Geoffrey Chaucer was an English poet and author. Considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, he is best known for The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer has been styled the "Father of English literature" and was the first writer buried in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. Chaucer achieved fame in his lifetime as a philosopher and astronomer, composing the scientific A Treatise on the Astrolabe for his 10-year-old son Lewis, he maintained an active career in the civil service as a bureaucrat and diplomat. Among Chaucer's many other works are The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Legend of Good Women, Troilus and Criseyde, he is seen as crucial in legitimising the literary use of the Middle English vernacular at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were still French and Latin. Chaucer was born in London sometime around 1343, though the precise date and location remain unknown, his father and grandfather were both London vintners, several previous generations had been merchants in Ipswich.
His family name is derived from the French chausseur, meaning "shoemaker". In 1324, his father John Chaucer was kidnapped by an aunt in the hope of marrying the 12-year-old to her daughter in an attempt to keep property in Ipswich; the aunt was imprisoned and fined £250, equivalent to £200,000 today, which suggests that the family was financially secure. John Chaucer married Agnes Copton who inherited properties in 1349, including 24 shops in London from her uncle Hamo de Copton, described in a will dated 3 April 1354 and listed in the City Hustings Roll as "moneyer", said to be moneyer at the Tower of London. In the City Hustings Roll 110, 5, Ric II, dated June 1380, Chaucer refers to himself as me Galfridum Chaucer, filium Johannis Chaucer, Londonie. While records concerning the lives of his contemporary friends, William Langland and the Pearl Poet, are non-existent, since Chaucer was a public servant, his official life is well documented, with nearly five hundred written items testifying to his career.
The first of the "Chaucer Life Records" appears in 1357, in the household accounts of Elizabeth de Burgh, the Countess of Ulster, when he became the noblewoman's page through his father's connections, a common medieval form of apprenticeship for boys into knighthood or prestige appointments. The countess was married to Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the second surviving son of the king, Edward III, the position brought the teenage Chaucer into the close court circle, where he was to remain for the rest of his life, he worked as a courtier, a diplomat, a civil servant, as well as working for the king from 1389 to 1391 as Clerk of the King's Works. In 1359, in the early stages of the Hundred Years' War, Edward III invaded France and Chaucer travelled with Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, Elizabeth's husband, as part of the English army. In 1360, he was captured during the siege of Rheims. Edward paid £16 for his ransom, a considerable sum, Chaucer was released. After this, Chaucer's life is uncertain, but he seems to have travelled in France and Flanders as a messenger and even going on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
Around 1366, Chaucer married Philippa Roet. She was a lady-in-waiting to Edward III's queen, Philippa of Hainault, a sister of Katherine Swynford, who became the third wife of John of Gaunt, it is uncertain how many children Chaucer and Philippa had, but three or four are most cited. His son, Thomas Chaucer, had an illustrious career, as chief butler to four kings, envoy to France, Speaker of the House of Commons. Thomas's daughter, married the Duke of Suffolk. Thomas's great-grandson, John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, was the heir to the throne designated by Richard III before he was deposed. Geoffrey's other children included Elizabeth Chaucy, a nun at Barking Abbey, Agnes, an attendant at Henry IV's coronation. Chaucer's "Treatise on the Astrolabe" was written for Lewis. According to tradition, Chaucer studied law in the Inner Temple at this time, he became a member of the royal court of Edward III as a valet de chambre, yeoman, or esquire on 20 June 1367, a position which could entail a wide variety of tasks.
His wife received a pension for court employment. He travelled abroad at least some of them in his role as a valet. In 1368, he may have attended the wedding of Lionel of Antwerp to Violante Visconti, daughter of Galeazzo II Visconti, in Milan. Two other literary stars of the era were in attendance: Petrarch. Around this time, Chaucer is believed to have written The Book of the Duchess in honour of Blanche of Lancaster, the late wife of John of Gaunt, who died in 1369 of the plague. Chaucer travelled to Picardy the next year as part of a military expedition. Numerous scholars such as Skeat and Rowland suggested that, on this Italian trip, he came into contact with Petrarch or Boccaccio, they introduced him to medieval the forms and stories of which he would use later. The purposes of a voyage in 1377 are mysterious, as details within the historical record conflict. Documents suggest it was a mission, along with Jean Froissart, to arrange a marriage between the future King Richard II and a French princess, thereby ending the Hundred Years War.
