Posts Tagged ‘british history’

The site of the decisive follow-up to the Battle of Hastings has been discovered, it has been claimed.

Nick Arnold says the battle of 1069 took place in this field between Appledore and Northam battlefieldbbcBest-selling author Nick Arnold said a field between Appledore and Northam, in Devon, played host to the bloody battle of 1069.

Mr Arnold, who wrote the Horrible Science series of books, described the clash as the “sequel” to the Norman victory of 1066.

Academics have described the find as “significant” to British history.

Mr Arnold started research into the battlefield, inspired by a story from his grandfather, five years ago.

Image caption Around 3,000 people died in the battle according to Nick Arnold

He said the sons of the vanquished King Harold came back for a bloody “rematch” in North Devon three years after his defeat at Hastings.

More than 3,000 people died in the resulting clash, Mr Arnold said, after 64 longships “crammed with armed men” led by Godwine and Edmund arrived at Appledore on 26 June 1069.

Their army, which arrived from Ireland, met a fighting force made up of Normans, Bretons and English.

They were met and roundly defeated by forces led by Brian of Brittany in a day-long battle.

“The showdown settled once and for all who would rule England,” he said.

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The Norman Conquest

January 1066 – Edward the Confessor dies. Harold gambles and makes a bid for the Crown, supported by all the magnates of England

14 October 1066 – Harold is defeated by William at the Battle of Hastings

October to December 1066 – A state of war continues until a deal is struck in December between William and the English magnates in which he guarantees their positions in return for their support.

25 December 1066 – William is crowned King of England in London

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Mr Arnold said he was confident he had successfully narrowed down the correct site.

“By combining scientific data on the estuary with accounts of the battle it’s possible to locate the fighting in a small area,” he said.

“The amazing cast of supporting characters include a treacherous Abbot, a conscience-stricken Queen and a headless saint.”

Mr Arnold went back to original sources including the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and consulted histories of the landscape.

He also looked at times of high water and sundown and said all of the available evidence pointed to one location.

Bayeux Tapestry
Image caption The Battle of Hastings in 1066 was recorded in the Bayeux Tapestry

The Devonshire Association has published Mr Arnold’s research paper which is being republished by the Battlefields Trust.

Dr Benjamin Hudson from Pennsylvania State University in the US said the research was “a significant contribution to the history of medieval Britain”.

Elisabeth van Houts, Professor of Medieval European History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, said Mr Arnold had carried out “an exemplary piece of lucid writing, research and detective work”.

Article source: BBC Website

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Rule Brittania

Rule Brittania

Would-be citizens to learn British History

Immigrants who want British citizenship will have to learn about the history of the United Kingdom but will not be tested on the subject, it was revealed today.
The Home Secretary’s expert on citizenship, Professor Sir Bernard Crick, said he had written a 38-page potted history of the British Isles which will form the basis of the course.
Immigrants will have to pass the “Britishness test” – due to come in next year – to be entitled to a British passport.
Sir Bernard revealed first details of a handbook which will form the basis of the test as the Home Office launched a new Advisory Board on Naturalisation and Integration.
“As a scholar, I put my head on the block and wrote a 38-page section on British history,” said Sir Bernard.
“The Home Secretary wanted some history in there, and so there is indeed some contained in the handbook. People won’t be tested on that.
“Only certain sections of the handbook will be tested but we see it all as being useful to them.”
British traditions
Home Secretary David Blunkett rejected early proposals for the handbook because they ignored British traditions and focused instead on teaching immigrants how to use the NHS and claim benefits.
The final draft – to be published next month – will include Sir Bernard’s chapter which covers early Britain, the Middle Ages, the Early Modern period, the growth of the Empire, the 20th century and British politics since 1945.
The handbook is designed for teachers, mentors and immigrants who already have a good grasp of English.
A condensed version will be produced “in as many translated languages as can be afforded” for people with poorer English skills, said Sir Bernard.
Sections of the course which will be tested are:
• “A changing society” – on migration to Britain, the changing role of women and children, family and young people;
• “Britain today” – on the population, religion and tolerance, the regions of the UK and customs and traditions;
• “How Britain is governed” – on the British constitution, formal institutions, devolution and Europe;
• “Employment” – on looking for work, equal rights, maternity, self-employment and children at work;
• “Knowing the law” – on human rights, the rights and duties of a citizen, marriage and divorce, children, consumer protection, the courts and legal aid and advice.
Two further sections will not be tested:
• “Everyday needs” – on housing, health, money and credit, education, leisure, travel and transport and identity documents;
• “Sources of help and information” – on help for refugees and newcomers, libraries, Citizens Advice Bureaux and the police.
Applications for citizenship rose by 21% to reach a record 139,000 last year, compared with a 6% rise in 2002.
The number granted citizenship was 124,315, of whom more than half came from Africa and the Indian subcontinent. A total of 426,000 people have applied for citizenship since 2000 and 416,000 have been granted it.
‘Dunkirk spirit’
The introduction to the handbook says: “Some history is essential for understanding the culture of any new country and can also help in following references in ordinary conversation by British people.
“We British are very fond, for instance, of ‘the Dunkirk spirit’, ‘the Nelson touch’ or ‘she’s a real Florence Nightingale’.”
In September last year the Tories estimated the cost of the citizenship classes would be £40 million a year, based on each applicant having to attend 10 two-hour classes.
Sir Bernard, an emeritus politics professor at Birkbeck College and Mr Blunkett’s former tutor, helped devise the citizenship courses in schools which Mr Blunkett initiated while Education Secretary.
To qualify for citizenship, applicants must have lived in the UK for five years without committing any serious offence, or three years if married to a British citizen.

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