Questions tagged [united-kingdom]

Formally known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland these questions relate to the history of events that have happened in the countries that make up the United Kingdom; such as England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and various territories; or the United Kingdom's dealings with other sovereign nations around the world.

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Were there nurses stationed at Bude, Cornwall, UK during WW2?

I am working on a writing project and the main character is a young nurse in Bude during WW2. I'm not quite sure how to put her there or get her there -- would there have been nurses stationed at RAF ...
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How were newspapers delivered to flats in post-War Britain?

I am writing a story set in the winter in 1940's London. The first chapter features one main character receiving a newspaper. The building is not very grand; in fact, it's a rather dirty and slightly ...
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Was a passport needed to travel between UK and France in 1972?

In Hitchcock's 1972 film Frenzy (at about the time 00:54:55) a character says: We can get a day trip to France. You don't need a passport. (He is a commoner, no diplomatic status etc, in fact a ...
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Does anyone know the names of schools in 1870/71 London (potentially near Brixton) where wealthy Americans traveling abroad would enroll their sons?

I am looking for schools in the London area operating in the years 1870/71 at a minimum where Americans traveling at length abroad might have placed their teenage sons to further their education. ...
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Has this rock been engineered by humans and, if so, what was its use?

I found this rock in my garden (Cheshire, UK) and wondered whether it had been fashioned by humans for some use. If so what was it used for and what is its history? The two largest holes on either ...
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What is this decorative metal object with overlapping squares?

Can anyone identify this object? Found in a rockpool, exposed at low tide, just East of the entrance to Plymouth Sound, South West UK. It feels like it's made of metal. There's a square in the centre ...
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Why exactly eight days of mourning for Prince Philip’s death?

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh opted out for his state funeral. Thus, an 8-day mourning period was issued instead in the United Kingdom. I can’t figure out why that period was determined exactly in ...
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What were Britain's defensive plans for a Nazi invasion?

Despite the fact that it never ended up happening, a Nazi invasion of England was kind of a common sense inevitability for a while during the beginning of World War 2. Had the Battle of Britain gone ...
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What's a major 19th Century history of the American Revolution from a British perspective?

I recently read McCaulay's History of England, which he initially projected to cover in detail events up to the reign of Queen Victoria. I was excited to see his take on the American revolution, ...
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Why did life expectancy decline sharply in 16th century England?

I was checking historical life expectancy and found the chart shown below in Roser, Ortiz-Ospina, Ritchie, 2013. What was the reason for such a dramatic decline in life expectancy in England in the ...
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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!
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What is the origin of the first dynasty in Scotland?

Who gave anyone the authority to appoint themselves and hence start a royal line? I assume today's royalty come from this royal line The standard answer is Kenneth Macalpine as far as I can see with ...
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Why are stamps put in the top-right corner of post?

I've recently been sending a few letters and one of them has not been delivered yet, and I don't think I stuck the stamp in the top-right corner of the letter. So does it matter if a stamp is not ...
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Was it illegal to express sympathy for Nazi Germany during WW2 in Great Britain?

Was it illegal to express sympathy for Nazi Germany during WW2 in Great Britain? Say you are a citizen and you want your goverment to make peace with Hitler. You even want GB to become a puppet state ...
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How confusing was British currency compared to decimal currency circa 1850?

This question quotes Terry Pratchett's claim: The British resisted decimalized currency for a long time because they thought it was too complicated. Is this a fair comparison with its inference that ...
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Why and how did George V give titles to his generals over lands that he did not possess?

Edward Allenby was given the title Viscount Allenby, of Megiddo and of Felixstowe in the County of Suffolk. Megiddo lies in Israel, it was outside British possessions, although it was controlled by ...
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How likely it is that a nobleman of the eighteenth century would give written instructions to his maids?