If this was the purpose of their trip, they seem to have been unsuccessful. In 1378, Richard II sent Chaucer as an envoy to the Visconti and to Sir John Hawkwood, English condottiere in Milan, it has been specu
The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the middle ages; the intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman Humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that "Man is the measure of all things." This new thinking became manifest in art, politics and literature. Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe: the first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.
As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man"; the Renaissance began in the 14th century in Italy. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici, the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.
Other major centres were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Milan and Rome during the Renaissance Papacy. The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the "Renaissance" and individual culture heroes as "Renaissance men", questioning the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation; the art historian Erwin Panofsky observed of this resistance to the concept of "Renaissance": It is no accident that the factuality of the Italian Renaissance has been most vigorously questioned by those who are not obliged to take a professional interest in the aesthetic aspects of civilization – historians of economic and social developments and religious situations, most natural science – but only exceptionally by students of literature and hardly by historians of Art. Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for classical antiquity, while social and economic historians of the longue durée, have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, "by a thousand ties".
The word Renaissance meaning "Rebirth", first appeared in English in the 1830s. The word occurs in Jules Michelet's 1855 work, Histoire de France; the word Renaissance has been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, art, politics, science and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, searched for realism and human emotion in art. Renaissance humanists such as Poggio Bracciolini sought out in Europe's monastic libraries the Latin literary and oratorical texts of Antiquity, while the Fall of Constantinople generated a wave of émigré Greek scholars bringing precious manuscripts in ancient Greek, many of which had fallen into obscurity in the West.
It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th century, who had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts. In the revival of neo-Platonism Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion, reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity; this new engagement with Greek Christian works, the return to the original Greek of the Ne
Sir Ralph Sadler PC, Knight banneret was an English statesman, who served Henry VIII as Privy Councillor, Secretary of State and ambassador to Scotland. Sadler went on to serve Edward VI. Having signed the device settling the crown on Jane Grey in 1553, he was obliged to retire to his estates during the reign of Mary I. Sadler was restored to royal favour during the reign of Elizabeth I, serving as a Privy Councillor and once again participating in Anglo-Scottish diplomacy, he was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in May 1568. Ralph Sadler was born in Hackney, the elder son of Henry Sadler, a minor official in the service of the Marquess of Dorset and Sir Edward Belknap. Henry Sadler was from Warwickshire, but settled in Hackney. Ralph had a brother, who commanded a company at the Siege of Boulogne in 1544. At around seven years of age, Sadler was placed in the household of Thomas Cromwell Earl of Essex, where he received an excellent education, he was taught to read and write, becoming fluent in French and Greek and acquired a working knowledge of the law.
He proved to be not only intelligent and resourceful, but capable of great feats of horsemanship and was skilled at falconry. He was fortunate to find allocation of lodging at Court, without which an aspiring courtier had to seek permission from the King, a ruinous bill for accommodation near Hampton Court, he pleaded with Cromwell that banishment from court would mean utter penury. Roger Ascham compared Sadler's appearance in terms of complexion and beard to Duke Maurice, although the Duke was taller. Sadler is represented by his tomb effigy at Standon, he may have been painted by Hans Holbein the Younger. Sadler went on to serve four Tudor monarchs. During his long career in royal service, he would hold many offices, including: Clerk of the Hanaper 1535–1587 Gentleman of the Privy Chamber by May 1536 Ambassador to Scotland 1537, 1540, 1542 Jointly prothonotary, Chancery 1537 – 1587? Principal Secretary April 1540 – April 1543 Privy Councillor 1540–1553, 1566–1587 Master of the Great Wardrobe 1543–1553 Justice of the Peace Hertfordshire 1544–1547, 1558/59 – 1561, Gloucestershire 1547, Hertfordshire 1562–1587 Chamberlain or receiver, Court of General Surveyors by 1545 Commissioner for Musters, Hertfordshire 1546, loan 1546, 1562, goods of churches and fraternities 1550, relief and London 1550, ecclesiastical causes 1572 Steward of Hertford and Constable of Hertford Castle December 1549 – 1554, 1559–1587 Warden of the East and Middle Marches 1559–1560 Custos rotulorum Hertfordshire.
By 1562 – 1587 Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 1568–1587 Lord Lieutenant, Hertfordshire 1569 By the time he was nineteen, Sadler was serving as Thomas Cromwell's secretary, learning about administration and politics. In this role he handled Cromwell's household business and was involved in drafting and writing his correspondence. By 1529, he had become one of Cromwell's most trusted friends and was appointed as an executor of his will. Between 1525 and 1529, his name appeared in Cromwell's correspondence in connection with suppression of monasteries, it is around this time that his talents came to the attention of the king. He was granted the manor and lands from the suppressed St Leonard's Priory in Bow, it was soon after Cromwell's elevation to the peerage, on 9 July 1536, that Sadler was named a gentleman of the Privy Chamber. In the same year, he became M. P. for Hindon and his name appears in the list of administrators named for Catherine of Aragon's will. In January 1537, Sadler was sent to Scotland to investigate complaints made by Margaret Tudor, the King's sister, against her third husband, Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven, to improve Anglo-Scottish relations.
He succeeded in both respects. On 1 April 1537, Ralph met James V of Scotland, newly married to Madeleine of Valois, at Rouen; the King was pleased with Sadler's work, sent him again to Scotland, this time to discourage the King of Scotland, James V, from accepting Cardinal Beaton's proposed Franco-Scottish alliance. Sadler failed in that respect. In 1539 he was elected knight of the shire for Middlesex. In January 1540, Sadler was made principal secretary to the king, a position he held jointly with Thomas Wriothesley. In the same year, he was knighted, made a privy councillor, began more than 30 years of service representing Hertfordshire in Parliament, he represented Preston in 1545. Sadler survived the fall from power and subsequent execution of his friend and mentor in 1540, during the power struggle following Cromwell's demise, he was arrested and sent to the Tower. On the evening of 17 January 1541, the Imperial ambassador, Eustace Chapuys and the French ambassador, Charles de Marillac reported to their masters that Sir Ralph Sadler and Sir Thomas Wyatt had been arrested, as had another courtier Sir John Wallop.
The following morning, they were taken from Hampton Court, with their hands bound, accompanied by 24 archers, to the Tower. Marillac noted that it "must be some great matter" for Wyatt "has for enemies all who leagued against Cromwell, whose minion he was."Sadler was able to clear himself and was released in a few days, returning to the council chamber. He played a leading role in the examination of Catherine Howard and her relatives in November 1541, regained the King's trust and was knighted for his part in holding matters of state while the court went on a summer progress of the North in a tripartite ministry with Lords Audley and Hertford. Together wit
In theatre, a farce is a comedy that aims at entertaining the audience through situations that are exaggerated and thus improbable. Farce is characterized by physical humor, the use of deliberate absurdity or nonsense, broadly stylized performances, it is often set in one particular location, where all events occur. Farces have been written for the film; the term farce is derived from the French word for "stuffing", in reference to improvisations applied by actors to medieval religious dramas. Forms of this drama were performed as comical interludes during the 15th and 16th centuries; the oldest surviving farce may be Le Garçon et l'aveugle from after 1266, although the earliest farces that can be dated come from between 1450 and 1550. The best known farce is La Farce de maître Pathelin from c. 1460. Satyr play Phlyax play Menander's Dyskolos Atellan Farce Plautus' Aulularia Querolus Xu Zhuodai, "The Fiction Material Wholesaler" Zhang Tianyi, "The Bulwark" Zhang Tianyi, "The Pidgin Warrior" Zhang Tianyi, "Mr. Hua Wei" Yang Jiang, "Forging the Truth" Devils on the Doorstep God of Cookery Kung Fu Hustle The Boy and the Blind Man, 13th century, oldest written French farce.
La Farce de maître Pierre Pathelin The Liar Molière: Tartuffe Molière: The Miser Voltaire: Candide Labiche: La Cagnotte and other plays. Alfred Hennequin and Alfred Delacour: Le Procès Veauradieux Georges Feydeau: Le Dindon Octave Mirbeau: Farces et moralités. Georges Feydeau: A Flea in Her Ear Marc Camoletti: Boeing Boeing and Pyjama pour Six Jean Poiret: La Cage aux Folles Carl Laufs and Wilhelm Jacoby: Pension Schöller Franz Arnold and Ernst Bach: Wochenende im Paradies Miles Tredinnick with Ursula Lyn and Adolf Opel:... Und Morgen Fliegen Wir Nach Miami Farces are popular in Marathi and Gujarati language theatre. A few such examples: Zopi Gelela Jaga Zala Dinuchya Sasubai Radhabai Pala Pala Kon Pudhe Pale To Gholaat Ghol Idhar Udhar Dekh Bhai Dekh Khichdi Instant Khichdi Sarabhai vs Sarabhai Kareena Kareena F. I. R. Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah Sajan Re Jhoot Mat Bolo Golmaal Hai Bhai Sab Golmaal Hai Comedy Nights with Kapil "The Kapil Sharma Show" Dario Fo: Morte accidentale di un anarchico known as Accidental Death of an Anarchist was first played on December 5, 1970 in Varese, Italy Japan has a centuries-old tradition of farce plays called Kyōgen.
These plays are performed as comic relief during the serious Noh plays. Following stage shows of Umer Shareef are popular: Bakra Qistoon Pay Buddha Ghar Pe Hai Yes Sir Eid, No Sir Eid Akbari Asghari Aunn Zara Azar Ki Ayegi Baraat Aleksander Fredro: Zemsta, 1834 Gabriela Zapolska: The Morality of Mrs. Dulska, 1906 Sławomir Mrożek: Tango, 1964. IMDb list of film and television farces
David Laing (antiquary)
David Laing LLD was a Scottish antiquary. He was born in 1793, the son of William Laing, a bookseller in Edinburgh, his wife, Helen Kirk, they worked from the head of Chessels Court on the Canongate. He was educated at Canongate Grammar School and attended the University of Edinburgh. At fourteen he was apprenticed to his father, they formed W & D Laing Booksellers at 49 South Bridge, living at Ramsay Lodge at 66 Lauriston in 1830. Shortly after the death of his father in 1837, Laing was elected to the librarianship of the Signet Library, a post he retained till his death. Apart from general bibliographical knowledge, Laing was best known as a student of the literary and artistic history of Scotland. Laing was struck with paralysis in October 1878 while in the Signet Library, it is said that, on recovering consciousness, he looked about and asked if a proof of Wyntoun had been sent from the printers, he died a few days afterwards, in his eighty-sixth year at 13 James Street in Portobello. He is buried in New Calton Burial Ground in east Edinburgh.
The grave lies on the north wall near the north-east corner. His library was sold at auction by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge over a period of thirty-one days, realized £16,137, he bequeathed his collection of manuscripts to the University of Edinburgh. Laing edited the works of others. Of these, the major ones are: William Dunbar's Works, with a supplement added in 1865. For over fifty years, Laing was a member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, contributed over a hundred papers to their Proceedings, he was the long-standing secretary to the Bannatyne Club, many of whose publications were edited by him. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Laing, David". Encyclopædia Britannica. 16. Cambridge University Press. P. 83. "Biographical Memoir" prefixed to Select Remains of Ancient and Romance Poetry of Scotland, edited by John Small Thomas George Stevenson, Notices of David Laing with List of his Publications, etc.. Works by David Laing at Project Gutenberg Works by or about David Laing at Internet Archive
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
Fife is a council area and historic county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire. By custom it is held to have been one of the major Pictish kingdoms, known as Fib, is still known as the Kingdom of Fife within Scotland. Fife is one of the six local authorities part of the South East Scotland city region, it is a lieutenancy area, was a county of Scotland until 1975. It was occasionally known by the anglicisation Fifeshire in old documents and maps compiled by English cartographers and authors. A person from Fife is known as a Fifer. Fife was a local government region divided into three districts: Dunfermline and North-East Fife. Since 1996 the functions of the district councils have been exercised by the unitary Fife Council. Fife is Scotland's third largest local authority area by population, it has a resident population of just under 367,000, over a third of whom live in the three principal towns of Dunfermline and Glenrothes.
