The British people, or the Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas Territories, the Crown dependencies. British nationality law governs modern British citizenship and nationality, which can be acquired, for instance, by descent from British nationals; when used in a historical context, "British" or "Britons" can refer to the Celtic Britons, the indigenous inhabitants of Great Britain and Brittany, whose surviving members are the modern Welsh people, Cornish people, Bretons. It may refer to citizens of the former British Empire. Though early assertions of being British date from the Late Middle Ages, the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707 triggered a sense of British national identity; the notion of Britishness was forged during the Napoleonic Wars between Britain and the First French Empire, developed further during the Victorian era. The complex history of the formation of the United Kingdom created a "particular sense of nationhood and belonging" in Great Britain and Ireland.
Because of longstanding ethno-sectarian divisions, British identity in Northern Ireland is controversial, but it is held with strong conviction by Unionists. Modern Britons are descended from the varied ethnic groups that settled in the British Isles in and before the 11th century: Prehistoric, Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Normans; the progressive political unification of the British Isles facilitated migration and linguistic exchange, intermarriage between the peoples of England and Wales during the late Middle Ages, early modern period and beyond. Since 1922 and earlier, there has been immigration to the United Kingdom by people from what is now the Republic of Ireland, the Commonwealth, mainland Europe and elsewhere; the British are a diverse, multinational and multilingual society, with "strong regional accents and identities". The social structure of the United Kingdom has changed radically since the 19th century, with a decline in religious observance, enlargement of the middle class, increased ethnic diversity since the 1950s.
The population of the UK stands at around 66 million, with a British diaspora of around 140 million concentrated in Australia and New Zealand, with smaller concentrations in the United States, Republic of Ireland, South Africa and parts of the Caribbean. The earliest known reference to the inhabitants of Great Britain may have come from 4th century BC records of the voyage of Pytheas, a Greek geographer who made a voyage of exploration around the British Isles. Although none of his own writings remain, writers during the time of the Roman Empire made much reference to them. Pytheas called the islands collectively αἱ Βρεττανίαι, translated as the Brittanic Isles, the peoples of what are today England, Wales and the Isle of Man of Prettanike were called the Πρεττανοί, Pritani or Pretani; the group included Ireland, referred to as Ierne "inhabited by the different race of Hiberni", Britain as insula Albionum, "island of the Albions". The term Pritani may have reached Pytheas from the Gauls, who used it as their term for the inhabitants of the islands.
Greek and Roman writers, in the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD, name the inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland as the Priteni, the origin of the Latin word Britanni. It has been suggested that this name derives from a Gaulish description translated as "people of the forms", referring to the custom of tattooing or painting their bodies with blue woad made from Isatis tinctoria. Parthenius, a 1st-century Ancient Greek grammarian, the Etymologicum Genuinum, a 9th-century lexical encyclopaedia, mention a mythical character Bretannus as the father of Celtine, mother of Celtus, the eponymous ancestor of the Celts. By 50 BC Greek geographers were using equivalents of Prettanikē as a collective name for the British Isles. However, with the Roman conquest of Britain the Latin term Britannia was used for the island of Great Britain, Roman-occupied Britain south of Caledonia, although the people of Caledonia and the north were the self same Britons during the Roman period, the Gaels arriving four centuries later.
Following the end of Roman rule in Britain, the island of Great Britain was left open to invasion by pagan, seafaring warriors such as Germanic-speaking Anglo-Saxons and Jutes from Continental Europe, who gained control in areas around the south east, to Middle Irish-speaking people migrating from what is today Northern Ireland to the north of Great Britain, founding Gaelic kingdoms such as Dál Riata and Alba, which would subsume the native Brittonic and Pictish kingdoms and become Scotland. In this sub-Roman Britain, as Anglo-Saxon culture spread across southern and eastern Britain and Gaelic through much of the north, the demonym "Briton" became restricted to the Brittonic-speaking inhabitants of what would be called Wales, North West England, parts of Scotland such as Strathearn, Morayshire and Strathclyde. In addition the term was applied to Brittany in what is today France and Britonia in north west Spain, both regions having been colonised by Britons in the 5th century fleeing the Anglo-Saxon invasions.
A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages by predominantly the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble; this is distinct from a palace, not fortified. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace. European-style castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries, after the fall of the Carolingian Empire resulted in its territory being divided among individual lords and princes; these nobles built castles to control the area surrounding them and the castles were both offensive and defensive structures. Although their military origins are emphasised in castle studies, the structures served as centres of administration and symbols of power.
Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes, rural castles were situated near features that were integral to life in the community, such as mills, fertile land, or a water source. Many castles were built from earth and timber, but had their defences replaced by stone. Early castles exploited natural defences, lacking features such as towers and arrowslits and relying on a central keep. In the late 12th and early 13th centuries, a scientific approach to castle defence emerged; this led with an emphasis on flanking fire. Many new castles were polygonal or relied on concentric defence – several stages of defence within each other that could all function at the same time to maximise the castle's firepower; these changes in defence have been attributed to a mixture of castle technology from the Crusades, such as concentric fortification, inspiration from earlier defences, such as Roman forts. Not all the elements of castle architecture were military in nature, so that devices such as moats evolved from their original purpose of defence into symbols of power.
Some grand castles had long winding approaches intended to dominate their landscape. Although gunpowder was introduced to Europe in the 14th century, it did not affect castle building until the 15th century, when artillery became powerful enough to break through stone walls. While castles continued to be built well into the 16th century, new techniques to deal with improved cannon fire made them uncomfortable and undesirable places to live; as a result, true castles went into decline and were replaced by artillery forts with no role in civil administration, country houses that were indefensible. From the 18th century onwards, there was a renewed interest in castles with the construction of mock castles, part of a romantic revival of Gothic architecture, but they had no military purpose; the word castle is derived from the Latin word castellum, a diminutive of the word castrum, meaning "fortified place". The Old English castel, Old French castel or chastel, French château, Spanish castillo, Italian castello, a number of words in other languages derive from castellum.
The word castle was introduced into English shortly before the Norman Conquest to denote this type of building, new to England. In its simplest terms, the definition of a castle accepted amongst academics is "a private fortified residence"; this contrasts with earlier fortifications, such as Anglo-Saxon burhs and walled cities such as Constantinople and Antioch in the Middle East. Feudalism was the link between a lord and his vassal where, in return for military service and the expectation of loyalty, the lord would grant the vassal land. In the late 20th century, there was a trend to refine the definition of a castle by including the criterion of feudal ownership, thus tying castles to the medieval period. During the First Crusade, the Frankish armies encountered walled settlements and forts that they indiscriminately referred to as castles, but which would not be considered as such under the modern definition. Castles served a range of purposes, the most important of which were military and domestic.
As well as defensive structures, castles were offensive tools which could be used as a base of operations in enemy territory. Castles were established by Norman invaders of England for both defensive purposes and to pacify the country's inhabitants; as William the Conqueror advanced through England, he fortified key positions to secure the land he had taken. Between 1066 and 1087, he established 36 castles such as Warwick Castle, which he used to guard against rebellion in the English Midlands. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, castles tended to lose their military significance due to the advent of powerful cannons and permanent artillery fortifications. A castle could act as a stronghold and prison but was a place where a knight or lord could entertain his peers. Over time the aesthetics of the design became more important, as the castle's appearance and size began to refle
A billiard room is a recreation room, such as in a house or recreation center, with a billiards, pool or snooker table. The term billiard room is sometimes used as synonymous with "billiard hall" i.e. a business providing public access to hourly-rental or coin-operated billiard tables. The billiard room may be in the private areas of the house. Billiard rooms require proper lighting and clearances for game playing. Although there are adjustable cue sticks on the market, 5 feet of clearance around the pool table is ideal. Interior designer Charlotte Moss believed. It's where you mix drinks and embark on a little friendly competition..." Billiards developed from one of the late-14th century or early-15th century lawn games in which players hit balls with sticks. The earliest mention of pool as an indoor table game is in a 1470 inventory list of the accounts of King Louis XI of France. Following the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, billiard rooms were added to some famous 18th-century cafés in Paris and other cities.
Although billiards had long been enjoyed by both men and women, a trend towards male suites developed in 19th century Great Britain. These male suites sometimes libraries. One example of these male suites is Castle Carr near Halifax. By the turn of the century, billiard rooms were considered a standard feature in great British houses with House Beautiful claiming "Up-to-date owners of English estates have installed billiard rooms..."Many mid- and late-19th century billiard rooms were designed in an Oriental or Moorish style. Mark Twain's billiard room in Hartford, CT was decorated with quasi-Moorish stencils; the late 19th and early 20th century represent the billiard room's heyday
A family room is an informal, all-purpose room in a house. The family room is designed to be a place where family and guests gather for group recreation like talking, watching TV, other family activities; the family room is located adjacent to the kitchen, at times, flows into it with no visual breaks. A family room has doors leading to the back yard and specific outdoor living areas such as a deck, garden, or terrace; the term family room is defined in the 1945 book Tomorrow's House by Henry Wright. Chapter 7, entitled "The Room Without a Name" spoke of the need in modern life for a new "biggest room in the house" that would serve the social and recreational needs of the entire family, allowing activities that would not be permitted in the living room; this "big room" would have furnishings and materials that were "tough", for hard use, it should be easy to clean. In contrast with the existing "rumpus rooms" of the time, it would serve for more formal entertainment, so it should be a handsome room and should have cupboards where toys, etc. could be kept out of sight.
