is there any truth to the story of a British general breaking down in tears upon seeing the battlefield conditions at Passchendaele?

An oft-repeated anecdote about World War I (and the lack of understanding among high ranking officers) claims that, after the Third Battle of Ypres (aka Passchendaele), a British general visited the ...
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0answers
72 views

Has there ever been any examples of persecuted people hiding treasure in British churches before they flee somewhere?

(I'm writing an historical fiction story.) Have there been cases of persecuted people who hid their wealth in a church? Who would they be? Who are they fleeing persecution from? Why were they being ...
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1answer
206 views

The Battle of Britain [closed]

During the Battle of Britain were there any battles on British land or were they all up in the air? If there were no battles on land, why did the Nazis never cross the channel?
19
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5answers
2k views

In what language did Caractacus deliver his speech to the emperor Claudius?

In The Annals, the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus wrote about the British chieftain Caractacus and how he was captured by the Romans. According to him, Caractacus was taken to Rome along with his ...
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3answers
2k views

Were sailing ships of the line understaffed with gunnery crews so that there were not enough for 2 broadsides?

Is there any data to support or refute the hypothesis that sailing ships of the line were only complemented with enough gunnery crews to simultaneously fire 1 broadside but not 2? If it matters for ...
26
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4answers
666 views

How would you accurately use older British currencies when writing a story?

For writing a story set in the Napoleonic Wars era, how should one use the currencies accurately? I read in novels they use currencies like shilling, pound, guinea, sovereign, four (or six-, etc) ...
2
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1answer
572 views

What does GEORGIUS III·D:G·BRITANNIARUM REX·FIDEI DEF·& c·mean? [closed]

I recently came across this medal created to commemorate the preservation of George III from an assassination attempt in 1800: (the image was taken by me) The inscription reads GEORGIUS III·D:G·...
5
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2answers
662 views

When did the Saxons settle Britain?

In approximately what year did the Germanic tribe of the Saxons invade and settle the island of Britain? Apparently they had not yet arrived when Julius Caesar visited Britain in 44 B.C.; neither ...
1
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1answer
889 views

What percentage of British people during the industrial revolution were rich?

I am doing some research for school and I was wondering what was the percentage of British people during the industrial revolution (The 1760 to 1840 period) were rich? By 'rich' I mean a person that ...
10
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1answer
200 views

How was the transfer of personnel from British women's military services managed?

In the 1990's,the former women's services - WRNS, WRAC, and WRAF - were disbanded and women absorbed into the regular services. Whilst women still cannot serve in combat roles, they are armed and ...
3
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1answer
399 views

Is there anywhere that has not been at war with Britain? [closed]

Is there anywhere that has not been at war with Britain? "Anywhere" would mean "a contemporary country that was part of an empire or state that was at war with the United Kingdom or one of the ...
3
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1answer
238 views

Why couldn't the Arabs invade Palestine before the end of the British Mandate?

Primarily, did the mandate provide some sort of de facto protection against invasion from the Arabs? But considering that the British had a mandate over Palestine, why did they not intervene in the ...
1
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1answer
302 views

How were the Big Four compensated when British Rail was formed?

The UK rail network was nationalised in 1948 with the Big Four (Great Western Railway; London, Midland & Scottish Railway; London & North Eastern Railway; Southern Railway) replaced by British ...
0
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1answer
89 views

Australian Head of State [closed]

Under the Australian Constitution, who will become Australia's Head of State if the British monarchy is suddenly dissolved or overthrown and Britain becomes a republic?
5
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2answers
912 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 ...
27
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10answers
15k views

What's the advantage of the infantry column formation in the Napoleonic Wars?

In movies/books set in the Napoleonic Wars, the British are normally deployed into lines and the French into columns. The columns are usually the advancing ones, charging into the line as the line ...
15
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2answers
26k 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.
7
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0answers
401 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!
0
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1answer
156 views

What rank did cadet branches hold in the peerage?

I've looked at the answers for the question "How did cadet branches start?", and based off the information in that forum, I would like to know what rank equivalent to peerage the cadet branch could ...
11
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3answers
38k views

What impact did the Seven Years War have on the American Revolution?

What impact did the Seven Years War have on the American Revolution?
2
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1answer
190 views

What was the motivation behind prohibiting hunting in King's forests?

One of the typical pop culture motifs surrounding the Merry Men stories is the concept of them poaching the game and being hunted by the Law (or at least, Wardens) for that. This seems rather counter-...
16
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1answer
2k views

Were bookshops 'common' in the late 19th century, and how did they differ from modern ones?

I've been reading a little bit about Victorian publishing bit I'm struggling to get a feel for how common and how similar Victorian bookstores in London would be. This is all I've read. It sounds ...
2
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0answers
302 views

What was the relationship between the Tories and Quakers?

During the period of the American Revolution, most Quakers supported the British cause. But unlike many of the Tories, they were strict pacifists. What was the relationship between the British ...
1
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2answers
312 views

Reasons for transfer of leadership in computing from Britain to US after WWII

Great advances were made in field of computing until end of WWII. Many of them happened in Britain. However, by about 1960 it can be safely said that US became home of computer science. Why didn't ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Why did the welfare state succeed in Bismarck's Germany but lagged in 20th-century Britain?

Otto von Bismarck pioneered the welfare state in Germany and Bismarck was/is greatly respected by Germans. Pre-World War I British Liberal Party made welfare reforms after the 1906 general election. ...