Roman Britain was the area of the island of Great Britain, governed by the Roman Empire, from 43 to 410 AD. It comprised the whole of England and Wales and, for a short period, southern Scotland. Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 54 BC as part of his Gallic Wars. According to Caesar, the Britons had been overrun or culturally assimilated by other Celtic tribes during the British Iron Age and had been aiding Caesar's enemies, he received tribute, installed a friendly king over the Trinovantes, returned to Gaul. Planned invasions under Augustus were called off in 34, 27, 25 BC. In 40 AD, Caligula assembled 200,000 men at the Channel on the continent, only to have them gather seashells according to Suetonius as a symbolic gesture to proclaim Caligula's victory over the sea. Three years Claudius directed four legions to invade Britain and restore an exiled king over the Atrebates; the Romans defeated the Catuvellauni, organized their conquests as the Province of Britain. By the year 47, the Romans held the lands southeast of the Fosse Way.
Control over Wales was delayed by reverses and the effects of Boudica's uprising, but the Romans expanded northward. The conquest of Britain continued under command of Gnaeus Julius Agricola, who expanded the Roman Empire as far as Caledonia. In the summer of 84, Agricola faced the armies of the Caledonians, led by Calgacus, at the Battle of Mons Graupius. Battle casualties were estimated by Tacitus to be around the 10,000's on the Caledonian side and about 360 on the Roman side; the bloodbath at Mons Graupius concluded the forty-year conquest of Britain, a period that saw between 100,000 and 250,000 Britons killed. In the context of pre-industrial warfare and of a total population of Britain of c.2 million, these are high figures. Under the 2nd-century emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, two walls were built to defend the Roman province from the Caledonians, whose realms in the Scottish Highlands were never controlled. Around 197, the Severan Reforms divided Britain into two provinces: Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior.
During the Diocletian Reforms, at the end of the 3rd century, Britannia was divided into four provinces under the direction of a vicarius, who administered the Diocese of the Britains. A fifth province, Valentia, is attested in the 4th century. For much of the period of the Roman occupation, Britannia was subject to barbarian invasions and came under the control of imperial usurpers and imperial pretenders; the final Roman withdrawal from Britain occurred around 410. Following the conquest of the Britons, a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged as the Romans introduced improved agriculture, urban planning, industrial production, architecture; the Roman goddess Britannia became the female personification of Britain. After the initial invasions, Roman historians only mention Britain in passing. Thus, most present knowledge derives from archaeological investigations and occasional epigraphic evidence lauding the Britannic achievements of an emperor. Roman citizens settled in Britain from many parts of the Empire.
Britain was known to the Classical world. The Greeks referred to the Cassiterides, or "tin islands", placed them near the west coast of Europe; the Carthaginian sailor Himilco is said to have visited the island in the 5th century BC and the Greek explorer Pytheas in the 4th. It was regarded with some writers refusing to believe it existed at all; the first direct Roman contact was when Julius Caesar undertook two expeditions in 55 and 54 BC, as part of his conquest of Gaul, believing the Britons were helping the Gallic resistance. The first expedition was more a reconnaissance than a full invasion and gained a foothold on the coast of Kent but was unable to advance further because of storm damage to the ships and a lack of cavalry. Despite the military failure it was a political success, with the Roman Senate declaring a 20-day public holiday in Rome to honour the unprecedented achievement of obtaining hostages from Britain and defeating Belgian tribes on returning to the continent; the second invasion involved a larger force and Caesar coerced or invited many of the native Celtic tribes to pay tribute and give hostages in return for peace.
A friendly local king, was installed, his rival, was brought to terms. Hostages were taken, but historians disagree over whether any tribute was paid after Caesar returned to Gaul. Caesar conquered no territory and left no troops behind but he established clients and brought Britain into Rome's sphere of influence. Augustus planned invasions in 34, 27 and 25 BC, but circumstances were never favourable, the relationship between Britain and Rome settled into one of diplomacy and trade. Strabo, writing late in Augustus's reign, claimed that taxes on trade brought in more annual revenue than any conquest could. Archaeology shows. Strabo mentions British kings who sent embassies to Augustus and Augustus's own Res Gestae refers to two British kings he received as refugees; when some of Tiberius's ships were carried to Britain in a storm during his campaigns in Germany in 16 AD, they came back with tales of monsters. Rome appears to have encouraged a balance of power in southern Britain, supporting two powerful kingdoms: the Catuvellauni, ruled by the descendants of Tasciovanus, the Atrebates, ruled by the descendants of Commius.
