Hendon is a London urban area in the Borough of Barnet, 7 miles northwest of Charing Cross. Hendon was an ancient parish in the county of Middlesex and has been part of Greater London since 1965. Hendon had a population of 52,972 in 2011 which includes the West Hendon and Colindale wards that are separated from Hendon by the NW9 postcode area Hendon was a civil parish in the county of Middlesex; the manor is described in Domesday, but the name'Hendun' – meaning'at the highest hill' – is of earlier origin. Evidence of Roman settlement was discovered by members of the Hendon and District Archaeological Society and others; the Midland Railway and the Great Northern Railways were built through Hendon in the 1860s. The underground arrived at Golders Green to the south in 1907, the line being extended to Hendon Central and Edgware in 1923/24. Much of the area developed into a suburb of London and now the area is built-up with some countryside in the Mill Hill area, such as the Copthall Playing fields.
Hendon's industry was centred on manufacturing, included motor and aviation works, developed from the 1880s. In 1931 the civil parish of Edgware was abolished and its area was added to the great civil parish of Hendon. Hendon became an urban district in 1894. In 1932 the urban district became the Municipal Borough of Hendon; the municipal borough was abolished in 1965 and the area became part of the London Borough of Barnet. Hendon's main claim to fame is in the early days of flying and Hendon Aerodrome is now the RAF Museum; the area is associated with pioneer aviator Claude Grahame-White. Another part of the Aerodrome site is the Hendon Police College, the training centre for the Metropolitan Police; the Metropolitan Police Book of Remembrance is displayed in the entrance of Simpson Hall at the centre. There is a memorial garden, it is ancient parish. The name means the high place or down, Hendon's motto is Endeavour; the Burroughs is a civic centre for the London Borough of Barnet, the site of Middlesex University Business School.
The River Brent runs through Hendon. On 30 November 2009 the Environment Agency warned residents of flooding along River Brent from Hendon to Brentford, after a day of notably heavy rain. Several premises were temporarily flooded in Perivale. Hendon and District Archaeological Society has found a number of interesting Roman artifacts at Church End but nothing conclusive, the Saxon settlement near to St Mary's Church may not be a continuation of its Roman predecessor; the Domesday Survey mentions a priest, a church building was documented in 1157. The oldest fabric of the present church is 13th century; the 50 ft tower was much restored in the 18th century when the weathercock in the form of a "Lamb and Flag", the badge of St John, was added. However, the church is dedicated to an enigma that defies local historians to this day, it may be a sign of the cult of Mary Magdalene said to have been promoted by the Templars and their successors. Eastern extensions carried out between 1913–15 to designs by architect Temple Moore have expanded the church.
Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore in 1819, is buried in the church. Another grave of distinction in the churchyard is that of football manager Herbert Chapman who had great success in charge of Northampton Town, Leeds City, Huddersfield Town and Arsenal before his sudden death from pneumonia in 1934. Bram Stoker may well have had St Mary's graveyard in mind when he created the fictional "Kingstead", the uneasy resting place of Lucy Westenra, in his book Dracula. However, St Mary's graveyard is the resting place of a more benign spirit, Coventry Patmore's wife Emily, the model for the poem The Angel in the House, upon whom the Victorian ideal of domesticity "the Angel of the Hearth" is based. Adjacent to the church at the top of Greyhound Hill is the Greyhound pub, rebuilt in 1898. Called the Church House, it was used for vestry meetings from the 1600s to 1878. In 1676 the inn, by known as the Greyhound, burned down in a fire. In 1855 a fire brigade was established, renamed the Hendon volunteer fire brigade in 1866, a manual fire engine was kept in a building near the church.
Further west, adjacent to the Greyhound pub, is the oldest building in Hendon, a seventeenth-century farmhouse which became the former Church Farmhouse Museum, now part of the campus of nearby Middlesex University. The Claddagh Ring pub known as The Midland Arms, in Church Road, Hendon, is somewhat more than nine miles from Athenry; the sign is genuinely Irish, giving pleasure to a significant Irish community in this area. Another pub, the Midland Hotel, close to Hendon station, was opened in 1890 by The Midland Railway Company to provide liquid refreshment for commuters using the Midland Railway. At the time when both of these pubs were open The Midland Arms was known as The Upper Midland and The Midland Hotel was known as The Lower Midland; the Irish connection with Hendon goes back at least to the early 19th century when many of that country came here to make the hay, for which Hendon was famous. The Burroughs was a distinct hamlet until the 1890s, known from 1316 until the 19th century as'the burrows', which no doubt referred to the keeping of rabbit warrens.
