Alan Bennett is an English playwright, screenwriter and author. He was born in Leeds and attended Oxford University, where he studied history and performed with the Oxford Revue, he stayed to research medieval history at the university for several years. His collaboration as writer and performer with Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Peter Cook in the satirical revue Beyond the Fringe at the 1960 Edinburgh Festival brought him instant fame, he gave up academia, turned to writing full-time, his first stage play Forty Years On being produced in 1968. His work includes The Madness of George III and its film adaptation, the series of monologues Talking Heads and subsequent film of The History Boys, popular audio books, including his readings of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Winnie-the-Pooh. Bennett was born in Armley in Leeds; the youngest son of a co-op butcher and his wife Lilian Mary, Bennett attended Christ Church, Upper Armley, Church of England School, Leeds Modern School. He learned Russian at the Joint Services School for Linguists during his national service before applying for a scholarship at Oxford University.
He was accepted by Exeter College, from which he graduated with a first-class degree in history. While at Oxford he performed comedy with a number of successful actors in the Oxford Revue, he remained at the university for several years, where he served as a junior lecturer of Medieval History at Magdalen College, before deciding he was not suited to be an academic in 1960. In August 1960 Bennett, along with Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Peter Cook, achieved instant fame by appearing at the Edinburgh Festival in the satirical revue Beyond the Fringe. After the festival, the show continued in New York, he appeared in My Father Knew Lloyd George. His television comedy sketch series On the Margin was erased. However, in 2014 it was announced. Around this time Bennett found himself playing vicars and claims that as an adolescent he assumed he would grow up to be a Church of England clergyman, for no better reason than that he looked like one. Bennett's first stage play Forty Years On, directed by Patrick Garland, was produced in 1968.
Many television and radio plays followed, with screenplays, short stories, novellas, a large body of non-fictional prose, broadcasting and many appearances as an actor. Bennett's distinctive, expressive voice and the sharp humour and humanity of his writing have made his readings of his work popular the autobiographical writings. Many of Bennett's characters are downtrodden. Life else passed them by. In many cases they have met with disappointment in the realm of sex and intimate relationships through tentativeness and a failure to connect with others. Despite a long history with both the National Theatre and the BBC, Bennett never writes on commission, declaring "I don't work on commission, I just do it on spec. If people don't want it it's too bad."Bennett is both unsparing and compassionate in laying bare his characters' frailties. This can be seen in his television plays for LWT from the early 1970s through to his work for the BBC in the early 1980s, his many works for television include his first play for the medium, A Day Out in 1972, A Little Outing in 1977, Intensive Care in 1982, An Englishman Abroad in 1983, A Question of Attribution in 1991.
But his most famous screen work is the 1987 Talking Heads series of monologues for television which were performed at the Comedy Theatre in London in 1992. This was a sextet of poignantly comic pieces, each depicting several stages in the character's decline from an initial state of denial or ignorance of their predicament, through a slow realisation of the hopelessness of their situation, progressing to a bleak or ambiguous conclusion. A second set of six Talking Heads followed a decade, darker and more disturbing. In his 2005 prose collection Untold Stories, Bennett has written candidly and movingly of the mental illness that his mother and other family members suffered. Much of his work draws on his Leeds background and while he is celebrated for his acute observations of a particular type of northern speech, the range and daring of his work is undervalued, his television play The Old Crowd includes shots of technical crew. He wrote The Lady in the Van based on his experiences with an eccentric woman called Miss Shepherd, who lived on Bennett's driveway in a series of dilapidated vans for more than fifteen years.
