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I turn my eyes to the Schools and Universities of Europe,
And there behold the Loom of Locke, whose Woof rages dire,
Wash’d by the Water-wheels of Newton: black the cloth
In heavy wreaths folds over every Nation: cruel Works
Of many Wheels I view, wheel without wheel, with cogs tyrannic,
Moving by compulsion each other; not as those in Eden, which,
Wheel within wheel, in freedom revolve, in harmony and peace. William Blake, Selections from ‘Jerusalem’
Centuries ago Europe was a battleground fought over by kings and queens. For hundreds of years power-hungry families fought for the right to rule. And Europe transformed. These rivalries shifted borders, destroyed cities and brought the population to its knees. The fate of millions depended on their feuds and passions, their obsessions and betrayals. Dan Jones, Britain’s War of Thrones: The Hundred Years War I, History 2018
For 300 years the Capetian dynasty reigns in France, one of the most powerful kingdoms in Europe. ibid.
This bloody struggle was the longest war in European history: it became known as the Hundred Years War. ibid.
Edward III was now the undisputed master of England. ibid.
Edward was coming for Philip’s throne. ibid.
It’s difficult to imagine the scale of the disaster that took place at Cressy: more than 1,500 French lords and knights were killed and 10,000 soldiers were massacred by English arrows. The English only lost 2 knights and 80 men. ibid.
In early 1348 a plague known as the Black Death swept across France killing one third of the population. In August it jumped across the Channel. ibid.
1392: At the height of the Middle Ages the once great king of France was on his knees and struggling for life. A king went mad. A queen betrayed her people. A rampaging enemy went roaring across the land. The only hope was a peasant girl who said she was touched by God. The hundred years’ war was tearing France apart. Dan Jones, Britain’s War of Thrones: The Hundred Years War II
Henry (V) advanced towards Paris with no more than 8,000 troops. ibid.
John the Fearless had to stop Henry’s progress. ibid.
Charles II was determined to kick the English out of France once and for all. ibid.
For three weeks Henry [VIII] and Francis [I] were inseparable … The Field of the Cloth of Gold was ultimately a waste of time. Dan Jones, Britain’s War of Thrones: The Hundred Years War IV
Today we take for granted the motorways, A-roads and city streets. Over 2,000 miles of them that form the skeleton road map of Britain. And all because of the Romans. With their ingenuity and dogged determination to conquer everything in their path. Dan Jones, Walking Britain’s Roman Roads I, Channel 5 2020
In nearly 400 years of occupation the Romans changed Britain for ever by bringing their armies, ideas, buildings and religion. But the Romans couldn’t have done any of it without one thing – their roads. ibid.
Watling Street: running all the way from the Kent coast to the Midlands and on towards the West borders, Watling Street has two defining features: it was the first road that the Romans built in Britain, and at 240 miles it was also the longest. The story of Watling Street is the story of the Roman invasion. ibid.
The River Fleet: Fleet Street runs directly over the ancient watercourse. Within 20 years the Romans had built a small town roughly half a square mile in size with a fortified garrison. Londinium rapidly became a thriving hub, providing road links across Britain and to the larger empire across the channel. ibid.
Verulamium (St Albans): it grew up along this street to become one of the largest and most prosperous towns in Roman Britain … Verulamium had buildings such as a theatre, houses with underfloor heating and beautiful mosaic floors, just like Rome itself. ibid.
Boudica’s revolt may have been quashed on Watling Street but the war between the Romans and the native Britons raged on. Many of the tribes who lived here didn’t take kindly to being controlled by a foreign tribe. ibid.
Ermine Street: the Romans’ straightest road which runs north from their capital in London to what became their second city in Britain – York, founded in around 100 A.D. Most of Ermine Street is still in use today, though we know it better as the A1. This is Bishopsgate right in the heart of the city of London and it’s the start of Ermine Street proper. Dan Jones, Walking Britain’s Roman Roads II: Ermine Street
The [London] Mithraeum was built around 1,700 years ago. It fell into ruin and was buried when the Romans left our land in the 5th century. It was uncovered in 1954 when an office block was built near Cannon Street, though it’s been moved to a new site in recent years. ibid.
The Romans paved this road all the way to York, making one of the straightest roads they ever built, and shared their religious beliefs with our native tribes. Like many of Britain’s Roman roads, Ermine Street had been adapted over the passing centuries, and it’s now part of our modern road system. ibid.
From the very first road across Kent which powered their invasion to the vital routes which helped them conquer most of Britain before being beaten into retreat by the Scots. Dan Jones, Walking Britain’s Roman Roads III: Dere Street & Stanegate
Two important roads which intersect in the north-east of Britain: Dere Street and Stain Gate: together they were integral to the expansion of the Roman Empire here. Dere Street runs for 226 miles: it heads north from York and loosely follows the route of the A1 … Stanegate: a key east-west route. ibid.
Dere Street, Stanegate and Hadrian’s Gate are part of a story about Roman military and colonial ambition in Britain. ibid.
Hadrian’s Wall: An awe-inspiring defence system manned by 10,000 soldiers and measuring more than 4 metres in height. ibid.
Fosse Way: Stretching for 230 miles through the heart of England, the route starts in Exeter and runs through Devon towards the spa town of Bath, then it’s on through the Cotswolds and the West Midlands roughly following the route of the A46; it ends at the cathedral city of Lincoln. Dan Jones, Walking Britain’s Roman Roads s1e4
A ditch built to defend the western limits of Roman territory, and fosse is the Latin word for ditch. ibid.
Ermin Way: It’s a road that cuts into the heart of industrial Roman Britain … [and] stretches for around 75 miles and was effectively the M4 of its day. Dan Jones, Walking Britain’s Roman Roads V
Roman agricultural expertise reshaped the British landscape and industrialised farming for the good of the empire. ibid.
Stane Street which runs from London all the way down to the south coast. Dan Jones, Walking Britain’s Roman Roads VI: Stane Street
By the 4th century they [Romans’] had mounting problems. They had occupied our land for more than 300 years but they were being increasingly attacked by the forces within Britain. ibid.
Stane Street runs 67 miles from London to Chichester. The route is closely followed by our modern roads. ibid.
By the second century A.D. Londinium was a thriving city with a population of around 60,000. ibid.
The Welsh surrendered to the English king the crown of King Arthur. Professor Robert Bartlett, The Plantagenets II
Around 5,000 English infantrymen died at Stirling Bridge ... Wallace’s defiance shook Edward. ibid.
Britain today is alive with music ... all these were first forged in the energy and inventiveness of 18th century Britain. Suzy Klein, ‘Rule, Britannia! Music, Mischief and Morals in the 18th Century’ I, BBC 2014
In the years after Purcell’s death, London was beginning to reawaken. ibid.
George set about ingratiating himself with the aristocracy becoming an enthusiastic supporter of Italian Opera. In 1719 the King stumped up £1,000 to help launch a new Royal Academy of Music. ibid.
The British for the first time became consumers ... Music became a kind of conspicuous consumption, a driving force in a cultural boom. Suzy Klein, ‘Rule Britannia! Music, Mischief and Morals in the 18th Century’ II
The pursuit of enjoyment was becoming more fashionable and more commercial than it had ever been. ibid.
Singing clubs like this were formed for the love of male companionship. ibid.