Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the Science of Justice" and "the Art of Justice". Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process; the formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions, in which a legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, common law systems, where judge-made precedent is accepted as binding law.
Religious laws played a significant role in settling of secular matters, is still used in some religious communities. Islamic Sharia law is the world's most used religious law, is used as the primary legal system in some countries, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia; the adjudication of the law is divided into two main areas. Criminal law deals with conduct, considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined. Civil law deals with the resolution of lawsuits between individuals and/or organizations. Law provides a source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, economic analysis and sociology. Law raises important and complex issues concerning equality and justice. Numerous definitions of law have been put forward over the centuries; the Third New International Dictionary from Merriam-Webster defines law as: "Law is a binding custom or practice of a community. The Dictionary of the History of Ideas published by Scribner's in 1973 defined the concept of law accordingly as: "A legal system is the most explicit, institutionalized, complex mode of regulating human conduct.
At the same time, it plays only one part in the congeries of rules which influence behavior, for social and moral rules of a less institutionalized kind are of great importance." There have been several attempts to produce "a universally acceptable definition of law". In 1972, one source indicated. McCoubrey and White said that the question "what is law?" has no simple answer. Glanville Williams said that the meaning of the word "law" depends on the context in which that word is used, he said that, for example, "early customary law" and "municipal law" were contexts where the word "law" had two different and irreconcilable meanings. Thurman Arnold said that it is obvious that it is impossible to define the word "law" and that it is equally obvious that the struggle to define that word should not be abandoned, it is possible to take the view that there is no need to define the word "law". The history of law links to the development of civilization. Ancient Egyptian law, dating as far back as 3000 BC, contained a civil code, broken into twelve books.
It was based on the concept of Ma'at, characterised by tradition, rhetorical speech, social equality and impartiality. By the 22nd century BC, the ancient Sumerian ruler Ur-Nammu had formulated the first law code, which consisted of casuistic statements. Around 1760 BC, King Hammurabi further developed Babylonian law, by codifying and inscribing it in stone. Hammurabi placed several copies of his law code throughout the kingdom of Babylon as stelae, for the entire public to see; the most intact copy of these stelae was discovered in the 19th century by British Assyriologists, has since been transliterated and translated into various languages, including English, Italian and French. The Old Testament dates back to 1280 BC and takes the form of moral imperatives as recommendations for a good society; the small Greek city-state, ancient Athens, from about the 8th century BC was the first society to be based on broad inclusion of its citizenry, excluding women and the slave class. However, Athens had no legal science or single word for "law", relying instead on the three-way distinction between divine law, human decree and custom.
Yet Ancient Greek law contained major constitutional innovations in the development of democracy. Roman law was influenced by Greek philosophy, but its detailed rules were developed by professional jurists and were sophisticated. Over the centuries between the rise and decline of the Roman Empire, law was adapted to cope with the changing social situations and underwent major codification under Theodosius II and Justinian I. Although codes were replaced by custom and case law during the Dark Ages, Roman law was rediscovered around the 11th century when medieval legal scholars began to research Roman codes and adapt their concepts. Latin legal maxims were compiled for guidance. In medieval England, royal
History of economic thought
The history of economic thought deals with different thinkers and theories in the subject that became political economy and economics, from the ancient world to the present day in the 21st Century. This field encompasses many disparate schools of economic thought. Ancient Greek writers such as the philosopher Aristotle examined ideas about the art of wealth acquisition, questioned whether property is best left in private or public hands. In the Middle Ages, scholasticists such as Thomas Aquinas argued that it was a moral obligation of businesses to sell goods at a just priceIn the Western world, economics was not a separate discipline, but part of philosophy until the 18th–19th century Industrial Revolution and the 19th century Great Divergence, which accelerated economic growth. Hesiod active 750 to 650 BC, a Boeotian who wrote the earliest known work concerning the basic origins of economic thought, contemporary with Homer. Fan Li, an adviser to King Goujian of Yue, wrote on economic issues and developed a set of "golden" business rules.
Chanakya wrote a treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy. Ancient Athens, an advanced city-state civilisation and progressive society, developed an embryonic model of democracy. Xenophon's Oeconomicus is a dialogue principally about household agriculture. Plato's dialogue The Republic describing an ideal city-state run by philosopher-kings contained references to specialization of labor and to production. According to Joseph Schumpeter, Plato was the first known advocate of a credit theory of money that is, money as a unit of account for debt. Aristotle's Politics analyzed different forms of the state as a critique of Plato's model of a philosopher-kings. Of particular interest for economists, Plato provided a blueprint of a society based on common ownership of resources. Aristotle viewed this model as an oligarchical anathema. Though Aristotle did advocate holding many things in common, he argued that not everything could be because of the "wickedness of human nature"."It is better that property should be private", wrote Aristotle, "but the use of it common.
In Politics Book I, Aristotle discusses the general nature of households and market exchanges. For him there is a certain "art of acquisition" or "wealth-getting", but because it is the same many people are obsessed with its accumulation, "wealth-getting" for one's household is "necessary and honorable", while exchange on the retail trade for simple accumulation is "justly censured, for it is dishonorable". Writing of the people, Aristotle stated that they as a whole thought acquisition of wealth as being either the same as, or a principle of oikonomia, with oikos meaning "house" and with nomos meaning "law". Aristotle himself disapproved of usury and cast scorn on making money through a monopoly. Aristotle discarded Plato's credit theory of money for metallism, the theory that money derives its value from the purchasing power of the commodity upon which it is based, is only an "instrument", its sole purpose being a medium of exchange, which means on its own "it is worthless... not useful as a means to any of the necessities of life".
Thomas Aquinas was economic writer. He taught in both Cologne and Paris, was part of a group of Catholic scholars known as the Schoolmen, who moved their enquiries beyond theology to philosophical and scientific debates. In the treatise Summa Theologica Aquinas dealt with the concept of a just price, which he considered necessary for the reproduction of the social order. Similar in many ways to the modern concept of long run equilibrium, a just price was just sufficient to cover the costs of production, including the maintenance of a worker and his family. Aquinas argued it was immoral for sellers to raise their prices because buyers had a pressing need for a product. Aquinas discusses a number of topics in the format of questions and replies, substantial tracts dealing with Aristotle's theory. Questions 77 and 78 concern economic issues what a just price might be, the fairness of a seller dispensing faulty goods. Aquinas argued against any form of cheating and recommended always paying compensation in lieu of good service.
Whilst human laws might not impose sanctions for unfair dealing, divine law did, in his opinion. One of Aquinas' main critics was Duns Scotus from Duns Scotland, who taught in Oxford and Paris. In his work Sententiae, he thought it possible to be more precise than Aquinas in calculating a just price, emphasizing the costs of labor and expenses, although he recognized that the latter might be inflated by exaggeration because buyer and seller have different ideas of a just price. If people did not benefit from a transaction, in Scotus' view, they would not trade. Scotus said merchants perform a necessary and useful social role by transporting goods and making them available to the public. Jean Buridan was a French priest. Buridanus looked at money from two angles: its metal value and its purchasing power, which he acknowledged can vary, he argued that aggregated, not individual and supply determine market prices. Hence, for him a just price was what the society collectively and not just one individual is willing to pay.
Until Joseph J. Spengler's 1964 work "Economic Thought of Islam: Ibn Khaldun", Adam
Institutional economics focuses on understanding the role of the evolutionary process and the role of institutions in shaping economic behaviour. Its original focus lay in Thorstein Veblen's instinct-oriented dichotomy between technology on the one side and the "ceremonial" sphere of society on the other, its name and core elements trace back to a 1919 American Economic Review article by Walton H. Hamilton. Institutional economics emphasizes a broader study of institutions and views markets as a result of the complex interaction of these various institutions; the earlier tradition continues today as a leading heterodox approach to economics."Traditional" institutionalism rejects the reduction of institutions to tastes and nature. Tastes, along with expectations of the future and motivations, not only determine the nature of institutions but are limited and shaped by them. If people live and work in institutions on a regular basis, it shapes their world views. Fundamentally, this traditional institutionalism emphasizes the legal foundations of an economy and the evolutionary and volitional processes by which institutions are erected and changed Institutional economics focuses on learning, bounded rationality, evolution.
