William Dyce was a Scottish artist, who played a part in the formation of public art education in the United Kingdom, the South Kensington Schools system. Dyce played a part in their early popularity. Dyce was born on the 19 September 1806 at 48 Marischal Street in Aberdeen, the son of Dr William Dyce of Fonthill and Cuttlehill FRSE and Margaret Chalmers of Westburn, his uncle was General Alexander Dyce FRSE. His older brother was Prof Robert Dyce FRSE. Dyce began his career at the Royal Academy schools, travelled to Rome for the first time in 1825. While he was there, he studied the works of Poussin, he returned to Rome in 1827, this time staying for a year and a half, during this period he appears to have made the acquaintance of the German Nazarene painter Friedrich Overbeck. After these travels, he settled for several years in Edinburgh, he supported himself by painting portraits at first, but soon took to other subjects of art the religious subjects he preferred. Dyce was given charge of the School of Design in Edinburgh, was invited to London, where he was based thereafter, to head the newly established Government School of Design to become the Royal College of Art.
Before taking up this post in 1838 he and a colleague were sent to visit France and Germany to enquire into design education there and prepare a report. He left the school in 1843, to be able to paint more, but remained a member of the Council of the school; the ideas that were turned in the following decade into the "South Kensington system" that dominated English art education for the rest of the century have their origin in Dyce's work. Dyce is less known for, but important as, the founder of the Motett Society, which sought to advance the restoration and liturgical use of long-neglected works of the English church, he was noted as an able organist, is reputed to have composed some musical works. Dyce died in Streatham in Surrey on 14 February 1864, he is buried in the churchyard of St Leonards Church in Streatham. He is memorialised on his parent's grave in St Nicholas Churchyard on Union Street in Aberdeen, there is a street in Streatham named for him – William Dyce Mews. Dyce's most thought of painting today is his exceptionally detailed seaside landscape of Pegwell Bay in Kent, now in the Tate Gallery.
A rather atypical work, it is titled Pegwell Bay, Kent – a Recollection of October 5th 1858, was exhibited at the Royal Academy summer exhibition in 1860. The largest collection of Dyce's work is held at Scotland. Dyce is the figure in Scottish art most associated with the Pre-Raphaelites, he befriended the young Pre-Raphaelites in London and introduced their work to the influential art critic John Ruskin. His work was Pre-Raphaelite in its spirituality, as can be seen in his The Man of Sorrows and David in the Wilderness, which contain a Pre-Raphaelite attention to detail. In his career, Dyce turned to fresco-painting, was selected to execute a series of murals at the newly completed the Palace of Westminster. In preparation for work at Westminster, he returned to Italy in 1845–47, to observe the fresco techniques employed there, he was impressed by Pinturicchio's frescoes in the Piccolomini Library in Siena, by the works of Perugino. Dyce was commissioned to decorate the Queen's Robing Room in the Palace.
He chose as his subject the Arthurian legends, He had some difficulty adapting the Courtly love of Malory's tales to Victorian mores. The Arthurian legend became popular in the Victorian period, but when Dyce received the commission to decorate the room in 1847, it was still an obscure subject; the legend soon became a major problem for Dyce, as it turns on the unfaithfulness of a queen, which causes the fall of a kingdom. After experimenting with a narrative sequence in which the tale would unfold in the room's panels, Dyce abandoned this in favour of an allegorical approach. In their finished form, Dyce's frescoes depict scenes from the Arthurian legend that are intended to exemplify the virtues inscribed beneath them; the actions of the figures in his frescoes appear to the modern viewer to convey qualities whose status as virtues is uncertain, the connection between the episodes from the Arthurian legend and the virtues they represent is sometimes difficult to discern. The virtues depicted are Mercy, Generosity and Courtesy.
Two projected frescoes and Fidelity, were never executed. Dyce was working on the frescoes in Westminster when he collapsed, died at his home in Streatham on 14 February 1864, he was buried at Streatham. A nearby drinking fountain, designed in the neo-Gothic style by Dyce, was subsequently dedicated to him by the parishioners. In 1850 Dyce married Jane Bickerton Brand. Dyce's nephew was the engineer William Dyce Cay, his niece was Meredith Jemima Brown; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wood, James, ed.. "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne. 58 paintings by or after William Dyce at the Art UK site The Quest for the Grail: Arthurian Legend in British Art, 1840–1920 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica Phryne's list of pictures in accessible collections in the UK The Pre-Raph Pack – More about the artists, the techniques they used and a timeline spanning 100 years Iian Neill. "William Dyce". Art Renewal Center. Retrieved 30 January 2006
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, was a British Whig statesman who served as Home Secretary and Prime Minister. He is best known for being prime minister in Queen Victoria's early years and her coaching in the ways of politics. Historians have concluded that Melbourne does not rank as a Prime Minister, for there were no great foreign wars or domestic issues to handle, he lacked major achievements, he enunciated no grand principles, his involvement in several political scandals as Victoria's private secretary. Melbourne was Prime Minister on two occasions; the first occasion ended when he was dismissed by King William IV in 1834, the last British prime minister to be dismissed by a monarch. Six months he was re-appointed and served for six years. Born in London in 1779 to an aristocratic Whig family, William Lamb was the son of the 1st Viscount Melbourne and Elizabeth, Viscountess Melbourne. However, his paternity was questioned, being attributed to George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont, to whom it was considered he bore a considerable resemblance, at whose residence, Lamb was a visitor until the Earl's death.
Lamb stated that Egremont being his father was'all a lie'. He was educated at Eton, Trinity College and the University of Glasgow. Against the background of the Napoleonic Wars, Lamb served at home as captain and major in the Hertfordshire Volunteer Infantry, he succeeded his elder brother as heir to his father's title in 1805, married Lady Caroline Ponsonby, an Anglo-Irish aristocrat. The following year, he was elected to the British House of Commons as the Whig MP for Leominster. For the election in 1806 he moved to the seat of Haddington Burghs, for the 1807 election he stood for Portarlington. Lamb first came to general notice for reasons he would rather have avoided: his wife had a public affair with Lord Byron—she coined the famous characterisation of Byron as "mad and dangerous to know"; the resulting scandal was the talk of Britain in 1812. Lady Caroline published a Gothic novel, Glenarvon, in 1816; the two were reconciled, though they separated in 1825, her death in 1828 affected him considerably.
In 1816, Lamb was returned for Peterborough by Whig grandee Lord Fitzwilliam. He told Lord Holland that he was committed to the Whig principles of the Glorious Revolution but not to "a heap of modern additions, interpolations and fictions", he therefore spoke against parliamentary reform, voted for the suspension of habeas corpus in 1817 when sedition was rife. Lamb's hallmark was finding the middle ground. Though a Whig, he accepted the post of Chief Secretary for Ireland in the moderate Tory governments of George Canning and Lord Goderich. Upon the death of his father in 1828 and his becoming the 2nd Viscount Melbourne, of Kilmore in the County of Cavan, he moved to the House of Lords, he had spent 25 years in the Commons as a backbencher, was not politically well known. In November 1830, the Whigs came to power under Lord Grey. Melbourne was Home Secretary. During the disturbances of 1830–32 he "acted both vigorously and sensitively, it was for this function that his reforming brethren thanked him heartily".
