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abdication Crisis

Overview page. Subjects: British History — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

The constitutional crisis, resulting from the king of England's determination to marry a divorced woman, Wallis Simpson, which culminated in the abdication of Edward VIII in 1936.

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Aberdeen, cathedrals

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

St Machar's cathedral, built on the site of a church founded by one of St Columba's disciples (c.580), was rebuilt in granite after destruction by Edward III in 1336. Alternately under...

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Aberfan disaster

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

On 21 October 1966 an avalanche of sludge from a coal tip buried the primary school of this south Wales village, causing the loss of 144 lives, mostly young children. The subsequent inquiry...

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Abraham Darby

Overview page. Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design — British History.

(1677–1717).

The founder of the great Shropshire iron industry, using local supplies of coal and iron. He was born in Worcestershire of a quaker family, apprenticed in Birmingham,...

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Act in Restraint of Appeals

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

(1533).

The Act (24 Hen. VIII c. 12), largely the work of Thomas Cromwell, was a crucial step in Henry VIII's assertion of royal supremacy. He had already moved against the clergy...

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Act of Indemnity and Oblivion

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

1660.

Restorations after long exiles usually disappoint the loyalists since there are so many claims to be rewarded. In the declaration of Breda, Charles II had promised a general...

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Act of Security

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

1704.

The Scottish Act of Security was, paradoxically, an important step towards Union. After the failure of the Darien scheme in 1700, the Scots were bitter towards England. The...

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Act of Settlement

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

A statute of 1701 that vested the British Crown in Sophia of Hanover (granddaughter of James I of England and VI of Scotland) and her Protestant heirs, so excluding Roman Catholics,...

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Acts in Restraint of Annates

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

1532, 1534.

These formed part of the campaign by Henry VIII to cajole the papacy into granting an annulment of the king's first marriage, or to give statutory authority for the...

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Acts of Parliament

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

The procedure whereby a bill becomes an Act of Parliament is lengthy and has evolved over many centuries. The main stages of a bill in the House of Commons are first reading, second...

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Acts of Succession

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

1534, 1536, 1543.

Henry VIII used statutes to make the adjustments to the succession that his complicated matrimonial history necessitated. The first Act (25 Hen. VIII c. 22)...

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Adam Duncan

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

(1731–1804).

Born at Lundie (Dundee), Duncan was a Scot of prodigious strength and height. In the American War he served under Rodney at the first relief of Gibraltar 1779 and...

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Addedomarus

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

Is known only through his coins, found over a wide area between Oxfordshire and Essex, suggesting that he ruled the Catuvellauni and Trinovantes, probably c.30 bc.

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Addled Parliament

Overview page. Subjects: World History — British History.

(5 April–7 June 1614).

The second Parliament of James I was bedevilled by controversy over the king's levying of impositions, which members feared would leave him rich enough to...

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Adela of Louvain

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

(c.1100–51),

queen of Henry I. Henry's second wife, Adela, married him after the death of his only legitimate son in the White Ship disaster. The marriage's chief—and...

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Adelaide

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

(1792–1849),

queen of William IV. Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen was suggested by Queen Charlotte as a suitable wife for her son William Henry, then duke of Clarence, hoping that he...

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Aden

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

A port in the Middle East, commanding the entrance to the Red Sea. In 1839 Aden was ceded to the British by the Turkish sultan. It became a free port in 1850 and was developed as a coaling...

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Adminius

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

A son of Cunobelinus, ruled the Cantiaci in Kent, presumably as a sub-king. In ad 40 he lost control or was expelled and fled to Gaul, where he begged the emperor Caligula for help....

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Admiralty

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

Until a permanent royal navy came into being, organization did not need to be elaborate. A commander was appointed for the campaign, after which most of the vessels, being converted...

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Adullamites

Overview page. Subjects: British History.

Was the name derisively given to Robert Lowe and nearly 40 Liberal MPs who opposed Lord Russell's programme of parliamentary reform in 1866. They were dubbed by John Bright on 13 March in...

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