History of England
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“The English have made a great contribution to the world. After all, they did invent the crumpet”
Several things happened in English history:
England (Ingland to the native Inglish) was founded by boatloads of illegal immigrants from Germany in 455. Before then the country was known as Poundland and was inhabited by people who were called Denarii and had once been club members of the Roman Empire. In an argument about membership fees, the Denarii (or Britons as then now called themselves) voted to leave the Roman Empire and set up themselves a Free Trading Nation - well as long as you liked sheep and sausages. Since the Britons had forgotten how to defend their nation from the feared Imperial bureaucrats in Rome, they invited soldiers to defend Poundland.
Though only fighting men were invited, the Britons saw ship after ship containing English speaking foreigners. These ancestral tribes are remembered as the Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Geordii, Brummie and the long haired Scousers. Spreading out from the South East like a fungus, these newcomers took over ancient city centres, dispossessed the natives and set up their own kingdoms. Calling themselves 'Anglo-Saxons' (already then the English thought double barrelled names added value to their squalid settlements) they set up their own kingdoms: Middle-Sex, Wantsex, Sowsex and Buttsex, East Uglier, Northwellhunghere, Mercykillingarea...etc...etc. Later on 'England' was used to describe their territory and that sort of stuck. The French still call the English 'Anglo-Saxons' to this day, hoping this will make the English very upset. Well at least Charles DeGaulle thought it was funny.
The English got themselves 'Christianised' by the Catholic church and because no one could write then, all their native myths were lost except one: The Angelina Jolie inspired sex saga Beowulf. So as the English are by nature, very extended loan borrowers, they raided the Welsh for their stories. So this is how the stories of King Arthur became part of the legend of England. They Welsh protested but were ignored as always as soppy sentimentalists. Camelot was turned from a tale about Welshmen standing up against the Heathen English into a morality tale about a round table, a sword in the stone (obvious phallic symbolism), hanky-panky with your best mate's wife and dying from a spear thrust from a son you disowned when you slept with your sister.
Whilst the English were making up stories, the Danes came over as the saw the door for future immigration was still open. They were followed by the Norwegians and finally a band of French Normans who came up with some fake story about owning the title deeds to England. When the English objected, a particular nasty Norman called Norman Conquest declared England to be French and left his deputy in charge. His name was William the Bastard Feudalist Exploiter, otherwise William the Conqueror.
edit Robin Hood
With the French holding all the best jobs, and land, and right to kill English peasants on sight - it is remarkable the country kept its name. William the Bastard wrote down everyone's name in his diary which is also called the Domesday Book. This is a vicious collection of rumours and gossip-paraded-as-fact which accuses the English as such bad people that all their lands are not forfeit to King William, his friends and all his best friends. A 1,000 years later, nothing has changed but so effective has been the propaganda from Buckingham Palace that they now market themselves as 'England's Premier Inns'. All the rest are most definitely Outs.
For the next century the English were an enslaved people in their own land. If there were any Anglo-Saxon gospel choirs or fearless preacher men, the Norman French made sure they were squashed and silenced. Then a new hero arose, an American called Kevin Costner who wanted to free the English before his holiday visa ran out. To avoid deportation, Kevin renamed himself Robin Hood. He worse a redbreast and sat on birdtables to steal food from the cruel governments of Richard the Lionheart and Bad boy King John. Robin was called a Communist by the authorities and his band of friends, 'The Sherry Men' for their tippling. Yet the downtrodden English misheard bad Norman French talking their language and re-arranged it to Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
Robin Hood was victorious but as he owed a lot in back taxes, moved to Spain to avoid the Taxation authorities. However whilst he had been fighting Robin Hood and his green guerillas with their roadside longbow traps, King John had lost Normandy to the other French, the French-French of King Philip of France.
edit People Start Speaking English Again
Though the Kings of England still preferred to speak French (better to help tell lies), others who had been Norman French now lost their accent and finally comprehension of their ancestral language. Instead they started to speak 'English', a mix of Old English, Old English Sheepdog, Old Danish Pastry and a few Celtic words for river and shit. Mixed in with heavy seasoning was added French, Latin for Christian terms like Eternal Punishment, Burn Heretics and finally out of the oven of linguistic history emerged a new language...Middle English. This was the language of Geoffrey Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales and Henry V at Agincourt a few years later.
