An earl /ɜːrl/ is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon in origin, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, in Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was replaced by duke. In medieval Britain, it became the equivalent of the continental count, earlier in Scandinavia, jarl could mean a sovereign prince. For example, the rulers of several of the petty kingdoms of Norway had the title of jarl, alternative names for the rank equivalent to Earl/Count in the nobility structure are used in other countries, such as the hakushaku of the post-restoration Japanese Imperial era. In modern Britain, an earl is a member of the peerage, ranking below a marquess, a feminine form of earl never developed, countess is used. The term earl has been compared to the name of the Heruli, proto-Norse eril, or the Old Norse jarl, came to signify the rank of a leader. The Norman-derived equivalent count was not introduced following the Norman conquest of England though countess was and is used for the female title.
In the other languages of Britain and Ireland, the term is translated as, Welsh iarll and Scottish Gaelic iarla, Scots yarl or yerl, Cornish yurl. An earl has the title Earl of when the title originates from a placename, in either case, he is referred to as Lord, and his wife as Lady. A countess who holds an earldom in her own right uses Lady, younger sons are styled The Honourable, and daughters, The Lady. In the peerage of Scotland, when there are no courtesy titles involved, the heir to an earldom, and indeed any level of peerage, is styled Master of, and successive sons as younger of. In Anglo-Saxon England, earls had authority over their own regions and right of judgment in provincial courts and they collected fines and taxes and in return received a third penny, one-third of the money they collected. In wartime they led the kings armies, some shires were grouped together into larger units known as earldoms, headed by an ealdorman or earl. Under Edward the Confessor earldoms like Wessex, East Anglia, Earls originally functioned essentially as royal governors.
Though the title of Earl was nominally equal to the duke, unlike them. After the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror tried to rule England using the traditional system, shires became the largest secular subdivision in England and earldoms disappeared. The Normans did create new earls like those of Herefordshire and their power and regional jurisdiction was limited to that of the Norman counts. There was no longer any administrative layer larger than the shire, Earls no longer aided in tax collection or made decisions in country courts and their numbers were small
Old Minster, Winchester
The Old Minster was the Anglo-Saxon cathedral for the diocese of Wessex and Winchester from 660 to 1093. It stood on a site north of and partially beneath its successor. The old legend that the Minster was built in the 2nd century for the non-existent King Lucius of Britain is erroneous, the stone minster was constructed in 648 for King Cenwalh of Wessex and Saint Birinus. It became the cathedral in 660. It was enlarged and redecorated over the years and Saint Swithun was buried outside it in 862, by the 10th century, the Minster was the priory church of St. Swithuns Priory, a community of monks living under the rule of St Benedict. In 901, the New Minster was built next to it, Saint Æthelwold of Winchester and by his successor, Saint Alphege, almost completely rebuilt the minster on a vast scale during their monastic reforms of the 970s. Saint Swithuns body was taken into a shrine in what had become the largest church in Europe. However, after the Norman conquest of England, Bishop Walkelin built a new cathedral alongside, many of the kings of Wessex and of England, as well bishops, had been buried in the Old Minster, so their bodies were exhumed and re-interred in the new building.
The Old Minster was excavated in the 1960s, the outline of the building now is laid out in brickwork in the churchyard adjoining Winchester Cathedral. Saint Swithuns first grave is clearly marked, finds from the site may be seen in the Winchester City Museum. The bones of the monarchs removed to the cathedral are now housed in mortuary chests around the choir, signing of the Regularis Concordia by King Edgar the Peaceable Coronation of Edward the Confessor Marriage of Edward the Confessor and Edith Coronation of Matilda of Flanders as queen consort
Winchester Cathedral is a Church of England cathedral in Winchester, England. It is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, with the longest nave, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, Saint Peter, Saint Paul, and before the Reformation, Saint Swithun, it is the seat of the Bishop of Winchester and centre of the Diocese of Winchester. The cathedral is a Grade I listed building, the cathedral was founded in 642 on a site immediately to the north of the present one. This building became known as the Old Minster and it became part of a monastic settlement in 971. Saint Swithun was buried near the Old Minster and in it, so-called mortuary chests said to contain the remains of Saxon kings such as King Eadwig of England, first buried in the Old Minster, and his wife Ælfgifu, are in the present cathedral. The Old Minster was demolished in 1093, immediately after the consecration of its successor, in 1079, Bishop Walkelin began work on a completely new cathedral. Much of the used to build the structure was brought across from the Isle of Wight from quarries around Binstead.
