Londinium was a settlement established on the current site of the City of London around AD 43. Its bridge over the River Thames turned the city into a road nexus and major port, serving as a major commercial centre in Roman Britain until its abandonment during the 5th century. Following its foundation in the mid-1st century, early Londinium occupied the small area of 1.4 km2 equivalent to the size of present-day Hyde Park, with a fortified garrison on one of its hills. In the year 60 or 61, the rebellion of the Iceni under Boudica forced the garrison to abandon the settlement, razed. Following the Iceni's defeat at the Battle of Watling Street, the city was rebuilt as a planned Roman town and recovered within about a decade. During the decades of the 1st century, Londinium expanded becoming Great Britain's largest city. By the turn of the century, Londinium had grown to 30,000 or 60,000 people certainly replacing Camulodunum as the provincial capital and by the mid-2nd century, Londinium was at its height.
Its forum and basilica were one of the largest structures north of the Alps when the Emperor Hadrian visited Londinium in 122. Excavations have discovered evidence of a major fire that destroyed most of the city shortly thereafter, but the city was again rebuilt. By the second half of the 2nd century, Londinium appears to have shrunk in both population. Although Londinium remained important for the rest of the Roman period, no further expansion resulted. Londinium supported a smaller but stable settlement population as archaeologists have found that much of the city after this date was covered in dark earth—the by-product of urban household waste, ceramic tile, non-farm debris of settlement occupation, which accumulated undisturbed for centuries. Sometime between 190 and 225, the Romans built a defensive wall around the landward side of the city. Along with Hadrian's Wall and the road network, this wall was one of the largest construction projects carried out in Roman Britain; the London Wall survived for another 1,600 years and broadly defined the perimeter of the old City of London.
The etymology of the name Londinium is unknown. Following Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudohistorical History of the Kings of Britain, it was long derived from an eponymous founder named Lud, son of Heli. There is no evidence such a figure existed. Instead, the Latin name was based on a native Brittonic placename reconstructed as *Londinion. Morphologically, this points to a structure of two suffixes: -in-jo-. However, the Roman Londinium was not the immediate source of English "London", as i-mutation would have caused the name to have been Lyndon; this suggests an alternative Brittonic form Londonion. The list of the 28 Cities of Britain included in the 9th-century History of the Britons notes London in Old Welsh as Cair Lundem or Lundein; the site guarded the Romans' bridgehead on the north bank of a major road nexus. It centered on Cornhill and the River Walbrook, but expanded west to Ludgate Hill and east to Tower Hill. Just prior to the Roman conquest, the area had been contested by the Catuvellauni based to its west and the Trinovantes based to its east.
The Roman city covered at least the area of the City of London, whose boundaries are defined by its former wall. Londinium's waterfront on the Thames ran from around Ludgate Hill in the west to the present site of the Tower in the east, around 1.5 kilometres. The northern wall reached Bishopsgate and Cripplegate near the Museum of London, a course now marked by the street "London Wall". Cemeteries and suburbs existed outside the city proper. A round temple has been located west of the city. Substantial suburbs existed at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Westminster and around the southern end of the Thames bridge in Southwark, where inscriptions suggest a temple of Isis was located; the status of Londinium is uncertain. It seems to have been founded as a mere vicus and remained as such after its recovery from Boudica's revolt. Ptolemy lists it as one of the cities of the Cantiacs. Starting as a small fort guarding the northern end of the new bridge across the River Thames, Londinium grew to become an important port for trade between Britain and the Roman provinces on the continent.