After the UK outbreak of myxomatosis in the 1950s, rabbits were smoked out of the area using steam engines. During the 18th century, some of the immediate estate surrounding Hendon Place was auctioned off for large houses, with much of the land being used for building other mansions. Of these, Hendon Hall (now a hot
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England. The county town is the city of Winchester, its two largest cities and Portsmouth, are administered separately as unitary authorities. First settled about 14,000 years ago, Hampshire's history dates to Roman Britain, when its chief town was Winchester; when the Romans left Britain, the area was infiltrated by tribes from Scandinavia and mainland Europe, principally in the river valleys. The county was recorded in the 11th century Domesday Book, divided into 44 hundreds. From the 12th century, the ports grew in importance, fuelled by trade with the continent and cloth manufacture in the county, the fishing industry, a shipbuilding industry was established. By the 16th century, the population of Southampton had outstripped that of Winchester. By the mid-19th century, with the county's population at 219,210 in more than 86,000 dwellings, agriculture was the principal industry and 10 per cent of the county was still forest. Hampshire played a crucial military role in both World Wars.
The Isle of Wight left the county to form its own in 1974. The county's geography is varied, with upland to 286 metres and south-flowing rivers. There are areas of downland and marsh, two national parks: the New Forest, part of the South Downs, which together cover 45 per cent of Hampshire. Hampshire is one of the most affluent counties in the country, with an unemployment rate lower than the national average, its economy derived from major companies, maritime and tourism. Tourist attractions include the national parks and the Southampton Boat Show; the county is known as the home of writers Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, the childhood home of Florence Nightingale and the birthplace of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Hampshire takes its name from the settlement, now the city of Southampton. Southampton was known in Old English as Hamtun meaning "village-town", so its surrounding area or scīr became known as Hamtunscīr; the old name was recorded in the Domesday book as Hantescire, from this spelling, the modern abbreviation "Hants" derives.
From 1889 until 1959, the administrative county was named the County of Southampton and has been known as Southamptonshire. Hampshire was the departure point of some of those who left England to settle on the east coast of North America during the 17th century, giving its name in particular to the state of New Hampshire; the towns of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portsmouth, Virginia take their names from Portsmouth in Hampshire. The region is believed to have been continuously occupied since the end of the last Ice Age about 12,000 BCE. At this time, Britain was still attached to the European continent and was predominantly covered with deciduous woodland; the first inhabitants were Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. The majority of the population would have been concentrated around the river valleys. Over several thousand years, the climate became progressively warmer, sea levels rose. Notable sites from this period include Bouldnor Cliff. Agriculture had arrived in southern Britain by 4000 BCE, with it a neolithic culture.
Some deforestation took place at that time, although during the Bronze Age, beginning in 2200 BCE, this became more widespread and systematic. Hampshire has few monuments to show from these early periods, although nearby Stonehenge was built in several phases at some time between 3100 and 2200 BCE. In the late Bronze Age, fortified hilltop settlements known as hillforts began to appear in large numbers in many parts of Britain including Hampshire, these became more and more important in the early and middle Iron Age. By this period, the people of Britain predominantly spoke a Celtic language, their culture shared much in common with the Celts described by classical writers. Hillforts declined in importance in the second half of the second century BCE, with many being abandoned. Around this period, the first recorded invasion of Britain took place, as southern Britain was conquered by warrior-elites from Belgic tribes of northeastern Gaul - whether these two events are linked to the decline of hillforts is unknown.
By the Roman conquest, the oppidum at Venta Belgarum, modern-day Winchester, was the de facto regional administrative centre. Julius Caesar invaded southeastern England in 55 and again in 54 BCE, but he never reached Hampshire. Notable sites from this period include Hengistbury Head, a major port; the Romans invaded Britain again in 43 CE, Hampshire was incorporated into the Roman province of Britannia quickly. It is believed their political leaders allowed themselves to be incorporated peacefully. Venta became the capital of the administrative polity of the Belgae, which included most of Hampshire and Wiltshire and reached as far as Bath. Whether the people of Hampshire played any role in Boudicca's rebellion of 60-61 CE is not recorded, but evidence of burning is seen in Winchester dated to around this period. For most of the next three centuries, southern Britain enjoyed relative peace; the part of th
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain; the RAF's mission is to support the objectives of the British Ministry of Defence, which are to "provide the capabilities needed to ensure the security and defence of the United Kingdom and overseas territories, including against terrorism. The RAF describes its mission statement as "... an agile and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission". The mission statement is supported by the RAF's definition of air power.
