Cumbria is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local government, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's county town is Carlisle, in the north of the county, the only other major urban area is Barrow-in-Furness on the southwestern tip of the county; the county of Cumbria consists of six districts and in 2008 had a population of just under half a million. Cumbria is one of the most sparsely populated counties in the United Kingdom, with 73.4 people per km2. Cumbria is the third largest county in England by area, is bounded to the north by the Scottish council areas of Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders, to the west by the Irish Sea, to the south by Lancashire, to the southeast by North Yorkshire, to the east by County Durham and Northumberland. Cumbria is predominantly rural and contains the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered one of England's finest areas of natural beauty, serving as inspiration for artists and musicians.
A large area of the southeast of the county is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park while the east of the county fringes the North Pennines AONB. Much of Cumbria is mountainous, it contains every peak in England over 3,000 feet above sea level, with Scafell Pike at 3,209 feet being the highest point of England. An upland and rural area, Cumbria's history is characterised by invasions and settlement, as well as battles and skirmishes between the English and the Scots. Notable historic sites in Cumbria include Carlisle Castle, Furness Abbey, Hardknott Roman Fort, Brough Castle and Hadrian's Wall; the county of Cumbria was created in April 1974 through an amalgamation of the administrative counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, to which parts of Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire were added. During the Neolithic period the area contained an important centre of stone axe production, products of which have been found across Great Britain. During this period stone circles and henges began to be built across the county and today'Cumbria has one of the largest number of preserved field monuments in England'.
While not part of the region conquered in the Romans' initial conquest of Britain in 43 AD, most of modern-day Cumbria was conquered in response to a revolt deposing the Roman-aligned ruler of the Brigantes in 69 AD. The Romans built a number of fortifications in the area during their occupation, the most famous being UNESCO World Heritage Site Hadrian's Wall which passes through northern Cumbria. At the end of the period of British history known as Roman Britain the inhabitants of Cumbria were Cumbric-speaking native Romano-Britons who were descendants of the Brigantes and Carvetii that the Roman Empire had conquered in about AD 85. Based on inscriptional evidence from the area, the Roman civitas of the Carvetii seems to have covered portions of Cumbria; the names Cumbria, Cymru and Cumberland are derived from the name these people gave themselves, *kombroges in Common Brittonic, which meant "compatriots". Although Cumbria was believed to have formed the core of the Early Middle Ages Brittonic kingdom of Rheged, more recent discoveries near Galloway appear to contradict this.
For the rest of the first millennium, Cumbria was contested by several entities who warred over the area, including the Brythonic Celtic Kingdom of Strathclyde and the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria. Most of modern-day Cumbria was a principality in the Kingdom of Scotland at the time of the Norman conquest of England in 1066 and thus was excluded from the Domesday Book survey of 1086. In 1092 the region was incorporated into England; the region was dominated by the many Anglo-Scottish Wars of the latter Middle Ages and early modern period and the associated Border Reivers who exploited the dynamic political situation of the region. There were at least three sieges of Carlisle fought between England and Scotland, two further sieges during the Jacobite risings. After the Jacobite Risings of the eighteenth century, Cumbria became a more stable place and, as in the rest of Northern England, the Industrial Revolution caused a large growth in urban populations. In particular, the west-coast towns of Workington and Barrow-in-Furness saw large iron and steel mills develop, with Barrow developing a significant shipbuilding industry.
