World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
History of England
England became inhabited more than 800,000 years ago, as the discovery of stone tools and footprints at Happisburgh in Norfolk has revealed. The earliest evidence for early modern humans in North West Europe, a jawbone discovered in Devon at Kents Cavern in 1927, was re-dated in 2011 to between 41,000 and 44,000 years old. Continuous human habitation in England dates to around 13,000 years ago, at the end of the last glacial period; the region has numerous remains from the Mesolithic and Bronze Age, such as Stonehenge and Avebury. In the Iron Age, like all of Britain south of the Firth of Forth, was inhabited by the Celtic people known as the Britons, including some Belgic tribes in the south east. In AD 43 the Roman conquest of Britain began; the end of Roman rule in Britain facilitated the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain, which historians regard as the origin of England and of the English people. The Anglo-Saxons, a collection of various Germanic peoples, established several kingdoms that became the primary powers in present-day England and parts of southern Scotland.
They introduced the Old English language, which displaced the previous British language. The Anglo-Saxons warred with British successor states in Wales and the Hen Ogledd, as well as with each other. Raids by Vikings became frequent after about AD 800, the Norsemen settled in large parts of what is now England. During this period, several rulers attempted to unite the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, an effort that led to the emergence of the Kingdom of England by the 10th century. In 1066, a Norman expedition conquered England; the Norman dynasty established by William the Conqueror ruled England for over half a century before the period of succession crisis known as the Anarchy. Following the Anarchy, England came under the rule of the House of Plantagenet, a dynasty which inherited claims to the Kingdom of France. During this period, the Magna Carta was signed. A succession crisis in France led to the Hundred Years' War, a series of conflicts involving the peoples of both nations. Following the Hundred Years' Wars, England became embroiled in its own succession wars.
The Wars of the Roses pitted two branches of the House of Plantagenet against one another, the House of York and the House of Lancaster. The Lancastrian Henry Tudor ended the War of the Roses and established the Tudor dynasty in 1485. Under the Tudors and the Stuart dynasty, England became a colonial power. During the rule of the Stuarts, the English Civil War took place between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists, which resulted in the execution of King Charles I and the establishment of a series of republican governments — first, a Parliamentary republic known as the Commonwealth of England a military dictatorship under Oliver Cromwell known as The Protectorate; the Stuarts returned to the restored throne in 1660, though continued questions over religion and power resulted in the deposition of another Stuart king, James II, in the Glorious Revolution. England, which had conquered Wales in the 13th century, united with Scotland in 1707 to form a new sovereign state called Great Britain.
Following the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain ruled a colonial Empire, the largest in recorded history. Following a process of decolonisation in the 20th century caused by the weakening of Great Britain's power in the two World Wars all of the empire's overseas territories became independent countries. However, as of 2018, its cultural impact remains deep in many of them; the time from Britain's first inhabitation until the last glacial maximum is known as the Old Stone Age, or Palaeolithic era. Archaeological evidence indicates that what was to become England was colonised by humans long before the rest of the British Isles because of its more hospitable climate between and during the various glacial periods of the distant past; this earliest evidence, from Happisburgh in Norfolk, includes the oldest human footprints found outside Africa, points to dates of more than 800,000 BP. These earliest inhabitants were hunter-gatherers. Low sea-levels meant that Britain was attached to the continent for much of this earliest period of history, varying temperatures over tens of thousands of years meant that it was not always inhabited.
England has been continually inhabited since the last Ice Age ended around 9,000 BC, the beginning of the Middle Stone Age, or Mesolithic era. Rising sea-levels cut off Britain from the continent for the last time around 6500 BC; the population by was anatomically modern humans, the evidence suggests that their societies were complex and they were manipulating their environment and prey in new ways selective burning of omnipresent woodland to create clearings for herds to gather and hunt them. Hunting was done with simple projectile weapons such as javelin and sling. Bow and arrow was known in Western Europe since least 9000 BC; the climate continued to warm and the population rose. The New Stone Age, or Neolithic era, began with the introduction of farming from the Middle East, around 4000 BC, it is not known whether this was caused by a substantial folk movement or native adoption of foreign practices or both. People began to lead a more settled lifestyle. Monumental collective tombs were built for the dead in the form of chambered cairns and long barrows.