Since few other people spoke this 'English', the Kings of England saw it as their duty to expand their language. It would mean they wouldn't have to learn Welsh, Irish or Scottish. If you couldn't understand You Got a Nice Cottage/Castle 'ere, a medieval broadsword would cleft you in two uneven halves. This worked with the Welsh who were still upset about losing King Arthur but the Scots were not so obliging. Once again a foreigner led an army, this time Mel Gibson but it was against England and not for it. The war was long but the Scots finally won with Robert the Bruce. However, slyly the English forced the Scots to sign a peace treaty in English as they claimed they couldn't read Scottish and it would help to understand what had been agreed if it was in their language. The Scots were just happy to see the English leave and so foolishly agreed.
With the Irish, the English were not sure if they had won that island or not. People working for England said they would do the job and asked for castle building grants in Ireland to help the 'Englishing of the Paddylands' but instead, these English went native. Within in only a couple of generations they had forgotten they were ever English. This betrayal by these English settlers their native culture would later cause big problems between England and Ireland many centuries later. It was then called 'going Gaelic' and was a point of dishonour to admit it.
edit A Hankering For France
Though the English were trying to conqueror all the lands within reach, the Kings of England still had a 'French pull' to their policies. They still held onto to some choice French real estate in Bordeaux and Calais. Why the French hadn't finished the job and thrown out the English themselves is really a question you should ask to some chain smoking professor in Paris.
With the terrible English weather and food not fit for a sick dog, it is understandable why English kings like Edward III and Henry V preferred to spend most of their time time in France. It was easy to find jobs for soldiers there and the returns from swiped booty made it all the better. Henry V became so French-orientated that he married the least hygienic daughter of King Charles VI of France just to claim the whole country. Henry was lined up as the next king of France but luckily died from shitting his pants whilst waiting to get served in a French restaurant.
Stubborn and refusing to accept the dream was really over, the English tried to stay in France. The French changed this by choosing a woman to lead them against the English. Joan of Arc so spooked the English armies that they refused to fight against 'the witch'. Even when Joan was captured and crisply toasted, the English wanted to leave. They did, once again the French slipped up and forgot to take Calais. However this pokey little French town was no compensation for the other lands they lost, so the English neglected it until the French discovered it was a bank holiday one weekend in August 1558 and took it.
edit Now English in England can Understand English
It whilst all this French nonsense was going on that England in the mid 15th century started to write a lot more in their own language. First it was the law courts, then debates in parliament and finally abusive messages posted through letterboxes. This is called the 'Great Bowel Shift' which left many people effluent in English (eff as in 'Fucking Fluent') and short of toilet paper during the transition.
One of the first English speakers was William Caxton. He asked permission to set up a new technology hub in Westminster Abbey called 'The Printing Press'. Caxton's first book for the public was Ye Idyotes Gyuyde to Englysh. England now had it's own language at last, free from French or broken Latin.
edit England is Inclusive With The Tudors
In 1485 a Welshman Henry Tudor (originally, Barry-Gwyn Jones Tyrddor from Harlech) was crowned King Henry VII. He had won the throne by buying a ticket from the English-owned Camelot Lottery company, though the result was disputed by the Yorkshire Pudding (AKA King Richard III). Henry reclaimed the legends of Camelot for Wales and named his eldest son Arthur and his second son Lancelot but this was later changed to Henry.
King Henry VIII wanted England to have its own religion and so invented the Anglican Church. This also meant the Bible would need to be changed from Vulgar Catholic Latin into English. Henry wasn't happy with the first attempts at translation (hard luck for early adopters) but an edition was finally finished. Now for the first time ordinary people could hear the voice of God speaking their own language and not some Latin mulch.
