Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe, he was heir apparent to the British throne and held the title of Prince of Wales for longer than any of his predecessors. He was heir presumptive to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha until before his marriage he renounced his right to the duchy, which devolved to his younger brother Alfred. During the long reign of his mother, he was excluded from political power, came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite, he travelled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties, represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were popular successes, but despite public approval his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother; as king, Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War.
He reinstituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialised. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries France, for which he was popularly called "Peacemaker", but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor; the Edwardian era, which covered Edward's reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis, resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords. Edward was born at 10:48 in the morning on 9 November 1841 in Buckingham Palace, he was the eldest son and second child of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was christened Albert Edward at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 25 January 1842.
He was named Albert after his father and Edward after his maternal grandfather Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. He was known as Bertie to the royal family throughout his life; as the eldest son of the British sovereign, he was automatically Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay at birth. As a son of Prince Albert, he held the titles of Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke of Saxony, he was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on 8 December 1841, Earl of Dublin on 10 September 1849 or 17 January 1850, a Knight of the Garter on 9 November 1858, a Knight of the Thistle on 24 May 1867. In 1863, he renounced his succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in favour of his younger brother, Prince Alfred. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were determined that their eldest son should have an education that would prepare him to be a model constitutional monarch. At age seven, Edward embarked on a rigorous educational programme devised by Prince Albert, supervised by several tutors.
Unlike his elder sister Victoria, Edward did not excel in his studies. He to no avail. Although Edward was not a diligent student—his true talents were those of charm and tact—Benjamin Disraeli described him as informed, intelligent and of sweet manner. After the completion of his secondary-level studies, his tutor was replaced by a personal governor, Robert Bruce. After an educational trip to Rome, undertaken in the first few months of 1859, he spent the summer of that year studying at the University of Edinburgh under, among others, the chemist Lyon Playfair. In October, he matriculated as an undergraduate at Oxford. Now released from the educational strictures imposed by his parents, he enjoyed studying for the first time and performed satisfactorily in examinations. In 1861, he transferred to Trinity College, where he was tutored in history by Charles Kingsley, Regius Professor of Modern History. Kingsley's efforts brought forth the best academic performances of Edward's life, Edward looked forward to his lectures.
In 1860, Edward undertook the first tour of North America by a Prince of Wales. His genial good humour and confident bonhomie made the tour a great success, he inaugurated the Victoria Bridge, across the St Lawrence River, laid the cornerstone of Parliament Hill, Ottawa. He watched Charles Blondin traverse Niagara Falls by highwire, stayed for three days with President James Buchanan at the White House. Buchanan accompanied the Prince to Mount Vernon, to pay his respects at the tomb of George Washington. Vast crowds greeted him everywhere, he met Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Prayers for the royal family were said in Trinity Church, New York, for the first time since 1776; the four-month tour throughout Canada and the United States boosted Edward's confidence and self-esteem, had many diplomatic benefits for Great Britain. Edward had hoped to pursue a career in the British Army, but his mother vetoed an active military career, he had been gazetted colonel on 9 November 1858—to his disappointment, as he had wanted to earn his commission by examination.
In September 1861, Edward was sent to Germany to watch military manoeuvres, but in order to engineer a meeting between him and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the eldest daughter of Prince Christian of Denmark and his wife Louise. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had decided that Edward and Alexandra should marry, they met at Speyer on 24 September under the auspices of his elder sister, who ha
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Alfred reigned as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from 1893 to 1900. He was the second son and fourth child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, he was known as the Duke of Edinburgh from 1866 until he succeeded his paternal uncle Ernest II as the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in the German Empire. Prince Alfred was born on 6 August 1844 at Windsor Castle to the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria, her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the second son of Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, he was second in the line of succession behind the Prince of Wales. Alfred was baptized by the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Howley, at the Private Chapel in Windsor Castle on 6 September 1844, his godparents were Prince George of Cambridge. Alfred studied violin at Holyrood, where his accompanist was Hungarian expatriate George Lichtenstein. Alfred remained second in line to the British throne from his birth until 8 January 1864, when his older brother Edward and his wife Alexandra of Denmark had their first son, Prince Albert Victor.