Kendal and Carlisle all became mill town, with textiles and biscuits among the products manufactured in the region. The early nineteenth century saw the county gain fame as the Lake Poets and other artists of the Romantic movement, such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, lived among, were inspired by, the lakes and mountains of the region; the children's writer Beatrix Potter wrote in the region and became a major landowner, granting much of her property to the National Trust on her death. In turn, the large amount of land owned by the National Trust assisted in the formation of the Lake District National Park in 1951, which remains the largest National Park in England and has come to dominate the identity and economy of the county; the county of Cumbria was created in 1974 from the traditional counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, the Cumberland County Borough of Carlisle, along with the North Lonsdale or Furness part of Lancashire referred to as "Lancashire North of
The Britons known as Celtic Britons or Ancient Britons, were Celtic people who inhabited Great Britain from the British Iron Age into the Middle Ages, at which point their culture and language diverged into the modern Welsh and Bretons. They spoke the ancestor to the modern Brittonic languages; the traditional view that the Celtic Britons migrated from the continent across the English Channel, with their languages and genes in the Iron Age has been undermined in recent decades by the contention of many scholars that Celtic languages had instead spread north along the Atlantic seaboard during the Bronze Age, the results of genetic studies, which show a large continuity between Iron Age and older British populations, suggesting trans-cultural diffusion was very important in the introduction of the Celtic languages. The earliest evidence for the Britons and their language in historical sources dates to the Iron Age. After the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century, a Romano-British culture emerged, Latin and British Vulgar Latin coexisted with Brittonic.
During and after the Roman era, the Britons lived throughout Britain. Their relationship with the Picts, who lived north of the Firth of Forth, has been the subject of much discussion, though most scholars now accept that the Pictish language was related to Common Brittonic, rather than a separate Celtic language. With the beginning of Anglo-Saxon settlement and Gaelic Scots in the 5th and 6th centuries, the culture and language of the Britons fragmented, much of their territory was taken over by the Anglo-Saxons and Scots Gaels; the extent to which this cultural and linguistic change was accompanied by wholesale changes in the population is still a matter of discussion. During this period some Britons migrated to mainland Europe and established significant colonies in Brittany, the Channel Islands as well as Britonia in modern Galicia, Spain. By the beginning of the 11th century, remaining Brittonic Celtic-speaking populations had split into distinct groups: the Welsh in Wales, the Cornish in Cornwall, the Bretons in Brittany, the Cumbric speaking people of the Hen Ogledd in southern Scotland and northern England, the remnants of the Pictish people in the north of Scotland.
Common Brittonic developed into the distinct Brittonic languages: Welsh, Cumbric and Breton. The earliest known reference to the inhabitants of Britain seems to come from 4th century BC records of the voyage of Pytheas, a Greek geographer who made a voyage of exploration around the British Isles between 330 and 320 BC. 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 these islands were called the Πρεττανοί, Pritani or Pretani. The group included Ireland, referred to as Ierne "inhabited by the 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. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, compiled by the orders of King Alfred the Great in 890, subsequently maintained and added to by generations of anonymous scribes until the middle of the 12th century, starts with this sentence: "The island Britain is 800 miles long, 200 miles broad, there are in the island five nations: English, Scottish and Latin.
The first inhabitants were the Britons, who came from Armenia, first peopled Britain southward." The Latin name in the early Roman Empire period was Britanni or Brittanni, following the Roman conquest in AD 43. The Welsh word Brython was introduced into English usage by John Rhys in 1884 as a term unambiguously referring to the P-Celtic speakers of Great Britain, to complement Goidel. "Brittonic languages" is a more recent coinage intended to refer to the ancient Britons specifically. In English, the terms "Briton" and British for many centuries denoted only the ancient Celtic Britons and their descendants, most the Welsh and Bretons, who were seen as heirs to the ancient British people. After the Acts of Union 1707, the terms British and Briton came to be applied to all inhabitants of the Kingdom of Great Britain, including the English and some Northern Irish; the Britons spoke an Insular Celtic language known as Common Brittonic. Brittonic was spoken throughout the island of Britain, as well as offshore islands such as the Isle of Man, Scilly Isles, Hebrides, Isle of Wight and Shetland.
According to early medieval historical tradition, such as The Dream of Macsen Wledig, the post-Roman Celtic-speakers of Armorica were colonists from Britain, resulting in the Breton language, a language related to Welsh and identical to Cornish in the early period and still used today. Thus the area today is called Brittany. Common Brittonic developed from the Insular branch of the Proto-Celtic language that developed in the British Isles after arriving from the continent in the 7th century BC; the language began to diverge.
Saint David was a Welsh bishop of Mynyw during the 6th century. He is the patron saint of Wales. David was a native of Wales. A large amount of information is known about his life, his birth date, however, is uncertain: suggestions range from 462 to 512. He is traditionally believed to be the son of Saint Non and the grandson of Ceredig ap Cunedda, king of Ceredigion; the Welsh annals placed his death 569 years after the birth of Christ, but Phillimore's dating revised this to 601. Many of the traditional tales about David are found in the Buchedd Dewi, a hagiography written by Rhygyfarch in the late 11th century. Rhygyfarch claimed. Modern historians are sceptical of some of its claims: one of Rhygyfarch's aims was to establish some independence for the Welsh church, which had refused the Roman rite until the 8th century and now sought a metropolitan status equal to that of Canterbury.. The tradition that he was born at Henfynyw in Ceredigion is not improbable, he became renowned as a teacher and preacher, founding monastic settlements and churches in Wales and Brittany.
St David's Cathedral stands on the site of the monastery he founded in the Glyn Rhosyn valley of Pembrokeshire. Around 550, he attended the Synod of Brefi, where his eloquence in opposing Pelagianism caused his fellow monks to elect him primate of the region; as such he presided over the synod of Caerleon around 569. His best-known miracle is said to have taken place when he was preaching in the middle of a large crowd at the Synod of Brefi: the village of Llanddewi Brefi stands on the spot where the ground on which he stood is reputed to have risen up to form a small hill. A white dove, which became his emblem, was seen settling on his shoulder. John Davies notes that one can scarcely "conceive of any miracle more superfluous" in that part of Wales than the creation of a new hill. David is said to have denounced Pelagianism during this incident and he was declared archbishop by popular acclaim according to Rhygyfarch, bringing about the retirement of Dubricius. St David's metropolitan status as an archbishopric was supported by Bernard, Bishop of St David's, Geoffrey of Monmouth and Gerald of Wales.
The Monastic Rule of David prescribed that monks had to pull the plough themselves without draught animals, must drink only water and eat only bread with salt and herbs, spend the evenings in prayer and writing. No personal possessions were allowed: to say "my book" was considered an offence, he lived a simple life and practised asceticism, teaching his followers to refrain from eating meat and drinking beer. His symbol the symbol of Wales, is the leek: Fluellen: "If your Majesty is remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps, which your Majesty knows, to this hour is an honourable badge of the service, I do believe, your Majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Tavy's day". King Henry: "I wear it for a memorable honour. Rhigyfarch counted Glastonbury Abbey among the churches David founded. Around forty years William of Malmesbury, believing the Abbey older, said that David visited Glastonbury only to rededicate the Abbey and to donate a travelling altar including a great sapphire.
He had had a vision of Jesus who said that "the church had been dedicated long ago by Himself in honour of His Mother, it was not seemly that it should be re-dedicated by human hands". So David instead commissioned an extension to be built to the abbey, east of the Old Church.. One manuscript indicates that a sapphire altar was among the items Henry VIII of England confiscated from the abbey during the Dissolution of the Monasteries a thousand years later. Though the exact date of his death is not certain, tradition holds that it was on 1 March, the date now marked as Saint David's Day; the two most common years given for his death are 601 and 589. The monastery is said to have been "filled with angels as Christ received his soul." His last words to his followers were in a sermon on the previous Sunday. The Welsh Life of St David gives these as, "Arglwydi, vrodyr, a chwioryd, Bydwch lawen a chedwch ych ffyd a'ch cret, a gwnewch y petheu bychein a glywyssawch ac a welsawch gennyf i. A mynheu a gerdaf y fford yd aeth an tadeu idi", which translates as, "Lords and sisters, Be joyful, keep your faith and your creed, do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about.
And as for me, I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us." "Do ye the little things in life" is today a well known phrase in Welsh. The same passage states that he died on a Tuesday, from which attempts have been made to calculate the year of his death. David was buried at St David's Cathedral at St Davids, where his shrine was a popular place of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages. During the 10th and 11th centuries the Cathedral was raided by Vikings, who removed the shrine from the church and stripped off the precious metal adornments. In 1275 a new shrine was constructed, the ruined base of which remains to this day, surmounted by an ornamental wooden canopy with murals of David and Denis; the relics of David and Justinian of Ramsey Island were kept in a porta
The coracle is a small, lightweight boat of the sort traditionally used in Wales, in parts of the West Country and in Ireland the River Boyne, in Scotland the River Spey. The word is used of similar boats found in India, Vietnam and Tibet; the word "coracle" is an English spelling of the original Welsh cwrwgl, cognate with Irish and Scottish Gaelic currach, is recorded in English text as early as the sixteenth century. Other historical English spellings include corougle, corracle and coricle; the structure is made of a framework of interwoven willow rods, tied with willow bark. The outer layer was an animal skin such as horse or bullock hide, with a thin layer of tar to waterproof it – today replaced by tarred calico, canvas, or fibreglass; the Vietnamese/Asian version of the coracle is made of interwoven bamboo and waterproofed by using resin and coconut oil. Oval in shape and similar to half a walnut shell, the coracle has a keel-less flat bottom to evenly spread the load across the structure and to reduce the required depth of water – to only a few inches.
This makes it ideal for use on rivers. Each coracle is tailored to the local river conditions. In general there is one design per river; the Teifi coracle, for instance, is flat-bottomed, as it is designed to negotiate shallow rapids, common on the river in the summer, while the Carmarthen coracle is rounder and deeper, because it is used in tidal waters on the Tywi, where there are no rapids. Teifi coracles are made from locally harvested wood – willow for the laths, hazel for the weave – while Tywi coracles have been made from sawn ash for a long time; the working boats tend to be made from fibreglass these days. Teifi coracles use no nails, relying on the interweaving of the laths for structural coherence, whilst the Carmarthen ones use copper nails and no interweaving, they are an effective fishing vessel because, when powered by a skilled person, they hardly disturb the water or the fish, they can be manoeuvred with one arm, while the other arm tends to the net. The coracle is propelled by means of a broad-bladed paddle, which traditionally varies in design between different rivers.
It is used in the blade describing a figure-of-eight pattern in the water. The paddle is used towards the front of the coracle, pulling the boat forward, with the paddler facing in the direction of travel; the Welsh Coracle is intended to be carried on the back. Designed for use in swiftly flowing streams, the coracle has been in use in the British Isles for millennia, having been noted by Julius Caesar in his invasion of Britain in the mid first century BC, used in his military campaigns in Spain. Remains interpreted as a possible coracle were found in an Early Bronze Age grave at Barns Farm near Dalgety Bay, others have been described, from Corbridge and from near North Ferriby. Where coracle fishing is performed by two coraclers the net is stretched across the river between the two coracles; the coraclers will paddle one handed, dragging the net in the other, draw the net downstream. When a fish is caught, each hauls up an end of the net until the two boats are brought to touch, the fish is secured, using a priest to stun the fish.
In the 1920s and 30s James Hornell visited hundreds of rivers in the British Isles to talk with remaining coracle makers and users. He documented the tradition in his book British Coracles and the Curraghs of Ireland containing drawings and construction details gleaned from regular makers. Coracles are now seen only in tourist areas of West Wales, irregularly in Shropshire on the River Severn – a public house in Sundorne, Shrewsbury called "The Coracle" has a pub sign featuring a man using a coracle on a river; the Welsh Rivers Teifi and Tywi are the most common places. On the Teifi they are most seen between Cenarth, Cilgerran and the village of Llechryd. In 1974, a Welsh coracle piloted by Bernard Thomas of Llechryd crossed the English Channel to France in 13 1⁄2 hours; the journey was undertaken to demonstrate how the Bull Boats of the Mandan Indians of North Dakota could have been copied from coracles introduced by Prince Madog in the 12th century. For many years until 1979, Shrewsbury coracle maker Fred Davies achieved some notability amongst football fans.
