Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands; the unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government, based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover; the early years of the unified kingdom were marked by Jacobite risings which ended in defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746.
In 1763, victory in the Seven Years' War led to the dominance of the British Empire, to become the foremost global power for over a century and grew to become the largest empire in history. The Kingdom of Great Britain was replaced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801 with the Acts of Union 1800; the name Britain descends from the Latin name for the island of Great Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, the land of the Britons via the Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The term Great Britain was first used in 1474; the use of the word "Great" before "Britain" originates in the French language, which uses Bretagne for both Britain and Brittany. French therefore distinguishes between the two by calling Britain la Grande Bretagne, a distinction, transferred into English; the Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union state that England and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", as such "Great Britain" was the official name of the state, as well as being used in titles such as "Parliament of Great Britain".
Both the Acts and the Treaty describe the country as "One Kingdom" and a "United Kingdom", which has led some much publications into the error of treating the "United Kingdom" as a name before it came into being in 1801. The websites of the Scottish Parliament, the BBC, others, including the Historical Association, refer to the state created on 1 May 1707 as the United Kingdom of Great Britain; the term United Kingdom was sometimes used during the 18th century to describe the state, but was not its name. The kingdoms of England and Scotland, both in existence from the 9th century, were separate states until 1707. However, they had come into a personal union in 1603, when James VI of Scotland became king of England under the name of James I; this Union of the Crowns under the House of Stuart meant that the whole of the island of Great Britain was now ruled by a single monarch, who by virtue of holding the English crown ruled over the Kingdom of Ireland. Each of the three kingdoms maintained laws.
Various smaller islands were in the king's domain, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This disposition changed when the Acts of Union 1707 came into force, with a single unified Crown of Great Britain and a single unified parliament. Ireland remained formally separate, with its own parliament, until the Acts of Union 1800; the Union of 1707 provided for a Protestant-only succession to the throne in accordance with the English Act of Settlement of 1701. The Act of Settlement required that the heir to the English throne be a descendant of the Electress Sophia of Hanover and not be a Catholic. Legislative power was vested in the Parliament of Great Britain, which replaced both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. In practice it was a continuation of the English parliament, sitting at the same location in Westminster, expanded to include representation from Scotland; as with the former Parliament of England and the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of Great Britain was formally constituted of three elements: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Crown.
The right of the English peerage to sit in the House of Lords remained unchanged, while the disproportionately large Scottish peerage was permitted to send only 16 representative peers, elected from amongst their number for the life of each parliament. The members of the former English House of Commons continued as members of the British House of Commons, but as a reflection of the relative tax bases of the two countries the number of Scottish representatives was reduced to 45. Newly created peers in the Peerage of Great Britain were given the automatic right to sit in the Lords. Despite the end of a separate parliament for Scotland, it retained its own laws and system of courts, As its own established Presbyterian Church, control over its own schools; the social structure was hierarchical, the same elite remain in control after 1707. Scotland continued to have its own excellent universities, with the strong intellectual community in Edinburgh, The Scottish Enlightenment had a major impact on British and European thinking.
As a result of Poynings' Law of 1495, the Parliament of Ireland was subordinate to the Parliament of England, after 1707 to the Parliament of Great Britain. The Westminster parliament's Declaratory Act 1719 (also called the Dependency of Ireland
Cornwall is a county in South West England in the United Kingdom. The county is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar which forms most of the border between them. Cornwall forms the westernmost part of the South West Peninsula of the island of Great Britain; the furthest southwestern point of Great Britain is Land's End. Cornwall has a population of 563,600 and covers an area of 3,563 km2; the county has been administered since 2009 by Cornwall Council. The ceremonial county of Cornwall includes the Isles of Scilly, which are administered separately; the administrative centre of Cornwall, its only city, is Truro. Cornwall is the homeland of the Cornish people and the cultural and ethnic origin of the Cornish diaspora, it retains a distinct cultural identity that reflects its history, is recognised as one of the Celtic nations. It was a Brythonic kingdom and subsequently a royal duchy; the Cornish nationalist movement contests the present constitutional status of Cornwall and seeks greater autonomy within the United Kingdom in the form of a devolved legislative Cornish Assembly with powers similar to those in Wales and Scotland.