It was first published in 1989 as an essay in the London Review of Books. In 1990 he published it in book form. In 1999 he adapted it into a stage play, which starred Maggie Smith and was directed by Nicholas Hytner; the stage play includes two characters named Alan Bennett. On 21 February 2009 it was broadcast as a radio play on BBC Radio 4, with Maggie Smith reprising her role and Alan Bennett playing himself, he adapted the story again for a 2015 film, with Maggie Smith reprising her role again, Nicholas Hytner directing again. In the film Alex Jennings plays the two versions of Bennett, although Alan Bennett appears in a cameo at the end of the film. Bennett adapted his 1991 play The Madness of George III for the cinema. Entitled The Madness of King George, the film received four Academy Award nominations: for Bennett's writing and the performances of Nigel Hawthorne and Helen Mirren, it won the award for best art
The Old Vic
The Old Vic is a 1,000-seat, not-for-profit producing theatre, located just south-east of Waterloo station on the corner of the Cut and Waterloo Road in Lambeth, England. Established in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre, renamed in 1833 the Royal Victoria Theatre, in 1871 it was rebuilt and reopened as the Royal Victoria Palace, it was taken over by Emma Cons in 1880 and formally named the Royal Victoria Hall, although by that time it was known as the "Old Vic". In 1898, a niece of Cons, Lilian Baylis, assumed management and began a series of Shakespeare productions in 1914; the building was damaged in 1940 during air raids and it became a Grade II* listed building in 1951 after it reopened. The Old Vic is the crucible of theatres in London today, it was the name of a repertory company, based at the theatre and formed the core of the National Theatre of Great Britain on its formation in 1963, under Laurence Olivier. The National Theatre remained at the Old Vic until new premises were constructed on the South Bank, opening in 1976.
The Old Vic became the home of Prospect Theatre Company, at that time a successful touring company which staged such acclaimed productions as Derek Jacobi's Hamlet. However, with the withdrawal of funding for the company by the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1980 for breaching its touring obligations, Prospect disbanded in 1981; the theatre underwent complete refurbishment in 1985. In 2003, Kevin Spacey was appointed artistic director. Spacey served as artistic director until 2015. In 2015, Matthew Warchus succeeded Spacey as artistic director; the theatre was founded in 1818 by James King and Daniel Dunn, John Thomas Serres the marine painter to the King. Serres managed to secure the formal patronage of Princess Charlotte and her husband Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, named the theatre the Royal Coburg Theatre; the theatre was thus technically forbidden to show serious drama. When the theatre passed to George Bolwell Davidge in 1824 he succeeded in bringing legendary actor Edmund Kean south of the river to play six Shakespeare plays in six nights.
The theatre's role in bringing high art to the masses was confirmed when Kean addressed the audience during his curtain call saying "I have never acted to such a set of ignorant, unmitigated brutes as I see before me." More popular staples in the repertoire were "sensational and violent" melodramas demonstrating the evils of drink, "churned out by the house dramatist", confirmed teetotaller Douglas Jerrold. When Davidge left to take over the Surrey Theatre in 1833, the theatre was bought by Daniel Egerton and William Abbot, who tried to capitalise on the abolition of the legal distinction between patent and minor theatres, enacted in Parliament earlier that year. On 1 July 1833, the theatre was renamed the Royal Victoria Theatre, under the "protection and patronage" of Victoria, Duchess of Kent, mother to Princess Victoria, the 14-year-old heir presumptive to the British throne; the duchess and the princess visited only once, on 28 November of that year, but enjoyed the performance, of light opera and dance, in the "pretty...clean and comfortable" theatre.
The single visit scarcely justified the "Old Vic" its billing as "Queen Victoria's Own Theayter". By 1835, the theatre was advertising itself as the Victoria Theatre. In 1841, David Osbaldiston took over as lessee, was succeeded on his death in 1850 by his lover and the theatre's leading lady, Eliza Vincent, until her death in 1856. Under their management, the theatre remained devoted to melodrama. In 1858, sixteen people were crushed to death inside the theatre after mass panic caused while an actor's clothing caught fire. In 1867, Joseph Arnold Cave took over as lessee. In 1871 he transferred the lease to Romaine Delatorre, who raised funds for the theatre to be rebuilt in the style of the Alhambra Music Hall. Jethro Thomas Robinson was engaged as the architect. In September 1871 the old theatre closed, the new building opened as the Royal Victoria Palace in December of the same year, with Cave staying on as manager. By 1873, Cave had left and Delatorre's venture failed. In 1880, under the ownership of Emma Cons it became the Royal Victoria Hall and Coffee Tavern and was run on "strict temperance lines".