Air power is defined as "the ability to project power from the air and space to influence the behaviour of people or the course of events". Today the Royal Air Force maintains an operational fleet of various types of aircraft, described by the RAF as being "leading-edge" in terms of technology; this consists of fixed-wing aircraft, including: fighter and strike aircraft, airborne early warning and control aircraft, ISTAR and SIGINT aircraft, aerial refueling aircraft and strategic and tactical transport aircraft. The majority of the RAF's rotary-wing aircraft form part of the tri-service Joint Helicopter Command in support of ground forces. Most of the RAF's aircraft and personnel are based in the UK, with many others serving on operations or at long-established overseas bases. Although the RAF is the principal British air power arm, the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and the British Army's Army Air Corps deliver air power, integrated into the maritime and land environments. While the British were not the first to make use of heavier-than-air military aircraft, the RAF is the world's oldest independent air force: that is, the first air force to become independent of army or navy control.
Following publication of the "Smuts report" prepared by Jan Smuts the RAF was founded on 1 April 1918, with headquarters located in the former Hotel Cecil, during the First World War, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. At that time it was the largest air force in the world. After the war, the service was drastically cut and its inter-war years were quiet, with the RAF taking responsibility for the control of Iraq and executing a number of minor actions in other parts of the British Empire; the RAF's naval aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm, was founded in 1924 but handed over to Admiralty control on 24 May 1939. The RAF developed the doctrine of strategic bombing which led to the construction of long-range bombers and became its main bombing strategy in the Second World War; the RAF underwent rapid expansion prior to and during the Second World War. Under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of December 1939, the air forces of British Commonwealth countries trained and formed "Article XV squadrons" for service with RAF formations.
Many individual personnel from these countries, exiles from occupied Europe served with RAF squadrons. By the end of the war the Royal Canadian Air Force had contributed more than 30 squadrons to serve in RAF formations approximately a quarter of Bomber Command's personnel were Canadian. Additionally, the Royal Australian Air Force represented around nine percent of all RAF personnel who served in the European and Mediterranean theatres. In the Battle of Britain in 1940, the RAF defended the skies over Britain against the numerically superior German Luftwaffe. In what is the most prolonged and complicated air campaign in history, the Battle of Britain contributed to the delay and subsequent indefinite postponement of Hitler's plans for an invasion of the United Kingdom. In the House of Commons on 20 August, prompted by the ongoing efforts of the RAF, Prime Minister Winston Churchill eloquently made a speech to the nation, where he said "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".
The largest RAF effort during the war was the strategic bombing campaign against Germany by Bomber Command. While RAF bombing of Germany began immediately upon the outbreak of war, under the leadership of Air Chief Marshal Harris, these attacks became devastating from 1942 onward as new technology and greater numbers of superior aircraft became available; the RAF adopted night-time area bombing on German cities such as Hamburg and Dresden, developed precision bombing techniques for specific operations, such as the "Dambusters" raid by No. 617 Squadron, or the Amiens prison raid known as Operation Jericho. Following victory in the Second World War, the RAF underwent significant re-organisation, as technological advances in air warfare saw the arrival of jet fighters and bombers. During the early stages of the Cold War, one of the first major operations undertaken by the Royal Air Force was in 1948 and the Berlin Airlift, codenamed Operation Plainfire. Between 26 June and the lifting of the Russian blockade of the city on 2 May, the RAF provided 17% of the total supplies delivered du
The Hawker Typhoon is a British single-seat fighter-bomber, produced by Hawker Aircraft. It was intended to be a medium–high altitude interceptor, as a replacement for the Hawker Hurricane but several design problems were encountered and it never satisfied this requirement; the Typhoon was designed to mount twelve.303 inch Browning machine guns and be powered by the latest 2,000 hp engines. Its service introduction in mid-1941 was plagued with problems and for several months the aircraft faced a doubtful future; when the Luftwaffe brought the formidable Focke-Wulf Fw 190 into service in 1941, the Typhoon was the only RAF fighter capable of catching it at low altitudes. The Typhoon became established in roles such as long-range fighter. From late 1942 the Typhoon was equipped with bombs and from late 1943 RP-3 rockets were added to its armoury. With those weapons and its four 20mm Hispano autocannons, the Typhoon became one of the Second World War's most successful ground-attack aircraft. Before Hurricane production began in March 1937, Sydney Camm had embarked on designing its successor.
Two preliminary designs were larger than the Hurricane. These became known as the "N" and "R", because they were designed for the newly developed Napier Sabre and Rolls-Royce Vulture engines respectively. Both engines were designed for over 2,000 hp. Hawker submitted these preliminary designs in July 1937 but were advised to wait until a formal specification for a new fighter was issued. In March 1938, Hawker received from the Air Ministry, Specification F.18/37 for a fighter which would be able to achieve at least 400 mph at 15,000 feet and specified a British engine with a two-speed supercharger. The armament fitted was to be twelve.303 inch Browning machine guns with 500 rounds per gun, with a provision for alternative combinations of weaponry. Camm and his design team started formal development of the designs and construction of prototypes; the basic design of the Typhoon was a combination of traditional Hawker construction and more modern construction techniques. The forward fuselage and cockpit skinning was made up of large, removable duralumin panels, allowing easy external access to the engine and engine accessories and most of the important hydraulic and electrical equipment.
The wing had a span of 41 feet 7 inches, with a wing area of 279 sq ft. It was designed with a small amount of inverted gull wing bend; the airfoil was a NACA 22 wing section, with a thickness-to-chord ratio of 19.5% at the root tapering to 12% at the tip. The wing possessed great structural strength, provided plenty of room for fuel tanks and a heavy armament, while allowing the aircraft to be a steady gun platform; each of the inner wings incorporated two fuel tanks. Incorporated into the inner wings were inward-retracting landing gear with a wide track of 13 ft 6¾ in. By contemporary standards, the new design's wing was "thick", similar to the Hurricane before it. Although the Typhoon was expected to achieve over 400 mph in level flight at 20,000 ft, the thick wings created a large drag rise and prevented higher speeds than the 410 mph at 20,000 feet achieved in tests; the climb rate and performance above that level was considered disappointing. When the Typhoon was dived at speeds of over 500 mph, the drag rise caused buffeting and trim changes.
These compressibility problems led to Camm designing the Typhoon II known as the Tempest, which used much thinner wings with a laminar flow airfoil. The first flight of the first Typhoon prototype, P5212, made by Hawker's Chief test Pilot Philip Lucas from Langley, was delayed until 24 February 1940 because of the problems with the development of the Sabre engine. Although unarmed for its first flights, P5212 carried 12.303 in Brownings, set in groups of six in each outer wing panel. P5212 had a small tail-fin, triple exhaust stubs and no wheel doors fitted to the centre-section. On 9 May 1940 the prototype had a mid-air structural failure, at the join between the forward fuselage and rear fuselage, just behind the pilot's seat. Philip Lucas could see daylight through the split but instead of bailing out, landed the Typhoon and was awarded the George Medal. On 15 May, the Minister of Aircraft Production, Lord Beaverbrook, ordered that resources should be concentrated on the production of five main aircraft types.
As a result, development of the Typhoon was slowed, production plans were postponed and test flying continued at a reduced rate. As a result of the delays the second prototype, P5216, first flew on 3 May 1941: P5216 carried an armament of four belt-fed 20 mm (
No. 504 Squadron RAF
No. 504 Squadron was one of the Special Reserve Squadrons of the Auxiliary Air Force, today is a reserve force of the RAF Regiment. It was integrated into the AAF proper in 1936. Based at RAF Cottesmore, Rutland, 504 Squadron used a variety of light bombers before being re-tasked to fighters with the Hawker Hurricane in 1939, it subsequently became a Fighter Squadron. No. 504 Squadron no longer has a flying role, but as part of No 85 Expeditionary Logistics Wing of the RAF A4 Force. No. 504 squadron was formed on 26 March 1928 at RAF Hucknall, Nottinghamshire as a Special Reserve Squadron in the day bomber role. As such it flew first with Hawker Horsleys with Westland Wallaces and Hawker Hinds. In the meantime, on 18 May 1936, the squadron had gone over to the Auxiliary Air Force and the next change for the squadron came on 31 October 1938, when it was transferred from RAF Bomber Command to RAF Fighter Command. After a short spell with Gloster Gauntlet biplane fighters the squadron received its first modern aircraft as their next aircraft were to be Hawker Hurricane fighters.
On 26 August 1939 the squadron was mobilised for active service as part of RAF Fighter Command and the Squadron was transferred to RAF Digby. In 1940 Squadron Leader" Johnnie" Hill took command whilst the squadron was at France; when the airfield was overrun Hill had taken 12 Hurricanes into the air. Hill was shot down and shot at first by French peasants, by a British Army major who believed him to be a fifth columnist. On recovering from his injuries Hill was given command of 222 Squadron. Throughout the Second World War, 504 Sqn operated from over some thirty airfields in both the UK and abroad. Roles were as diverse as Heavy Bomber escort. In March 1945 the Squadron was re-equipped with Gloster Meteor jets, but the armistice was declared before they saw any action. After standing down from active duty on 10 August 1945, the Squadron was reformed at RAF Syerston as a light bomber squadron, it was equipped with Mosquito T.3 training aircraft but in April 1947 it was re-designated a night fighter unit, receiving Mosquito NF.30s.
Its role was changed once more again in May 1948, now to that of a day fighter unit. For this it received Spitfire F.22s, flying these until October 1949, when Meteor F.4s began to arrive to replace them. These were in their turn replaced by Meteor F.8s in March 1952. The squadron standard was presented on 3 March 1957 by Air Chief Marshal Sir Francis Fogarty, GBE, KCB, DFC, AFC and laid up in St Mary's Church, Wymeswold, RAF Wymeswold having been the Squadron's last operational base. Seven days the squadron, along with all other 19 flying units of the since 1947 Royal Auxiliary Air Force, disbanded. Flight Lieutenant W. B. Royce of 504 Squadron became the first AAF pilot to be awarded the DFC, Sergeant Ray Holmes of 504 Squadron was forced to ram a Dornier bomber intent on attacking Buckingham Palace when his guns jammed during the attack; this event was immortalised in the film Battle of Britain. Famous rugby player and Russian prince Alexander Obolensky flew with 504 Squadron, dying in accident on 29 March 1940.
It had many international pilots too, including Emile Jayawardena from Sri Lanka. Sergeant Pilot Squadron Leader, C.'Wag' Haw, flew with 504 during the Battle of Britain before moving to 81 Sqn for deployment to Russia in August 1941 where he was awarded the Order of Lenin. On 1 January 1998, the Offensive Support Role Support Squadron was formed at RAF Cottesmore; this was renamed 504 Squadron on 1 October 1999. On 1 October 2000 the reformation was celebrated with a march past in Nottingham. Although 504 Squadron no longer had a flying role, it remained an important part of the RAF; as part of an Operational Support Squadron, the first role of 504 Squadron was Force Protection. To this end 60% of the personnel were RAF Regiment gunners providing ground defence for all assets on deployed operations; the remaining personnel were responsible for the many other duties including: Chemical, Biological and Nuclear warning and reporting, airbase shelter marshalling and general sentry duties. Elements of the squadron deployed operationally to Afghanistan in these roles.
During 2014, the squadron re-roled from FP to Logistics. As part of the RAF's No. 85 Expeditionary Logistics Wing the Squadron is now based at RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire and is recruiting personnel to train as Chefs and Suppliers in support of deployed RAF units worldwide. List of Royal Air Force aircraft squadrons Webpage of present 504 Squadron at RAF website Aviation art depicting Sgt. Ray Holmes of No.504 Squadron in combat in 1940. 504 Squadron RAuxAF website Squadron histories for Nos. 500–520 sqn at rafweb Nos. 500–510 Squadron Aircraft & Markings
An obituary is a news article that reports the recent death of a person along with an account of the person's life and information about the upcoming funeral. In large cities and larger newspapers, obituaries are written only for people considered significant. In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information. Two types of paid advertisements are related to obituaries. One, known as a death notice, omits most biographical details and may be a required public notice under some circumstances; the other type, a paid memorial advertisement, is written by family members or friends with assistance from a funeral home. Both types of paid advertisements are run as classified advertisements. A premature obituary is a false reporting of the death of a person, still alive.
It may occur due to unexpected survival of someone, close to death. Other reasons for such publication might be miscommunication between newspapers, family members, the funeral home resulting in embarrassment for everyone involved. Irish author Brendan Behan said that there is no such thing as bad publicity except dying in a toilet. In this regard, some people will seek to have an unsuspecting newspaper editor publish a premature death notice or obituary as a malicious hoax to gain revenge on the "deceased". To that end, nearly all newspapers now have policies requiring that death notices come from a reliable source, though this has not stopped some pranksters such as Alan Abel. Many news organisations have pre-written obituaries on file for notable individuals who are still living, allowing detailed and lengthy obituaries to appear quickly after their death; the Los Angeles Times' obituary of Elizabeth Taylor, for example, was written in 1999 after three months of research often updated before the actress' 2011 death.
Sometimes the prewritten obituary's subject outlives its author. Obituaries are a notable feature of The Economist, which publishes one full-page obituary per week, reflecting on the subject's life and influence on world history. Past subjects have ranged from Ray Charles to Uday Hussein; the British Medical Journal encourages doctors to write their own obituaries for publication after their death. Pan Books publishes a series called The Daily Telegraph Book of Obituaries, which are anthologies of obituaries under a common theme, such as military obituaries, sports obituaries and adventurers, rogues, eccentric lives, etc. For numerous summer seasons, CBC Radio One has run The Late Show, a radio documentary series which presents extended obituaries of interesting Canadians. Death Eulogy Funeral Lists of deaths by year Lists of people by cause of death Baranick, Alana. Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers. Oak Park: Marion Street Press. ISBN 1-933338-02-4. Johnson, Marilyn; the Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, And The Perverse Pleasure of Obituaries.
New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-075876-7. Massingberd, Hugh. Daydream Believer: Confessions of a Hero-Worshipper. London: Macmillan. P. 245. ISBN 0-333-69287-X. Obituary examples - Sympathies.co Obituary examples Newspaper Obituaries - ObituariesHelp.org Newspaper Obituaries Obituaries Research Guide Tips for finding obituaries
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university; the university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The two'ancient universities' share many common features and are referred to jointly as'Oxbridge'; the history and influence of the University of Cambridge has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 constituent Colleges and over 100 academic departments organised into six schools. Cambridge University Press, a department of the university, is the world's oldest publishing house and the second-largest university press in the world; the university operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden.
Cambridge's libraries hold a total of around 15 million books, eight million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2018, the university had a total income of £1.965 billion, of which £515.5 million was from research grants and contracts. In the financial year ending 2017, the central university and colleges had combined net assets of around £11.8 billion, the largest of any university in the country. However, the true extent of Cambridge's wealth is much higher as many colleges hold their historic main sites, which date as far back as the 13th century, at depreceated valuations. Furthermore, many of the wealthiest colleges do not account for “heritage assets” such as works of art, libraries or artefacts, whose value many college accounts describe as “immaterial”; the university is linked with the development of the high-tech business cluster known as'Silicon Fen'. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the'golden triangle' of English universities and Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre.
As of 2018, Cambridge is the top-ranked university in the United Kingdom according to all major league tables. As of September 2017, Cambridge is ranked the world's second best university by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, is ranked 3rd worldwide by Academic Ranking of World Universities, 6th by QS, 7th by US News. According to the Times Higher Education ranking, no other institution in the world ranks in the top 10 for as many subjects; the university has educated many notable alumni, including eminent mathematicians, politicians, philosophers, writers and foreign Heads of State. As of March 2019, 118 Nobel Laureates, 11 Fields Medalists, 7 Turing Award winners and 15 British Prime Ministers have been affiliated with Cambridge as students, faculty or research staff. By the late 12th century, the Cambridge area had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation, due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely. However, it was an incident at Oxford, most to have led to the establishment of the university: two Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman, without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities, who would take precedence in such a case, but were at that time in conflict with King John.
The University of Oxford went into suspension in protest, most scholars moved to cities such as Paris and Cambridge. After the University of Oxford reformed several years enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of the new university. In order to claim precedence, it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from King Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members and an exemption from some taxes. A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach "everywhere in Christendom". After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290, confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318, it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses; the colleges at the University of Cambridge were an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself; the colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars.
There were institutions without endowments, called hostels. The hostels were absorbed by the colleges over the centuries, but they have left some traces, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane. Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse, Cambridge's first college, in 1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries, but colleges continued to be established until modern times, although there was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800; the most established college is Robinson, built in the late 1970s. However, Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010, making it the newest full college. In medieval times, many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders, were associated with chapels or abbeys; the colleges' focus changed in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. King Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching "scholastic philosophy".
In response, colleges changed