In the aftermath of the Swing Riots of 1830–31, he countered the Tory magistrates' alarmism by refusing to resort to military force. He appointed a special commission to try 1,000 of those arrested, ensured that justice was adhered to: one-third were acquitted and most of the one-fifth sentenced to death were instead transported. There remains controversy regarding the hanging of Dic Penderyn, a protester in the Merthyr Rising, is now judged to have been innocent, he appears to have been executed on the word of Melbourne, who sought a victim in order to'set an example'. The disturbances over reform in 1831–32 were countered with the enforcement of the usual laws. After Lord Grey resigned as Prime Minister in July 1834, the King was forced to appoint another Whig to replace him, as the Tories were not strong enough to support a government. Melbourne was the man most to be both acceptable to the King and hold the Whig party together. Melbourne hesitated after receiving from Grey the letter from the King requesting him to visit him to discuss the formation of a government.
Melbourne thought he would not enjoy the extra work that accompanied the office of Premier, but he did not want to let his friends and party down. According to Charles Greville, Melbourne said to his secretary, Tom Young: "I think it's a damned bore. I am in many minds as to what to do". Young replied: "Why, damn it all, such a position was never held by any Greek or Roman: and if it only lasts three months, it will be worth while to have been Prime Minister of England." "By God, that's true," Melbourne said, "I'll go!"Compromise was the key to many of Melbourne's actions. As an aristocrat, he had a vested interest in the status quo, he was opposed to the Reform Act 1832 proposed by the Whigs, arguing that Catholic emancipation had not ended in the tranquility expected of it, but reluctantly agreed that it
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen was Queen of the United Kingdom and Queen of Hanover as the wife of King William IV. Adelaide was the daughter of George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, Luise Eleonore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, is named after her. Adelaide was born on 13 August 1792 at Meiningen, Germany, the eldest child of George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, she was titled Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, Duchess in Saxony with the style Serene Highness from her birth until the Congress of Vienna, when the entire House of Wettin was raised to the style of Highness. She was baptised at the castle chapel on 19 August, her godparents numbered twenty-one, including her mother, the Holy Roman Empress, the Queen of Naples and Sicily, the Crown Princess of Saxony, the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg, the Duchess of Saxe-Weimar, the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the Landgrave of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld. Saxe-Meiningen was a small state.
It was the most liberal German state and, unlike its neighbours, permitted a free press and criticism of the ruler. At the time, no statute existed which barred a female ruling over the small duchy and it was not until the birth of her brother, Bernhard, in 1800, that the law of primogeniture was introduced. By the end of 1811, King George III was incapacitated and, although still King in name, his heir-apparent and eldest son George was Prince Regent. On 6 November 1817 Princess Charlotte, died in childbirth. Princess Charlotte was second in line to the throne: had she outlived her father and grandfather, she would have become queen. With her death, the King was left with no legitimate grandchildren; the Prince Regent was estranged from his wife, forty-nine years old, thus there was little likelihood that he would have any further legitimate children. To secure the line of succession, Prince William, Duke of Clarence, the other sons of George III sought quick marriages with the intent of producing offspring who could inherit the throne.
William had ten children by the popular actress Dorothea Jordan, being illegitimate, they were barred from the succession. Considerable allowances were to be voted by Parliament to any royal duke who married, this acted as a further incentive for William to marry. Adelaide was a princess from an unimportant German state, but William had a limited choice of available princesses and, after deals with other candidates fell through, a marriage to Adelaide was arranged; the allowance proposed was slashed by Parliament, the outraged Duke considered calling off the marriage. However, Adelaide seemed the ideal candidate: amiable, home-loving, willing to accept William's illegitimate children as part of the family; the arrangement was settled and William wrote to his eldest son, "She is doomed, poor dear innocent young creature, to be my wife."Adelaide's dowry was set at 20,000 florins, with additional three separate annuities being promised by her future husband, the English regent, the State of Saxe-Meiningen.
Adelaide married William in a double wedding with William's brother, Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, his bride Victoria, Dowager Princess of Leiningen, on 11 July 1818, at Kew Palace in Surrey, England. They had only met for the first time about a week earlier, on 4 July at Grillon's Hotel in Bond Street. Neither William nor Adelaide had been married before, William was twenty-seven years her senior. Despite these unromantic circumstances, the couple settled amicably in Hanover, by all accounts were devoted to each other throughout their marriage. Adelaide improved William's behaviour. Observers thought them parsimonious, their lifestyle simple boring. William accepted the reduced increase in his allowance voted by Parliament. On the Continent, Adelaide became pregnant, but in her seventh month of pregnancy, she caught pleurisy and gave birth prematurely on 27 March 1819 during the illness, her daughter, lived only a few hours. Another pregnancy in the same year caused William to move the household to England so his future heir would be born on British soil, yet Adelaide miscarried at Calais or Dunkirk during the journey on 5 September 1819.
Back in London, they moved into Clarence House, but preferred to stay at Bushy House near Hampton Court where William had lived with Dorothea Jordan. She became pregnant again, a second daughter, was born on 10 December 1820. Elizabeth seemed strong but died less than three months old on 4 March 1821 of "inflammation in the Bowels". William and Adelaide had no surviving children. Twin boys were stillborn on 8 April 1822, a possible brief pregnancy may have occurred within the same year. Princess Victoria of Kent came to be acknowledged as William's heir presumptive, as Adelaide had no further pregnancies. While there were rumours of pregnancies well into William's reign, they seem to have been without basis. At the time of their marriage, William was not heir-presumptive to the throne, but became so when his brother Frederick, Duke of York, died childless in 1827. Given the small likelihood of his older brothers producing heirs, William's relative youth and good health, it had long been considered likely that he would become king in due course.
In 1830, on the death of his elder brother, George IV, Wil
Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee Medal
The Golden Jubilee Medal was instituted in 1887 by Royal Warrant as a British decoration to be awarded to participants of Queen Victoria's golden jubilee celebrations. The medal was awarded to those involved in the official celebrations of Queen Victoria's golden 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 parade and the Royal Review at Spithead, where the commander of each ship received the medal in silver. A Police Golden Jubilee Medal of a different design was awarded to members of the Metropolitan and City of London Police Forces on duty during the jubilee celebrations; the Golden Jubilee Medal was struck to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria's reign. 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 50TH YEAR OF THE REIGN OF QUEEN VICTORIA · 21 JUNE 1887 within a garland of roses and thistles; the bust of Queen Victoria on obverse was designed by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm and the reverse wreath entwined with heraldic flowers designed by Clemens Emptmayer, recommended by Boehm. The ribbon is garter blue with wide white stripes towards each edge; when Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee was celebrated 10 years holders of the 1887 medal who qualified for the Diamond Jubilee Medal were awarded a bar inscribed'1897' to attach to the ribbon of their existing medal
Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey
Field Marshal Henry William Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, styled Lord Paget between 1784 and 1812 and known as the Earl of Uxbridge between 1812 and 1815, was a British Army officer and politician. After serving as a Member of Parliament for Carnarvon and for Milborne Port, he took part in the Flanders Campaign and commanded the cavalry for Sir John Moore's army in Spain during the Peninsular War. During the Hundred Days he led the charge of the heavy cavalry against Comte d'Erlon's column at the Battle of Waterloo. At the end of the battle he lost part of one leg to a cannonball. In life he served twice as Master-General of the Ordnance and twice as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, he was born Henry Bayley, the eldest son of Henry Bayley-Paget, 1st Earl of Uxbridge and his wife Jane, daughter of the Very Reverend Arthur Champagné, Dean of Clonmacnoise, Ireland. His father assumed the surname Paget in 1770, he was educated at Christ Church, Oxford. Paget entered parliament at the 1790 general election as member for Carnarvon, a seat he held until the 1796 general election when his brother Edward was elected unopposed in his place.
