Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was a British writer best known for his detective fiction featuring the character Sherlock Holmes. A physician, in 1887 he published A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels about Holmes and Dr. Watson. In addition, Doyle wrote over fifty short stories featuring the famous detective; the Sherlock Holmes stories are considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. Doyle was a prolific writer. One of Doyle's early short stories, "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement", helped to popularise the mystery of the Mary Celeste. Doyle is referred to as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Conan Doyle, his baptism entry in the register of St Mary's Cathedral, gives "Arthur Ignatius Conan" as his given names and "Doyle" as his surname. It names Michael Conan as his godfather; the cataloguers of the British Library and the Library of Congress treat "Doyle" alone as his surname. Steven Doyle, editor of The Baker Street Journal, wrote, "Conan was Arthur's middle name. Shortly after he graduated from high school he began using Conan as a sort of surname.
But technically his last name is simply'Doyle'." When knighted, he was gazetted as Doyle, not under the compound Conan Doyle. Doyle was born on 22 May 1859 at 11 Picardy Place, Scotland, his father, Charles Altamont Doyle, was born in England, of Irish Catholic descent, his mother, was Irish Catholic. His parents married in 1855. In 1864 the family dispersed because of Charles's growing alcoholism, the children were temporarily housed across Edinburgh. In 1867, the family lived in squalid tenement flats at 3 Sciennes Place. Doyle's father died in 1893, in the Crichton Royal, after many years of psychiatric illness. Supported by wealthy uncles, Doyle was sent to England, at the Jesuit preparatory school Hodder Place, Stonyhurst in Lancashire at the age of nine, he went on to Stonyhurst College until 1875. While Doyle was not unhappy at Stonyhurst, he did not have any fond memories since the school was run on medieval principles, with subjects covering rudiments, Euclidean geometry and the classics.
Doyle commented in his life that the academic system could only be excused "on the plea that any exercise, however stupid in itself, forms a sort of mental dumbbell by which one can improve one's mind." He found it harsh, citing that instead of compassion and warmth, it favoured the threat of corporal punishment and ritual humiliation. From 1875 to 1876, he was educated at the Jesuit school Stella Matutina in Austria, his family decided that he would spend a year there with the objective of perfecting his German and broadening his academic horizons. He rejected the Catholic faith and became an agnostic. A source attributed his drift away from religion to the time spent in the less strict Austrian school, he later became a spiritualist mystic. From 1876 to 1881, Doyle studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, including periods working in Aston and Ruyton-XI-Towns, Shropshire. During that time, he studied practical botany at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. While studying, Doyle began writing short stories.
His earliest extant fiction, "The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe", was unsuccessfully submitted to Blackwood's Magazine. His first published piece, "The Mystery of Sasassa Valley", a story set in South Africa, was printed in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal on 6 September 1879. On 20 September 1879, he published his first academic article, "Gelsemium as a Poison" in the British Medical Journal, a study which The Daily Telegraph regarded as useful in a 21st-century murder investigation. Doyle was the doctor on the Greenland whaler Hope of Peterhead in 1880. On July 11, 1880 John Gray's Hope and David Gray's Eclipse met up with the Leigh Smith. Photographer W. J. A. Grant took a photograph aboard the Eira of Doyle along with Smith, the Gray brothers, ships surgeon William Neale; this was the Smith exploration of Franz Josef Land that on August 18th resulted in the naming of Cape Flora, Bell Island, Nightingale Sound, Gratton Island, Mabel Island. As M. B. C. M. after his graduation from university in 1881, he was ship's surgeon on the SS Mayumba during a voyage to the West African coast.