The distinction between a family room, living room, recreation room is fluid, but can be classified according to three characteristics: location and design. In homes with more than one, the family room is less formal, both in function and furnishings and is located away from the main entrance, while the living room is the more formal, reserved for guests, special occasions and the display of items such as antiques or artwork, it is located in the central part of the house towards the front. The recreation room is in the basement and used for games and playtime. In homes with only one, the terms are used interchangeably. In floorplans, a "great room" is where the living room and family room are combined into one high-ceilinged room adjacent to the kitchen. Parlour Den Living room Recreation room
A sideboard called a buffet, is an item of furniture traditionally used in the dining room for serving food, for displaying serving dishes, for storage. It consists of a set of cabinets, or cupboards, one or more drawers, all topped by a wooden surface for conveniently holding food, serving dishes, or lighting devices; the words sideboard and buffet are somewhat interchangeable, but if the item has short legs, or a base that sits directly on the floor with no legs, it is more to be called a sideboard. The earliest versions of the sideboard familiar today made their appearance in the 18th century, but they gained most of their popularity during the 19th century as households became prosperous enough to dedicate a room to dining. Sideboards were made in a range of decorative styles and were ornamented with costly veneers and inlays. In years, sideboards have been placed in living rooms or other areas where household items might be displayed. In traditional formal dining rooms today, an antique sideboard is a desirable and fashionable accessory, finely styled versions from the late-18th or early-19th centuries are the most sought-after and most costly.
Among its counterparts in modern furniture styles, the form is referred to as a server. Some of the earliest production of sideboards arose in England, France and Scotland. American designs arose. Characteristic materials used in historic sideboard manufacture include mahogany, oak and walnut. Buffet – a way of serving food, rather than the item of furniture Cellarette China cabinet Credenza Hutch Madia Sideboard Welsh dresser Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Sideboard". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Nobility is a social class ranked under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society; the privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be honorary, vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto "noblesse oblige", nobles can carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is hereditary. Membership in the nobility has been granted by a monarch or government, unlike other social classes where membership is determined by wealth, lifestyle, or affiliation. Nonetheless, acquisition of sufficient power, military prowess, or royal favour has enabled commoners to ascend into the nobility. There are a variety of ranks within the noble class.
Legal recognition of nobility has been more common in monarchies, but nobility existed in such regimes as the Dutch Republic, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Old Swiss Confederacy, remains part of the legal social structure of some non-hereditary regimes, e.g. Channel Islands, San Marino, the Vatican City in Europe. Hereditary titles and styles added to names, as well as honorifics distinguish nobles from non-nobles in conversation and written speech. In many nations most of the nobility have been un-titled, some hereditary titles do not indicate nobility; some countries have had non-hereditary nobility, such as the Empire of Brazil or life peers in the United Kingdom. The term derives from the abstract noun of the adjective nobilis. In ancient Roman society, nobiles originated as an informal designation for the political governing class who had allied interests, including both patricians and plebeian families with an ancestor who had risen to the consulship through his own merit.
In modern usage, "nobility" is applied to the highest social class in pre-modern societies, excepting the ruling dynasty. In the feudal system, the nobility were those who held a fief land or office, under vassalage, i.e. in exchange for allegiance and various military, services to a suzerain, who might be a higher-ranking nobleman or a monarch. It came to be seen as a hereditary caste, sometimes associated with a right to bear a hereditary title and, for example in pre-revolutionary France, enjoying fiscal and other privileges. While noble status conferred significant privileges in most jurisdictions, by the 21st century it had become a honorary dignity in most societies, although a few, residual privileges may still be preserved and some Asian and African cultures continue to attach considerable significance to formal hereditary rank or titles. Nobility is a historical and legal notion, differing from high socio-economic status in that the latter is based on income, possessions or lifestyle.
Being wealthy or influential cannot ipso facto make one noble, nor are all nobles wealthy or influential. Various republics, including former Iron Curtain countries, Greece and Austria have expressly abolished the conferral and use of titles of nobility for their citizens; this is distinct from countries which have not abolished the right to inherit titles, but which do not grant legal recognition or protection to them, such as Germany and Italy, although Germany recognizes their use as part of the legal surname. Still other countries and authorities allow their use, but forbid attachment of any privilege thereto, e.g. Finland and the European Union, while French law protects lawful titles against usurpation. Although many societies have a privileged upper class with substantial wealth and power, the status is not hereditary and does not entail a distinct legal status, nor differentiated forms of address. Not all of the benefits of nobility derived from noble status per se. Privileges were granted or recognised by the monarch in association with possession of a specific title, office or estate.