The initial lack of private Roman villas suggests military or Imperial ownership. Tacitus wrote that, at the time of the uprising of Boudica, "Londinium... though undistinguished by the name of'colony', was much frequented by a number of merchants and trading vessels." Depending on the time of its creation, the modesty of Londonium's first forum may have reflected its early elevation to city status or may have reflected an administrative concession to a low-ranking but major Romano-British settlement. It had certainly been granted colony status prior to the complete replanning of the city's street plan attending the erection of the great second forum around the year 120. By this time, Britain's provincial administration had almost been moved to Londinium from Camulodunum; the precise date of this change is unknown and no surviving source explicitly states that Londinium was "the capital of Britain" but there are several strong indications of this status: 2nd-century roofing tiles have been found marked by the "Pro
Peter de Neumann
Captain Bernard Peter de Neumann GM was a British Merchant Navy officer, convicted pirate, latterly harbourmaster at Gravesend in Kent, Dockmaster at Tilbury in Essex. De Neumann's action-packed seagoing career included being sunk twice in the space of one month, being charged and convicted of piracy by the Vichy French, being known as "The Man From Timbuctoo". De Neumann displayed exemplary courage during the Second World War being awarded both the George Medal and the Lloyd's War Medal for Bravery at Sea for removing a 250 kilogram bomb from deep in the engine-room of SS Tewkesbury and dropping it over his ship's side during a Luftwaffe attack off Aberdeen on 1 March 1941. SS Tewkesbury was torpedoed and sunk by gunfire from U-69 on 21 May 1941. All of the crew escaped in two boats, he was transferred to HMS Cilicia. HMS Cilicia arrived at Freetown on 17 June 1941, de Neumann volunteered as Second Officer aboard the Royal Navy prize vessel SS Criton. SS Criton sailed from Freetown for the UK on 19 June 1941, but was intercepted by two Vichy France warships, Air France IV and Edith Germaine, on 21 June and sunk by gunfire.
Criton's crew were escorted under armed guard to Conakry, where the executive officers were tried and found guilty of piracy by a Vichy French naval court-martial and imprisoned in Timbuktu. They managed to escape, walked 640 kilometres up the Niger River before they were recaptured and returned to Timbuktu. De Neumann was released at the end of December 1942, arrived back in the UK aboard the armed merchant cruiser HMS Asturias in mid-January 1943. De Neumann received the George Medal from King George VI for his bravery while aboard SS Tewkesbury in mid-February 1943. In 1945 he captained the ex-Luftwaffe Flak Ship Hilde on a voyage to Leningrad, as part of the division of German ships amongst the Allies, returning overland by train and ferry to the UK, he captained the Empire Maymorn on her delivery to Georgetown, British Guiana, returning to the UK as Captain of the Ariguani, HMS Ariguani, the first Fighter Catapult Ship and a forerunner of the Catapult Armed Merchantmen. From 1947 to 1953, he captained HMRC Vigilant.
De Neumann began developing thoughts on the potential for a port-control system while he was captain of HMRC Vigilant. These ideas followed on from considering such incidents as the accidental ramming of the submarine HMS Truculent by HMS Divina in 1950, the Norwegian vessel Baalbek's collision with the Nore Army Fort in 1953, the disastrous North Sea flood that resulted in the flooding of Canvey Island and the East Coast in 1953. In these and other situations and intelligence gathering were hampered by a lack of centralised command and control, which led to a lack of situational awareness. In 1953, de Neumann resigned his command of HMRC Vigilant following the Spithead Review and transferred to the Port of London Authority, he put in place a feasibility study of a port-control system which he oversaw throughout its development and ultimate installation at Gravesend, completed in 1960. He served as Harbourmaster, after his health deteriorated owing to his earlier imprisonment in West Africa, Dockmaster at Tilbury.
De Neumann was commended for his handling of the rescue attempt following the sinking of the Tug Sunfish under Tower Bridge on 12 March 1960. The Sunfish was aft and the Sun VI forward of the Ellerman Lines' Palermo, dragging through Tower Bridge inward bound in the Upper Pool, when the Sunfish was dragged on the Northern Buttress of the bridge, her stern struck, rolling her over, she sank with the loss of her Chief Engineer. She was raised the next day and returned to service. Another commendation came for his part in rescuing the crew of the Tug Kenia when she sank in the New Lock bellmouth, Tilbury Dock, on 25 August 1964; the Crested Cock and the Kenia were undocking the Maashaven from Tilbury Dock New Entrance. The ship started her swing to starboard in the Bellmouth and the Kenia was on the port bow when coming around, the Maashaven went ahead and pinned her to the upper dock head before she cleared the ship's bow; the Kenia was cut from the deck to the keel in the after end of the engine room starboard side.
A line was passed to the pier head and secured, all crew taken ashore, before she sank. Kenia was scrapped, he was commended for his valiant attempt at saving the life of a crane driver injured when his crane toppled across the open hold of a ship in Tilbury Dock on 10 March 1966. The crane driver died. Never far from the action, just a few days before his death, he was involved in another incident with a toppled crane at Tilbury; this time the driver survived. De Neumann was killed in an accident at Tilbury Docks on 16 September 1972 just 2 days before his 55th birthday, his ashes were scattered on the River Thames in Gravesend Reach. Three items Capt de Neumann brought home from Timbuktu were on loan to the Imperial War Museum in London and displayed in the Survival at Sea Exhibition, they were: A copy of the New Testament, with a diary of the movements the prisoners made whilst in captivity A Red Cross label from a parcel addressed to Peter de Neumann in Timbuctoo The tumbler he made from the bottom of a Perrier water bottle by half-filling it with water, binding paraffin-soaked twine around it at the water level, igniting it, making the glass crack at the water-line
Fire services in the United Kingdom
The fire services in the United Kingdom operate under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland. Emergency cover is provided by over fifty agencies; these are known as a fire and rescue service, the term used in modern legislation and by government departments. The older terms of fire brigade and fire service survive in informal usage and in the names of a few organisations. England and Wales have local fire services which are each overseen by a fire authority, made up of representatives of local governments. Fire authorities have the power to raise a Council Tax levy for funding, with the remainder coming from the government. Scotland and Northern Ireland have centralised fire services, so their authorities are committees of the devolved parliaments; the total budget for fire services in 2014-15 was £2.9 billion. Central government maintains national standards and a body of independent advisers through the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, created in 2007, while Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services provides direct oversight.
The devolved government in Scotland has HMFSI Scotland. Firefighters in the United Kingdom are allowed to join unions, the main one being the Fire Brigades Union, while chief fire officers are members of the National Fire Chiefs Council, which has some role in national co-ordination; the fire services have undergone significant changes since the beginning of the 21st century, a process, propelled by a devolution of central government powers, new legislation and a change to operational procedures in the light of terrorism attacks and threats. See separate article History of fire safety legislation in the United Kingdom Comprehensive list of recent UK fire and rescue service legislation: Fire services are established and granted their powers under new legislation which has replaced a number of Acts of Parliament dating back more than 60 years, but is still undergoing change. 1938: Fire Brigades Act 1938. This Act provided for centralised co-ordination of fire brigades in Great Britain and made it mandatory for local authorities to arrange an effective fire service.
1947: Fire Services Act 1947 This Act transferred the functions of the National Fire Service to local authorities. Now repealed in England and Wales by Schedule 2 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. 1959: Fire Services Act 1959 This Act amended the 1947 Act. It was repealed in Wales along with the 1947 Act. 1999: Greater London Authority Act 1999 This act was necessary to allow for the formation of the Greater London Authority and in turn the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. In 2002, there was a series of national fire strikes, with much of the discontent caused by the aforementioned report into the fire service conducted by Prof Sir George Bain. In December 2002, the Independent Review of the Fire Service was published with the industrial action still ongoing. Bain's report led to a change in the laws relating to firefighting. 2002: Independent Review of the Fire Service published 2004: Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 only applying to England and Wales. 2006: The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 This piece of secondary legislation or statutory instrument replaces several other acts that dealt with fire precautions and fire safety in premises, including the now defunct process of issuing fire certificates.
It came into force on 1 October 2006. The DfCLG has published a set of guides for non-domestic premises: 2006: The Government of Wales Act 2006 gave the National Assembly for Wales powers to pass laws on "Fire and rescue services. Promotion of fire safety otherwise than by prohibition or regulation." But does not prevent future legislation being passed by the UK government which applies to two or more constituent countries. There are further plans to modernise the fire service according to the Local Government Association, its website outlines future changes, specific projects: "The aim of the Fire Modernisation Programme is to adopt modern work practices within the Fire & Rescue Service to become more efficient and effective, while strengthening the contingency and resilience of the Service to react to incidents. " The fire service in England and Wales is scrutinised by a House of Commons select committee. In June 2006, the fire and rescue service select committee, under the auspices of the Communities and Local Government Committee, published its latest report.
Committee report The committee's brief is described on its website: The Communities and Local Government Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure and policy of the Department for Communities and Local Government and its associated bodies. Government response This document, the subsequent government response in September 2006, are important as they outlined progress on the FiReControl, efforts to address diversity and the planned closure of HMFSI in 2007 among many issues. Both documents are interesting as they refer back to Professor Bain's report and the many recommendations it made and continue to put forward the notion that there is an ongoing need to modernise FRSs. For example, where FRSs were inspected by HMFSI, much of this work is now carried out by the National Audit Office. Fire Control On 8 February 2010 the House of Commons Communities and Local Governm
Essex is a county in the south-east of England, north-east of London. One of the home counties, it borders Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent across the estuary of the River Thames to the south, London to the south-west; the county town is the only city in the county. For government statistical purposes Essex is placed in the East of England region. Essex occupies the eastern part of the ancient Kingdom of Essex, which united with the other Anglian and Saxon kingdoms to make England a single nation state; as well as rural areas, the county includes London Stansted Airport, the new towns of Basildon and Harlow, Lakeside Shopping Centre, the port of Tilbury and the borough of Southend-on-Sea. The name Essex originates in the Anglo-Saxon period of the Early Middle Ages and has its root in the Anglo-Saxon name Ēastseaxe, the eastern kingdom of the Saxons who had come from the continent and settled in Britain during the Heptarchy. Recorded in AD 527, Essex occupied territory to the north of the River Thames, incorporating all of what became Middlesex and most of what became Hertfordshire.
Its territory was restricted to lands east of the River Lea. Colchester in the north-east of the county is Britain's oldest recorded town, dating from before the Roman conquest, when it was known as Camulodunum and was sufficiently well-developed to have its own mint. In AD 824, following the Battle of Ellandun, the kingdoms of the East Saxons, the South Saxons and the Jutes of Kent were absorbed into the kingdom of the West Saxons, uniting Saxland under King Alfred's grandfather Ecgberht. Before the Norman conquest the East Saxons were subsumed into the Kingdom of England. After the Norman conquest, Essex became a county. During the medieval period, much of the area was designated a Royal forest, including the entire county in a period to 1204, when the area "north of the Stanestreet" was disafforested; the areas subject to forest law diminished, but at various times they included the forests of Becontree, Epping, Hatfield and Waltham. Essex County Council was formed in 1889. However, County Boroughs of West Ham, Southend-on-Sea and East Ham formed part of the county but were unitary authorities.
12 boroughs and districts provide more localised services such as rubbish and recycling collections and planning, as shown in the map on the right. A few Essex parishes have been transferred to other counties. Before 1889, small areas were transferred to Hertfordshire near Bishops Stortford and Sawbridgeworth. At the time of the main changes around 1900, parts of Helions Bumpstead, Sturmer and Ballingdon-with-Brundon were transferred to Suffolk. Part of Hadstock, part of Ashton and part of Chrishall were transferred to Cambridgeshire and part of Great Horkesley went to Suffolk; the boundary with Greater London was established in 1965, when East Ham and West Ham county boroughs and the Barking, Dagenham, Ilford, Romford and Wanstead and Woodford districts were transferred to form the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Waltham Forest. Essex became part of the East of England Government Office Region in 1994 and was statistically counted as part of that region from 1999, having been part of the South East England region.
In 1998, the boroughs of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock were granted autonomy from the administrative county of Essex after successful requests to become unitary authorities. Essex Police covers the two unitary authorities; the county council chamber and main headquarters is at the County Hall in Chelmsford. Before 1938, the council met in London near Moorgate, which with significant parts of the county close to that point and the dominance of railway travel had been more convenient than any place in the county, it has 75 elected councillors. Before 1965, the number of councillors reached over 100; the County Hall, made a listed building in 2007, dates from the mid-1930s and is decorated with fine artworks of that period the gift of the family who owned the textile firm Courtaulds. The highest point of the county of Essex is Chrishall Common near the village of Langley, close to the Hertfordshire border, which reaches 482 feet; the ceremonial county of Essex is bounded to the south by its estuary.
The pattern of settlement in the county is diverse. The Metropolitan Green Belt has prevented the further sprawl of London into the county, although it contains the new towns of Basildon and Harlow developed to resettle Londoners after the destruction of London housing in the Second World War, since which they have been developed and expanded. Epping Forest prevents the further spread of the Greater London Urban Area; as it is not far from London with its economic magnetism, many of Essex's settlements those near or within short driving distance of railway stations, function as dormitory towns or villages where London workers raise their families. Part of the s
Leigh-on-Sea referred to as Leigh, is a town and civil parish in Essex, England. A district of Southend-on-Sea, with its own town council, it is the only civil parish within the borough. Leigh-on-Sea is situated on the northern side of the Thames Estuary, only a few miles from the open waters of the North Sea to the east, a similar distance from the Kent coast to the south; the coastal environs of the town feature a nature reserve at Two Tree Island and a centrally located beach adjacent to Bell Wharf. At low tide, Leigh's foreshore has a wide expanse of mud flats and creeks, extending offshore towards the deep water channel of the Thames. Leigh is 40 miles from central London via road and rail networks and is considered part of the London commuter belt. Archaeological finds of pottery and coins from the Romano-British era in the locality suggest early settlement. From at least the Saxon period a hilltop clearing amidst the woodland that covered much of the surrounding area of Essex came to be known as Leigh.
A place of minor economic importance at the time of the Norman Conquest, a reference to Leigh appears in the Domesday Book survey of 1086. Ley is a place-name element found in the nearby towns and villages of Hadleigh, Rayleigh and Thundersley. From the late Middle Ages onwards, Leigh evolved from a rustic backwater through eras of increased and diminished maritime trade to form, by the early 20th century, the westernmost suburb of the borough of Southend-on-Sea. Beyond the fishing and trading settlement on the shore of the Thames Estuary, a number of farms including Leigh Heath Farm, Leigh Park Farm, Belfairs Farm, Gowles/Gowlds, Owls Hall Farm, Wood Farm, Elm Farm and Leigh Hall Farm existed; the parish church, St. Clement's, was rebuilt in the late 15th century or early 16th century, although the list of Rectors dates back 1248; the fabric of the church is of Kentish ragstone and flint rubble, with a Tudor porch constructed of red brick. The medieval structure of the church was added to and altered during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The chancel was extended at the east end in 1872 by C F Haywood, E Geldart added the south aisle in 1897, there were a number of alterations made by Sir Charles Nicholson in 1913 and 1919. The tower at the west end was a prominent landmark for shipping on the Thames Estuary, the building contains a good selection of stained glass dating from between the 18th and 20th centuries; the building is Grade II* listed by Historic England, a key factor for this rating was the sympathetic nature of the 19th and 20th century additions. Leigh Hall, a medieval manor house demolished in the early 20th century, was once situated near the ancient eastern manorial boundary of Leigh and Prittlewell; the house and a trackway leading from it to a church on a nearby clifftop pre-dated the centre of modern-day Leigh-on-Sea and its primary commercial thoroughfare Broadway. The Rt Rev Robert Eden, who became Leigh's rector in 1837, demolished the existing rectory and commissioned a large new one, completed in 1838.
One quarter of the building remains today as Leigh Library, as the other wings of the building were demolished by Southend Corporation when they acquired the building and the surrounding land. The rectory and grounds occupied a 6-acre site, the work carried out by Eden included the construction of Rectory Grove as a public right of way, which replaced an existing cliff-top path called Chess Lane, a second trackway between Elm Road and the springs situated near the top of Billet Lane. In the 11th century Leigh was a marginal community of homesteads; the Domesday Book records'five smallholders above the water who do not hold land', who were engaged in fishing thus giving Leigh a claim to nearly a thousand years of activity in the fishing industry. The main seafood catch from Leigh fishing boats has always been whitebait. Many of the local trawlers were at one time bawleys, two of Old Leigh's pubs – the Peter Boat and Ye Olde Smack – owe their names to types of local fishing boat. Local fish merchants land and trade a wide range of supplies daily, including shrimps, crab, haddock and mackerel, whelks and oysters.
The riverside settlement of'Old Leigh', or'The Old Town', is significant. From the Middle Ages until the turn of the 20th century, Old Leigh hosted the settlement's market square, high street. Leigh had grown to become a prosperous port by the 16th century. Elizabethan historian William Camden described Leigh as "a proper fine little towne and verie full of stout and adventurous sailers". By the 1740s however, Leigh's deep water access had become silted up and the village was in decline as an anchorage and port of call. With the advent of the railway line from London to Southend during the mid-19th century, much of the "old town" was demolished to accommodate its passage, new housing and streets began to be built on the ridge of hills above the settlement. Broadway developed between the 1870s and the 1920s from a residential street to a commercial parade of shopfronts, as the town began to expand. During the 1930s, Broadway was extended further west with the demolition of a large manor house, Black House/Leigh House.
