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British History For Dummies

Sean Lang

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Saxons named places literally. So a settlement (tun) by a winding river (cridi) was called Cridiantun - ie 'settlement by a winding river'. Today it is Crediton in Devon. King (Cyn) + tun became Kingston. Field (feld) + people (ing) becomes Haslingfeld, the field of the Hassle people, today Haslingfield. Modern Nottingham wasoriginally Snottingham, 'the place of Snot's people'.

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Plantagenet kings named after Henry I's personal badge - a sprig of broom - which is plante a genet in French.

Eleanor of Aquitane was a feisty lady. She was first married to King Louis VII of France who was a boring old fart, and an incompetent military ruler. Eleanor divorced him and married Henry of Anjou just before he became King of England. They had lots of kids but not a happy marriage. They were both unfaithful, and when E started plotting with her sons against her husband, he locked her up and she didn't get out until he died.

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William and Mary temporary solution, but problem that no children. Mary's sister Anne got pregnant 18 times but all died. Next in line was son of James II but Bill of Rights forbad Caholic monarch. So geneologists had to go looking for an heir. They found that 90 years earlier James I's daughter (now dead) had married a German prince (now dead) and they had a son (also now dead) who's widow was a Protestant. So the Electress Sophia was named successor. But she died before Anne, so when Anne died, Sophia's son Georg (George I in English) became king. The English didn't loke him, and he didn't like England, so he mostly stayed in Hanover.

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