Culture of England
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The culture of England refers to the idiosyncratic cultural norms of England and the English people. Because of England's dominant position within the United Kingdom in terms of population, English culture is often difficult to differentiate from the culture of the United Kingdom as a whole.
Architecture and gardens
English architecture begins with the architecture of the Anglo-Saxons; at least fifty surviving English churches are of Anglo-Saxon origin, although in some cases the Anglo-Saxon part is small and much-altered. All except one timber church are built of stone or brick, and in some cases show evidence of reused Roman work. The architectural character of Anglo-Saxon ecclesiastical buildings ranges from Coptic-influenced architecture in the early period; Early Christian basilica influenced architecture; to, in the later Anglo-Saxon period, an architecture characterized by pilaster-strips, blank arcading, baluster shafts and triangular-headed openings. Almost no secular work remains above ground.
Other buildings such as cathedrals and parish churches are associated with a sense of traditional Englishness, as is often the palatial 'stately home'. Many people are interested in the English country house and the rural lifestyle, as evidenced by visits to properties managed by English Heritage and the National Trust.
English art was dominated by imported artists throughout much of the Renaissance, but in the 18th century a native tradition became much admired. It is often considered to be typified by landscape painting, such as the work of J.M.W. Turner and John Constable. Portraitists like Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds and William Hogarth are also significant. Hogarth also developed a distinctive style of satirical painting.
Since the early modern era, the food of England has historically been characterised by its simplicity of approach, honesty of flavour, and a reliance on the high quality of natural produce. This has resulted in a traditional cuisine which tended to veer from strong flavours, such as garlic, and an avoidance of complex sauces which were commonly associated with Catholic Continental political affiliations Traditional meals have ancient origins, such as bread and cheese, roasted and stewed meats, meat and game pies, and freshwater and saltwater fish. The 14th-century English cookbook, the Forme of Cury, contains recipes for these, and dates from the royal court of Richard II.
Modern English cuisine is difficult to differentiate from British cuisine as a whole. However, there are some forms of cuisine considered distinctively English. The Full English Breakfast is a variant of the traditional British fried breakfast. The normal ingredients of a traditional full English breakfast are bacon, eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread or toast, and sausage, usually served with a cup of coffee or tea. Black pudding is added in some regions as well as fried leftover mashed potatoes called potato cakes or hash browns.
Tea and beer are typical and rather iconic drinks in England, particularly the former. Traditionally, High Tea would be had as a separate meal. Cider is produced in the West Country and, more recently, East Anglia and the south of England has seen the reintroduction of vineyards producing white wine on a small scale.
Roast beef is a food traditionally associated with the English; the link was made famous by Henry Fielding's patriotic ballad "The Roast Beef of Old England", and William Hogarth's painting of the same name. Indeed, since the 1700s the phrase "les rosbifs" has been a popular French nickname for the English.
England produces hundreds of regional cheeses, including:
- Cheddar cheese
- Stilton cheese
- Wensleydale cheese
- Lancashire cheese
- Dorset Blue Vinney cheese
- Cheshire cheese
- Double Gloucester cheese
- Red Leicester
- Blue cheese
More dishes invented in or distinctive to England include:
- The English crumpet is a form of crumpet; it is distinguished from its Scottish equivalent by its greater thickness
- Muffins, known as 'English muffins' in North America, are a form of rounded, yeast-leavened bread
- Lancashire hotpot
- Mushy peas
- Beef Wellington
- Worcester sauce
- Clotted cream from Devon and Cornwall
- Yorkshire pudding
- Sausage and mash
- Eccles cake
- Cumberland sausage
- Lincolnshire sausage
- Balti, a form of curry invented in Birmingham
- Apple pie
- Banoffee pie
English folklore is the folk tradition that has evolved in England over the centuries. England abounds with folklore, in all forms, from such obvious manifestations as semi-historical Robin Hood tales, to contemporary urban myths and facets of cryptozoology such as the Beast of Bodmin Moor. The famous Arthurian legends may not have originated in England, but variants of these tales are associated with locations in England, such as Glastonbury and Tintagel.
Examples of surviving English folk traditions include the Morris dance and related practices such as the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance and the Mummers Play. In many, usually rural places, people still gather for May Day festivals on the first of May to celebrate the beginning of summer. This traditionally involves local children skipping around a maypole - a large pole erected on the village green (historically a tree would have been specially cut down) - each carrying a coloured ribbon, resulting in a multi-coloured plaited pattern. The festival traditionally features Morris dancing and various festivities, culminating in the crowning of a 'May Queen'. Many regional variations of the festivals exist; the oldest still practised today is the "'Obby 'Oss festival of Padstow, which dates back to the 14th century.
The utopian vision of a traditional England is sometimes referred to as Merry England.
English law is the legal system of England and Wales. Due to the British Empire, it has been exported across the world: it is the basis of common law jurisprudence of most Commonwealth countries, and English law prior to the American revolution is still part of the law of the United States, except in Louisiana, and provides the basis for many American legal traditions and policies, though it has no superseding jurisdiction.
English literature begins with Anglo-Saxon literature, which was written in Old English. For many years, Latin and French were the preferred literary languages of England, but in the medieval period there was a flourishing of literature in Middle English; Geoffrey Chaucer is the most famous writer of this period. The Elizabethan era is sometimes described as the golden age of English literature, as numerous great poets were writing in English, and the Elizabethan theatre produced William Shakespeare, often considered the English national poet.
Due to the expansion of English into a world language during the British Empire, literature is now written in English across the world. Writers often associated with England or for expressing Englishness include Shakespeare (who produced two tetralogies of history plays about the English kings), Jane Austen, Arnold Bennett, and Rupert Brooke (whose poem "Grantchester" is often considered quintessentially English). Other writers are associated with specific regions of England; these include Charles Dickens (London), Thomas Hardy (Wessex), A. E. Housman (Shropshire), and the Lake Poets (the Lake District). In the lighter vein, Agatha Christie's mystery novels are outsold only by Shakespeare and The Bible.
England has a long and rich musical history. The United Kingdom has, like most European countries, undergone a roots revival in the last half of the 20th century. English music has been an instrumental and leading part of this phenomenon, which peaked at the end of the 1960s and into the 1970s.
The achievements of the Anglican choral tradition following on from 16th century composers such as Thomas Tallis, John Taverner and William Byrd have tended to overshadow instrumental composition. The semi-operatic innovations of Henry Purcell did not lead to a native operatic tradition, but George Frederick Handel found important royal patrons and enthusiastic public support in England. The rapturous receptions afforded by audiences to visiting musical celebrities such as Haydn often contrasted with the lack of recognition for home-grown talent. However, the emergence of figures such as Edward Elgar and Arthur Sullivan in the 19th century showed a new vitality in English music. In the 20th century, Benjamin Britten and Michael Tippett emerged as internationally-recognised opera composers, and Ralph Vaughan Williams and others collected English folk tunes and adapted them to the concert hall. Cecil Sharp was a leading figure in the English folk revival.
Finally, a new trend emerged out of Liverpool in 1962. The Beatles became the most popular musicians of their time, and in the composing duo of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, popularized the concept of the self-contained music act. Before the Beatles, very few popular singers composed the tunes they performed. The "Fab Four" opened the doors for other English acts such as the Rolling Stones, Cream, The Hollies, The Kinks, The Who, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Iron Maiden, The Police and Pink Floyd to the globe.
Some of England's leading contemporary artists include Eric Clapton, Elton John, George Michael, The Spice Girls, Oasis, Blur, Radiohead, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, Def Leppard, Take That, Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Muse, Mumford and Sons, Amy Winehouse, Rihanna, Adele, and One Direction
In England, Christianity became the most practiced religion centuries ago. Polytheistic religions, often referred to as paganism, were practiced before Christianity took hold. These religions include Celtic polytheism, Norse paganism, Roman polytheism, and others. Some were introduced by the Anglo-Saxons, who had their origins in ancient Germanic tribes. Wicca was s pagan religion that had its roots in England and soon spread all over the world. Wicca refers to a religion of witchcraft and its adherents are called Wiccans or witches. This religion is put into the Neopaganism category.
England's main religions today are:
Within Christianity are various individual denominations, to which the vast majority of declared Christians in England align themselves. These include, amongst others:
• Anglicanism • Roman Catholicism • Methodism • Pentecostal • Eastern Orthodox Churches (such as Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox) • Oriental Orthodoxy
Christianity was introduced to England when the Romans arrived and its history dates back to about the 200’s and 300’s of our Common Era (CE). When the Romans retreated from England, they left behind them a Christian culture, which was revived somewhat when missionaries arrived in the country from Scotland and Europe. In 664, the English Church aligned itself completely with Roman Catholicism. Over the next few centuries, exquisite churches and cathedrals were constructed.
Christianity was first introduced through the Romans (legend links the introduction of Christianity to England to the Glastonbury legend of Joseph of Arimathea; see also the legend of Saint Lucius). Archaeological evidence for Christian communities begins to appear in the 3rd and 4th centuries. The Romano-British population after the withdrawal of the Roman legions was mostly Christian.
Christianity was reintroduced into England by missionaries from Scotland and from Continental Europe; the era of St Augustine (the first Archbishop of Canterbury) and the Celtic Christian missionaries in the north (notably St. Aidan and St. Cuthbert). The Synod of Whitby in 664 ultimately led to the English Church being fully part of Roman Catholicism. Early English Christian documents surviving from this time include the 7th century illuminated Lindisfarne Gospels and the historical accounts written by the Venerable Bede.
Norman nobles and bishops had influence before the Norman Conquest of 1066, and Norman influences affected late Anglo-Saxon architecture. Edward the Confessor was brought up in Normandy, and in 1042 brought masons to work on Westminster Abbey, the first Romanesque building in England. The cruciform churches of Norman architecture often had deep chancels and a square crossing tower which has remained a feature of English ecclesiastical architecture. Hundreds of parish churches were built and the first great English cathedrals. England has many early cathedrals, most notably York Minster (1080), Durham Cathedral (1093) and Salisbury Cathedral (1220). After a fire damaged Canterbury Cathedral in 1174 Norman masons introduced the new Gothic architecture. Around 1191 Wells Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral brought in the English Gothic style.
Stained glass from Rochester Cathedral in Kent, England, incorporating the Flag of England Pope Innocent III placed the kingdom of England under an interdict for seven years between 1208 and 1215 after King John refused to accept the pope's appointee as Archbishop of Canterbury.
In 1536, the Church in England split from Rome over the issue of the divorce (technically, the marriage annulment) of King Henry VIII from Catherine of Aragon. The split led to the emergence of a separate ecclesiastical authority. Later the influence of the Reformation resulted in the Church of England adopting its distinctive reformed Catholic position known as Anglicanism. For more detail of this period see the following articles:
Timeline of the English Reformation Act of Supremacy (1534): declared that Henry VIII was 'the only supreme head on earth of the Church in England' and required the nobility to swear an oath recognising Henry's supremacy. Six Articles (1539): although the organisation of the church in England was reformed, the articles reaffirmed Catholic doctrine. Book of Common Prayer and Book of Common Order Prayer Book Rebellion Catholic martyrs of the English Reformation Marian Persecutions and Marian exiles: during the re-establishment of Roman Catholicism in England under Mary I, some Protestants were persecuted and some upheld their faith in exile. Elizabethan Religious Settlement: under Elizabeth I political and religious stability was maintained by means of a compromise in both doctrine and practice between the Anglicanism of Henry VIII and that of Edward VI Act of Supremacy 1559: restored religious affairs in England to the state at the death of Edward VI, and imposed the Oath of Supremacy on those holding office. Thirty-Nine Articles (1563): the defining statements of Anglican doctrine were made a legal requirement in England in 1571 and were imposed by the Test Act of 1673 (until 1824) Regnans in Excelsis Priest hole: wealthy Roman Catholics constructed hiding places in their houses for priests. James I of England and religious issues Gunpowder Plot: in 1605 an attempt to assassinate King James VI and I and the Protestant establishment entrenched anti-Catholic sentiment. King James Bible The Vicar of Bray: the changes of political and religious régime required office holders to show flexibility in their declared convictions, as satirised in the popular song The Vicar of Bray. Westminster Assembly (1643): appointed by the Long Parliament to restructure the Church of England, drew up the Westminster Confession of Faith (which became, and remains, the 'subordinate standard' of doctrine in the Church of Scotland and has been influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide.) 