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Three Lions – Emblem of English Football

For the first time in 28 years England have progressed to the semi-final of the football World Cup. As a result the three lions on the team’s shirt have once again become an iconic symbol of the national dream of footballing glory.

The thrFA crest 2009.svgee lions is really the emblem of the English Football Association (FA), established in 1863 to formalise and regulate a common set of rules to be used across the country. To this day, the FA is the governing body of English football.

The first international match took place in 1872 between England (representing the FA) and Scotland. England wore white jerseys with the FA crest on the chest. This consisted of three navy lions within an outline shield topped by a crown, more than a nod to the design of the Royal Arms of England.

This design was used with some variation in every international match following and was put on an official footing after the war when the College of Arms (responsible for heraldry in England and Wales) granted a coat of arms to the FA. This combined the three lions with a background of Tudor roses, but removing the crown as this design was being used by the England cricket team. The new FA arms kept the existing style of navy on white but was suitably differenced from the emblems of other sports teams and the English Royal Arms.

Representing England by three lions goes back to the Middle Ages. Lions were common heraldic devices, no doubt noted for their strength and courage. William the Conqueror was reputed to have used three lions on his shield, though this was not put forward until nearly two centuries after his death. Indeed, heraldry as a system of hereditary personal symbols only definitely appears in the mid-12th century.

Although it may have been used earlier, the first contemporary evidence we have of an English king using three lions is in the reign of Richard the Lionheart. On his second Great Seal from the 1190s he is shown riding on horseback in armour, bearing a shield with three lions. In every subsequent reign this shield design was used by kings and queens to represent England, irrespective of changes of the families who ruled.

So by the time that the FA were seeking a symbol to adequately represent the national football team of England, what better authoritative symbol could there be? Even more powerful than the flag of St George, that had long been overtaken by the British Union Flag. And so it has remained to this day.

Jeremy Goldsmith, 11 July 2018

The First Duke of Sussex

When Prince Harry married Meghan Markle he was created Duke of Sussex. It is quite usual for senior royals to be given an aristocratic title upon marriage; Prince William, for instance, became the Duke of Cambridge. While the Queen may select any title she wishes, certain names tend to be revived rather than created anew. The latest occasion was true to this tradition.

Prince Frederick Augustus, Duke of Sussex (1773-1843) by Guy Head (1798)

The first Duke of Sussex was Prince Augustus Frederick, son of George III. His brothers included the sensuous and gluttonous Prince Regent (later George IV), the army general known in nursery rhymes as ‘the Grand Old Duke of York’, and the naval enthusiast who lived for years in an open and unmarried relationship with an actress (who in more sober times came to the throne himself as William IV).

Prince Augustus fitted well into this company. A man of passionate enthusiasms, he loved learning and the arts. He once boasted to a lady, apparently without humour, that ‘I have the most wonderful voice that was ever heard’ and amassed the largest single collection of bibles then known. He filled his rooms with songbirds and his garden at Kensington Palace was widely praised. Also fascinated by science, he served as president of the Royal Society and at his death he even offered his body to medical science (though this was not taken up).

He was just as passionate in his love affairs. Before his parents could arrange a suitable dynastic marriage for him, Prince Augustus fell in love with an Englishwoman he met in Rome. While her father was an earl and Governor of the Bahamas, Lady Augusta Murray and her prince feared the king would not approve the match. Indeed, to prevent unsuitable connections, the Royal Marriages Act 1772 rendered any marriage made without the monarch’s permission would be void.

In spite of this, while still in Rome, Prince Augustus and an English clergyman were smuggled into Augusta’s room one evening while her mother was attending a party. A few months later, back in London, they married again under slightly disguised names, she being heavily pregnant. Not long after, the marriage was annulled and their child became illegitimate.

Although the couple lived together happily in Germany for a time, Prince Augustus was ultimately lured back by the promise of a parliamentary grant to give him financial independence. The money was paid, but only when he renounced Augusta. Around the same time he was given the title Duke of Sussex.

In spite of his marriage being void and the occasional difficulties Augusta caused him after the split, Prince Augustus avoided any new commitment until her death many years later. It was then that his passionate soul once more led him to marry without the royal permission, this time to Cecilia Buggin, the widow of a knight. Caring little for the official disapproval, he promptly appeared in public at a party where the couple were treated as Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

On official occasions, though, Cecilia had no appropriate rank. Queen Victoria, however, sympathised with the lovers’ plight and created her Duchess of Inverness in her own right, giving her something of the precedence she ought to have had.

When he died, the Duke asked to be buried not with the Royal Family at Windsor (where Cecilia would be excluded), but in the public cemetery at Kensal Green in London. In due course his wife was buried beside him.

Jeremy Goldsmith

For more about Prince Augustus, please see the July 2018 issue of Majesty magazine where a longer version of this piece appears

Talbot Research offers a range services in historical and biographical research, from the consultation of sources to prepared reports and writing ready for publication. To discuss your needs with us please contact us here.

 

 

Using the UK Census

 

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Francis William Edmonds, Taking the Census (1854)

 

Collecting personal data is nothing new. While the information harvesting of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook have shocked many, it has been known for centuries that the more you know about people the more effectively you can deal with them. And while aggressive data collection by companies is a recent phenomenon, governments have been doing it far longer in the form of the census.

What is a census?

Simply a census is an official record of the population of a country or area. At its most basic it may just be a matter of counting heads. But most modern censuses have collected many more details of age, economic circumstances and geographical origin.

When was the first census in the UK?

The first modern census was taken in Sweden in 1749 and was soon followed in other European nations. Campaigners tried to introduce a British census in the 1750s but the gentry opposed through fear that it would be a means of increasing property taxes. Later a group of statisticians and politicians were able to persuade the government to take a census every ten years. The first census of England, Wales, and Scotland (Ireland was not included until later) was made in 1801. A survey has been taken every decade since except for 1941 when the Second World War intervened.

What information is contained in the census?

The first censuses were concerned with collating statistics. They counted the population and noted the numbers of people involved in farming or factories. The ages of citizens began to be recorded but few personal details. For the period 1801-1831 very few records survive other than the bare numbers in the official published census abstracts.

In 1841 the census system changed dramatically. From then we have names, addresses, ages, gender, occupation and area of origin. Throughout the C19th more details were added. In 1851 individual’s marital status was recorded as well as the relation to the head of the household. Severe disabilities began to be noted. At this time the precise location of every person’s birth i.e. town or village and county was also included.

In 1911, the latest census currently available to public view, an even more comprehensive range of personal details were taken. For instance, the number of years a couple had been married, the number of children born within the marriage, how many were living, and how many had died, and whether anyone in the household suffered from an ‘infirmity’.

At various times the information recorded was slightly different in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, but the above – based on the censuses of England – provides a good guide to what was going on.

How to find people in the census?

 

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Suffragettes boycotting the 1911 Census in Manchester

 

 

To avoid counting anyone more than once, only those who were present on census night were recorded. This meant that visitors might be included while other members of a family might be unusually absent because they were elsewhere. However, using online indexes, ‘missing’ people may be found elsewhere, using factors like age and place of birth for cross-referencing.

Some people, such as criminals, may have had a reason to avoid the authorities. Those in the armed services may still be found in separately collected census data. In 1911 many women who campaigned for the right to vote evaded the census as a form of protest.

Where can I access UK census records?

Although the censuses are part of the National Archives as a government record, all the censuses between 1841 and 1911 have been digitised and are available through a variety of subscription-access websites. The major providers include

Where can I find out more about the census?

There are a number of thorough books on the subject, but particularly useful guides are

  • Emma Jolly, Tracing Your Ancestors using the Census (Pen & Sword, 2013)
  • Edward Higgs, Making Sense of the Census Revisited (Institute of Historical Research, 2005)
  • Peter Christian and David Annal, Census: The Expert Guide (National Archives, 2008)

How can I get help with census records?

We can help with any enquiry relating to UK census records between 1841 and 1911. The team at Talbot Research are experienced with searching and interpreting these records and putting them in context to create the clearest picture of the past. Please contact us to find out more.