The "penny lectures" given in the hall led to the foundation of Morley College. An endowment from the estate of Samuel Morley led to the creation of the Morley Memorial College for Working Men and Women on the premises, which were shared; the adult education college moved to its own premises nearby in the 1920s. With Emma Cons's death in 1912 the theatre passed to her niece Lilian Baylis, who emphasised the Shakespearean repertoire; the Old Vic Company was established in 1929, led by Sir John Gielgud. Between 1925 and 1931, Lilian Baylis championed the re-building of the then-derelict Sadler's Wells Theatre, established a ballet company under the direction of Dame Ninette de Valois. For a few years the drama and ballet companies rotated between the two theatres, with the ballet becoming permanently based at Sadler's Wells in 1935; the Old Vic was damaged badly during the Blitz, the war-depleted company spent all its time touring, based in Burnley, Lancashire at the Victoria Theatre during the years 1940 to 1943.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a British politician, army officer, writer. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, when he led Britain to victory in the Second World War, again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill represented five constituencies during his career as a Member of Parliament. Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, for most of his career he was a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955, but from 1904 to 1924 was instead a member of the Liberal Party. Of mixed English and American parentage, Churchill was born in Oxfordshire to a wealthy, aristocratic family. Joining the British Army, he saw action in British India, the Anglo–Sudan War, the Second Boer War, gaining fame as a war correspondent and writing books about his campaigns. Elected an MP in 1900 as a Conservative, he defected to the Liberals in 1904. In H. H. Asquith's Liberal government, Churchill served as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, First Lord of the Admiralty, championing prison reform and workers' social security.
During the First World War, he oversaw the Gallipoli Campaign. In 1917, he returned to government under David Lloyd George as Minister of Munitions, was subsequently Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for Air Secretary of State for the Colonies. After two years out of Parliament, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Stanley Baldwin's Conservative government, returning the pound sterling in 1925 to the gold standard at its pre-war parity, a move seen as creating deflationary pressure on the UK economy. Out of office during the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in calling for British rearmament to counter the growing threat from Nazi Germany. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was re-appointed First Lord of the Admiralty before replacing Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in 1940. Churchill oversaw British involvement in the Allied war effort against Germany and the Axis powers, resulting in victory in 1945, his wartime leadership was praised, although acts like the Bombing of Dresden and his wartime response to the Bengal famine generated controversy.
After the Conservatives' defeat in the 1945 general election, he became Leader of the Opposition. Amid the developing Cold War with the Soviet Union, he publicly warned of an "iron curtain" of Soviet influence in Europe and promoted European unity. Re-elected Prime Minister in 1951, his second term was preoccupied with foreign affairs, including the Malayan Emergency, Mau Mau Uprising, Korean War, a UK-backed Iranian coup. Domestically his government developed a nuclear weapon. In declining health, Churchill resigned as prime minister in 1955, although he remained an MP until 1964. Upon his death in 1965, he was given a state funeral. Considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures, Churchill remains popular in the UK and Western world, where he is seen as a victorious wartime leader who played an important role in defending liberal democracy from the spread of fascism. Praised as a social reformer and writer, among his many awards was the Nobel Prize in Literature. Conversely, his imperialist views and comments on race, as well as his sanctioning of human rights abuses in the suppression of anti-imperialist movements seeking independence from the British Empire, have generated considerable controversy.
Churchill was born at the family's ancestral home, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, on 30 November 1874, at which time the United Kingdom was the dominant world power. A direct descendant of the Dukes of Marlborough, his family were among the highest levels of the British aristocracy, thus he was born into the country's governing elite, his paternal grandfather, John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, had been a Member of Parliament for ten years, a member of the Conservative Party who served in the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. His own father, Lord Randolph Churchill, had been elected Conservative MP for Woodstock in 1873, his mother, Jennie Churchill, was from an American family whose substantial wealth derived from finance. The couple had met in August 1873, were engaged three days marrying at the British Embassy in Paris in April 1874; the couple lived beyond their income and were in debt. In 1876 John Spencer-Churchill was appointed Viceroy of Ireland, with Randolph as his private secretary, resulting in the Churchill family's relocation to Dublin, when the entirety of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom.
It was here that Jennie's second son, was born in 1880. Throughout much of the 1880s Randolph and Jennie were estranged, during which she had many suitors. Churchill had no relationship with his father, his relationship with Jack would be warm, they were close at various points in their lives. In Dublin, he was educated in reading and mathematics by a governess, while he and his brother were cared for by their nanny, Elizabeth Everest. Churchill was devoted to her and nicknamed her "Woomany". Visits home were to Connaught Place in L
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
Supergirl (1984 film)
Supergirl is a 1984 British superhero film directed by Jeannot Szwarc and written by David Odell. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and serves as a spin-off from Alexander and Ilya Salkind's Superman film series; the film stars Helen Slater as Supergirl, along with Faye Dunaway, Mia Farrow, Peter O'Toole, with Marc McClure reprising his role as Jimmy Olsen from the Superman films. He was the only actor to do so. Supergirl was the first English language superhero film; the film was released in the United Kingdom on July 19, 1984, but failed to impress critics and audiences alike. Dunaway and O'Toole earned Golden Raspberry Award nominations for Worst Actress and Worst Actor, respectively. However, Slater was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actress; the film's failure led the Salkinds to sell the Superman rights to Cannon Films in 1986. Its first DVD release was by the independent home video company Anchor Bay Entertainment in 2000, under license from then-rights holder StudioCanal.