Nearby Quarr Abbey draws its name from these workings, as do many local places such as Stonelands, the building was consecrated in 1093. A substantial amount of the fabric of Walkelins building, including the crypt, the original crossing tower, collapsed in 1107, an accident blamed by the cathedrals medieval chroniclers on the fact that the dissolute William Rufus had been buried beneath it in 1100. Its replacement, which today, is still in the Norman style. It is a squat, square structure,50 feet wide, the Tower is 45.7 m tall. Following the accession of Godfrey de Lucy in 1189 a retrochoir was added in the Early English style, the next major phase of rebuilding was not until the mid-fourteenth century, under bishops Edington and Wykeham. Edingdon, removed the two westernmost bays of the nave, built a new west front and began the remodelling of the nave, the wooden ceilings were replaced with stone vaults. Wykehams successor, Henry of Beaufort, carried out fewer alterations, adding only a chantry on the side of the retrochoir.
His successor, William of Waynflete, built another chantry in a position on the north side. Under Bishops Peter Courtenay and Thomas Langton, there was more work, de Lucys Lady Chapel was lengthened, and the Norman side aisles of the presbytery replaced. In 1525, Bishop Richard Foxe added the side screens of the presbytery, with its progressive extensions, the east end is now about 110 feet beyond that of Walkelins building. After King Henry VIII seized control of the Catholic Church in England and declared himself head of the Church of England, the Benedictine foundation, the priory surrendered to the king in 1539
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family, usually in the context of a feudal or monarchical system but sometimes appearing in elective republics. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a house, historians periodize the histories of many sovereign states, such as Ancient Egypt, the Carolingian Empire and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties. As such, the dynasty may be used to delimit the era during which the family reigned and to describe events, trends. The word dynasty itself is often dropped from such adjectival references, until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty, that is, to increase the territory and power of his family members. The longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. Succession through a daughter when permitted was considered to establish a new dynasty in her husbands ruling house, some states in Africa, determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mothers dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
It is extended to unrelated people such as poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team. The word dynasty derives via Latin dynastia from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to power, dominion and it was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, power or ability, from dýnamai, to be able. A ruler in a dynasty is referred to as a dynast. For example, following his abdication, Edward VIII of the United Kingdom ceased to be a member of the House of Windsor. A dynastic marriage is one that complies with monarchical house law restrictions, the marriage of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, to Máxima Zorreguieta in 2002 was dynastic, for example, and their eldest child is expected to inherit the Dutch crown eventually. But the marriage of his younger brother Prince Friso to Mabel Wisse Smit in 2003 lacked government support, thus Friso forfeited his place in the order of succession, lost his title as a Prince of the Netherlands, and left his children without dynastic rights.
In historical and monarchist references to formerly reigning families, a dynast is a member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchys rules still in force. Even since abolition of the Austrian monarchy and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position. The term dynast is sometimes used only to refer to descendants of a realms monarchs. The term can therefore describe overlapping but distinct sets of people, yet he is not a male-line member of the royal family, and is therefore not a dynast of the House of Windsor. Thus, in 1999 he requested and obtained permission from Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco. Yet a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time and that exclusion, ceased to apply on 26 March 2015, with retroactive effect for those who had been dynasts prior to triggering it by marriage to a Catholic
Eadwig, spelled Edwy, usually called the All-Fair, was King of England from 955 until his premature death in 959. The elder son of King Edmund I and his Queen Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury, Eadwigs short reign was tarnished by disputes with nobles and men of the church, including Dunstan and Archbishop Oda. Eadwig died in 959, having ruled less than four years and he was buried in the capital Winchester. His brother Edgar the Peaceful succeeded him, according to one legend, the feud with Dunstan began on the day of Eadwigs consecration, when he failed to attend a meeting of nobles. When Dunstan eventually found the young monarch, he was cavorting with a noblewoman named Æthelgifu, infuriated by this, Dunstan dragged Eadwig back and forced him to renounce the girl as a strumpet. Later realizing that he had provoked the king, Dunstan fled to the apparent sanctuary of his cloister, though Dunstan managed to escape, he refused to return to England until after Eadwigs death. The contemporary record of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports Eadwigs accession and Dunstan fleeing England, the cavorting in question consisted of Eadwig being away from the feast with Ælfgifu and her mother Æthelgifu.
He married Ælfgifu, who seems to have been the sister of Æthelweard the Chronicler, Æthelweard describes himself as the grandsons grandson of King Æthelred I. Eadwig was the son of King Edmund the Magnificent, grandson of King Edward the Elder, great-grandson of King Alfred the Great, Eadwig and Ælfgifu were therefore third cousins once removed. The annulment of the marriage of Eadwig and Ælfgifu is unusual in that it was against their will, the Church at the time regarded any union within seven degrees of consanguinity as incestuous. At the time, degree was reached by counting up to the ancestor and back. Dunstan, whilst in exile, became influenced by the Benedictines of Flanders, a pro-Dunstan, pro-Benedictine party began to form around Athelstan Half-Kings domain of East Anglia and supporting Eadwigs younger brother Edgar. Frustrated by the impositions and supported by Archbishop Oda of Canterbury. In 957, rather than see the country descend into civil war, Eadwig is known for his remarkable generosity in giving away land.
In 956 alone, his sixty odd gifts of land make up around 5% of all genuine Anglo-Saxon charters, no known ruler in Europe matched that yearly total before the twelfth century, and his cessions are plausibly attributed to political insecurity. Eadwig died at an age in 959, in circumstances which remain unknown. He was succeeded by his brother Edgar the Peaceful, who reunited the kingdom, the history of Eadwigs reign caught the British imagination in the 18th century, and was represented in paintings and drama, in particular, by numerous works to 1850. Artists who tackled the subjects it suggested included William Bromley, William Hamilton, William Dyce, Richard Dadd, literary works were written by Thomas Sedgwick Whalley, Thomas Warwick and Frances Burney
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the second largest library in the world by number of items catalogued. It holds well over 150 million items from many countries, as a legal deposit library, the British Library receives copies of all books produced in the United Kingdom and Ireland, including a significant proportion of overseas titles distributed in the UK. The Library is a public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media. The Librarys collections include around 14 million books, along with holdings of manuscripts. In addition to receiving a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland, the Library adds some three million items every year occupying 9.6 kilometres of new shelf space. Prior to 1973, the Library was part of the British Museum, the Euston Road building is classified as a Grade I listed building, of exceptional interest for its architecture and history. The British Library was created on 1 July 1973 as a result of the British Library Act 1972.
Prior to this, the library was part of the British Museum. In 1983, the Library absorbed the National Sound Archive, which holds many sound and video recordings, with over a million discs, the core of the Librarys historical collections is based on a series of donations and acquisitions from the 18th century, known as the foundation collections. From 1997 to 2009 the main collection was housed in this new building. Construction work on the Newspaper Storage Building was completed in 2013, the collection has now been split between the St Pancras and Boston Spa sites. The British Library Document Supply Service and the Librarys Document Supply Collection is based on the site in Boston Spa. Collections housed in Yorkshire, comprising low-use material and the newspaper and Document Supply collections, the Library previously had a book storage depot in Woolwich, south-east London, which is no longer in use. The new library was designed specially for the purpose by the architect Colin St John Wilson, facing Euston Road is a large piazza that includes pieces of public art, such as large sculptures by Eduardo Paolozzi and Antony Gormley.
It is the largest public building constructed in the United Kingdom in the 20th century, in December 2009 a new storage building at Boston Spa was opened by Rosie Winterton. The building was Grade I listed on 1 August 2015, in England, Legal Deposit can be traced back to at least 1610. The other five libraries are, the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the University Library at Cambridge, the Trinity College Library at Dublin, in 2003 the Ipswich MP Chris Mole introduced a Private Members Bill which became the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003. The Act extends United Kingdom legal deposit requirements to electronic documents, such as CD-ROMs, the Library holds the Asia and Africa Collections which include the India Office Records and materials in the languages of Asia and of north and north-east Africa
Edmund I, called the Elder, the Deed-doer, the Just, or the Magnificent, was King of the English from 939 until his death. He was a son of Edward the Elder and half-brother of Æthelstan, Æthelstan died on 27 October 939, and Edmund succeeded him as king. Shortly after his proclamation as king, he had to several military threats. King Olaf III Guthfrithson conquered Northumbria and invaded the Midlands, when Olaf died in 942, in 943, Edmund became the god-father of King Olaf of York. In 944, Edmund was successful in reconquering Northumbria, in the same year, his ally Olaf of York lost his throne and left for Dublin in Ireland. Olaf became the king of Dublin as Amlaíb Cuarán and continued to be allied to his god-father, in 945, Edmund conquered Strathclyde but ceded the territory to King Malcolm I of Scotland in exchange for a treaty of mutual military support. Edmund thus established a policy of safe borders and peaceful relationships with Scotland, during his reign, the revival of monasteries in England began.
One of Edmunds last political movements of which there is knowledge is his role in the restoration of Louis IV of France to the throne. Louis, son of Charles the Simple and Edmunds half-sister Eadgifu, had resided at the West-Saxon court for time until 936. In the summer of 945, he was captured by the Norsemen of Rouen and subsequently released to Duke Hugh the Great, the chronicler Richerus claims that Eadgifu wrote letters both to Edmund and to Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor in which she requested support for her son. Edmund responded to her plea by sending angry threats to Hugh, duke of the Franks, allying himself with Hugh the Black, son of Richard, and the other leading men of the kingdom, restored to the kingdom King Louis. On 26 May 946, Edmund was murdered by Leofa, an exiled thief, john of Worcester and William of Malmesbury add some lively detail by suggesting that Edmund had been feasting with his nobles, when he spotted Leofa in the crowd. He attacked the intruder in person, but in the event, Leofa was killed on the spot by those present.
A recent article re-examines Edmunds death and dismisses the accounts as fiction. It suggests the king was the victim of a political assassination, Edmunds sister Eadgyth, the wife of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, died earlier the same year, as Flodoards Annales for 946 report. Edmund was succeeded as king by his brother Eadred, king from 946 until 955, Edmunds sons ruled England as, King of England from 955 until 957, king of only Wessex and Kent from 957 until his death on 1 October 959. Edgar the Peaceful, king of Mercia and Northumbria from 957 until his brothers death in 959, Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury Burial places of British royalty Edmund the Just, fictional king of Narnia Flodoard, Annales, ed. Philippe Lauer, Les Annales de Flodoard. Collection des textes pour servir à létude et à lenseignement de lhistoire 39, Edmund 14 at Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England
Frome is a town and civil parish in eastern Somerset, England. Located at the end of the Mendip Hills, the town is built on uneven high ground. The town is approximately 13 miles south of Bath,43 miles east of the county town, in the 2011 census, the population was given as 26,203. The town is in the Mendip district of Somerset and is part of the constituency of Somerton. In April 2010 a large hoard of third-century Roman coins was unearthed in a field near the town, from AD950 to 1650, Frome was larger than Bath and originally grew due to the wool and cloth industry. It diversified into metal-working and printing, although these have declined, the town was enlarged during the 20th century but still retains a very large number of listed buildings, and most of the centre falls within a conservation area. The town has road and rail links and acts as an economic centre for the surrounding area. It provides a centre for cultural and sporting activities, including the annual Frome Festival, a number of notable individuals were born in, or have lived in, the town.
In 2014, Frome was called the sixth coolest town in Britain by The Times newspaper, Frome has recently been shortlisted as one of three towns in the country for the 2016 Urbanism Awards in the Great Town Award category. There is some limited evidence for Roman settlement of the area, the remains of a villa were found in the village of Whatley,3 miles to the west of Frome. In April 2010, the Frome Hoard, one of the hoards of Roman coins discovered in Britain, was found by a metal detectorist. The hoard of 52,500 coins dated from the third century AD and was buried in a field near the town. The coins were excavated by archaeologists from the Portable Antiquities Scheme, the find was the subject of a BBC TV programme Digging for Britain in August 2010. The name Frome comes from the Brythonic word *frāmā meaning fair, fine or brisk, a monastery built by St. Aldhelm in 685 is the earliest evidence of Saxon occupation of Frome. One of the first English Kings, died in Frome on 23 November 955, at the time of the Domesday Survey, the manor was owned by King William, and was the principal settlement of the largest and wealthiest hundred in Somerset.