Towards the end of the period, other kinds of monumental ston
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph referred to as The Telegraph, is a national British daily broadsheet newspaper published in London by Telegraph Media Group and distributed across the United Kingdom and internationally. It was founded by Arthur B. Sleigh in 1855 as Daily Telegraph & Courier; the Telegraph is regarded as a national "newspaper of record" and it maintains an international reputation for quality, having been described by the BBC as "one of the world's great titles". The paper's motto, "Was, is, will be", appears in the editorial pages and has featured in every edition of the newspaper since 19 April 1858; the paper had a circulation of 363,183 in December 2018, having declined following industry trends from 1.4 million in 1980. Its sister paper, The Sunday Telegraph, which started in 1961, had a circulation of 281,025 as of December 2018; the Daily Telegraph has the largest circulation for a broadsheet newspaper in the UK and the sixth largest circulation of any UK newspaper as of 2016. The two sister newspapers are run separately, with different editorial staff, but there is cross-usage of stories.
Articles published in either may be published on the Telegraph Media Group's www.telegraph.co.uk website, under the title of The Telegraph. Editorially, the paper is considered conservative; the Telegraph has been the first newspaper to report on a number of notable news scoops, including the 2009 MP expenses scandal, which led to a number of high-profile political resignations and for which it was named 2009 British Newspaper of the Year, its 2016 undercover investigation on the England football manager Sam Allardyce. However, including the paper's former chief political commentator Peter Oborne, accuse it of being unduly influenced by advertisers HSBC; the Daily Telegraph and Courier was founded by Colonel Arthur B. Sleigh in June 1855 to air a personal grievance against the future commander-in-chief of the British Army, Prince George, Duke of Cambridge. Joseph Moses Levy, the owner of The Sunday Times, agreed to print the newspaper, the first edition was published on 29 June 1855; the paper was four pages long.
The first edition stressed the quality and independence of its articles and journalists: We shall be guided by a high tone of independent action. However, the paper was not a success, Sleigh was unable to pay Levy the printing bill. Levy took over the newspaper, his aim being to produce a cheaper newspaper than his main competitors in London, the Daily News and The Morning Post, to expand the size of the overall market. Levy appointed his son, Edward Levy-Lawson, Lord Burnham, Thornton Leigh Hunt to edit the newspaper. Lord Burnham relaunched the paper as The Daily Telegraph, with the slogan "the largest and cheapest newspaper in the world". Hunt laid out the newspaper's principles in a memorandum sent to Levy: "We should report all striking events in science, so told that the intelligent public can understand what has happened and can see its bearing on our daily life and our future; the same principle should apply to all other events—to fashion, to new inventions, to new methods of conducting business".
In 1876, Jules Verne published his novel Michael Strogoff, whose plot takes place during a fictional uprising and war in Siberia. Verne included among the book's characters a war correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, named Harry Blount—who is depicted as an exceptionally dedicated and brave journalist, taking great personal risks to follow the ongoing war and bring accurate news of it to The Telegraph's readership, ahead of competing papers. In 1908, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany gave a controversial interview to The Daily Telegraph that damaged Anglo-German relations and added to international tensions in the build-up to World War I. In 1928 the son of Baron Burnham, Harry Lawson Webster Levy-Lawson, 2nd Baron Burnham, sold the paper to William Berry, 1st Viscount Camrose, in partnership with his brother Gomer Berry, 1st Viscount Kemsley and Edward Iliffe, 1st Baron Iliffe. In 1937, the newspaper absorbed The Morning Post, which traditionally espoused a conservative position and sold predominantly amongst the retired officer class.
William Ewart Berry, 1st Viscount Camrose, bought The Morning Post with the intention of publishing it alongside The Daily Telegraph, but poor sales of the former led him to merge the two. For some years the paper was retitled The Daily Telegraph and Morning Post before it reverted to just The Daily Telegraph. In the late 1930s Victor Gordon Lennox, The Telegraph's diplomatic editor, published an anti-appeasement private newspaper The Whitehall Letter that received much of its information from leaks from Sir Robert Vansittart, the Permanent Under-Secretary of the Foreign Office, Rex Leeper, the Foreign Office's Press Secretary; as a result, Gordon Lennox was monitored by MI5. In 1939, The Telegraph published Clare Hollingworth's scoop. In November 1940, with Fleet Street subjected to daily bombing raids by the Luftwaffe, The Telegraph started printing in Manchester at Kemsley House, run by Camrose's brother Kemsley. Manchester quite printed the entire run of The Telegraph when its Fleet Street offices were under threat.