It was a central part of American economics in the first part of the 20th century, including such famous but diverse economists as Thorstein Veblen, Wesley Mitchell, John R. Commons; some institutionalists see Karl Marx as belonging to the institutionalist tradition, because he described capitalism as a historically-bounded social system. A significant variant is the new institutional economics from the 20th century, which integrates developments of neoclassical economics into the analysis. Law and economics has been a major theme since the publication of the Legal Foundations of Capitalism by John R. Commons in 1924. Since there has been heated debate on the role of law on economic growth. Behavioral economics is another hallmark of institutional economics based on what is known about psychology and cognitive science, rather than simple assumptions of economic behavior; some of the authors associated with this school include Robert H. Frank, Warren Samuels, Marc Tool, Geoffrey Hodgson, Daniel Bromley, Jonathan Nitzan, Shimshon Bichler, Elinor Ostrom, Anne Mayhew, John Kenneth Galbraith and Gunnar Myrdal, but the sociologist C. Wright Mills was influenced by the institutionalist approach in his major studies.
Thorstein Veblen wrote his first and most influential book while he was at the University of Chicago, on The Theory of the Leisure Class. In it he analyzed the motivation in capitalism for people to conspicuously consume their riches as a way of demonstrating success. Conspicuous leisure was another focus of Veblen's critique; the concept of conspicuous consumption was in direct contradiction to the neoclassical view that capitalism was efficient. In The Theory of Business Enterprise Veblen distinguished the motivations of industrial production for people to use things from business motivations that used, or misused, industrial infrastructure for profit, arguing that the former is hindered because businesses pursue the latter. Output and technological advance are restricted by business practices and the creation of monopolies. Businesses protect their existing capital investments and employ excessive credit, leading to depressions and increasing military expenditure and war through business control of political power.
These two books, focusing on criticism first of consumerism, second of profiteering, did not advocate change. Through the 1920s and after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 Thorstein Veblen's warnings of the tendency for wasteful consumption and the necessity of creating sound financial institutions seemed to ring true. Thorstein Veblen wrote in 1898 an article entitled "Why is Economics Not an Evolutionary Science" and he became the precursor of current evolutionary economics. John R. Commons came from mid-Western America. Underlying his ideas, consolidated in Institutional Economics was the concept that the economy is a web of relationships between people with diverging interests. There are large corporations, labour disputes and fluctuating business cycles, they do however have an interest in resolving these disputes. Commons thought. Commons himself devoted much of his time to advisory and mediation work on government boards and industrial commissions. Wesley Clair Mitchell was an American economist known for his empirical work on business cycles and for guiding the National Bureau of Economic Research in its first decades.
Mitchell’s teachers included economists Thorstein Veblen and J. L. Laughlin and philosopher John Dewey. Clarence Ayres was the principal thinker of what some have called the Texas school of institutional economics. Ayres developed on the ideas of Thorstein Veblen with a dichotomy of "technology" and "institutions" to separate the inventive from the inherited aspects of economic structures, he claimed. It can be argued that Ayres was not an "instit
Marxism is a theory and method of working class self-emancipation. As a theory, it relies on a method of socioeconomic analysis that views class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation, it originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers Friedrich Engels. Marxism uses a methodology, now known as historical materialism, to analyze and critique the development of class society and of capitalism as well as the role of class struggles in systemic economic and political change. According to Marxist theory, in capitalist societies, class conflict arises due to contradictions between the material interests of the oppressed and exploited proletariat—a class of wage labourers employed to produce goods and services—and the bourgeoisie—the ruling class that owns the means of production and extracts its wealth through appropriation of the surplus product produced by the proletariat in the form of profit.
