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York

"'Let the Banner of York Fly High'"

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  Summary  

York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence. The city offers a wealth of historic attractions, of which York Minster is the most prominent, and a variety of cultural and sporting activities.

The city was founded by the Romans in 71 AD, under the name of Eboracum. It became in turn the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, and of the kingdoms of Northumbria and Jorvik. In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major wool trading centre and became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province of the Church of England, a role it has retained.

In the 19th century York became a hub of the railway network and a manufacturing centre. In recent decades, the economy of York has moved from being dominated by its confectionery and railway-related industries to one that provides services. The University of York and health services have become major employers, whilst tourism has become an important element of the local economy.

From 1996, the term City of York describes a unitary authority area which includes rural areas beyond the old city boundaries. In 2001 the urban area had a population of 137,505, while in 2007 the entire unitary authority had an estimated population of 193,300.

  History  

  Toponymy
The word 'York' comes from the Latin name for the city, variously rendered as Eboracum, Eburacum or Eburaci. The first mention of York by this name is dated to c. 95–104 AD as an address on a wooden stylus tablet from the Roman fortress of Vindolanda in Northumberland.

The toponymy of Eboracum is uncertain because the language of the pre-Roman indigenous population of the area was never recorded. These people are thought to have spoken a Celtic language, related to modern Welsh. Therefore, it is thought that Eboracum is derived from the Brythonic word Eborakon meaning either "place of the yew trees" or perhaps "field of Eboras". The city of Évora, in southern Portugal, capital of Alentejo region, south of Tagus river, had the name Ebora in Roman times and before the roman conquest was one of the main towns of the celtics, a tribal confederacy of celtic tribes in what today is southern Portugal. The etymological origin of the name Ebora is from the ancient celtic word ebora/ebura, plural genitive of the word eburos , name of a species of tree, so its name means "of yew trees", as such, the old name of York is related to that of Évora.
The name 'Eboracum' was turned into 'Eoforwic' by the Anglians in the 7th century. This was probably by conflation of 'ebor' with a Germanic root *eburaz ; by the 7th century the Old English for boar had become 'eofor', and Eboracum 'Eoforwic'. The 'wic' simply signified 'place'. When the Danish army conquered the city in 866, the name became rendered as 'Jórvík'.

Jórvík was gradually reduced to York in the centuries following the Norman Conquest, moving from the Middle English Yerk in the 14th century through to Yourke in the 16th century and then Yarke in the 17th century. The form York was first recorded in the 13th century. Many present day names of companies and places, such as Ebor taxis and the Ebor race meeting, refer to the Roman name.
The Archbishop of York also uses Ebor as his surname in his signature.

 Early history

Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesolithic people settled in the region of York between 8000 and 7000 BC, although it is not known whether these settlements were permanent or temporary. By the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, the area was occupied by a tribe known to the Romans as the Brigantes. The Brigantian tribal area initially became a Roman client state, but, later its leaders became more hostile to Rome. As a result the Roman Ninth Legion was sent north of the Humber into Brigantian territory.

The city itself was founded in 71 AD, when the Ninth Legion conquered the Brigantes and constructed a wooden military fortress on flat ground above the River Ouse close to its confluence with the River Foss. The fortress, which was later rebuilt in stone, covered an area of and was inhabited by 6,000 soldiers. The site of the Roman fortress lies under the foundations of York Minster, and excavations in the Minster's undercroft have revealed some of the original walls.

The Emperors Hadrian, Septimius Severus and Constantius I all held court in York during their various campaigns. During his stay, the Emperor Severus proclaimed York capital of the province of Britannia Inferior, and it is likely that it was he who granted York the privileges of a colonia or city. Constantius I died in 306 AD during his stay in York, and his son Constantine the Great was proclaimed Emperor by the troops based in the fortress.

While the Roman colonia and fortress were located on high ground, by 400 the town itself was victim to periodic flooding from the rivers Ouse and Foss and lay abandoned. York declined in the post-Roman era, and was taken and settled by the Angles in the 5th century.

Reclamation of the flooded parts of the town were initiated in the 7th century under King Edwin of Northumbria, and York became his chief city. The first Minster church was built in York for the baptism of Edwin in 627. Edwin ordered that this small wooden church should be rebuilt in stone, however, he was killed in 633 and the task of completing the stone Minster fell to his successor Oswald. In the following century Alcuin of York came to the cathedral school of York. He had a long career as a teacher and scholar, first at the school at York now known as St Peter's School, York, which was founded in 627 AD, and later as Charlemagne's leading advisor on ecclesiastical and educational affairs.

In 866, Northumbria was in the midst of internecine struggles when the Vikings raided and captured York. Under Viking rule the city became a major river port, part of the extensive Viking trading routes throughout northern Europe. The last ruler of an independent Jórvík, Eric Bloodaxe, was driven from the city in the year 954 by King Edred in his successful attempt to complete the unification of England.

 Post conquest

In 1068, two years after the Norman Conquest of England, the people of York rebelled. Initially the rebellion was successful, however, upon the arrival of William the Conqueror the rebellion was put down. William at once built two wooden fortresses on mottes, which are still visible, on either side of the river Ouse. York was ravaged by him as part of the harrying of the North.

The first stone Minster church was badly damaged by fire in the uprising and the Normans later decided to build a new Minster on a new site. Around the year 1080 Archbishop Thomas started building a cathedral that in time became the current Minster.
In the 12th century York started to prosper. In 1190, York Castle was the site of an infamous massacre of its Jewish inhabitants, in which at least 150 Jews died .

The city, through its location on the River Ouse and its proximity to the Great North Road became a major trading centre. King Henry I granted the city's first charter, confirming trading rights in England and Europe. During the course of the later Middle Ages York merchants imported wine from France, cloth, wax, canvas, and oats from the Low Countries, timber and furs from the Baltic and exported grain to Gascony and grain and wool to the Low Countries. York became a major cloth manufacturing and trading centre. Edward I further stimulated the city's economy by using the city as a base for his war in Scotland. The city was the location of significant unrest during the so-called Peasants' Revolt in 1381. The city acquired an inceasing degree of autonomy from central government including the privileges granted by a charter of Richard II in 1396.

 Tudor and Stuart times

The city underwent a period of economic decline during Tudor times. Under Henry VIII, the Dissolution of the Monasteries saw the end of the York's many monastic houses, including several orders of friars, the hospitals of St Nicholas and of St Leonard, the largest such institution in the north of England. This led to the Pilgrimage of Grace, an uprising of northern Catholics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire who were opposed to religious reform. Henry VIII restored his authority through the establishmnent of the Council of the North in York in the dissolved St Mary's Abbey. The city very much became a trading and service centre during this period.

Guy Fawkes who was born and educated in York was a member of a group of Roman Catholic restorationists that planned the Gunpowder Plot. Its aim was to displace Protestant rule by blowing up the Houses of Parliament while King James I and the entire Protestant and even most of the Catholic aristocracy and nobility were inside.

In 1644, during the Civil War, the Parliamentarians besieged York, and many medieval houses outside the city walls were lost. The barbican at Walmgate Bar was undermined and explosives laid, but, the plot was discovered. On the arrival of Prince Rupert, with an army of 15,000 men, the siege was lifted. The Parliamentarians retreated some from York with Rupert in pursuit, before turning on his army and soundly defeating it at the Battle of Marston Moor. Of Rupert's 15,000 troops, no fewer than 4,000 were killed and 1,500 captured. The siege was renewed, nevertheless, the city could not hold out for long, and on 15 July the city surrendered to Sir Thomas Fairfax.

Following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, and the removal of the garrison from York in 1688, the city was dominated by the local gentry and merchants, although the clergy were still important. Competition from the nearby cities of Leeds and Hull, together with silting of the River Ouse, resulted in York losing its pre-eminent position as a trading centre. Nevertheless, the city's role as the social and cultural centre for wealthy northerners was on the rise. York's many elegant townhouses, such as the Lord Mayor's Mansion House and Fairfax House date from this period, as do the Assembly Rooms, the Theatre Royal, and the Racecourse.

 Modern history

George Hudson was responsible for bringing the railway to York in 1839. Although Hudson's career as a railway entrepreneur eventually ended in disgrace, by this time, York was a major railway centre. At the turn of the 20th century, the railway accommodated the headquarters and works of the North Eastern Railway, which employed over 5,500 people in York. The railway was also instrumental in the expansion of Rowntree's Cocoa Works. Rowntree's was founded in York in 1862 by Henry Isaac Rowntree, who was joined in 1869 by his brother the philanthropist Joseph Rowntree. Terry's Confectionery Works was also a major employer in the city.

With the emergence of tourism as a major industry, the historic core of York became one of the city's major assets, and in 1968 it was designated a conservation area. The existing tourist attractions were supplemented by the establishment of the National Railway Museum in York in 1975. The opening of the University of York in 1963 added to the prosperity of the city. The fast and frequent railway service, which brings York within two hours journey time of London, has resulted in a number of companies opening offices in the city.

York was voted as European Tourism City of the Year by European Cities Marketing in June 2007. York beat 130 other European cities to gain first place, surpassing Gothenburg in Sweden and Valencia in Spain .

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "York", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.