Letter: Whitehall's role in regional decline

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article 'England's regional identity problem' was unfortunately flawed on two counts.

The 'ancient nation state of France' was not 'long even more centralised' than England. In 973 AD when King Edgar the Peaceable was crowned first King of the English, the King of France ruled little more than the Ile de France, roughly equivalent to modern Paris, while the rest of France was ruled by proudly regional dukes and counts.

Neither are you strictly correct to assert that the oldest division of England itself is into counties. The kingdom of England was preceded by other ancient kingdoms, for example Mercia, Northumberland and Wessex, which were united by force of arms into 'England' by Arthur and his sons.



Research student

History Department

Nottingham University