This class struggle, expressed as the revolt of a society's productive forces against its relations of production, results in a period of short-term crises as the bourgeoisie struggle to manage the intensifying alienation of labor experienced by the proletariat, albeit with varying degrees of class consciousness. In periods of deep crisis, the resistance of the oppressed can culminate in a proletarian revolution which, if victorious, leads to the establishment of socialism—a socioeconomic system based on social ownership of the means of production, distribution based on one's contribution and production organized directly for use; as the productive forces continued to advance, Marx hypothesized that socialism would be transformed into a communist society: a classless, humane society based on common ownership and the underlying principle: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs". Marxism has developed into many different branches and schools of thought, with the result that there is now no single definitive Marxist theory.
Different Marxian schools place a greater emphasis on certain aspects of classical Marxism while rejecting or modifying other aspects. Many schools of thought have sought to combine Marxian concepts and non-Marxian concepts, which has led to contradicting conclusions; however there is movement toward the recognition that historical materialism and dialectical materialism remains the fundamental aspect of all Marxist schools of thought. Marxism has had a profound impact on global academia and has influenced many fields such as archaeology, media studies, political science, history, art history and theory, cultural studies, economics, criminology, literary criticism, film theory, critical psychology and philosophy; the term "Marxism" was popularized by Karl Kautsky, who considered himself an "orthodox" Marxist during the dispute between the orthodox and revisionist followers of Marx. Kautsky's revisionist rival Eduard Bernstein later adopted use of the term. Engels did not support the use of the term "Marxism" to describe either his views.
Engels claimed that the term was being abusively used as a rhetorical qualifier by those attempting to cast themselves as "real" followers of Marx while casting others in different terms, such as "Lassallians". In 1882, Engels claimed that Marx had criticized self-proclaimed "Marxist" Paul Lafargue, by saying that if Lafargue's views were considered "Marxist" "one thing is certain and, that I am not a Marxist". Marxism analyzes the material conditions and the economic activities required to fulfill human material needs to explain social phenomena within any given society, it assumes that the form of economic organization, or mode of production, influences all other social phenomena—including wider social relations, political institutions, legal systems, cultural systems and ideologies. The economic system and these social relations form a superstructure; as forces of production, i.e. technology, existing forms of organizing production become obsolete and hinder further progress. As Karl Marx observed: "At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or—this expresses the same thing in legal terms—with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto.
From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Begins an era of social revolution"; these inefficiencies manifest themselves as social contradictions in society which are, in turn, fought out at the level of the class struggle. Under the capitalist mode of production, this struggle materializes between the minority who own the means of production and the vast majority of the population who produce goods and services. Starting with the conjectural premise that social change occurs because of the struggle between different classes within society who are under contradiction against each other, a Marxist would conclude that capitalism exploits and oppresses the proletariat, therefore capitalism will lead to a proletarian revolution. Marxian economics and its proponents view capitalism as economically unsustainable and incapable of improving the living standards of the population due to its need to compensate for falling rates of profit by cutting employee's wages, social benefits and pursuing military aggression.
The socialist system would succeed capitalism as humanity's mode of production through workers' revolution. According to Marxian crisis theory, socialism is not an economic necessity. In a sociali
Loughborough University is a public research university in the market town of Loughborough, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands of England. It has been a university since 1966, but the institution dates back to 1909, when the Loughborough Technical Institute began with a focus on skills and knowledge which would be directly applicable in the wider world. In March 2013, the university announced it had acquired the former broadcast centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which opened as a second campus in 2015, it was a member of the 1994 Group of smaller research intensive universities until the group was dissolved in November 2013. The annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £300.8 million of which £41.9 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £295.5 million. Loughborough is ranked within the top 10 of all three national league tables and is internationally renowned for its sports-related courses and achievements. In 2013, the university won its seventh Queen's Anniversary Prize, awarded in recognition of its impact through research and skills development in High Value Manufacturing to create economic growth.