Warner Bros. acquired the rights to the film and reissued it on DVD late in 2006 to coincide with the release of Superman Returns. Although it is canon with the Christopher Reeve Superman films, it is not included in any of the Superman DVD or Blu-ray box sets by Warner Bros. A book adaptation of the film was written by Norma Fox Mazer and released in paperback form in 1984. Kara Zor-El lives in an isolated Kryptonian community named Argo City, in a pocket of trans-dimensional space. A man named Zaltar allows Kara to see a unique and immensely powerful item known as the Omegahedron, which he has borrowed without the knowledge of the city government, which powers the city. However, after a mishap, the Omegahedron is blown out into space. After overhearing the wariness of her parents, Kara follows it to Earth in an effort to recover it and save the city. On Earth, the Omegahedron is recovered by Selena, a power-hungry would-be witch assisted by the feckless Bianca, seeking to free herself from her relationship with warlock Nigel.
Whilst not knowing what it is, Selena realizes that the Omegahedron is powerful and can enable her to perform real magical spells. Supergirl discovers her new powers. Following the path of the Omegahedron, she takes the name Linda Lee, identifies herself as the cousin of Clark Kent, enrolls at an all-girls school where she befriends Lucy Lane, the younger sister of Lois Lane who happens to be studying there. Supergirl meets and becomes enamoured with Ethan, who works as a groundskeeper at the school. Ethan catches the eye of Selena, who drugs him with a love potion. An angry Selena uses her new-found powers to animate a construction vehicle which she sends to bring Ethan back, causing chaos in the streets as it does so. Supergirl rescues Ethan and he falls in love with her instead while in the guise of Linda Lee. Supergirl and Selena begin to battle in various ways, Supergirl appears to have the upper hand until Selena uses her powers to lure trap Supergirl sending her to the Phantom Zone. Here Supergirl discovers she's lost her powers, she begins to wander the bleak landscape, but misses her footing, falls into a swamp and passes out.
Zaltar, who has exiled himself to the Phantom Zone as a punishment for losing the Omegahedron finds Kara. After she regains consciousness Zaltar sacrifices his life to allow Supergirl to escape. Back on Earth, Selena misuses the Omegahedron to make herself a "princess of Earth", with Ethan as her lover and consort. Emerging from the Phantom Zone through a mirror, Supergirl regains her powers and confronts Selena, who uses the Omegahedron's power to summon a gigantic shadow demon; the demon overwhelms Supergirl and is on the verge of defeating her when she hears Zaltar's voice urging her to fight on. Supergirl breaks free and is told by Nigel the only way to defeat Selena is to turn the shadow demon against her. Supergirl complies and begins flying in circles around her, trapping her in a tornado. Selena is incapacitated by the monster as the whirlwind pulls Bianca in as well; the three of them are sucked back into the mirror portal, which promptly reforms, trapping them all within forever. Free from Selena's spell, Ethan admits his love for Linda and that he knows that she and Supergirl are one and the same, but knows it is possible he may never see her again and understands she must save Argo City.
The final scene shows Kara returning the Omegahedron to a darkened Argo City, which promptly lights up again. Helen Slater as Kara Zor-El / Linda Lee / Supergirl Faye Dunaway as Selena Peter O'Toole as Zaltar Hart Bochner as Ethan Mia Farrow as Alura In-Ze Brenda Vaccaro as Bianca Peter Cook as Nigel Simon Ward as Zor-El Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen Maureen Teefy as Lucy Lane David Healy as Mr. Danvers Sandra Dickinson as Pretty Young Lady Matt Frewer as Truck Driver Kelly Hunter as Argonian Citizen Glory Annen as Midvale Protestor Christopher Reeve was slated to have a cameo as Superman but bowed out early on, his non-appearance in the film is explained via a news broadcast stating that Superman has left Earth on a "peace-seeking mission" to a distant galaxy. Director Jeannot Szwarc said in the Superman documentary You Will Believe... that Reeve's involvement in this film would have given the feature higher credibility, he admitted he wished Reeve had made a contribution to the film's production.