At this time London Road and Leigh Road were becoming established as commercial thoroughfares, with shops, industrial premises, entertainment venues. By
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to c. 886 and King of the Anglo-Saxons from c. 886 to 899. He was the youngest son of King Æthelwulf of Wessex, his father died when he was young and three of Alfred's brothers reigned in turn. Alfred took the throne after the death of his brother Æthelred and spent several years dealing with Viking invasions, he won a decisive victory in the Battle of Edington in 878 and made an agreement with the Vikings, creating what was known as Danelaw in the North of England. Alfred oversaw the conversion of Viking leader Guthrum to Christianity, he defended his kingdom against the Viking attempt at conquest, he became the dominant ruler in England. He was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself King of the Anglo-Saxons. Details of his life are described in a work by 9th-century Welsh bishop Asser. Alfred had a reputation as a learned and merciful man of a gracious and level-headed nature who encouraged education, proposing that primary education be conducted in English rather than Latin, improving his kingdom's legal system, military structure, his people's quality of life.
He was given the epithet "the Great" after the Reformation in the sixteenth century. The only other king of England given this epithet is Cnut the Great. In 2002, Alfred was ranked number 14 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. Alfred was born in the royal estate of Wantage in Berkshire but now in Oxfordshire, between 847 and 849, he was the youngest of five sons of King Æthelwulf of Wessex by Osburh. In 853 Alfred is reported by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle to have been sent to Rome where he was confirmed by Pope Leo IV, who "anointed him as king". Victorian writers interpreted this as an anticipatory coronation in preparation for his eventual succession to the throne of Wessex; this is unlikely. A letter of Leo IV shows that Alfred was made a "consul", it may be based upon the fact that Alfred accompanied his father on a pilgrimage to Rome where he spent some time at the court of Charles the Bald, King of the Franks, around 854–855. On their return from Rome in 856 Æthelwulf was deposed by his son Æthelbald.
With civil war looming the magnates of the realm met in council to hammer out a compromise. Æthelbald would retain the western shires, Æthelwulf would rule in the east. When King Æthelwulf died in 858 Wessex was ruled by three of Alfred's brothers in succession: Æthelbald, Æthelberht and Æthelred. Bishop Asser tells the story of how, as a child, Alfred won a book of Saxon poems, offered as a prize by his mother to the first of her children able to memorize it. Legend has it that the young Alfred spent time in Ireland seeking healing. Alfred was troubled by health problems throughout his life, it is thought. Statues of Alfred in Winchester and Wantage portray him as a great warrior. Evidence suggests he was not physically strong and, though not lacking in courage, he was noted more for his intellect than as a warlike character. Alfred is not mentioned during the short reigns of his older brothers Æthelberht; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle describes the Great Heathen Army of Danes landing in East Anglia with the intent of conquering the four kingdoms which constituted Anglo-Saxon England in 865.
Alfred's public life began in 865 at age 16 with the accession of his third brother, 18 year-old Æthelred. During this period, Bishop Asser gave Alfred the unique title of secundarius, which may indicate a position similar to the Celtic tanist, a recognised successor associated with the reigning monarch; this arrangement may have been sanctioned by Alfred's father or by the Witan to guard against the danger of a disputed succession should Æthelred fall in battle. It was a well known tradition among other Germanic peoples - such as the Swedes and Franks to whom the Anglo-Saxons were related - to crown a successor as royal prince and military commander. In 868, Alfred is recorded as fighting beside Æthelred in an unsuccessful attempt to keep the Great Heathen Army led by Ivar the Boneless out of the adjoining Kingdom of Mercia; the Danes arrived in his homeland at the end of 870, nine engagements were fought in the following year, with varying outcomes. A successful skirmish at the Battle of Englefield in Berkshire on 31 December 870 was followed by a severe defeat at the siege and Battle of Reading by Ivar's brother Halfdan Ragnarsson on 5 January 871.
Four days the Anglo-Saxons won a brilliant victory at the Battle of Ashdown on the Berkshire Downs near Compton or Aldworth. Alfred is credited with the success of this last battle; the Saxons were defeated at the Battle of Basing on 22 January. They were defeated again on 22 March at the Battle of Merton. Æthelred died shortly afterwards on 23 April. In April 871 King Æthelred died and Alfred succeeded to the throne of Wessex and the burden of its defence though Æthelred left two under-age sons, Æthelhelm and Æthelwold; this was in accordance with the agreement that Æthelred and Alfred had made earlier that year in an assembly at an unidentified place called Swinbeorg. The brothers had agreed that whichever of them outlived the other would inherit the personal property that King Æthelwulf had left jointly to his sons in his will; the deceased's sons would receive only w
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate