Leofric, Earl of Mercia
Leofric was an Earl of Mercia. He founded monasteries at Much Wenlock. Leofric is most remembered as the husband of Lady Godiva. Leofric was the son of Leofwine, Ealdorman of the Hwicce, who witnessed a charter in 997 for King Æthelred II. Leofric had three brothers: Northman and Godwine, it is that Northman is the same as Northman Miles to whom King Æthelred II granted the village of Twywell in Northamptonshire in 1013. Northman, according to the Chronicle of Crowland Abbey, the reliability of, doubted by historians, says he was a retainer of Eadric Streona, the Earl of Mercia, it adds that Northman had been killed upon Cnut's orders along with Eadric and others for this reason. Cnut "made Leofric ealdorman in place of his brother Northman, afterwards held him in great affection."Becoming Earl of Mercia, which occurred at some date previous to 1032, made him one of the most powerful men in the land, second only to the ambitious Earl Godwin of Wessex, among the mighty earls. Leofric may have had some connection by marriage to Ælfgifu of Northampton, the first wife of Cnut, which might help to explain why he was the chief supporter of her son Harold Harefoot against Harthacnut, Cnut's son by Emma of Normandy, when Cnut died in 1035.
However, Harold died in 1040 and was succeeded by his brother Harthacnut, who made himself unpopular by implementing heavy taxation during his short reign. Two of his tax-collectors were killed at Worcester by angry locals; the king was so enraged by this that in 1041 he ordered Leofric and his other earls to plunder and burn the city, lay waste to the surrounding area. This command must have sorely tested Leofric, since Worcester was the cathedral city of the Hwicce, his people; when Harthacnut died in 1042, he was succeeded by his half-brother Edward the Confessor. Leofric loyally supported Edward when Edward came under threat at Gloucester, from Earl Godwin, in 1051. Leofric and Earl Siward of Northumbria gathered a great army to meet that of Godwin, his advisors counseled Edward that battle would be folly, since there would be important members of the nobility on both sides. So in the end the issue was resolved by less bloody means: in accordance with Leofric's advice the settlement of the dispute was referred to the Witenagemot, Earl Godwin and his family were outlawed for a time.
Earl Leofric's power was at its height. But in 1055 Leofric's own son Ælfgar was outlawed, "without any fault", says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Ælfgar raised an army in Ireland and Wales and brought it to Hereford, where he clashed with the army of Earl Ralph of Herefordshire and damaged the town. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle wryly comments "And when they had done most harm, it was decided to reinstate Earl Ælfgar". Leofric died in 1057 at his estate at Kings Bromley in Staffordshire. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, he died on 30 September, but the chronicler of Worcester gives the date as 31 August. Both agree that he was buried in Coventry at St Mary's Cathedral. Leofric was succeeded by his son Ælfgar as earl. Earl Leofric and Godiva were noted for great generosity to religious houses. In 1043 he endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry. John of Worcester tells us that "He and his wife, the noble Countess Godgifu, a worshipper of God and devout lover of St Mary ever-virgin, built the monastery there from the foundations out of their own patrimony, endowed it adequately with lands and made it so rich in various ornaments that in no monastery in England might be found the abundance of gold, silver and precious stones, at that time in its possession."In the 1050s Leofric and Godiva appear jointly as benefactors in a document granting land to the monastery of St Mary and the endowment of the minster at Stow St Mary, Lincolnshire.
They are commemorated as benefactors of other monasteries as well, at Leominster, Much Wenlock, Evesham. Apart from Northman, killed in 1017, Leofric had at least two other brothers: Edwin was killed in battle by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in 1039, Godwine died some time before 1057. Leofric may have married more than once, his famous wife Godiva survived him and may have been a second or wife. Since there is some question about the date of marriage for Leofric and Godgifu, it is not clear whether she was the mother of Ælfgar, Leofric's only known child. If Godiva was married to Earl Leofric than about 1010, she could not have been the mother of Ælfgar. Leofric used a double-headed eagle as his personal emblem, this has been adopted by various units of the British Army as a symbol for Mercia. Historians disagree extensively on the character of Leofric. Folklore tends to depict him as an unfeeling overlord who imposed over-taxation, whereas many historians object to this, consider it as part of the Lady Godiva myth.
There is great disagreement over his reputation as a military leader: some historians believe Leofric to have been weak in this respect, but others go as far as to give him the title'Hammer of the Welsh'. On screen, Leofric was portrayed by Roy Travers in the British silent short Lady Godiva, George Nader in the film Lady Godiva of Coventry, Tony Steedman in the BBC TV series Hereward the Wake, he may have inspired "The Last Kingdom" character, "Leofric". Baxter, Stephen; the Earls of Mercia: Lordship and Power in Late Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-923098-3. Leofric 49 at Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England
Wulfric, called Wulfric Spot or Spott, was an Anglo-Saxon nobleman. His will is an important document from the reign of King Æthelred the Unready. Wulfric was a patron of the Burton Abbey, around which the modern town of Burton on Trent grew up, may have refounded the Benedictine monastery there, he was one of the three known children of the noblewoman Wulfrun. Wulfric's family was linked with the Wulfsige the Black to whom King Edmund granted land in Staffordshire; as much of Wulfric the Black's estate was granted to Wolverhampton by Wulfrun, other parts, including lands around modern Abbots Bromley passed to Wulfric, it is possible that Wulfric the Black was this Wulfric's maternal grandfather. The family was related to the Wulfgeat, a witness to charters in the reign of King Edgar and received lands in Staffordshire and Gloucestershire from the king. Of Wulfric's father and his paternal kin nothing is known. Wulfric's brother was Ælfhelm, Ealdorman of York or Northumbria from 993 until he was killed in 1006.
Ælfhelm was the father of King Cnut's first wife Ælfgifu of Northampton, mother of Svein and King Harold Harefoot. He had two sons and Ufegeat, who were blinded when he was killed, their sister was Ælfthryth whose daughter Ealdgyth married Morcar, killed in 1015 along with his brother Sigeferth on the orders of King Æthelred. Ælfthryth appears to have died. Wulfric's byname, while it may have the same sense as in modern English, that it referred to some form of mark on his face, could indicate a short, fat person, it first appeared in the 13th century. The Burton Abbey chronicle describes Wulfric as consul ac comes Merciorum, consul and'count' of the Mercians suggesting that he was an ealdorman. More contemporary sources disagree and he is described as a minister, a thegn, although his position may have been more like that of a hold in more Scandinavianised districts of England, somewhere between that of a thegn and an ealdorman. Little is known of Wulfric's life, but his will, approved while he was still living or shortly after his death by King Æthelred, shows him to have been exceptionally wealthy.
He owned lands in ten counties of the English midlands, as well as further lands in the unshired lands between the River Ribble and the River Mersey. The lands which he had owned "between Ribble and Mersey" alone were assessed as having been worth 145 pounds in 1066 by the compilers of the Domesday Book. Wulfric appears to have had none who survived him, as his will does not name any, his daughter, whose name is unknown, was left lands around Tamworth. Sawyer notes that Wulfric had special rights over these lands, "not to be subject to any service nor to any man born", rights which his daughter inherited, his god-daughter, his brother and niece were beneficiaries of his will. King Æthelred, in line with custom, received lands, monies and horses. Large sums of money were given to the archbishops, bishops and abbesses of England. A monastery at Tamworth received land; the principal beneficiary of Wulfric's will, was the abbey of Byrtun, modern Burton on Trent. There was said to have been a monastic foundation at Burton in earlier times, with which the 7th-century Saint Modwenna is associated.
This appears, along with many others, to have disappeared in the Viking Age, the monastery there was reestablished by Wulfric. The new abbey was followed the Rule of Saint Benedict. According to the cartulary of Burton, which may not be reliable, Wulfric left the abbey all of the lands he inherited from his father; as well as the substantial lands he left to Burton in his will, like many noble founders of monasteries, had written into it other clauses to ensure that the new abbey, to pray for his soul and for that of his mother, would be provided with powerful friends. He left additional lands to Ælfric of Abingdon, the Archbishop of Canterbury, with the understanding that Ælfric would be a friend and ally to the monks. Wulfric sought to involve the king in his new foundation, giving over his proprietarial rights to Æthelred, who in turn agreed that he would be lord and protector of Burton Abbey. Although some late sources places Wulfric's death as late as 1010, John of Worcester's chronicle has been read as suggesting that he died at the battle of Ringmere in that year, he died between 1002, when his will was begun, 1004, when King Æthelred issued his charter approving it.