The name Kemsley House was changed to Thomson House in 1959. In 1986 printing of Northern editions of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph moved to Trafford Park and in 2008 to Newsprinters at Knowsley, Liverpool. During the Second World War, The Daily Telegraph covertly helped in the recruitment of code-breakers for Bletchley Park; the ability to solve The Telegraph's crossword in under 12 minutes was considered to be a recruitment test. The newspaper was asked to organise a crossword competition, after wh
Timeline of the first premiership of Winston Churchill
The following is a timeline of the first premiership of Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the bulk of World War II, his speeches and radio broadcasts helped inspire British resistance during the difficult days of 1940–41 when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood alone in its active opposition to Nazi Germany. He led Britain as Prime Minister. For the general history see Timeline of the United Kingdom home front during World War II. After the Conservative Party lost the 1945 election, Churchill became Leader of the Opposition to the Labour Government, he would go on to be re-elected as Prime Minister in 1951. 3 April 1940: The Ministerial Defence Committee, with the First Lord of the Admiralty as its chair, replaces Lord Chatfield's ministerial position of Minister for Coordination of Defence. 10 May 1940: Germany invades Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom upon the resignation of Neville Chamberlain. The United Kingdom invades Iceland. Belgium declares a state of emergency. Churchill is called on to form a wartime coalition government. 11 May 1940: Churchill offers the former Kaiser Wilhelm II, now living in the Netherlands, asylum in the United Kingdom. 13 May 1940: Dutch government-in-exile established in London. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands flees to asylum in the United Kingdom. Churchill's "blood, toil and sweat" speech in Commons. 14 May 1940: The creation of the Local Defence Volunteers is announced by the new Secretary of State for War Anthony Eden. It is composed of the elderly and retired. Churchill asks President Canada for aid in these dark days. Outlines of the new British coalition, which includes Labour and Conservative members, is made public. 16 May 1940: Churchill visits Paris and hears that the French war is as good as over. 30 May 1940: Crucial British Cabinet meeting: Churchill wins a vote on continuing the war, in spite of vigorous arguments by Lord Halifax and Chamberlain.
4 June 1940: Churchill's "We shall fight on the beaches" speech to the House of Commons. 18 June 1940: Churchill gives his famous "finest hour" speech to the House of Commons. 20 August 1940: Italy announces a blockade of British ports in the Mediterranean area. Churchill's speech "Never was so much owed by so many to so few" speech delivered to the House of Commons.25 August 1940: Churchill orders the bombing of Berlin in retaliation for the previous night's bombing of Cripplegate. 9 October 1940: Neville Chamberlain resigns from the House of Commons for health reasons. 16 November 1940: Churchill orders some British troops in North Africa to be sent to Greece, despite concerns by his military. 9 February 1941: British forces reach El Agheila, Cyrenaica. British battleships British aircraft attack Livorno. Churchill again pleads with the US: "give us the tools." 23 April 1941: Greek government is evacuated to Crete, which Churchill is determined to defend. 1 June 1941: The evacuation of Allied forces from Crete ends.
22 June 1941: Germany invasion of Russia begins, as Operation Barbarossa. 19 July 1941: The "V-sign", displayed most notably by Churchill, is unofficially adopted as the Allied signal, along with the motif of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. 9 August 1941: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet at NS Argentia, Newfoundland; the Atlantic Charter is released to the world press. 7 December 1941: Japan attacks the US Navy base of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Churchill was with the President's special envoy, Averell Harriman, the US Ambassador to Britain, John Gilbert Winant, when he received the news over the telephone from President Roosevelt. 8 December 1941: Japan attacks Hong Kong and the Philippines in a simultaneous attack with Pearl Harbor but is counted a day due to the international date line. 10 December 1941: Japanese air forces sink the Prince of Wales and Repulse. 26 December 1941: Churchill makes his first address to a joint session of the United States Congress. 26 December 1941: The evening after speaking to Congress, Churchill suffers a mild heart attack.
15 February 1942: The Commonwealth forces at Singapore surrender to the Japanese. 14 April 1942: Churchill, concerned that the situation in Malta will cause the Axis forces in North Africa to be better supplied than British forces, sends a telegram to Sir Stafford Cripps in Cairo, asking him to pressure General Auchinleck to take offensive action before this can occur. 20 April 1942: General Dobbie, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of Malta, sends a message to the PM saying "it is obvious that the worst may happen if we cannot replenish our vital needs flour and ammunition, that soon...." Churchill concludes from this and other "disturbing news" that Dobbie is not capable enough for such an important job, decides to replace him with Lord Gort. 9 May 1942: On the night of 8-9 May 1942, gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands rebelled. Their mutiny was crushed and three of them were executed, the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mu
Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, was a British statesman and Labour Party politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951. He was the Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955. In 1940, Attlee took Labour into the wartime coalition government and served under Winston Churchill, becoming, in 1942, the first person to hold the office of Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, he went on to lead the Labour Party to an unexpected landslide victory at the 1945 general election. The 12 per cent national swing from the Conservatives to Labour was unprecedented at that time and remains the largest achieved by any party at a general election in British electoral history, he was re-elected with a narrow majority at the 1950 general election. In the following year, Attlee called a snap general election, hoping to increase his parliamentary majority. However, he was narrowly defeated by the Conservatives under the leadership of Winston Churchill, despite winning the most votes of any political party in any general election in British political history until the Conservative Party's fourth consecutive victory in 1992.
Attlee remains the longest-ever serving Leader of the Labour Party. First elected to the House of Commons in 1922 as the MP for Limehouse, Attlee rose to become a junior minister in the first Labour minority government led by Ramsay MacDonald in 1924, joined the Cabinet during MacDonald's second ministry of 1929–1931. One of only a handful of Labour frontbenchers to retain his seat in the landslide defeat of 1931, he became the party's Deputy Leader. After the resignation of George Lansbury in 1935, he was elected as Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition in the subsequent leadership election. At first advocating pacificism and opposing rearmament, he reversed his position, he took Labour into the Churchill war ministry in 1940. Serving as Lord Privy Seal, he was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister in 1942. Attlee and Churchill worked together smoothly, with Attlee working backstage to handle much of the detail and organisational work in Parliament, as Churchill took centre stage with his attention on diplomacy, military policy, broader issues.
With victory in Europe in May 1945, the coalition government was dissolved. Attlee led Labour to win a huge majority in the ensuing 1945 general election two months later; the government he led built the post-war consensus, based upon the assumption that full employment would be maintained by Keynesian policies and that a enlarged system of social services would be created – aspirations, outlined in the 1942 Beveridge Report. Within this context, his government undertook the nationalisation of public utilities and major industries, as well as the creation of the National Health Service. Attlee himself had little interest in economic matters but this settlement was broadly accepted by all parties for three decades. Foreign policy was the special domain of Ernest Bevin, he supervised the process by which India was partitioned into India and Pakistan in 1947. He arranged the independence of Burma, Ceylon, his government ended the British Mandates of Jordan. From 1947 onwards, he and Bevin pushed the United States to take a more vigorous role in the emerging Cold War against Soviet Communism.
When the budgetary crisis forced Britain out of Greece in 1947, he called on Washington to counter the Communists with the Truman Doctrine. He avidly supported the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe with American money. In 1949, he promoted the NATO military alliance against the Soviet bloc, he sent British troops to fight in the Malayan Emergency in 1948 and sent the RAF to participate in the Berlin Airlift. He commissioned an independent nuclear deterrent for the UK, he used 13,000 troops and passed special legislation to promptly end the London dock strike in 1949. After leading Labour to a narrow victory at the 1950 general election, he sent British troops to fight in the Korean War. Attlee was narrowly defeated by the Conservatives under Churchill in the 1951 general election, he had lost his effectiveness by then. He was elevated to the House of Lords. In public, Attlee was unassuming, his strengths emerged behind the scenes in committees where his depth of knowledge, quiet demeanour and pragmatism proved decisive.