In 2014, Cornish people were granted minority status under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, giving them recognition as a distinct ethnic group. First inhabited in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods, Cornwall continued to be occupied by Neolithic and Bronze Age peoples, by Brythons with strong ethnic, linguistic and cultural links to Wales and Brittany the latter of, settled by Britons from the region. Mining in Cornwall and Devon in the south-west of England began in the early Bronze Age. Few Roman remains have been found in Cornwall, there is little evidence that the Romans settled or had much military presence there. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Cornwall was a part of the Brittonic kingdom of Dumnonia, ruled by chieftains of the Cornovii who may have included figures regarded as semi-historical or legendary, such as King Mark of Cornwall and King Arthur, evidenced by folklore traditions derived from the Historia Regum Britanniae.
The Cornovii division of the Dumnonii tribe were separated from their fellow Brythons of Wales after the Battle of Deorham in 577 AD, came into conflict with the expanding English kingdom of Wessex. The regions of Dumnonia outside of Cornwall had been annexed by the English by 838 AD. King Athelstan in 936 AD set the boundary between the English and Cornish at the high water mark of the eastern bank of the River Tamar. From the early Middle Ages and culture were shared by Brythons trading across both sides of the Channel, resulting in the corresponding high medieval Breton kingdoms of Domnonée and Cornouaille and the Celtic Christianity common to both areas. Tin mining was important in the Cornish economy. In the mid-19th century, the tin and copper mines entered a period of decline. Subsequently, china clay extraction became more important, metal mining had ended by the 1990s. Traditionally and agriculture were the other important sectors of the economy. Railways led to a growth of tourism in the 20th century.
Cornwall is noted for coastal scenery. A large part of the Cornubian batholith is within Cornwall; the north coast has many cliffs. The area is noted for its wild moorland landscapes, its long and varied coastline, its attractive villages, its many place-names derived from the Cornish language, its mild climate. Extensive stretches of Cornwall's coastline, Bodmin Moor, are protected as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the modern English name Cornwall is a compound of two ancient demonyms coming from two different language groups: Corn- originates from the Brythonic tribe, the Cornovii. The Celtic word "kernou" is cognate with the English word "horn". -wall derives from the Old English exonym walh, meaning "foreigner" or "Roman". In the Cornish language, Cornwall is known as Kernow which stems from a similar linguistic background; the present human history of Cornwall begins with the reoccupation of Britain after the last Ice Age. The area now known as Cornwall was first inhabited in the Mesolithic periods.
It continued to be occupied by Neolithic and Bronze Age people. According to John T. Koch and others, Cornwall in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-networked culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age, in modern-day Ireland, Wales, France and Portugal. During the British Iron Age, like all of Britain, was inhabited by a Celtic people known as the Britons with distinctive cultural relations to neighbouring Brittany; the Common Brittonic spoken at the time developed into several distinct tongues, including Cornish, Breton and Pictish. The first account of Cornwall comes from the 1st-century BC Sicilian Greek historian Diodorus Siculus quoting or paraphrasing the 4th-century BCE geographer P
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who
Wulfhere of Mercia
Wulfhere or Wulfar was King of Mercia from 658 until 675 AD. He was the first Christian king of all of Mercia, though it is not known when or how he converted from Anglo-Saxon paganism, his accession marked the end of Oswiu of Northumbria's overlordship of southern England, Wulfhere extended his influence over much of that region. His campaigns against the West Saxons led to Mercian control of much of the Thames valley, he conquered the Isle of Wight and the Meon valley and gave them to King Æthelwealh of the South Saxons. He had influence in Surrey and Kent, he married the daughter of King Eorcenberht of Kent. Wulfhere's father, was killed in 655 at the Battle of Winwaed, fighting against Oswiu of Northumbria. Penda's son Peada was murdered six months later. Wulfhere came to the throne when Mercian nobles organized a revolt against Northumbrian rule in 658 and drove out Oswiu's governors. By 670, when Oswiu died, Wulfhere was the most powerful king in southern Britain, he was the overlord of Britain south of the Humber from the early 660s, although not overlord of Northumbria as his father had been.
