England

England

Overview
England is a country
Country
A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

 that is part of
Countries of the United Kingdom
Countries of the United Kingdom is a term used to describe England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These four countries together form the sovereign state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is also described as a country. The alternative terms, constituent...

 the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. It shares land borders with Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 to the north and Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 to the west; the Irish Sea
Irish Sea
The Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. It is connected to the Celtic Sea in the south by St George's Channel, and to the Atlantic Ocean in the north by the North Channel. Anglesey is the largest island within the Irish Sea, followed by the Isle of Man...

 is to the north west, the Celtic Sea
Celtic Sea
The Celtic Sea is the area of the Atlantic Ocean off the south coast of Ireland bounded to the east by Saint George's Channel; other limits include the Bristol Channel, the English Channel, and the Bay of Biscay, as well as adjacent portions of Wales, Cornwall, Devon, and Brittany...

 to the south west, with the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 to the east and the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 to the south separating it from continental Europe
Continental Europe
Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands....

. Most of England comprises the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 in the North Atlantic. The country also includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. The islands have had a unitary authority council since 1890, and are separate from the Cornwall unitary authority, but some services are combined with Cornwall and the islands are still part...

 and the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...

.

The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but it takes its name from the Angles
Angles
The Angles is a modern English term for a Germanic people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln, a district located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany...

, one of the Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 tribes who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries.
Discussion
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Timeline

927   England is unified by Athelstan of England after a long process of annexation.

959   Edgar the Peaceable becomes king of all England.

1002   English king Æthelred II orders the killing of all Danes in England, known today as the St. Brice's Day massacre.

1066   Harold Godwinson is crowned King of England.

1066   The Battle of Stamford Bridge marks the end of the Viking invasions of England.

1066   William the Bastard (as he was known at the time) invades England beginning the Norman Conquest.

1066   William the Conqueror is crowned king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London.

1174   William I of Scotland, a key rebel in the Revolt of 1173–1174, is captured at Alnwick by forces loyal to Henry II of England.

1189   Richard I "the Lionheart" is crowned King of England.

1192   Richard the Lion-Heart is captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the Third crusade.

 
Quotations

Lords and Commons of England, consider what Nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governors: a Nation not slow and dull, but of quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit, acute to invent, suttle and sinewy to discours, not beneath the reach of any point the highest that humane capacity can soar to.

John Milton, Aeropagitica, 1644.

I hope for nothing in this world so ardently as once again to see that paradise called England. I long to embrace again all my old friends there.

Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany|Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Quoted in The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici by Christopher Hibbet, page 292.

I am American bred; I have seen much to hate here - much to forgive. But in a world where England is finished and dead, I do not wish to live.

Alice Duer Miller|Alice Duer Miller, The White Cliffs, 1940

Non Angli sed Angeli (Not Angles but Angels).

Pope Gregory I, commenting on the beauty of English captives exposed for sale in Rome

There'll always be an England, while there's a country lane. Wherever there's a cottage small, beside a field of grain

Ross Parker|Ross Parker and Hughie Charles|Hughie Charles, Song, 1939

I know an Englishman. Being flattered, is a lamb; threatened, a lion.

George Chapman, Alphonsus, Emperor of Germany before 1636

An Englishman's home is his castle.

Proverb, seventeenth century.

Living in England, provincial England, must be like being married to a stupid, but exquisitely beautiful wife.

Margaret Halsey|Margaret Halsey, With Malice Toward Some, 1938

The south-west wind roaring in from the Atlantic.... is, I think the presiding genius of England.

Hilaire Belloc, Places, 1940
Encyclopedia
England is a country
Country
A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

 that is part of
Countries of the United Kingdom
Countries of the United Kingdom is a term used to describe England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These four countries together form the sovereign state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is also described as a country. The alternative terms, constituent...

 the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. It shares land borders with Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 to the north and Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 to the west; the Irish Sea
Irish Sea
The Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. It is connected to the Celtic Sea in the south by St George's Channel, and to the Atlantic Ocean in the north by the North Channel. Anglesey is the largest island within the Irish Sea, followed by the Isle of Man...

 is to the north west, the Celtic Sea
Celtic Sea
The Celtic Sea is the area of the Atlantic Ocean off the south coast of Ireland bounded to the east by Saint George's Channel; other limits include the Bristol Channel, the English Channel, and the Bay of Biscay, as well as adjacent portions of Wales, Cornwall, Devon, and Brittany...

 to the south west, with the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 to the east and the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 to the south separating it from continental Europe
Continental Europe
Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands....

. Most of England comprises the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 in the North Atlantic. The country also includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. The islands have had a unitary authority council since 1890, and are separate from the Cornwall unitary authority, but some services are combined with Cornwall and the islands are still part...

 and the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...

.

The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but it takes its name from the Angles
Angles
The Angles is a modern English term for a Germanic people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln, a district located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany...

, one of the Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 tribes who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in AD 927, and since the Age of Discovery
Age of Discovery
The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration and the Great Navigations , was a period in history starting in the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century during which Europeans engaged in intensive exploration of the world, establishing direct contacts with...

, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world. The English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, the Anglican Church
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

, and English law
English law
English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States except Louisiana...

—the basis for the common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 legal systems of many other countries around the world—developed in England, and the country's parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 of government has been widely adopted by other nations. The Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised
Industrialisation
Industrialization is the process of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one...

 nation. England's Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 laid the foundations of modern experimental science.

England's terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north (for example, the mountainous Lake District
Lake District
The Lake District, also commonly known as The Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous not only for its lakes and its mountains but also for its associations with the early 19th century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth...

, Pennines
Pennines
The Pennines are a low-rising mountain range, separating the North West of England from Yorkshire and the North East.Often described as the "backbone of England", they form a more-or-less continuous range stretching from the Peak District in Derbyshire, around the northern and eastern edges of...

, and Yorkshire Dales
Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales is the name given to an upland area in Northern England.The area lies within the historic county boundaries of Yorkshire, though it spans the ceremonial counties of North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Cumbria...

) and in the south west (for example, Dartmoor
Dartmoor
Dartmoor is an area of moorland in south Devon, England. Protected by National Park status, it covers .The granite upland dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history. The moorland is capped with many exposed granite hilltops known as tors, providing habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The...

 and the Cotswolds
Cotswolds
The Cotswolds are a range of hills in west-central England, sometimes called the Heart of England, an area across and long. The area has been designated as the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty...

). London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England's capital, is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and the largest urban zone in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 by most measures. England's population is about 51 million, around 84% of the population of the United Kingdom, and is largely concentrated in London, the South East and conurbation
Conurbation
A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

s in the Midlands
English Midlands
The Midlands, or the English Midlands, is the traditional name for the area comprising central England that broadly corresponds to the early medieval Kingdom of Mercia. It borders Southern England, Northern England, East Anglia and Wales. Its largest city is Birmingham, and it was an important...

, the North West
North West England
North West England, informally known as The North West, is one of the nine official regions of England.North West England had a 2006 estimated population of 6,853,201 the third most populated region after London and the South East...

, the North East
North East England
North East England is one of the nine official regions of England. It covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Teesside . The only cities in the region are Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland...

 and Yorkshire
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

, which each developed as major industrial region
Industrial region
Industrial region or industrial area refers to a region with extremely dense industry. It is usually heavily urbanized.-Brazil:*ABCD Region, sometimes called ABC is an industrial region made up of seven municipalities with the greater metropolitan area of São Paulo, Brazil.-Korea:*Kaesŏng...

s during the 19th century. Meadowlands and pastures are found beyond the major cities.

The Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

—which after 1284
Statute of Rhuddlan
The Statute of Rhuddlan , also known as the Statutes of Wales or as the Statute of Wales provided the constitutional basis for the government of the Principality of North Wales from 1284 until 1536...

 included Wales—was a sovereign state until 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union
Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Parliamentary Acts - the Union with Scotland Act passed in 1706 by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland - which put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706,...

 put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union
Treaty of Union
The Treaty of Union is the name given to the agreement that led to the creation of the united kingdom of Great Britain, the political union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland, which took effect on 1 May 1707...

 the previous year, resulting in a political union
Political union
A political union is a type of state which is composed of or created out of smaller states. Unlike a personal union, the individual states share a common government and the union is recognized internationally as a single political entity...

 with the Kingdom of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

 through another Act of Union
Act of Union 1800
The Acts of Union 1800 describe two complementary Acts, namely:* the Union with Ireland Act 1800 , an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain, and...

 to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

. In 1922, the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

 was established as a separate dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

, but the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927
Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927
The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 [17 & 18 Geo. 5 c. 4] was an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom that authorised the alteration of the British monarch's royal style and titles, and altered the formal name of the British Parliament, in recognition of much of Ireland separating from...

 reincorporated into the kingdom six Irish counties to officially create the current United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Toponymy



The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Engla land, which means "land of the Angles
Angles
The Angles is a modern English term for a Germanic people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln, a district located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany...

". The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages...

. The Angles came from the Angeln
Angeln
Modern Angeln, also known as Anglia , is a small peninsula in Southern Schleswig in the northern Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, protruding into the Bay of Kiel...

 peninsula in the Bay of Kiel
Bay of Kiel
The Bay of Kiel is a bay in the southwestern Baltic Sea, off the shores of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany and the islands of Denmark. It is connected with the Bay of Mecklenburg in the east, the Little Belt in the northwest, and the Great Belt in the North....

 area of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

. According to the Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

, the first known use of "England" to refer to the southern part of the island of Great Britain occurs in 897, and its modern spelling was first used in 1538.

The earliest attested mention of the name occurs in the 1st century work by Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

, Germania
Germania (book)
The Germania , written by Gaius Cornelius Tacitus around 98, is an ethnographic work on the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire.-Contents:...

, in which the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word Anglii is used. The etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars; it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe that was less significant than others, such as the Saxons
Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons.

An alternative name for England is Albion
Albion
Albion is the oldest known name of the island of Great Britain. Today, it is still sometimes used poetically to refer to the island or England in particular. It is also the basis of the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland, Alba...

. The name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 Corpus
Corpus Aristotelicum
The Corpus Aristotelicum is the collection of Aristotle's works that have survived from antiquity through Medieval manuscript transmission. These texts, as opposed to Aristotle's lost works, are technical philosophical treatises from within Aristotle's school...

, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules
Pillars of Hercules
The Pillars of Hercules was the phrase that was applied in Antiquity to the promontories that flank the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. The northern Pillar is the Rock of Gibraltar in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar...

 is the ocean that flows round the earth. In it are two very large islands called Britannia; these are Albion
Albion
Albion is the oldest known name of the island of Great Britain. Today, it is still sometimes used poetically to refer to the island or England in particular. It is also the basis of the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland, Alba...

 and Ierne
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

". The word Albion
Albion
Albion is the oldest known name of the island of Great Britain. Today, it is still sometimes used poetically to refer to the island or England in particular. It is also the basis of the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland, Alba...

 (Ἀλβίων) or insula Albionum has two possible origins. It either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover
White cliffs of Dover
The White Cliffs of Dover are cliffs which form part of the British coastline facing the Strait of Dover and France. The cliffs are part of the North Downs formation. The cliff face, which reaches up to , owes its striking façade to its composition of chalk accentuated by streaks of black flint...

, the only part of Britain visible from the European Continent, or from the phrase in Massaliote Periplus
Massaliote Periplus
The Massaliote Periplus or Massaliot Periplus is the name of a now-lost merchants' handbook possibly dating to as early as the 6th century BC describing the sea routes used by traders from Phoenicia and Tartessus in their journeys around Iron Age Europe...

, the "island of the Albiones". Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria
Lloegyr
Lloegyr is the medieval Welsh name for that part of Britain south and east of a line extending from the Humber Estuary to the Severn Estuary, exclusive of Cornwall and Devon...

, related to the Welsh
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...

 word for England, Lloegr, and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend.

Prehistory and antiquity




The earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor
Homo antecessor
Homo antecessor is an extinct human species dating from 1.2 million to 800,000 years ago, that was discovered by Eudald Carbonell, Juan Luis Arsuaga and J. M. Bermúdez de Castro. H. antecessor is one of the earliest known human varieties in Europe. Various archaeologists and anthropologists have...

, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago. Modern human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

s are known to have first inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
The Upper Paleolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. Very broadly it dates to between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago, roughly coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity and before the advent of...

 period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years.
After the last ice age only large mammals such as mammoth
Mammoth
A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus. These proboscideans are members of Elephantidae, the family of elephants and mammoths, and close relatives of modern elephants. They were often equipped with long curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair...

s, bison
Bison
Members of the genus Bison are large, even-toed ungulates within the subfamily Bovinae. Two extant and four extinct species are recognized...

 and woolly rhinoceros
Woolly Rhinoceros
The woolly rhinoceros is an extinct species of rhinoceros that was common throughout Europe and Asia during the Pleistocene epoch and survived the last glacial period. The genus name Coelodonta means "cavity tooth"...

 remained. Roughly 11,000 years ago, when the ice sheets began to recede, humans repopulated the area; genetic research suggests they came from the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

. The sea level was lower than now, and Britain was connected by land to both Ireland and Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

.
As the seas rose, it was separated from Ireland 10,000 years ago and from Eurasia two millennia later.

The Beaker culture
Beaker culture
The Bell-Beaker culture , ca. 2400 – 1800 BC, is the term for a widely scattered cultural phenomenon of prehistoric western Europe starting in the late Neolithic or Chalcolithic running into the early Bronze Age...

 arrived around 2500 BC, introducing drinking and food vessels constructed from clay, as well as vessels used as reduction pots to smelt copper ores. It was during this time that major Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 monuments such as Stonehenge
Stonehenge
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about west of Amesbury and north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of a circular setting of large standing stones set within earthworks...

 and Avebury
Avebury
Avebury is a Neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles which is located around the village of Avebury in Wiltshire, south west England. Unique amongst megalithic monuments, Avebury contains the largest stone circle in Europe, and is one of the best known prehistoric sites in Britain...

 were constructed. By heating together tin and copper, both of which were in abundance in the area, the Beaker culture people made bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

, and later iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 from iron ores. According to John T. Koch
John T. Koch
Professor John T. Koch is an American academic, historian and linguist who specializes in Celtic studies, especially prehistory and the early Middle Ages....

 and others, England in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-networked culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age
Atlantic Bronze Age
The Atlantic Bronze Age is a cultural complex of the Bronze Age period of approximately 1300–700 BC that includes different cultures in Portugal, Andalusia, Galicia, Armorica and the British Isles.-Trade:...

 that included all of Britain and also Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal. In those areas, Celtic languages
Celtic languages
The Celtic languages are descended from Proto-Celtic, or "Common Celtic"; a branch of the greater Indo-European language family...

 developed; Tartessian
Tartessian language
The Tartessian language is the extinct Paleohispanic language of inscriptions in the Southwestern script found in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula: mainly in the south of Portugal , but also in Spain . There are 95 of these inscriptions with the longest having 82 readable signs...

 may have been the earliest written Celtic language.
During the Iron Age
British Iron Age
The British Iron Age is a conventional name used in the archaeology of Great Britain, referring to the prehistoric and protohistoric phases of the Iron-Age culture of the main island and the smaller islands, typically excluding prehistoric Ireland, and which had an independent Iron Age culture of...

, Celtic culture, deriving from the Hallstatt
Hallstatt culture
The Hallstatt culture was the predominant Central European culture from the 8th to 6th centuries BC , developing out of the Urnfield culture of the 12th century BC and followed in much of Central Europe by the La Tène culture.By the 6th century BC, the Hallstatt culture extended for some...

 and La Tène culture
La Tène culture
The La Tène culture was a European Iron Age culture named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel in Switzerland, where a rich cache of artifacts was discovered by Hansli Kopp in 1857....

s, arrived from Central Europe. The development of iron smelting
Smelting
Smelting is a form of extractive metallurgy; its main use is to produce a metal from its ore. This includes iron extraction from iron ore, and copper extraction and other base metals from their ores...

 allowed the construction of better plough
Plough
The plough or plow is a tool used in farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting. It has been a basic instrument for most of recorded history, and represents one of the major advances in agriculture...

s, advancing agriculture (for instance, with Celtic fields), as well as the production of more effective weapons. Brythonic was the spoken language during this time. Society was tribal; according to Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

's Geographia there were around 20 different tribes in the area. However, earlier divisions are unknown because the Britons were not literate. Like other regions on the edge of the Empire, Britain had long enjoyed trading links with the Romans. Julius Caesar of the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 attempted to invade twice
Caesar's invasions of Britain
In his Gallic Wars, Julius Caesar invaded Britain twice, in 55 and 54 BC. The first invasion, made late in summer, was either intended as a full invasion or a reconnaissance-in-force expedition...

 in 55 BC; although largely unsuccessful, he managed to set up a client king
Roman client kingdoms in Britain
The Roman client kingdoms in Britain were native tribes who chose to align themselves with the Roman Empire because they saw it as the best option for self-preservation or for protection from other hostile tribes...

 from the Trinovantes
Trinovantes
The Trinovantes or Trinobantes were one of the tribes of pre-Roman Britain. Their territory was on the north side of the Thames estuary in current Essex and Suffolk, and included lands now located in Greater London. They were bordered to the north by the Iceni, and to the west by the Catuvellauni...

.

The Romans invaded Britain in AD 43 during the reign of Emperor Claudius
Claudius
Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

, subsequently conquering much of Britain
Roman conquest of Britain
The Roman conquest of Britain was a gradual process, beginning effectively in AD 43 under Emperor Claudius, whose general Aulus Plautius served as first governor of Britannia. Great Britain had already frequently been the target of invasions, planned and actual, by forces of the Roman Republic and...

, and the area was incorporated into the Roman Empire as Britannia province. The best-known of the native tribes who attempted to resist were the Catuvellauni
Catuvellauni
The Catuvellauni were a tribe or state of south-eastern Britain before the Roman conquest.The fortunes of the Catuvellauni and their kings before the conquest can be traced through numismatic evidence and scattered references in classical histories. They are mentioned by Dio Cassius, who implies...

 led by Caratacus
Caratacus
Caratacus was a first century British chieftain of the Catuvellauni tribe, who led the British resistance to the Roman conquest....

. Later, an uprising led by Boudica
Boudica
Boudica , also known as Boadicea and known in Welsh as "Buddug" was queen of the British Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire....

, queen of the Iceni
Iceni
The Iceni or Eceni were a British tribe who inhabited an area of East Anglia corresponding roughly to the modern-day county of Norfolk between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD...

, ended with Boudica's suicide following her defeat at the Battle of Watling Street
Battle of Watling Street
The Battle of Watling Street took place in Roman-occupied Britain in AD 60 or 61 between an alliance of indigenous British peoples led by Boudica and a Roman army led by Gaius Suetonius Paulinus. Although outnumbered, the Romans decisively defeated the allied tribes, inflicting heavy losses on them...

. This era saw a Greco-Roman culture prevail with the introduction of Roman law
Roman law
Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, and the legal developments which occurred before the 7th century AD — when the Roman–Byzantine state adopted Greek as the language of government. The development of Roman law comprises more than a thousand years of jurisprudence — from the Twelve...

, Roman architecture
Roman architecture
Ancient Roman architecture adopted certain aspects of Ancient Greek architecture, creating a new architectural style. The Romans were indebted to their Etruscan neighbors and forefathers who supplied them with a wealth of knowledge essential for future architectural solutions, such as hydraulics...

, sewage systems, many agricultural items, and silk. In the 3rd century, Emperor Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus , also known as Severus, was Roman Emperor from 193 to 211. Severus was born in Leptis Magna in the province of Africa. As a young man he advanced through the customary succession of offices under the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. Severus seized power after the death of...

 died at York
York
York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence...

, where Constantine was subsequently proclaimed emperor. Christianity was first introduced around this time, though there are traditions linked to Glastonbury claiming an introduction through Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph of Arimathea was, according to the Gospels, the man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after Jesus' Crucifixion. He is mentioned in all four Gospels.-Gospel references:...

, while others claim through Lucius of Britain
Lucius of Britain
Saint Lucius is a legendary 2nd-century King of the Britons traditionally credited with introducing Christianity into Britain. Lucius is first mentioned in a 6th-century version of the Liber Pontificalis, which says that he sent a letter to Pope Eleuterus asking to be made a Christian...

. By 410, as the empire declined
Decline of the Roman Empire
The decline of the Roman Empire refers to the gradual societal collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Many theories of causality prevail, but most concern the disintegration of political, economic, military, and other social institutions, in tandem with foreign invasions and usurpers from within the...

, Britain was left exposed by the withdrawal of Roman army units, to defend the frontiers in continental Europe and take part in civil wars.

Middle Ages


Roman military withdrawals left Britain open to invasion by pagan, seafaring warriors from north-western continental Europe, chiefly the Angles
Angles
The Angles is a modern English term for a Germanic people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln, a district located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany...

, Saxons
Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

 and Jutes
Jutes
The Jutes, Iuti, or Iutæ were a Germanic people who, according to Bede, were one of the three most powerful Germanic peoples of their time, the other two being the Saxons and the Angles...

 who had long raided the coasts of the Roman province and now began to settle, initially in the eastern part of the country. Their advance was contained for some decades after the Britons' victory at the Battle of Mount Badon
Battle of Mons Badonicus
The Battle of Mons Badonicus was a battle between a force of Britons and an Anglo-Saxon army, probably sometime between 490 and 517 AD. Though it is believed to have been a major political and military event, there is no certainty about its date, location or the details of the fighting...

, but subsequently resumed, over-running the fertile lowlands of Britain and reducing the area under Brythonic
Britons (historical)
The Britons were the Celtic people culturally dominating Great Britain from the Iron Age through the Early Middle Ages. They spoke the Insular Celtic language known as British or Brythonic...

 control to a series of separate enclaves in the more rugged country to the west by the end of the 6th century. Contemporary texts describing this period are extremely scarce, giving rise to its description as a Dark Age. The nature and progression of the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain
Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain
The Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain was the invasion and migration of Germanic peoples from continental Europe to Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, specifically the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain after the demise of Roman rule in the 5th century.The stimulus, progression and...

 is consequently subject to considerable disagreement. Christianity had in general disappeared from the conquered territories, but was reintroduced by missionaries from Rome led by Augustine
Augustine of Canterbury
Augustine of Canterbury was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597...

 from 597 onwards and by Irish missionaries led by Aidan
Aidan of Lindisfarne
Known as Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, Aidan the Apostle of Northumbria , was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in England. A Christian missionary, he is credited with restoring Christianity to Northumbria. Aidan is the Anglicised form of the original Old...

 around the same time. Disputes between the varying influences represented by these missions ended in victory for the Roman tradition.

During the settlement period the lands ruled by the incomers seem to have been fragmented into numerous tribal territories, but by the 7th century, when substantial evidence of the situation again becomes available, these had coalesced into roughly a dozen kingdoms including Northumbria
Northumbria
Northumbria was a medieval kingdom of the Angles, in what is now Northern England and South-East Scotland, becoming subsequently an earldom in a united Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England. The name reflects the approximate southern limit to the kingdom's territory, the Humber Estuary.Northumbria was...

, Mercia
Mercia
Mercia was one of the kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It was centred on the valley of the River Trent and its tributaries in the region now known as the English Midlands...

, Wessex
Wessex
The Kingdom of Wessex or Kingdom of the West Saxons was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the West Saxons, in South West England, from the 6th century, until the emergence of a united English state in the 10th century, under the Wessex dynasty. It was to be an earldom after Canute the Great's conquest...

, East Anglia, Essex
Kingdom of Essex
The Kingdom of Essex or Kingdom of the East Saxons was one of the seven traditional kingdoms of the so-called Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It was founded in the 6th century and covered the territory later occupied by the counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Kent. Kings of Essex were...

, Kent
Kingdom of Kent
The Kingdom of Kent was a Jutish colony and later independent kingdom in what is now south east England. It was founded at an unknown date in the 5th century by Jutes, members of a Germanic people from continental Europe, some of whom settled in Britain after the withdrawal of the Romans...

 and Sussex
Kingdom of Sussex
The Kingdom of Sussex or Kingdom of the South Saxons was a Saxon colony and later independent kingdom of the Saxons, on the south coast of England. Its boundaries coincided in general with those of the earlier kingdom of the Regnenses and the later county of Sussex. A large part of its territory...

. Over the following centuries this process of political consolidation continued. The 7th century saw a struggle for hegemony between Northumbria and Mercia, which in the 8th century gave way to Mercian preeminence. In the early 9th century Mercia was displaced as the foremost kingdom by Wessex. Later in that century escalating attacks by the Danes
Danes
Danish people or Danes are the nation and ethnic group that is native to Denmark, and who speak Danish.The first mention of Danes within the Danish territory is on the Jelling Rune Stone which mentions how Harald Bluetooth converted the Danes to Christianity in the 10th century...

 culminated in the conquest of the north and east of England, overthrowing the kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia. Wessex under Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

 was left as the only surviving English kingdom, and under his successors it steadily expanded at the expense of the kingdoms of the Danelaw
Danelaw
The Danelaw, as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of the "Danes" held sway and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. It is contrasted with "West Saxon law" and "Mercian law". The term has been extended by modern historians to...

. This brought about the political unification of England, first accomplished under Æthelstan in 927 and definitively established after further conflicts by Eadred in 953. A fresh wave of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

n attacks from the late 10th century ended with the conquest of this united kingdom by Sweyn Forkbeard in 1013 and again by his son Cnut in 1016, turning it into the centre of a short-lived North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 empire that also included Denmark
Kingdom of Denmark
The Kingdom of Denmark or the Danish Realm , is a constitutional monarchy and sovereign state consisting of Denmark proper in northern Europe and two autonomous constituent countries, the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and Greenland in North America. Denmark is the hegemonial part, where the...

 and Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. However the native royal dynasty was restored with the accession of Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

 in 1042.


A dispute over the succession to Edward led to the Norman conquest of England
Norman conquest of England
The Norman conquest of England began on 28 September 1066 with the invasion of England by William, Duke of Normandy. William became known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, defeating King Harold II of England...

 in 1066, accomplished by an army led by Duke William of Normandy. The Normans
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 themselves originated from Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 and had settled in Normandy in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. This conquest led to the almost total dispossession of the English elite and its replacement by a new French-speaking aristocracy, whose speech had a profound and permanent effect on the English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

.

The House of Plantagenet
House of Plantagenet
The House of Plantagenet , a branch of the Angevins, was a royal house founded by Geoffrey V of Anjou, father of Henry II of England. Plantagenet kings first ruled the Kingdom of England in the 12th century. Their paternal ancestors originated in the French province of Gâtinais and gained the...

 from Anjou inherited the English throne under Henry II
Henry II of England
Henry II ruled as King of England , Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry, the great-grandson of William the Conqueror, was the...

, adding England to the budding Angevin Empire
Angevin Empire
The term Angevin Empire is a modern term describing the collection of states once ruled by the Angevin Plantagenet dynasty.The Plantagenets ruled over an area stretching from the Pyrenees to Ireland during the 12th and early 13th centuries, located north of Moorish Iberia. This "empire" extended...

 of fiefs the family had inherited in France including Aquitaine. They reigned for three centuries, proving noted monarchs such as Richard I
Richard I of England
Richard I was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period...

, Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

, Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

 and Henry V
Henry V of England
Henry V was King of England from 1413 until his death at the age of 35 in 1422. He was the second monarch belonging to the House of Lancaster....

. The period saw changes in trade and legislation, including the signing of the Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

, an English legal charter used to limit the sovereign's powers by law and protect the privileges of freemen. Catholic monasticism
Monasticism
Monasticism is a religious way of life characterized by the practice of renouncing worldly pursuits to fully devote one's self to spiritual work...

 flourished, providing philosophers and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge were founded with royal patronage. The Principality of Wales
Principality of Wales
The Principality of Wales existed between 1216 and 1542, encompassing two-thirds of modern Wales.It was formally founded in 1216 at the Council of Aberdyfi, and later recognised by the 1218 Treaty of Worcester between Llywelyn the Great of Wales and Henry III of England...

 became a Plantagenet fief during the 13th century and the Lordship of Ireland
Lordship of Ireland
The Lordship of Ireland refers to that part of Ireland that was under the rule of the king of England, styled Lord of Ireland, between 1177 and 1541. It was created in the wake of the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169–71 and was succeeded by the Kingdom of Ireland...

 was gifted to the English monarchy by the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

.

During the 14th century, the Plantagenets and House of Valois both claimed to be legitimate claimants to House of Capet
House of Capet
The House of Capet, or The Direct Capetian Dynasty, , also called The House of France , or simply the Capets, which ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328, was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians. As rulers of France, the dynasty...

 and with it France—the two powers clashed in the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

. The Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 epidemic hit England
Black Death in England
The pandemic known to history as the Black Death entered England in 1348, and killed between a third and more than half of the nation's inhabitants. The Black Death was the first and most severe manifestation of the Second Pandemic, probably caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria. Originating in...

, starting in 1348, it eventually killed up to half of England's inhabitants
Medieval demography
This article discusses human demography in Europe during the Middle Ages, including population trends and movements. Demographic changes helped to shape and define the Middle Ages...

. From 1453 to 1487 civil war between two branches of the royal family occurred—the Yorkists
House of York
The House of York was a branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet, three members of which became English kings in the late 15th century. The House of York was descended in the paternal line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but also represented...

 and Lancastrians
House of Lancaster
The House of Lancaster was a branch of the royal House of Plantagenet. It was one of the opposing factions involved in the Wars of the Roses, an intermittent civil war which affected England and Wales during the 15th century...

—known as the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

. Eventually it led to the Yorkists losing the throne entirely to a Welsh noble family the Tudors, a branch of the Lancastrians headed by Henry Tudor
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

 who invaded with Welsh and Breton mercenaries, gaining victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field
Battle of Bosworth Field
The Battle of Bosworth Field was the penultimate battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by the Lancastrians...

 where the Yorkist king Richard III
Richard III of England
Richard III was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty...

 was killed.

Early Modern



During the Tudor period
Tudor period
The Tudor period usually refers to the period between 1485 and 1603, specifically in relation to the history of England. This coincides with the rule of the Tudor dynasty in England whose first monarch was Henry VII...

, the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 reached England through Italian courtiers, who reintroduced artistic, educational and scholarly debate from classical antiquity. During this time England began to develop naval skills, and exploration to the West intensified.

Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 broke from communion with the Catholic Church, over issues relating to divorce, under the Acts of Supremacy
Acts of Supremacy
The first Act of Supremacy was a piece of legislation that granted King Henry VIII of England Royal Supremacy, which means that he was declared the supreme head of the Church of England. It is still the legal authority of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom...

 in 1534 which proclaimed the monarch head of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

. In contrast with much of European Protestantism, the roots of the split
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

 were more political than theological. He also legally incorporated his ancestral land Wales into the Kingdom of England with the 1535–1542 acts. There were internal religious conflicts during the reigns of Henry's daughters, Mary I
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

 and Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

. The former brought the country back to Catholicism, while the later broke from it again, more forcefully asserting the supremacy of Anglicanism
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

.

An English fleet under Francis Drake
Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He also carried out the...

 defeated an invading Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
This article refers to the Battle of Gravelines, for the modern navy of Spain, see Spanish NavyThe Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English...

 during the Elizabethan period. Competing with Spain
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

, the first English colony in the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 was founded in 1585 by explorer Walter Raleigh
Walter Raleigh
Sir Walter Raleigh was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer. He is also well known for popularising tobacco in England....

 in Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 and named Roanoke
Roanoke Colony
The Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island in Dare County, present-day North Carolina, United States was a late 16th-century attempt to establish a permanent English settlement in what later became the Virginia Colony. The enterprise was financed and organized by Sir Walter Raleigh and carried out by...

. The Roanoke colony failed and is known as the lost colony, after it was found abandoned on the return of the late arriving supply ship. With the East India Company
East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

, England also competed with the Dutch
Dutch Empire
The Dutch Empire consisted of the overseas territories controlled by the Dutch Republic and later, the modern Netherlands from the 17th to the 20th century. The Dutch followed Portugal and Spain in establishing an overseas colonial empire, but based on military conquest of already-existing...

 and French
French colonial empire
The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

 in the East. The political structure of the island was changed in 1603, when the Stuart
House of Stuart
The House of Stuart is a European royal house. Founded by Robert II of Scotland, the Stewarts first became monarchs of the Kingdom of Scotland during the late 14th century, and subsequently held the position of the Kings of Great Britain and Ireland...

 James VI of Scotland, a kingdom which was a longtime rival, inherited the throne of England as James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

—creating a personal union
Union of the Crowns
The Union of the Crowns was the accession of James VI, King of Scots, to the throne of England, and the consequential unification of Scotland and England under one monarch. The Union of Crowns followed the death of James' unmarried and childless first cousin twice removed, Queen Elizabeth I of...

 . He styled himself King of Great Britain, although this had no basis in English law.


Based on conflicting political, religious and social positions, the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 was fought between the supporters of Parliament
Long Parliament
The Long Parliament was made on 3 November 1640, following the Bishops' Wars. It received its name from the fact that through an Act of Parliament, it could only be dissolved with the agreement of the members, and those members did not agree to its dissolution until after the English Civil War and...

 and those of King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

, known as Roundhead
Roundhead
"Roundhead" was the nickname given to the supporters of the Parliament during the English Civil War. Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I and his supporters, the Cavaliers , who claimed absolute power and the divine right of kings...

s and Cavalier
Cavalier
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

s respectively. This was an interwoven part of the wider multifaceted Wars of the Three Kingdoms
Wars of the Three Kingdoms
The Wars of the Three Kingdoms formed an intertwined series of conflicts that took place in England, Ireland, and Scotland between 1639 and 1651 after these three countries had come under the "Personal Rule" of the same monarch...

, involving Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

 and Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

. The Parliamentarians were victorious, Charles I was executed and the kingdom replaced with the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

. Leader of the Parliament forces, Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

 declared himself Lord Protector
Lord Protector
Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law for certain heads of state at different periods of history. It is also a particular title for the British Heads of State in respect to the established church...

 in 1653, a period of personal rule
The Protectorate
In British history, the Protectorate was the period 1653–1659 during which the Commonwealth of England was governed by a Lord Protector.-Background:...

 followed. After Cromwell's death, and his son Richard's
Richard Cromwell
At the same time, the officers of the New Model Army became increasingly wary about the government's commitment to the military cause. The fact that Richard Cromwell lacked military credentials grated with men who had fought on the battlefields of the English Civil War to secure their nation's...

 resignation as Lord Protector, Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 was invited to return as monarch in 1660 with the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

. It was now constitutionally established that King and Parliament should rule together, though Parliament would have the real power. This was established with the Bill of Rights
Bill of Rights 1689
The Bill of Rights or the Bill of Rights 1688 is an Act of the Parliament of England.The Bill of Rights was passed by Parliament on 16 December 1689. It was a re-statement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1689 ,...

 in 1689. Among the statutes set down were that the law could only be made by Parliament and could not be suspended by the King, and the King could not impose taxes or raise an army without prior approval by Parliament. With the founding of the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 in 1660, science was greatly encouraged.

The Great Fire of London
Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall...

 in 1666 gutted the City of London but it was rebuilt shortly afterwards. In Parliament two factions had emerged—the Tories
Tory
Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada...

 and Whigs. The former were royalists while the latter were classical liberals. Though the Tories initially supported Catholic king James II
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

, some of them, along with the Whigs, deposed him in the Revolution of 1688
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 and invited Dutch prince William III
William III of England
William III & II was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland...

 to become monarch. Some English people, especially in the north, were Jacobites
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 and continued to support James and his sons. After the parliaments of England and Scotland agreed, the two countries joined in political union
Political union
A political union is a type of state which is composed of or created out of smaller states. Unlike a personal union, the individual states share a common government and the union is recognized internationally as a single political entity...

, to create the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 in 1707. To accommodate the union, institutions such as the law and national church of each remained separate.

Late Modern and contemporary



Under the newly formed Kingdom of Great Britain, output from the Royal Society and other English initiatives combined with the Scottish Enlightenment
Scottish Enlightenment
The Scottish Enlightenment was the period in 18th century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments. By 1750, Scots were among the most literate citizens of Europe, with an estimated 75% level of literacy...

 to create innovations in science and engineering. This paved the way for the establishment of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. Domestically it drove the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, a period of profound change in the socioeconomic
Socioeconomics
Socioeconomics or socio-economics or social economics is an umbrella term with different usages. 'Social economics' may refer broadly to the "use of economics in the study of society." More narrowly, contemporary practice considers behavioral interactions of individuals and groups through social...

 and cultural conditions of England, resulting in industrialised agriculture, manufacture, engineering and mining, as well as new and pioneering road, rail and water networks to facilitate their expansion and development. The opening of Northwest England's Bridgewater Canal
Bridgewater Canal
The Bridgewater Canal connects Runcorn, Manchester and Leigh, in North West England. It was commissioned by Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, to transport coal from his mines in Worsley to Manchester...

 in 1761 ushered in the canal age in Britain
History of the British canal system
The British canal system of water transport played a vital role in the United Kingdom's Industrial Revolution at a time when roads were only just emerging from the medieval mud and long trains of pack horses were the only means of "mass" transit by road of raw materials and finished products The...

. In 1825 the world's first permanent steam locomotive-hauled passenger railway—the Stockton and Darlington Railway
Stockton and Darlington Railway
The Stockton and Darlington Railway , which opened in 1825, was the world's first publicly subscribed passenger railway. It was 26 miles long, and was built in north-eastern England between Witton Park and Stockton-on-Tees via Darlington, and connected to several collieries near Shildon...

—opened to the public.

During the Industrial Revolution, many workers moved from England's countryside to new and expanding urban industrial areas to work in factories, for instance at Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 and Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, dubbed "Warehouse City" and "Workshop of the World" respectively. England maintained relative stability throughout the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

; William Pitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger was a British politician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He became the youngest Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24 . He left office in 1801, but was Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806...

 was British Prime Minister for the reign of George III
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

. During the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, Napoleon planned to invade from the south-east. However this failed to manifest and the Napoleonic forces were defeated by the British at sea by Lord Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB was a flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was noted for his inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics, which resulted in a number of...

 and on land by the Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

. The Napoleonic Wars fostered a concept of Britishness
Britishness
Britishness is the state or quality of being British, or of embodying British characteristics, and is used to refer to that which binds and distinguishes the British people and forms the basis of their unity and identity, or else to explain expressions of British culture—such as habits, behaviours...

 and a united national British people
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

, shared with the Scots
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 and Welsh.


London became the largest and most populous metropolitan area in the world during the Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

, and trade within the British Empire—as well as the standing of the British military and navy—was prestigious. Political agitation at home from radicals such as the Chartists
Chartism
Chartism was a movement for political and social reform in the United Kingdom during the mid-19th century, between 1838 and 1859. It takes its name from the People's Charter of 1838. Chartism was possibly the first mass working class labour movement in the world...

 and the suffragette
Suffragette
"Suffragette" is a term coined by the Daily Mail newspaper as a derogatory label for members of the late 19th and early 20th century movement for women's suffrage in the United Kingdom, in particular members of the Women's Social and Political Union...

s enabled legislative reform and universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

. Power shifts in east-central Europe led to World War I; hundreds of thousands of English soldiers died fighting for the United Kingdom as part of the Allies
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

. Two decades later, in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the United Kingdom was again one of the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

. At the end of the Phoney War, Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 became the wartime Prime Minister. Developments in warfare technology saw many cities damaged by air-raids during the Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

. Following the war, the British Empire experienced rapid decolonisation, and there was a speeding up of technological innovations; automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

s became the primary means of transport and Frank Whittle
Frank Whittle
Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE, CB, FRS, Hon FRAeS was a British Royal Air Force engineer officer. He is credited with independently inventing the turbojet engine Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE, CB, FRS, Hon FRAeS (1 June 1907 – 9 August 1996) was a British Royal Air...

's development of the jet engine
Jet engine
A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet to generate thrust by jet propulsion and in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets...

 led to wider air travel
Air travel
Air travel is a form of travel in vehicles such as airplanes, helicopters, hot air balloons, blimps, gliders, hang gliding, parachuting or anything else that can sustain flight.-Domestic and international flights:...

. Residential patterns were altered in England by private motoring, and by the creation of the National Health Service
National Health Service (England)
The National Health Service or NHS is the publicly funded healthcare system in England. It is both the largest and oldest single-payer healthcare system in the world. It is able to function in the way that it does because it is primarily funded through the general taxation system, similar to how...

 (NHS) in 1948. England's NHS provided publicly funded health care to all UK permanent residents free at the point of need, being paid for from general taxation. Combined, these changes prompted the reform of local government in England in the mid-20th century.

Since the 20th century there has been significant population movement to England, mostly from other parts of the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

, but also from the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

, particularly the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

. Since the 1970s there has been a large move away from manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 and an increasing emphasis on the service industry. As part of the United Kingdom, the area joined a common market initiative called the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 which became the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. Since the late 20th century the administration of the United Kingdom
Politics of the United Kingdom
The politics of the United Kingdom takes place within the framework of a constitutional monarchy, in which the Monarch is the head of state and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government...

 has moved towards devolved governance
Devolution
Devolution is the statutory granting of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to government at a subnational level, such as a regional, local, or state level. Devolution can be mainly financial, e.g. giving areas a budget which was formerly administered by central government...

 in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

 continues to exist as a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. Devolution has stimulated a greater emphasis on a more English-specific identity and patriotism. There is no devolved English government, but an attempt to create a similar system on a sub-regional basis was rejected by referendum.

Politics


As part of the United Kingdom, the basic political system in England is a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 and parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

. There has not been a Government of England
Government of England
There has not been a government of England since 1707 when the Kingdom of England ceased to exist as a sovereign state, as it merged with the Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain...

 since 1707, when the Acts of Union 1707
Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Parliamentary Acts - the Union with Scotland Act passed in 1706 by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland - which put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706,...

, putting into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union
Treaty of Union
The Treaty of Union is the name given to the agreement that led to the creation of the united kingdom of Great Britain, the political union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland, which took effect on 1 May 1707...

, joined England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

. Before the union England was ruled by its monarch and the Parliament of England
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

. Today England is governed directly by the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

, although other countries of the United Kingdom
Countries of the United Kingdom
Countries of the United Kingdom is a term used to describe England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These four countries together form the sovereign state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is also described as a country. The alternative terms, constituent...

 have devolved
Devolution
Devolution is the statutory granting of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to government at a subnational level, such as a regional, local, or state level. Devolution can be mainly financial, e.g. giving areas a budget which was formerly administered by central government...

 governments. In the House of Commons which is the lower house
Lower house
A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide the lower house has come to wield more power...

 of the British Parliament based at the Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

, there are 532 Members of Parliament (MPs) for constituencies in England, out of the 650 total.

In the United Kingdom general election, 2010 the Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 had won an absolute majority in England's 532 contested seats with 61 seats more than all other parties combined (the Speaker of the House not being counted as a Conservative). However, taking Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales into account this was not enough to secure an overall majority, resulting in a hung parliament
Hung parliament
In a two-party parliamentary system of government, a hung parliament occurs when neither major political party has an absolute majority of seats in the parliament . It is also less commonly known as a balanced parliament or a legislature under no overall control...

. In order to achieve a majority the Conservative party, headed by David Cameron
David Cameron
David William Donald Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service and Leader of the Conservative Party. Cameron represents Witney as its Member of Parliament ....

, entered into a coalition agreement with the third largest party, the Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

, led by Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg
Nicholas William Peter "Nick" Clegg is a British Liberal Democrat politician who is currently the Deputy Prime Minister, Lord President of the Council and Minister for Constitutional and Political Reform in the coalition government of which David Cameron is the Prime Minister...

. Subsequently the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 leader, Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 was forced to step down as prime minister and leader of the Labour party, now led by Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband
Edward Samuel Miliband is a British Labour Party politician, currently the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition...

.
As the United Kingdom is a member of the European Union, there are elections held regionally in England to decide who is sent as Members of the European Parliament. The 2009 European Parliament election
European Parliament election, 2009 (United Kingdom)
The European Parliament election was the United Kingdom's component of the 2009 European Parliament election, the voting for which was held on Thursday 4 June 2009, coinciding with the 2009 local elections in England. Most of the results of the election were announced on Sunday 7 June, after...

 saw the regions of England elect the following MEPs: 23 Conservatives, ten Labour, nine UK Independence Party (UKIP), nine Liberal Democrats, two Greens
Green Party of England and Wales
The Green Party of England and Wales is a political party in England and Wales which follows the traditions of Green politics and maintains a strong commitment to social progressivism. It is the largest Green party in the United Kingdom, containing within it various regional divisions including...

 and two British National Party
British National Party
The British National Party is a British far-right political party formed as a splinter group from the National Front by John Tyndall in 1982...

 (BNP).

Since devolution
Devolution
Devolution is the statutory granting of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to government at a subnational level, such as a regional, local, or state level. Devolution can be mainly financial, e.g. giving areas a budget which was formerly administered by central government...

, in which other countries of the United Kingdom—Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

—each have their own devolved parliament or assemblies for local issues, there has been debate about how to counterbalance this in England. Originally it was planned that various regions of England
Regions of England
In England, the region is the highest tier of sub-national division used by central Government. Between 1994 and 2011, the nine regions had an administrative role in the implementation of UK Government policy, and as the areas covered by elected bodies...

 would be devolved, but following the proposal's rejection by the North East
North East England
North East England is one of the nine official regions of England. It covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Teesside . The only cities in the region are Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland...

 in a referendum, this has not been carried out.

One major issue is the West Lothian question
West Lothian question
The West Lothian question refers to issues concerning the ability of Members of Parliament from constituencies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to vote on matters that only affect people living in England...

, in which MPs from Scotland and Wales are able to vote on legislation affecting only England, while English MPs have no equivalent right to legislate on devolved matters. This when placed in the context of England being the only country of the United Kingdom not to have free cancer treatment, prescriptions, residential care for the elderly and free top-up university fees
Top-up fees
Tuition fees were first introduced across the entire United Kingdom in September 1998 as a means of funding tuition to undergraduate and postgraduate certificate students at universities, with students being required to pay up to £1,000 a year for tuition...

, has led to a steady rise in English nationalism
English nationalism
English nationalism refers to a nationalist outlook or political stance applied to England. In a general sense, it comprises political and social movements and sentiment inspired by a love for English culture, language and history, and a sense of pride in England and the English people...

. Some have suggested the creation of a devolved English parliament
Devolved English parliament
A devolved English parliament or assembly, giving separate decision-making powers to representatives for voters in England similar to the representation given by the National Assembly for Wales, Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly, is currently a growing issue in the politics of...

, while others have proposed simply limiting voting on legislation which only affects England to English MPs.

Law




The English law
English law
English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States except Louisiana...

 legal system, developed over the centuries, is the basis of common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 legal systems used in most Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 countries and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (except Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

). Despite now being part of the United Kingdom, the legal system of the Courts of England and Wales
Courts of England and Wales
Her Majesty's Courts of Justice of England and Wales are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in England and Wales; they apply the law of England and Wales and are established under Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.The United Kingdom does not have...

 continued, under the Treaty of Union
Treaty of Union
The Treaty of Union is the name given to the agreement that led to the creation of the united kingdom of Great Britain, the political union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland, which took effect on 1 May 1707...

, as a separate legal system from the one used in Scotland. The general essence of English law is that it is made by judges sitting in court
Court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

s, applying their common sense and knowledge of legal precedent—stare decisis
Stare decisis
Stare decisis is a legal principle by which judges are obliged to respect the precedents established by prior decisions...

—to the facts before them.

The court system
Courts of England and Wales
Her Majesty's Courts of Justice of England and Wales are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in England and Wales; they apply the law of England and Wales and are established under Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.The United Kingdom does not have...

 is headed by the Supreme Court of Judicature, consisting of the Court of Appeal
Court of Appeal of England and Wales
The Court of Appeal of England and Wales is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom above it...

, the High Court of Justice
High Court of Justice
The High Court of Justice is, together with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales...

 for civil cases, and the Crown Court
Crown Court
The Crown Court of England and Wales is, together with the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal, one of the constituent parts of the Senior Courts of England and Wales...

 for criminal cases. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the supreme court in all matters under English law, Northern Ireland law and Scottish civil law. It is the court of last resort and highest appellate court in the United Kingdom; however the High Court of Justiciary remains the supreme court for criminal...

 is the highest court for criminal and civil cases in England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

. It was created in 2009 after constitutional changes, taking over the judicial functions
Judicial functions of the House of Lords
The House of Lords, in addition to having a legislative function, historically also had a judicial function. It functioned as a court of first instance for the trials of peers, for impeachment cases, and as a court of last resort within the United Kingdom. In the latter case the House's...

 of the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

. A decision of the Supreme Court is binding on every other court in the hierarchy, which must follow its directions.

Crime increased between 1981 and 1995, but fell by 42% in the period 1995–2006. The prison population doubled over the same period, giving it the highest incarceration rate in Western Europe at 147 per 100,000. Her Majesty's Prison Service
Her Majesty's Prison Service
Her Majesty's Prison Service is a part of the National Offender Management Service of the Government of the United Kingdom tasked with managing most of the prisons within England and Wales...

, reporting to the Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Justice (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Justice is a ministerial department of the UK Government headed by the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, who is responsible for improvements to the justice system so that it better serves the public...

, manages most prisons, housing over 80,000 convicts.

Regions, counties, and districts


The subdivisions of England
Subdivisions of England
The subdivisions of England consist of a hierarchy of administrative divisions, and non-administrative ceremonial areas. All of England is divided into one of nine regions and 48 ceremonial counties, although these have only a limited role in public policy....

 consist of up to four levels of subnational division
Administrative division
An administrative division, subnational entity, or country subdivision is a portion of a country or other political division, established for the purpose of government. Administrative divisions are each granted a certain degree of autonomy, and are required to manage themselves through their own...

 controlled through a variety of types of administrative entities created for the purposes of local government. The highest tier of local government were the nine regions of England
Regions of England
In England, the region is the highest tier of sub-national division used by central Government. Between 1994 and 2011, the nine regions had an administrative role in the implementation of UK Government policy, and as the areas covered by elected bodies...

: North East
North East England
North East England is one of the nine official regions of England. It covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Teesside . The only cities in the region are Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland...