By the 13th century, the Abbey had bought up some of the manors and was exploiting the profits from market. However, the Kyre Park Charters of Edwards reign note a Hugh, lord of Parva Frome, Henry VII did grant a charter to Edmund Leversedge, lord of the manor, giving him the right to hold fairs on 22 July and 21 September. The parish was part of the hundred of Frome, hales Castle was built, probably in the years immediately after the Norman conquest of England in 1066
Kingdom of England
In the early 11th century the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, united by Æthelstan, became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England and Norway. The completion of the conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 put Wales under the control of the English crown, from the accession of James I in 1603, the Stuart dynasty ruled England in personal union with Scotland and Ireland. Under the Stuarts, the kingdom plunged into war, which culminated in the execution of Charles I in 1649. The monarchy returned in 1660, but the Civil War had established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without the consent of Parliament and this concept became legally established as part of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. From this time the kingdom of England, as well as its state the United Kingdom. On 1 May 1707, under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707, the Anglo-Saxons referred to themselves as the Engle or the Angelcynn, originally names of the Angles. They called their land Engla land, meaning land of the English, by Æthelweard Latinized Anglia, from an original Anglia vetus, the name Engla land became England by haplology during the Middle English period.
The Latin name was Anglia or Anglorum terra, the Old French, by the 14th century, England was used in reference to the entire island of Great Britain. The standard title for all monarchs from Æthelstan until the time of King John was Rex Anglorum, Canute the Great, a Dane, was the first king to call himself King of England. In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with use of Rex Anglie. The Empress Matilda styled herself Domina Anglorum, from the time of King John onwards all other titles were eschewed in favour of Rex or Regina Anglie. In 1604 James VI and I, who had inherited the English throne the previous year, the English and Scottish parliaments, did not recognise this title until the Acts of Union of 1707. The kingdom of England emerged from the unification of the early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdoms known as the Heptarchy, East Anglia, Northumbria, Essex, Sussex. The Viking invasions of the 9th century upset the balance of power between the English kingdoms, and native Anglo-Saxon life in general, the English lands were unified in the 10th century in a reconquest completed by King Æthelstan in 927 CE.
During the Heptarchy, the most powerful king among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms might become acknowledged as Bretwalda, the decline of Mercia allowed Wessex to become more powerful. It absorbed the kingdoms of Kent and Sussex in 825, the kings of Wessex became increasingly dominant over the other kingdoms of England during the 9th century. In 827, Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at Dore, in 886, Alfred the Great retook London, which he apparently regarded as a turning point in his reign. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that all of the English people not subject to the Danes submitted themselves to King Alfred, asser added that Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, restored the city of London splendidly
Anglo-Saxon charters are documents from the early medieval period in England, which typically made a grant of land, or recorded a privilege. The term charter covers a range of legal documentation including diplomas, writs. A diploma was a charter that granted rights over land or other privileges by the king. Diplomas were usually written on parchment in Latin, but often contained sections in the vernacular, describing the bounds of estates, the writ was authenticated by a seal and gradually replaced the diploma as evidence of land tenure during the late Anglo-Saxon and early Norman periods. Land held by virtue of a charter was known as bookland, Charters have provided historians with fundamental source material for understanding Anglo-Saxon England, complementing the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and other literary sources. They are catalogued in Peter Sawyers Annotated List and are referred to by their Sawyer number. The Anglo-Saxon charter can take many forms, it can be a lease, a will, an agreement, a writ or, most commonly and our picture is skewed towards those that regard land, particularly in the earlier period.
Land charters can further be subdivided into royal charters, or diplomas, over a thousand Anglo-Saxon charters are extant today, as a result of being maintained in the archives of religious houses. These preserved their charters so as to record their right to land, the oldest extant original charter, now in Canterbury Cathedral archive, was issued in 679 by King Hlothhere of Kent granting land to the Reculver Abbey. Some surviving charters are copies, which sometimes include interpolations, some two hundred charters exist in the original form, whilst others are post-Conquest copies, that were often made by the compilers of cartularies or by early modern antiquaries. The primary motivation for forging charters was to provide evidence of rights to land, often forging was focussed on providing written evidence for the holdings recorded as belonging to a religious house in the Domesday Book. It is important when studying charters to establish their authenticity, the study of charters to determine authenticity gave rise to diplomatics – the science of ancient documents.