In 674, he was defeated. He died of disease, in 675. Wulfhere was succeeded as King of Mercia by Æthelred. Stephen of Ripon's Life of Wilfrid describes Wulfhere as "a man of proud mind, insatiable will". England in AD 600 was ruled entirely by the Anglo-Saxon peoples who had come to Britain from northwestern Europe over the previous 200 years; the monk Bede, writing in about AD 731, considered the Mercians to be descended from the Angles, one of the invading groups. Little is known about the origins of the kingdom of Mercia, in what is now the English Midlands, but according to genealogies preserved in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Anglian collection the early kings were descended from Icel; the earliest Mercian king about whom definite historical information has survived is Penda of Mercia, Wulfhere's father. According to Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, a history of the English church, there were seven early Anglo-Saxon rulers who held imperium, or overlordship, over the other kingdoms.
The fifth of these was Edwin of Northumbria, killed at the Battle of Hatfield Chase by a combined force including Cadwallon, a British king of Gwynedd and Penda. At the time of this victory, Penda was not yet king of Mercia, his children included two future kings of Mercia: Æthelred. After Edwin's death, Northumbria fell apart into its two constituent kingdoms. Within a year Oswald killed Cadwallon and reunited the kingdoms, subsequently re-established Northumbrian hegemony over the south of England. However, on 5 August 642, Penda killed Oswald at the Battle of Maserfield at Oswestry in the northwest midlands. Penda is not recorded as overlord of the other southern Anglo-Saxon kings, but he became the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kings after he defeated Oswald. On Oswald's death, Northumbria was divided again: Oswald's son Oswiu succeeded to the throne of Bernicia, Osric's son Oswine to Deira, the southern of the two kingdoms; the main source for this period is Bede's History, completed in about 731.
Despite its focus on the history of the church, this work provides valuable information about the early pagan kingdoms. For other kingdoms than his native Northumbria, such as Wessex and Kent, Bede had an informant within the ecclesiastical establishment who supplied him with additional information; this does not seem to have been the case with Mercia, about which Bede is less informative than about other kingdoms. Further sources for this period include the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, compiled at the end of the 9th century in Wessex; the Chronicle's anonymous scribe appears to have incorporated much information recorded in earlier periods. Wulfhere was the son of Penda of Mercia. Penda's queen, Cynewise, is named by Bede; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle gives Penda's age as fifty in 626, credits him with a thirty-year reign, but this would put Penda at eighty years old at the time of his death, thought unlikely as two of his sons are recorded as being young when he was killed. It is thought at least as that Penda was 50 years old at his death, rather than at his accession.
Wulfhere's date of birth is unknown, but Bede describes him as a youth at the time of his accession in 658, so it is he was in his middle teens at that time. Nothing is known of Wulfhere's childhood, he had two brothers, Peada and Æthelred, two sisters and Cyneswith. He married Eormenhild of Kent. Another possible child is Berhtwald, a subking, recorded as a nephew of Æthelred, a third child, Werburh, is recorded in an 11th-century manuscript as a daughter of Wulfhere. An 11th-century history of St. Peter's Monastery in Gloucester names two other women and Eafe, as queens of Wulfhere, but neither claim is plausible. In 655 Penda besieged Oswiu of Northumbria at Iudeu, the location of, unknown but which may have been Stirlin
Saint Boniface, born Winfrid in the Devon town of Crediton, was a leading figure in the Anglo-Saxon mission to the Germanic parts of the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. He organized Christianity in many parts of Germania and was made archbishop of Mainz by Pope Gregory III, he was martyred in Frisia in 754, along with 52 others, his remains were returned to Fulda, where they rest in a sarcophagus which became a site of pilgrimage. Boniface's life and death as well as his work became known, there being a wealth of material available—a number of vitae the near-contemporary Vita Bonifatii auctore Willibaldi, legal documents some sermons, above all his correspondence, he became the patron saint of Germania, known as the "Apostle of the Germans". Norman F. Cantor notes the three roles Boniface played that made him "one of the outstanding creators of the first Europe, as the apostle of Germania, the reformer of the Frankish church, the chief fomentor of the alliance between the papacy and the Carolingian family."
Through his efforts to reorganize and regulate the church of the Franks, he helped shape Western Christianity, many of the dioceses he proposed remain today. After his martyrdom, he was hailed as a saint in Fulda and other areas in Germania and in England, he is still venerated today by German Catholics. Boniface is celebrated as a missionary; the earliest Bonifacian vita, Willibald's, does not mention his place of birth but says that at an early age he attended a monastery ruled by Abbot Wulfhard in escancastre, or Examchester, which seems to denote Exeter, may have been one of many monasteriola built by local landowners and churchmen. This monastery is believed to have occupied the site of the Church of St Mary Major in the City of Exeter, demolished in 1971, next to, built Exeter Cathedral. Tradition places his birth at Crediton, but the earliest mention of Crediton in connection to Boniface is from the early fourteenth century, in John Grandisson's Legenda Sanctorum: The Proper Lessons for Saints' Days according to the use of Exeter.
In one of his letters Boniface mentions he was "born and reared... the synod of London", but he may have been speaking metaphorically. According to the vitae, Winfrid was of a prosperous family. Against his father's wishes he devoted himself at an early age to the monastic life, he received further theological training in the Benedictine monastery and minster of Nhutscelle, not far from Winchester, which under the direction of abbot Winbert had grown into an industrious centre of learning in the tradition of Aldhelm. Winfrid at the age of 30 became a priest. While little is known about Nursling outside of Boniface's vitae, it seems clear that the library there was significant. In order to supply Boniface with the materials he needed, it would have contained works by Donatus, Priscian and many others. Around 716, when his abbot Wynberth of Nursling died, he was invited to assume his position—it is possible that they were related, the practice of hereditary right among the early Anglo-Saxons would affirm this.
Winfrid, declined the position and in 716 set out on a missionary expedition to Frisia. Boniface first left for the continent in 716, he traveled to Utrecht, where Willibrord, the "Apostle of the Frisians," had been working since the 690s. He spent a year with Willibrord, preaching in the countryside, but their efforts were frustrated by the war being carried on between Charles Martel and Radbod, King of the Frisians. Willibrord fled to the abbey. Boniface returned to the continent the next year and went straight to Rome, where Pope Gregory II renamed him "Boniface", after the fourth-century martyr Boniface of Tarsus, appointed him missionary bishop for Germania—he became a bishop without a diocese for an area that lacked any church organization, he would never return to England, though he remained in correspondence with his countrymen and kinfolk throughout his life. According to the vitae Boniface felled the Donar Oak, Latinized by Willibald as "Jupiter's oak," near the present-day town of Fritzlar in northern Hesse.
According to his early biographer Willibald, Boniface started to chop the oak down, when a great wind, as if by miracle, blew the ancient oak over. When the god did not strike him down, the people were converted to Christianity, he built a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter from its wood at the site—the chapel was the beginning of the monastery in Fritzlar. This account from the vita is stylized to portray Boniface as a singular character who alone acts to root out paganism. Lutz von Padberg and others point out that what the vitae leave out is that the action was most well-prepared and publicized in advance for maximum effect, that Boniface had little reason to fear for his personal safety since the Frankish fortified settlement of Büraburg was nearby. According to Willibald, Boniface had a church with an attached monastery built in Fritzlar, on the site of the built chapel, according to tradition; the support of the Frankish mayors of the palace, the early Pippinid and Carolingian rulers, was essential for Boniface's work.
Boniface had been under
Exeter is a cathedral city in Devon, with a population of 129,800. The city is located on the River Exe 36 miles northeast of Plymouth and 65 miles southwest of Bristol, it is the county town of Devon, the base of Devon County Council. Situated in Exeter, are two campuses of the University of Exeter, Streatham Campus and St Luke's Campus. In Roman Britain, Exeter was established as the base of Legio II Augusta under the personal command of Vespasian. Exeter became a religious centre during the Middle Ages and into the Tudor times: Exeter Cathedral, founded in the mid 11th century, became Anglican during the 16th-century English Reformation. During the late 19th century, Exeter became an affluent centre for the wool trade, although by the First World War the city was in decline. After the Second World War, much of the city centre was rebuilt and is now considered to be a centre for modern business and tourism in Devon and Cornwall; the administrative area of Exeter has the status of a non-metropolitan district under the administration of the County Council.
The modern name of Exeter is a development of the Old English Escanceaster, from the anglicised form of the river now known as the Exe and the Old English suffix -ceaster, used to mark important fortresses or fortified towns. The name "Exe" is a separate development of the Brittonic name—meaning "water" or, more "full of fish" —that appears in the English Axe and Esk and the Welsh Usk. Exeter began as settlements on a dry ridge ending in a spur overlooking a navigable river teeming with fish, with fertile land nearby. Although there have been no major prehistoric finds, these advantages suggest the site was occupied early. Coins have been discovered from the Hellenistic kingdoms, suggesting the existence of a settlement trading with the Mediterranean as early as 250 BC; such early towns had been a feature of pre-Roman Gaul as described by Julius Caesar in his Commentaries and it is possible that they existed in Britannia as well. The Romans established a 42-acre'playing-card' shaped fort named Isca around AD 55.
The fort was the southwest terminus of the Fosse Way and served as the base of the 5 000-man Second Augustan Legion led by Vespasian Roman Emperor, for the next 20 years before they moved to Caerleon in Wales, known as Isca. To distinguish the two, the Romans referred to Exeter as Isca Dumnoniorum, "Watertown of the Dumnonii", Caerleon as Isca Augusta. A small fort was maintained at Topsham; the presence of the fort built up an unplanned civilian community of natives and the soldiers' families to the northeast of the fort. This settlement served as the tribal capital of the Dumnonii and was listed as one of their four cities by Ptolemy in his Geography; when the fortress was abandoned around the year 75, its grounds were converted to civilian purposes: its large bathhouse was demolished to make way for a forum and a basilica, a smaller-scale bath was erected to the southeast. This area was excavated in the 1970s, but could not be maintained for public view owing to its proximity to the present-day cathedral.
In January 2015, it was announced that Exeter Cathedral had launched a bid to restore the baths and open an underground centre for visitors. In the late 2nd century, the ditch and rampart defences around the old fortress were replaced by a bank and wall enclosing a much larger area, some 92 acres. Although most of the visible structure is older, the course of the Roman wall was used for Exeter's subsequent city walls, thus about 70% of the Roman wall remains, most of its route can be traced on foot. The Devonian Isca seems to have been most prosperous in the first half of the 4th century: more than a thousand Roman coins have been found around the city and there is evidence for copper and bronze working, a stock-yard, markets for the livestock and pottery produced in the surrounding countryside; the dating of the coins so far discovered, suggests a rapid decline: none have been discovered dated after the year 380. Bishop Ussher identified the Cair Pensa vel Coyt listed among the 28 cities of Britain by the History of the Britons as Isca, although David Nash Ford read it as a reference to Penselwood and thought it more to be Lindinis.