This policy was followed until 39 or 40
Political history of the United Kingdom (1945–present)
When Britain emerged victorious from the Second World War, the Labour Party under Clement Attlee came to power and created a comprehensive welfare state, with the establishment of the National Health Service giving free healthcare to all British citizens, other reforms to benefits. The Bank of England, heavy industry, coal mining were all nationalised; the most controversial issue was nationalisation of steel, profitable unlike the others. Economic recovery was slow, housing was in short supply, bread was rationed along with many necessities in short supply, it was an "age of austerity". American loans and Marshall Plan grants kept the economy afloat. India, Pakistan and Ceylon gained independence. Britain was a strong anti-Soviet factor in the Cold War and helped found NATO in 1949; the Labour Party introduced charges for NHS dental services and glasses in 1951. The Conservatives returned to power in 1951, accepting most of Labour's postwar reforms, but introduced prescription charges to the NHS in 1952 and denationalized steel in 1953.
They presided over 13 years of economic stability. However the Suez Crisis of 1956 demonstrated. Ghana, Malaya and Kenya were granted independence during this period. Labour returned to power under Harold Wilson in 1964 and oversaw a series of social reforms including the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality and abortion, the relaxing of divorce laws and the end of capital punishment. Edward Heath returned the Conservatives to power from 1970 to 1974, oversaw the decimalisation of British currency, the accession of Britain to the European Economic Community, the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. In the wake of the 1973 oil crisis and a miner's strike, Heath introduced the three-day working week to conserve power. Labour made a return to power in 1974 but a series of strikes carried out by trade unions over the winter of 1978/79 paralysed the country and as Labour lost its majority in parliament, a general election was called in 1979 which took Margaret Thatcher to power and began 18 years of Conservative government.
Victory in the Falklands War and the government's strong opposition to trade unions helped lead the Conservative Party to another three terms in government. Thatcher pursued monetarist policies and went on to privatise many of Britain's nationalised companies such as British Telecom, British Gas Corporation, British Airways and British Steel Corporation, she kept the National Health Service. The controversial Community Charge, used to fund local government was unpopular and the Conservatives removed Thatcher as Prime Minister in 1990. Major replaced the Poll Tax with the Council Tax and oversaw successful British involvement in the Gulf War. Despite a recession, Major led the Conservatives to a surprise victory in 1992; the events of Black Wednesday in 1992, party disunity over the European Union and several scandals involving Conservative politicians led to Labour under Tony Blair winning a landslide election victory in 1997. Labour had shifted its policies closer to the political centre, under the new slogan'New Labour'.
The Bank of England was given independence over monetary policy and Scotland and Wales were given a devolved Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly respectively. A devolved power sharing Northern Ireland Executive was established in 1998, believed by many to be the end of The Troubles. Blair led Britain into the Afghanistan and Iraq War before leaving office in 2007, when he was succeeded by his Chancellor Gordon Brown. A global recession in 2008–10 led to Labour's defeat in the 2010 election, it was replaced by a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, headed by David Cameron, that pursued a series of public spending cuts to reduce the budget deficit. In June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union; the Conservatives replaced Cameron with Theresa May. After the Second World War, the landslide 1945 election returned the Labour Party to power and Clement Attlee became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; the party nationalised critical sectors of the economy declining industries. The Bank of England was nationalised along with railways, coal mining, public utilities and heavy industry.