Anglo-Saxon charters are catalogued in Peter Sawyers Annotated List, and are referred to by their Sawyer number. The three most common forms of Anglo-Saxon charter are diplomas and wills, the largest number of surviving charters are diplomas, or royal charters, that granted privileges and rights, usually over land. The typical diploma had three sections, protocol and eschatocol, the protocol opened the charter by invoking God and enumerating the pious considerations for the Kings act. The corpus was usually in Latin and named the beneficiary, recorded the grant or transfer, reserved common burdens, the corpus final section, which was often in Old English, described the boundaries of the land. The eschatocol was composed of a clause and witness-list, which usually included powerful lay. Much of the language of the diploma was explicitly religious - that a grant was made for the benefit of the soul or that anyone breaking the charter would be excommunicated
Eadgifu of Kent
Eadgifu of Kent was the third wife of Edward the Elder, King of the Anglo-Saxons. Eadgifu was the daughter of Sigehelm, Ealdorman of Kent, who died at the Battle of the Holme in 902. She became the mother of two sons, Edmund I of England, King Edmund I, and Eadred of England, King Eadred and she survived Edward by many years, dying in the reign of her grandson Edgar. According to a written in the early 960s, her father had given Cooling in Kent to a man called Goda as security for a loan. She claimed that her father had repaid the loan and left the land to her and she got possession of Cooling six years after her fathers death, when her friends persuaded King Edward to threaten to dispossess Goda of his property unless he gave up the estate. Edward declared Godas lands forfeit and gave the charters to Eadgifu, some time after this her marriage to Edward took place. After his death King Æthelstan required Eadgifu to return the charters to Goda and she disappeared from court during the reign of her step-son, King Æthelstan, but she was prominent and influential during the reign of her two sons.
By comparison, Eadgifu subscribes higher up in the witness list as mater regis, after her sons Edmund and Eadred but before the archbishops and bishops. When Edgar succeeded on Eadwigs death in 959 she recovered some lands and received gifts from her grandson. She is last recorded as a witness to a charter in 966 and she was known as a supporter of saintly churchmen and a benefactor of churches. House of Wessex family tree Miller, the Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century. Eadgifu, queen of the Anglo-Saxons, consort of Edward the Elder, Eadgifu 4 at Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England
Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames, known as Kingston, is the principal settlement of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames in southwest London. It was the ancient market town where Saxon kings were crowned, Kingston is situated 10 miles southwest of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan. Kingston lies approximately 33 feet above sea level, Kingston was part of a large ancient parish in the county of Surrey and the town was an ancient borough, reformed in 1835. It has been the location of Surrey County Hall from 1893, most of the town centre is part of the KT1 postcode area, but some areas north of Kingston railway station have the postcode KT2 instead. The population of the town itself, comprising the four wards of Canbury, Norbiton, Kingston was called Cyninges tun in 838, Chingestune in 1086, Kingeston in 1164, Kyngeston super Tamisiam in 1321 and Kingestowne upon Thames in 1589. The name means the manor or estate from the Old English words cyning.
It belonged to the king in Saxon times and was the earliest royal borough and it was first mentioned in 838 as the site of a meeting between King Egbert of Wessex and Ceolnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury. Kingston lay on the boundary between the ancient kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia, until in the tenth century when King Athelstan united both to create the kingdom of England. Probably because of the symbolic location, several tenth-century kings were crowned in Kingston, Æthelstan in 925, Eadred in 946. Other kings who may have been crowned there are Edward the Elder in 902, Edmund in 939, Eadwig in 956, Edgar in about 960 and Edward the Martyr in 975. It was initially used as a block, but in 1850 it was moved to a more dignified place in the market before finally being moved to its current location in the grounds of the guildhall. Well known aviation personalities Sydney Camm, Harry Hawker and Tommy Sopwith were responsible for much of Kingstons achievements in aviation. British Aerospace finally closed its Lower Ham Road factory in 1992, part of the site was redeveloped for housing but the riverside part houses a community centre.
The growth and development of Kingston Polytechnic and its transformation into Kingston University has made Kingston a university town, Kingston upon Thames formed an ancient parish in the Kingston hundred of Surrey. The parish of Kingston upon Thames covered an area including Hook, New Malden, Richmond, Thames Ditton. The town of Kingston was granted a charter by King John in 1200, but the oldest one to survive is from 1208, other charters were issued by kings, including Edward IVs charter that gave the town the status of a borough in 1481. The borough covered a smaller area than the ancient parish, although as new parishes were split off the borough. The borough was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, becoming the Municipal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames and it had been known as a Royal borough through custom and the right to the title was confirmed by George V in 1927