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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1answer
160 views

Did James I link the divine right of kings to apostolic succession in his writings? If so, where?

According to a Wikipedia article, King James VI of Scotland (later King James I of England) justified the theory of the divine right of kings in his famous essay The True Law of Free Monarchies by ...
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547 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... ...
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715 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 ...
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247 views

Was the London Times available in 1861 in villages?

How much access to national news would a person living in an English village in 1861 have? When did The Times and The Telegraph start distributing nationally, not just to major towns?
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What is a “Johnsonian world of clubs and coffee houses” in the context of 18th century England?

I was reading the biography of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge by Richard Holmes and came across this line: [Coleridge had his] first unforgettable taste of the great talking-shop of London, the ...
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Why did Churchill accept the Order of the Garter in 1953?

Churchill had refused the Order of the Garter in 1945, quipping that he couldn't accept the garter from the king after the people gave him the boot. But in 1953 he relented and accepted the honour? Is ...
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What is the meaning of the hand gesture performed by King James II in the portrait by Peter Lely?

This portrait by Peter Lely is one of the most well-known images of James II of England (aka James VII of Scotland). It is used to illustrate his Wikipedia article. Is there some meaning behind the ...
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274 views

Can anyone find an image of Henry Bolingbroke's Sovereygne Feather Seal?

Henry IV of England used a "remarkable seal" with two tall feathers (around the shield, helm and crest), each entwined with a garter which had his "favorite and significant" motto "SOVEREYGNE" written ...
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Meaning and usage of “Child of State”?

I have recently been reading about the 1688 English Revolution, which put William and Mary on the throne, more specifically about William and Mary's roles in deposing her father. At least one book ...
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369 views

Why does the parish register show more baptisms than burials?

The parish registers from Eversholt, Bedfordshire, are published for the period 1602-1812. They seem mostly complete. They contain records of 2074 burials, 2792 baptisms and 571 marriages. I can ...
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801 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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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 ...
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271 views

Was Queen Henrietta Maria (of England) known for scratching her initials into things?

C. S. Lewis's novel That Hideous Strength contains the following passage: “Look out! Look out!” said a dozen voices at once as a splintering of glass became audible and a shower of stones fell onto ...
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502 views

How much knowledge of the past was destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries?

Apart from the buildings themselves, what items of particular historical value were lost during Henry VIII's reign? Wikipedia's 'Dissolution of the Monasteries' makes some mention of libraries but ...
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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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Who was Asselin FitzArthur?

I stumbled in wikipedia upon a lovely story about a man called Asselin FitzArthur who stopped the burial proceedings of William the Conqueror in Caen, claiming that the church stood on land that had ...
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How close would a peasant from middle ages England ever come to interacting with the king?

Presuming we have a peasant who works on land owned by a "common" lord (sorry, here I don't know the terminology. I mean a landowner who is not a royal), how close would that person ever get to ...
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934 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 ...
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315 views

Is Lady Arabella Stuart wearing a Jewish symbol?

In this portrait, Lady Arabella Stuart, a member of the Tudor royal court, is shown wearing a hexagram, presently known as the Star of David. It is unclear from the highest resolution photograph ...
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326 views

Did Palmerston contribute to Louis Philippe's downfall?

I am reading this book and have come across a slightly puzzling passage on p. 154: [Palmerston] kept on good terms with Louis Philippe of France until he felt, in 1846, that Louis was taking an ...
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913 views

How many people died in the British Isles from religious persecution between 1532 and 1791?

The English Reformation was "a series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church". It involved the ...
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What caused the turning point in Hundred Years' War?

At school I have learned that the English had upper hand in the war until Joan of Arc convinced the French king to give an army under her command to besiege Orléans and since then, the French forced ...
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Was either side legally in the right in the Hundred Years War?

Legalistically speaking which side was right in the Hundred Years War. My view is that the Salic law combined with the principle that nobody can transmit a right greater than he himself can possess (...
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678 views

What language was the Charter of Liberties written in?

