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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How widely expected was Edward VIII's abdication?

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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When was the British army standardized? [closed]

When was the Army of the United Kingdom standardized, and no longer maintained by individual nobles?
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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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Is there any supporting evidence for Nigel Farage's claim of this quid pro quo between Rupert Murdoch and Tony Blair in 1997?

The BBC documentary series, The rise of the Murdoch Dynasty, contains John Major's testimony at the Leveson Inquiry, where he claims that Rupert Murdoch told him that he would switch support to Tony ...
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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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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 event want GB to become a puppet state ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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 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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What British WW1 uniform is depicted on this photo from Taunton?

I am trying to research my grandfather’s WW1 service record. All I have to go on is this photo, which has a Taunton photography studio on the back. I think it might be the Somerset Light Infantry, but ...
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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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Why was the British army so short of rifles after Dunkirk?

After the battle of Dunkirk, the U.S. shipped something like 500,000 rifles to Britain. This compares to about 400,000 Allied troops at the port (counting captured French), 338,226 actually rescued, ...
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Did British WWII generals have a choice which uniform to wear?

Could the generals of the British army choose what kind of uniform to wear? I am mainly asking because Bernard Montgomery is very often photographed in a battle dress even in very official events like ...
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Barring 1784, when has UK Parliament's legal sovereignty over-ridden the electorate's political sovereignty? [closed]

An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution was first published in 1885, but I quote the 1915 8 edn. p. 250 of this transcribed online PDF. Here's scan of original. Other than Pitt ...
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What did Dicey in 1889 mean by “electoral body”?

An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution was first published in 1885, but I quote pp 264-265 from 1915 8 edn. p. 250 of this transcribed online PDF. I marked in red p. 428 in this ...
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Why is Britain the only country called “perfidious”?

The UK is designated as Perfidious Albion, allegedly, because of its duplicity in diplomatic affairs during its imperial times. Why did only the UK receive this derogatory designation? Didn't all ...
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What will be the regnal number of the next Queen Mary in the UK?

The crown of the UK is a union of the crowns of England and Scotland. (And maybe Ireland too but that's not relevant to this question.) This means that the current Queen is "Queen Elizabeth II" for ...
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What jobs exempted one from being conscripted in the UK during World War 2? [closed]

During the Second World War, what jobs in the United Kingdom meant that their holders were exempt from being called up for military service?
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What was the significance of the BEF moving into the gap between German forces in First Battle of the Marne?

The German troops fighting in the Battle of the Marne were exhausted and their commanders seemed to communicate very little. After the Marne they retreated to the river Aisne and more or less began ...
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Did the Allies ever seriously contemplate a “Northern Intervention” in Russia during World War II?

Late in World War I, Britain and America conducted a Northern Intervention around the Russian ports of Murmansk and Archangel to try to prevent the occupation of northern Russia by either the Germans ...
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How could wells back in the day work? [closed]

One of the many things that have confused me all my life is the concept of wells. I get that somebody, long ago, discovered that there's sometimes/often water in the ground, once you dig deeply ...
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Having had his policy judged unlawful, which Home Secretary asked to meet Lord Bingham to discuss?

I quote p 27, in the Winter 2018 Issue 13 of the Hong Kong Student Law Gazette. The tension between executive and judiciary exists in many jurisdictions practising separation of powers, and the UK ...
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When did UK working class women shift away from home birth?

In urban areas of the UK when did it become more common or usual for working class women to give birth in a hospital or maternity clinic rather than at home?
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Did the western Allies and Russia try to cooperate in World War I as they did in World War II?

America's General Eisenhower referred to it as "cross-ruffing." Coincidentally or otherwise, the timing of Operation Torch came close to the Russian counterattack at Stalingrad, and Operation Husky ...
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Was there intermixing between Brits and Hong Kongers during Britain's control of the territory?

When Britain took control of Hong Kong at the end of the First Opium War did British Europeans stay and intermix (intermix=make new humans)?
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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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Did the British Cabinet agree, at first, to send their expeditionary force to Amiens in August 1914?

I was reading War by Timetable by A.J.P. Taylor, in which he presents his interpretation of how the elaborate timetables prepared by various governments as "contingency plans" took on a life of their ...
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What is the origin of the name of the street Kings Butts in London, and its lack of apostrophes?

I’m mainly interested in why there are no apostrophes in this name. If Butts refers to archery, then why not “King’s Butts” or “Kings’ Butts”? Are apostrophes commonly omitted in historical London ...
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Did RAF fighter pilots wear ties while flying in WW2?

Did RAF fighter pilots wear ties while flying in WW2? It seems like that would be uncomfortable, if not dangerous, while you are experiencing high-Gs and low oxygen. However, the above movie includes ...
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Where was the operation Market Garden UK planning headquarters?

Can someone remind me of the name of the house and country estate in southern England where much of Operation Market Garden was planned. I have even been on a course there in the 1980s, but can't ...
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Was there a bribery attempt by the UK to get the Ottomans to switch sides in World War I?

While perusing Wikipedia article on Gallipoli Campaign, I saw an intriguing statement: an attempt by the British to bribe the Ottomans to join the Allied side ... failed. Wikipedia citing an ...
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Why did the UK Parliament sit on Saturday 30 July 1949?

Good question by Andrew Sparrow on the Guardian Politics' live blog: According to the House of Commons website, the Commons has only sat on Saturdays four times since 1939. Three of those sittings ...
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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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Before 1 July 1997, could British Nationals (Overseas) born in Hong Kong acquire British citizenship?

I'm asking just about people born in HK who were just BN(O), weren't British citizens, and had no other citizenship or nationality. Is this Reddit comment right? Andalucia1453. 10 points 14 hours ...
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What did it mean to be a “Jacobite” at the turn of the 20th Century?

I'm currently reading the Ursula Buchan's biography of John Buchan, the Scottish writer and politician. (Buchan, U, 2019, "Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan", Bloomsbury, London) ...
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When did London newspapers start to use typewriters in their offices?

I'm a French journalist writing a book, whose main character of is also a journalist working in the 1890's, but I lack some background. I wonder when typewriters started to get used in British ...
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Would newspapers in 1890 London have printing presses in their offices?

For a story I'm writing, taking place in London around 1889/1890, I'd like to know if the main newspapers, like the Daily Telegraph or the Daily Chronicles, who had their offices in Fleet Street, ...
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Who was the most successful German spy against Great Britain in WWII, from the contemporary German perspective?

Reading up on this it appears to me many of Germany's spy operations inside the UK were pretty quickly shutdown. I investigated a half dozen spies who were captured by the end of 1942. Dorthy O'...

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