Most nobles' wealth derived from one or more estates, large or small, that might include fields, orchards, hunting grounds, etc. It included infrastructure such as castle and mill to which local peasants were allowed some access, although at a price. Nobles were expected to live "nobly", that is, from the proceeds of these possessions. Work involving manual labour or subordination to those of lower rank was either forbidden or frowned upon socially. On the other hand, membership in the nobility was a prerequisite for holding offices of trust in the realm and for career promotion in the military, at court and the higher functions in the government and church. Prior to the French Revolution, European nobles commanded tribute in the form of entitlement to cash rents or usage taxes, labour or a portion of the annual crop yield from commoners or no
A table is an item of furniture with a flat top and one or more legs, used as a surface for working at, eating from or on which to place things. Some common types of table are the dining room table, used for seated persons to eat meals. There are a range of specialized types of tables, such as drafting tables, used for doing architectural drawings, sewing tables. Common design elements include: top surfaces of various shapes, including rectangular, rounded, semi-circular or oval legs arranged in two or more similar pairs, it has four legs. However, some tables use a single heavy pedestal, or are attached to a wall. Several geometries of folding table that can be collapsed into a smaller volume heights ranging up and down from the most common 18–30 inches range reflecting the height of chairs or bar stools used as seating for people making use of a table, as for eating or performing various manipulations of objects resting on a table a huge range of sizes, from small bedside tables to large dining room tables and huge conference room tables presence or absence of drawers, shelves or other areas for storing items expansion of the table surface by insertion of leaves or locking hinged drop leaf sections into a horizontal position The word table is derived from Old English tabele, derived from the Latin word tabula, which replaced OE bord.
Some early tables were made and used by the Egyptians, were little more than stone platforms used to keep objects off the floor. They were not used for seating people. Food and drinks were put on large plates deposed on a pedestal for eating; the Egyptians made use of elevated playing boards. The Chinese created early tables in order to pursue the arts of writing and painting; the Greeks and Romans made more frequent use of tables, notably for eating, although Greek tables were pushed under a bed after use. The Greeks invented a piece of furniture similar to the guéridon. Tables were made of wood and metal, sometimes with richly ornate legs; the larger rectangular tables were made of separate platforms and pillars. The Romans introduced a large, semicircular table to Italy, the mensa lunata. Furniture during the Middle Ages is not as well known as that of earlier or periods, most sources show the types used by the nobility. In the Eastern Roman Empire, tables were made of metal or wood with four feet and linked by x-shaped stretchers.
Tables for eating were large and round or semicircular. A combination of a small round table and a lectern seemed popular as a writing table. In western Europe, the invasions and internecine wars caused most of the knowledge inherited from the classical era to be lost; as a result of the necessary movability, most tables were simple trestle tables, although small round tables made from joinery reappeared during the 15th century and onward. In the Gothic era, the chest became widespread and was used as a table. Refectory tables first appeared at least as early as the 17th century, as an advancement of the trestle table. Tables come in a wide variety of materials and heights dependent upon their origin, intended use and cost. Many tables are made of wood or wood-based products. Most tables are composed of one or more supports. A table with a single, central foot is a pedestal table. Long tables have extra legs for support. Table tops can be in any shape, although rectangular, square and oval tops are the most frequent.
Others have higher surfaces for personal use while either sitting on a tall stool. Many tables have tops that can be adjusted to change their height, shape, or size, either with foldable, sliding or extensions parts that can alter the shape of the top; some tables are foldable for easy transportation, e.g. camping or storage, e.g. TV trays. Small tables in trains and aircraft may be fixed or foldable, although they are sometimes considered as convenient shelves rather than tables. Tables can be designed for placement against a wall. Tables designed to be placed against a wall are known as Pier tables or console tables and may be bracket-mounted, like a shelf, or have legs, which sometimes imitate the look of a bracket-mounted table. Tables of various shapes and sizes are designed for specific uses: Dining room tables are designed to be used for formal dining. Bedside tables, nightstands, or night tables are small tables used in a bedroom, they are used for convenient placement of a small lamp, alarm clock, glasses, or other personal items.
Gateleg tables have two hinged leaves supported by hinged legs. Coffee tables are low tables designed for use in a living room, in front of a sofa, for convenient placement of drinks, books, or other personal items. Refectory tables are long tables designed to seat many people for meals. Drafting tables have a top that can be tilted for making a large or technical drawing, they may have a ruler or similar element integrated. Workbench