In 1536 Henry merged Wales and England and called it England. He wanted to do the same to the Scots but they once again refused to be English but smuggled out their ruler Mary Queen of Kilts and made an alliance with France. Henry then died and as none of his children had learnt how to make babies (or make others have them instead), the Tudor dynasty died out.
edit A New Name
Then English were appalled that they were now to have a Scottish ruler. King James came to London and said he could speak English but no one could understand a word. James thought the English ungrateful and ruled the country as if he had a divine right to do so. James also said England and Scotland were to have an old/new name - 'Great Britain' . For the first time the English and Scots found a common cause, neither wanted to be called 'British'. Sounded dirty.
His son King Charles followed, with a less strong Scottish accent. England grew restless and claimed the Stuarts were foreigners (the family were originally called Stewart but Mary Queen of Kilts went fashion mad in France and changed her family name to Stuart.) This lead to an English Civil War that spread out over Wales, Ireland and Scotland. England found their own leader with Oliver Cromwell. He was very English and thought England could be a godly country to lead the (Protestant) World. Since Charles wasn't English and had a suspicious 'foreign cut' beard, Cromwell had Charles beheaded.
Now under a strong leader, England finally embarked on a proper conquest of Scotland and Ireland. The Scots didn't have an American tourist to rescue them this time and were annexed. Cromwell banned any other language except English. Next was the Irish who had the added impediment (to Cromwell) for being Catholic too. So he crushed the Irish too. For the first time in history, one man ruled all the four nations in the British Isles.
edit A New Name Take Two
The monarchy was restored but the English, Scots, Welsh and Irish still couldn't agree if they wanted to speak the same language or belong to the same country. The English would agree to a 'union' if London was the capital and everywhere else was treated as a colony. This lead to wars, depositions and signing away England's crown to a ugly family of Germans in Hanover. They agreed to become monarchs but wanted a 'settlement' (i.e. payment). Money was also required to persuade the Scots to give up their separate status and merge with England (Ireland declined for now). So in 1707 officially and legally, 'England' now became the southern half of the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain'. Queen Anne was the last queen of England - though as everyone knows, the American television networks still call British monarchs 'Kings/Queens of England' when that country hasn't existed since 1707.
A new country needs a new people and so the government of the time tried to force everyone to 'think British'. They composed a hit song 'Rule Britannia' to strengthen that common identity but the English were not so keen. They cleverly called Britain 'England' when talking about their country and this was maintained by others outside. Horatio Nelson's signal to the fleet before the Battle of Trafalgar read 'England Expects Everyman to Do His Duty and the Scots onboard to Stay Below and drink all the Whisky. Even Napoleon said 'England' when he meant Britain and a century later Germans wanted God to destroy England.
edit Return of England?
For many people in England it is now like the time after William the Bastard when the English were snubbed and ignored in their own country. So the British Empire was called that when most people involved in it were from England. Today English patriots now like to invoke the spirit of those Great English heroes like St.George, King Arthur, King Henry V, Mr Bean, Russell Brand...the list is endless. But there is no English parliament and England as an independent country does not exist. This is a new dark age for England. The Norman French tried to do it after 1066 and today it is the European Union. But a new English hero will restore England to it's former status. His wife is called Victoria and he has a lot of patriotic tattoos. Will this new David throw his underpants in the face of Goliath and reclaim England? As for the Scots...well Hadrian's Wall is in that direction.
edit Some Kings
England had several kings. These including:
The English Kings:
- King Woden
- King Ælfrǣd The Not So Great
- King Ælfrǣd The Great But Not As Great As Alfred The Great
- King Æthelræd The Unready
- King Æthelberht The Uncanny
- King Breck The Ready, the Anglo-Danish Oatmeal salesman
English Kings Who Weren't English:
- King John - was one of the Angevins: a popular medieval soap opera that barons liked so much they made the stars kings and queens. This was later made into a film with Michael Caine as King John in UnScripts:Get Magna Carta.
- King Ralph (Norman king)
- King Edward XXIII (nobody's actually counting...)
- King Kong
- King Henry IV, Part 1 (Good) and Part 2 (Bad)
- King Henry V
- King Henry VI. 3 DVD Box Set
- King Richard III
- King Henry the Eighth
England also had some queens, such as: