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For questions relating to the historic Kingdom of England prior to 1707, or the country of England within the modern United Kingdom that is one of Britain's Home Nations.

28
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1answer
4k views

What were sandbags used for in medieval duels?

I was hesitant whether to ask this question in history or Shakespeare stack exchange, but I eventually decided it is more of a historical question. In the play "King Henry The Sixth" there is a ...
1
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3answers
201 views

Why was James II and VII (same person), the last Roman Catholic monarch of Britain, not forced to convert to Anglicanism?

From what I understand (although my English history is very poor), to be the monarch of England, one must convert to Anglicanism, as the monarch is also the head of the Anglican Church. I believed ...
-4
votes
4answers
141 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
221 views

What obligations did a freed slave have to his/her former master in Anglo-Saxon England?

As in Ancient Rome, slaves in Anglo-Saxon England could gain their freedom: The manumission (freeing) of slaves was solemnized by ceremony, the presence of witnesses, and legal documentation... ...
0
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0answers
32 views

How long would it take to travel from England to the colonies in the mid-1700s? [duplicate]

I'm working on a historical fiction novel dealing with mid 17th century sailing lanes to and from America and England.
3
votes
1answer
123 views

What was the social condition of a pregnant single woman in the late 1970s in England?

I am writing a story set in the late 1970s in England. One of my characters, a 17 year old girl, gets pregnant, and the father of the baby disappears for various reasons. I want my story to be as ...
7
votes
1answer
306 views

What are these items in this 16th century plan of an English town?

This plan or picture map of Great Yarmouth is from the reign of Elizabeth I. According to the Norfolk Record Office (pdf), It shows the town’s defences at the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588. ...
57
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5answers
12k views

How did the general population of England convert so smoothly to Protestantism?

The rise of Protestantism among English monarchs from Henry VIII is well documented. However, after a bit of light research, I have been unable to find many resources on how the general population ...
6
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1answer
157 views

How long did it take to bind a book in 13th century England?

I am looking for information on the time it took for the construction and binding of books in particular, not the writing or copying of them. So, considering that the material is ready to be bound, ...
2
votes
0answers
86 views

What does King Henry III have on his lap in this illustration from a Matthew Paris chronicle?

In Abbreviatio chronicorum Angliae, the chronicler Matthew Paris (d. 1259) included drawings of the Norman and Plantagenet kings up to Henry III. The image below shows from L-R, top-bottom: Henry II, ...
7
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1answer
180 views

Were travelling judges paid in medieval England?

During the reign of Henry II, some key changes in the English judicial system took place. One of these was the introduction of travelling judges: In 1166, Henry issued a Declaration at the Assize ...
7
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0answers
156 views

Were there records kept of French nobility before the invasion of England in 1066?

I can trace my family name (Chance) back to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Were any records kept (do they survive?) of French nobility around or before this time? Or is it a known dead end for ...
8
votes
1answer
250 views

Which Kings of France visited England?

Every English King from Edward the Confessor (d. 1066) to Edward IV (d. 1483) was in France at some point during their lives, almost all during their reigns, and some were born there. These 'visits' ...
12
votes
2answers
814 views

To what extent does the dictionary of Samuel Johnson represent English as it was spoken in his day?

My understanding is that Johnson embarked upon his dictionary precisely because he found others useless or archaic, and that his work was very well received within his own time. But I wanted to ask if ...
8
votes
1answer
310 views

How much time did people have to take shelter during the Blitz in 1940-41?

Birmingham: In a BBC History article, An Air Raid Incident from World War Two relating the experiences of a Birmingham teenager during the Birmingham Blitz, the writer says (my highlighting): As ...
16
votes
1answer
326 views

How many British navy officers were from lower classes at the end of 18th century?

Helping my daughter with a presentation about Cook, I looked for English sources about his biography and was surprised to read that he was a son of a farmer hand - practically, the bottom of the lower ...
8
votes
1answer
197 views

When was King John of England given the name 'Dollheart', and who first used it?