The most controversial case was the takeover of the profitable iron and steel industry, opposed and reversed by the Conservatives. A comprehensive welfare state was created with the National Insurance Act 1946, in which people in work paid a flat rate of national insurance. In return, they were eligible for flat-rate pensions, sickness benefit, unemployment benefit, funeral benefit. Various other pieces of legislation provided for child benefit and support for people with no other source of income. In the estimation of historians, politicians of the major parties, the most successful and permanent program was the creation of a National Health Service which started operations in 1947, it entitled all citizens to healthcare, funded by taxation, was free at the point of delivery. The opposition from physicians was bought off by allowing them to keep lucrative private practices on the side. All hospitals were brought into the system. John Carrier and Ian Kendall find that the mission for Minister of Health Aneurin Bevan was resolving "The potential conflict between the aim of providing a universalist, comprehensive health service of a good standard and that of containing health costs to a reasonable level, how to finance the system in such a way that certainty and sufficiency of funds could be guaranteed."
Michael Foot adds that Bevan had to persuade "the m
History of England
England became inhabited more than 800,000 years ago, as the discovery of stone tools and footprints at Happisburgh in Norfolk has revealed. The earliest evidence for early modern humans in North West Europe, a jawbone discovered in Devon at Kents Cavern in 1927, was re-dated in 2011 to between 41,000 and 44,000 years old. Continuous human habitation in England dates to around 13,000 years ago, at the end of the last glacial period; the region has numerous remains from the Mesolithic and Bronze Age, such as Stonehenge and Avebury. In the Iron Age, like all of Britain south of the Firth of Forth, was inhabited by the Celtic people known as the Britons, including some Belgic tribes in the south east. In AD 43 the Roman conquest of Britain began; the end of Roman rule in Britain facilitated the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain, which historians regard as the origin of England and of the English people. The Anglo-Saxons, a collection of various Germanic peoples, established several kingdoms that became the primary powers in present-day England and parts of southern Scotland.
They introduced the Old English language, which displaced the previous British language. The Anglo-Saxons warred with British successor states in Wales and the Hen Ogledd, as well as with each other. Raids by Vikings became frequent after about AD 800, the Norsemen settled in large parts of what is now England. During this period, several rulers attempted to unite the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, an effort that led to the emergence of the Kingdom of England by the 10th century. In 1066, a Norman expedition conquered England; the Norman dynasty established by William the Conqueror ruled England for over half a century before the period of succession crisis known as the Anarchy. Following the Anarchy, England came under the rule of the House of Plantagenet, a dynasty which inherited claims to the Kingdom of France. During this period, the Magna Carta was signed. A succession crisis in France led to the Hundred Years' War, a series of conflicts involving the peoples of both nations. Following the Hundred Years' Wars, England became embroiled in its own succession wars.
The Wars of the Roses pitted two branches of the House of Plantagenet against one another, the House of York and the House of Lancaster. The Lancastrian Henry Tudor ended the War of the Roses and established the Tudor dynasty in 1485. Under the Tudors and the Stuart dynasty, England became a colonial power. During the rule of the Stuarts, the English Civil War took place between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists, which resulted in the execution of King Charles I and the establishment of a series of republican governments — first, a Parliamentary republic known as the Commonwealth of England a military dictatorship under Oliver Cromwell known as The Protectorate; the Stuarts returned to the restored throne in 1660, though continued questions over religion and power resulted in the deposition of another Stuart king, James II, in the Glorious Revolution. England, which had conquered Wales in the 13th century, united with Scotland in 1707 to form a new sovereign state called Great Britain.
Following the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain ruled a colonial Empire, the largest in recorded history. Following a process of decolonisation in the 20th century caused by the weakening of Great Britain's power in the two World Wars all of the empire's overseas territories became independent countries. However, as of 2018, its cultural impact remains deep in many of them; the time from Britain's first inhabitation until the last glacial maximum is known as the Old Stone Age, or Palaeolithic era. Archaeological evidence indicates that what was to become England was colonised by humans long before the rest of the British Isles because of its more hospitable climate between and during the various glacial periods of the distant past; this earliest evidence, from Happisburgh in Norfolk, includes the oldest human footprints found outside Africa, points to dates of more than 800,000 BP. These earliest inhabitants were hunter-gatherers. Low sea-levels meant that Britain was attached to the continent for much of this earliest period of history, varying temperatures over tens of thousands of years meant that it was not always inhabited.