The university is rated five star for excellence by Quacquarelli Symonds through QS Star Scheme. The university traces its roots back to 1909 when a Technical Institute was founded in the town centre. There followed a period of rapid expansion during which the institute was renamed Loughborough College and the development of the present campus began. In the early years, efforts were made to mimic the environment of an Oxbridge college whilst maintaining a strong practical counterbalance to academic learning. During World War I, the institute served as an'instructional factory', training workers for the munitions industry. Following the war, the institute fragmented into four separate colleges: Loughborough Training College Loughborough College of Art Loughborough College of Further Education Loughborough College of Technology The last was to become the nucleus of the present university, its rapid expansion from a small provincial college to the first British technical university was due to the efforts of its principals, Herbert Schofield who led it from 1915 to 1950 and Herbert Haslegrave who oversaw its further expansion from 1953 to 1967, steered its progress first to a College of Advanced Technology and a university.
In 1966, the College of Advanced Technology as it had become, received university status. In 1977, the university broadened its range of studies by amalgamating with Loughborough College of Education. More in August 1998, the university merged with Loughborough College of Art and Design. Loughborough College is still a college of further education. Schofield became principal in 1915 and continued to lead the College of Technology until 1950. Over his years as principal, the College changed beyond recognition, he purchased the estate of Burleigh Hall on the western outskirts of the town, which became the nucleus of the present 438-acre campus. He oversaw the building of the original Hazlerigg and Rutland halls of residence, which are now home to the university's administration and the Vice-Chancellor's offices. An experienced educationist, Herbert Haslegrave took over as college principal in 1953, by both increasing the breadths and raising standards, gained it the status of Colleges of Advanced Technology in 1958.
He further began a building programme. In 1963, the Robbins Report on higher education recommended that all colleges of advanced technology should be given the status of universities. Loughborough College of Technology was granted a Royal Charter on 19 April 1966 and became Loughborough University of Technology, with Haslegrave as its first vice-chancellor, it remodelled itself in the image of the plate glass universities of the period, created under Robbins. In 1977, Loughborough Training College was absorbed into the university; the Arts College was amalgamated with the university in 1998. These additions have diluted the technological flavour of the institution, causing it to resemble more a traditional university with its mix of humanities and sciences. In 1996, the university dropped the'of Technology' from its title, becoming'Loughborough University'; the shortened name'Lufbra' is used by the students' union, the alumni association and others. The university's main campus is in the Leicestershire town of Loughborough.
The Loughborough campus covers an area of 438 acres, includes academic departments, halls of residence, the Students' Union, two gyms and playing fields. Of particular interest are the walled garden, the'garden of remembrance', the Hazlerigg-Rutland Hall fountain-courtyard and the Bastard Gates. In the central quadrangle of the campus stands a famous cedar, which has appeared as a symbol for the university. A heavy snowfall in December 1990 led to the collapse of the upper canopy which gave the tree its distinctive shape; the Pilkington Library opened in 1980. It covers 9,161 square metres over four floors with 1375 study places; the Library has a history of undertaking research in the field of information work. There is an open access area where students are allowed to take in cold food and drinks as well as to engage in group discussions. Loughborough University L
Table manners are the rules used while eating, which may include the use of utensils. Different cultures observe different rules for table manners; each family or group sets its own standards for how these rules are to be enforced. Traditionally in Western Europe, the host or hostess takes the first bite unless he or she instructs otherwise; the host begins after everyone is seated. In religious households, a family meal may commence with saying grace, or at dinner parties the guests might begin the meal by offering some favorable comments on the food and thanks to the host. In a group dining situation it is considered impolite to begin eating before all the group have been served their food and are ready to start. Napkins should be placed on the lap and not tucked into clothing, they should not be used for anything other than wiping your mouth and should be placed unfolded on the seat of your chair should you need to leave the table during the meal or placed unfolded on the table when the meal is finished.