While researching my answer for the What was the official language used across European monarchies in the XII century? question I came upon the Charter of Liberties, or Coronation Charter, issued by ...
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Names in England during the Tudor period

While watching the Tudors, one thing I noticed was that most male first names were either Thomas, Charles or Edward. Is that historically accurate and if so, is there a reason behind this lack of name ...
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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 ...
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How did Edward Misselden become a deputy-governor of a merchant company at 15?

According to the wikipedia article Edward Misselden, he was born in 1608 and in 1623 became a deputy-governor of the Merchant Adventurers' Company at Delft. This means he got the job at the age of 15. ...
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361 views

Why, apart from religious reasons, might someone in thirteenth century England give land to a Church?

In 1285 the following grant of land was made: Be it known that I, Robert son of Alan de Waley have given for the salvation of my soul and of my ancestors and successors to God and the Blessed Mary ...
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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.
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What was the price of going from England to New England as a passenger in the 1600s?

Lots of places mention that traveling to New England was so expensive that many people became indentured servants to get across, but I couldn't find a place that actually says how expensive it was.
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751 views

When did the Commonwealth of England start being considered a Republic?

For instance, it was under the absolute rule of a person (Cromwell), and after his death the rule is passed to his son. When was it classified as a republic, as opposed to a monarchy? Was that before, ...
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513 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 ...
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What was the motivation for the Church of England to begin recording births, marriages and deaths in 1538?

I have heard that Thomas Cromwell convinced Henry VIII to institute the keeping of these registers, after seeing the practice during a tour of Europe. It took many parishes a long time (and the ...
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Was the enclosure responsible for the supply of factory workers in 18th and 19th Century England?

Were the enclosures of rural land responsible for the supply of workers to factories in the 18th and 19th century in England?
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625 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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318 views

Why did the coins of England minted under Richard I and John bear the name of Henry?

From the middle Anglo-Saxon period until the reign of Edward I, England's coinage mainly comprised silver pennies bearing the monarch's portrait and name on the obverse side. These were frequently ...
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491 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 ...
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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 ...
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405 views

What was the English Civil War called during the Protectorate?

Between 1642 and 1651, Charles I and Parliamentary forces fought for control over England, Scotland, and Ireland. The Parliamentary forces won and established the Commonwealth of England. During this ...
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How did tobacco affect the English colonies economically during the 17th Century?

During the Age of Exploration (focusing on 17th century), England went and colonized the Americas, founding the original 13 colonies. They brought back many new wonders, namely, tobacco. I know that ...
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896 views

Were Uncles referred to by surname in Victorian England?

Merry Christmas, everybody! And speaking of Christmas ... In Charles Dickens' novelette, A Christmas Carol, the main character Ebeneezer Scrooge is referred to several times by others as "Uncle ...
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493 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 (1558-1603). According to the Norfolk Record Office (pdf), It shows the town’s defences at the time of the Spanish Armada ...
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What was the voting mechanism in early elections to the Commons?

From the 1200s in England, counties and towns sent two representatives to Parliament. Sheriffs ran the local elections, in which voters were enfranchised by being freeholders or potwallopers. ...
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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 ...
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Did Henrietta Maria leave any writings in which she described her thoughts with respect to Charles I's afterlife?

Henrietta Maria, Charles I's queen consort, was a famously strident Roman Catholic. She outraged her husband's subjects by praying publicly under the gallows at Tyburn, where many Roman Catholics had ...
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Why is Richard I (The Lion-heart) considered to be a good king and Jean I a bad one?

I've been rereading "The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England" by Dan Jones and there is something I don't get. Richard I is praised for basically everything he did in his reign,...
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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 ...
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677 views

Non Altered European Castles

I recently paid a visit to Leed's castle, and was disappointed by the extent to which the manor had been refurbished and modernized. Importantly: What castles in Europe are accessible to the public ...
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Was there a particular area of Victorian London in which bookshops were concentrated?

I see that there were many booksellers in Victorian London. Was there a particular area that hosted "respectable bookshops", in the manner that Petticoat Lane was a centre for Victorian clothing?
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210 views

How were back copies of newspapers viewed in England in 1923

I am writing a story set in London in 1923. One of my characters goes to a library to research old copies of newspapers (dating back to 1918). As microfiche was not invented until much later, does ...

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