As if being called 'Lackland' and 'Softsword' was not bad enough, King John also acquired the very unflattering-sounding name 'Dollheart'. This is mentioned on this University of Sheffield page, in ...
13
votes
1answer
399 views

In Georgian England, what was a water-party?

In the early 20th century novel The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, there are several references made to something called a water-party, with no elaboration other than that it's happening on a ...
0
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0answers
149 views

Origin of “It won't be done by next Tuesday”

This may seem ridiculous but I'll give it a shot anyway. Always very interested in history, especially figuring out where sayings came from. Been watching Downton Abbey for probably the hundredth time ...
30
votes
2answers
6k views

Why did early attempts to transport milk to London by rail meet with 'much criticism'?

According to the Wikipedia article on milk (referring to transporting milk to London by rail), The Great Western Railway was an early and enthusiastic adopter, and began to transport milk into ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Why did the people of Nantwich (Cheshire) wear holly to celebrate Parliament's victory there during the English Civil War?

The Battle of Nantwich (1644) during the English Civil War led to the lifting of the siege of the town by Royalist forces. In celebration, After the siege was lifted, in January 1644, the local ...
2
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3answers
452 views

Was the name “William the Conqueror” (or its translation) actually used in William's lifetime?

More generally, what early records do we have of his name? Who called him "William the Bastard" (French Guillaume le Bâtard) - was this mostly his Anglo-Saxon enemies?
11
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2answers
569 views

Why is the heir to the British throne called “Prince of Wales”?

The heir apparent to the British throne (England, then Great Britain, then United Kingdom) is usually conferred the title of Prince of Wales. According to Britannica and Wikipedia, this tradition ...
16
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2answers
662 views

How long did it take to get news of the sighting of the Spanish Armada from Land’s End to London?

When the Armada was sighted, fire beacons carried the warning from Land’s End (western tip of Cornwall) to the rest of the country (this link has some details on how the system worked). "Armada ...
3
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0answers
110 views

International mail in the early 1900s

I am currently studying Middle East Political history and have come to some correspondences between British diplomats and Arab leaders. The dates on these outgoing correspondences are 14 July 1915, ...
11
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2answers
331 views

At the beginning of English Civil War, why did Parliament take a hard line with neutrals, thereby effectively helping Royalist recruitment?

In Cavaliers and Roundheads, Christopher Hibbert notes the problems King Charles I had recruiting men for his army. Even in late August 1642, he had “scarcely more than 1,000 men” and was greatly ...
4
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2answers
118 views

When, and where, was the word 'Anglican' first used in the context of the Protestant Church of England?

According to Wikipedia, "The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English Church." However, this usage referred to the ...
0
votes
1answer
148 views

Crown Matrimonial [closed]

So I was thinking, about the next king of England, Prince Charles. When he becomes king and if he decides to name Camilla the queen consort in due time, could he decide and does he have the power and ...
2
votes
1answer
322 views

Was there an alcohol abuse problem among monks and priests in the High Middle Ages in England?

I read somewhere (just can't remember where) that monks in the High Middle Ages in England sometimes had a reputation for drinking too much. For supporting evidence (not conclusive I know), I found a ...
0
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0answers
92 views

Sweating Sickness Of Tudor England

Why did Sweating Sickness a disease in Tudor England stop at the borders of Scotland each time.Is this just a coincidence true or not?
5
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1answer
488 views

How many hours a week did the Tolpuddle Martyrs work?

I can find lots of references to the pay rate of the Tolpuddle Martyrs (originally 10 shillings a week, then reduced to seven shillings and were due to be further reduced to six) but how many hours a ...
8
votes
1answer
218 views

What were the rights and responsibilities of (various classes of) 11th century English commonfolk?

I have been dismayed to see (what I see as) gross mischaracterizations of serfdom on this site; usually conflating it with slavery, and often even with the particularly abhorrent version of slavery ...
1
vote
1answer
133 views

What is the history behind this English village well?