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith: written by Calvinistic Baptists in England to give a formal expression of the Reformed and Protestant Christian faith with an obvious Baptist perspective. Royal Declaration of Indulgence (1672): Charles II attempted to extend religious liberty to Protestant nonconformists in his realms. Declaration of Indulgence (1687–1688): James II attempted to establish freedom of religion in England. Seven Bishops: bishops of the Church of England who petitioned James II against the Declaration of Indulgence were imprisoned. Popish Plot (1678–1681): a conspiracy to discredit Catholics in England accused Catholics of plotting. Exclusion Bill: sought to exclude the Charles II's brother and heir presumptive, James, Duke of York, from the throne of England because he was Catholic. Penal law: a specific series of laws that sought to uphold the establishment of the Church of England against Protestant nonconformists and Roman Catholics, by imposing various forfeitures, civil penalties, and civil disabilities upon these dissenters. Test Act: required a religious test of officials to ensure conformity with the established church. Act of Uniformity 1662: required the use of all the rites and ceremonies in the Book of Common Prayer in Church of England services, and episcopal ordination for all ministers. Conventicle Act 1664: forbade religious assemblies of more than five people outside the auspices of the Church of England. Five Mile Act 1665: forbade clergymen from living within five miles (8 km) of a parish from which they had been banned Nonjuring schism: the Anglican Church split in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, over whether William of Orange could legally be recognized as King of England. Today, the Church of England is the established church in England. It regards itself as in continuity with the pre-Reformation state Catholic church, (something the Roman Catholic Church does not accept), but has been a distinct Anglican church since the settlement under Elizabeth I (with some disruption during the 17th-century Commonwealth period). British Monarch is formally Supreme Governor of the Church of England, but its spiritual leader is the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is regarded by convention as the head of the worldwide communion of Anglican Churches (see Anglican Communion). In practice the Church of England is governed by the General Synod, under the authority of Parliament. The Church of England's mission to spread the Gospel has seen the establishment of many churches in the Anglican Communion throughout the world particularly in the Commonwealth of Nations.
There is another Anglican Church in England - the Free Church of England - which separated from the Church of England in the 19th century, out of concern that the Established Church was re-introducing Roman Catholic dogmas and practices. The Church of England recognises the Orders of the Free Church of England as valid. The Free Church of England is in communion with the Reformed Episcopal Church in the United States and Canada.
The English Church was heavily influenced by Rome from the arrival of St Augustine of Canterbury who arrived in AD 588, until the final break with Roman control at the accession of Queen Elizabeth I in 1558.
The early years of the UK were difficult for English adherents of the Roman Catholic Church, although the persecution was not violent as they had experienced in the recent past, for instance under the Popery Act 1698, that affected adherents in England and Wales. The civil rights of adherents to Roman Catholicism were severely curtailed, and there was no longer, as once in Stuart times, any Catholic presence at court, in public life, in the military or professions. Many of the Catholic nobles and gentry who had preserved on their lands among their tenants small pockets of Catholicism had followed James II into exile, and others at last conformed to Anglicanism, meaning that only very few such Catholic communities survived.
In the late 18th and early 19th century most restrictions on Catholic participation in public life were relaxed under acts such as the Papists Act 1778, Roman Catholic Relief Act 1791 and Catholic Relief Act 1829. This process of Catholic Emancipation met violent opposition in the Gordon Riots of 1780 in London. In the 1840s and 1850s, especially during the Great Irish Famine, while the bulk of the large outflow of emigration from Ireland was headed to the United States, thousands of poor Irish people also moved to England, establishing communities in cities and towns up and down the country such as London and Liverpool, thus giving Catholicism a huge numerical boost. In 1850, the Catholic Church in England and Wales re-established a hierarchy.
Recently, the rights of Catholics were restored even further with the allowing of the spouses of Royals to be Catholic. Daniel O'Connell was the first Catholic member of Parliament. Since then, there have been several Catholic Members of Parliament.
A strong tradition of Methodism developed from the 18th century onwards. The Methodist revival was started in England by a group of men including John Wesley and his younger brother Charles as a movement within the Church of England, but developed as a separate denomination after John Wesley's death.
Pentecostal churches are continuing to grow and, in terms of church attendance, are now third after the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. There are three main denomination of Pentecostal churches;
Assemblies of God in Great Britain are part of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship. Apostolic Church. Elim Pentecostal Church. The is also a growing number of independent, charismatic churches that encourage Pentecostal practices at part of their worship, such as Kingsgate Community Church in Peterborough which started with 9 people in 1988 and now has a congregation in excess of 1,500.
The Salvation Army dates back to 1865, when it was founded in East London by William and Catherine Booth. Its international headquarters are still in London, near St Paul's Cathedral.
There is one Mennonite congregation in England, the Wood Green Mennonite Church in London.
Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion is a small society of evangelical churches, founded in 1783, which today has 23 congregations in England.
Construction of the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Most-Holy Mother of God and the Holy Royal Martyrs (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia), in Gunnersbury, commenced in 1997 in traditional Russian architectural style. There are various Russian Orthodox groups in England. In 1962, Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh founded and was for many years bishop, archbishop then metropolitan bishop of the diocese of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Sourozh, the Russian Orthodox Moscow Patriarchate's diocese for Great Britain and Ireland. It is the most numerous Russian Orthodox group in the country. There are also the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia churches as well as some churches and communities belonging to the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe's Episcopal Vicariate in the UK.
Most Greek Orthodox Church parishes fall under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, based in London and led by Gregorios, the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain. Created in 1932, it is the diocese of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople that covers England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland as well as Malta. A Greek Orthodox community already existed at the time the UK was formed, worshipping in the Imperial Russian Embassy in London. However, it was another 130 years until an autonomous community was set up in Finsbury Park in London, in 1837. The first new church was built in 1850, on London Street in the City. In 1882, St Sophia Cathedral was constructed in London, in order to cope with the growing influx of Orthodox immigrants. By the outbreak of World War I, there were large Orthodox communities in London, Manchester and Liverpool, each focused on its own church. World War II and its aftermath also saw a large expansion amongst the Orthodox Communities.
Today, there are seven churches bearing the title of Cathedral in London as well as in Birmingham (the Dormition of the Mother of God and St Andrew) and Leicester. In addition to these, there are eighty-one churches and other places where worship is regularly offered, twenty-five places (including University Chaplaincies) where the Divine Liturgy is celebrated on a less regular basis, four chapels (including that of the Archdiocese), and two monasteries. As is traditional within the Orthodox Church, the bishops have a considerable degree of autonomy within the Archdiocese.
The Greek Orthodox Church of St Nicholas in Toxteth, Liverpool, was built in 1870. It is an enlarged version of St Theodore's church in Constantinople and is a Grade II Listed building.
The Antiochian Orthodox Church have the St. George's Cathedral in London and a number of parishes across England.
As well as the Russian and Greek Orthodox churches, there are also the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church all in London as well as a non-canonical Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Manchester. All Coptic Orthodox parishes fall under the jurisdiction of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria Pope of Alexandria. The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom is divided into three main parishes: Ireland, Scotland and North England; the Midlands and its affiliated areas; and South Wales. In addition, there is one Patriarchal Exarchate at Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Most British converts belong to the British Orthodox Church, which is canonically part of the Coptic Orthodox Church. There is also the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in London. There is also the Armenian Apostolic Church in London.
Saint George is recognised as the patron saint of England, although prior to Edward III, St Edmund was recognised as England's patron saint, and the flag of England consists of the cross of St George. However, Saint Alban is venerated by some as England's first Christian martyr.
The religion of the Muslims, Islam has a huge base of adherents all over the world. This is an ancient religion and has had some degree of presence in England for hundreds of years. In fact, it was back in 1386 that Muslim scholarship became known amongst the English educated. Today, Islam is second only to Christianity in the number of followers it has in England. According to the 2011 Census, 2.7 million Muslims live in England where they form 5.0% of the population.
Although Islam is generally thought of as being a recent arrival to the country, there has been contact with Muslims for many centuries. An early example would be the decision of Offa, the eighth-century King of Mercia (one of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms existing at that time), to have coins minted with an Islamic inscription on them—copies of coins issued by the near-contemporary Muslim ruler Al-Mansur. It is thought that they were minted to facilitate trade with the expanding Islamic empire in Spain.
Muslim scholarship was well-known among the learned in England by 1386, when Chaucer was writing. In the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, there is among the pilgrims wending their way to Canterbury, a 'Doctour of Phisyk' whose learning included Razi, Avicenna (Ibn Sina, Arabic ابن سينا) and Averroes (Ibn Rushd, Arabic ابن رشد). Ibn Sina's canon of medicine was a standard text for medical students well into the 17th century.
Today Islam is the largest non-Christian religion in England with 38% of Muslims living in London, where they make up 12.4% of the population. There are also large numbers of Muslims in Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford, Luton, Slough, Leicester and the mill towns of Northern England.
Notable mosques include the London Central Mosque, Al-Rahma mosque, Birmingham Central Mosque, East London Mosque, Finsbury Park Mosque, Al Mahdi Mosque, London Markaz and Markazi mosque.
Judaism first made its appearance in England in about 1066 CE but was officially banned between 1290 and 1656. Today, it is well represented and actually boasts one of the largest proportions of followers in the world. Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Hindu temple in the North west of LondonUntil the 20th century, Judaism was the only noticeable non-Christian religion having first appeared in historical records during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In fact, from 1290 to 1656, Judaism did not officially exist in England due to an outright expulsion in 1290 and official restrictions that were not lifted until 1656 (though historical records show that some Jews did come back to England during the early part of the 17th century prior to the lifting of the restriction). Now, the presence of the Jewish culture and Jews in England today is one of the largest in the world.
Hindus originate from India. Since India gained its independence in 1947, there have been waves of Hindu migrations into England. The main waves occurred in 1947, 1970 and from 1990 until our present day. Hinduism is characterised by a loving, accepting approach to life, which has attracted many non-Indian folk to convert to this faith. Early Hindus in England were mostly students during the 19th century. There have been three waves of migration of Hindus to England since then.
Before India's independence in 1947, Hindu migration was minuscule and largely temporary. The second wave of Hindu migration occurred in the 1970s after the expulsion of Gujarati Hindus from Uganda. Initially, Hindu immigration was limited to Punjabi and Gujarati Hindus, but, by 2000, small Hindu communities of every ethnicity could be found in England. England is also host to a large immigrant community of Sri Lankan Hindus who are mostly Tamils. The last wave of migration of Hindus has been taking place since the 1990s with refugees from Sri Lanka and professionals from India. However,there is becoming an increasing number of English Western Hindus in England,who have either converted from another faith or been an English Hindu from birth.
In search of jobs, Sikhs migrated from India to England during the 1950s. Most of them settled in London and have maintained this central base. The first Sikh Gurdwara (temple) was not established until 1911, at Putney in London.
The first Sikh migration came in the 1950s. It was mostly of men from the Punjab seeking work in industries like foundries and textiles. These new arrivals mostly settled in London, Birmingham and West Yorkshire. Thousands of Sikhs from East Africa soon followed, this mass immigration was caused by Idi Amin's persecution of ethnic groups in Uganda, thousands forced to flee the region in fear of losing their lives
This religion originated in South East Asia, but became increasingly popular in England during the 1950s. The earliest Buddhist influence on England came through the UK's imperial connections with South East Asia, and as a result the early connections were with the Theravada traditions of Burma, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. The tradition of study resulted in the foundation of the Pali Text Society, which undertook the task of translating the Pali Canon of Buddhist texts into English.