He completed his Doctor of Medicine degree on the subject of tabes dorsalis in 1885. In 1882, Doyle joined former classmate George Turnavine Budd as his partner at a medical practice in Plymouth, but their relationship proved difficult, Doyle soon left to set up an independent practice. Arriving in Portsmouth in June 1882, with less than £10 to his name, he set up a medical practice at 1 Bush Villas in Elm Grove, Southsea; the practice was not successful. While waiting for patients, Doyle returned to writing fiction. Doyle was a staunch supporter of compulsory vaccination and wrote several articles advocating for the practice and denouncing the views of anti-vaccinators. In early 1891, Doyle attempted the study of ophthalmology in Vienna, he had studied at the Portsmouth Eye Hospital to qualify to perform eye tests and prescribe glasses. Vienna was suggested by his friend Vernon Morris as a place to spend six months and train to be an eye surgeon. Doyle found it too difficult to understand the German medica
Shilling (British coin)
The shilling was a coin worth one twentieth of a pound sterling, or twelve pence. It was first minted in the reign of Henry VII as the testoon, became known as the shilling from the Old English scilling, sometime in the mid-sixteenth century, circulating until 1990; the word bob was sometimes used for a monetary value of several shillings, e.g. "ten bob note". Following decimalisation on 15 February 1971 the coin had a value of five new pence, it was made from silver from its introduction in or around 1503 until 1947, thereafter in cupronickel. Prior to Decimal Day in 1971 there were 240 pence in one pound sterling. Twelve pence made a shilling, twenty shillings made a pound. Values less than a pound were written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. forty-two pence would be three shillings and six pence, pronounced "three and six". Values of less than a shilling were written in terms of pence, e.g. eight pence would be 8d. Although the coin was not minted until the sixteenth century, the value of a shilling had been used for accounting purposes since the Anglo-Saxon period.
A shilling was deemed to be the value of a cow in Kent, or a sheep elsewhere. The value of one shilling equalling 12d was set by the Normans following the conquest; the first coins of the pound sterling with the value of 12d were minted in 1503 or 1504 and were known as testoons. The testoon was one of the first English coins to bear a real portrait of the monarch on its obverse, it is for this reason that it obtained its name from an Italian coin known as the testone, or headpiece, introduced in Milan in 1474. Between 1544 and 1551 the coinage was debased by the governments of Henry VIII and Edward VI in an attempt to generate more money to fund foreign wars; this debasement meant that coins produced in 1551 had one-fifth of the silver content of those minted in 1544, the value of new testoons fell from 12d to 6d. The reason the testoon decreased in value is that unlike today, the value of coins was determined by the market price of the metal contained within them; this debasement was recognised as a mistake, during Elizabeth's reign newly minted coins, including the testoon, had a much higher silver content and regained their pre-debasement value.
Shillings were minted during the reign of every British monarch following Edward VI, as well as during the Commonwealth, with a vast number of variations and alterations appearing over the years. The Royal Mint undertook a massive recoinage programme in 1816, with large quantities of gold and silver coin being minted. Previous issues of silver coinage had been irregular, the last issue, minted in 1787, was not intended for issue to the public, but as Christmas gifts to the Bank of England's customers. New silver coinage was to be of.925 standard, with silver coins to be minted at 66 shillings to the troy pound. Hence, newly minted shillings weighed 5.655 grams. The Royal Mint debased the silver coinage in 1920 from 92.5% silver to 50% silver. Shillings of both alloys were minted that year; this debasement was done because of the rising price of silver around the world, followed the global trend of the elimination, or the reducing in purity, of the silver in coinage. The minting of silver coinage of the pound sterling ceased in 1946 for similar reasons, exacerbated by the costs of the Second World War.
New "silver" coinage was instead minted in cupronickel, an alloy of copper and nickel containing no silver at all. Beginning with Lord Wrottesley's proposals in the 1820s there were various attempts to decimalise the pound sterling over the next century and a half; these attempts came to nothing significant until the 1960s when the need for a currency more suited to simple monetary calculations became pressing. The decision to decimalise was announced in 1966, with the pound to be redivided into 100, rather than 240, pence. Decimal Day was set for 15 February 1971, a whole range of new coins were introduced. Shillings continued to be legal tender with a value of 5 new pence until 31 December 1990. Testoons issued during the reign of Henry VII feature a right-facing portrait of the king on the obverse. Surrounding the portrait is the inscription HENRICUS DI GRA REX ANGL Z FRA, or similar, meaning "Henry, by the Grace of God, King of England and France". All shillings minted under subsequent kings and queens bear a similar inscription on the obverse identifying the monarch, with the portrait flipping left-facing to right-facing or vice versa between monarchs.
The reverse features the escutcheon of the Royal Arms of England, surrounded by the inscription POSVI DEVM ADIVTORE MEVM, or a variant, meaning "I have made God my helper". Henry VIII testoons have a different reverse design, featuring a crowned Tudor rose, but those of Edward VI return to the Royal Arms design used previously. Starting with Edward VI the coins feature the denomination XII printed next to the portrait of the king. Elizabeth I and Mary I shillings are exceptions to this; some shillings issued during Mary's reign bear the date of minting, printed above the dual portraits of Mary and Philip. Early shillings of James I feature the alternative reverse inscription EXURGAT DEUS DISSIPENTUR INIMICI, meaning "Let God arise and His enemies be scattered", becoming QVAE DEVS CONIVNXIT NEMO SEPARET, meaning "What God hath put together let no man put asunder" after 1604. A slang name for a shilling was a "bob" (plural as singular, as
A library is a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. It provides physical or digital access to material, may be a physical building or room, or a virtual space, or both. A library's collection can include books, newspapers, films, prints, microform, CDs, videotapes, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, e-books, audiobooks and other formats. Libraries range in size from a few shelves of books to several million items. In Latin and Greek, the idea of a bookcase is represented by Bibliotheca and Bibliothēkē: derivatives of these mean library in many modern languages, e.g. French bibliothèque; the first libraries consisted of archives of the earliest form of writing—the clay tablets in cuneiform script discovered in Sumer, some dating back to 2600 BC. Private or personal libraries made up of written books appeared in classical Greece in the 5th century BC. In the 6th century, at the close of the Classical period, the great libraries of the Mediterranean world remained those of Constantinople and Alexandria.
A library is organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, a corporation, or a private individual. Public and institutional collections and services may be intended for use by people who choose not to—or cannot afford to—purchase an extensive collection themselves, who need material no individual can reasonably be expected to have, or who require professional assistance with their research. In addition to providing materials, libraries provide the services of librarians who are experts at finding and organizing information and at interpreting information needs. Libraries provide quiet areas for studying, they often offer common areas to facilitate group study and collaboration. Libraries provide public facilities for access to their electronic resources and the Internet. Modern libraries are being redefined as places to get unrestricted access to information in many formats and from many sources, they are extending services beyond the physical walls of a building, by providing material accessible by electronic means, by providing the assistance of librarians in navigating and analyzing large amounts of information with a variety of digital resources.
Libraries are becoming community hubs where programs are delivered and people engage in lifelong learning. As community centers, libraries are becoming important in helping communities mobilize and organize for their rights; the relationship between librarianship and human rights works to ensure that the rights of cultural minorities, the homeless, the disabled, LGBTQ community, as well as other marginalized groups are not infringed upon as protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The first libraries consisted of archives of the earliest form of writing—the clay tablets in cuneiform script discovered in temple rooms in Sumer, some dating back to 2600 BC; these archives, which consisted of the records of commercial transactions or inventories, mark the end of prehistory and the start of history. Things were much the same in the temple records on papyrus of Ancient Egypt; the earliest discovered. There is evidence of libraries at Nippur about 1900 BC and those at Nineveh about 700 BC showing a library classification system.
Over 30,000 clay tablets from the Library of Ashurbanipal have been discovered at Nineveh, providing modern scholars with an amazing wealth of Mesopotamian literary and administrative work. Among the findings were the Enuma Elish known as the Epic of Creation, which depicts a traditional Babylonian view of creation; the tablets were stored in a variety of containers such as wooden boxes, woven baskets of reeds, or clay shelves. The "libraries" were cataloged using colophons, which are a publisher's imprint on the spine of a book, or in this case a tablet; the colophons stated the series name, the title of the tablet, any extra information the scribe needed to indicate. The clay tablets were organized by subject and size. Due to limited to bookshelf space, once more tablets were added to the library, older ones were removed, why some tablets are missing from the excavated cities in Mesopotamia. According to legend, mythical philosopher Laozi was keeper of books in the earliest library in China, which belonged to the Imperial Zhou dynasty.
Evidence of catalogues found in some destroyed ancient libraries illustrates the presence of librarians. Persia at the time of the Achaemenid Empire was home to some outstanding libraries; those libraries within the kingdom had two major functions: the first came from the need to keep the records of administrative documents including transactions, governmental orders, budget allocation within and between the Satrapies and the central ruling State. The second function was to collect precious resources on different subjects of science and set of principles e.g. medical science, histor
The Guardian is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian, changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers The Observer and The Guardian Weekly, the Guardian is part of the Guardian Media Group, owned by the Scott Trust; the trust was created in 1936 to "secure the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity and to safeguard the journalistic freedom and liberal values of the Guardian free from commercial or political interference". The trust was converted into a limited company in 2008, with a constitution written so as to maintain for The Guardian the same protections as were built into the structure of the Scott Trust by its creators. Profits are reinvested in journalism rather than distributed to shareholders; the current editor is Katharine Viner: she succeeded Alan Rusbridger in 2015. Since 2018, the paper's main newsprint sections have been published in tabloid format; as of November that year, its print edition had a daily circulation of 136,834.
The newspaper has an online edition, TheGuardian.com, as well as two international websites, Guardian Australia and Guardian US. The paper's readership is on the mainstream left of British political opinion, its reputation as a platform for liberal and left-wing editorial has led to the use of the "Guardian reader" and "Guardianista" as often-pejorative epithets for those of left-leaning or "politically correct" tendencies. Frequent typographical errors in the paper led Private Eye magazine to dub it the "Grauniad" in the 1960s, a nickname still used today. In an Ipsos MORI research poll in September 2018 designed to interrogate the public's trust of specific titles online, The Guardian scored highest for digital-content news, with 84% of readers agreeing that they "trust what see in it". A December 2018 report of a poll by the Publishers Audience Measurement Company stated that the paper's print edition was found to be the most trusted in the UK in the period from October 2017 to September 2018.
It was reported to be the most-read of the UK's "quality newsbrands", including digital editions. While The Guardian's print circulation is in decline, the report indicated that news from The Guardian, including that reported online, reaches more than 23 million UK adults each month. Chief among the notable "scoops" obtained by the paper was the 2011 News International phone-hacking scandal—and in particular the hacking of the murdered English teenager Milly Dowler's phone; the investigation led to the closure of the News of the World, the UK's best-selling Sunday newspaper and one of the highest-circulation newspapers in history. In June 2013, The Guardian broke news of the secret collection by the Obama administration of Verizon telephone records, subsequently revealed the existence of the surveillance program PRISM after knowledge of it was leaked to the paper by the whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. In 2016, The Guardian led an investigation into the Panama Papers, exposing then-Prime Minister David Cameron's links to offshore bank accounts.
It has been named "newspaper of the year" four times at the annual British Press Awards: most in 2014, for its reporting on government surveillance. The Manchester Guardian was founded in Manchester in 1821 by cotton merchant John Edward Taylor with backing from the Little Circle, a group of non-conformist businessmen, they launched their paper after the police closure of the more radical Manchester Observer, a paper that had championed the cause of the Peterloo Massacre protesters. Taylor had been hostile to the radical reformers, writing: "They have appealed not to the reason but the passions and the suffering of their abused and credulous fellow-countrymen, from whose ill-requited industry they extort for themselves the means of a plentiful and comfortable existence, they do not toil, neither do they spin, but they live better than those that do." When the government closed down the Manchester Observer, the mill-owners' champions had the upper hand. The influential journalist Jeremiah Garnett joined Taylor during the establishment of the paper, all of the Little Circle wrote articles for the new paper.
The prospectus announcing the new publication proclaimed that it would "zealously enforce the principles of civil and religious Liberty warmly advocate the cause of Reform endeavour to assist in the diffusion of just principles of Political Economy and support, without reference to the party from which they emanate, all serviceable measures". In 1825 the paper merged with the British Volunteer and was known as The Manchester Guardian and British Volunteer until 1828; the working-class Manchester and Salford Advertiser called the Manchester Guardian "the foul prostitute and dirty parasite of the worst portion of the mill-owners". The Manchester Guardian was hostile to labour's claims. Of the 1832 Ten Hours Bill, the paper doubted whether in view of the foreign competition "the passing of a law positively enacting a gradual destruction of the cotton manufacture in this kingdom would be a much less rational procedure." The Manchester Guardian dismissed strikes as the work of outside agitators: " if an accommodation can be effected, the occupation of the agents of the Union is gone.
They live on strife "The Manchester Guardian was critical of US President Abraham Lincoln's conduct during the US Civil War, writing on the news that Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated: "Of his rule, we can never speak except as a series of acts abhorrent to every true notion of constitutional right and human liberty " C. P. Scott ma
Cleopatra's Needle, London
Cleopatra's Needle in London is one of three named Egyptian obelisks and is located in the City of Westminster, on the Victoria Embankment near the Golden Jubilee Bridges. It is close to the Embankment underground station, it was presented to the United Kingdom in 1819 by the ruler of Egypt and Sudan Muhammad Ali, in commemoration of the victories of Lord Nelson at the Battle of the Nile and Sir Ralph Abercromby at the Battle of Alexandria in 1801. Although the British government welcomed the gesture, it declined to fund the expense of transporting it to London. Made of red granite, the obelisk stands about 21 metres high, weighs about 224 short tons and is inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs; the obelisk was erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III, around 1450 BC. The material of which it was cut is granite, brought from the quarries of Aswan, near the first cataract of the Nile. Thutmose III had a single column of text carved on each face, these were translated by E.
A. Wallis Budge. Other inscriptions were added about 200 years by Ramesses II to commemorate his military victories, these are in two columns on each face and these flank the original inscriptions; the obelisks were moved to Alexandria and set up in the Caesareum – a temple built by Cleopatra in honor of Mark Antony or Julius Caesar – by the Romans in 12 BC, during the reign of Augustus, but were toppled some time later. This had the fortuitous effect of burying their faces and so preserving most of the hieroglyphs from the effects of weathering; the obelisk remained in Alexandria until 1877 when Sir William James Erasmus Wilson, a distinguished anatomist and dermatologist, sponsored its transportation to London from Alexandria at a cost of some £10,000. It was dug out of the sand in which it had been buried for nearly 2,000 years and was encased in a great iron cylinder, 92 feet long and 16 feet in diameter, designed by the engineer John Dixon and dubbed Cleopatra, to be commanded by Captain Carter.
It had a vertical stem and stern, a rudder, two bilge keels, a mast for balancing sails, a deck house. This acted as a floating pontoon, to be towed to London by the ship Olga, commanded by Captain Booth; the effort met with disaster on 14 October 1877, in a storm in the Bay of Biscay, when the Cleopatra began wildly rolling, became uncontrollable. The Olga sent out a rescue boat with six volunteers, but the boat capsized and all six crew were lost – they are named on a bronze plaque attached to the foot of the needle's mounting stone. Captain Booth on the Olga managed to get his ship next to the Cleopatra and rescued Captain Carter and the five crew members aboard Cleopatra. Captain Booth reported the Cleopatra "abandoned and sinking", but she stayed afloat, drifting in the Bay, until found four days by Spanish trawler boats, rescued by the Glasgow steamer Fitzmaurice and taken to Ferrol in Spain for repairs; the Master of the Fitzmaurice lodged a salvage claim of £5,000 which had to be settled before departure from Ferrol, but it was negotiated down and settled for £2,000.
The William Watkins Ltd paddle tug Anglia, under the command of Captain David Glue, was commissioned to tow the Cleopatra back to the Thames. On their arrival in the estuary on 21 January 1878, the school children of Gravesend were given the day off. A wooden model of the obelisk had been placed outside the Houses of Parliament, but the location had been rejected, so the London needle was erected on the Victoria Embankment on 12 September 1878. On erection of the obelisk in 1878, a time capsule was concealed in the front part of the pedestal containing: a set of 12 photographs of the best-looking English women of the day, a box of hairpins, a box of cigars, several tobacco pipes, a set of imperial weights, a baby's bottle, some children's toys, a shilling razor, a hydraulic jack and some samples of the cable used in the erection, a 3 foot bronze model of the monument, a complete set of contemporary British coins, a rupee, a portrait of Queen Victoria, a written history of the transport of the monument, plans on vellum, a translation of the inscriptions, copies of the Bible in several languages, a copy of John 3:16 in 215 languages, a copy of Whitaker's Almanack, a Bradshaw Railway Guide, a map of London and copies of 10 daily newspapers.
Cleopatra's Needle is flanked by two faux-Egyptian sphinxes, designed by the English architect George John Vulliamy. The sphinxes are cast in bronze and bear hieroglyphic inscriptions that say netjer nefer men-kheper-re di ankh, which translates as "the good god, Thuthmosis III given life"; these sphinxes appear to be looking at the Needle rather than guarding it, due to the sphinxes' improper or backwards installation. The Embankment has other Egyptian flourishes, such as buxom winged sphinxes on the armrests of benches. On 4 September 1917, during World War I, a bomb from a German air raid landed near the needle. In commemoration of this event, the damage remains unrepaired to this day and is visible in the form of shrapnel holes and gouges on the right-hand sphinx. Restoration work was carried out in 2005; the original master stone mason who worked on the granite foundation was Lambeth-born William Henry Gould
First Gladstone ministry
The Conservative government under Benjamin Disraeli had been defeated at the 1868 general election, so in December 1868 the victorious William Ewart Gladstone formed his first government. He introduced reforms in the British Army, the legal system and the Civil Service, disestablished the Church of Ireland. In foreign affairs he pursued a peaceful policy, his ministry was defeated in the 1874 election, whereupon Disraeli formed a ministry and Gladstone retired as Leader of the Liberal Party. † The Earl de Grey was created the Marquess of Ripon in 1871. ‡ Henry Austin Bruce was created Baron Aberdare in 1873. William Ewart Gladstone served as both First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer between August 1873 and February 1874. July 1870: On the death of Lord Clarendon, Lord Granville succeeds him as Foreign Secretary. Lord Kimberley succeeds Granville as Colonial Secretary, Lord Halifax succeeds Kimberley as Lord Privy Seal. W. E. Forster enters the Cabinet as Vice President of the Council.
January 1871: Chichester Fortescue succeeds Bright at the Board of Trade. Lord Hartington succeeds Fortescue as Chief Secretary for Ireland. Hartington's successor as Postmaster-General is not in the Cabinet. March 1871: G. J. Goschen succeeds Childers at the Admiralty. James Stansfeld succeeds Goschen at the Poor Law Board. August 1872: Hugh Childers returns to the Cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. October 1872: Lord Selborne succeeds Lord Hatherley as Lord Chancellor. August 1873: Lord Aberdare succeeds Lord Ripon as Lord President. Robert Lowe succeeds Aberdare as Home Secretary. Gladstone himself takes over the Exchequer. September 1873: John Bright returns to the Cabinet, succeeding Childers at the Duchy of Lancaster. Cabinet members are listed in bold face. Notes
The River Thames, known alternatively in parts as the Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At 215 miles, it is the longest river in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom, after the River Severn, it flows through Oxford, Henley-on-Thames and Windsor. The lower reaches of the river are called the Tideway, derived from its long tidal reach up to Teddington Lock, it rises at Thames Head in Gloucestershire, flows into the North Sea via the Thames Estuary. The Thames drains the whole of Greater London, its tidal section, reaching up to Teddington Lock, includes most of its London stretch and has a rise and fall of 23 feet. Running through some of the driest parts of mainland Britain and abstracted for drinking water, the Thames' discharge is low considering its length and breadth: the Severn has a discharge twice as large on average despite having a smaller drainage basin. In Scotland, the Tay achieves more than double the Thames' average discharge from a drainage basin, 60% smaller.
Along its course are 45 navigation locks with accompanying weirs. Its catchment area covers a small part of western England; the river contains over 80 islands. With its waters varying from freshwater to seawater, the Thames supports a variety of wildlife and has a number of adjoining Sites of Special Scientific Interest, with the largest being in the remaining parts of the North Kent Marshes and covering 5,449 hectares; the Thames, from Middle English Temese, is derived from the Brittonic Celtic name for the river, recorded in Latin as Tamesis and yielding modern Welsh Tafwys "Thames". The name may have meant "dark" and can be compared to other cognates such as Russian темно, Lithuanian tamsi "dark", Latvian tumsa "darkness", Sanskrit tamas and Welsh tywyll "darkness" and Middle Irish teimen "dark grey"; the same origin is shared by countless other river names, spread across Britain, such as the River Tamar at the border of Devon and Cornwall, several rivers named Tame in the Midlands and North Yorkshire, the Tavy on Dartmoor, the Team of the North East, the Teifi and Teme of Wales, the Teviot in the Scottish Borders, as well as one of the Thames' tributaries called the Thame.
Kenneth H. Jackson has proposed that the name of the Thames is not Indo-European, while Peter Kitson suggested that it is Indo-European but originated before the Celts and has a name indicating "muddiness" from a root *tā-,'melt'. Indirect evidence for the antiquity of the name'Thames' is provided by a Roman potsherd found at Oxford, bearing the inscription Tamesubugus fecit, it is believed. Tamese was referred to as a place, not a river in the Ravenna Cosmography; the river's name has always been pronounced with a simple t /t/. A similar spelling from 1210, "Tamisiam", is found in the Magna Carta; the Thames through Oxford is sometimes called the Isis. And in Victorian times and cartographers insisted that the entire river was named the Isis from its source down to Dorchester on Thames and that only from this point, where the river meets the Thame and becomes the "Thame-isis" should it be so called. Ordnance Survey maps still label the Thames as "River Isis" down to Dorchester. However, since the early 20th century this distinction has been lost in common usage outside of Oxford, some historians suggest the name Isis is nothing more than a truncation of Tamesis, the Latin name for the Thames.
Sculptures titled Tamesis and Isis by Anne Seymour Damer can be found on the bridge at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Richard Coates suggests that while the river was as a whole called the Thames, part of it, where it was too wide to ford, was called *lowonida; this gave the name to a settlement on its banks, which became known as Londinium, from the Indo-European roots *pleu- "flow" and *-nedi "river" meaning something like the flowing river or the wide flowing unfordable river. For merchant seamen, the Thames has long been just the "London River". Londoners refer to it as "the river" in expressions such as "south of the river"; the river gives its name to three informal areas: the Thames Valley, a region of England around the river between Oxford and West London. Thames Valley Police is a formal body. In non-administrative use, the river's name is used in those of Thames Valley University, Thames Water, Thames Television, publishing company Thames & Hudson and South Thames College. An example of its use in the names of historic entities is the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company.
The administrative powers of the Thames Conservancy have been taken on with modifications by the Environment Agency and, in respect of the Tideway part of the river, such powers are split between the agency and the Port of London Authority. The marks of human activity, in some cases dating back to Pre-Roman Britain, are visible at various points along the river; these include a variety of structure