, North West
North West England
North West England, informally known as The North West, is one of the nine official regions of England.North West England had a 2006 estimated population of 6,853,201 the third most populated region after London and the South East...

, Yorkshire and the Humber
Yorkshire and the Humber
Yorkshire and the Humber is one of the nine regions of England and formally one of the government office regions. It covers most of the historic county of Yorkshire, along with the part of northern Lincolnshire that was, from 1974 to 1996, within the former shire county of Humberside. The...

, East Midlands
East Midlands
The East Midlands is one of the regions of England, consisting of most of the eastern half of the traditional region of the Midlands. It encompasses the combined area of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and most of Lincolnshire...

, West Midlands
West Midlands (region)
The West Midlands is an official region of England, covering the western half of the area traditionally known as the Midlands. It contains the second most populous British city, Birmingham, and the larger West Midlands conurbation, which includes the city of Wolverhampton and large towns of Dudley,...

, East
East of England
The East of England is one of the nine official regions of England. It was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics from 1999. It includes the ceremonial counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Essex has the highest population in the region.Its...

, South East
South East England
South East England is one of the nine official regions of England, designated in 1994 and adopted for statistical purposes in 1999. It consists of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex...

, South West
South West England
South West England is one of the regions of England defined by the Government of the United Kingdom for statistical and other purposes. It is the largest such region in area, covering and comprising Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. ...

, and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. These were created in 1994 as Government Office
Government Office
Government Offices for the English Regions were established in 1994 by the John Major administration. Until 2011, they were the primary means by which a wide range of policies and programmes of the Government of the United Kingdom were delivered in the regions of England.There were Government...

s, used by the British Government to deliver a wide range of policies and programmes regionally, but there are no elected bodies at this level, except in London, and in 2011 the regional Government offices were abolished. The same boundaries remain in use for electing Members of the European Parliament on a regional basis.

After devolution
Devolution
Devolution is the statutory granting of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to government at a subnational level, such as a regional, local, or state level. Devolution can be mainly financial, e.g. giving areas a budget which was formerly administered by central government...

 began to take place in other parts of the United Kingdom it was planned that referendums for the regions of England would take place for their own elected regional assemblies
Regional Assemblies in England
The Regional Assemblies of England were a group of indirectly elected regional bodies established originally under the name Regional Chambers by the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. They were abolished on 31 March 2010 and replaced by Local Authority Leaders’ Boards...

 as a counterweight. London accepted in 1998: the London Assembly
London Assembly
The London Assembly is an elected body, part of the Greater London Authority, that scrutinises the activities of the Mayor of London and has the power, with a two-thirds majority, to amend the mayor's annual budget. The assembly was established in 2000 and is headquartered at City Hall on the south...

 was created two years later. However, when the proposal was rejected by the northern England devolution referendums, 2004 in the North East, further referendums were cancelled. The regional assemblies outside London were abolished in 2010, and their functions transferred to respective Regional Development Agencies
Regional Development Agency
In the United Kingdom, a regional development agency is a non-departmental public body established for the purpose of development, primarily economic, of one of England's Government Office regions. There is one RDA for each of the NUTS level 1 regions of England...

 and a new system of local authority leaders' boards.

Below the regional level, all of England is divided into 48 ceremonial counties
Ceremonial counties of England
The ceremonial counties are areas of England to which are appointed a Lord Lieutenant, and are defined by the government as counties and areas for the purposes of the Lieutenancies Act 1997 with reference to the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England and Lieutenancies Act 1997...

. These are used primarily as a geographical frame of reference and have developed gradually since the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, with some established as recently as 1974. Each has a Lord Lieutenant
Lord Lieutenant
The title Lord Lieutenant is given to the British monarch's personal representatives in the United Kingdom, usually in a county or similar circumscription, with varying tasks throughout history. Usually a retired local notable, senior military officer, peer or business person is given the post...

 and High Sheriff
High Sheriff
A high sheriff is, or was, a law enforcement officer in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.In England and Wales, the office is unpaid and partly ceremonial, appointed by the Crown through a warrant from the Privy Council. In Cornwall, the High Sheriff is appointed by the Duke of...

; these posts are used to represent the British monarch locally. Outside Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 and the Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. The islands have had a unitary authority council since 1890, and are separate from the Cornwall unitary authority, but some services are combined with Cornwall and the islands are still part...

, England is also divided into 83 metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties
Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England
Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties are one of the four levels of subdivisions of England used for the purposes of local government outside Greater London. As originally constituted, the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties each consisted of multiple districts, had a county council and...

; these correspond to areas used for the purposes of local government and may consist of a single district or be divided into several.

There are six metropolitan counties
Metropolitan county
The metropolitan counties are a type of county-level administrative division of England. There are six metropolitan counties, which each cover large urban areas, typically with populations of 1.2 to 2.8 million...

 based on the most heavily urbanised areas, which do not have county councils. In these areas the principal authorities are the councils of the subdivisions, the metropolitan borough
Metropolitan borough
A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district in England, and is a subdivision of a metropolitan county. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972, metropolitan boroughs are defined in English law as metropolitan districts, however all of them have been granted or regranted...

s. Elsewhere, 27 non-metropolitan "shire" counties have a county council
County council
A county council is the elected administrative body governing an area known as a county. This term has slightly different meanings in different countries.-United Kingdom:...

 and are divided into districts, each with a district council. They are typically, though not always, found in more rural areas. The remaining non-metropolitan counties are of a single district and usually correspond to large towns or counties with low populations; they are known as unitary authorities
Unitary authorities of England
Unitary authorities of England are areas where a single local authority is responsible for a variety of services for a district that elsewhere are administered separately by two councils...

. Greater London has a different system for local government, with 32 London borough
London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...

s, plus the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 covering a small area at the core, governed by the City of London Corporation. At the most localised level, much of England is divided into civil parishes with councils; they do not exist in Greater London.

Landscape and rivers



Geographically England includes the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, plus such offshore islands as the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...

 and the Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. The islands have had a unitary authority council since 1890, and are separate from the Cornwall unitary authority, but some services are combined with Cornwall and the islands are still part...

. It is bordered by two other countries of the United Kingdom—to the north by Scotland and to the west by Wales. England is closer to the European continent than any other part of mainland Britain. It is separated from France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 by a 34 kilometres (21.1 mi) sea gap, though the two countries are connected by the Channel Tunnel
Channel Tunnel
The Channel Tunnel is a undersea rail tunnel linking Folkestone, Kent in the United Kingdom with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais near Calais in northern France beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. At its lowest point, it is deep...

 near Folkestone
Folkestone
Folkestone is the principal town in the Shepway District of Kent, England. Its original site was in a valley in the sea cliffs and it developed through fishing and its closeness to the Continent as a landing place and trading port. The coming of the railways, the building of a ferry port, and its...

. England also has shores on the Irish Sea
Irish Sea
The Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. It is connected to the Celtic Sea in the south by St George's Channel, and to the Atlantic Ocean in the north by the North Channel. Anglesey is the largest island within the Irish Sea, followed by the Isle of Man...

, North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 and Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

.

The ports of London, Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

, and Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

 lie on the tidal rivers Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

, Mersey
River Mersey
The River Mersey is a river in North West England. It is around long, stretching from Stockport, Greater Manchester, and ending at Liverpool Bay, Merseyside. For centuries, it formed part of the ancient county divide between Lancashire and Cheshire....

 and Tyne
River Tyne
The River Tyne is a river in North East England in Great Britain. It is formed by the confluence of two rivers: the North Tyne and the South Tyne. These two rivers converge at Warden Rock near Hexham in Northumberland at a place dubbed 'The Meeting of the Waters'.The North Tyne rises on the...

 respectively. At 354 kilometres (220 mi), the Severn
River Severn
The River Severn is the longest river in Great Britain, at about , but the second longest on the British Isles, behind the River Shannon. It rises at an altitude of on Plynlimon, Ceredigion near Llanidloes, Powys, in the Cambrian Mountains of mid Wales...

 is the longest river flowing through England. It empties into the Bristol Channel
Bristol Channel
The Bristol Channel is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset in South West England. It extends from the lower estuary of the River Severn to the North Atlantic Ocean...

 and is notable for its Severn Bore
Severn bore
The Severn bore is a tidal bore seen on the tidal reaches of the River Severn in England. It forms somewhat upstream of Sharpness, and can be seen as far upstream as Maisemore.- Formation :...

 tidal waves, which can reach 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height. However, the longest river entirely in England is the Thames, which is 346 kilometres (215 mi) in length. There are many lakes in England; the largest is Windermere
Windermere
Windermere is the largest natural lake of England. It is also a name used in a number of places, including:-Australia:* Lake Windermere , a reservoir, Australian Capital Territory * Lake Windermere...

, within the aptly named Lake District
Lake District
The Lake District, also commonly known as The Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous not only for its lakes and its mountains but also for its associations with the early 19th century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth...

.
In geological terms, the Pennines
Pennines
The Pennines are a low-rising mountain range, separating the North West of England from Yorkshire and the North East.Often described as the "backbone of England", they form a more-or-less continuous range stretching from the Peak District in Derbyshire, around the northern and eastern edges of...

, known as the "backbone of England", are the oldest range of mountains in the country, originating from the end of the Paleozoic Era around 300 million years ago. Their geological composition includes, among others, sandstone
Sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

 and limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

, and also coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

. There are karst
KARST
Kilometer-square Area Radio Synthesis Telescope is a Chinese telescope project to which FAST is a forerunner. KARST is a set of large spherical reflectors on karst landforms, which are bowlshaped limestone sinkholes named after the Kras region in Slovenia and Northern Italy. It will consist of...

 landscapes in calcite areas such as parts of Yorkshire and Derbyshire
Derbyshire
Derbyshire is a county in the East Midlands of England. A substantial portion of the Peak District National Park lies within Derbyshire. The northern part of Derbyshire overlaps with the Pennines, a famous chain of hills and mountains. The county contains within its boundary of approx...

. The Pennine landscape is high moorland
Moorland
Moorland or moor is a type of habitat, in the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, found in upland areas, characterised by low-growing vegetation on acidic soils and heavy fog...

 in upland areas, indented by fertile valleys of the region's rivers. They contain three national parks, the Yorkshire Dales
Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales is the name given to an upland area in Northern England.The area lies within the historic county boundaries of Yorkshire, though it spans the ceremonial counties of North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Cumbria...

, Northumberland
Northumberland National Park
Northumberland National Park is the northernmost national park in England. It covers an area of more than 1030 km² between the Scottish Border in the north to just south of Hadrian's Wall. It is one of the least populated and least visited of the National Parks...

, and the Peak District
Peak District
The Peak District is an upland area in central and northern England, lying mainly in northern Derbyshire, but also covering parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, and South and West Yorkshire....

. The highest point in England, at 978 metres (3,208.7 ft), is Scafell Pike
Scafell Pike
Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England at . It is located in Lake District National Park sometimes confused with the neighbouring Sca Fell, to which it is connected by the col of Mickledore...

 in Cumbria. Straddling the border between England and Scotland are the Cheviot Hills
Cheviot Hills
The Cheviot Hills is a range of rolling hills straddling the England–Scotland border between Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.There is a broad split between the northern and the southern Cheviots...

.

The English Lowlands
English Lowlands beech forests
The term English Lowlands beech forests refers to a terrestrial ecoregion in Northern Europe, as defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the European Environment Agency...

 are to the south of the Pennines, consisting of green rolling hills, including the Cotswold Hills, Chiltern Hills
Chiltern Hills
The Chiltern Hills form a chalk escarpment in South East England. They are known locally as "the Chilterns". A large portion of the hills was designated officially as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1965.-Location:...

, North
North Downs
The North Downs are a ridge of chalk hills in south east England that stretch from Farnham in Surrey to the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent. The North Downs lie within two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty , the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs...

 and South Downs
South Downs
The South Downs is a range of chalk hills that extends for about across the south-eastern coastal counties of England from the Itchen Valley of Hampshire in the west to Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, in the east. It is bounded on its northern side by a steep escarpment, from whose...

—where they meet the sea they form white rock exposures such as the cliffs of Dover. The granite Southwest Peninsula in the West Country
West Country
The West Country is an informal term for the area of south western England roughly corresponding to the modern South West England government region. It is often defined to encompass the historic counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset and the City of Bristol, while the counties of...

 includes upland moorland, such as Dartmoor
Dartmoor
Dartmoor is an area of moorland in south Devon, England. Protected by National Park status, it covers .The granite upland dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history. The moorland is capped with many exposed granite hilltops known as tors, providing habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The...

 and Exmoor
Exmoor
Exmoor is an area of hilly open moorland in west Somerset and north Devon in South West England, named after the main river that flows out of the district, the River Exe. The moor has given its name to a National Park, which includes the Brendon Hills, the East Lyn Valley, the Vale of Porlock and ...

, and enjoys a mild climate
Climate of south-west England
The climate of south-west England is classed as oceanic according to the Köppen climate classification. The oceanic climate is typified by cool winters with warmer summers and precipitation all year round, with more experienced in winter. Annual rainfall is about and up to on higher ground...

; both are national parks.

Climate



England has a temperate maritime climate: it is mild with temperatures not much lower than 0 °C (32 °F) in winter and not much higher than 32 °C (89.6 °F) in summer. The weather is damp relatively frequently and is changeable. The coldest months are January and February, the latter particularly on the English coast
Geography of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or UK, is a sovereign state located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. With a total area of approximately , the UK occupies the major part of the British Isles archipelago and includes the island of Great Britain, the...

, while July is normally the warmest month. Months with mild to warm weather are May, June, September and October. Rainfall is spread fairly evenly throughout the year.

Important influences on the climate of England are its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, its northern latitude
Latitude
In geography, the latitude of a location on the Earth is the angular distance of that location south or north of the Equator. The latitude is an angle, and is usually measured in degrees . The equator has a latitude of 0°, the North pole has a latitude of 90° north , and the South pole has a...

 and the warming of the sea by the Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension towards Europe, the North Atlantic Drift, is a powerful, warm, and swift Atlantic ocean current that originates at the tip of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic Ocean...

. Rainfall is higher in the west, and parts of the Lake District
Lake District
The Lake District, also commonly known as The Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous not only for its lakes and its mountains but also for its associations with the early 19th century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth...

 receive more rain than anywhere else in the country. Since weather records began, the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) on 10 August 2003 at Brogdale
Brogdale
Brogdale is a hamlet in Kent, England, located beside the M2 motorway south of Faversham. It is one of several hamlets making up the civil parish of Ospringe and is in the Borough of Swale....

 in Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, while the lowest was −26.1 °C on 10 January 1982 in Edgmond
Edgmond, Shropshire
Edgmond is a village in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England. It lies 1 mile north-west of the town of Newport.Harper Adams University College is in Edgmond...

, Shropshire
Shropshire
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. It borders Wales to the west...

.

Major conurbations



The Greater London Urban Area
Greater London Urban Area
The Greater London Urban Area is the conurbation or continuous urban area based around London, England, as defined by the Office for National Statistics. It had an estimated population of 8,505,000 in 2005 and occupied an area of at the time of the 2001 census. It includes most of Greater London,...

 is by far the largest metropolitan area in England and one of the busiest cities in the world. It is considered a global city
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

 and has a population larger than other countries in the United Kingdom besides England itself. Other urban areas of considerable size and influence tend to be in northern England
Northern England
Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North or the North Country, is a cultural region of England. It is not an official government region, but rather an informal amalgamation of counties. The southern extent of the region is roughly the River Trent, while the North is bordered...

 or the English Midlands
English Midlands
The Midlands, or the English Midlands, is the traditional name for the area comprising central England that broadly corresponds to the early medieval Kingdom of Mercia. It borders Southern England, Northern England, East Anglia and Wales. Its largest city is Birmingham, and it was an important...

. There are fifty settlements which have been designated city status in England
City status in the United Kingdom
City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The holding of city status gives a settlement no special rights other than that of calling itself a "city". Nonetheless, this appellation carries its own prestige and, consequently, competitions...

, while the wider United Kingdom has sixty-six.

While many cities in England are quite large in size, such as Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Sheffield
Sheffield
Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire, England. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and with some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely...

, Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

, Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

, Leeds
City of Leeds
The City of Leeds is a local government district of West Yorkshire, England, governed by Leeds City Council, with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. The metropolitan district includes Leeds and the towns of Farsley, Garforth, Guiseley, Horsforth, Morley, Otley, Pudsey, Rothwell,...

, Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

, Bradford
City of Bradford
The City of Bradford is a local government district of West Yorkshire, England with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. It is named after its largest settlement, Bradford, but covers a far larger area which includes the towns of Keighley, Shipley, Bingley, Ilkley, Haworth, Silsden and...

, Nottingham
Nottingham
Nottingham is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England. It is located in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire and represents one of eight members of the English Core Cities Group...

 and others, a large population is not necessarily a prerequisite for a settlement to be afforded city status. Traditionally the status was afforded to towns with diocesan cathedrals and so there are smaller cities like Wells
Wells
Wells is a cathedral city and civil parish in the Mendip district of Somerset, England, on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. Although the population recorded in the 2001 census is 10,406, it has had city status since 1205...

, Ely
Ely, Cambridgeshire
Ely is a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, England, 14 miles north-northeast of Cambridge and about by road from London. It is built on a Lower Greensand island, which at a maximum elevation of is the highest land in the Fens...

, Ripon
Ripon
Ripon is a cathedral city, market town and successor parish in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, located at the confluence of two streams of the River Ure in the form of the Laver and Skell. The city is noted for its main feature the Ripon Cathedral which is architecturally...

, Truro
Truro
Truro is a city and civil parish in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The city is the centre for administration, leisure and retail in Cornwall, with a population recorded in the 2001 census of 17,431. Truro urban statistical area, which includes parts of surrounding parishes, has a 2001 census...

 and Chichester
Chichester
Chichester is a cathedral city in West Sussex, within the historic County of Sussex, South-East England. It has a long history as a settlement; its Roman past and its subsequent importance in Anglo-Saxon times are only its beginnings...

. According to the Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics
The Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.- Overview :...

 the ten largest, continuous built-up urban areas are:
Rank Urban area Population Localities Major localities
1 Greater London Urban Area
Greater London Urban Area
The Greater London Urban Area is the conurbation or continuous urban area based around London, England, as defined by the Office for National Statistics. It had an estimated population of 8,505,000 in 2005 and occupied an area of at the time of the 2001 census. It includes most of Greater London,...

 
8,278,251 67 Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

, divided into the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 and 32 London borough
London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...

s including Croydon
London Borough of Croydon
The London Borough of Croydon is a London borough in South London, England and is part of Outer London. It covers an area of and is the largest London borough by population. It is the southernmost borough of London. At its centre is the historic town of Croydon from which the borough takes its name...

, Barnet
London Borough of Barnet
The London Borough of Barnet is a London borough in North London and forms part of Outer London. It has a population of 331,500 and covers . It borders Hertfordshire to the north and five other London boroughs: Harrow and Brent to the west, Camden and Haringey to the south-east and Enfield to the...

, Ealing
London Borough of Ealing
The London Borough of Ealing is a borough in west London.-Location:The London Borough of Ealing borders the London Borough of Hillingdon to the west, the London Borough of Harrow and the London Borough of Brent to the north, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to the east and the London...

, Bromley
London Borough of Bromley
The London Borough of Bromley is a London borough of south east London, England and forms part of Outer London. The principal town in the borough is Bromley.-Geography:...

2 West Midlands Urban Area  2,284,093 22 Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. For Eurostat purposes Walsall and Wolverhampton is a NUTS 3 region and is one of five boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "West Midlands" NUTS 2 region...

, Dudley
Dudley
Dudley is a large town in the West Midlands county of England. At the 2001 census , the Dudley Urban Sub Area had a population of 194,919, making it the 26th largest settlement in England, the second largest town in the United Kingdom behind Reading, and the largest settlement in the UK without...

, Walsall
Walsall
Walsall is a large industrial town in the West Midlands of England. It is located northwest of Birmingham and east of Wolverhampton. Historically a part of Staffordshire, Walsall is a component area of the West Midlands conurbation and part of the Black Country.Walsall is the administrative...

3 Greater Manchester Urban Area
Greater Manchester Urban Area
The Greater Manchester Urban Area is an area of land defined by the Office for National Statistics consisting of the large conurbation that encompasses the city of Manchester and the continuous metropolitan area that spreads outwards from it, forming much of Greater Manchester in North West England...

 
2,240,230 57 Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

, Salford, Bolton
Bolton
Bolton is a town in Greater Manchester, in the North West of England. Close to the West Pennine Moors, it is north west of the city of Manchester. Bolton is surrounded by several smaller towns and villages which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, of which Bolton is the...

, Stockport
Stockport
Stockport is a town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on elevated ground southeast of Manchester city centre, at the point where the rivers Goyt and Tame join and create the River Mersey. Stockport is the largest settlement in the metropolitan borough of the same name...

, Oldham
Oldham
Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies amid the Pennines on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock, south-southeast of Rochdale, and northeast of the city of Manchester...

4 West Yorkshire Urban Area
West Yorkshire Urban Area
The West Yorkshire Urban Area is a term used by the Office for National Statistics to refer to a conurbation in West Yorkshire, England, based around the cities of Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield, and the large town of Huddersfield...

 
1,499,465 26 Leeds
Leeds
Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 , making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union.Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial...

, Bradford
Bradford
Bradford lies at the heart of the City of Bradford, a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, in Northern England. It is situated in the foothills of the Pennines, west of Leeds, and northwest of Wakefield. Bradford became a municipal borough in 1847, and received its charter as a city in 1897...

, Huddersfield
Huddersfield
Huddersfield is a large market town within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, in West Yorkshire, England, situated halfway between Leeds and Manchester. It lies north of London, and south of Bradford, the nearest city....

, Wakefield
Wakefield
Wakefield is the main settlement and administrative centre of the City of Wakefield, a metropolitan district of West Yorkshire, England. Located by the River Calder on the eastern edge of the Pennines, the urban area is and had a population of 76,886 in 2001....

, Halifax
Halifax, West Yorkshire
Halifax is a minster town, within the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale in West Yorkshire, England. It has an urban area population of 82,056 in the 2001 Census. It is well-known as a centre of England's woollen manufacture from the 15th century onward, originally dealing through the Halifax Piece...

5 Tyneside
Tyneside
Tyneside is a conurbation in North East England, defined by the Office of National Statistics, which is home to over 80% of the population of Tyne and Wear. It includes the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Metropolitan Boroughs of Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside — all settlements on...

 
879,996 25 Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

, North Shields
North Shields
North Shields is a town on the north bank of the River Tyne, in the metropolitan borough of North Tyneside, in North East England...

, South Shields
South Shields
South Shields is a coastal town in Tyne and Wear, England, located at the mouth of the River Tyne to Tyne Dock, and about downstream from Newcastle upon Tyne...

, Gateshead
Gateshead
Gateshead is a town in Tyne and Wear, England and is the main settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead. Historically a part of County Durham, it lies on the southern bank of the River Tyne opposite Newcastle upon Tyne and together they form the urban core of Tyneside...

, Jarrow
Jarrow
Jarrow is a town in Tyne and Wear, England, located on the River Tyne, with a population of 27,526. From the middle of the 19th century until 1935, Jarrow was a centre for shipbuilding, and was the starting point of the Jarrow March against unemployment in 1936.-Foundation:The Angles re-occupied...

6 Liverpool Urban Area
Liverpool Urban Area
The "Liverpool Urban Area" is a term used by the Office for National Statistics to denote the urban area around Liverpool in England, to the east of the River Mersey. The contiguous built-up area extends beyond the area administered by Liverpool City Council into adjoining local authority areas,...

 
816,216 8 Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

, St Helens
St Helens, Merseyside
St Helens is a large town in Merseyside, England. It is the largest settlement and administrative centre of the Metropolitan Borough of St Helens with a population of just over 100,000, part of an urban area with a total population of 176,843 at the time of the 2001 Census...

, Bootle
Bootle
Bootle is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton in Merseyside, England, and a 'Post town' in the L postcode area. Formally known as Bootle-cum-Linacre, the town is 4 miles  to the north of Liverpool city centre, and has a total resident population of 77,640.Historically part of...

, Huyton-with-Roby
7 Nottingham Urban Area  666,358 15 Nottingham
Nottingham
Nottingham is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England. It is located in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire and represents one of eight members of the English Core Cities Group...

, Beeston
Beeston, Nottinghamshire
Beeston is a town in Nottinghamshire, England. It is southwest of Nottingham city centre. Although typically regarded as a suburb of the City of Nottingham, and officially designated as part of the Nottingham Urban Area, for local government purposes it is in the borough of Broxtowe, lying outside...

 and Stapleford
Stapleford, Nottinghamshire
-External links:***...

, Carlton
Carlton, Nottinghamshire
Carlton is a suburb to the east of the city of Nottingham in the borough of Gedling. It is close to Sneinton, Bakersfield, Mapperley, and St Anns. It is near the River Trent and has an NG4 postcode...

, Long Eaton
Long Eaton
Long Eaton is a town in Derbyshire, England. It lies just north of the River Trent about southwest of Nottingham and is part of the Nottingham Urban Area...