Alfred became third in line to the throne and as Edward and Alexandra continued to have children, Alfred was further demoted in the order of succession. In 1856, at the age of 12, it was decided that Prince Alfred, in accordance with his own wishes, should enter the Royal Navy. A separate establishment was accordingly assigned to him, with Lieutenant J. C. Cowell, RE, as governor, he passed the examination in August 1858, was appointed as midshipman in HMS Euryalus at the age of 14. In July 1860, while on this ship, he paid an official visit to the Cape Colony, made a favourable impression both on the colonials and on the native chiefs, he took part in a hunt at Hartebeeste-Hoek, resulting in the slaughter of large numbers of game animals. On the abdication of King Otto of Greece, in 1862, Prince Alfred was chosen to succeed him, but the British government blocked plans for him to ascend the Greek throne because of the Queen's opposition to the idea, she and her late husband had made plans for him to succeed to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg.
Prince Alfred, remained in the navy, was promoted to lieutenant on 24 February 1863, serving under Count Gleichen on the corvette HMS Racoon. He was promoted to captain on 23 February 1866 and was appointed to the command of the frigate HMS Galatea in January 1867. In the Queen's Birthday Honours on 24 May 1866, the Prince was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Ulster, Earl of Kent, with an annuity of £15,000 granted by Parliament, he took his seat in the House of Lords on 8 June. While still in command of the Galatea, the Duke of Edinburgh started from Plymouth on 24 January 1867 for his voyage around the world. On 7 June 1867, he left Gibraltar, reached the Cape of Good Hope on 24 July and paid a royal visit to Cape Town on 24 August 1867 after landing at Simon's Town a while earlier, he landed at Glenelg, South Australia, on 31 October 1867. Being the first member of the royal family to visit Australia, he was received with great enthusiasm. During his stay of nearly five months he visited Adelaide, Sydney and Tasmania.
Adelaide school Prince Alfred College was named in his honour to mark the occasion. On 12 March 1868, on his second visit to Sydney, he was invited by Sir William Manning, President of the Sydney Sailors' Home, to picnic at the beachfront suburb of Clontarf to raise funds for the home. At the function, he was wounded in the back by a revolver fired by Henry James O'Farrell. Alfred was shot just to the right of his spine and was tended for the next two weeks by six nurses, trained by Florence Nightingale and led by Matron Lucy Osburn, who had just arrived in Australia in February 1868. In the violent struggle during which Alfred was shot, William Vial had managed to wrest the gun away from O'Farrell until bystanders assisted. Vial, a master of a Masonic Lodge, had helped to organise the picnic in honour of the Duke's visit and was presented with a gold watch for securing Alfred's life. Another bystander, George Thorne, was wounded in the foot by O'Farrell's second shot. O'Farrell was arrested at the scene tried and hanged on 21 April 1868.
On the evening of 23 March 1868, the most influential people of Sydney voted for a memorial building to be erected, "to raise a permanent and substantial monument in testimony of the heartfelt gratitude of the community at the recovery of HRH". This led to a public subscription. Alfred soon recovered from his injury and was able to resume command of his ship and return home in early April 1868, he reached Spithead on 26 June 1868, after an absence of seventeen months. He visited Hawaii in 1869 and spent time with the royal family there, where he was presented with leis upon his arrival, he was the first member of the royal family to visit New Zealand, arriving in 1869 on HMS Galatea. He became the first European prince to visit Japan and on 4 September 1869, he was received at an audience by the teenaged Emperor Meiji in Tokyo; the Duke's next voyage was to India, where he arrived in December 1869 and Ceylon, which he visited the following year. In both countries and at Hong Kong, which he visited on the way, he was the first British prince to set foot in the country.
The native rulers of India vied with one another in the magnif
Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Medal
The Diamond Jubilee Medal was instituted in 1897 by Royal Warrant as a British decoration. The medal was awarded to members of the Royal Family and the court and dignitaries present at the celebrations of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee and to selected soldiers and sailors who formed the jubilee parade in London; the Medal followed the Golden Jubilee Medal, issued ten years both in terms of design and award criteria, with those qualifying for both medals receiving a ribbon clasp in lieu of a second medal. The medal was awarded to those involved in the official celebrations of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee, including members of the Royal Family, Royal Household and government officials, as well as Envoys, Foreign Ambassadors and Colonial Prime Ministers. Military recipients included selected officers and soldiers of the Royal Navy and Army, the Indian and colonial contingents, that participated in jubilee activities, including the London procession in which the Queen took part. Three types of medal were awarded: Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Awarded in gold to members of the Royal Family, silver to officers and those of similar status, bronze to selected other ranks who took part in the jubilee parade. A special diamond shaped medal for mayors and provosts, presented in gold to lord mayors and lord provosts and silver to mayors and provosts from across the United Kingdom. A Police Diamond Jubilee Medal of a different design was awarded to those on duty during the jubilee celebrations. Please see separate article. Other members of the Commonwealth struck their own versions of the medal, albeit not sanctioned for wear; the Government of Ceylon in particular is notable for the medals they struck in 14-carat gold and silver, awarded to senior members of government and local officials. The Diamond Jubilee Medal followed the design of Golden Jubilee Medal, it measures 30 millimetres in diameter. On the obverse Queen Victoria is depicted crowned and wearing a veil which falls over the back of the head and neck, with the text VICTORIA D. G.
REGINA ET IMPERATRIX F. D.. The reverse bears the words IN COMMEMORATION OF THE 60TH YEAR OF THE REIGN OF QUEEN VICTORIA · 20 JUNE 1897 within a garland of roses and thistles; the medal was designed by Clemens Emptmayer, with the portrait of Queen Victoria based on a design by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm. The ribbon is garter blue with wide white stripes towards each edge. Holders of the 1887 medal who qualified were awarded a bar inscribed'1897' and surmounted by a crown, to be attached to the ribbon of the existing medal; the medal for mayors and provosts is a lozenge, 40 by 48 millimetres, bearing a trefoil pattern, with a circular centre that depicts the portrait of the older Queen on the obverse, with the young Queen on the reverse. The ribbon follows that of the standard medal; the medal of Admiral of the Fleet, Earl David Beatty in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich on collections.rmg.co.uk The medal of Richard Seddon, premier of New Zealand in the Museum of New Zealand on collections.tepapa.govt.nz
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth
Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire, England. Leeds has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK's main employment centres and has seen the fastest rate of private-sector jobs growth of any UK city, it has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all the UK's Core Cities, with 77% of its workforce working in the private sector. Leeds has the third-largest jobs total by local authority area, with 480,000 in employment and self-employment at the beginning of 2015. Leeds is ranked as a gamma world city by World Cities Research Network. Leeds is the cultural and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. Leeds is served by four universities, has the fourth largest student population in the country and the country's fourth largest urban economy. Leeds was a small manorial borough in the 13th century, in the 17th and 18th centuries it became a major centre for the production and trading of wool, in the Industrial Revolution a major mill town. From being a market town in the valley of the River Aire in the 16th century, Leeds expanded and absorbed the surrounding villages to become a populous urban centre by the mid-20th century.
It now lies within the West Yorkshire Urban Area, the United Kingdom's fourth-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.6 million. Today, Leeds has become the largest legal and financial centre, outside London with the financial and insurance services industry worth £13 billion to the city's economy; the finance and business service sector account for 38% of total output with more than 30 national and international banks located in the city, including an office of the Bank of England. Leeds is the UK's third-largest manufacturing centre with around 1,800 firms and 39,000 employees, Leeds manufacturing firms account for 8.8% of total employment in the city and is worth over £7 billion to the local economy. The largest sub-sectors are engineering and publishing, food and drink and medical technology. Other key sectors include retail and the visitor economy and the creative and digital industries; the city saw several firsts, including the oldest-surviving film in existence, Roundhay Garden Scene, the 1767 invention of soda water.