The historic town of St Andrews is located on the northeast coast of Fife. It is well known for the University of St Andrews, one of the most ancient universities in the world and is renowned as the home of golf. Fife, bounded to the north by the Firth of Tay and to the south by the Firth of Forth, is a natural peninsula whose political boundaries have changed little over the ages; the Pictish king list and De Situ Albanie documents of the Poppleton manuscript mention the division of the Pictish realm into seven sub-kingdoms or provinces, one being Fife, though this is now regarded as a medieval invention. The earliest known reference to the common epithet The Kingdom of Fife dates from only 1678, in a proposition that the term derives from the quasi-regal privileges of the Earl of Fife; the notion of a kingdom may derive from a misinterpretation of an extract from Wyntoun. The name is recorded as Fib in A. D. 1150 and Fif in 1165. It was associated with Fothriff; the hill-fort of Clatchard Craig, near Newburgh, was occupied as an important Pictish stronghold between the sixth and eighth centuries AD.
Fife was an important royal and political centre from the reign of King Malcolm III onwards, as the leaders of Scotland moved southwards away from their ancient strongholds around Scone. Malcolm had his principal home in Dunfermline and his wife Margaret was the main benefactor of Dunfermline Abbey; the Abbey replaced Iona as the final resting place of Scotland's royal elite, with Robert I amongst those to be buried there. The Earl of Fife was until the 15th century considered the principal peer of the Scottish realm, was reserved the right of crowning the nation's monarchs, reflecting the prestige of the area. A new royal palace was constructed at Falkland the stronghold of Clan MacDuff, was used by successive monarchs of the House of Stuart, who favoured Fife for its rich hunting grounds. King James VI of Scotland described Fife as a "beggar's mantle fringed wi gowd", the golden fringe being the coast and its chain of little ports with their thriving fishing fleets and rich trading links with the Low Countries.
Wool, linen and salt were all traded. Salt pans heated by local coal were a feature of the Fife coast in the past; the distinctive red clay pan tiles seen on many old buildings in Fife arrived as ballast on trading boats and replaced the thatched roofs. In 1598, King James VI employed a group of 12 men from Fife, who became known as the Fife adventurers, to colonise the Isle of Lewis in an attempt to begin the "civilisation" and de-gaelicisation of the region; this endeavour lasted until 1609 when the colonists, having been opposed by the native population, were bought out by Kenneth Mackenzie, the clan chief of the Mackenzies. Fife became a centre of heavy industry in the 19th century. Coal had been mined in the area since at least the 12th century, but the number of pits increased ten-fold as demand for coal grew in the Victorian period. Rural villages such as Cowdenbeath swelled into towns as thousands moved to Fife to find work in its mines; the opening of the Forth and Tay rail bridges linked Fife with Dundee and Edinburgh and allowed the rapid transport of goods.
Modern ports were constructed at Methil and Rosyth. Kirkcaldy became the world centre for the production of linoleum. Postwar Fife saw the development of Glenrothes. To be based around a coal mine, the town attracted a high number of modern Silicon Glen companies to the region. Fife Council and Fife Constabulary centre their operations in Glenrothes. There are numerous notable historical buildings in Fife, some of which are managed by the National Trust for Scotland or Historic Scotland, they include Dunfermline Abbey, the palace in Culross, Ravenscraig Castle in Kirkcaldy, Dysart Harbour area, Balgonie Castle near Coaltown of Balgonie, Falkland Palace, Kellie Castle near Pittenweem, Hill of Tarvit, St. Andrews Castle, St. Andrews Cathedral and St. Rule's Tower. Fife is represented by five constituency members of the Scottish Parliament and four members of the United Kingdom parliament who are sent to Holyrood and the British Parliament respectively. Following the 2015 General Election, all four of the MPs constituencies were held by the Scottish National Party.
In the 2017 General Election Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath was regained by Labour. At the same election, the seat of North East Fife became the closest seat in the country with the SNP holding a majority of 2 over the Liberal Democrats Three of