8 Sheffield Urban Area
Sheffield urban area
The Sheffield Urban Area is a conurbation with a population of 640,720 making it the 8th largest conurbation in the United Kingdom and England's 6th largest. Named the Sheffield Urban Area by the Office for National Statistics, it must not be confused with the Sheffield City Region, a...

 
640,720 7 Sheffield
Sheffield
Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire, England. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and with some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely...

, Rotherham
Rotherham
Rotherham is a town in South Yorkshire, England. It lies on the River Don, at its confluence with the River Rother, between Sheffield and Doncaster. Rotherham, at from Sheffield City Centre, is surrounded by several smaller settlements, which together form the wider Metropolitan Borough of...

, Chapeltown
Chapeltown, South Yorkshire
Chapeltown is in northern Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, England. It forms part of the Ecclesfield civil parish. There is a wide variety of shops, pubs and restaurants as well as a supermarket...

, Mosborough
Mosborough
Mosborough ward — which includes the districts of Halfway, Mosborough village, Waterthorpe, and Westfield — is one of the 28 electoral wards in City of Sheffield, England. It is located in the eastern part of the city, on the border with Rotherham, and covers an area of 8.9 km2....

9 Bristol Urban Area  551,066 7 Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

, Kingswood
Kingswood, South Gloucestershire
Kingswood is an urban area in South Gloucestershire, England, bordering the City of Bristol to the west. It is located on both sides of the A420 road, which connects Bristol and Chippenham and which forms the high street through the principal retail zone...

, Mangotsfield
Mangotsfield
Mangotsfield is a village in South Gloucestershire, England, situated north of the Bristol suburb of Kingswood, bounded to the north by the M4 motorway and to the east by the Emersons Green housing estate....

, Stoke Gifford
Stoke Gifford
Stoke Gifford is a large dormitory village, and parish in South Gloucestershire, England, in the northern suburbs of Bristol. It has around 11,000 residents as of the 2001 Census. It is home to Bristol Parkway station, on the London-South Wales railway line, and the Bristol offices of Friends Life...

10 Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton
Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton
The Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton conurbation has a population of 461,181 , making it the 12th largest conurbation in the United Kingdom, after Greater Belfast and ahead of Edinburgh. It is England's 10th largest conurbation. Named the Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton conurbation by the Office...

 
461,181 10 Brighton
Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

, Worthing
Worthing
Worthing is a large seaside town with borough status in West Sussex, within the historic County of Sussex, forming part of the Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton conurbation. It is situated at the foot of the South Downs, west of Brighton, and east of the county town of Chichester...

, Hove
Hove
Hove is a town on the south coast of England, immediately to the west of its larger neighbour Brighton, with which it forms the unitary authority Brighton and Hove. It forms a single conurbation together with Brighton and some smaller towns and villages running along the coast...

, Littlehampton
Littlehampton
Littlehampton is a seaside resort town and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, on the east bank at the mouth of the River Arun. It lies south southwest of London, west of Brighton and east of the county town of Chichester....

, Shoreham
Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham-by-Sea is a small town, port and seaside resort in West Sussex, England. Shoreham-by-Sea railway station is located less than a mile from the town centre and London Gatwick Airport is away...

, Lancing
Lancing, West Sussex
Lancing is a town and civil parish in the Adur district of West Sussex, England, on the western edge of the Adur Valley. It lies on the coastal plain between Sompting to the west, Shoreham-by-Sea to the east and the parish of Coombes to the north...


Economy




England's economy is one of the largest in the world, with an average GDP per capita of £22,907. Usually regarded as a mixed market economy
Anglo-Saxon economy
An Anglo-Saxon economy or Anglo-Saxon capitalism is a capitalist macroeconomic model in which levels of regulation and taxes are low, and government provides relatively fewer services.-Origins of the...

, it has adopted many free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

 principles, yet maintains an advanced social welfare infrastructure. The official currency in England is the pound sterling
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

, whose ISO 4217
ISO 4217
ISO 4217 is a standard published by the International Standards Organization, which delineates currency designators, country codes , and references to minor units in three tables:* Table A.1 – Current currency & funds code list...

 code is GBP. Taxation in England is quite competitive when compared
Tax rates around the world
Comparison of tax rates around the world is difficult and somewhat subjective. Tax laws in most countries are extremely complex, and tax burden falls differently on different groups in each country and sub-national unit. The graph below gives an indication by rank of some raw...

 to much of the rest of Europe—as of 2009 the basic rate of personal tax is 20% on taxable income up to £37,400, and 40% on any additional earnings above that amount.

The economy of England is the largest part of the UK's economy
Economy of the United Kingdom
The economy of the United Kingdom is the sixth-largest national economy in the world measured by nominal GDP and seventh-largest measured by purchasing power parity , and the third-largest in Europe measured by nominal GDP and second-largest measured by PPP...

, which has the 18th highest GDP PPP
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

 per capita in the world. England is a leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors and in key technical industries, particularly aerospace
Aerospace
Aerospace comprises the atmosphere of Earth and surrounding space. Typically the term is used to refer to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates, and maintains vehicles moving through air and space...

, the arms industry
Arms industry
The arms industry is a global industry and business which manufactures and sells weapons and military technology and equipment. It comprises government and commercial industry involved in research, development, production, and service of military material, equipment and facilities...

, and the manufacturing side of the software industry
Software industry
The software industry includes businesses involved in the development, maintenance and publication of computer software using any business model...

. London, home to the London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange
The London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in the City of London within the United Kingdom. , the Exchange had a market capitalisation of US$3.7495 trillion, making it the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world by this measurement...

, the United Kingdom's main stock exchange
Stock exchange
A stock exchange is an entity that provides services for stock brokers and traders to trade stocks, bonds, and other securities. Stock exchanges also provide facilities for issue and redemption of securities and other financial instruments, and capital events including the payment of income and...

 and the largest in Europe, is England's financial centre—100 of Europe's 500 largest corporations are based in London. London is the largest financial centre in Europe, and is also the largest in the world.
The Bank of England
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

, founded in 1694 by Scottish banker William Paterson
William Paterson (banker)
Sir William Paterson was a Scottish trader and banker.- Early life :...

, is the United Kingdom's central bank
Central bank
A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is a public institution that usually issues the currency, regulates the money supply, and controls the interest rates in a country. Central banks often also oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries...

. Originally established as private banker to the Government of England, since 1946 it has been a state-owned institution. The Bank has a monopoly
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

 on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

, although not in other parts of the United Kingdom. The government has devolved responsibility to the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee
Monetary Policy Committee
The Monetary Policy Committee is a committee of the Bank of England, which meets for two and a half days every month to decide the official interest rate in the United Kingdom . It is also responsible for directing other aspects of the government's monetary policy framework, such as quantitative...

 for managing the monetary policy of the country and setting interest rates.

England is highly industrialised, but since the 1970s there has been a decline in traditional heavy and manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 industries, and an increasing emphasis on a more service industry oriented economy. Tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 has become a significant industry, attracting millions of visitors to England each year. The export
Export
The term export is derived from the conceptual meaning as to ship the goods and services out of the port of a country. The seller of such goods and services is referred to as an "exporter" who is based in the country of export whereas the overseas based buyer is referred to as an "importer"...

 part of the economy is dominated by pharmaceuticals, cars
CARS
Cars, or automobiles, motor cars, are wheeled motor vehicles used for transporting passengers.Cars or CARS may also refer to:-Entertainment:* Cars , a Disney/Pixar film series...

—although many English marques are now foreign-owned, such as Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a British manufacturer of luxury automobiles based at the Goodwood plant in West Sussex, England. It is the current producer of Rolls-Royce branded automobiles, whose historical production dates back to 1904. The factory is located across from the historic Goodwood Circuit...

, Lotus
Lotus Cars
Lotus Cars is a British manufacturer of sports and racing cars based at the former site of RAF Hethel, a World War II airfield in Norfolk. The company designs and builds race and production automobiles of light weight and fine handling characteristics...

, Jaguar and Bentley
Bentley
Bentley Motors Limited is a British manufacturer of automobiles founded on 18 January 1919 by Walter Owen Bentley known as W.O. Bentley or just "W O". Bentley had been previously known for his range of rotary aero-engines in World War I, the most famous being the Bentley BR1 as used in later...

—crude oil and petroleum from the English parts of North Sea oil
North Sea oil
North Sea oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons, comprising liquid oil and natural gas, produced from oil reservoirs beneath the North Sea.In the oil industry, the term "North Sea" often includes areas such as the Norwegian Sea and the area known as "West of Shetland", "the Atlantic Frontier" or "the...

 along with Wytch Farm
Wytch Farm
Wytch Farm is an oil field and processing facility in the Purbeck district of Dorset, England. It is the largest onshore oil field in western Europe. The facility, operated by BP, is hidden in a coniferous forest on Wytch Heath on the southern shore of Poole Harbour, two miles north of Corfe Castle...

, aircraft engine
Aircraft engine
An aircraft engine is the component of the propulsion system for an aircraft that generates mechanical power. Aircraft engines are almost always either lightweight piston engines or gas turbines...

s and alcoholic beverage
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

s. Agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 is intensive and highly mechanised, producing 60% of food needs with only 2% of the labour force. Two thirds of production is devoted to livestock, the other to arable crops.

Science and technology


Prominent English figures from the field of science and mathematics include Sir Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

, Michael Faraday
Michael Faraday
Michael Faraday, FRS was an English chemist and physicist who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry....

, Robert Hooke
Robert Hooke
Robert Hooke FRS was an English natural philosopher, architect and polymath.His adult life comprised three distinct periods: as a scientific inquirer lacking money; achieving great wealth and standing through his reputation for hard work and scrupulous honesty following the great fire of 1666, but...

, Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle FRS was a 17th century natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor, also noted for his writings in theology. He has been variously described as English, Irish, or Anglo-Irish, his father having come to Ireland from England during the time of the English plantations of...

, Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley, FRS was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works...

, J. J. Thomson
J. J. Thomson
Sir Joseph John "J. J." Thomson, OM, FRS was a British physicist and Nobel laureate. He is credited for the discovery of the electron and of isotopes, and the invention of the mass spectrometer...

, Charles Babbage
Charles Babbage
Charles Babbage, FRS was an English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer...

, Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

, Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking
Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA is an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, whose scientific books and public appearances have made him an academic celebrity...

, Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

, Alan Turing
Alan Turing
Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS , was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a...

, Francis Crick
Francis Crick
Francis Harry Compton Crick OM FRS was an English molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist, and most noted for being one of two co-discoverers of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953, together with James D. Watson...

, Joseph Lister
Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister
Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister OM, FRS, PC , known as Sir Joseph Lister, Bt., between 1883 and 1897, was a British surgeon and a pioneer of antiseptic surgery, who promoted the idea of sterile surgery while working at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary...

, Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee
Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee, , also known as "TimBL", is a British computer scientist, MIT professor and the inventor of the World Wide Web...

, Paul Dirac
Paul Dirac
Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac, OM, FRS was an English theoretical physicist who made fundamental contributions to the early development of both quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics...

, Andrew Wiles
Andrew Wiles
Sir Andrew John Wiles KBE FRS is a British mathematician and a Royal Society Research Professor at Oxford University, specializing in number theory...

 and Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL , known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author...

. Some experts claim that the earliest concept of a metric system
Metric system
The metric system is an international decimalised system of measurement. France was first to adopt a metric system, in 1799, and a metric system is now the official system of measurement, used in almost every country in the world...

 was invented by John Wilkins
John Wilkins
John Wilkins FRS was an English clergyman, natural philosopher and author, as well as a founder of the Invisible College and one of the founders of the Royal Society, and Bishop of Chester from 1668 until his death....

, the first secretary of the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

, in 1668. As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, England was home to many significant inventors during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Famous English engineers include Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, FRS , was a British civil engineer who built bridges and dockyards including the construction of the first major British railway, the Great Western Railway; a series of steamships, including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship; and numerous important bridges...

, best known for the creation of the Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
The Great Western Railway was a British railway company that linked London with the south-west and west of England and most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament in 1835 and ran its first trains in 1838...

, a series of famous steamships, and numerous important bridges, hence revolutionising public transport and modern-day engineering. Thomas Newcomen
Thomas Newcomen
Thomas Newcomen was an ironmonger by trade and a Baptist lay preacher by calling. He was born in Dartmouth, Devon, England, near a part of the country noted for its tin mines. Flooding was a major problem, limiting the depth at which the mineral could be mined...

's steam engine
Newcomen steam engine
The atmospheric engine invented by Thomas Newcomen in 1712, today referred to as a Newcomen steam engine , was the first practical device to harness the power of steam to produce mechanical work. Newcomen engines were used throughout Britain and Europe, principally to pump water out of mines,...

 helped spawn the Industrial Revolution. The physician Edward Jenner
Edward Jenner
Edward Anthony Jenner was an English scientist who studied his natural surroundings in Berkeley, Gloucestershire...

's smallpox vaccine
Smallpox vaccine
The smallpox vaccine was the first successful vaccine to be developed. The process of vaccination was discovered by Edward Jenner in 1796, who acted upon his observation that milkmaids who caught the cowpox virus did not catch smallpox...

 is said to have "saved more lives [...] than were lost in all the wars of mankind since the beginning of recorded history."

Inventions and discoveries of the English include: the jet engine
Jet engine
A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet to generate thrust by jet propulsion and in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets...

, the first industrial spinning machine
Spinning frame
The spinning frame is an Industrial Revolution invention for spinning thread or yarn from fibers such as wool or cotton in a mechanized way. It was developed in 18th century Britain by Richard Arkwright and John Kay.-Historical context:...

, the first computer
Analytical engine
The Analytical Engine was a proposed mechanical general-purpose computer designed by English mathematician Charles Babbage. It was first described in 1837 as the successor to Babbage's difference engine, a design for a mechanical calculator...

 and the first modern computer, the World Wide Web
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

 along with HTTP and HTML
HTML
HyperText Markup Language is the predominant markup language for web pages. HTML elements are the basic building-blocks of webpages....

, the first successful human blood transfusion
Blood transfusion
Blood transfusion is the process of receiving blood products into one's circulation intravenously. Transfusions are used in a variety of medical conditions to replace lost components of the blood...

, the motorised vacuum cleaner
Vacuum cleaner
A vacuum cleaner, commonly referred to as a "vacuum," is a device that uses an air pump to create a partial vacuum to suck up dust and dirt, usually from floors, and optionally from other surfaces as well. The dirt is collected by either a dustbag or a cyclone for later disposal...

, the lawn mower
Lawn mower
A lawn mower is a machine that uses a revolving blade or blades to cut a lawn at an even length.Lawn mowers employing a blade that rotates about a vertical axis are known as rotary mowers, while those employing a blade assembly that rotates about a horizontal axis are known as cylinder or reel...

, the seat belt
Seat belt
A seat belt or seatbelt, sometimes called a safety belt, is a safety harness designed to secure the occupant of a vehicle against harmful movement that may result from a collision or a sudden stop...

, the hovercraft
Hovercraft
A hovercraft is a craft capable of traveling over surfaces while supported by a cushion of slow moving, high-pressure air which is ejected against the surface below and contained within a "skirt." Although supported by air, a hovercraft is not considered an aircraft.Hovercraft are used throughout...

, the electric motor
Electric motor
An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.Most electric motors operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force...

, steam engine
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

s, and theories such as the Darwinian theory of evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

 and atomic theory
Atomic theory
In chemistry and physics, atomic theory is a theory of the nature of matter, which states that matter is composed of discrete units called atoms, as opposed to the obsolete notion that matter could be divided into any arbitrarily small quantity...

. Newton developed the ideas of universal gravitation, Newtonian mechanics, and infinitesimal calculus
Infinitesimal calculus
Infinitesimal calculus is the part of mathematics concerned with finding slope of curves, areas under curves, minima and maxima, and other geometric and analytic problems. It was independently developed by Gottfried Leibniz and Isaac Newton starting in the 1660s...

, and Robert Hooke
Robert Hooke
Robert Hooke FRS was an English natural philosopher, architect and polymath.His adult life comprised three distinct periods: as a scientific inquirer lacking money; achieving great wealth and standing through his reputation for hard work and scrupulous honesty following the great fire of 1666, but...

 his eponymously named law of elasticity. Other inventions include the iron plate railway, the thermosiphon
Thermosiphon
Thermosiphon refers to a method of passive heat exchange based on natural convection which circulates liquid without the necessity of a mechanical pump...

, tarmac
Tarmac
Tarmac is a type of road surface. Tarmac refers to a material patented by Edgar Purnell Hooley in 1901...

, the rubber band
Rubber band
A rubber band is a short length of rubber and latex formed in the shape of a loop and is commonly used to hold multiple objects together...

, the mousetrap
Mousetrap
A mousetrap is a specialized type of animal trap designed primarily to catch mice; however, it may also trap other small animals. Mousetraps are usually set in an indoor location where there is a suspected infestation of rodents. There are various types of mousetrap, each with its own advantages...

, "cat's eye" road safety device
Cat's eye (road)
The cat's eye is a retroreflective safety device used in road marking and was the first of a range of raised pavement markers. It originated in the UK in 1933 and is today used all over the world....

, joint development of the light bulb, steam locomotive
Locomotive
A locomotive is a railway vehicle that provides the motive power for a train. The word originates from the Latin loco – "from a place", ablative of locus, "place" + Medieval Latin motivus, "causing motion", and is a shortened form of the term locomotive engine, first used in the early 19th...

s, the modern seed drill
Seed drill
A seed drill is a sowing device that precisely positions seeds in the soil and then covers them. Before the introduction of the seed drill, the common practice was to plant seeds by hand. Besides being wasteful, planting was very imprecise and led to a poor distribution of seeds, leading to low...

 and many modern techniques and technologies used in precision engineering
Precision engineering
Precision engineering is a subdiscipline of electrical engineering, electronics engineering, mechanical engineering, and optical engineering concerned with designing machines, fixtures, and other structures that have exceptionally low tolerances, are repeatable, and are stable over time...

.

Transport


The Department for Transport
Department for Transport
In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport is the government department responsible for the English transport network and a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which are not devolved...

 is the government body responsible for overseeing transport in England. There are many motorways in England, and many other trunk roads, such as the A1 Great North Road, which runs through eastern England from London to Newcastle (much of this section is motorway) and onward to the Scottish border. The longest motorway in England is the M6
M6 motorway
The M6 motorway runs from junction 19 of the M1 at the Catthorpe Interchange, near Rugby via Birmingham then heads north, passing Stoke-on-Trent, Manchester, Preston, Carlisle and terminating at the Gretna junction . Here, just short of the Scottish border it becomes the A74 which continues to...

, from Rugby
Rugby, Warwickshire
Rugby is a market town in Warwickshire, England, located on the River Avon. The town has a population of 61,988 making it the second largest town in the county...

 through the North West
North West England
North West England, informally known as The North West, is one of the nine official regions of England.North West England had a 2006 estimated population of 6,853,201 the third most populated region after London and the South East...

 up to the Anglo-Scottish border
Anglo-Scottish border
The Anglo-Scottish border is the official border and mark of entry between Scotland and England. It runs for 154 km between the River Tweed on the east coast and the Solway Firth in the west. It is Scotland's only land border...

. Other major routes include: the M1
M1 motorway
The M1 is a north–south motorway in England primarily connecting London to Leeds, where it joins the A1 near Aberford. While the M1 is considered to be the first inter-urban motorway to be completed in the United Kingdom, the first road to be built to motorway standard in the country was the...

 from London to Leeds, the M25
M25 motorway
The M25 motorway, or London Orbital, is a orbital motorway that almost encircles Greater London, England, in the United Kingdom. The motorway was first mooted early in the 20th century. A few sections, based on the now abandoned London Ringways plan, were constructed in the early 1970s and it ...

 which encircles London, the M60
M60 motorway
The M60 motorway, or Manchester Orbital, is an orbital motorway circling Greater Manchester, a metropolitan county in North West England. It passes through all Greater Manchester's metropolitan boroughs except for Wigan and Bolton...

 which encircles Manchester, the M4
M4 motorway
The M4 motorway links London with South Wales. It is part of the unsigned European route E30. Other major places directly accessible from M4 junctions are Reading, Swindon, Bristol, Newport, Cardiff and Swansea...

 from London to South Wales, the M62
M62 motorway
The M62 motorway is a west–east trans-Pennine motorway in Northern England, connecting the cities of Liverpool and Hull via Manchester and Leeds. The road also forms part of the unsigned Euroroutes E20 and E22...

 from Liverpool via Manchester to East Yorkshire, and the M5
M5 motorway
The M5 is a motorway in England. It runs from a junction with the M6 at West Bromwich near Birmingham to Exeter in Devon. Heading south-west, the M5 runs east of West Bromwich and west of Birmingham through Sandwell Valley...

 from Birmingham to Bristol and the South West.

Bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

 transport across the country is widespread; major companies include National Express
National Express Group
National Express Group plc is a British transport group headquartered in Birmingham that operates bus, coach, rail and tram services in the UK, the US and Canada, Spain, Portugal and Morocco and long-distance coach routes across Europe...

, Arriva
Arriva
Arriva plc is a multinational public transport company owned by Deutsche Bahn and headquartered in Sunderland, United Kingdom. It has bus, coach, train, tram and waterbus operations in 12 countries across Europe, employs more than 47,500 people and services over 1.5 billion passenger journeys each...

 and Go-Ahead Group
Go-Ahead Group
The Go-Ahead Group plc is a rail and bus operating company that was created following the privatisation of the UK's train and bus industries. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.-Early history:...

. The red double-decker bus
Double-decker bus
A double-decker bus is a bus that has two storeys or 'decks'. Global usage of this type of bus is more common in outer touring than in its intra-urban transportion role. Double-decker buses are also commonly found in certain parts of Europe, Asia, and former British colonies and protectorates...

es in London have become a symbol of England. There is a rapid rail network in two English cities: the London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

; and the Tyne and Wear Metro
Tyne and Wear Metro
The Tyne and Wear Metro, also known as the Metro, is a light rail system in North East England, serving Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and Sunderland. It opened in 1980 and in 2007–2008 provided 40 million public journeys on its network of nearly...

 in Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland. There are several tram networks, such as the Blackpool tramway
Blackpool tramway
The Blackpool tramway runs from Blackpool to Fleetwood on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire, England, and is the only surviving first-generation tramway in the United Kingdom. The tramway dates back to 1885 and is one of the oldest electric tramways in the world. It is run by Blackpool Transport as...

, Manchester Metrolink
Manchester Metrolink
Metrolink is a light rail system in Greater Manchester, England. It consists of four lines which converge in Manchester city centre and terminate in Bury, Altrincham, Eccles and Chorlton-cum-Hardy. The system is owned by Transport for Greater Manchester and operated under contract by RATP Group...

, Sheffield Supertram
Sheffield Supertram
The Supertram, officially called the Stagecoach Supertram, is a light rail tram system in the City of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England...

 and Midland Metro
Midland Metro
The Midland Metro is a light-rail or tram line in the West Midlands of England between the cities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton via West Bromwich and Wednesbury. It is owned and promoted by Centro, and operated by West Midlands Travel Limited, a subsidiary of the National Express Group , under...

, and the Tramlink system centred on Croydon in South London.

Rail transport in England is the oldest in the world: passenger railways originated in England in 1825. Much of Britain's 16116 kilometres (10,014 mi) of rail network lies in England, covering the country fairly extensively, although a high proportion of railway lines were closed in the second half of the 20th century. These lines are mostly standard gauge (single
Single track (rail)
A single track railway is where trains in both directions share the same track. Single track is normally used on lesser used rail lines, often branch lines, where the traffic density is not high enough to justify the cost of building double tracks....

, double
Double track
A double track railway usually involves running one track in each direction, compared to a single track railway where trains in both directions share the same track.- Overview :...

 or quadruple track
Quadruple track
Quadruple track railway consists of four parallel tracks. On a quad-track line, two tracks are used in each direction. It is also sometimes called four-track railway....

) though there are also a few narrow gauge lines
British narrow gauge railways
There were more than a thousand British narrow gauge railways ranging from large, historically significant common carriers to small, short-lived industrial railways...

. There is rail transport access to France and Belgium through an undersea rail link, the Channel Tunnel
Channel Tunnel
The Channel Tunnel is a undersea rail tunnel linking Folkestone, Kent in the United Kingdom with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais near Calais in northern France beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. At its lowest point, it is deep...

, which was completed in 1994.

England has extensive domestic and international aviation
Aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

 links. The largest airport is London Heathrow
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

, which is the world's busiest airport measured by number of international passengers
World's busiest airports by international passenger traffic
The following is a list of the world's busiest airports by international passenger traffic.London Heathrow has been the busiest since 2000-2010 year-to-date statistics:Airports Council International's year-to-date figures are as follows....

. Other large airports include Manchester Airport, London Stansted Airport
London Stansted Airport
-Cargo:-Statistics:-Infrastructure:-Terminal and satellite buildings:Stansted is the newest passenger airport of all the main London airports. The terminal is an oblong glass building, and is separated in to three areas: Check-in concourse, arrivals and departures...

, Luton Airport and Birmingham Airport. By sea there is ferry
Ferry
A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

 transport, both local and international, including to Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium. There are around 7100 km (4,411.7 mi) of navigable waterways in England, half of which is owned by British Waterways
British Waterways
British Waterways is a statutory corporation wholly owned by the government of the United Kingdom, serving as the navigation authority in England, Scotland and Wales for the vast majority of the canals as well as a number of rivers and docks...

 (Waterscape
Waterscape
Waterscape was set up in the summer of 2003 and is British Waterways leisure website, supported by the Environment Agency and the Broads Authority as an official information and leisure resource for inland waterways within the UK....

), however water transport is very limited. The Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 is the major waterway in England, with imports and exports focused at the Port of Tilbury
Port of Tilbury
The Port of Tilbury is located on the River Thames at Tilbury in Essex, England. It is the principal port for London; as well as being the main United Kingdom port for handling the importation of paper. There are extensive facilities for containers, grain, and other bulk cargoes. There are also...

 in the Thames Estuary, one of the United Kingdom's three major ports.

Healthcare


The National Health Service
National Health Service (England)
The National Health Service or NHS is the publicly funded healthcare system in England. It is both the largest and oldest single-payer healthcare system in the world. It is able to function in the way that it does because it is primarily funded through the general taxation system, similar to how...

 (NHS) is the publicly funded healthcare system in England responsible for providing the majority of healthcare in the country. The NHS began on 5 July 1948, putting into effect the provisions of the National Health Service Act 1946
National Health Service Act 1946
The National Health Service Act 1946 came into effect on 5 July 1948 and created the National Health Service in England and Wales. Though the title 'National Health Service' implies one health service for the United Kingdom, in reality a separate NHS was created for England and Wales accountable to...

. It was based on the findings of the Beveridge Report
Beveridge Report
The Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Social Insurance and Allied Services, known commonly as the Beveridge Report was an influential document in the founding of the Welfare State in the United Kingdom...

, prepared by economist and social reformer William Beveridge
William Beveridge
William Henry Beveridge, 1st Baron Beveridge KCB was a British economist and social reformer. He is best known for his 1942 report Social Insurance and Allied Services which served as the basis for the post-World War II welfare state put in place by the Labour government elected in 1945.Lord...

. The NHS is largely funded from general taxation including National Insurance
National Insurance
National Insurance in the United Kingdom was initially a contributory system of insurance against illness and unemployment, and later also provided retirement pensions and other benefits...

 payments, and it provides most of its services free at the point of use, although there are charges for some people for eye tests, dental care, prescriptions and aspects of personal care.

The government department responsible for the NHS is the Department of Health
Department of Health (United Kingdom)
The Department of Health is a department of the United Kingdom government with responsibility for government policy for health and social care matters and for the National Health Service in England along with a few elements of the same matters which are not otherwise devolved to the Scottish,...

, headed by the Secretary of State for Health
Secretary of State for Health
Secretary of State for Health is a UK cabinet position responsible for the Department of Health.The first Boards of Health were created by Orders in Council dated 21 June, 14 November, and 21 November 1831. In 1848 a General Board of Health was created with the First Commissioner of Woods and...

, who sits in the British Cabinet
Cabinet of the United Kingdom
The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is the collective decision-making body of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, composed of the Prime Minister and some 22 Cabinet Ministers, the most senior of the government ministers....

. Most of the expenditure of the Department of Health is spent on the NHS—£98.6 billion was spent in 2008–2009. In recent years the private sector has been increasingly used to provide more NHS services despite opposition by doctors and trade unions. The average life expectancy
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

 of people in England is 77.5 years for males and 81.7 years for females, the highest of the four countries of the United Kingdom
Countries of the United Kingdom
Countries of the United Kingdom is a term used to describe England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These four countries together form the sovereign state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is also described as a country. The alternative terms, constituent...

.

Population


With over 51 million inhabitants, England is by far the most populous country of the United Kingdom, accounting for 84% of the combined total. England taken as a unit and measured against international states has the fourth largest population in the European Union and would be the 25th largest country by population in the world. With a density of 395 people per square kilometre, it would be the second most densely populated country in the European Union after Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

.

The English people
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 are a British people
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

. Some genetic evidence suggests that 75–95% descend in the paternal line from prehistoric settlers who originally came from the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

, as well as a 5% contribution from Angles
Angles
The Angles is a modern English term for a Germanic people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln, a district located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany...

 and Saxons
Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

, and a significant Norse element. However, other geneticists place the Norse-Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 estimate up to half. Over time, various cultures have been influential: Prehistoric
Prehistoric Britain
For the purposes of this article, Prehistoric Britain is that period of time between the first arrival of humans on the land mass now known as Great Britain and the start of recorded British history...

, Brythonic
Britons (historical)
The Britons were the Celtic people culturally dominating Great Britain from the Iron Age through the Early Middle Ages. They spoke the Insular Celtic language known as British or Brythonic...

, Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

, Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

, Norse
Norsemen
Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms.The meaning of Norseman was "people...

 Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

, Gaelic
Gaels
The Gaels or Goidels are speakers of one of the Goidelic Celtic languages: Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx. Goidelic speech originated in Ireland and subsequently spread to western and northern Scotland and the Isle of Man....

 cultures, as well as a large influence from Normans
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

. There is an English diaspora in former parts of the British Empire; especially the United States, Canada, Australia, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, South Africa and New Zealand. Since the late 1990s, English people have migrated
British migration to Spain
British migration to Spain has resulted in Spain being home to one of the largest British-born populations outside of the United Kingdom. Migration from the UK to Spain has increased rapidly since the late 1990s and the British population of Spain in 2006 was estimated to be about 761,000...

 to Spain.

At the time of the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

, compiled in 1086, more than 90% of the English population of about two million lived in the countryside. By 1801 the population had grown to 8.3 million, and by 1901 had grown to 30.5 million. Due in particular to the economic prosperity of South East England
South East England
South East England is one of the nine official regions of England, designated in 1994 and adopted for statistical purposes in 1999. It consists of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex...

, there are many economic migrants from the other parts of the United Kingdom. There has been significant Irish migration. The proportion of ethnically European residents totals at 87.50%, including Germans and Poles
Polish British
Polish migration to the United Kingdom describes the temporary or permanent migration of Poles to the United Kingdom . Most Polish migrants to the UK emigrated after two major events, the Polish Resettlement Act 1947 and the 2004 enlargement of the European Union...

.

Other people from much further afield in the former British colonies have arrived since the 1950s: in particular, 6.00% of people living in England have family origins in the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

, mostly India and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. 2.90% of the population are black, mostly from the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

. There is a significant number of Chinese and British Chinese
British Chinese
British Chinese , including British-born Chinese are people of Chinese ancestry who were born in, or have migrated to, the United Kingdom. They are part of the Chinese diaspora, or overseas Chinese...

. , 22% of primary school children in England were from ethnic minority
Minority group
A minority is a sociological group within a demographic. The demographic could be based on many factors from ethnicity, gender, wealth, power, etc. The term extends to numerous situations, and civilizations within history, despite the misnomer of minorities associated with a numerical statistic...

 families. About half of the population increase between 1991 and 2001 was due to immigration. Debate over immigration is politically prominent; according to a Home Office
Home Office
The Home Office is the United Kingdom government department responsible for immigration control, security, and order. As such it is responsible for the police, UK Border Agency, and the Security Service . It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as drugs,...

 poll, 80% of people want to cap it. The ONS
Office for National Statistics
The Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.- Overview :...

 has projected that the population will grow by six million between 2004 and 2029.

Language



As its name suggests, the English language, today spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world, originated as the language of England, where it remains the principal tongue today. It is an Indo-European
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 language in the Anglo-Frisian
Anglo-Frisian languages
The Anglo-Frisian languages form a group of West Germanic languages consisting of Old English, Old Frisian, and their descendants...

 branch of the Germanic
Germanic languages
The Germanic languages constitute a sub-branch of the Indo-European language family. The common ancestor of all of the languages in this branch is called Proto-Germanic , which was spoken in approximately the mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age northern Europe...

 family. After the Norman conquest
Norman conquest of England
The Norman conquest of England began on 28 September 1066 with the invasion of England by William, Duke of Normandy. William became known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, defeating King Harold II of England...

, the Old English language was displaced and confined to the lower social classes as Norman French
Norman language
Norman is a Romance language and one of the Oïl languages. Norman can be classified as one of the northern Oïl languages along with Picard and Walloon...

 and Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 were used by the aristocracy.

By the 15th century, English came back into fashion among all classes, though much changed; the Middle English
Middle English
Middle English is the stage in the history of the English language during the High and Late Middle Ages, or roughly during the four centuries between the late 11th and the late 15th century....

 form showed many signs of French influence, both in vocabulary and spelling. During the English Renaissance
English Renaissance
The English Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement in England dating from the late 15th and early 16th centuries to the early 17th century. It is associated with the pan-European Renaissance that is usually regarded as beginning in Italy in the late 14th century; like most of northern...

, many words were coined from Latin and Greek origins. Modern English
Modern English
Modern English is the form of the English language spoken since the Great Vowel Shift in England, completed in roughly 1550.Despite some differences in vocabulary, texts from the early 17th century, such as the works of William Shakespeare and the King James Bible, are considered to be in Modern...

 has extended this custom of flexibility, when it comes to incorporating words from different languages. Thanks in large part to the British Empire, the English language is the world's unofficial lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

.

English language learning and teaching
English language learning and teaching
English as a second language , English for speakers of other languages and English as a foreign language all refer to the use or study of English by speakers with different native languages. The precise usage, including the different use of the terms ESL and ESOL in different countries, is...

 is an important economic activity, and includes language schooling, tourism spending, and publishing. There is no legislation
United Kingdom legislation
United Kingdom legislation derives from a number of different sources. The United Kingdom does not have a single body of legislation, but is divided into three jurisdictions, each with its own laws and legal system: England and Wales , Scotland , and Northern Ireland .-Parliament of the United...

 mandating an official language for England, but English is the only language used for official business. Despite the country's relatively small size, there are many distinct regional accents, and individuals with particularly strong accents may not be easily understood everywhere in the country.

Cornish
Cornish language
Cornish is a Brythonic Celtic language and a recognised minority language of the United Kingdom. Along with Welsh and Breton, it is directly descended from the ancient British language spoken throughout much of Britain before the English language came to dominate...

, which died out as a community language in the 18th century, is being revived, and is now protected under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is a European treaty adopted in 1992 under the auspices of the Council of Europe to protect and promote historical regional and minority languages in Europe...

. It is spoken by 0.1% of people in Cornwall, and is taught to some degree in several primary and secondary schools. State schools teach students a second language, usually French, German or Spanish. Due to immigration, it was reported in 2007 that around 800,000 school students spoke a foreign language at home, the most common being Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

 and Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

.

Religion




Christianity is the most widely practised religion in England, as it has been since the Early Middle Ages, although it was first introduced much earlier, in Gaelic and Roman times. It continued through Early Insular Christianity
Early Insular Christianity
Early Insular Christianity is a term used to cover Christianity in Great Britain and Ireland during the post-Roman period. It splits into two strands:...

, and today about 72% of English people identify as Christians. The largest form practised in the present day is Anglicanism
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, dating from the 16th century Reformation
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

 period, with the 1536 split from Rome over Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 wanting to divorce Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

; the religion regards itself as both Catholic and Reformed.

There are High Church
High church
The term "High Church" refers to beliefs and practices of ecclesiology, liturgy and theology, generally with an emphasis on formality, and resistance to "modernization." Although used in connection with various Christian traditions, the term has traditionally been principally associated with the...

 and Low Church
Low church
Low church is a term of distinction in the Church of England or other Anglican churches initially designed to be pejorative. During the series of doctrinal and ecclesiastic challenges to the established church in the 16th and 17th centuries, commentators and others began to refer to those groups...

 traditions, and some Anglicans regard themselves as Anglo-Catholics, after the Tractarian movement. The monarch of the United Kingdom is the head of the Church, acting as its Supreme Governor
Supreme Governor of the Church of England
The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British monarchs which signifies their titular leadership over the Church of England. Although the monarch's authority over the Church of England is not strong, the position is still very relevant to the church and is mostly...

. It has the status of established church in England. There are around 26 million adherents to the Church of England and they form part of the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

 with the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

 acting as the symbolic worldwide head. Many cathedrals and parish churches are historic buildings of significant architectural importance, such as Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

, York Minster
York Minster
York Minster is a Gothic cathedral in York, England and is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe alongside Cologne Cathedral. The minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second-highest office of the Church of England, and is the cathedral for the Diocese of York; it is run by...

, Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham is a cathedral in the city of Durham, England, the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Durham. The Bishopric dates from 995, with the present cathedral being founded in AD 1093...

 and Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an Anglican cathedral in Salisbury, England, considered one of the leading examples of Early English architecture....

.


The second largest Christian practice is the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, which traces its formal, corporate history in England to the 6th century with Augustine's mission
Augustine of Canterbury
Augustine of Canterbury was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597...

 and was the main religion on the entire island for around a thousand years. Since its reintroduction after the Catholic Emancipation
Catholic Emancipation
Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in Great Britain and Ireland in the late 18th century and early 19th century which involved reducing and removing many of the restrictions on Roman Catholics which had been introduced by the Act of Uniformity, the Test Acts and the penal laws...

, the Church has organised ecclesiastically on an England and Wales basis where there are 4.5 million members (most of whom are English). There has been one Pope from England to date, Adrian IV
Pope Adrian IV
Pope Adrian IV , born Nicholas Breakspear or Breakspeare, was Pope from 1154 to 1159.Adrian IV is the only Englishman who has occupied the papal chair...

; while saints Bede
Bede
Bede , also referred to as Saint Bede or the Venerable Bede , was a monk at the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth, today part of Sunderland, England, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow , both in the Kingdom of Northumbria...

 and Anselm
Anselm of Canterbury
Anselm of Canterbury , also called of Aosta for his birthplace, and of Bec for his home monastery, was a Benedictine monk, a philosopher, and a prelate of the church who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109...

 are regarded as Doctors of the Church.

A form of Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 known as Methodism
Methodist Church of Great Britain
The Methodist Church of Great Britain is the largest Wesleyan Methodist body in the United Kingdom, with congregations across Great Britain . It is the United Kingdom's fourth largest Christian denomination, with around 300,000 members and 6,000 churches...

 is the third largest and grew out of Anglicanism through John Wesley
John Wesley
John Wesley was a Church of England cleric and Christian theologian. Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles Wesley, as founding the Methodist movement which began when he took to open-air preaching in a similar manner to George Whitefield...

. It gained popularity in the mill town
Mill town
A mill town, also known as factory town or mill village, is typically a settlement that developed around one or more mills or factories .- United Kingdom:...

s of Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

 and Yorkshire
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

, and amongst tin miners in Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

. There are other non-conformist minorities, such as Baptists, Quakers, Congregationalists
Congregational church
Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing Congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs....

, Unitarians
Unitarianism
Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being....

 and The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its thrift stores and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over a hundred countries....

.

The patron saint of England is Saint George
Saint George
Saint George was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier from Syria Palaestina and a priest in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic , Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox...

; he is represented in the national flag, as well as the Union Flag as part of a combination. There are many other English and associated saints; some of the best known include: Cuthbert
Cuthbert
- People :*Cuthbert , Anglo-Saxon saint, bishop, monk and hermit*Cuthbert of Canterbury , Archbishop of Canterbury*Cuthbert Bardsley , Anglican Bishop of Coventry*Cuthbert Brodrick , British architect...

, Alban
Saint Alban
Saint Alban was the first British Christian martyr. Along with his fellow saints Julius and Aaron, Alban is one of three martyrs remembered from Roman Britain. Alban is listed in the Church of England calendar for 22 June and he continues to be venerated in the Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox...

, Wilfrid
Wilfrid
Wilfrid was an English bishop and saint. Born a Northumbrian noble, he entered religious life as a teenager and studied at Lindisfarne, at Canterbury, in Gaul, and at Rome; he returned to Northumbria in about 660, and became the abbot of a newly founded monastery at Ripon...

, Aidan
Aidan of Lindisfarne
Known as Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, Aidan the Apostle of Northumbria , was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in England. A Christian missionary, he is credited with restoring Christianity to Northumbria. Aidan is the Anglicised form of the original Old...

, Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

, John Fisher
John Fisher
Saint John Fisher was an English Roman Catholic scholastic, bishop, cardinal and martyr. He shares his feast day with Saint Thomas More on 22 June in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints and 6 July on the Church of England calendar of saints...

, Thomas More
Thomas More
Sir Thomas More , also known by Catholics as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII of England and, for three years toward the end of his life, Lord Chancellor...

, Petroc
Saint Petroc
Saint Petroc is a 6th century Celtic Christian saint. He was born in Wales but primarily ministered to the Britons of Dumnonia which included the modern counties of Devon , Cornwall , and parts of Somerset and Dorset...

, Piran
Saint Piran
Saint Piran or Perran is an early 6th century Cornish abbot and saint, supposedly of Irish origin....

, Margaret Clitherow
Margaret Clitherow
Saint Margaret Clitherow is an English saint and martyr of the Roman Catholic Church. She is sometimes called "the Pearl of York".-Life:...

 and Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion...

. There are non-Christian religions practised. Jews have a history of a small minority on the island since 1070. They were expelled from England in 1290 following the Edict of Expulsion
Edict of Expulsion
In 1290, King Edward I issued an edict expelling all Jews from England. Lasting for the rest of the Middle Ages, it would be over 350 years until it was formally overturned in 1656...

, only to be allowed back in 1656.

Especially since the 1950s, Eastern religions from the former British colonies
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 have begun to appear, due to foreign immigration; Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 is the most common of these, accounting for around 3.1% in England. Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

 and Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 are next in number, adding up to 2% combined, introduced from India and South East Asia. Around 14.6% claim to have no religion
Irreligion
Irreligion is defined as an absence of religion or an indifference towards religion. Sometimes it may also be defined more narrowly as hostility towards religion. When characterized as hostility to religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. When characterized as...

.

Education


The Department for Education
Department for Education
The Department for Education is a department of the UK government responsible for issues affecting people in England up to the age of 19, including child protection and education....

 is the government department responsible for issues affecting people in England up to the age of 19, including education. State-run and -funded schools are attended by approximately 93% of English schoolchildren. Of these, a minority are faith school
Faith school
A faith school is a British school teaching a general curriculum but with a particular religious character or has formal links with a religious organisation. It is distinct from an institution mainly or wholly teaching religion and related subjects...

s, primarily Church of England or Catholic. Between three and four is nursery school
Nursery school
A nursery school is a school for children between the ages of one and five years, staffed by suitably qualified and other professionals who encourage and supervise educational play rather than simply providing childcare...

, 4 and 11 is primary school, and 11 to 16 is secondary school, with an option for a two-year extension to attend sixth form college
Sixth form college
A sixth form college is an educational institution in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Belize, Hong Kong or Malta where students aged 16 to 18 typically study for advanced school-level qualifications, such as A-levels, or school-level qualifications such as GCSEs. In Singapore and India, this is...

.

Although most English secondary schools are comprehensive
Comprehensive school
A comprehensive school is a state school that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. This is in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of a selection criteria. The term is commonly used in relation to the United...

, in some areas there are selective intake grammar school
Grammar school
A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and some other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching classical languages but more recently an academically-oriented secondary school.The original purpose of mediaeval...

s, to which entrance is subject to passing the eleven plus exam. Around 7.2% of English schoolchildren attend private schools
Independent school (UK)
An independent school is a school that is not financed through the taxation system by local or national government and is instead funded by private sources, predominantly in the form of tuition charges, gifts and long-term charitable endowments, and so is not subject to the conditions imposed by...

, which are funded by private sources. Standards in state schools are monitored by the Office for Standards in Education
Office for Standards in Education
The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills is the non-ministerial government department of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools In England ....

, and in private schools by the Independent Schools Inspectorate
Independent Schools Inspectorate
The Independent Schools Inspectorate is an organisation responsible for the inspection of independent schools in England which are affiliated to the Independent Schools Council . The Inspectorate is a separate company, owned by the Independent Schools Council and has its work monitored by the...

.


After finishing compulsory education, pupils take a GCSE
General Certificate of Secondary Education
The General Certificate of Secondary Education is an academic qualification awarded in a specified subject, generally taken in a number of subjects by students aged 14–16 in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is equivalent to a Level 2 and Level 1 in Key Skills...

 examination, following which they may decide to continue in further education
Further education
Further education is a term mainly used in connection with education in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is post-compulsory education , that is distinct from the education offered in universities...

 and attend a further education college. Students normally enter universities in the United Kingdom from 18 onwards, where they study for an academic degree
Academic degree
An academic degree is a position and title within a college or university that is usually awarded in recognition of the recipient having either satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study or having conducted a scholarly endeavour deemed worthy of his or her admission to the degree...

. There are over 90 universities England, all but one of which are public
Public university
A public university is a university that is predominantly funded by public means through a national or subnational government, as opposed to private universities. A national university may or may not be considered a public university, depending on regions...

. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is a ministerial department of the United Kingdom Government created on 5 June 2009 by the merger of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform .-Ministers:The BIS...

 is the government department responsible for higher education in England. Students are generally entitled to student loan
Student loan
A student loan is designed to help students pay for university tuition, books, and living expenses. It may differ from other types of loans in that the interest rate may be substantially lower and the repayment schedule may be deferred while the student is still in education...

s for maintenance. The first degree
Undergraduate degree
An undergraduate degree is a colloquial term for an academic degree taken by a person who has completed undergraduate courses. It is usually offered at an institution of higher education, such as a university...

 offered to undergraduates is the Bachelor's degree
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

, which usually takes three years to complete. Students are then eligible for a postgraduate degree, a Master's degree
Master's degree
A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

, taking one year, or a Doctorate
Doctorate
A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

 degree, which takes three.

England's universities include some of the highest-ranked universities in the world; the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

, Imperial College London
Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...

, the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 and University College London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

 are all ranked in the global top 10 in the 2010 QS World University Rankings
QS World University Rankings
The QS World University Rankings is a ranking of the world’s top 500 universities by Quacquarelli Symonds using a method that has published annually since 2004....

. The London School of Economics
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

 has been described as the world's leading social science institution for both teaching and research. The London Business School
London Business School
London Business School is an international business school and a constituent college of the federal University of London, located in central London, beside Regent's Park...

 is considered one of the world's leading business schools and in 2010 its MBA programme was ranked best in the world by the Financial Times
Financial Times
The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

. Academic degree
Academic degree
An academic degree is a position and title within a college or university that is usually awarded in recognition of the recipient having either satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study or having conducted a scholarly endeavour deemed worthy of his or her admission to the degree...

s in England are usually split into classes: first class (I), upper second class (II:1), lower second class (II:2) and third (III), and unclassified (below third class).

The King's School, Canterbury
The King's School, Canterbury
The King's School is a British co-educational independent school for both day and boarding pupils in the historic English cathedral city of Canterbury in Kent. It is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the Eton Group....

 and King's School, Rochester are the oldest schools in the English-speaking world. Many of England's better-known schools, such as Winchester College
Winchester College
Winchester College is an independent school for boys in the British public school tradition, situated in Winchester, Hampshire, the former capital of England. It has existed in its present location for over 600 years and claims the longest unbroken history of any school in England...

, Eton College
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

, St Paul's School, Rugby School
Rugby School
Rugby School is a co-educational day and boarding school located in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire, England. It is one of the oldest independent schools in Britain.-History:...

, and Harrow School
Harrow School
Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.. The school is of worldwide renown. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was...

 are fee-paying institutions.

Architecture



Many ancient standing stone
Standing stone
Standing stones, orthostats, liths, or more commonly megaliths are solitary stones set vertically in the ground and come in many different varieties....

 monuments were erected during the prehistoric period, amongst the best known are Stonehenge
Stonehenge
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about west of Amesbury and north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of a circular setting of large standing stones set within earthworks...

, Devil's Arrows
Devil's Arrows
The Devil's Arrows are three standing stones or menhirs in an alignment erected near where the A1 road now crosses the River Ure at Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire, England .-Site:...

, Rudston Monolith
Rudston Monolith
The Rudston Monolith at over is the tallest megalith in the United Kingdom. It is situated in the churchyard in the village of Rudston in the East Riding of Yorkshire....

 and Castlerigg
Castlerigg stone circle
The stone circle at Castlerigg is situated near Keswick in Cumbria, North West England...

. With the introduction of Ancient Roman architecture there was a development of basilicas, baths
Roman Baths
The Roman Baths complex is a site of historical interest in the English city of Bath. The house is a well-preserved Roman site for public bathing....

, amphitheaters, triumphal arch
Triumphal arch
A triumphal arch is a monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways, often designed to span a road. In its simplest form a triumphal arch consists of two massive piers connected by an arch, crowned with a flat entablature or attic on which a statue might be...

es, villa
Villa
A villa was originally an ancient Roman upper-class country house. Since its origins in the Roman villa, the idea and function of a villa have evolved considerably. After the fall of the Roman Republic, villas became small farming compounds, which were increasingly fortified in Late Antiquity,...

s, Roman temple
Roman temple
Ancient Roman temples are among the most visible archaeological remains of Roman culture, and are a significant source for Roman architecture. Their construction and maintenance was a major part of ancient Roman religion. The main room housed the cult image of the deity to whom the temple was...

s, Roman road
Roman road
The Roman roads were a vital part of the development of the Roman state, from about 500 BC through the expansion during the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Roman roads enabled the Romans to move armies and trade goods and to communicate. The Roman road system spanned more than 400,000 km...

s, Roman forts, stockade
Stockade
A stockade is an enclosure of palisades and tall walls made of logs placed side by side vertically with the tops sharpened to provide security.-Stockade as a security fence:...

s and aqueduct
Aqueduct
An aqueduct is a water supply or navigable channel constructed to convey water. In modern engineering, the term is used for any system of pipes, ditches, canals, tunnels, and other structures used for this purpose....

s. It was the Romans who founded the first cities and towns such as London, Bath, York, Chester and St Albans. Perhaps the best known example is Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian, it was the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain, the second being the Antonine Wall, lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident today.The...

 stretching right across northern England. Another well preserved example is the Roman Baths at Bath, Somerset.

Early Medieval architecture's
Anglo-Saxon architecture
Anglo-Saxon architecture was a period in the history of architecture in England, and parts of Wales, from the mid-5th century until the Norman Conquest of 1066. Anglo-Saxon secular buildings in Britain were generally simple, constructed mainly using timber with thatch for roofing...

 secular buildings were simple constructions mainly using timber
Timber
Timber may refer to:* Timber, a term common in the United Kingdom and Australia for wood materials * Timber, Oregon, an unincorporated community in the U.S...

 with thatch for roofing. Ecclesiastical architecture ranged from a synthesis of Hiberno—Saxon
Germanic Christianity
The Germanic people underwent gradual Christianization in the course of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. By the 8th century, England and the Frankish Empire were Christian, and by AD 1100 Germanic paganism had also ceased to have political influence in Scandinavia.-History:In the 4th...

 monasticism
Monasticism
Monasticism is a religious way of life characterized by the practice of renouncing worldly pursuits to fully devote one's self to spiritual work...

, to Early Christian
Early Christian art and architecture
Early Christian art and architecture is the art produced by Christians or under Christian patronage from about the year 100 to about the year 500. Prior to 100 there is no surviving art that can be called Christian with absolute certainty...

 basilica
Basilica
The Latin word basilica , was originally used to describe a Roman public building, usually located in the forum of a Roman town. Public basilicas began to appear in Hellenistic cities in the 2nd century BC.The term was also applied to buildings used for religious purposes...

 and architecture characterised by pilaster-strips, blank arcading, baluster shafts and triangular headed openings. After the Norman conquest in 1066 various Castles in England
Castles in England
This list of castles in England is not a list of every building and site which has the word "castle" as part of its name, but nor is it a list only of those buildings which conform to a strict definition of a castle as a medieval fortified residence. It is primarily a list, not of castles that were...

 were created so law lords could uphold their authority and in the north to protect from invasion. Some of the best known medieval castles include the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

, Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle is a medieval castle in Warwick, the county town of Warwickshire, England. It sits on a bend on the River Avon. The castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1068 within or adjacent to the Anglo-Saxon burh of Warwick. It was used as a fortification until the early 17th century,...

, Durham Castle
Durham Castle
Durham Castle is a Norman castle in the city of Durham, England, which has been wholly occupied since 1840 by University College, Durham. It is open to the general public to visit, but only through guided tours, since it is in use as a working building and is home to over 100 students...

 and Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

 amongst others.


Throughout the Plantagenet era an English Gothic architecture
English Gothic architecture
English Gothic is the name of the architectural style that flourished in England from about 1180 until about 1520.-Introduction:As with the Gothic architecture of other parts of Europe, English Gothic is defined by its pointed arches, vaulted roofs, buttresses, large windows, and spires...

 flourished—the medieval cathedrals
Architecture of the medieval cathedrals of England
The medieval cathedrals of England, dating from between approximately 1040 and 1540, are a group of twenty-six buildings which together constitute a major aspect of the country’s artistic heritage and are among the most significant material symbols of Christianity. Though diversified in style, they...

 such as Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England and forms part of a World Heritage Site....

, Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 and York Minster
York Minster
York Minster is a Gothic cathedral in York, England and is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe alongside Cologne Cathedral. The minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second-highest office of the Church of England, and is the cathedral for the Diocese of York; it is run by...

 are prime examples. Expanding on the Norman base
Norman architecture
About|Romanesque architecture, primarily English|other buildings in Normandy|Architecture of Normandy.File:Durham Cathedral. Nave by James Valentine c.1890.jpg|thumb|200px|The nave of Durham Cathedral demonstrates the characteristic round arched style, though use of shallow pointed arches above the...

 there was also castle
Castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

s, palace
Palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

s, great houses, universities
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 and parish church
Parish church
A parish church , in Christianity, is the church which acts as the religious centre of a parish, the basic administrative unit of episcopal churches....

es. Medieval architecture was completed with the 16th century Tudor style
Tudor architecture
The Tudor architectural style is the final development of medieval architecture during the Tudor period and even beyond, for conservative college patrons...

; the four-centred arch, now known as the Tudor arch
Tudor arch
A four-centred arch, also known as a depressed arch or Tudor arch, is a low, wide type of arch with a pointed apex. It is much wider than its height and gives the visual effect of having been flattened under pressure...

, was a defining feature as were wattle and daub
Wattle and daub
Wattle and daub is a composite building material used for making walls, in which a woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle is daubed with a sticky material usually made of some combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw...

 houses domestically. In the aftermath of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 a form of architecture echoing classical antiquity, synthesised with Christianity appeared—the English Baroque
English Baroque
English Baroque is a term sometimes used to refer to the developments in English architecture that were parallel to the evolution of Baroque architecture in continental Europe between the Great Fire of London and the Treaty of Utrecht ....

 style, architect Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

 was particularly championed.

Georgian architecture
Georgian architecture
Georgian architecture is the name given in most English-speaking countries to the set of architectural styles current between 1720 and 1840. It is eponymous for the first four British monarchs of the House of Hanover—George I of Great Britain, George II of Great Britain, George III of the United...

 followed in a more refined style, evoking a simple Palladian form; the Royal Crescent
Royal Crescent
The Royal Crescent is a residential road of 30 houses laid out in a crescent in the city of Bath, England. Designed by the architect John Wood the Younger and built between 1767 and 1774, it is among the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the United Kingdom and is a grade I...

 at Bath is one of the best examples of this. With the emergence of romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 during Victorian period, a Gothic Revival was launched—in addition to this around the same time the Industrial Revolution paved the way for buildings such as The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and glass building originally erected in Hyde Park, London, England, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. More than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered in the Palace's of exhibition space to display examples of the latest technology developed in...

. Since the 1930s various modernist forms have appeared whose reception is often controversial, though traditionalist resistance movements continue with support in influential places.

Folklore




English folklore developed over many centuries. Some of the characters and stories are present across England, but most belong to specific regions. Common folkloric beings include pixie
Pixie
Pixies are mythical creatures of folklore, considered to be particularly concentrated in the areas around Devon and Cornwall, suggesting some Celtic origin for the belief and name.They are usually depicted with pointed ears, and often wearing a green outfit and pointed...

s, giants
Giant (mythology)
The mythology and legends of many different cultures include monsters of human appearance but prodigious size and strength. "Giant" is the English word commonly used for such beings, derived from one of the most famed examples: the gigantes of Greek mythology.In various Indo-European mythologies,...

, elf
Elf
An elf is a being of Germanic mythology. The elves were originally thought of as a race of divine beings endowed with magical powers, which they use both for the benefit and the injury of mankind...

s, bogeymen, troll
Troll
A troll is a supernatural being in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore. In origin, the term troll was a generally negative synonym for a jötunn , a being in Norse mythology...

s, goblin
Goblin
A goblin is a legendary evil or mischievous illiterate creature, a grotesquely evil or evil-like phantom.They are attributed with various abilities, temperaments and appearances depending on the story and country of origin. In some cases, goblins have been classified as constantly annoying little...

s and dwarves. While many legends and folk-customs are thought to be ancient, for instance the tales featuring Offa of Angel
Offa of Angel
Offa was the 4th-great-grandfather of Creoda of Mercia, and was reputed to be a great-grandson of Woden, English god of war and poetry and creator of Middle-Earth, the realm of man. Offa was the son of Wermund, and the father of Angeltheow...

 and Wayland the Smith, others date from after the Norman invasion; Robin Hood
Robin Hood
Robin Hood was a heroic outlaw in English folklore. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor", assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men". Traditionally, Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes....

 and his Merry Men
Merry Men
The Merry Men are the group of outlaws who followed Robin Hood, according to English folklore. An early use of the phrase "merry men" occurs in the oldest known Robin Hood ballad, "Robin Hood and the Monk", which survives in a manuscript completed around 1450. The word "merry" in this and other...

 of Sherwood
Sherwood Forest
Sherwood Forest is a Royal Forest in Nottinghamshire, England, that is famous through its historical association with the legend of Robin Hood. Continuously forested since the end of the Ice Age, Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve today encompasses 423 hectares surrounding the village of...

 and their battles with the Sheriff of Nottingham
Sheriff of Nottingham
The Sheriff of Nottingham was historically the office responsible for enforcing law and order in Nottingham and bringing criminals to justice. For years the post has been directly appointed by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham and in modern times, with the existence of the police force, the position is...

 being, perhaps, the best known.

During the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

 tales originating from Brythonic traditions entered English folklore—the Arthurian myth. These were derived from Anglo-Norman
Anglo-Norman
The Anglo-Normans were mainly the descendants of the Normans who ruled England following the Norman conquest by William the Conqueror in 1066. A small number of Normans were already settled in England prior to the conquest...

, French and Welsh sources, featuring King Arthur
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

, Camelot
Camelot
Camelot is a castle and court associated with the legendary King Arthur. Absent in the early Arthurian material, Camelot first appeared in 12th-century French romances and eventually came to be described as the fantastic capital of Arthur's realm and a symbol of the Arthurian world...

, Excalibur
Excalibur
Excalibur is the legendary sword of King Arthur, sometimes attributed with magical powers or associated with the rightful sovereignty of Great Britain. Sometimes Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone are said to be the same weapon, but in most versions they are considered separate. The sword was...

, Merlin
Merlin
Merlin is a legendary figure best known as the wizard featured in the Arthurian legend. The standard depiction of the character first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written c. 1136, and is based on an amalgamation of previous historical and legendary figures...

 and the Knights of the Round Table such as Lancelot
Lancelot
Sir Lancelot du Lac is one of the Knights of the Round Table in the Arthurian legend. He is the most trusted of King Arthur's knights and plays a part in many of Arthur's victories...

. These stories are most centrally brought together within Geoffrey of Monmouth
Geoffrey of Monmouth
Geoffrey of Monmouth was a cleric and one of the major figures in the development of British historiography and the popularity of tales of King Arthur...

's Historia Regum Britanniae
Historia Regum Britanniae
The Historia Regum Britanniae is a pseudohistorical account of British history, written c. 1136 by Geoffrey of Monmouth. It chronicles the lives of the kings of the Britons in a chronological narrative spanning a time of two thousand years, beginning with the Trojans founding the British nation...

. Another early figure from British tradition, King Cole
King Cole
King Cole is a figure of British folklore.King Cole may also refer to:*"Old King Cole", nursery rhyme* Old King Cole , a 1933 Disney cartoon about Old King Cole*King Cole , Major League Baseball pitcher...

, may have been based on a real figure from Sub-Roman Britain. Many of the tales and pseudo-histories
Pseudohistory
Pseudohistory is a pejorative term applied to a type of historical revisionism, often involving sensational claims whose acceptance would require rewriting a significant amount of commonly accepted history, and based on methods that depart from standard historiographical conventions.Cryptohistory...

 make up part of the wider Matter of Britain
Matter of Britain
The Matter of Britain is a name given collectively to the body of literature and legendary material associated with Great Britain and its legendary kings, particularly King Arthur...

, a collection of shared British folklore.
Some folk figures are based on semi or actual historical people whose story has been passed down centuries; Lady Godiva
Lady Godiva
Godiva , often referred to as Lady Godiva , was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry in order to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants...

 for instance was said to have ridden naked on horseback through Coventry
Coventry
Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the county of West Midlands in England. Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 11th largest in the United Kingdom. It is also the second largest city in the English Midlands, after Birmingham, with a population of 300,848, although...

, Hereward the Wake
Hereward the Wake
Hereward the Wake , known in his own times as Hereward the Outlaw or Hereward the Exile, was an 11th-century leader of local resistance to the Norman conquest of England....

 was a heroic English figure resisting the Norman invasion, Herne the Hunter
Herne the Hunter
In English folklore, Herne the Hunter is a ghost associated with Windsor Forest and Great Park in the English county of Berkshire. His appearance is notable in the fact that he has antlers upon his head....

 is an equestrian
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 ghost
Ghost
In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living. Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to...

 associated with Windsor
Windsor, Berkshire
Windsor is an affluent suburban town and unparished area in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England. It is widely known as the site of Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the British Royal Family....

 Forest and Great Park
Windsor Great Park
Windsor Great Park is a large deer park of , to the south of the town of Windsor on the border of Berkshire and Surrey in England. The park was, for many centuries, the private hunting ground of Windsor Castle and dates primarily from the mid-13th century...

 and Mother Shipton is the archetypal witch. On 5 November people make bonfires, set off fireworks
Fireworks
Fireworks are a class of explosive pyrotechnic devices used for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event is a display of the effects produced by firework devices...

 and eat toffee apples in commemoration
Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in England. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding...

 of the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot
Gunpowder Plot
The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in earlier centuries often called the Gunpowder Treason Plot or the Jesuit Treason, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.The plan was to blow up the House of...

 centred around Guy Fawkes
Guy Fawkes
Guy Fawkes , also known as Guido Fawkes, the name he adopted while fighting for the Spanish in the Low Countries, belonged to a group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.Fawkes was born and educated in York...

. The chivalrous bandit, such as Dick Turpin
Dick Turpin
Richard "Dick" Turpin was an English highwayman whose exploits were romanticised following his execution in York for horse theft. Turpin may have followed his father's profession as a butcher early in life, but by the early 1730s he had joined a gang of deer thieves, and later became a poacher,...

, is a recurring character, while Blackbeard
Blackbeard
Edward Teach , better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies....

 is the archetypal pirate. There are various national and regional folk activities, participated in to this day, such as Morris dancing, Maypole dancing
Maypole dance
Maypole dancing is a form of folk dance from western Europe, especially England, Basque Country, Sweden, Galicia, Portugal and Germany,- History :...

, Rapper sword
Rapper sword
Rapper sword is a kind of sword dance associated with the North-East of England.-History:The rapper sword tradition was traditionally performed in the mining villages of the Northumberland and Durham coalfield in North East England, especially in Tyneside...

 in the North East, Long Sword dance
Long Sword dance
right|YorkshireThe Long Sword dance is a hilt-and-point sword dance recorded mainly in Yorkshire, England. It is related to the rapper sword dance of Northumbria, but the character is fundamentally different as it uses rigid metal or wooden swords, rather than the flexible spring steel rappers used...

 in Yorkshire, Mummers Play
Mummers Play
Mummers Plays are seasonal folk plays performed by troupes of actors known as mummers or guisers , originally from England , but later in other parts of the world...

s, bottle-kicking
Bottle-kicking
Bottle-kicking is an old Leicestershire custom that takes place in the village of Hallaton each Easter Monday. Records of bottle-kicking date to the late 18th century, but the custom is thought to originate much earlier, from before the Christian era....

 in Leicestershire, and cheese-rolling
Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake
The Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an annual event held on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper's Hill, near Gloucester in the Cotswolds region of England. It is traditionally by and for the people who live in the local village of Brockworth, but now people from all over the world take...

 at Cooper's Hill
Brockworth, Gloucestershire
Brockworth, in Gloucestershire, England is situated on the old Roman road that connects the City of Gloucester with Barnwood, Hucclecote and Cirencester. For the past 150 years Brockworth has been known locally for the annual rolling of Double Gloucester cheese down Cooper's Hill...

. There is no official national costume, but a few are well established such as the Pearly Kings and Queens
Pearly Kings and Queens
Pearly Kings and Queens, known as pearlies, are an organised charitable tradition of working class culture in London, England.The practice of wearing clothes decorated with pearl buttons originated in the 19th century. It is first associated with Henry Croft, an orphan street sweeper who collected...

 associated with cockneys, the Royal Guard
Queen's Guard
The Queen's Guard and Queen's Life Guard are the names given to contingents of infantry and cavalry soldiers charged with guarding the official royal residences in London...

, the Morris costume
Morris dance
Morris dance is a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers. Implements such as sticks, swords, handkerchiefs and bells may also be wielded by the dancers...

 and Beefeaters.

Cuisine




Since the Early Modern Period
Early modern period
In history, the early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the Middle Ages through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions...

 the food of England has historically been characterised by its simplicity of approach and a reliance on the high quality of natural produce. During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and through the Renaissance period, English cuisine enjoyed an excellent reputation, though a decline began during the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 with the move away from the land and increasing urbanisation of the populace. The French sometimes referred to English people as les rosbifs, as a stereotype to suggest that English food is unsophisticated or crude. The cuisine of England has, however, recently undergone a revival, which has been recognised by the food critics with some good ratings in Restaurant
Restaurant (magazine)
Restaurant is a British magazine aimed at chefs, restaurant proprietors and other catering professionals that concentrates on the fine dining end of the industry. It produces an annual list of what it considers to be the best 50 restaurants, based on the votes of 600 "chefs, restaurateurs, critics...

s best restaurant in the world charts. An early book of English recipes is the Forme of Cury
Forme of Cury
The Forme of Cury is an extensive recipe collection of the 14th century whose author is given as "the chief Master Cooks of King Richard II". The modern name was given to it by Samuel Pegge, who published an edition of it in 1791. This name has since come into usage for almost all versions of the...

 from the royal court of Richard II
Richard II of England
Richard II was King of England, a member of the House of Plantagenet and the last of its main-line kings. He ruled from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399. Richard was a son of Edward, the Black Prince, and was born during the reign of his grandfather, Edward III...

.


Traditional examples of English food include the Sunday roast
Sunday roast
The Sunday roast is a traditional British main meal served on Sundays , consisting of roasted meat, roast potato or mashed potato, with accompaniments such as Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, vegetables and gravy....

, featuring a roasted joint
Roasting
Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting usually causes caramelization or Maillard browning of the surface of the food, which is considered by some as a flavor enhancement. Roasting uses more indirect, diffused heat , and is...

, usually beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

, lamb or chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

, served with assorted boiled vegetables, Yorkshire pudding
Yorkshire pudding
Yorkshire Pudding is a dish that originated in Yorkshire, England. It is made from batter and usually served with roast meat and gravy.-History:...

 and gravy
Gravy
Gravy is a sauce made often from the juices that run naturally from meat or vegetables during cooking. In North America the term can refer to a wider variety of sauces and gravy is often thicker than in Britain...

. Other prominent meals include fish and chips
Fish and chips
Fish and chips is a popular take-away food in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada...

 and the full English breakfast
Full breakfast
A full breakfast is a meal that consists of several courses, traditionally a starter , a main course, tea with milk, toast and marmalade or other preserves. Many variations are possible....

—consisting of bacon
Bacon
Bacon is a cured meat prepared from a pig. It is first cured using large quantities of salt, either in a brine or in a dry packing; the result is fresh bacon . Fresh bacon may then be further dried for weeks or months in cold air, boiled, or smoked. Fresh and dried bacon must be cooked before eating...

, grilled tomatoes, fried bread, black pudding, baked beans
Baked beans
Baked beans is a dish containing beans, sometimes baked but, despite the name, usually stewed, in a sauce. Most commercial canned baked beans are made from haricot beans, also known as navy beans – a variety of Phaseolus vulgaris – in a sauce. In Ireland and the United Kingdom, a tomato...

, fried mushrooms, sausages and eggs. Various meat pie
Meat pie
A meat pie is a savoury pie with a filling of meat and other savoury ingredients. Principally popular in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, meat pies differ from a pasty in the sense that a pasty is typically a more portable, on-the-go item, as opposed to a more conventional pie.-History:The...

s are consumed such as steak and kidney pie
Steak and kidney pie
Steak and kidney pie is a savoury pie that is filled principally with a mixture of diced beef, diced kidney , fried onion, and brown gravy...

, cottage pie
Cottage pie
Cottage pie or shepherd's pie is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato.The term cottage pie is known to have been in use in 1791, when the potato was being introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor Cottage pie or shepherd's pie is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato.The term...

, Cornish pasty
Pasty
A pasty , sometimes known as a pastie or British pasty in the United States, is a filled pastry case, associated in particular with Cornwall in Great Britain. It is made by placing the uncooked filling on a flat pastry circle, and folding it to wrap the filling, crimping the edge at the side or top...

 and pork pie
Pork pie
A pork pie is a traditional British meat pie. It consists of roughly chopped pork and pork jelly sealed in a hot water crust pastry . It is normally eaten cold as a snack or as part of a meal.-Types:...

, the last of which is eaten cold.

Sausages are commonly eaten, either as bangers and mash
Bangers and mash
Bangers and mash, also known as sausages and mash, is a traditional English dish made of mashed potatoes and sausages, the latter of which may be one of a variety of flavoured sausage made of pork or beef or a Cumberland sausage....

 or toad in the hole
Toad in the hole
Toad in the hole is a traditional English dish consisting of sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter, usually served with vegetables and onion gravy....

. Lancashire hotpot
Lancashire Hotpot
Lancashire hotpot is a dish made traditionally from lamb or mutton and onion, topped with sliced potatoes, left to bake in the oven all day in a heavy pot and on a low heat. Originating in the days of heavy industrialisation in Lancashire in the North West of England, it requires a minimum of...

 is a well known stew. Some of the most popular cheese
Cheese
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....

s are Cheddar
Cheddar cheese
Cheddar cheese is a relatively hard, yellow to off-white, and sometimes sharp-tasting cheese, produced in several countries around the world. It has its origins in the English village of Cheddar in Somerset....

 and Wensleydale
Wensleydale (cheese)
Wensleydale cheese is a cheese produced in the town of Hawes in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, England.-Varieties:There are five main types:...

. Many Anglo-Indian
Anglo-Indian
Anglo-Indians are people who have mixed Indian and British ancestry, or people of British descent born or living in India, now mainly historical in the latter sense. British residents in India used the term "Eurasians" for people of mixed European and Indian descent...

 hybrid dishes, curries, have been created such as chicken tikka masala
Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken tikka masala is a curry dish of roasted chicken chunks in a spicy sauce. The sauce is usually creamy, spiced and orange-coloured...

 and balti
Balti (food)
A Balti is a British-style type of curry cooked and served up in a thin, pressed steel wok-like pan. It is served in many restaurants in the United Kingdom...

. Sweet English dishes include apple pie
Apple pie
An apple pie is a fruit pie in which the principal filling ingredient is apples. It is sometimes served with whipped cream or ice cream on top...

, mince pie
Mince pie
A mince pie, also known as minced pie, is a small British sweet pie traditionally served during the Christmas season. Its ingredients are traceable to the 13th century, when returning European crusaders brought with them Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits and spices.The early mince...

s, spotted dick
Spotted dick
Spotted dick is a British steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit commonly served with custard. Spotted refers to the dried fruit and dick may be a contraction or corruption of the word pudding or possibly a corruption of the word dough or dog, as "spotted dog" is another name for the same...

, scones, Eccles cake
Eccles cake
An Eccles cake is a small, round cake filled with currants and made from flaky pastry with butter and can sometimes be topped with demerara sugar.-Name and origin:Eccles cakes are named after the English town of Eccles...

s, custard
Custard
Custard is a variety of culinary preparations based on a cooked mixture of milk or cream and egg yolk. Depending on how much egg or thickener is used, custard may vary in consistency from a thin pouring sauce , to a thick pastry cream used to fill éclairs. The most common custards are used as...

 and sticky toffee pudding
Sticky toffee pudding
Sticky toffee pudding is a British steamed dessert consisting of a very moist sponge cake, made with finely chopped dates or prunes, covered in a toffee sauce and often served with a vanilla custard or vanilla ice-cream...

. Common drinks include tea, whose popularity was increased by Catherine of Braganza
Catherine of Braganza
Catherine of Braganza was a Portuguese infanta and queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the wife of King Charles II.She married the king in 1662...

, while alcoholic drinks include wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

s, cider
Cider
Cider or cyder is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from apple juice. Cider varies in alcohol content from 2% abv to 8.5% abv or more in traditional English ciders. In some regions, such as Germany and America, cider may be termed "apple wine"...

s and English beer
English beer
English beer has a long history and traditions that are distinct from most other beer brewing countries.Beer was the first alcoholic drink to be produced in England, and has been brewed continuously since prehistoric times...

s such as bitter
Bitter (beer)
Bitter is an English term for pale ale. Bitters vary in colour from gold to dark amber and in strength from 3% to 7% alcohol by volume.-Brief history:...

, mild
Mild ale
Mild ale is a low-gravity beer, or beer with a predominantly malty palate, that originated in Britain in the 17th century or earlier. Modern mild ales are mainly dark coloured with an abv of 3% to 3.6%, though there are lighter hued examples, as well as stronger examples reaching 6% abv and...

, stout
Stout
Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or barley, hops, water and yeast. Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters, typically 7% or 8%, produced by a brewery....

, and brown ale
Brown ale
Brown ale is a style of beer with a dark amber or brown colour. The term was first used by London brewers in the late 17th century to describe their products, such as mild ale, though the term had a rather different meaning than it does today...

.

Visual arts




The earliest known examples are the prehistoric rock and cave art pieces, most prominent in North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan or shire county located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and a ceremonial county primarily in that region but partly in North East England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 it covers an area of , making it the largest...

, Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

 and Cumbria
Cumbria
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...

, but also feature further south, for example at Creswell Crags
Creswell Crags
Creswell Crags is a limestone gorge on the border between Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, England near the villages of Creswell, Whitwell and Elmton...

. With the arrival of Roman culture in the 1st century, various forms of art utilising statues, busts, glasswork and mosaics were the norm. There are numerous surviving artefacts, such as those at Lullingstone
Lullingstone Roman villa
Lullingstone Roman Villa is a villa built during the Roman occupation of Britain, situated near the village of Eynsford in Kent, south eastern England....

 and Aldborough
Isurium Brigantum
Isurium Brigantum was a town in the Roman province of Britannia. Today it is known as Aldborough, in North Yorkshire, England.-Possible Roman fort:...

. During the Early Middle Ages the style was sculpted crosses and ivories, manuscript painting, gold and enamel jewellery, demonstrating a love of intricate, interwoven designs such as in the Staffordshire Hoard
Staffordshire Hoard
The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork . Discovered in a field near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, in Staffordshire, England on 5 July 2009, it consists of some 3,500 items that are nearly all martial in character...

 discovered in 2009. Some of these blended Gaelic and Anglian
Insular art
Insular art, also known as Hiberno-Saxon art, is the style of art produced in the post-Roman history of Ireland and Great Britain. The term derives from insula, the Latin term for "island"; in this period Britain and Ireland shared a largely common style different from that of the rest of Europe...

 styles, such as the Lindisfarne Gospels
Lindisfarne Gospels
The Lindisfarne Gospels is an illuminated Latin manuscript of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the British Library...

 and Vespasian Psalter
Vespasian Psalter
The Vespasian Psalter is an Anglo-Saxon illuminated Psalter produced in the second or third quarter of the 8th century. It contains an interlinear gloss in Old English which is the oldest extant English translation of any portion of the Bible. It was produced in southern England, perhaps in St...

. Later Gothic art
Gothic art
Gothic art was a Medieval art movement that developed in France out of Romanesque art in the mid-12th century, led by the concurrent development of Gothic architecture. It spread to all of Western Europe, but took over art more completely north of the Alps, never quite effacing more classical...

 was popular at Winchester and Canterbury, examples survive such as Benedictional of St. Æthelwold
Benedictional of St. Æthelwold
The Benedictional of St. Æthelwold is a 10th century illuminated benedictional, the most important surviving work of the Anglo-Saxon Winchester School of illumination...

 and Luttrell Psalter
Luttrell Psalter
The Luttrell Psalter is an illuminated manuscript written and illustrated circa 1320 – 1340 by anonymous scribes and artists...

.

The Tudor era saw prominent artists
Artists of the Tudor court
The artists of the Tudor court are the painters and limners engaged by the monarchs of England's Tudor dynasty and their courtiers between 1485 and 1603, from the reign of Henry VII to the death of Elizabeth I....

 as part of their court, portrait painting which would remain an enduring part of English art, was boosted by German Hans Holbein
Hans Holbein the Younger
Hans Holbein the Younger was a German artist and printmaker who worked in a Northern Renaissance style. He is best known as one of the greatest portraitists of the 16th century. He also produced religious art, satire and Reformation propaganda, and made a significant contribution to the history...

, natives such as Nicholas Hilliard
Nicholas Hilliard
Nicholas Hilliard was an English goldsmith and limner best known for his portrait miniatures of members of the courts of Elizabeth I and James I of England. He mostly painted small oval miniatures, but also some larger cabinet miniatures, up to about ten inches tall, and at least two famous...

 built on this. Under the Stuarts, Continental artists were influential especially the Flemish, examples from the period include—Anthony van Dyck
Anthony van Dyck
Sir Anthony van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next...

, Peter Lely
Peter Lely
Sir Peter Lely was a painter of Dutch origin, whose career was nearly all spent in England, where he became the dominant portrait painter to the court.-Life:...

, Godfrey Kneller
Godfrey Kneller
Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1st Baronet was the leading portrait painter in England during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and was court painter to British monarchs from Charles II to George I...

 and William Dobson
William Dobson
William Dobson was a portraitist and one of the first notable English painters, praised by his contemporary John Aubrey as "the most excellent painter that England has yet bred"....

. The 18th century was a time of significance with the founding of the Royal Academy
Royal Academy
The Royal Academy of Arts is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly, London. The Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and...

, a classicism
Classicism
Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint...

 based on the High Renaissance prevailed—Thomas Gainsborough
Thomas Gainsborough
Thomas Gainsborough was an English portrait and landscape painter.-Suffolk:Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk. He was the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver and maker of woolen goods. At the age of thirteen he impressed his father with his penciling skills so that he let...

 and Joshua Reynolds
Joshua Reynolds
Sir Joshua Reynolds RA FRS FRSA was an influential 18th-century English painter, specialising in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect. He was one of the founders and first President of the Royal Academy...

 became two of England's most treasured artists.

The Norwich School continued the landscape tradition, while the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of English painters, poets, and critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti...

 with their vivid and detailed style revived the Early Renaissance style—Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, and was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement,...

 and John Everett Millais
John Everett Millais
Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Baronet, PRA was an English painter and illustrator and one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.-Early life:...

 were leaders. Prominent amongst 20th century artists was Henry Moore
Henry Moore
Henry Spencer Moore OM CH FBA was an English sculptor and artist. He was best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art....

, regarded as the voice of British sculpture, and of British modernism in general. Contemporary painters include Lucian Freud
Lucian Freud
Lucian Michael Freud, OM, CH was a British painter. Known chiefly for his thickly impasted portrait and figure paintings, he was widely considered the pre-eminent British artist of his time...

, whose work Benefits Supervisor Sleeping
Benefits Supervisor Sleeping
Benefits Supervisor Sleeping is a 1995 painting by Lucian Freud depicting an obese, naked woman. It is a portrait of Sue Tilley, weighted 127 kg, a Job Centre supervisor...

 in 2008 set a world record for sale value of a painting by a living artist.

Literature, poetry and philosophy




Early authors such as Bede
Bede
Bede , also referred to as Saint Bede or the Venerable Bede , was a monk at the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth, today part of Sunderland, England, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow , both in the Kingdom of Northumbria...

 and Alcuin
Alcuin
Alcuin of York or Ealhwine, nicknamed Albinus or Flaccus was an English scholar, ecclesiastic, poet and teacher from York, Northumbria. He was born around 735 and became the student of Archbishop Ecgbert at York...

 wrote in Latin. The period of Old English literature provided the epic poem Beowulf
Beowulf
Beowulf , but modern scholars agree in naming it after the hero whose life is its subject." of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature.It survives in a single...

 and the secular prose of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of annals in Old English chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons. The original manuscript of the Chronicle was created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Alfred the Great...

, along with Christian writings such as Judith
Judith (poem)
The Old English poem "Judith" describes the beheading of Assyrian general Holofernes by Israelite Judith of Bethulia. Various other versions of the Holofernes-Judith tale exist. These include the Book of Judith, still present in the Roman Catholic Bible, and Abbot Ælfric's homily of the tale...

, Cædmon's
Cædmon
Cædmon is the earliest English poet whose name is known. An Anglo-Saxon who cared for the animals and was attached to the double monastery of Streonæshalch during the abbacy of St. Hilda , he was originally ignorant of "the art of song" but learned to compose one night in the course of a dream,...

 Hymn
Cædmon
Cædmon is the earliest English poet whose name is known. An Anglo-Saxon who cared for the animals and was attached to the double monastery of Streonæshalch during the abbacy of St. Hilda , he was originally ignorant of "the art of song" but learned to compose one night in the course of a dream,...

 and hagiographies
Hagiography
Hagiography is the study of saints.From the Greek and , it refers literally to writings on the subject of such holy people, and specifically to the biographies of saints and ecclesiastical leaders. The term hagiology, the study of hagiography, is also current in English, though less common...

. Following the Norman conquest Latin
Latin literature
Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings of the ancient Romans. In many ways, it seems to be a continuation of Greek literature, using many of the same forms...

 continued amongst the educated classes, as well as an Anglo-Norman literature
Anglo-Norman literature
Anglo-Norman literature is literature composed in the Anglo-Norman language developed during the period 1066–1204 when the Duchy of Normandy and England were united in the Anglo-Norman realm.-Introduction:...

.

Middle English literature
Middle English literature
The term Middle English literature refers to the literature written in the form of the English language known as Middle English, from the 12th century until the 1470s, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, became widespread and the printing press regularized the language...

 emerged with Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer , known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to have been buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey...

, author of The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at...

, along with Gower
John Gower
John Gower was an English poet, a contemporary of William Langland and a personal friend of Geoffrey Chaucer. He is remembered primarily for three major works, the Mirroir de l'Omme, Vox Clamantis, and Confessio Amantis, three long poems written in French, Latin, and English respectively, which...

, the Pearl Poet
Pearl Poet
The "Pearl Poet", or the "Gawain Poet", is the name given to the author of Pearl, an alliterative poem written in 14th-century Middle English. Its author appears also to have written the poems Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Patience, and Cleanness; some scholars suggest the author may also have...

 and Langland
William Langland
William Langland is the conjectured author of the 14th-century English dream-vision Piers Plowman.- Life :The attribution of Piers to Langland rests principally on the evidence of a manuscript held at Trinity College, Dublin...

. William of Ockham
William of Ockham
William of Ockham was an English Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher, who is believed to have been born in Ockham, a small village in Surrey. He is considered to be one of the major figures of medieval thought and was at the centre of the major intellectual and political controversies of...

 and Roger Bacon
Roger Bacon
Roger Bacon, O.F.M. , also known as Doctor Mirabilis , was an English philosopher and Franciscan friar who placed considerable emphasis on the study of nature through empirical methods...

, who were Franciscans, were major philosophers of the Middle Ages. Julian of Norwich
Julian of Norwich
Julian of Norwich is regarded as one of the most important English mystics. She is venerated in the Anglican and Lutheran churches, but has never been canonized, or officially beatified, by the Catholic Church, probably because so little is known of her life aside from her writings, including the...

, who wrote Revelations of Divine Love
Revelations of Divine Love
The Revelations of Divine Love is a book of Christian mystical devotions written by Julian of Norwich. It is believed to be the first published book in the English language to be written by a woman. At the age of thirty, 13 May 1373, Julian was struck with a serious illness...

, was a prominent Christian mystic. With the English Renaissance
English Renaissance
The English Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement in England dating from the late 15th and early 16th centuries to the early 17th century. It is associated with the pan-European Renaissance that is usually regarded as beginning in Italy in the late 14th century; like most of northern...

 literature in the Early Modern English
Early Modern English
Early Modern English is the stage of the English language used from about the end of the Middle English period to 1650. Thus, the first edition of the King James Bible and the works of William Shakespeare both belong to the late phase of Early Modern English...

 style appeared. William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, whose works include Hamlet
Hamlet
The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601...

, Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.Romeo and Juliet belongs to a...

, Macbeth
Macbeth
The Tragedy of Macbeth is a play by William Shakespeare about a regicide and its aftermath. It is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy and is believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607...

, and A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play that was written by William Shakespeare. It is believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta...

, remains one of the most championed authors in English literature.

Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May...

, Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognised as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, and one of the greatest poets in the English...

, Philip Sydney, Thomas Kyd
Thomas Kyd
Thomas Kyd was an English dramatist, the author of The Spanish Tragedy, and one of the most important figures in the development of Elizabethan drama....

, John Donne
John Donne
John Donne 31 March 1631), English poet, satirist, lawyer, and priest, is now considered the preeminent representative of the metaphysical poets. His works are notable for their strong and sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs,...

, and Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Benjamin Jonson was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, he is best known for his satirical plays, particularly Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair, which are considered his best, and his lyric poems...

 are other established authors of the Elizabethan age
Elizabethan literature
The term Elizabethan literature refers to the English literature produced during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I .The Elizabethan era saw a great flourishing of literature, especially in the field of drama...

. Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and pioneer of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England...

 and Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

 wrote on empiricism
Empiricism
Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily via sensory experience. One of several views of epistemology, the study of human knowledge, along with rationalism, idealism and historicism, empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence,...

 and materialism
Materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

, including scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 and social contract
Social contract
The social contract is an intellectual device intended to explain the appropriate relationship between individuals and their governments. Social contract arguments assert that individuals unite into political societies by a process of mutual consent, agreeing to abide by common rules and accept...

. Filmer
Robert Filmer
thumbnail|150px|right|Robert Filmer Sir Robert Filmer was an English political theorist who defended the divine right of kings...

 wrote on the Divine Right of Kings
Divine Right of Kings
The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

. Marvell
Andrew Marvell
Andrew Marvell was an English metaphysical poet, Parliamentarian, and the son of a Church of England clergyman . As a metaphysical poet, he is associated with John Donne and George Herbert...

 was the best known poet of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

, while John Milton
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

 authored Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books, with a total of over ten thousand individual lines of verse...

 during the Restoration
Restoration literature
Restoration literature is the English literature written during the historical period commonly referred to as the English Restoration , which corresponds to the last years of the direct Stuart reign in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland...

.

Some of the most prominent philosophers of the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 were John Locke
John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

, Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine
Thomas "Tom" Paine was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States...

, Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson , often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer...

 and Jeremy Bentham
Jeremy Bentham
Jeremy Bentham was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism...

. More radical elements were later countered by Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party....

 who is regarded as the founder of conservatism. The poet Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson...

 with his satirical verse became well regarded. The English played a significant role in romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla...

, Lord Byron, John Keats
John Keats
John Keats was an English Romantic poet. Along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, he was one of the key figures in the second generation of the Romantic movement, despite the fact that his work had been in publication for only four years before his death.Although his poems were not...

, Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus . She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley...

, Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language. Shelley was famous for his association with John Keats and Lord Byron...

, William Blake
William Blake
William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age...

 and William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads....

 were major figures.

In response to the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, agrarian writers sought a way between liberty
Liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

 and tradition
Tradition
A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes , but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings...

; William Cobbett
William Cobbett
William Cobbett was an English pamphleteer, farmer and journalist, who was born in Farnham, Surrey. He believed that reforming Parliament and abolishing the rotten boroughs would help to end the poverty of farm labourers, and he attacked the borough-mongers, sinecurists and "tax-eaters" relentlessly...

, G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

 and Hilaire Belloc
Hilaire Belloc
Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc was an Anglo-French writer and historian who became a naturalised British subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters and political activist...

 were main exponents, while the founder of guild socialism
Guild socialism
Guild socialism is a political movement advocating workers' control of industry through the medium of trade-related guilds. It originated in the United Kingdom and was at its most influential in the first quarter of the 20th century. It was strongly associated with G. D. H...

, Arthur Penty
Arthur Penty
Arthur Joseph Penty was a British architect, and writer on Guild socialism and distributism. He was first a Fabian socialist, and follower of Victorian thinkers William Morris and John Ruskin...

, and cooperative movement advocate G. D. H. Cole
G. D. H. Cole
George Douglas Howard Cole was an English political theorist, economist, writer and historian. As a libertarian socialist he was a long-time member of the Fabian Society and an advocate for the cooperative movement...

 are somewhat related. Empiricism continued through John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher, economist and civil servant. An influential contributor to social theory, political theory, and political economy, his conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control. He was a proponent of...

 and Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things...

, while Bernard Williams
Bernard Williams
Sir Bernard Arthur Owen Williams was an English moral philosopher, described by The Times as the most brilliant and most important British moral philosopher of his time. His publications include Problems of the Self , Moral Luck , Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy , and Truth and Truthfulness...

 was involved in analytics
Analytics
Analytics is the application of computer technology, operational research, and statistics to solve problems in business and industry. Analytics is carried out within an information system: while, in the past, statistics and mathematics could be studied without computers and software, analytics has...

. Authors from around the Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 include Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

, the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen
Jane Austen
Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.Austen lived...

, George Eliot
George Eliot
Mary Anne Evans , better known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, journalist and translator, and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era...

, Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature...

, Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, OM was an English novelist and poet. While his works typically belong to the Naturalism movement, several poems display elements of the previous Romantic and Enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural.While he regarded himself primarily as a...

, H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

, Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson , better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll , was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems "The Hunting of the...

 and Evelyn Underhill
Evelyn Underhill
Evelyn Underhill was an English Anglo-Catholic writer and pacifist known for her numerous works on religion and spiritual practice, in particular Christian mysticism....

. Since then England has continued to produce novelists such as C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...

, George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

, D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence
David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation...

, Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf
Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century....

, Enid Blyton
Enid Blyton
Enid Blyton was an English children's writer also known as Mary Pollock.Noted for numerous series of books based on recurring characters and designed for different age groups,her books have enjoyed huge success in many parts of the world, and have sold over 600 million copies.One of Blyton's most...

, Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel...

, Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie
Dame Agatha Christie DBE was a British crime writer of novels, short stories, and plays. She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best remembered for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections , and her successful West End plays.According to...

, Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett
Sir Terence David John "Terry" Pratchett, OBE is an English novelist, known for his frequently comical work in the fantasy genre. He is best known for his popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels...

, J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

, and J. K. Rowling
J. K. Rowling
Joanne "Jo" Rowling, OBE , better known as J. K. Rowling, is the British author of the Harry Potter fantasy series...

.

Performing arts


The traditional folk music of England
Folk music of England
Folk music of England refers to various types of traditionally based music, often contrasted with courtly, classical and later commercial music, for which evidence exists from the later medieval period. It has been preserved and transmitted orally, through print and later through recordings...

 is centuries old and has contributed to several genres prominently; mostly sea shanties
Sea Shanties
Sea Shanties is the debut album of Progressive Rock band High Tide. The cover artwork was drawn by Paul Whitehead.-Production:Denny Gerrard produced Sea Shanties in return for High Tide acting as the backing band on his solo album Sinister Morning...

, jig
Jig
The Jig is a form of lively folk dance, as well as the accompanying dance tune, originating in England in the 16th century and today most associated with Irish dance music and Scottish country dance music...

s, hornpipe
Hornpipe
The term hornpipe refers to any of several dance forms played and danced in Britain and elsewhere from the late 17th century until the present day. It is said that hornpipe as a dance began around the 16th century on English sailing vessels...

s and dance music
Dance music
Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement...

. It has its own distinct variations and regional peculiarities. Wynkyn de Worde
Wynkyn de Worde
Wynkyn de Worde was a printer and publisher in London known for his work with William Caxton, and is recognized as the first to popularize the products of the printing press in England....

 printed ballads of Robin Hood from the 16th century are an important artefact, as are John Playford
John Playford
John Playford was a London bookseller, publisher, minor composer, and member of the Stationers' Company, who published books on music theory, instruction books for several instruments, and psalters with tunes for singing in churches...

's The Dancing Master
The Dancing Master
The Dancing Master is a dancing manual containing the music and instructions for English Country Dances. It was published in several editions by John Playford and his successors from 1651 until c1728...

 and Robert Harley's Roxburghe Ballads
Roxburghe Ballads
In 1847 John Payne Collier printed "A Book of Roxburghe Ballads". It consisted of 1,341 broadside ballads from the seventeenth century, mostly English, originally collected by Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Mortimer , later collected by John Ker, 3rd Duke of Roxburghe.Unfortunately Collier...

 collections. Some of the best known songs are The Good Old Way, Pastime with Good Company
Pastime with Good Company
"Pastime with Good Company", also known as "The King's Ballad" , is an English folk song written by King Henry VIII in the first years of the 16th century, shortly after being crowned. It is regarded as the most famous of his compositions, and it became a popular song in England and other European...

, Maggie May
Maggie May (traditional song)
"Maggie May" is a traditional Liverpool folk song about a prostitute who robbed a sailor. It has been the informal anthem of the city of Liverpool for about 180 years....

 and Spanish Ladies
Spanish Ladies
Spanish Ladies is a traditional English naval song, describing a voyage from Spain to the Downs from the viewpoint of ratings of the British Royal Navy.- Origins :...

 amongst others. Many nursery rhymes are of English origin such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" is a popular English nursery rhyme. The lyrics are from an early nineteenth-century English poem, "The Star" by Jane Taylor. The poem, which is in couplet form, was first published in 1806 in Rhymes for the Nursery, a collection of poems by Taylor and her sister Ann...

, Roses are red
Roses are red
"Roses are red" can refer to a specific poem, or a class of doggerel poems inspired by that poem. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19798. It is most commonly used as a love poem.The most common modern form of the poem is:...

, Jack and Jill
Jack and Jill (song)
"Jack and Jill" is a classic nursery rhyme in the English speaking world. The origin of the rhyme is obscure and there are several theories that attempt to interpret the lyrics. The rhyme is known to date back to at least the 18th century. The song is sometimes titled "Jack and Gill", particularly...

, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush is a 1967 British film made based on the novel of the same name by Hunter Davies. It was listed to compete at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival, but the festival was cancelled due to the events of May 1968 in France....

 and Humpty Dumpty
Humpty Dumpty
Humpty Dumpty is a character in an English language nursery rhyme, probably originally a riddle and one of the best known in the English-speaking world. He is typically portrayed as an egg and has appeared or been referred to in a large number of works of literature and popular culture...

.

Early English composers in classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 include Renaissance artists Thomas Tallis
Thomas Tallis
Thomas Tallis was an English composer. Tallis flourished as a church musician in 16th century Tudor England. He occupies a primary place in anthologies of English church music, and is considered among the best of England's early composers. He is honoured for his original voice in English...

 and William Byrd
William Byrd
William Byrd was an English composer of the Renaissance. He wrote in many of the forms current in England at the time, including various types of sacred and secular polyphony, keyboard and consort music.-Provenance:Knowledge of Byrd's biography expanded in the late 20th century, thanks largely...

, followed up by Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell – 21 November 1695), was an English organist and Baroque composer of secular and sacred music. Although Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music...

 from the Baroque period
Baroque music
Baroque music describes a style of Western Classical music approximately extending from 1600 to 1760. This era follows the Renaissance and was followed in turn by the Classical era...

. German-born George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music...

 became a British subject and spent most of his composing life in London, creating some of the most well-known works of classical music, The Messiah
Messiah
A messiah is a redeemer figure expected or foretold in one form or another by a religion. Slightly more widely, a messiah is any redeemer figure. Messianic beliefs or theories generally relate to eschatological improvement of the state of humanity or the world, in other words the World to...

, Water Music
Water Music (Handel)
The Water Music is a collection of orchestral movements, often considered three suites, composed by George Frideric Handel. It premiered on 17 July 1717 after King George I had requested a concert on the River Thames...

, and Music for the Royal Fireworks. There was a revival in the profile of composers from England in the 20th century led by Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten
Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to...

, Frederick Delius
Frederick Delius
Frederick Theodore Albert Delius, CH was an English composer. Born in the north of England to a prosperous mercantile family of German extraction, he resisted attempts to recruit him to commerce...

, Edward Elgar
Edward Elgar
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet OM, GCVO was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos...

, Gustav Holst
Gustav Holst
Gustav Theodore Holst was an English composer. He is most famous for his orchestral suite The Planets....

, Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...

 and others. Present-day composers from England include Michael Nyman
Michael Nyman
Michael Laurence Nyman, CBE is an English composer of minimalist music, pianist, librettist and musicologist, known for the many film scores he wrote during his lengthy collaboration with the filmmaker Peter Greenaway, and his multi-platinum soundtrack album to Jane Campion's The Piano...

, best known for The Piano
The Piano
The Piano is a 1993 New Zealand drama film about a mute pianist and her daughter, set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier backwater on the west coast of New Zealand. The film was written and directed by Jane Campion, and stars Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, and Anna Paquin...

.

In the field of popular music
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

 many English bands and solo artists have been cited as the most influential and best-selling musicians of all time. Acts such as The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

, Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham...

, Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

, Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

, Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

, Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart
Roderick David "Rod" Stewart, CBE is a British singer-songwriter and musician, born and raised in North London, England and currently residing in Epping. He is of Scottish and English ancestry....

 and The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

 are among the highest selling recording artists in the world. Many musical genres have origins or strong associations with England, such as British invasion
British Invasion
The British Invasion is a term used to describe the large number of rock and roll, beat, rock, and pop performers from the United Kingdom who became popular in the United States during the time period from 1964 through 1966.- Background :...

, hard rock
Hard rock
Hard rock is a loosely defined genre of rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock...

, glam rock
Glam rock
Glam rock is a style of rock and pop music that developed in the UK in the early 1970s, which was performed by singers and musicians who wore outrageous clothes, makeup and hairstyles, particularly platform-soled boots and glitter...

, heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

, mod, britpop
Britpop
Britpop is a subgenre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom. Britpop emerged from the British independent music scene of the early 1990s and was characterised by bands influenced by British guitar pop music of the 1960s and 1970s...

, drum and bass
Drum and bass
Drum and bass is a type of electronic music which emerged in the late 1980s. The genre is characterized by fast breakbeats , with heavy bass and sub-bass lines...

, progressive rock
Progressive rock
Progressive rock is a subgenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a "mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility." John Covach, in Contemporary Music Review, says that many thought it would not just "succeed the pop of...

, punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

, indie rock
Indie rock
Indie rock is a genre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1980s. Indie rock is extremely diverse, with sub-genres that include lo-fi, post-rock, math rock, indie pop, dream pop, noise rock, space rock, sadcore, riot grrrl and emo, among others...

, gothic rock
Gothic rock
Gothic rock is a musical subgenre of post-punk and alternative rock that formed during the late 1970s. Gothic rock bands grew from the strong ties they had to the English punk rock and emerging post-punk scenes...

, shoegazing
Shoegazing
Shoegazing is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged from the United Kingdom in the late 1980s. It lasted there until the mid 1990s, with a critical zenith reached in 1990 and 1991...

, acid house
Acid house
Acid house is a sub-genre of house music that emphasizes a repetitive, hypnotic and trance-like style, often with samples or spoken lines rather than sung lyrics. Acid house's core electronic squelch sounds were developed around the mid-1980s, particularly by DJs from Chicago who experimented with...

, UK garage
UK garage
UK garage is a genre of electronic dance music originating from the United Kingdom in the early-1990s. UK garage is a descendant of house music which originated in Chicago and New York, United States. UK garage usually features a distinctive syncopated 4/4 percussive rhythm with 'shuffling'...

, trip hop
Trip hop
Trip hop is a music genre consisting of downtempo electronic music which originated in the early 1990s in England, especially Bristol. Deriving from "post"-acid house, the term was first used by the British music media and press as a way to describe the more experimental variant of breakbeat which...

 and dubstep
Dubstep
Dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in south London, England. Its overall sound has been described as "tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals"....

.

Large outdoor music festivals in the summer and autumn are popular, such as Glastonbury
Glastonbury Festival
The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury or even Glasto, is a performing arts festival that takes place near Pilton, Somerset, England, best known for its contemporary music, but also for dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts.The...

, V Festival
V Festival
The V Festival is an annual music festival held in England during the penultimate weekend in August. The event is held at two parks simultaneously which share the same bill; artists perform at one location on Saturday and then swap on Sunday. The sites are located at Hylands Park in Chelmsford and...

, Reading and Leeds Festivals
Reading and Leeds Festivals
The Reading and Leeds Festivals are a pair of annual music festivals that take place in Reading and Leeds in England. The events take place simultaneously on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend, sharing the same bill. The Reading Festival is held at Little John's Farm...

. The most prominent opera house
Opera house
An opera house is a theatre building used for opera performances that consists of a stage, an orchestra pit, audience seating, and backstage facilities for costumes and set building...

 in England is the Royal Opera House
Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The...

 at Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin's Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as...

. The Proms
The Proms
The Proms, more formally known as The BBC Proms, or The Henry Wood Promenade Concerts presented by the BBC, is an eight-week summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and other events held annually, predominantly in the Royal Albert Hall in London...

, a season of orchestral classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 concerts held at the Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall situated on the northern edge of the South Kensington area, in the City of Westminster, London, England, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941....

, is a major cultural event held annually. The Royal Ballet is one of the world's foremost classical ballet companies, its reputation built on two prominent figures of 20th century dance, prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn
Margot Fonteyn
Dame Margot Fonteyn de Arias, DBE , was an English ballerina of the 20th century. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of all time...

 and choreographer Frederick Ashton
Frederick Ashton
Sir Frederick William Mallandaine Ashton OM, CH, CBE was a leading international dancer and choreographer. He is most noted as the founder choreographer of The Royal Ballet in London, but also worked as a director and choreographer of opera, film and theatre revues.-Early life:Ashton was born at...

.

Museums, libraries, and galleries




English Heritage
English Heritage
English Heritage . is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport...

 is a governmental body with a broad remit of managing the historic sites, artefacts and environments of England. It is currently sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is a department of the United Kingdom government, with responsibility for culture and sport in England, and some aspects of the media throughout the whole UK, such as broadcasting and internet....

. The charity National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as the National Trust, is a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

 holds a contrasting role. 17 of the 25 United Kingdom UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

s fall within England. Some of the best known of these include; Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian, it was the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain, the second being the Antonine Wall, lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident today.The...

, Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Wiltshire, England. The WHS covers two large areas of land separated by nearly , rather than a specific monument or building. The sites were inscribed as co-listings in 1986....

, Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

, Jurassic Coast
Jurassic Coast
The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site on the English Channel coast of southern England. The site stretches from Orcombe Point near Exmouth in East Devon to Old Harry Rocks near Swanage in East Dorset, a distance of ....

, Saltaire
Saltaire
Saltaire is a Victorian model village within the City of Bradford Metropolitan District, West Yorkshire, England, by the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal...

, Ironbridge Gorge
Ironbridge Gorge
The Ironbridge Gorge is a deep gorge formed by the River Severn in Shropshire, England.Originally called the Severn Gorge, the gorge now takes its name from its famous Iron Bridge, the first iron bridge of its kind in the world, and a monument to the industry that began there...

, Studley Royal Park
Studley Royal Park
Studley Royal Park is a park containing, and developed around, the ruins of the Cistercian Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire, England. It is a World Heritage Site. The site also contains features dating from the eighteenth century such as Studley Royal Water Garden.-Origins:The Fountains Abbey was...

 and various others.

There are many museums in England, but the most notable is London's British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

. Its collection of more than seven million objects is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world, sourced from every continent, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginning to the present. The British Library
British Library
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom, and is the world's largest library in terms of total number of items. The library is a major research library, holding over 150 million items from every country in the world, in virtually all known languages and in many formats,...

 in London is the national library
National library
A national library is a library specifically established by the government of a country to serve as the preeminent repository of information for that country. Unlike public libraries, these rarely allow citizens to borrow books...

 and is one of the world's largest research libraries, holding over 150 million items in all known languages and formats; including around 25 million books. The most senior art gallery is the National Gallery
National gallery
The National Gallery is an art gallery on Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom.National Gallery may also refer to:*Armenia: National Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan*Australia:**National Gallery of Australia, Canberra...

 in Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, England, United Kingdom. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of...

, which houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The Tate
Tate
-Places:*Tate, Georgia, a town in the United States*Tate County, Mississippi, a county in the United States*Táté, the Hungarian name for Totoi village, Sântimbru Commune, Alba County, Romania*Tate, Filipino word for States...

 galleries house the national collections of British and international modern art; they also host the famously controversial Turner Prize
Turner Prize
The Turner Prize, named after the painter J. M. W. Turner, is an annual prize presented to a British visual artist under the age of 50. Awarding the prize is organised by the Tate gallery and staged at Tate Britain. Since its beginnings in 1984 it has become the United Kingdom's most publicised...

.

Sports


England has a strong sporting heritage, and during the 19th century codified many sports that are now played around the world. Sports originating in England include association football, cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

, rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

, rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

, tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

, badminton
Badminton
Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players or two opposing pairs , who take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court that is divided by a net. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquet so that it passes over the net and lands in their...

, squash
Squash (sport)
Squash is a high-speed racquet sport played by two players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball...

, rounders
Rounders
Rounders is a game played between two teams of either gender. The game originated in England where it was played in Tudor times. Rounders is a striking and fielding team game that involves hitting a small, hard, leather-cased ball with a round wooden, plastic or metal bat. The players score by...

, hockey
Hockey
Hockey is a family of sports in which two teams play against each other by trying to maneuver a ball or a puck into the opponent's goal using a hockey stick.-Etymology:...

, boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

, snooker
Snooker
Snooker is a cue sport that is played on a green baize-covered table with pockets in each of the four corners and in the middle of each of the long side cushions. A regular table is . It is played using a cue and snooker balls: one white , 15 worth one point each, and six balls of different :...

, billiards
Billiards
Cue sports , also known as billiard sports, are a wide variety of games of skill generally played with a cue stick which is used to strike billiard balls, moving them around a cloth-covered billiards table bounded by rubber .Historically, the umbrella term was billiards...

, darts
Darts
Darts is a form of throwing game where darts are thrown at a circular target fixed to a wall. Though various boards and games have been used in the past, the term "darts" usually now refers to a standardised game involving a specific board design and set of rules...

, table tennis
Table tennis
Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight, hollow ball back and forth using table tennis rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net...

, bowls
Bowls
Bowls is a sport in which the objective is to roll slightly asymmetric balls so that they stop close to a smaller "jack" or "kitty". It is played on a pitch which may be flat or convex or uneven...

, netball
Netball
Netball is a ball sport played between two teams of seven players. Its development, derived from early versions of basketball, began in England in the 1890s. By 1960 international playing rules had been standardised for the game, and the International Federation of Netball and Women's Basketball ...

, thoroughbred horseracing
Thoroughbred
The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed...

 and fox hunting
Fox hunting
Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking, chase, and sometimes killing of a fox, traditionally a red fox, by trained foxhounds or other scent hounds, and a group of followers led by a master of foxhounds, who follow the hounds on foot or on horseback.Fox hunting originated in its current...

. It has helped the development of sailing
Sailing
Sailing is the propulsion of a vehicle and the control of its movement with large foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to move the boat relative to its surrounding medium and...

 and Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

. Football is the most popular of these sports. The England national football team
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

, whose home venue is Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium
The original Wembley Stadium, officially known as the Empire Stadium, was a football stadium in Wembley, a suburb of north-west London, standing on the site now occupied by the new Wembley Stadium that opened in 2007...

, won the 1966 FIFA World Cup
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

, the year the country hosted the competition.

At club level England is recognised by FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

 as the birth-place of club football, due to Sheffield FC
Sheffield F.C.
Sheffield Football Club is an English football club from Sheffield, South Yorkshire. The club is most noted for the fact that they are the world's oldest club now playing Association football, founded in 1857...

 founded in 1857 being the oldest club. The Football Association
The Football Association
The Football Association, also known as simply The FA, is the governing body of football in England, and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. It was formed in 1863, and is the oldest national football association...

 is the oldest of its kind, FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

 and The Football League
The Football League
The Football League, also known as the npower Football League for sponsorship reasons, is a league competition featuring professional association football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888, it is the oldest such competition in world football...

 were the first cup and league competitions respectively. In the modern day the Premier League is the world's most lucrative football league and amongst the elite. The European Cup
European Champion Clubs' Cup
The European Champion Clubs' Cup, also known as Coupe des Clubs Champions Européens, or simply the European Cup, is a trophy awarded annually by UEFA to the football club that wins the UEFA Champions League...

 has been won by Liverpool
Liverpool F.C.
Liverpool Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside. Liverpool has won eighteen League titles, second most in English football, seven FA Cups and a record seven League Cups...

, Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

, Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest F.C.
Nottingham Forest Football Club is an English Association Football club based in West Bridgford, Nottingham, that plays in the Football League Championship...

 and Aston Villa
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Witton, Birmingham. The club was founded in 1874 and have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were founder members of The Football League in 1888. They were also founder...

, while Arsenal
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

, Chelsea
Chelsea F.C.
Chelsea Football Club are an English football club based in West London. Founded in 1905, they play in the Premier League and have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football. Chelsea have been English champions four times, FA Cup winners six times and League Cup winners four...

 and Leeds United
Leeds United A.F.C.
Leeds United Association Football Club are an English professional association football club based in Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, who play in the Football League Championship, the second tier of the English football league system...

 have reached the final.
Cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 is generally thought to have been developed in the early medieval period among the farming and metalworking communities of the Weald
Weald
The Weald is the name given to an area in South East England situated between the parallel chalk escarpments of the North and the South Downs. It should be regarded as three separate parts: the sandstone "High Weald" in the centre; the clay "Low Weald" periphery; and the Greensand Ridge which...

. The England cricket team is a composite England and Wales team. One of the game's top rivalries is The Ashes
The Ashes
The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. It is one of the most celebrated rivalries in international cricket and dates back to 1882. It is currently played biennially, alternately in the United Kingdom and Australia. Cricket being a summer sport, and the venues...

 series between England and Australia, contested since 1882. The finale of the 2009 Ashes
2009 Ashes series
The 2009 Ashes series was that year's edition of the long-standing and storied cricket rivalry between England and Australia, and was part of the Australian cricket tour of England in 2009. Starting on 8 July 2009, England and Australia played five Tests, with England winning the series 2–1...

 was watched by nearly 2 million people, although the climax of the 2005 Ashes
2005 Ashes series
The 2005 Ashes series was that year's edition of the long-standing and storied cricket rivalry between England and Australia. Starting on 21 July 2005, England and Australia played five Tests, with the Ashes held by Australia as the most recent victors...

 was viewed by 7.4 million as it was available on terrestrial television. England are the current holders of the trophy and are ranked 1st in Test
Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

 and 4th in One Day International cricket.

England has hosted four Cricket World Cup
Cricket World Cup
The ICC Cricket World Cup is the premier international championship of men's One Day International cricket. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council , with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament which is held every four years...

s (1975, 1979, 1983, 1999) and the ICC World Twenty20
ICC World Twenty20
The ICC World Twenty20 or ICC World T20 also referred to as the T20 World Cup is the international championship of Twenty20 cricket. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council...

 in 2009
2009 ICC World Twenty20
The 2009 ICC World Twenty20 was an international Twenty20 cricket tournament which took place in England in June 2009. It was the second ICC World Twenty20 tournament, following the inaugural event in South Africa in September 2007...

. There are several domestic level competitions, including the County Championship
County Championship
The County Championship is the domestic first-class cricket competition in England and Wales...

 in which Yorkshire
Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Yorkshire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Yorkshire as one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure....

 are by far the most successful club having won the competition 31 times. Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord's Cricket Ground is a cricket venue in St John's Wood, London. Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club and is the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board , the European Cricket Council and, until August 2005, the...

 situated in London is sometimes referred to as the "Mecca of Cricket". William Penny Brookes
William Penny Brookes
Dr. William Penny Brookes was an English surgeon, magistrate, botanist, and educationalist especially known for his promotion of physical education and personal betterment...

 was prominent in organising the format for the modern Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

. London hosted the Summer Olympic Games
Summer Olympic Games
The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad are an international multi-sport event, occurring every four years, organized by the International Olympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that...

 in 1908
1908 Summer Olympics
The 1908 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the IV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in 1908 in London, England, United Kingdom. These games were originally scheduled to be held in Rome. At the time they were the fifth modern Olympic games...

 and 1948
1948 Summer Olympics
The 1948 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in London, England, United Kingdom. After a 12-year hiatus because of World War II, these were the first Summer Olympics since the 1936 Games in Berlin...

, and will host them again in 2012
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

. England competes in the Commonwealth Games
Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years....

, held every four years. Sport England
Sport England
Sport England is the brand name for the English Sports Council and is a non-departmental public body under the Department for Culture, Media and Sport...

 is the governing body responsible for distributing funds and providing strategic guidance for sporting activity in England. A Grand Prix
British Grand Prix
The British Grand Prix is a race in the calendar of the FIA Formula One World Championship. It is currently held at the Silverstone Circuit near the village of Silverstone in Northamptonshire...

 is held at Silverstone
Silverstone Circuit
Silverstone Circuit is an English motor racing circuit next to the Northamptonshire villages of Silverstone and Whittlebury. The circuit straddles the Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire border, with the current main circuit entry on the Buckinghamshire side...

.


The England rugby union team
England national rugby union team
The England national rugby union team represents England in rugby union. They compete in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Wales. They have won this championship on 26 occasions, 12 times winning the Grand Slam, making them the most successful team in...

 won the 2003 Rugby World Cup
2003 Rugby World Cup
The 2003 Rugby World Cup was the fifth Rugby World Cup and was won by England. Originally planned to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, all games were shifted to Australia following a contractual dispute over ground signage rights between the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and Rugby World...

, the country was one of the host nations of the competition in the 1991 Rugby World Cup
1991 Rugby World Cup
The 1991 Rugby World Cup was the second edition of the Rugby World Cup, and was jointly hosted by England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France; at that time, the five European countries that participated in the Five Nations Championship making it the first Rugby World Cup to be staged in the...

 and is set to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup
2015 Rugby World Cup
The 2015 Rugby World Cup is scheduled to be the eighth Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial rugby union world championship. The tournament is scheduled to be hosted by England from 4 September to 17 October 2015. In addition, Cardiff's 74,500-seater Millennium Stadium in Wales will also be used...

. The top level of club participation is the English Premiership
Guinness Premiership
The English Premiership, also currently known as the Aviva Premiership because of the league's sponsorship by Aviva, is a professional league competition for rugby union football clubs in the top division of the English rugby system. There are twelve clubs in the Premiership...

. Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers is an English rugby union club that plays in the Aviva Premiership.Leicester are the most successful English club since the introduction of league rugby in 1987, a record 9 times English champions - 3 more than either Bath or Wasps, the last of which was in 2010...

, London Wasps
London Wasps
London Wasps is an English professional rugby union team. The men's first team, which forms London Wasps, was derived from Wasps Football Club who were formed in 1867 at the now defunct Eton and Middlesex Tavern in North London, at the turn of professionalism in 1999...

, Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby is an English professional rugby union club that is based in the city of Bath. They play in the Aviva Premiership league...

 and Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints are a professional rugby union club from Northampton, England. The Northampton Saints were formed in 1880. They play in green, black and gold colours. They play their home games at Franklin's Gardens, which has a capacity of 13,591....

 have had success in the Europe-wide Heineken Cup
Heineken Cup
The Heineken Cup is one of two annual rugby union competitions organised by European Rugby Cup involving leading club, regional and provincial teams from the six International Rugby Board countries in Europe whose national teams compete in the Six Nations Championship: England, France, Ireland,...

. In another form of the sport—rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

 which was born in Huddersfield
Huddersfield
Huddersfield is a large market town within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, in West Yorkshire, England, situated halfway between Leeds and Manchester. It lies north of London, and south of Bradford, the nearest city....

 in 1895, the England national rugby league team
England national rugby league team
The England national rugby league team represent England in international rugby league football tournaments. The team has now seen a revival, having largely formed from the Great Britain team, who also represented Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The team is run under the auspices of the Rugby Football...

 are ranked third in the world and first in Europe.

Since 2008 England has been a full test nation in lieu of the Great Britain national rugby league team
Great Britain national rugby league team
The Great Britain national rugby league team represents the United Kingdom in rugby league football. Administered by the Rugby Football League , the team is nicknamed "The Lions" or "Great Britain Lions"....

, which won three World Cups
Rugby League World Cup
The Rugby League World Cup is an international rugby league competition contested by members of the Rugby League International Federation . It has been held nearly once every 4 years on average since its inaugural tournament in France in 1954...

 but is now retired. Club sides play in Super League
Super League
Super League is the top-level professional rugby league football club competition in Europe. As a result of sponsorship from engage Mutual Assurance the competition is currently officially known as the engage Super League. The League features fourteen teams: thirteen from England and one from...

, the present-day embodiment of the Rugby Football League Championship. Some of the most successful clubs include Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors is an English rugby league club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester. The club's first team squad competes in the engage Super League and the team are the current Challenge Cup holders as of the 27th August 2011....

, St Helens, Leeds Rhinos
Leeds Rhinos
Leeds Rhinos is an English professional rugby league football club based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. The club won the 2011 Super League and became the most successful club in the Super League era, beating St Helens 32-16 on 8th October 2011. Formed in 1890, Leeds competes in Europe's Super League...

 and Huddersfield Giants
Huddersfield Giants
Huddersfield Giants are a professional rugby league club from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire who play in the European Super League competition. They play their home games at the Galpharm Stadium which is shared with Huddersfield Town F.C....

; the former three have all won the World Club Challenge
World Club Challenge
The World Club Challenge is an annual rugby league football match held between the champions of the Australasian National Rugby League and the European Super League competitions to determine the world's best rugby league club...

 previously. The United Kingdom is to host the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. In tennis, the Wimbledon Championships
The Championships, Wimbledon
The Championships, Wimbledon, or simply Wimbledon , is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, considered by many to be the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London since 1877. It is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the other three Majors...

 are the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is widely considered the most prestigious.

National symbols


The St George's Cross has been the national flag of England
Flag of England
The Flag of England is the St George's Cross . The red cross appeared as an emblem of England during the Middle Ages and the Crusades and is one of the earliest known emblems representing England...

 since the 13th century. Originally the flag was used by the maritime Republic of Genoa
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

. The English monarch paid a tribute to the Doge of Genoa
Doge of Genoa
The Republic of Genoa, in what is now northern Italy, was technically a communal republic in the early Middle Ages, although it was actually an oligarchy ruled by a small group of merchant families, from whom were selected the Doges of Genoa.- History :...

 from 1190 onwards, so that English ships could fly the flag as a means of protection when entering the Mediterranean.
A red cross was a symbol for many Crusaders
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 in the 12th and 13th centuries. It became associated with Saint George
Saint George
Saint George was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier from Syria Palaestina and a priest in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic , Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox...

, along with countries and cities, which claimed him as their patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

 and used his cross as a banner. Since 1606 the St George's Cross has formed part of the design of the Union Flag
Union Flag
The Union Flag, also known as the Union Jack, is the flag of the United Kingdom. It retains an official or semi-official status in some Commonwealth Realms; for example, it is known as the Royal Union Flag in Canada. It is also used as an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas...

, a Pan-British flag designed by King James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

.

There are numerous other symbols and symbolic artefacts, both official and unofficial, including the Tudor rose
Tudor rose
The Tudor Rose is the traditional floral heraldic emblem of England and takes its name and origins from the Tudor dynasty.-Origins:...

, the nation's floral emblem
National emblem
A national emblem symbolically represents a nation. Most national emblems originate in the natural world, such as animals or birds, but another object may serve. National emblems may appear on many things such as the national flag, coat of arms, or other patriotic materials...

, the White Dragon
Dragon
A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...

, and the Three Lions featured on the Royal Arms of England. The Tudor rose was adopted as a national emblem of England around the time of the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

 as a symbol of peace. It is a syncretic symbol in that it merged the white rose of the Yorkists
House of York
The House of York was a branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet, three members of which became English kings in the late 15th century. The House of York was descended in the paternal line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but also represented...

 and the red rose of the Lancastrians
House of Lancaster
The House of Lancaster was a branch of the royal House of Plantagenet. It was one of the opposing factions involved in the Wars of the Roses, an intermittent civil war which affected England and Wales during the 15th century...

—cadet branches of the Plantagenets
House of Plantagenet
The House of Plantagenet , a branch of the Angevins, was a royal house founded by Geoffrey V of Anjou, father of Henry II of England. Plantagenet kings first ruled the Kingdom of England in the 12th century. Their paternal ancestors originated in the French province of Gâtinais and gained the...

 who went to war over control of the nation. It is also known as the Rose of England. The oak tree
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

 is a symbol of England, representing strength and endurance. The term Royal Oak
Royal Oak
The Royal Oak is the English oak tree within which King Charles II of England hid to escape the Roundheads following the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The tree was located in Boscobel Wood, which was part of the park of Boscobel House. Charles confirmed to Samuel Pepys in 1680 that while he was...

 alludes to the escape of King Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 from the grasp of the parliamentarians after his father's execution: he hid in an oak tree to avoid detection before safely reaching exile.

The Royal Arms of England, a national coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 featuring three lions, originated with its adoption by Richard the Lionheart in 1198. It is blazon
Blazon
In heraldry and heraldic vexillology, a blazon is a formal description of a coat of arms, flag or similar emblem, from which the reader can reconstruct the appropriate image...

ed as gules, three lions passant guardant or and it provides one of the most prominent symbols of England; it is similar to the traditional arms of Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

. England does not have an official designated national anthem, as the United Kingdom as a whole has God Save the Queen
God Save the Queen
"God Save the Queen" is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns...

. However, the following are often considered unofficial English national anthems:
Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory
Land of Hope and Glory
"Land of Hope and Glory" is a British patriotic song, with music by Edward Elgar and lyrics by A. C. Benson, written in 1902.- Composition :...

 (used for England during the 2002 Commonwealth Games
2002 Commonwealth Games
The 2002 Commonwealth Games were held in Manchester, England from 25 July to 4 August 2002. The XVII Commonwealth Games was the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in the UK, eclipsing London's 1948 Summer Olympics in numbers of teams and athletes participating.After the 1996 Manchester...

), and I Vow to Thee, My Country
I Vow to Thee, My Country
I Vow to Thee, My Country is a British patriotic song created in 1921 when a poem by Sir Cecil Spring-Rice was set to music by Gustav Holst.-History:...

. England's National Day
National Day
The National Day is a designated date on which celebrations mark the nationhood of a nation or non-sovereign country. This nationhood can be symbolized by the date of independence, of becoming republic or a significant date for a patron saint or a ruler . Often the day is not called "National Day"...

 is 23 April which is St George's Day
St George's Day
St George's Day is celebrated by the several nations, kingdoms, countries, and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint. St George's Day is celebrated on 23 April, the traditionally accepted date of Saint George's death in AD 303...

: St George is the patron saint of England.

See also


External links