This question is about a detail in the biography of one of the greatest scientists who ever lived, Henry Cavendish. The Wikipedia article about him states that He communicated with his female ...
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Why does the Edwardian era imply king Edward VII? [closed]

Victorian era is easy, because there were one and only Queen Victoria. But out of eight kings named Edward, why the short reign of Edward VII gave simple name of the era?
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How historically accurate was the Queen's trip to Ghana portrayed in Episode 8 of The Crown?

OK let me be more specific. In episode 8 of The Crown (Netflix), it is implied that Queen Elizabeth II went to Ghana (because she heard a sly comment from JFK's wife) to prevent the country from going ...
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What prevented Southern Rhodesia from acquiring Dominion status?

Southern Rhodesia established responsible government in 1923. The next step, in general, was for a colony to be granted Dominion status (e.g., Newfoundland). What prevented Southern Rhodesia from ...
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Is there a reason for a Queen's husband not to be referred to as King?

While watching the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II events going on recently, I noticed that the Queen's husband is referred to as 'Prince'-- not 'King'. Upon researching further, I found that ...
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Why are there laws that are used to limit how long a house can be in a family?

Wikipedia on the "Rule against Perpetuities" says that it was sometimes used to restrict how long one family could hold onto a, possibly aristocratic, estate. Lastly, the rule against ...
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Did anybody expect that Edward VIII would abdicate?

King Edward VIII abdicated in December of 1936, less than a year after he ascended in January, to marry divorcee (and still-married) Wallis Simpson. But before his ascension (i.e. during the reign of ...
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When and why did the use of the lifespans of royalty to limit clauses in contracts come about?

I am in the process of attempting to buy a house in the UK; as it has stood for about a hundred years, the deeds feature some unusual clauses. For example, this conveyance from 1921: (Subject to any ...
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Can it be justified that an economic contraction of 11.3% is “the largest fall for more than 300 years”?

Today the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak said "The OBR forecast the economy will contract this year by 11.3%, the largest fall in output for more than 300 years." This seems to me to be a very ...
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Was the title “Prince of Wales” originally claimed for the English crown prince via a trick?

As the son of a proud Welsh woman, as a child I was told the origin story of the title "Prince of Wales" was that after Edward I beat Llywelyn ap Gruffudd at the Battle of Orewin Bridge, as ...
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Why was compulsory vaccination abandoned in the UK?

There is currently talk in the UK of making school attendance conditional on vaccination. Similar schemes operate in various places around the world now. Vaccination against smallpox was compulsory ...
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What degree of relations did the different Hawaiian islands have between themselves before Kamehameha's unification?

I am trying to figure out if there were actual cultural, commercial and political links among the islands, and especially if there was an actual Hawaiian unified identity or this is constructed after ...
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Were the Japanese “Kongo” class battlewagons advanced for their time?

Built in the early 1910s, Japan's Kongo class battlecruisers had eight 14-inch guns, a speed of about 30 knots, and a displacement of about 26,000 tons. This gave them advantages over British ...
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Why did the British think a 99-year lease on Hong Kong's New Territories was “as good as forever”?

I still don't get why Claude MacDonald wrote down 99 years. Why not play it safe and add more 9's? Why not write down 999? I know hindsight's 20/20, but it feels stupid for the British not to pick a ...
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Did the French violate the Washington Naval ConferenceTreaty limitations?

I was surprised to read in connection with Mers el Kebir that in 1940, France had the second largest navy in Europe, with seven battleships. The reason was France's participation in the 1922 ...
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What laws did the king “refuse to pass… unless those people would relinquish the right of representation”?

In reviewing the Declaration of Independence, I note that it states that that King George III "refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people ...
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When was the last promotion in the British Peerage?

I suspect that I ought to say "elevation", rather than promotion, but I think that the question is clear. According to Debrett's : The five titles of the peerage, in descending order of ...
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Why does the Canadian Air Force name its ranks like its Army, whilst the Australian and New Zealand Air Forces use the Royal Air Force's?

Like the US's, the Canadian Air Force's ranks are named identically to its Army's. But Australia's and New Zealand's rank names follow the RAF's. Why?
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Why did the kingdoms of Scotland and England merge?