Although Davies died in 1994, his legend is still associated with the club. The Coracle Society is a UK-based organisation was founded in 1990 by its former president, Sir Peter Badge; the five founding aims of the Society were: To promote the knowledge of coracles and allied craft, their making and use, their study and collection, To take all reasonable steps to support the continuance of fishing involving the use of coracles and to encourage the holding of coracle regattas and the like, To publish a newsletter as a means of communication between all those interested in coracles, To use its best endeavours to obtain supplies of materials for the construction of coracles, To promote demonstrations, exhibitions and lectures relating to coracles. The current president of the Society is Irving Finkel, Assistant Keeper in the Department if the Middle East at the British Museum, known for decoding a cuneiform tablet detailing Noah's Ark – the description of which resembles a l
Christianity has used symbolism from its beginnings. Each saint has a reason why they led an exemplary life. Symbols have been used to tell these stories throughout the history of the Church. A number of Christian saints are traditionally represented by a symbol or iconic motif associated with their life, termed an attribute or emblem, in order to identify them; the study of these forms part of iconography in art history. They were used so that the illiterate could recognize a scene, to give each of the Saints something of a personality in art, they are carried in the hand by the Saint. Attributes vary with either time or geography between Eastern Christianity and the West. Orthodox images more contained inscriptions with the names of saints, so the Eastern repertoire of attributes is smaller than the Western. Many of the most prominent saints, like Saint Peter and Saint John the Evangelist can be recognised by a distinctive facial type – as can Christ. In the case of saints their actual historical appearance can be used.
Some attributes are general, such as the palm frond carried by martyrs. The use of a symbol in a work of art depicting a Saint reminds people, being shown and of their story; the following is a list of some of these attributes. Mary is portrayed wearing blue, her attributes include a blue mantle, crown of 12 stars, pregnant woman, woman with child, woman trampling serpent, crescent moon, woman clothed with the sun, heart pierced by sword, Madonna lily and rosary beads. Delaney, John P.. Dictionary of Saints. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-13594-7. Lanzi, Fernando. Saints and their Symbols: Recognizing Saints in Art and in Popular Images. Translated by O'Connell, Matthew J. ISBN 9780814629703. Post, W. Ellwood. Saints and Symbols. SPCK Publishing. ISBN 9780281028948. Walsh, Michael. A New Dictionary of Saints: East and West. Liturgical Press. ISBN 978-0-8146-3186-7. Whittemore, Carroll E.. Symbols of the Church. Abingdon Press. ISBN 0687183014. Calendar of saints Christian symbolism Christianization of saints and feasts Doctor of the Church Iconography List of canonizations, for a list of Catholic canonizations by date Martyrology Patron saint Weather saints "Christian Iconography".
Augusta State University. Archived from the original on 2014-03-18. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown "Hagiographies and icons for many Orthodox saints". Orthodox Church in America. "Catholic Forum Patron Saints Index". Archived from the original on 2005-05-31. "Saints' Badges or Shields". "On the Canonizations of John Paul II". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28
A crest is a component of a heraldic display, consisting of the device borne on top of the helm. Originating in the decorative sculptures worn by knights in tournaments and, to a lesser extent, crests became pictorial after the 16th century. A normal heraldic achievement consists of the shield, above, set the helm, on which sits the crest, its base encircled by a circlet of twisted cloth known as a torse; the use of the crest and torse independently from the rest of the achievement, a practice which became common in the era of paper heraldry, has led the term "crest" to be but erroneously used to refer to the arms displayed on the shield, or to the achievement as a whole. The word "crest" derives from the Latin crista, meaning "tuft" or "plume" related to crinis, "hair". Crests had existed in various forms since ancient times: Roman officers wore fans of feathers or horsehair, which were placed longitudinally or transversely depending on the wearer's rank, Viking helmets were adorned with wings and animal heads.
They first appeared in a heraldic context in the form of the metal fans worn by knights in the 12th and 13th centuries. These were decorative, but may have served a practical purpose by lessening or deflecting the blows of opponents' weapons; these fans were of one colour evolving to repeat all or part of the arms displayed on the shield. The fan crest was developed by cutting out the figure displayed on it, to form a metal outline; these were made of cloth, leather or paper over a wooden or wire framework, were in the form of an animal. These were worn only in tournaments, not battle: not only did they add to the considerable weight of the helm, they could have been used by opponents as a handle to pull the wearer's head down. Laces, straps, or rivets were used to affix the crest to the helm, with the join being covered by a circlet of twisted cloth known as a torse or wreath, or by a coronet in the case of high-ranking nobles. Torses did not come into regular use in Britain until the 15th century, are still uncommon on the Continent, where crests are depicted as continuing into the mantling.
Crests were sometimes mounted on a furred cap known as a chapeau, as in the royal crest of England. By the 16th century the age of tournaments had ended, physical crests disappeared, their illustrated equivalents began to be treated as two-dimensional pictures. Many crests from this period are physically impossible to bear on a helm, e.g. the crest granted to Sir Francis Drake in 1581, which consisted of a disembodied hand issuing from clouds and leading a ship around the globe. In the same period, different helms began to be used for different ranks: sovereigns' and knights' helms faced forwards, whereas those of peers and gentlemen faced to the right. In the medieval period crests would always have faced the same way as the helm, but as a result of these rules, the directions of the crest and the helm might be at variance: a knight whose crest was a lion statant, would have the lion depicted as looking over the side of the helm, rather than towards the viewer. Torses suffered artistically, being treated not as silken circlets, but as horizontal bars.
Heraldry in general underwent something of a renaissance in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many of the illogicalities of previous centuries were discarded. Crests are now not granted unless they could be used on a physical helm, the rules about directions of helms are no longer rigidly observed; the use of crests was once restricted to those of'tournament rank', i.e. knights and above, but in modern times nearly all personal arms include crests. They are not used by women and clergymen, as they did not participate in war or tournaments and thus would not have helms on which to wear them; some heraldists are of the opinion that crests, as personal devices, are not suited for use by corporate bodies, but this is not observed. In continental Europe Germany, crests have a far greater significance than in Britain, it is common for one person to display multiple crests with his arms; this practice did not exist in Britain until the modern era, arms with more than one crest are still rare.
In contrast to Continental practice, where a crest is never detached from its helm, a Briton with more than one crest may choose to display only one crested helm, have the other crests floating in space. Though adopted through marriage to an heiress, examples exist of secondary crests being granted as augmentations: after defeating the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg, Robert Ross was granted, in addition to his original crest, the crest of an arm holding the US flag with a broken flagstaff. After the 16th century, it became common for armigers to detach the crest and wreath from the helm, use them in the manner of a badge, displayed on crockery, carriage doors, etc; this led to the erroneous use of the term "crest" to mean "arms", which has become widespread in recent years. Unlike a badge, which can be used by any amount of relatives and retainers, a crest is personal to the armiger, its use by others is considered usurpation. In Scotland, however, a member of a clan or house is entitled to use a "crest-badge", which consists of th
Fife is a council area and historic county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire. By custom it is held to have been one of the major Pictish kingdoms, known as Fib, is still known as the Kingdom of Fife within Scotland. Fife is one of the six local authorities part of the South East Scotland city region, it is a lieutenancy area, was a county of Scotland until 1975. It was occasionally known by the anglicisation Fifeshire in old documents and maps compiled by English cartographers and authors. A person from Fife is known as a Fifer. Fife was a local government region divided into three districts: Dunfermline and North-East Fife. Since 1996 the functions of the district councils have been exercised by the unitary Fife Council. Fife is Scotland's third largest local authority area by population, it has a resident population of just under 367,000, over a third of whom live in the three principal towns of Dunfermline and Glenrothes.