The fork is held with the knife held with the right. The fork is held with the tines down, using the knife to cut food or help guide food on to the fork; when no knife is being used, the fork can be held with the tines up. With the tines up, the fork balances on the side of the index finger, held in place with the thumb and index finger. Under no circumstances should the fork be held like a shovel, with all fingers wrapped around the base. A single mouthful of food should be lifted on the fork and you should not chew or bite food from the fork; the knife should be held with the base into the palm of the hand, not like a pen with the base resting between the thumb and forefinger. The knife must never be licked; when eating soup, the spoon is held in the right hand and the bowl tipped away from the diner, scooping the soup in outward movements. The soup spoon should never be put into the mouth, soup should be sipped from the side of the spoon, not the end. Food should always be chewed with the mouth closed.
Talking with food in one's mouth is seen as rude. Licking one's fingers and eating can be considered impolite. Food should always be tasted before pepper are added. Applying condiments or seasoning before the food is tasted is viewed as an insult to the cook, as it shows a lack of faith in the cook's ability to prepare a meal. Butter should be cut, not scraped, from the butter dish using a butter knife or side plate knife and put onto a side plate, not spread directly on to the bread; this prevents the butter in the dish from gathering bread crumbs. Bread rolls should be torn with the hands into mouth-sized pieces and buttered individually, from the butter placed on the side plate, using a knife. Bread should not be used to dip into soup or sauces; as with butter, cheese should be placed on your plate before eating. Only white wine or rosé is held by the stem of the glass. Pouring one's own drink when eating with other people is acceptable, but it is more polite to offer to pour drinks to the people sitting on either side.
Wine bottles should not be upturned in an ice bucket. It is impolite to reach over someone to pick up food or other items. Diners should always ask for items to be passed along the table to them. In the same vein, diners should pass those items directly to the person, it is rude to slurp food, eat noisily or make noise with cutlery. Elbows should remain off the table; when one has finished eating, this should be communicated to other diners and waiting staff by placing the knife and fork together on the plate, at 6 o'clock position, with the fork tines facing upwards. At family meals, children are expected to ask permission to leave the table at the end of the meal. Should a mobile telephone ring or if a text message is received, the diner should ignore the call. In exceptional cases where the diner feels the call may be of an urgent nature, they should ask to be excused, leave the room and take the call out of earshot of the other diners. Placing a phone, handbag or wallet on the dinner table is considered rude.
Modern etiquette provides the smallest types of utensils necessary for dining. Only utensils which are to be used for the planned meal should be set. If needed, hosts should not have more than three utensils on either side of the plate before a meal. If extra utensils are needed, they may be brought to the table along with courses. A table cloth extending 10–15 inches past the edge of the table should be used for formal dinners, while placemats may be used for breakfast and informal suppers. Candlesticks if not lit, should not be on the table while dining during daylight hours. At some restaurants, women may be asked for their orders before men. Men's and unisex hats should never be worn at the table. Ladies' hats may be worn during the day if visiting others. Phones and other distracting items should not be used at the dining table. Reading at a table is permitted only at breakfast, unless the diner is alone. Urgent matters should be handled, by stepping away from the table. If food must be removed from the mouth for some reason—a pit, bone, or gristle—the rule of thumb according to Emily Post, is that it comes out the same way it went in.
For example, if olives are eaten by hand, the pit may be removed by hand. If an olive in a salad is eaten with a fork, the pit should be deposited back onto the fork inside one's mouth, placed onto a plate; the same applies to any small piece of gristle in food. A diner should never spit things into a napkin not a cloth napkin. Since the napkin is
Watford is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, England, 15 miles northwest of central London. The town developed on the River Colne on land belonging to St Albans Abbey until the 16th century. During the 12th century a charter was granted allowing a market, the building of St Mary's Church began; the town grew due to travellers going to Berkhamsted Castle and the royal palace at Kings Langley. A mansion was built at Cassiobury in the 16th century; this was rebuilt in the 17th century and another country house was built at The Grove. Connections with the Grand Junction Canal and the London and Birmingham Railway allowed the town to grow more with paper-making mills, such as John Dickinson and Co. at nearby Croxley, influencing the development of printing in the town. Two brewers and Sedgwicks, amalgamated and flourished in the town until their closure in the late 20th century. Hertfordshire County Council designates Watford to be a major sub-regional centre. Several head offices are based in Watford.
Both the 2006 World Golf Championship and the 2013 Bilderberg Conference took place at The Grove. Watford became an urban district under the Local Government Act 1894 and a municipal borough by grant of a charter in 1922; the borough, which had 90,301 inhabitants at the time of the 2011 census, is separated from Greater London to the south by the parish of Watford Rural in the Three Rivers District. Watford Borough Council is the local authority with the Mayor of Watford as its head. Watford elects one MP for the Watford constituency. Prior to the establishment of this constituency in 1885, the area was part of the three-seat constituency of Hertfordshire. There is evidence of some limited prehistoric occupation around the Watford area, with a few Celtic and Roman finds, though there is no evidence of a settlement until much later. Watford stands where the River Colne could be crossed on an ancient trackway from the southeast to the northwest. Watford's High Street follows the line of part of this route.
The town was located on the first dry ground above the marshy edges of the River Colne. The name Watford may have arisen from the Old English for "waet", or "wath", ford. St Albans Abbey claimed rights to the manor of Cashio, which included Watford, dating from a grant by King Offa in AD 793; the name Watford is first mentioned in an Anglo-Saxon charter of 1007, where "Watforda" is one of the places marking the boundary of "Oxanhaege". It is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, when this area was part of St Albans' Abbey's manor of cashio. In the 12th century the Abbey was granted a charter allowing it to hold a market here and the building of St Mary's Church began; the settlement's location helped it to grow, since as well as trade along this north-south through route it possessed good communications into the vale of St Albans to the east and into the Chiltern Hills along the valley of the River Chess to the west. The town grew modestly, assisted by travellers passing through to Berkhamsted Castle and the royal palace at Kings Langley.
A big house was built at Cassiobury in the 16th century. This was rebuilt in the 17th century and another substantial house was built nearby at The Grove; the houses were developed throughout the following centuries. Cassiobury became the family seat of the Earls of Essex, The Grove the seat of the Earls of Clarendon. In 1762, Sparrows Herne Turnpike Road was established across the Chilterns; the toll road followed that of the original A41 road. The location of a toll house can be seen at the bottom of Chalk Hill on the Watford side of Bushey Arches close to the Wickes hardware store. In 1778, Daniel Defoe described Watford as a "Genteel market town long, having but one street". Watford remained an agricultural community with some cottage industry for many centuries; the Industrial Revolution brought the Grand Junction Canal from 1798 and the London and Birmingham Railway from 1837, both located here for the same reasons the road had followed centuries before, seeking an easy gradient over the Chiltern Hills.
The land-owning interests permitted the canal to follow by the river Gade, but the prospect of smoke-emitting steam trains drove them to ensure the railway gave a wide berth to the Cassiobury and Grove estates. Although the road and canal follow the easier valley route, the railway company was forced to build an expensive tunnel under Leavesden to the north of the town. Watford's original railway station opened in 1837 on the west side of St Albans Road, a small, single-storey red-brick building, it closed in 1858 when it was replaced by a new, larger station at Watford Junction 200 metres further south-east. The old station house still stands today. Watford Junction railway station is situated to the north of the town centre; these developments gave the town excellent communications and stimulated its industrial growth during the 19th and 20th centuries. The Grand Union Canal, allowed coal to be brought into the district and paved the way for industrial development; the Watford Gas and Coke Company was formed in 1834 and gas works built.
The canal allowed paper-making mills to be sited at Croxley. The John Dickinson and Co. mill beside the canal manufactured the Croxley brand of fine quality paper. There had been brewing in Watford from the 17th century and, by the 19th century, two industrial scale brewers Benskins and Sedgwicks were located in the town; the parish church of St Ma