Nothing is known of Exeter from the time of the Roman withdrawal from Britain around the year 410 until the seventh century. By that time, the city was held by the Saxons, who had arrived in Exeter after defeating the British Dumnonians at Peonnum in Somerset in 658, it seems that the Saxons maintained a quarter of the city for the Britons under their own laws around present-day Bartholomew Street, known as "Britayne" Street until 1637 in memory of its former occupants. Exeter was known to the Saxons as Escanceaster. In 876, it was attacked and captured by Danish Vikings. Alfred the Great drove them out the next summer. Over the next few years, he elevated Exeter to one of the four burhs in Devon, rebuilding its walls on the Roman lines; these permitted the city to fend off another attack and siege by the Danes in 893. Ki
Bede known as Saint Bede, Venerable Bede, Bede the Venerable, was an English Benedictine monk at the monastery of St. Peter and its companion monastery of St. Paul in the Kingdom of Northumbria of the Angles. Born on lands belonging to the Monkwearmouth monastery in present-day Sunderland, Bede was sent there at the age of seven and joined Abbot Ceolfrith at the Jarrow monastery, both of whom survived a plague that struck in 686, an outbreak that killed a majority of the population there. While he spent most of his life in the monastery, Bede travelled to several abbeys and monasteries across the British Isles visiting the archbishop of York and King Ceolwulf of Northumbria, he is well known as an author and scholar, his most famous work, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, gained him the title "The Father of English History". His ecumenical writings were extensive and included a number of Biblical commentaries and other theological works of exegetical erudition. Another important area of study for Bede was the academic discipline of computus, otherwise known to his contemporaries as the science of calculating calendar dates.
One of the more important dates Bede tried to compute was Easter, an effort, mired with controversy. He helped establish the practice of dating forward from the birth of Christ, a practice which became commonplace in medieval Europe. Bede was one of the greatest teachers and writers of the Early Middle Ages and is considered by many historians to be the single most important scholar of antiquity for the period between the death of Pope Gregory I in 604 and the coronation of Charlemagne in 800. In 1899, Pope Leo XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church, he is the only native of Great Britain to achieve this designation. Bede was moreover a skilled linguist and translator, his work made the Latin and Greek writings of the early Church Fathers much more accessible to his fellow Anglo-Saxons, which contributed to English Christianity. Bede's monastery had access to an impressive library which included works by Eusebius and many others. Everything, known of Bede's life is contained in the last chapter of his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, a history of the church in England.
It was completed in about 731, Bede implies that he was in his fifty-ninth year, which would give a birth date in 672 or 673. A minor source of information is the letter by his disciple Cuthbert. Bede, in the Historia, gives his birthplace as "on the lands of this monastery", he is referring to the twinned monasteries of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow, in modern-day Wearside and Tyneside respectively. Bede says nothing of his origins, but his connections with men of noble ancestry suggest that his own family was well-to-do. Bede's first abbot was Benedict Biscop, the names "Biscop" and "Beda" both appear in a king list of the kings of Lindsey from around 800, further suggesting that Bede came from a noble family. Bede's name reflects West Saxon Bīeda, it is an Anglo-Saxon short name formed on the root of bēodan "to bid, command". The name occurs in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, s.a. 501, as Bieda, one of the sons of the Saxon founder of Portsmouth. The Liber Vitae of Durham Cathedral names two priests with this name, one of whom is Bede himself.
Some manuscripts of the Life of Cuthbert, one of Bede's works, mention that Cuthbert's own priest was named Bede. At the age of seven, Bede was sent, as a puer oblatus, to the monastery of Monkwearmouth by his family to be educated by Benedict Biscop and by Ceolfrith. Bede does not say whether it was intended at that point that he would be a monk, it was common in Ireland at this time for young boys those of noble birth, to be fostered out as an oblate. Monkwearmouth's sister monastery at Jarrow was founded by Ceolfrith in 682, Bede transferred to Jarrow with Ceolfrith that year; the dedication stone for the church has survived to the present day. In 686, plague broke out at Jarrow; the Life of Ceolfrith, written in about 710, records that only two surviving monks were capable of singing the full offices. The two managed to do the entire service of the liturgy; the young boy was certainly Bede, who would have been about 14. When Bede was about 17 years old, Adomnán, the abbot of Iona Abbey, visited Monkwearmouth and Jarrow.
Bede would have met the abbot during this visit, it may be that Adomnan sparked Bede's interest in the Easter dating controversy. In about 692, in Bede's nineteenth year, Bede was ordained a deacon by his diocesan bishop, bishop of Hexham; the canonical age for the ordination of a deacon was 25.