The thatched well (below) in the village of East Marden is a well-known attraction in the South Downs, not far from Chichester. The village is recorded in the Domesday Book (as Meredone) and St. Peter'...
12
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1answer
312 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 ...
77
votes
2answers
12k views

How much smaller were medieval farm animals in England than today?

According the Medieval Life and Times website, Farm animals were small, for scientific breeding had not yet begun. A full-grown ox reached a size scarcely larger than a calf of to-day, and the ...
3
votes
1answer
239 views

High wages as root cause that triggered the industrial revolution

I was listening to a (German-language) podcast where this argument was made (tranlation into English courtesy of Google translate): The decisive change came in [...] 1760 in England. And that is ...
6
votes
1answer
169 views

Is there evidence to suggest that vampire fiction was invented to satirize Lord Byron?

Erin Horáková writes: Byron was such a tool ppl invented vampire fiction to take the piss out of him... Tony Lewis writes: Polidori’s relationship with Byron soured for various reasons, and he ...
13
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3answers
3k views

Circa 1000, what name would locals in England use for invaders?

If I am living in England around 1000 and some Scandinavian raiders show up at my village to pillage our farms, which phrase would I be most likely to be saying: "Oh no, here come the Vikings!" "Oh ...
2
votes
0answers
67 views

Did Henry VIII's conversion from Catholicism set the stage for the readmission of Jews to England? [closed]

I realize that 150 years passed between this conversion and Jews being invited back to England but I wonder if, as in Spain, it would not have happened for many years even after that? I also realize ...
-1
votes
1answer
144 views

At what point in England did use of swords to settle impromptu arguments become unusual?

In a peacetime, urban, non-military context, how often were swords drawn in an unpremeditated context? Ignore any context in which an individual is directed to draw a sword, or contexts like a duel ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

What happened to the burial sites of Edward I's children?

Despite being spared the destruction wrought upon other religious sites during the dissolution of the monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII, there appear to be quite a few ‘lost’ burial locations in ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Was there a Princess of Wales between 1727 and 1736?

In 1705, Caroline of Ansbach married Georges Augustus. In 1714, she moved to London with her husband as he becomes Prince of Wales. She, thus, becomes Princess of Wales. Her husband became king ...
7
votes
2answers
385 views

What evidence is there of Asians and Africans in medieval Britain other than Moors in the 7th century?

According to the National Archives website: ..in the Middle Ages, Moors arrived in Britain. They probably came, directly or indirectly, from Spain, which had been conquered by Muslims from ...
39
votes
3answers
6k views

What did people in 13th century England know about Greek mythology?

I understand this may depend on various factors, but I am interested to find out whether many/some/any people in 13th century England would have knowledge of the stories out of Greek mythology. ...
3
votes
1answer
273 views

In England in 1700, would defending property with lethal force be illegal at all?

My limited understanding is that without an extensive police force and good communications, much of what modern people would leave to police was handled directly. If so, were any questions asked of a ...
7
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3answers
915 views

What kind of education would a 12th/13th century English knight get?

I'm trying to get inside the heads of historical actors of the period. I'm sure the martial class was just as diverse as any social group, but give me the best summation that you can. I'll expand a ...
6
votes
2answers
542 views

Did Edward the Confessor choose Harold Godwinson as his successor?

It has been claimed that King Edward the Confessor chose Earl Harold Godwinson as his successor on his deathbed in January 1066. I googled "did Edward the Confessor name Harold his heir?" and got ...
11
votes
3answers
327 views

Was the king of England able to execute a high rank noble and his family between 1216 and 1688?

After signing the Magna Carta, was the king of England able to execute a noble and his family and escheat their property to the crown by his own will up to 1688? For example in the cases such as Lèse-...
-3
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2answers
295 views

Did the Germans rule England? [closed]

Is it true that: For quite a long period Germans ruled England. They dominated English so much so that the English language was about to lose its prime importance amongst the populace. Later on, ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Why did Jews have the support of the merchants in the push for Emancipation in England?

This is somewhat counter-intuitive -- often one reads of Jews being seen as competition or resented for their role as money lenders even though in fact the latter is also counter-intuitive since being ...