Nottingham Crest Pic. 2Kb


Nottinghamshire lies in the eastern-central area of England, covering
an area of 844 square miles. The county is divided by the River Trent
which for centuries was the boundary of the two halves of England.
Evidence of some of the first settlers of the county date to circa
43,000 B.C.   After the Roman and during the Anglo-Saxon period,
the first mention of Nottingham itself is from the Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle of 867 (mentioned as Snotengaham).
      The actual shire of Nottingham was created between the late 9th
century and the early 11th century, being raised to county status in
1448 by King Henry VI.


The Pilgrim Fathers.
Many of the Pilgrim Fathers came from villages around the Nottingh-
amshire village of Scrooby. William Brewster, author of the Mayflo-
wer Compact, was the son of Scrooby's postmaster. Brewster and
twelve-year-old William Bradford, who in later years became
Governor of the New England settlement, were members of Richard
Clyftons congregation at the nearby village of Babworth.
From the village of Sturton-le-Steeple came William and Susanna
White, along with their son. Their second child was the first 'Englis-
hman' born in the new world. Also from the village came Catherine
Caver, wife of the first Governor, John Caver.

Pub Sign Pic. 4Kb


The Civil War.
Probably due to Nottingham's record of defending the monarchy
during previous upheavels (the Battle of East Stoke in the War of
the Roses being one example), King Charles I chose to raise his
standard here in 1642. However, local response to his call to arms
raised only 300 men. Once the King had marched away, the town
became a Parliamentarian stronghold.
In 1646 Charles surrendered himself to the Scots (hoping for bett-
er treatment than if he had surrended to the English) at the Kings
Head public house (now called the Saracens Head) Southwell.

Public House Pic. 4Kb

After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Henry Ireton, who
had been one of the local signataries to King Charles's death
warrant, had his body exhumed (he died in 1685), paraded through
the streets of London, and was hung, drawn and Quarted. His head
was then placed at Westminster Hall, where it was still to be seen
many years later. Another local traitor, Colonel Francis Hacker,
endured the same punishment whilst still alive.
Trade and Industry.
Initially Nottingham's prosperity depended greatly on the River
Trent and the main river crossing, Trent Bridge. As well as being
used for transporting materials and finished goods, an additional
source of income was gained by charging tolls.
Coal, wool dyeing, ceramics and brewing (Nottingham was
ideal for brewing due to the large number of caves under the town),
were some of the earliest industries in the town.  Although by the
mid 18th century Nottingham had a thriving textile industry, it was
the arrival to the town in the late 1760s of James Hargreaves and
later Richard Arkwright that really boosted Nottingham's cotton
and lace industry.

Sir Richard Arkwright 1732-1792
19th And 20th Century Nottingham.
Until the Nottingham Enclosures Act of 1845, expansion of the
town was restricted to within the old medieval town walls. This
led to a very cramped and insanitary existance for many of the
occupants. An indication of how bad conditions were, comes
from a report written by J. R. Martin in 1844, "The average age
at death of the inhabitants of several of the Nottingham districts
is only 14 or 15 years, a lower rate than has yet been ascertained
to exist in any other city, or within the British Empire.".  

Typical Victorian slum. Demolished circa 1913.
Other than coal and lace, Nottingham's industry over the past
century or more has been dominated by three companies. Each
created by men of vision. John Player, who founded John
Player & Sons Tobacco Company. R. M. Woodhead along with
Paul Angois founded the Raleigh Cycle Company. And Jesse
Boot, founder of Boots The Chemists.  

Players Trade Mark Pic. 4Kb                 Boots Trade Mark Pic. 2Kb.


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