England has been continually inhabited since the last Ice Age ended around 9,000 BC, the beginning of the Middle Stone Age, or Mesolithic era. Rising sea-levels cut off Britain from the continent for the last time around 6500 BC; the population by was anatomically modern humans, the evidence suggests that their societies were complex and they were manipulating their environment and prey in new ways selective burning of omnipresent woodland to create clearings for herds to gather and hunt them. Hunting was done with simple projectile weapons such as javelin and sling. Bow and arrow was known in Western Europe since least 9000 BC; the climate continued to warm and the population rose. The New Stone Age, or Neolithic era, began with the introduction of farming from the Middle East, around 4000 BC, it is not known whether this was caused by a substantial folk movement or native adoption of foreign practices or both. People began to lead a more settled lifestyle. Monumental collective tombs were built for the dead in the form of chambered cairns and long barrows.
Towards the end of the period, other kinds of monumental ston
The Regency in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a period when King George III was deemed unfit to rule due to his illness and his son ruled as his proxy as Prince Regent. On the death of George III in 1820, the Prince Regent became George IV; the term Regency can refer to various stretches of time. The period from 1795 to 1837, which includes the latter part of the reign of George III and the reigns of his sons George IV and William IV, is sometimes regarded as the Regency era, characterised by distinctive trends in British architecture, fashions and culture, it ended in 1837 when Queen Victoria succeeded William IV. The Regency is noted for its elegance and achievements in the fine arts and architecture; this era encompassed a time of great social and economic change. War was waged with Napoleon and on other fronts, affecting commerce both at home and internationally, as well as politics. Despite the bloodshed and warfare, the Regency was a period of great refinement and cultural achievement and altering the societal structure of Britain as a whole.
One of the greatest patrons of the arts and architecture was the Prince Regent himself. Upper-class society flourished in a sort of mini-Renaissance of refinement; as one of the greatest patrons of the arts, the Prince Regent ordered the costly building and refurbishing of the beautiful and exotic Brighton Pavilion, the ornate Carlton House, as well as many other public works and architecture. This required dipping into the treasury and the Regent, the King's exuberance outstripped his pocket, at the people's expense. Society was considerably stratified. In many ways, there was a dark side to the fashion in England at this time. In the dingier, less affluent areas of London, womanising, the existence of rookeries, constant drinking ran rampant; the population boom—the population increased from just under a million in 1801 to one and a quarter million by 1820—created a wild, roiling and vibrant scene. According to Robert Southey, the difference between the strata of society was vast indeed: The squalor that existed beneath the glamour and gloss of Regency society provided sharp contrast to the Prince Regent's social circle.
Poverty was addressed only marginally. The formation of the Regency after the retirement of George III saw the end of a more pious and reserved society, gave birth of a more frivolous, ostentatious one; this change was influenced by the Regent himself, kept removed from the machinations of politics and military exploits. This did nothing to channel his energies in a more positive direction, thereby leaving him with the pursuit of pleasure as his only outlet, as well as his sole form of rebellion against what he saw as disapproval and censure in the form of his father. Driving these changes was not only money and rebellious pampered youth, but significant technological advancements. In 1814, The Times adopted steam printing. By this method it could now print 1,100 sheets every hour, not 200 as before—a fivefold increase in production capability and demand; this development brought about the rise of the wildly popular fashionable novels in which publishers spread the stories and flaunting of the rich and aristocratic, not so secretly hinting at the specific identity of these individuals.
The gap in the hierarchy of society was so great that those of the upper classes could be viewed by those below as wondrous and fantastical fiction, something out of reach yet tangibly there. 1811 George Augustus Frederick, Prince of Wales, began his nine-year tenure as regent and became known as The Prince Regent. This sub-period of the Georgian era began the formal Regency; the Duke of Wellington held off the French at Fuentes Albuhera in the Peninsular War. The Prince Regent held a fete at 9:00 p.m. June 19, 1811, at Carlton House in celebration of his assumption of the Regency. Luddite uprisings. Glasgow weavers riot. 1812 Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was assassinated in the House of Commons. Final shipment of the Elgin Marbles arrived in England. Sarah Siddons retired from the stage. Shipping and territory disputes started the War of 1812 between the United Kingdom and the United States; the British were victorious over French armies at the Battle of Salamanca. Gas company founded. Charles Dickens, English writer and social critic of the Victorian era, was born on 7 February 1812.
1813 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was published. William Hedley's Puffing Billy, an early steam locomotive, ran on smooth rails. Quaker prison reformer Elizabeth Fry started her ministry at Newgate Prison. Robert Southey became Poet Laureate. 1814 Invasion of France by allies led to the Treaty of Paris, ended one of the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon was exiled to Elba; the Duke of Wellington was honoured at Burlington House in London. British soldiers burn the White House. Last River Thames Frost Fair was held, the last time the river froze. Gas lighting introduced in London streets. 1815 Napoleon I of France defeated by the Seventh Coalition at the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon was exiled to St. Helena; the English Corn Laws restricted corn imports. Sir Humphry Davy patented the miners' safety lamp. John Loudon Macadam's road construction method adopted. 1816 Income tax abolished. A "year without a summer" followed a volcanic eruption in Indonesia. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. William Cobbett published his newspaper as a pamphlet.
The British returned Indonesia to the Dutch. Regent's Canal, phase one of c
Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands; the unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government, based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover; the early years of the unified kingdom were marked by Jacobite risings which ended in defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746.
In 1763, victory in the Seven Years' War led to the dominance of the British Empire, to become the foremost global power for over a century and grew to become the largest empire in history. The Kingdom of Great Britain was replaced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801 with the Acts of Union 1800; the name Britain descends from the Latin name for the island of Great Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, the land of the Britons via the Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The term Great Britain was first used in 1474; the use of the word "Great" before "Britain" originates in the French language, which uses Bretagne for both Britain and Brittany. French therefore distinguishes between the two by calling Britain la Grande Bretagne, a distinction, transferred into English; the Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union state that England and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", as such "Great Britain" was the official name of the state, as well as being used in titles such as "Parliament of Great Britain".
Both the Acts and the Treaty describe the country as "One Kingdom" and a "United Kingdom", which has led some much publications into the error of treating the "United Kingdom" as a name before it came into being in 1801. The websites of the Scottish Parliament, the BBC, others, including the Historical Association, refer to the state created on 1 May 1707 as the United Kingdom of Great Britain; the term United Kingdom was sometimes used during the 18th century to describe the state, but was not its name. The kingdoms of England and Scotland, both in existence from the 9th century, were separate states until 1707. However, they had come into a personal union in 1603, when James VI of Scotland became king of England under the name of James I; this Union of the Crowns under the House of Stuart meant that the whole of the island of Great Britain was now ruled by a single monarch, who by virtue of holding the English crown ruled over the Kingdom of Ireland. Each of the three kingdoms maintained laws.
Various smaller islands were in the king's domain, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This disposition changed when the Acts of Union 1707 came into force, with a single unified Crown of Great Britain and a single unified parliament. Ireland remained formally separate, with its own parliament, until the Acts of Union 1800; the Union of 1707 provided for a Protestant-only succession to the throne in accordance with the English Act of Settlement of 1701. The Act of Settlement required that the heir to the English throne be a descendant of the Electress Sophia of Hanover and not be a Catholic. Legislative power was vested in the Parliament of Great Britain, which replaced both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. In practice it was a continuation of the English parliament, sitting at the same location in Westminster, expanded to include representation from Scotland; as with the former Parliament of England and the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of Great Britain was formally constituted of three elements: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Crown.
The right of the English peerage to sit in the House of Lords remained unchanged, while the disproportionately large Scottish peerage was permitted to send only 16 representative peers, elected from amongst their number for the life of each parliament. The members of the former English House of Commons continued as members of the British House of Commons, but as a reflection of the relative tax bases of the two countries the number of Scottish representatives was reduced to 45. Newly created peers in the Peerage of Great Britain were given the automatic right to sit in the Lords. Despite the end of a separate parliament for Scotland, it retained its own laws and system of courts, As its own established Presbyterian Church, control over its own schools; the social structure was hierarchical, the same elite remain in control after 1707. Scotland continued to have its own excellent universities, with the strong intellectual community in Edinburgh, The Scottish Enlightenment had a major impact on British and European thinking.