Public transport and road communications networks in the region are focused on Leeds, the second phase of High Speed 2 will connect it to London via East Midlands Hub and Sheffield Meadowhall. Leeds has the third busiest railway station and the tenth busiest airport outside London; the name derives from the old Brythonic word Ladenses meaning "people of the fast-flowing river", in reference to the River Aire that flows through the city. This name referred to the forested area covering most of the Brythonic kingdom of Elmet, which existed during the 5th century into the early 7th century. Bede states in the fourteenth chapter of his Ecclesiastical History, in a discussion of an altar surviving from a church erected by Edwin of Northumbria, that it is located in...regione quae vocatur Loidis. An inhabitant of Leeds is locally known as a word of uncertain origin; the term Leodensian is used, from the city's Latin name. The name has been explained as a derivative of Welsh lloed, meaning "a place".
Leeds developed as a market town in the Middle Ages as part of the local agricultural economy. Before the Industrial Revolution, it became a co-ordination centre for the manufacture of woollen cloth, white broadcloth was traded at its White Cloth Hall. Leeds handled one sixth of England's export trade in 1770. Growth in textiles, was accelerated by the building of the Aire and Calder Navigation in 1699 and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in 1816. In the late Georgian era, William Lupton, Lord of the Manor of Leeds, was one of a number of central Leeds landowners with the mesne lord title, some of whom, like him, were textile manufacturers. At the time of his death in 1828, Lupton's land in Briggate in central Leeds included a mill, manor house and outbuildings; the railway network constructed around Leeds, starting with the Leeds and Selby Railway in 1834, provided improved communications with national markets and for its development, an east-west connection with Manchester and the ports of Liverpool and Hull giving improved access to international markets.
Alongside technological advances and industrial expansion, Leeds retained an interest in trading in agricultural commodities, with the Corn Exchange opening in 1864. Marshall's Mill was one of the first of many factories constructed in Leeds from around 1790 when the most significant were woollen finishing and flax mills. Manufacturing diversified by 1914 to printing, engineering and clothing manufacture. Decline in manufacturing during the 1930s was temporarily reversed by a switch to producing military uniforms and munitions during World War II. However, by the 1970s, the clothing industry was in irreversible decline, facing cheap foreign competition; the contemporary economy has been shaped by Leeds City Council's vision of building a'24-hour European city' and'capital of the north'. The city has developed from the decay of the post-industrial era to become a telephone banking centre, connected to the electronic infrastructure of the modern global economy. There has been growth in the corporate and legal sectors, increased local affluence has led to an expanding retail sector, including the luxury goods market.
Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone was launched in April 2012 to promote development in four sites along the A63 East Leeds Link Road. Leeds was a manor and townshi
St Helens, Merseyside
St Helens is a large town in Merseyside, with a population of 102,629. It is the administrative centre of the Metropolitan Borough of St Helens, which had a population of 176,843 at the 2001 Census. St Helens is in the south west of the historic county of Lancashire, 6 miles north of the River Mersey; the town lay within the ancient Lancashire division of West Derby known as a "hundred". Incorporated as a municipal borough in 1868, responsible for the administration of the townships of Eccleston, Parr and Windle, it became a county borough in 1887 and a metropolitan borough in 1974; the area developed in the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries into a significant centre for coal mining and glassmaking. It was home to a cotton and linen industry that lasted until the mid-19th century as well as salt and alkali pits, copper smelting, brewing. Glass producer Pilkington is the town's only remaining large industrial employer, it was home to Beechams, the Gamble Alkali Works, Ravenhead glass, United Glass Bottles, Daglish Foundry, Greenall's brewery.
The southern part of what became the traditional county of Lancashire was at least settled by the Brigantes, a Celtic tribe, who were subjugated by the Romans during their 1st Century conquest, with nearby Wigan suggested as a location for the Roman settlement of Coccium. Eccleston in St Helens appears to derive its name from either the Latin ecclesia or the Welsh eglwys, both meaning "church", suggesting a common link to a place of worship although none is known in that township until the 19th century; the first recorded settlements are the Manors and Titled Lands listed in the Domesday Book in the 11th century. The titled lands would have encompassed the modern townships of Sutton and Parr as part of their fiefdoms, though it may be inferred from the listed tithes that the land was populated before then. St Helens did not exist as a town in its own right until as late as the middle of the 19th century; the development of the town has a complex history: it was spurred on by the rapid population growth in the region during the Industrial Revolution.
Between 1629 and 1839 St Helens grew from a small collection of houses surrounding an old chapel, to a village, before becoming the significant urban centre of the four primary manors and surrounding townships that make up the modern town. The Domesday Book of 1086 reveals that several manors existed at that time, although there are no specific references to "St Elyn", or mentions of the particular "vill" or villages. Windle is first recorded on some maps as "Windhull" in 1201, Bold in 1212 and Parr in 1246, whilst Sutton and Ecclestone composed part of the Widnes "fee" under a Knight or Earl, it is known that the Hospitallers held lands in the area of Hardshaw as early as 1292, known as Crossgate and many of the original parishes and local areas are named after the families that owned the land between the 11th and 18th centuries. The Ecclestone family owned the Eccleston township, their ancestral home dates to 1100. The family is referred to throughout the period until the 18th century when they departed for nearby SouthportThe manor of Parr remained in control of the Parr family and their descendants from the 13th to the early 15th century, when a distant relative of the original family line, William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton sold the manor to the Byroms of Lowton.
The family supported the Royalists during the English Civil War, Henry Byrom died at the Battle of Edgehill. The extensive lands of Sutton Manor stretched across the open and flat land leading towards the Mersey; the manor's name is of unknown origin, but the land within the estate referred to several leading families, including Eltonhead and Sherdley. In 1212 William de Daresbury was the title holder of the manors; the Sherdley family can be traced back to the Northales, settled in the area since at least 1276, when they are referred to as plaintiffs in a boundary dispute with the Lords of Rainhill. Windle contained the smaller Hardshaw, described as a Berewick in the Domesday Book, it was in Hardshaw. The Windle Family were Lords of the Manor and Township from the Norman period onward, before ceding control to the Gerards of Bryn. In 1139, the "earldom of Derby", in the Peerage of England, was created: Norman descendent Robert De Ferrers was the first Earl. Subsequently, the region passed to John of Gaunt, the Stanley family.
Their ancestral home was established in the nearby Knowsley area, with the foundation of a hunting lodge in the 15th century and subsequently Knowsley Hall in the 18th century. The Earl of Derby's lands encompassed a region from Liverpool to Manchester, to the north beyond Lancaster and were turned to meeting the pastoral needs of the people. Throughout this period the area was predominantly arable land and was noted for its large swathes of moss and bog land while elsewhere in parts it was covered by the greater Mersey Forest; the origin of the name "St Helens" stretches back at least to a chapel of ease dedicated to St Elyn, the earliest documented reference to, in 1552. The first time the Chapel was formally referred to appears to be 1558, when Thomas Parr of Parr bequeathed a sum of money "to
Johanna Clara Louise Lehzen, better known as Baroness Louise Lehzen, was the governess, adviser and companion, to Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. Born to a Lutheran pastor in Hanover, in 1819 Lehzen entered the household of the Duchess of Kent and her husband Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. Five years Lehzen became governess to their only child, Princess Victoria. Lehzen became protective of her, who resided in a household dominated by the controlling Kensington System, implemented by the Duchess and her comptroller Sir John Conroy. "Dear, good Lehzen" soon came to supersede all others--including her own mother--in Alexandrina’s eyes. Princess Alexandrina became second-in-line to the British throne in 1827. Lehzen encouraged the princess to become strong and independent from the Duchess and Conroy's influence, causing friction between the two and Lehzen. Attempts to remove the governess, who had the support of Alexandrina’s uncles George IV, William IV, Leopold I of Belgium, were unsuccessful.
When Victoria became queen in 1837, Lehzen served as a sort of unofficial private secretary, enjoying apartments adjacent to Victoria's. The Queen's marriage to Prince Albert in 1840 led to significant changes in the royal household. Albert and Lehzen detested each other, after an illness of the Princess Royal in 1841, Lehzen was dismissed, her close relationship with the Queen came to an end, although the two continued to write letters to each other. Lehzen spent her last years in Hanover on a generous pension, dying in 1870. Historian K. D. Reynolds writes that Lehzen was a major influence on Victoria's character, in particular giving her the strength of will to survive her troubled childhood and life as a young queen. Johanna Clara Louise Lehzen was born in Hanover on 3 October 1784, the youngest of seven daughters and two sons of Lutheran pastor Joachim Friedrich Lehzen and his wife Melusine Palm. Forced by circumstances to work for her living since she was young, Lehzen was employed by the von Marenholtzes, an aristocratic German family, where she earned glowing references.
Based on these references, Lehzen became part of the household of Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld in December 1819, when she served as governess to twelve-year-old Princess Feodora of Leiningen, the daughter of the princess by her first marriage. Princess Victoria was married to the Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, who was, at the time, fourth in line for the British throne. Lehzen and the entire household were moved to England in 1817 so that the new Duchess of Kent's child might be born there, strengthening the child's claim to the throne; the baby was a girl, christened "Alexandrina Victoria" after her mother and her godfather, Alexander I of Russia. The Duke of Kent died quite in 1820, followed by his father, King George III. Victoria's uncle, the Prince Regent, ascended the throne as King George IV. Victoria was now third in line to the throne, after her uncles the Duke of York and the Duke of Clarence, both of whom were well past middle age and neither of whom had legitimate heirs.
As the eventual heir, Victoria had to be educated accordingly. Feodora was now 14, no longer required the services of a governess. After the dismissal of nursemaid Mrs. Brock, Lehzen – as she was always known in the household – took over five-year-old Victoria's care in 1824; the Duchess and her comptroller, John Conroy made the appointment not only because Lehzen was German, but because they believed she was unlikely to operate independently of their wishes. Twentieth century historian Christopher Hibbert describes Lehzen as "a handsome woman, despite her pointed nose and chin, emotional, humourless." Though she at first feared Lehzen's stern manner, "dear, good Lehzen" soon came to occupy a place in Victoria's heart that superseded all others, including her own mother, the Duchess of Kent. Lehzen encouraged the princess to distrust her mother and her mother's friends, to maintain her independence; the governess was uninterested in money and lacked ambition for herself, instead choosing to devote her time and energy to the princess.
Victoria took to calling Lehzen "Mother" and "dearest Daisy" in private, writing Lehzen was "the most affectionate, devoted and disinterested friend I have." As part of the controlling Kensington System devised by Conroy, after 1824 Victoria was to be accompanied by Lehzen at all times during the day. In 1827, the Duke of York died, making the Duke of Clarence heir presumptive, Victoria second-in-line to the throne. Conroy complained that the princess should not be surrounded with commoners, leading George IV to award them both titles. George IV himself died in 1830, was duly succeeded by his brother the Duke of Clarence, who became King William IV. William formally recognised Victoria as his heir presumptive. According to Lehzen, around this time the famous scene took place, in which Lehzen slipped a copy of the genealogy of the House of Hanover into one of the princess's lesson books. After perusing it for some time, Victoria came to see that her father had been next in line after the king, that Queen Adelaide had no surviving children.
This was the first time Victoria came to realise the destiny, assumed by many since her birth.