Are you a master of history?

Do you roll with the Romans but get confused by the Etheldreds and Ethelfriths? Can you tell your Lambert Simnel from your Perkin Warbeck?

When it comes to history are you as learned as the Tudors? Or are you more of an Old Pretender?

Test yourself on the wilder shores of english history with this quiz! All the answers can be found in Simon Jenkins’ new book, A Short History of England (Profile books £25).

Strange moments in English history; what were...

  1. The War of Jenkins’ Ear?
  2. The barebones parliament?
  3. The Battle of the Bulge?
  4. The Black hole of Calcutta?
  5. The Cato Street conspiracy?
  6. Grand Remonstrance?
  7. Peterloo Massacre?
  8. St Brice’s Day Massacre?
  9. The Battle of Quatre Bras?
  10. The Rye House plot?
  11. The Gordon Riots?
  12. The Boston tea-party?

On the battlefield...

  1. Which battle was fought ‘For England, Harry and St George’?
  2. What did British commander Field Marshal Sir John French say would be ‘over by Christmas’? When was it, finally, over?
  3. The Duke of Wellington described it as ‘the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life’. What was he talking about?
  4. What did an Anglo-Saxon chronicler describe as ‘whirlwinds, lightening storms and fiery dragons were seen flying in the sky’?
  5. To what was Churchill referring as ‘not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning’?
  6. Who claimed to ‘singe the King of Spain’s beard’? Had it, indeed, been singed?

Kings and Things...

  1. Which English leader demanded to be painted ‘warts and all’?
  2. Which king declared ‘I would sell London if I could find a buyer’? (today still honoured with a statue in Westminster!)
  3. Who was the ‘nine days queen’?
  4. Who defended himself against a charge of treason by stating ‘England was never an elected kingdom but a hereditary kingdom for near these thousand years... The king can do no wrong’?
  5. Which King’s last words were, ‘Let not poor Nellie starve’? (And who was Nellie?)

Politics and people...

  1. Queen Victoria said ‘he speaks to me as if I was a public meeting’. Who was he?
  2. In 1707 Daniel Defoe declared ‘for every Scot in favour there is ninety-nine against’. What was he talking about?
  3. Why did Disraeli refer to Gladstone’s cabinet in 1874 as ‘a range of exhausted volcanoes – not a flame flickers on a single pallid crest’?
  4. What US president said of which British PM ‘[he] sprinkled too much adrenalin on his cornflakes’?
  5. It was ‘contrary to the principles of justice, humanity and sound policy’ and Fox’s bill of May 1806 outlawed it. What was it?

Reputations; who was known as...

  1. The She-wolf of France?
  2. The Iron Duke?
  3. Fair Rosamund?
  4. The Unready Ethelred?
  5. Bloody Mary?
  6. The Iron Lady?
  7. My dear, sweet Steenie?
  8. Rufus?
  9. The merrie monarch?
  10. The Hammer of the Scots?

The common people; who said the following, and whom or what were they describing...

  1. ‘When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?’
  2. ‘Try living on their wages before your judge them’
  3. ‘I never saw so many shocking bad hats in my life’
  4. ‘No theory of government was ever given a fairer test or a more prolonged experiment. It was a miserable failure’
  5. Who described the House of Lords as ‘a body of five hundred men chosen at random from among the unemployed’ when it rejected his ‘people’s budget’?

The burdens of government; who said what to whom, and why...

  1. ‘When I am shaving in the morning I say to myself, if I were a young man, I would emigrate’
  2. ‘Our bells are worn threadbare ringing for victories’
  3. ‘if a bedpan lands on the floor in the hospital in Tredegar, it should be clanging in Whitehall’ Why was Aneurin Bevan so concerned about bedpans in 1948?
  4. ‘I never spared man in my anger nor woman in my lust’
  5. ‘Though you have had, and may have, many mightier and wiser princes in this seat, yet ye never had, nor ever shall have, any that will love you better.’

God and men...

  1. Who said, ‘Non Angli sed angeli’ ‘Not Angles but Angels of God’?
  2. What was the pilgrimage of grace and what happened to those taking part?
  3. Who said, ‘What miserable drones and traitors have I nurtured within my household, that they let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?’
  4. What classic of Protestant morality was written by John Bunyan while imprisoned for his beliefs in Bedford gaol?
  5. ‘If I had served God as diligently as I have done the king, He would not have given me over to my grey hairs’?

Why were these places famous (or infamous)...

  1. Culloden
  2. Lindisfarne
  3. Edington outside Chippenham
  4. Winchester
  5. Hastings
  6. Runnymede
  7. Bannockburn
  8. Richmond
  9. Old Sarum

Dire warnings; who said the following, and what were they describing...

  1. ‘The lights are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.’
  2. ‘National bankruptcy is near’
  3. 'Horrible, fantastic and incredible... that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas masks here because of a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing.’
  4. ‘I met murder on the way / He had a mask like Castlereagh’
  5. ‘Loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, dangerous to the brain.’

Ententes cordiales, or perhaps not...

  1. Who was the first English king to be crowned King of France (and ironically the first Medieval monarch probably not to speak, er, French)
  2. In what year was the English parliament opened, in English, for the first time?
  3. Who said, ‘When I am dead and opened, they shall find Calais engraved on my heart’?
  4. Why did Britain and France sign the Entente Cordiale in 1904?
  5. And what British move did Charles de Gaulle veto twice - in 1963 and 1967?

Unhappy endings; horrible deaths abound in English history

  1. Who died with an arrow in his eye?
  2. Who was beheaded then impaled with a paper crown over the gates of York, ‘ so York may overlook the town of York’ as Queen Margaret of Anjou put it?
  3. Whose execution (being drawn from prison backwards by a horsetail, then hanged, cut down when still alive, ‘his privy parts cut off and burnt before his face...his bowels and inlaid parts taken out and burnt...after his to have his head cut off’ was described by James I as ‘an ordinary Punishment much inferior to their Offence’?
  4. When Samuel Pepys wrote ‘Lord how empty the streets are, and melancholy’ what was he describing?

And if you'd like to see the answers - click here. No cheating now, you hear?

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

    Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

    Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

    Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

    £50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

    Day In a Page

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine