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Questions tagged [england]

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.

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2
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1answer
188 views

In medieval England was heresy dealt with in the king's courts or church courts?

In medieval England was heresy dealt with in the kings courts or church courts? Clearly heresy was a crime against the church but the punishment was death so presumably it must have been dealt with ...
3
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1answer
298 views

Was simply addressing the English monarch wrongly ever a punishable crime?

When addressing the Queen today, the correct form is "your/her Majesty" and for example not "your Royal Highness", or certainly not just "hey Lizzie". As far as I, understand failure to use the ...
6
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2answers
501 views

A Principality within England

Ages ago I came across a brief mention on the Web of a principality existing briefly within England. It was made up of the County Cheshire and some surrounding territory. I think it was created by ...
2
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1answer
180 views

Did Richard II of England officially name Roger Mortimer or Edmund Mortimer as his heir?

Richard II of England was childless which was one of the causes of the future War of the Roses between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. When Henry IV deposed Richard II in 1399, he ...
8
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1answer
502 views

Were travelling judges paid in medieval England?

During the reign of Henry II (1154-89), 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 ...
8
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3answers
370 views

Why was Charles I not pressed by *peine forte et dure* to force him to plead to treason in front of the High Court?

Why was Charles I not pressed by peine forte et dure to force him to plead to treason in front of the High Court of Justice for the trial of King Charles I? Under English common law, peine forte et ...
5
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1answer
124 views

When did *wooden* 'nails' (pegs) for clay roof tiles go out of fashion?

Judging by Google searches, wooden 'nails' for fixing roof tiles are definitely a thing of the past. However almost all the searches I have attempted (in an area I don't know my way around) have only ...
1
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1answer
321 views

When did tea become “a thing” in England?

Tea was certainly available to the aristocracy from at least the mid 18th century, but the concept of "tea" (as in tea break, afternoon tea, high tea, etc.) didn't become prominent until its adoption ...
13
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7answers
38k views

How effective were longbow archers against plate-armored infantry?

It is quite common knowledge that longbows most likely did not penetrate the plate armor worn by the French chevaliers at Poitiers and Agincourt. However, how effective were these longbows in ...
8
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1answer
608 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 ...
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1answer
609 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 ...
4
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1answer
216 views

What is the year of Ethelred the Unready's Laws of London?

I refer to De Institutis Lundonie (Laws of London) by Ethelred the Unready (or Æthelred II) (Google Books). According to Britannia and Jerome Arkenberg, it is of the year 978. According to this book,...
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3answers
398 views

Did a villein ever rise to the nobility in Medieval England?

I know that there are tales of burghers and other commoners getting rich through trade. Was it unknown for villeins to climb the social scale?
18
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2answers
1k 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 ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Why did only Anglo-Saxon kings wear helmets?

According to this article on the BBC news website only Anglo-Saxon kings wore helmets. Here is the full quote: "Only Anglo-Saxon kings wore helmets and this is one of a very small number ever to be ...
4
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1answer
291 views

Why did the baths of Bath need a hypocaust?

Bath, England has 3 natural hot springs. The Romans built a place of worship and a thermae around the springs. Why did Bath need a hypocaust if the water was already 47C hot just from the geothermal ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Why was there little nonwhite migration to Europe in the 19th century?

Migration This may sound like a strange question, but hear me out. The 19th century was an age of massive population migration, perhaps the most significant in history according to this economic ...
36
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2answers
8k views

‘Avoid sleeping on your back’ & ‘breathe in toilet smells’ were seen as precautions against the Black Death. Why did doctors think these would work?

Browsing a school book, Medieval Britain by Brenda Williams, I came across three precautions recommended by doctors to help people avoid going down with the plague. These were: cover windows avoid ...
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3answers
951 views

What was the significance of ball bearing factories during the World Wars and in the economy at the time in general?? [closed]

I have heard historians claim that enemies' ball bearing factory locations were a coveted piece of intelligence. I have also heard that big money industry for both the allies and axis super powers ...
21
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3answers
3k views

How did succession in Anglo Saxon England work?

I heard that the Witan would elect an Ætheling to be King after the previous King died and it typically followed primogeniture. Was primogeniture a requirement for succession or did the Witan have the ...
8
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2answers
4k views

What was the age of majority in England in the 1870s?

What was the age of majority in the 1870s England? I couldn't find a concrete answer in google so this is site is my last hope. It's for a story set in the Victorian era.
13
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4answers
13k views

Why was the swordsman of Calais chosen as Anne Boleyn's executioner?

Anne Boleyn was executed on May 19, 1536. Displaying an act of "mercy", King Henry VIII dispatched a skilled executioner to perform the execution by sword rather than by axe or being burned at the ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
7
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2answers
881 views

How well did William III speak English at time of the Glorious Revolution in 1688?

In my answer to the question Is there a historic reason for why the Balkans are so fragmented? I discuss political and religious turmoil in the British Isles from the end of the Hundred Years War in ...
22
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1answer
2k views

Hiring professionals to transcribe historical documents

I'm sorry if this question sounds strange but I'm not sure where else in the world to post it. I have an eighteenth-century will that I'd like to be able to read, but I have very little practice in ...
4
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2answers
273 views

Was any Church dispensation granted to Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine’s marriage?

They were 3rd cousins and therefore related within the seventh degree since consanguinity was determined by counting up to the nearest common ancestor. I read sources that said that they did not ...
9
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4answers
924 views

Why was William III of England referred to as the British-Batavian Nassau?

While reading through the book Medallic illustrations of the history of Great Britain and Ireland to the death of George II vol. I, I came across this interesting description. My question is why ...
30
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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 ...
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3answers
5k views

What was the social and cultural role of a “country squire” in Victorian/Edwardian England?

In Agatha Christie's "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd", the following passage appears: Ackroyd has always interested me by being a man more impossibly like a country squire than any country squire ...
9
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1answer
497 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' ...
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4answers
287 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
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1answer
402 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... ...
7
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1answer
260 views

Reconstructing historic tide tables

I'm researching an event which occurred between mid-1794 and early 1796, but probably 1795; the even happened at a major English port with American shipping and a Royal Navy ship repair yard. I ...
8
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4answers
497 views

Was smoking ever considered a throat cure?

In the movie The King's Speech Prince Bertie at some point says his doctors had advised him to smoke, in order to improve his throat's condition. Does this stupid suggestion represent actual medical ...
32
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9answers
17k views

Was England considered a “colony” of France?

After the "Norman conquest of England", many things including languages, the ways of life, etc. have changed a lot in Europe. Especially it affected the English language significantly that a lot of ...
12
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2answers
663 views

Black Monday, April 13, 1360

According to English Wikipedia ("Black Monday (1360)"), a severe hail happened on Monday, April 13, 1360 when the army of Edward III was camped in an open field near Chartre. The article says that the ...
13
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1answer
770 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 ...
7
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1answer
395 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. ...
3
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1answer
208 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 ...
13
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2answers
782 views

Why did Charles I not borrow abroad?

The reign of Charles I of England can be summarized to a large degree as a continued attempt to raise revenue without authorization from Parliament. As is well known, Charles and his advisers had to ...
60
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5answers
13k 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 ...
22
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2answers
2k views

Robin Hood: Muslims in England in the 12th century

Ever since the 1984 ITV adaptation of Robin Hood, the addition of a Muslim warrior to the band of Merry Men has been a staple of the mythology. From a storytelling perspective, the benefits are clear: ...
29
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6answers
4k views

Besides Magna Carta and general decentralization, what specifically led to democratization in England?

In England, the gradual weakening of the central government (starting with the Magna Carta), and the gradual rights given to nobility slowly pushed England to a democratic form of government. Yet in ...
6
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1answer
226 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, ...
9
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1answer
499 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 ...
3
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0answers
166 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, ...
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0answers
202 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
920 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 ...
12
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2answers
956 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 ...
16
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1answer
536 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 ...