His achievements in politics owed the unsuitability of his rivals. He saw himself as spokesman on behalf of his entire party and kept its multiple factions in harness. Attlee is rated by scholars and the public as one of the greatest British Prime Ministers, his reputation among scholars in recent decades has been much higher than during his years as Prime Minister, thanks to his roles in leading the Labour Party, creating the welfare state and building the coalition opposing Stalin in the Cold War. Attlee was born on 3 January 1883 in Putney, into a middle-class family, the seventh of eight children, his father was Henry Attlee, a solicitor, his mother was Ellen Bravery Watson, daughter of Thomas Simons Watson, secretary for the Art Union of London. He was educated at a boys' preparatory school near Pluckley in Kent.
Cassell & Co is a British book publishing house, founded in 1848 by John Cassell, which became in the 1890s an international publishing group company. In 1995 Cassell & Co acquired Pinter Publishers. In December 1998 Cassell & Co was bought by the Orion Publishing Group. In January 2002 Cassell imprints, including the Cassell Reference and Cassell Military were joined with the Weidenfeld imprints to form a new division under the name of Weidenfeld & Nicolson Ltd. Cassell Illustrated survives as an imprint of the Octopus Publishing Group. John Cassell, in turn a carpenter, temperance preacher and coffee merchant turned to publishing, his first publication was on 1 July 1848, a weekly newspaper called The Standard of Freedom advocating religious and commercial freedom. The Working Man's Friend became another popular publication. In 1849 Cassell was dividing his time between his grocery business. In 1851 his expanding interests led to his renting part of La Belle Sauvage, a London inn, a playhouse in Elizabethan times.
The former inn was demolished in 1873 to make way for a railway viaduct, with the company building new premises behind. La Belle Sauvage was destroyed in 1941 by WWII bombing as well as many archives. Thomas Dixon Galpin who came from Dorchester in Dorset and George William Petter, born in Barnstaple in Devon were partners in a printing firm and on John Cassell's bankruptcy in June 1855 acquired the publishing company and Cassell's debts. Between 1855 and 1858 the printing firm operated as Petter and Galpin and their work was published by W. Kent & Co. John Cassell was relegated to being a junior partner after becoming insolvent in 1858, the firm being known as Cassell, Petter & Galpin. With the arrival of a new partner, Robert Turner, in 1878, it became Cassell, Galpin & Company. Galpin was the astute business manager. George Lock, the founder of Ward Lock, another publishing house, was Galpin's first cousin. Petter resigned in 1883 as a result of disagreement over publishing fiction, in 1888 the company name was changed to Cassell & Co, following Galpin's retirement and Petter's death.
Sir Thomas Wemyss Reid was general manager until 1905 when Arthur Spurgeon took over and revitalized the firm. Magazine publishers, Spurgeon concentrated on reviving the book business. In 1923 the company was floated on the Stock Exchange and a few years the magazines owned by the company were sold to Amalgamated Press following many industrial disputes. In 1969, Cassell was acquired by the American company Crowell Collier & Macmillan (later renamed Macmillan Publishers. Macmillan sold Cassell to CBS in 1982. CBS sold Cassell in a buyout in 1986. In October 1992, Cassell & Co bought Victor Gollancz Ltd from Houghton Mifflin. In December 1998 the company was taken over by Orion Publishing Group. In 1999, Cassell's academic and religious lists were merged with the American company Continuum to form the Continuum International Publishing Group. Cassell's Magazine Cassell’s Saturday Journal Cassell's Weekly T. P.'s & Cassell's Weekly Chums The Echo The Lady's World The Woman's World, edited by Oscar Wilde Little Folks, edited by Sam Hield Hamer The Illustrated Magazine of Art The Magazine of Art The New Magazine The New Penny Magazine The Penny Magazine, Cassell's Popular Magazine The Quiver Magazine The Story-Teller The Work Gustave Doré's illustrations for La Grande Bible de Tours Media related to Cassell & Co. at Wikimedia Commons
Caesar's invasions of Britain
In the course of his Gallic Wars, Julius Caesar invaded Britain twice: in 55 and 54 BC. On the first occasion Caesar took with him only two legions, effected little beyond a landing on the coast of Kent; the second invasion consisted of five legions and 2,000 cavalry. The force was so imposing that the Britons did not dare contest Caesar's landing in Kent, waiting instead until he began to move inland. Caesar now penetrated into Middlesex and crossed the Thames, but the British prince Cassivellaunus with his war chariots harassed the Roman columns, Caesar was compelled to return to Gaul after imposing a tribute, never paid. Britain had long been known to the classical world as a source of tin; the coastline had been explored by the Greek geographer Pytheas in the 4th century BC, may have been explored earlier, in the 5th, by the Carthaginian sailor Himilco. But to many Romans, the island, lying as it did beyond the Ocean at what was to them the edge of the "known world," was a land of great mystery.