The historic town of St Andrews is located on the northeast coast of Fife. It is well known for the University of St Andrews, one of the most ancient universities in the world and is renowned as the home of golf. Fife, bounded to the north by the Firth of Tay and to the south by the Firth of Forth, is a natural peninsula whose political boundaries have changed little over the ages; the Pictish king list and De Situ Albanie documents of the Poppleton manuscript mention the division of the Pictish realm into seven sub-kingdoms or provinces, one being Fife, though this is now regarded as a medieval invention. The earliest known reference to the common epithet The Kingdom of Fife dates from only 1678, in a proposition that the term derives from the quasi-regal privileges of the Earl of Fife; the notion of a kingdom may derive from a misinterpretation of an extract from Wyntoun. The name is recorded as Fib in A. D. 1150 and Fif in 1165. It was associated with Fothriff; the hill-fort of Clatchard Craig, near Newburgh, was occupied as an important Pictish stronghold between the sixth and eighth centuries AD.
Fife was an important royal and political centre from the reign of King Malcolm III onwards, as the leaders of Scotland moved southwards away from their ancient strongholds around Scone. Malcolm had his principal home in Dunfermline and his wife Margaret was the main benefactor of Dunfermline Abbey; the Abbey replaced Iona as the final resting place of Scotland's royal elite, with Robert I amongst those to be buried there. The Earl of Fife was until the 15th century considered the principal peer of the Scottish realm, was reserved the right of crowning the nation's monarchs, reflecting the prestige of the area. A new royal palace was constructed at Falkland the stronghold of Clan MacDuff, was used by successive monarchs of the House of Stuart, who favoured Fife for its rich hunting grounds. King James VI of Scotland described Fife as a "beggar's mantle fringed wi gowd", the golden fringe being the coast and its chain of little ports with their thriving fishing fleets and rich trading links with the Low Countries.
Wool, linen and salt were all traded. Salt pans heated by local coal were a feature of the Fife coast in the past; the distinctive red clay pan tiles seen on many old buildings in Fife arrived as ballast on trading boats and replaced the thatched roofs. In 1598, King James VI employed a group of 12 men from Fife, who became known as the Fife adventurers, to colonise the Isle of Lewis in an attempt to begin the "civilisation" and de-gaelicisation of the region; this endeavour lasted until 1609 when the colonists, having been opposed by the native population, were bought out by Kenneth Mackenzie, the clan chief of the Mackenzies. Fife became a centre of heavy industry in the 19th century. Coal had been mined in the area since at least the 12th century, but the number of pits increased ten-fold as demand for coal grew in the Victorian period. Rural villages such as Cowdenbeath swelled into towns as thousands moved to Fife to find work in its mines; the opening of the Forth and Tay rail bridges linked Fife with Dundee and Edinburgh and allowed the rapid transport of goods.
Modern ports were constructed at Methil and Rosyth. Kirkcaldy became the world centre for the production of linoleum. Postwar Fife saw the development of Glenrothes. To be based around a coal mine, the town attracted a high number of modern Silicon Glen companies to the region. Fife Council and Fife Constabulary centre their operations in Glenrothes. There are numerous notable historical buildings in Fife, some of which are managed by the National Trust for Scotland or Historic Scotland, they include Dunfermline Abbey, the palace in Culross, Ravenscraig Castle in Kirkcaldy, Dysart Harbour area, Balgonie Castle near Coaltown of Balgonie, Falkland Palace, Kellie Castle near Pittenweem, Hill of Tarvit, St. Andrews Castle, St. Andrews Cathedral and St. Rule's Tower. Fife is represented by five constituency members of the Scottish Parliament and four members of the United Kingdom parliament who are sent to Holyrood and the British Parliament respectively. Following the 2015 General Election, all four of the MPs constituencies were held by the Scottish National Party.
In the 2017 General Election Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath was regained by Labour. At the same election, the seat of North East Fife became the closest seat in the country with the SNP holding a majority of 2 over the Liberal Democrats Three of