He represented Milborne Port from 1796 until he resigned his seat in 1804 by appointment as Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds, again from the 1806 election to January 1810, when he took the Chiltern Hundreds again. At the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars, Paget raised a regiment of Staffordshire volunteers and was given the temporary rank of lieutenant-colonel-commandant in December 1793; as the 80th Regiment of Foot, the unit took part in the Flanders Campaign of 1794 under Paget's command. He was formally commissioned into the British Army as a lieutenant in the 7th Regiment of Foot on 14 April 1795 and received rapid promotion, first to captain in the 23rd Regiment of Foot on 14 April 1795 to major in the 65th Regiment of Foot, on 19 May 1795 and to lieutenant-colonel in the 80th Regiment of Foot on 30 May 1795, he transferred to the command of the 16th Light Dragoons on 15 June 1795. Promoted to colonel on 3 May 1796, he was given command of the 7th Light Dragoons on 6 April 1797.
He commanded a cavalry brigade at the Battle of Castricum in October 1799 during the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland. Paget was promoted to major-general on 29 April 1802 and lieutenant-general on 25 April 1808, he commanded the cavalry for Sir John Moore's army in Spain. He commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Benavente in December 1808, where he defeated the elite chasseurs of the French Imperial Guard, commanded the cavalry again during the Retreat to Corunna in January 1809; this was his last service in the Peninsular War, because his liaison with Lady Charlotte, the wife of Henry Wellesley, afterwards Lord Cowley, made it impossible subsequently for him to serve with Wellington, Wellesley's brother. His only war service from 1809 to 1815 was in the disastrous Walcheren expedition in 1809, during which he commanded an infantry division. In 1810 he was divorced and married Lady Charlotte, divorced from her husband around the same time, he inherited the title of Earl of Uxbridge on his father's death in March 1812 and was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 4 January 1815.
During the Hundred Days he was appointed cavalry commander in Belgium, under the still resentful eye of Wellington. He fought at the Battle of Quatre Bras on 16 June 1815 and at the Battle of Waterloo two days when he led the spectacular charge of the British heavy cavalry against Comte d'Erlon's column which checked and in part routed the French Army. One of the last cannon shots fired that day hit Paget in the right leg, necessitating its amputation. According to anecdote, he was close to Wellington when his leg was hit, exclaimed, "By God, sir, I've lost my leg!" — to which Wellington replied, "By God, sir, so you have!" According to his aide-de-camp, Thomas Wildman, during the amputation Paget smiled and said, "I have had a pretty long run. I have been a beau these 47 years and it would not be fair to cut the young men out any longer." While Paget had an articulated artificial limb fitted, his amputated leg meanwhile had a somewhat macabre after-life as a tourist attraction in the village of Waterloo in Belgium, to which it had been removed and where it was interred.
Paget was created Marquess of Anglesey on 4 July 1815. A 27-metre high monument to his heroism was erected at Llanfairpwllgwyngyll on Anglesey, close to Paget's country retreat at Plas Newydd, in 1816, he was appointed a Knight of the Garter on 13 March 1818 and promoted to full general on 12 August 1819. Paget's support of the proceedings against Queen Caroline, alleging her infidelity, made him for a time unpopular, when he was on one occasion beset by a crowd, who compelled him to shout "The Queen!", he added the wish, "May all your wives be like her". At the coronation of George IV in July 1821, Paget acted as Lord High Steward of England, he was given the additional honour of captain of Cowes Castle on 25 March 1826. In April 1827, he became a member of the Canningite Government, taking the post of Master-General of the Ordnance. Under the Wellington ministry, he accepted the appointment of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in February 1828. In December 1828, Pa
Princess Augusta Sophia of the United Kingdom
Princess Augusta Sophia of the United Kingdom was the sixth child and second daughter of King George III and Queen Charlotte. Princess Augusta Sophia was born at Buckingham House, the sixth child and second daughter of George III and his wife Queen Charlotte, her father so much wanted the new baby to be a girl that the doctor presiding over the labor thought fit to protest that "whoever sees those lovely Princes above stairs must be glad to have another." The King was so upset by this view he replied that "whoever sees that lovely child the Princess Royal above stairs must not wish to have the fellow to her." To the King's delight, the Queen's relief, the baby was a small and pretty girl. The young princess was christened on 6 December 1768, by Frederick Cornwallis, The Archbishop of Canterbury, in the Great Council Chamber at St. James's Palace, her godparents were Prince Charles of Mecklenburg, The Queen-consort of Denmark and The Hereditary Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Lady Mary Coke declared the month-old Augusta "the most beautiful infant I saw".
Princess Augusta was the middle of the elder trio of princesses that consisted of her, her older sister Charlotte and her younger sister Elizabeth. In 1771, the two elder Princesses started traveling to Kew to take lessons under the supervision of Lady Charlotte Finch and Miss Frederica Planta; the Princesses, close to their brothers now saw little of them, except when their paths crossed on daily walks. In 1774, Martha Goldsworthy, or "Gouly" became the new head of their educations; the Princesses learned feminine pursuits, such as deportment, music and arts, but their mother ensured that they learned English, German and had well-educated governesses. The young Augusta was a great favorite with Miss Planta, who called her "the handsomest of all the Princesses" though compared to her older sister, she was "childish". However, the princess was painfully shy, stammered when in front of people she didn't know. From an early age Augusta was fixed on being good and was upset when she did not succeed.
Her behavior veered in between well-mannered. She sometimes threw tantrums and hit her governesses, though she often had a calm disposition and family-minded ways, she disliked the political tensions that by 1780 had sprung up between her elder brothers and their parents, preferred to occupy herself with her coin collection. As all her sisters were, Augusta was sheltered from the outside world so much that her only friends were her attendants, with whom she kept up a frequent correspondence. In 1782, Augusta had her debut into society at the King's birthday celebrations; as she was still terrified of crowds, her mother did not tell her daughter about her debut until two days before it happened. That year, the Princess's youngest brother, died, followed eight months by her next youngest brother, Octavius; when the Princesses went to see the summer exhibition in 1783 at the Royal Academy, they were so distraught by the portraits of their two youngest brothers that they broke down and cried in front of everyone.
In August 1783 came the birth of Augusta's youngest sibling, Amelia. She stood as a godmother, along with George. Although the birth of her sister did not erase the pain she felt at losing her brothers, Augusta did not dwell on their deaths as her father did. By the time they reached their teens, the three eldest Princesses were spending a great deal of time with their parents, they accompanied them to the theater, to the Opera, to Court, their once academic lessons began to wind down, with music and the arts becoming the new focus. They heard famous actresses such as Sarah Siddons read, along with Charlotte and their parents, Augusta met John Adams when he was presented to the Queen; the three girls were always dressed alike at public functions, the only difference in their dresses being color. Though so displayed in public, Augusta still was happiest at home, where she adored her younger brothers Ernest and Adolphus, she was extremely close to her sister Elizabeth, as Charlotte was haughty and overly conscious of her position as Princess Royal.
Since they were approaching a marriageable age and the Princess Royal were given their first lady-in-waiting in July 1783. Augusta wrote to her elder brother William, in Hanover for military training, she was a good correspondent, telling him family news and encouraging him to tell her what was happening in his life. She reveled in his attention and in the little gifts he sent her though the Queen tried to discourage William from taking up his sister's valuable time. Though their academic lessons were nearly over, the Queen was loath to have her daughters waste time, made sure that the Princesses spent hours studying music or art, learning many types of specialty work from different masters; the princesses did not "dress" until dinner, wearing morning gowns nearly all day. When "dressed", the Royal family wore plain clothes, far removed from the ornate splendor of other courts; as there were six princesses, the Queen's expenses for these clothes was enormous, she tried to keep costs down and within the allowance she was given.
Moving into this new phase of life meant that the amount of money the Queen was spending on her three eldest daughters was increasing. The Princesses consta
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion