Portal:England
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Portal:England

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Flag of England
Royal Standard of England
Location of England within the United Kingdom.

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Paleolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century and has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century. The English language, the Anglican Church, and English law--the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world--developed in England, and the country's parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation.

England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the north (for example, the Lake District and Pennines) and in the west (for example, Dartmoor and the Shropshire Hills). The capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and, prior to Brexit, the European Union. England's population of 56.3 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom, largely concentrated around London, the South East, and conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, and Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century.

The Kingdom of England - which after 1535 included Wales - ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland (through another Act of Union) to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. (Full article...)

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Battle scene with many figures. A knight astride a charger and wielding a lance unhorses another knight. Two unhorsed knights battle. Infantry advances from the right, led by a man with raised sword. Bodies litter the ground.
Battle of Bosworth, as depicted by Philip James de Loutherbourg (1740-1812)

The Battle of Bosworth or Bosworth Field was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the Houses of Lancaster and York that extended across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by an alliance of Lancastrians and disaffected Yorkists. Their leader Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, became the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty by his victory and subsequent marriage to a Yorkist princess. His opponent Richard III, the last king of the House of York, was killed during the battle, the last English monarch to die in combat. Historians consider Bosworth Field to mark the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, making it one of the defining moments of English history.

Richard's reign began in 1483 when he seized the throne from his twelve-year-old nephew Edward V. The boy and his younger brother Richard soon disappeared, to the consternation of many, and Richard's support was further eroded by unfounded rumours of his involvement in the death of his wife. Across the English Channel Henry Tudor, a descendant of the greatly diminished House of Lancaster, seized on Richard's difficulties and laid claim to the throne. Henry's first attempt to invade England in 1483 foundered in a storm, but his second arrived unopposed on 7 August 1485 on the southwest coast of Wales. Marching inland, Henry gathered support as he made for London. Richard hurriedly mustered his troops and intercepted Henry's army near Ambion Hill, south of the town of Market Bosworth in Leicestershire. Lord Stanley and Sir William Stanley also brought a force to the battlefield, but held back while they decided which side it would be most advantageous to support, initially lending only four knights to Henry's cause, these were; Sir Robert Tunstall, Sir John Savage (nephew of Lord Stanley), Sir Hugh Persall and Sir Humphrey Stanley. Sir John Savage was placed in command of the left flank of Henry's army. (Full article...)

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Florence Nightingale, c. 1860

Florence Nightingale (; 12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910) was an English social reformer, statistician and the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organised care for wounded soldiers at Constantinople. She gave nursing a favourable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture, especially in the persona of "The Lady with the Lamp" making rounds of wounded soldiers at night.

Recent commentators have asserted that Nightingale's Crimean War achievements were exaggerated by the media at the time, but critics agree on the importance of her later work in professionalising nursing roles for women. In 1860, she laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas' Hospital in London. It was the first secular nursing school in the world, and is now part of King's College London. In recognition of her pioneering work in nursing, the Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses, and the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve, were named in her honour, and the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated on her birthday. Her social reforms included improving healthcare for all sections of British society, advocating better hunger relief in India, helping to abolish prostitution laws that were harsh for women, and expanding the acceptable forms of female participation in the workforce. (Full article...)

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The English Reformation took place in 16th-century England when the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These events were, in part, associated with the wider European Protestant Reformation, a religious and political movement that affected the practice of Christianity in western and central Europe. Causes included the invention of the printing press, increased circulation of the Bible and the transmission of new knowledge and ideas among scholars, the upper and middle classes and readers in general. The phases of the English Reformation, which also covered Wales and Ireland, were largely driven by changes in government policy, to which public opinion gradually accommodated itself.

Based on Henry VIII's desire for an annulment of his marriage (first requested of Pope Clement VII in 1527), the English Reformation began as more of a political affair than a theological dispute. The reality of political differences between Rome and England allowed growing theological disputes to come to the fore. Until the break with Rome, the Pope and general councils of the church decided doctrine. Church law was governed by canon law with final jurisdiction in Rome. Church taxes were paid straight to Rome and the Pope had the final word in the appointment of bishops. (Full article...)

Did you know?

  • ...that the HMS Queen (1902) was fitted with Babcock and Wilcox cylindrical boilers due to service problems with the water service boilers?
  • ...that the Charter Roll is the administrative record created by the medieval office of the chancery that recorded all the charters issued by the chancery?
  • ...that Canterbury in eastern Kent was abandoned at the end of the Roman period, but was resettled by the Saxons?
  • ...that English singer-songwriter Robbie Williams has sold more albums in the United Kingdom than any other British solo artist in history?

In the news

In the news


21 September 2021 - 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification, Racism in association football
FIFA sanctions the Hungarian Football Federation with a US$216,000 fine and orders the Hungarian national team to play their next two World Cup qualification home matches behind closed doors, following incidents of racist behavior among their fans during a match against England on September 2. (CNN)
20 September 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in England, COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland, COVID-19 vaccination in the United Kingdom
England and Scotland begin the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for children between the ages of 12 and 15 as part of an expansion of their vaccination programme in order to protect more people from COVID-19 during the winter. (BBC)
12 September 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic
The British government reverses its decision to use vaccine passports for nightclubs, cinemas, and large events in England. (BBC)
24 August 2021 - War in Afghanistan
United Kingdom government officials confirm that a man was accidentally flown from Kabul to Birmingham, England, where he was flagged as being a part of a terrorist no-fly list. (BBC News)

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