He was buried in the cloister of Burton alongside his wife. In times Burton Abbey marked the occasion of his death on 22 October. Wulfric 52 at Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food was a United Kingdom government department created by the Board of Agriculture Act 1889 and at that time called the Board of Agriculture, from 1903 the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, from 1919 the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. It attained its final name in 1955 with the addition of responsibilities for the British food industry to the existing responsibilities for agriculture and the fishing industry, a name that lasted until the Ministry was dissolved in 2002, at which point its responsibilities had been merged into the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs. On its renaming as the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in 1955, it was responsible for agriculture and food; until the Food Standards Agency was created, it was responsible for both food production and food safety, seen by some to give rise to a conflict of interest. MAFF was criticised for its handling of the outbreak of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2001.
It was the last Ministry of the United Kingdom government not to be a Department of State. It was merged with the part of the Department for Environment and the Regions that dealt with the environment to create a new government department, the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs in 2001. MAFF was formally dissolved on 27 March 2002, when the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Order 2002 came into force; the Board of Agriculture, which become the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, was established under the Board of Agriculture Act 1889. It was preceded, however, by an earlier Board of Agriculture, founded by Royal Charter on 23 August 1793 as the Board or Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture and Internal Improvement, which lasted until it was dissolved in June 1822. Though its founders hoped the board would become a department of state it was never more than a private society which spread useful knowledge and encouraged improvements in farming. A significant predecessor of the second Board of Agriculture was the Tithe Commission, set up in 1841 under the Tithe Act 1836 and amalgamated with the Enclosure Commissioners and the Copyhold Commissioners to become the Lord Commissioners for England and Wales under the Settled Land Act 1882, responsible to the Home Secretary, which became the Land Department of the new Board of Agriculture in 1889.
Another predecessor was the Cattle Plague Department, set up by the Home Office to deal with an outbreak of rinderpest in London in June 1865. This was renamed the Veterinary Department of the Privy Council in 1869 and became part of the new Board of Agriculture in 1889; the Board of Agriculture Act 1889, passed on 12 August, established the Board of Agriculture and combined all Government responsibilities for agricultural matters in one department. The first President of the new Board was the Rt. Hon. Henry Chaplin, there were 90 members of staff and the first annual estimate was for £55,000; the following year, the Board took responsibility for the Ordnance Survey and in 1903, it took responsibility for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. In 1903, the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries Act 1903 was passed to transfer certain powers and duties relating to the fishing industry from the Board of Trade to what became the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries. In 1904, the Board appointed honorary agricultural correspondents throughout the country to liaise with the Board on Regional Matters and to give advice to farmers.
In 1911, responsibility for all agricultural matters in Scotland except animal health was transferred to a newly created Board of Agriculture for Scotland. Meanwhile, the country was becoming dependent on imported food. By 1914, the output of home-grown food only met one-third of the country's needs. War was declared on 4 August 1914. Good harvests and little interruption to imports of food during the first two years of meant that there were no shortages of food; the agricultural situation changed for the worse with a poor crop harvest, failure of the potato crop, declining harvest abroad and increased shipping losses. In 1916, Rowland Prothero was appointed President of the Board of Agriculture with a seat in the Cabinet and with the aim of stimulating food production. In December 1916, a Ministry of Food was created under the New Ministries & Secretaries Act 1916 and Lord Devonport appointed Food Controller to regulate the supply and consumption of food and to encourage food production. A Food Production Department was established by the Board of Agriculture in 1917 to organise and distribute agricultural inputs, such as labour, feed and machinery, increase output of crops.
Provision of labour provided considerable difficulty as many men working on farms had enlisted but co-operation between the War Office and the Board enabled men to be released to help with spring cultivation and harvest. In 1917, the Women's Land Army was created to provide substitutes for men called up to the forces; the Corn Production Act 1917 guaranteed minimum prices for wheat and oats, specified a minimum wage for agricultural workers and established the Agricultural Wages Board, to ensure stability for farmers and a share of this stability for agricultural workers. The aim was to reduce dependence on imports. In June 1917, Lord Devonport resigned as Food Controller to be replaced by Lord Rhondda, who introduced compulsory rationing of meat and butter in early 1918. By 1918, there were controls over all aspects of farming.
Burton upon Trent
Burton upon Trent known as Burton-on-Trent or Burton, is an industrial town on the River Trent in East Staffordshire, close to the border with Derbyshire. In 2011, it had a population of 72,299; the demonym for residents of the town is'Burtonian'. Burton is 13 miles 11 miles from Derby and 26 miles from Leicester. Burton is known for brewing; the town grew up around Burton Abbey. Burton Bridge was the site of two battles, in 1322 when Edward II defeated the rebel Earl of Lancaster and 1643 when royalists captured the town during the First English Civil War. William Lord Paget and his descendants were responsible for extending the manor house within the abbey grounds and facilitating the extension of the River Trent Navigation to Burton. Burton grew into a busy market town by the early modern period; the town is served by Burton-on-Trent railway station. The town was the start and terminus of the now defunct South Staffordshire Line which linked it to Lichfield, Walsall and Stourbridge. Ryknild Street, a Roman road, ran north-east through what became the parish of Burton, linking camps at Letocetum, near Lichfield, Derventio, near Derby.
Between 666 and 669 Wilfrid, the pro-Roman bishop of York, exercised episcopal functions in Mercia, whose Christian king, gave him land in various places, on which he established monasteries. Burton was certainly one of the sites: the name Andresey given to an island in the river Trent near the parish church means "Andrew's isle" and refers to a church there dedicated to St Andrew; the island is associated with Modwenna, an Irish abbess. It is that any surviving religious house would have been destroyed during the Danish incursion into the area in 874. Place names indicate Scandinavian influence, several personal names of Scandinavian origin were still used in the area in the early 12th century. In 1003 a Benedictine abbey was established on a new site on the west bank of the Trent at Burton by Wulfric Spott, a thegn, he is known to have been buried alongside his wife. Burton Abbey was mentioned in Domesday book, where it was said to control lands in Appleby Magna in Leicestershire, Mickleover, Stapenhill, Coton in the Elms and Ticknall, all in Derbyshire.
The monastery was the most important in Staffordshire and by the 1530s had the highest revenue. It is known that there were frequent Royal visits to the abbey, including those by William I, Henry II and Edward I. In the 12th and 13th centuries streets were laid out off the west side of High Street, the earliest being New Street, which stretched from the abbey gates towards the line of Ryknild Street. Horninglow Street at the north end of High Street was part of a major east-west route using the bridge over the river. A royal charter was granted on 12 April 1200 by King John to the Abbot to hold a market in Burton every Thursday; this charter was renewed by King Henry III and King Edward IV. There were four annual fairs for trade in horses and produce: on Candlemas Day, 5 April, Holy Thursday, 29 October although as in other British towns this practice has now died out. While Burton's great bridge over the Trent was in poor repair by the early 16th century it served as "a comen passage to and fro many countries to the grett releff and comfort of travellyng people", according to the abbot.
The bridge was the site of two battles, first in 1322 when Edward II defeated the rebel Earl of Lancaster and in 1643 when the Royalists captured the town during the First English Civil War. Under Henry VIII the abbey was dissolved in 1539, to be refounded in 1541 as a collegiate church for a dean and four prebendaries, it was again granted to Sir William Paget. Paget began planning to expand the Manor House within the abbey precincts, known to have existed since at least 1514, into a grand mansion. To provide the materials for this project, the old abbey buildings were to be cannibalised. There were major alterations to the house over the next three centuries. Sir William died in 1563. After his death, the Paget family was implicated in Catholic plots against Queen Elizabeth I, the manor house along with most of the family estates were confiscated, with the Manor House leased to Richard Almond in 1612. Parts of the abbey church may have been retained for parish use, however these were demolished and replaced by a new church in 1719–1726.
Some fragments remain of the chapter house nearby but little of the rest remains either. Two buildings were converted to residential use—a part known as the Manor House, the former Infirmary; the Infirmary became known as The Abbey, is now an inn. The Paget family's lands and title were restored to them by James I in 1602 and they owned considerable estates around Burton for over 150 years. In 1699, William Lord Paget obtained an Act of Parliament to extend navigation on the River Trent from Nottingham up to Burton, but nothing was done. In 1711, Lord Paget leased his rights to George Hayne, who in 1712 opened the River Trent Navigation and constructed a wharf and other buildings in the precinct of the old abbey; this led to the development of Burton as the major town for brewing and exporting beer, as it allowed Burton beer to be shipped to Hull, on to the Baltic Sea and Prussia, as well as to London, where it was being sold in 1712. A number of breweries opened in the second half of the 18th century.
The Napoleonic blockade badly affected overseas trade, leading to some consolidation and a redirection of the trade to London and Lancashire via canals. When Burton brewers succeeded in replicating the pal
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Paget High School
Paget High School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form located in Branston in the English county of Staffordshire. It is a community school administered by Staffordshire County Council. Paget High School offers GCSEs, BTECs and Cambridge Technicals as programmes of study for pupils, while students in the sixth form have the option to study from a range of A-levels and further BTECs; the school operates a school farm on its grounds, since 2008 has established a community orchard that provides fruit to the surrounding community. The farm has: rabbits, guinea pigs, turkeys, ferrets and goats. Official website
Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It borders with Cheshire to the northwest and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the southeast, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south, Shropshire to the west; the largest city in Staffordshire is Stoke-on-Trent, administered separately from the rest of the county as an independent unitary authority. Lichfield has city status, although this is a smaller cathedral city. Major towns include Stafford, Burton upon Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Tamworth. Smaller towns include Stone, Uttoxeter, Burntwood/Chasetown, Eccleshall and the large villages of Wombourne, Tutbury, Barton-under-Needwood and Abbots Bromley. Cannock Chase AONB is within the county as well as parts of the National Forest and the Peak District national park. Wolverhampton, West Bromwich and Smethwick are within the historic county boundaries of Staffordshire, but since 1974 have been part of the West Midlands county. Apart from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire is divided into the districts of Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Newcastle-under-Lyme, South Staffordshire, Staffordshire Moorlands, Tamworth.
Staffordshire was divided into five hundreds: Cuttlestone, Pirehill and Totmonslow. The historic boundaries of Staffordshire cover much of what is now the metropolitan county of West Midlands. An administrative county of Staffordshire was set up in 1889 under the Local Government Act 1888 covering the county except the county boroughs of Wolverhampton and West Bromwich in the south, Hanley in the north; the Act saw the towns of Tamworth and Burton upon Trent united in Staffordshire. In 1553 Queen Mary made Lichfield a county corporate, meaning it was administered separately from the rest of Staffordshire, it remained so until 1888. Handsworth and Perry Barr became part of the county borough of Birmingham in the early 20th century, thus associated with Warwickshire. Burton, in the east of the county, became a county borough in 1901, was followed by Smethwick, another town in the Black Country in 1907. In 1910 the six towns of the Staffordshire Potteries, including Hanley, became the single county borough of Stoke-on-Trent.
A significant boundary change occurred in 1926 when the east of Sedgley was transferred to Worcestershire to allow the construction of the new Priory Estate on land purchased by Dudley County Borough council. A major reorganisation in the Black Country in 1966, under the recommendation of the Local Government Commission for England led to the creation of an area of contiguous county boroughs; the County Borough of Warley was formed by the merger of the county borough of Smethwick and municipal borough of Rowley Regis with the Worcestershire borough of Oldbury: the resulting county borough was associated with Worcestershire. Meanwhile, the county borough of Dudley a detached part of Worcestershire and became associated with Staffordshire instead; this reorganisation led to the administrative county of Staffordshire having a thin protrusion passing between the county boroughs and Shropshire, to the west, to form a short border with Worcestershire. Under the Local Government Act 1972, on 1 April 1974 the county boroughs of the Black Country and the Aldridge-Brownhills Urban District of Staffordshire became, along with Birmingham and Coventry and other districts, a new metropolitan county of West Midlands.
County boroughs were abolished, with Stoke becoming a non-metropolitan district in Staffordshire, Burton forming an unparished area in the district of East Staffordshire. On 1 April 1997, under a recommendation of the Banham Commission, Stoke-on-Trent became a unitary authority independent of Staffordshire once more. In July 2009 the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold found in Britain was discovered in a field near Lichfield; the artefacts, known as The Staffordshire Hoard have tentatively been dated to the 7th or 8th centuries, placing the origin of the items in the time of the Kingdom of Mercia. This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of the non-metropolitan county of Staffordshire at current basic prices published by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British pounds sterling; some nationally and internationally known companies have their base in Staffordshire. They include the Britannia Building Society, based in Leek. JCB is based in Rocester near Uttoxeter and Bet365, based in Stoke-on-Trent.
The theme park Alton Towers is in the Staffordshire Moorlands and several of the world's largest pottery manufacturers are based in Stoke-on-Trent. Staffordshire has a comprehensive system with eight independent schools. Most secondary schools are from 11–16 or 18, but two in Staffordshire Moorlands and South Staffordshire are from 13–18. Resources are shared. There are two universities in the county, Keele University in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire University, which has campuses in Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and Shrewsbury; the modern county of Staffordshire has three professional football clubs – Stoke City and Port Vale, both from Stoke-on-Trent, Burton Albion, who play in Burton upon Trent. Stoke City, one of the oldest professional football clubs in existence, were founded in 1863 and played at the Victoria Ground for 119 years from 1878 until their relocation to the Britannia Stadium in 1997, they were among the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888. By the late 1930s, they were establi