I'm from the states, so I'm not so sharp on the history of various European monarchs. Having been told as a child that my ancestors emigrated from Scotland, I've always had an interest in the country. ...
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What “silly places” (according to Muggeridge) did Nikita Khrushchev go to during his visit in the United Kingdom?

According to this article, more than half of places visited by Nikita Khrushchev in the UK were "silly": When Nikita Khrushchev visited Britain, Muggeridge made up a list of the silliest ...
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How common was gun ownership by Londoners in the early 20th century?

By Londoners, I mean laypeople in London, England. I was reading about the Tottenham Outrage on Wikipedia which mentions policeman borrowing pistols from bystanders or the public three times, which ...
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Was the “anti-suffragist Beresford Hope” related to Alexander Beresford Hope?

From a bit of UK suffragette history/fight: The election of Lady Sandhurst was instantly challenged by the anti-suffragist Beresford Hope, whom Lady Sandhurst had defeated. Beresford Hope v. ...
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Where did British troops fight during the allied intervention in the Russian Civil War?

In particular, did they fight in the territories of modern-day Belarus or Lithuania? Online sources such as Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War, National Archives UK, and saving the war or ...
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Can the current British monarch be overthrown or otherwise replaced?

Having read a few discussions regarding the Plantagenets and the ascending line of the monarchy since, I became curious about whether another group/family had a 'more' legitimate claim to the throne (...
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How many times has inclement weather foiled attempts to navally invade the UK? [closed]

Inclusive of situations where inclement or unseasonable weather delayed the ability to set sail long enough that British ships/fleets were able to foil the plan by direct actions, how many times has ...
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Which Soviet submarine was HMS Splendid tracking on 30th March 1982?

In 'Vulcan 607', R. White describes the background of the submarines that headed to the Falkland Islands. For the HMS Splendid, he notes that the submarine, under CO Lane-Nott was engaged in a mission ...
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Why are milk and beer the only food item that are still measured in imperial units? [closed]

Apologies if this is in the wrong stack site, I couldn't think of a more appropriate place for it. I live in the UK. We're known for having mostly switched to the metric system except for a few ...
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Was the name 'Valerie' used during the Regency Era (1811-1836)?

I am working on a novel that takes place in England during the Regency Era (1811-1836, the era right before the Victorian Era). I was wondering if you know if the name 'Valerie' or 'Valeria' existed ...
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Where from, and in what way, did the first detailed account of the use of self-propelled torpedoes reach the RN and USN?

Three possible candidates seem to exist for the first verified (non-participant) observation of a torpedo boat assault. The options are the Russo-Turkish War, at Caldera Bay, or at Weihaiwei, all of ...
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Why didn't Britain's nuclear weapons deter Argentina from invading the Falklands?

The United Kingdom has nuclear weapons. All the [major] political parties support this policy. A common justification heard is that they are a deterrent against foreign aggression. For example: UK ...
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How was agricultural labour organised in Victorian England?

I'm asking, more specifically, three things: What might the leadership of a typical farm look like in terms of job titles and responsibilities? Within a given farm, how were workers divided into ...
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Why did few French and no Dutch pilots (but many Poles and Czechs) take part in the Battle of Britain?

Among the non-British pilots, at least 141 were Polish, 84 Czech and 28 Belgian, but only 13 were French and none were Dutch, Norwegian or Danish. The reasons why there were many Polish, Czech and ...
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What does “Depot Battalion” mean in Hart's Annual Army List?

Copies of Hart's Annual Army List are available online, and consist of a list of all British army officers employed in a given year. Some of the listings are self-explanatory (e.g. so-and-so with ...
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Why were slave owners even offered compensation via the 1837 Act if they'd lost the power in parliament to stop abolition in 1833?

The British government paid out £20 million to slave owners in 1837 as compensation for the loss of the slaves as business assets to the registered owners of the freed slaves. There seems to be plenty ...

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