As a result of Poynings' Law of 1495, the Parliament of Ireland was subordinate to the Parliament of England, after 1707 to the Parliament of Great Britain. The Westminster parliament's Declaratory Act 1719 (also called the Dependency of Ireland
House of Tudor
The House of Tudor was an English royal house of Welsh origin, descended in the male line from the Tudors of Penmynydd. Tudor monarchs ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including their ancestral Wales and the Lordship of Ireland from 1485 until 1603, with five monarchs in that period; the Tudors succeeded the House of Plantagenet as rulers of the Kingdom of England, were succeeded by the House of Stuart. The first Tudor monarch, Henry VII of England, descended through his mother from a legitimised branch of the English royal House of Lancaster; the Tudor family rose to power in the wake of the Wars of the Roses, which left the House of Lancaster, to which the Tudors were aligned, extinct. Henry Tudor was able to establish himself as a candidate not only for traditional Lancastrian supporters, but for the discontented supporters of their rival House of York, he rose to the throne by the right of conquest, his victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field was reinforced by his marriage to the English princess Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, symbolically uniting the former warring factions under a new dynasty.
The Tudors extended their power beyond modern England, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in 1542, asserting English authority over the Kingdom of Ireland. They maintained the nominal English claim to the Kingdom of France. After him, his daughter Mary I lost control of all territory in France permanently with the fall of Calais in 1558. In total, five Tudor monarchs ruled their domains for just over a century. Henry VIII was the only son of Henry VII to live to the age of maturity. Issues around the royal succession became major political themes during the Tudor era. In 1603 when Elizabeth I died without heir, the Scottish House of Stuart supplanted the Tudors as England's royal family through the Union of the Crowns; the first Stuart to be King of England, James VI and I, descended from Henry VII's daughter Margaret Tudor, who in 1503 married James IV as part of the Treaty of Perpetual Peace. For analysis of politics and social history, see Tudor period; the Tudors descended on Henry VII's mother's side from John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset, one of the illegitimate children of the 14th century English prince John of Gaunt by Gaunt's long-term mistress Katherine Swynford.
The descendants of an illegitimate child of English royalty would have no claim on the throne, but the situation became complicated when Gaunt and Swynford married in 1396, when John Beaufort was 25. The church retroactively declared the Beauforts legitimate by way of a papal bull the same year, confirmed by an Act of Parliament in 1397. A subsequent proclamation by John of Gaunt's legitimate son, Henry IV recognised the Beauforts' legitimacy but declared them ineligible to inherit the throne; the Beauforts remained allied with Gaunt's legitimate descendants from his first marriage, the House of Lancaster. However the descent from the Beauforts, despite the above, did not render Henry of Richmond a legitimate heir to the throne nor did the fact that his father's mother had been a Queen of England make him an heir; the legitimate heir, or, in this case, was the Countess of Salisbury, descended from the second son of Edward III, Duke of Clarence and his fourth son, the Duke of York. This is verified by the Tudor family tree which appears in this article.
Henry Tudor had, one thing that the others did not. He had an army which had defeated and killed the last Yorkist King, Richard III and therefore the support of powerful nobles, his son Henry VIII made sure there were no other claimants to the Throne when he wiped out all the remaining Plantagenet heirs including the Countess of Salisbury and her family the Poles. One Pole alone survived, he became Archbishop of Canterbury under the Catholic Mary I. On 1 November 1455, John Beaufort's granddaughter, Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, married Henry VI's maternal half-brother Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, it was his father, Owen Tudor, who abandoned the Welsh patronymic naming practice and adopted a fixed surname. When he did, he did not choose, as was the custom, his father's name, but chose that of his grandfather, Tudur ap Goronwy, instead; this name is sometimes given as Tewdwr, the Welsh form of Theodore, but Modern Welsh Tudur, Old Welsh Tutir is not a variant but a different and unrelated name, etymologically identical with Gaulish Toutorix, from Proto-Celtic *toutā "people, tribe" and *rīxs "king", corresponding to Germanic Theodoric.
Owen Tudor was one of the bodyguards for the queen dowager Catherine of Valois, whose husband, Henry V, had died in 1422. Evidence suggests that the two were secretly married in 1429; the two sons born of the marriage and Jasper, were among the most loyal supporters of the House of Lancaster in its struggle against the House of York. Henry VI ennobled his half-brothers: Edmund became Earl of Richmond on 15 December 1449 and was married to Lady Margaret Beaufort, the great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, the progenitor of the house of Lancaster. Edmund died on 3 November 1456. On 28 January 1457, his widow Margaret, who had just attained her fourte
English society comprises the group behaviour of the English people, of collective social interactions and political attitudes in England. The social history of England evidences many social and societal changes over the history of England, from Anglo-Saxon England to the contemporary forces upon the Western world; these major social changes have both internally and in its relationship with other nations. The themes of social history include demographic history, labour history and the working class, women's history, the history of education in England and agricultural history, urban history and industrialisation; the distant past does not offer much information on the structures of society, major changes in human behaviour make it that society must have changed dramatically. In common with much of Europe, the switch from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to farming around 4000 BC must have heralded an enormous shift in all aspects of human life. Nobody knows what changes may have occurred, recent evidence of permanent buildings and habitation from 3,000 years ago means that these may still have been gradual shifts.
One of the most obvious symbols of change in prehistoric society is Stonehenge. The building of such stone circles, burial mounds and monuments throughout the British Isles seems to have required a division of labour. Builders would have needed to dedicate themselves to the task of monument construction to acquire the required skills. Not having time to hunt and farm would make them rely on others to such an extent that specialised farmers would emerge who provided not only for themselves but for the monument builders. There are many changes in culture seen in prehistoric and times such as the Beaker people, the Celts, the Romans and the Anglo-Saxons; the Roman invasion of Britain in 54 BC did not alter society at first, as it was a replacement of the ruling class, but numerous, at first minor, ideas would gain footholds. It would not have affected Ireland in the slightest, it is from the Romans, Tacitus, that we get the earliest detailed written records of Britain and its tribal society. We get fascinating glimpses of society in Britain before the Romans, although only and disparagingly mentioned the importance of powerful women such as Cartimandua and Boudica.
City dwelling was not new to pre-Roman Britain, but it was a lifestyle that the Romans preferred though available to only a select few Romanised Britons. Romanisation was an important part of the Roman conquest strategy, British rulers who willingly adopted Roman ways were rewarded as client kings. To subdue and control the country, the Romans built a major road network which not only was an important civil engineering project but formed the basis of the country's communication links; the Romans brought many other innovations and ideas such as writing and plumbing, but how many of these things were the preserve of the rich or were lost and re-appropriated at a date is uncertain. The collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century is thought to have brought general strife and anarchy to society, but the actual events are not well understood. Archaeology shows a reduction in the expensive goods found before and the Roman cities began to be abandoned, but much of British society had never had such things.
Numerous peoples took advantage of the absence of Roman power, but how they affected British society is far from clear. The hegemony of Roman rule gave way to a selection of splintered competing, including the heptarchy. Rather than think of themselves as a small part of a larger Roman empire, they reverted to smaller tribal allegiances; the Anglo-Saxons' arrival is the most hotly disputed of events, the extent to which they killed, displaced, or integrated with the existing society is still questioned. What is clear is that a separate Anglo-Saxon society, which would become England with a more Germanic feel, was set up in the south east of the island; these new arrivals had not been conquered by the Romans but their society was similar to that of Britain. The main difference was their pagan religion, which the surviving northern areas of non-Saxon rule sought to convert to Christianity. During the 7th century these northern areas Northumbria, became important sites of learning, with monasteries acting like early schools and intellectuals such as Bede being influential.
In the 9th century Alfred the Great worked to promote a literate, educated people and did much to promote the English language writing books himself. Alfred and his successors unified and brought stability to most of the south of Britain that would become England. After the Norman conquest of England in 1066, society seemed fixed and unchanging for several centuries, but gradual and significant changes were still taking place, the exact nature of which would not be appreciated until much later; the Norman lords spoke Norman French, in order to work for them or gain advantage, the English had to use the Anglo-Norman language that developed in England. This became a necessary administrative and literary language, but despite this the English language was not supplanted, after gaining much in grammar and vocabulary began in turn to replace the language of the rulers. At the same time the population of England more than doubled between Domesday and the end of the 13th century, this growth was not checked by the continual foreign warfare and occasional civil anarchy.
Feudalism, although historians debate the term, is used to describe medieval socie