Some Roman writers insisted that it did not exist, dismissed reports of Pytheas's voyage as a hoax. Britain during the reign of Julius Caesar had an Iron Age culture, with an estimated population of between one and four million. Archaeological research shows that its economy was broadly divided into highland zones. In the lowland southeast, large areas of fertile soil made possible extensive arable farming, communication developed along trackways, such as the Icknield Way, the Pilgrims' Way and the Jurassic Way, navigable rivers such as the Thames. In the highlands, north of the line between Gloucester and Lincoln, arable land was available in only isolated pockets, so pastoralism, supported by garden cultivation, was more common than settled farming, communication was more difficult. Settlements were built on high ground and fortified, but in the southeast, oppida had begun to be established on lower ground at river crossings, suggesting that trade was becoming more important. Commercial contact between Britain and the continent had increased since the Roman conquest of Transalpine Gaul in 124 BC, Italian wine was being imported via the Armorican peninsula, much of it arriving at Hengistbury Head in Dorset.
Caesar's written account of Britain says that the Belgae of northeastern Gaul had conducted raids on Britain, establishing settlements in some of its coastal areas, that within living memory Diviciacus, king of the Suessiones, had held power in Britain as well as Gaul. British coinage from this period shows a complicated pattern of intrusion; the earliest Gallo-Belgic coins that have been found in Britain date to before 100 BC as early as 150 BC, were struck in Gaul, have been found in Kent. Coins of a similar type were struck in Britain and are found all along the south coast as far west as Dorset, it appears that Belgic power was concentrated on the southeastern coast, although their influence spread further west and inland through chieftains establishing political control over the native population. Caesar claimed that, in the course of his conquest of Gaul, the Britons had supported the campaigns of the mainland Gauls against him, with fugitives from among the Gallic Belgae fleeing to Belgic settlements in Britain, the Veneti of Armorica, who controlled seaborne trade to the island, calling in aid from their British allies to fight for them against Caesar in 56 BC.
Strabo says that the Venetic rebellion in 56 BC had been intended to prevent Caesar from travelling to Britain and disrupting their commercial activity, suggesting that the possibility of a British expedition had been considered by then. In late summer, 55 BC though it was late in the campaigning season, Caesar decided to make an expedition to Britain, he summoned merchants who traded with the island, but they were unable or unwilling to give him any useful information about the inhabitants and their military tactics, or about harbours he could use not wanting to lose their monopoly on cross-channel trade. He sent Gaius Volusenus, to scout the coast in a single warship, he examined the Kent coast between Hythe and Sandwich, but was unable to land, since he "did not dare leave his ship and entrust himself to the barbarians", after five days returned to give Caesar what intelligence he had managed to gather. By ambassadors from some of the British states, warned by merchants of the impending invasion, had arrived promising their submission.
Caesar sent them back, along with his ally Commius, king of the Gallic Atrebates, to use their influence to win over as many other states as possible. He gathered a fleet consisting of eighty transport ships, sufficient to carry two legions, an unknown number of warships under a quaestor, at an unnamed port in the territory of the Morini certainly Portus Itius. Another eighteen transports of cavalry were to sail from a different port Ambleteuse; these ships may have been triremes or biremes, or may have been adapted from Venetic designs Caesar had seen or may have been requisitioned from the Veneti and other coastal tribes. In a hurry, Caesar himself left a garrison at the port and set out "at the third watch" – well after midnight – on 23 August with the legions, leaving the cavalry to march to their ships and join him as soon as possible. In light of events, this was either a tactical mistake or confirms the invasion was not intended for complete conquest. Caesar tried to land at Dubris, whose natural harbour had been identified by Volusenus as a suitable landing place.