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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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 ...
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 ...
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1answer
336 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 ...
3
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1answer
296 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 ...
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 ...
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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: ...
3
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2answers
632 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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2answers
994 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 ...
9
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1answer
228 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?
5
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1answer
552 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. ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
8
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2answers
512 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 ...
2
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1answer
567 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·...
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1answer
884 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 ...
11
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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 ...
5
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2answers
659 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 ...
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
237 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
301 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 ...
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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?
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0answers
400 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
154 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 ...
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-...
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1answer
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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
298 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 ...
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2answers
283 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

How strong a land force did Germany need for a conquest of the British Isles in the summer of 1940?

In 1942, America's General Eisenhower summed up his gloomy assessment of an invasion of Nazi-held Europe in the "reverse" direction as 50-50 to get one division ashore, and one chance in five (20 per ...
0
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1answer
434 views

What was the attitude towards Martin Luther among early non-Catholic Christians in Britain?

Were his writings and example praised, ignored, or shunned? Britain was abuzz with political and religious printed works at least by the time of the Civil War, so he must have been known about.
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1answer
1k views

Challenges Margaret Thatcher faced as a woman? [closed]

As the first and only woman who served as Prime minister for Britain, What are some challenges she faced as a woman and how she dealt with them? Its hard to find correct information about her because ...
11
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2answers
503 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Why did Britain place naval mines in their own Channel in WW2?

Reading about Naval Mines, I came across a curious claim: for example, during World War II, Britain declared simply that it had mined the English Channel, North Sea, and French coast. It's not ...
14
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4answers
2k views

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 ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Why did any slaves or former slaves choose to fight against Britain in the Revolutionary War?

Considering the fact that they would have benefited more from a British victory, why would any slaves, current or former, choose to fight against the British?
5
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2answers
851 views

What does a slitterman do?

On my Great-Uncle's Naval Entry Form, it says: Occupation upon entry: Slitterman (paper) I found this article, which says a slitterman is: A representative for the Travellers Aid Society Can ...
17
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1answer
964 views

What was the political consciousness of a 15th century English peasant?

How did they feel about the monarchy and living under lords? Were they are aware of alternative political structures? Did they believe their lives were fair?
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1answer
1k views

Anti-Semitism and Edmund Burke

Are there any historical references to Edmund Burkes' views on anti-Semitism? His works specifically deal with the British governance, and legal systems' that could guide the UK through the turbulent ...
2
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1answer
160 views

Thoroughbred horse history on British Islands prior to 1686

It is well established, but oft overlooked, fact that almost all thoroughbred horses on the British Islands trace their ancestry to a single stallion, called Darley Arabian, brought to Britain by one ...
10
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1answer
199 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 ...
16
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1answer
875 views

How common was banditry in 16th & 17th century Great Britain and Ireland?

I want to know about highwaymen and thieves and brigands who preyed on travellers. so, I am not interested in other organised criminal gangs such as smugglers or urban thieves.
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1answer
157 views

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

In illustrating 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 ...
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1answer
200 views

British Slave Inventory

At what point were the numbers of slaves transported by the British to America first recorded? How many people were transported as slaves from Africa to America by the British? How many of them died ...
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, ...
4
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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1answer
124 views

Is the Scot referendum the biggest one of its type in modern history? And other questions [closed]

Also I know a lot of regions that are fighting/claiming independence. What convinced the union to come to this decision. What are the Scots woes that drove them to ask for it?
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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. ...
10
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1answer
481 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 ...
9
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5answers
900 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 ...