A publicity photo of him as Superman, did appear as a poster in Lucy and Linda's shared dorm room. Marc McClure makes his fourth of
Taunton is a large regional town in Somerset, England. The town's population in 2011 was 69,570. Taunton has over 1,000 years of religious and military history, including a 10th century monastery and Taunton Castle, which has origins in the Anglo Saxon period and was the site of a priory; the Normans built a stone structured castle, which belonged to the Bishops of Winchester. The current reconstructed buildings are the inner ward, which now houses the Museum of Somerset and the Somerset Military Museum; the town has been the site of many important events. During the Second Cornish uprising of 1497, Perkin Warbeck marched a Cornish army some 6,000 strong upon Taunton, most of that army surrendered to Henry VII on 4 October 1497 in the town. On 20 June 1685 the Duke of Monmouth crowned himself king of England at Taunton during the Monmouth Rebellion, which culminated in the Battle of Sedgemoor; the Grand Western Canal reached Taunton in 1839 and the railway in 1842. Taunton is the site of Musgrove Park Hospital and Somerset County Cricket Club's County Ground and is home to 40 Commando, Royal Marines.
Central Taunton is part of the annual West Country Carnival circuit. It hosts the Taunton flower show, held in Vivary Park since 1866; the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office is located on Admiralty Way. The town name derives from "Town on the River Tone" – or Tone Town. Cambria Farm, now the site of a Park and ride close to Junction 25 of the M5 motorway was the site of a Bronze and Iron Age settlement and Roman farm. There was a Romano-British village near the suburb of Holway, Taunton was a place of considerable importance in Saxon times; the Saxon town was a burh with its own mint. King Ine of Wessex threw up an earthen castle here about 700, but it was destroyed by his queen Æthelburg of Wessex in 722, to prevent its seizure by rebels. A monastery was founded before 904; the bishops of Winchester owned the manor, obtained the first charter for their "men of Taunton" from King Edward in 904, freeing them from all royal and county tribute. At some time before the Domesday Survey Taunton had become a borough with considerable privileges, a population of around 1,500 and 64 burgesses, governed by a portreeve appointed by the bishops.
Somerton took over from Ilchester as the county town in the late thirteenth century, but it declined in importance and the status of county town transferred to Taunton about 1366. Between 1209 and 1311 the manor of Taunton, owned by the Bishop of Winchester, increased two and a half times; the parishes of Staplegrove and Taunton itself were part of the Taunton Deane Hundred. In 1451 during the Wars of the Roses Taunton was the scene of a skirmish between Thomas de Courtenay, 13th Earl of Devon, Baron Bonville. Queen Margaret and her troops passed through in 1471 to defeat at the Battle of Tewkesbury. In the Second Cornish uprising of 1497 most of the Cornish gentry supported Perkin Warbeck's cause and on 17 September a Cornish army some 6,000 strong entered Exeter before advancing on Taunton. Henry VII sent his chief general, Lord Daubeney, to attack the Cornish and when Warbeck heard that the King's scouts were at Glastonbury he panicked and deserted his army. Henry VII reached Taunton on 4 October 1497 where he received the surrender of the remaining Cornish army.
The ringleaders were executed and others fined a total of £13,000. Taunton Castle changed hands several times during the Civil War of 1642–45 but only along with the town. During the Siege of Taunton it was defended by Robert Blake, from July 1644 to July 1645, with the town suffering destruction of many of the medieval and Tudor buildings. On 20 June 1685 the Duke of Monmouth crowned himself king of England at Taunton during the Monmouth Rebellion and in the autumn of that year Judge Jeffreys lived in the town during the Bloody Assizes that followed the Battle of Sedgemoor; the town did not obtain a charter of incorporation until 1627, renewed in 1677. The charter lapsed in 1792 owing to vacancies for the members of the corporate body, Taunton was not reincorporated until 1877; the medieval fairs and markets of Taunton, were celebrated for the sale of woollen cloth called "Tauntons" made in the town. On the decline of the woollen industry in the west of England, silk-weaving was introduced at the end of the 18th century.
In 1839 the Grand Western Canal reached Taunton aiding trade to the south, further enhanced by the arrival of the railway in 1842. A permanent military presence was established in the town with the completion of Jellalabad Barracks in 1881. In World War II the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal formed part of the Taunton Stop Line, designed to prevent the advance of a German invasion. Pillboxes can still be seen along its length. Taunton was named as a'Strategically Important Town or City' in the government's Regional Spatial Strategy, allowing Somerset County Council to receive funding for large-scale regeneration projects. In 2006, the council revealed plans which it called "Project Taunton"; this would see the regeneration of the areas of Firepool, the Retail town centre, the cultural quarter, the River Tone, aiming to sustain Taunton as a central hub for business in the South West. The Firepool area on the northern edge of Taunton town centre, adjacent to the main line railway station includes a high proportion of vacant or undeveloped land.
The Council is promoting employment-led mixed-use development. The Firepool project is set to attract 500 new homes. In Tangier
Oxford is a university city in south central England and the county town of Oxfordshire. With a population of 155,000, it is the 52nd largest city in the United Kingdom, with one of the fastest growing populations in the UK, it remains the most ethnically diverse area in Oxfordshire county; the city is 51 miles from London, 61 miles from Bristol, 59 miles from Southampton, 57 miles from Birmingham and 24 miles from Reading. The city is known worldwide as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Buildings in Oxford demonstrate notable examples of every English architectural period since the late Saxon period. Oxford is known as a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold. Oxford has a broad economic base, its industries include motor manufacturing, publishing and a large number of information technology and science-based businesses, some being academic offshoots. Oxford was first settled in Anglo-Saxon times and was known as "Oxenaforda", meaning "ford of the oxen".
It began with the establishment of a river crossing for oxen around AD 900. In the 10th century, Oxford became an important military frontier town between the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex and was on several occasions raided by Danes. In 1002, many Danes were killed in Oxford during the England-wide St. Brice's Day massacre, a killing of Danes ordered by King Æthelred the Unready; the skeletons of more than 30 suspected victims were unearthed in 2008 during the course of building work at St John's College. The ‘massacre’ was a contributing factor to King Sweyn I of Denmark’s invasion of England in 1003 and the sacking of Oxford by the Danes in 1004. Oxford was damaged during the Norman Invasion of 1066. Following the conquest, the town was assigned to a governor, Robert D'Oyly, who ordered the construction of Oxford Castle to confirm Norman authority over the area; the castle has never been used for military purposes and its remains survive to this day. D'Oyly set up a monastic community in the castle consisting of a chapel and living quarters for monks.
The community never grew large but it earned its place in history as one of Britain's oldest places of formal education. It was there that in 1139 Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote his History of the Kings of Britain, a compilation of Arthurian legends. Additionally, there is evidence of Jews living in the city as early as 1141, during the 12th century the Jewish community is estimated to have numbered about 80–100; the city was besieged during The Anarchy in 1142. In 1191, a city charter stated in Latin, "Be it known to all those present and future that we, the citizens of Oxford of the Commune of the City and of the Merchant Guild have given, by this, our present charter, confirm the donation of the island of Midney with all those things pertaining to it, to the Church of St. Mary at Oseney and to the canons serving God in that place. Since, every year, at Michaelmas the said canons render half a mark of silver for their tenure at the time when we have ordered it as witnesses the legal deed of our ancestors which they made concerning the gift of this same island.
We have made this concession and confirmation in the Common council of the City and we have confirmed it with our common seal. These are those who have made this confirmation. Oxford's prestige was enhanced by its charter granted by King Henry II, granting its citizens the same privileges and exemptions as those enjoyed by the capital of the kingdom. Oxford's status as a liberty obtained from this period until the 19th century. A grandson of King John established Rewley Abbey for the Cistercian Order. Parliaments were held in the city during the 13th century; the Provisions of Oxford were instigated by a group of barons led by Simon de Montfort. Richard I of England and John, King of England the sons of Henry II of England, were both born at Beaumont Palace in Oxford, on 8 September 1157 and 24 December 1166 respectively. A plaque in Beaumont Street commemorates these events; the University of Oxford is first mentioned in 12th-century records. Of the hundreds of Aularian houses that sprang up across the city, only St Edmund Hall remains.
What put an end to the halls was the emergence of colleges. Oxford's earliest colleges were University College and Merton; these colleges were established at a time when Europeans were starting to translate the writings of Greek philosophers. These writings challenged European ideology, inspiring scientific discoveries and advancements in the arts, as society began to see itself in a new way; these colleges at Oxf