In 1924 London's Buddhist Society was founded, and in 1926 the Theravadin London Buddhist Vihara. The rate of growth was slow but steady through the century, and the 1950s saw the development of interest in Zen Buddhism.
The Bahá'í Faith
This religion started in 1845 and has grown considerably over the past years.
England is also home to a large proportion of agnostics and atheists, who either care little for the concept of religion or believe strongly in the absence of a God or gods.
Places of worship
Because religion has been such a major part of the English heritage, the structures it left behind remain important icons for the locals and tourists alike. Some famous churches or places of worship include:
• Baitul Futuh Mosque (Islamic) • Bevis Marks Synagogue (Jewish) • Brompton Oratory (Roman Catholic) • Canterbury Cathedral (Church of England) • Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha (Sikh) • Metropolitan Tabernacle (Baptist) • Neasden Temple (Hindu) • St Paul's Cathedral (Church of England) • Westminster Abbey (Church of England) • Westminster Cathedral (Roman Catholic) • Westminster Central Hall (Methodist)
Christianity is the most widely practiced and declared religion in England. The Anglican Church of England is the established church of England holding a special constitutional position for the United Kingdom. After Christianity, religions with the most adherents are Islam, Hinduism, Wicca and other Pagan movements, Sikhism, Judaism, Buddhism and the Bahá'í Faith. There are also organisations which promote irreligion, atheist humanism, and secularism.
In the past, various other religions (usually pagan) have been important in the country, particularly Celtic polytheism, Roman polytheism, Anglo-Saxon paganism and Norse paganism. Religions native to England include Wicca and Druidry.
Many of England's most notable buildings and monuments are religious in nature, including Stonehenge, the Angel of the North, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral and Canterbury Cathedral. The festivals of Christmas and Easter are still widely commemorated in the country.
Other religions and practices often described as religions include:
Ravidissia Rastafarianism Taoism Zoroastrianism Satanism Shintoism New Age Shamanism Scientology Traditional African religion Animism Druze Confucianism Thelema Vodun Eckankar Brahma Kumari Occult Deconstructionism
English people traditionally speak the English language, a member of the West Germanic language family. The modern English language evolved from Old English, with lexical influence from Norman-French, Latin, and Old Norse. Cornish, a Celtic language originating in Cornwall, is currently spoken by about 3,500 people. Historically, another Brythonic Celtic language, Cumbric, was spoken in Cumbria in North West England, but it died out in the 11th century although traces of it can still be found in the Cumbrian dialect. Because of the 19th century geopolitical dominance of the British Empire and the post-World War II hegemony of the United States, English has become the international language of business, science, communications, aviation, and diplomacy.
The English have played a significant role in the development of science and engineering. Prominent individuals have included Roger Bacon, Francis Bacon, William Harvey, Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton, Henry Cavendish, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Francis Crick, Abraham Darby, Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin, James Chadwick, Joseph Swan, Barnes Wallis, Alan Turing, Frank Whittle, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Stephen Hawking. Furthermore, it is home to the Royal Institution, the Royal Society, the Greenwich Observatory and its associated meridian.
|1||Smith||England and Scotland||1.26|
|2||Jones||England and Wales||0.75|
|3||Taylor||England and Scotland||0.59|
|5||Williams||England and Wales||0.39|
|18||Wood||England and Scotland||0.27|
|19||Jackson||England and Scotland||0.27|
Sport and leisure
There are many sports which have been codified by the English, and then spread worldwide, including badminton, cricket, croquet, football, field hockey, lawn tennis, rugby league, rugby union, table tennis and thoroughbred horse racing. In the late 18th century, the English game of rounders was transported to the American Colonies, where it evolved into baseball. Association football, cricket, rugby union and rugby league are considered to be the national sports of England.
England, and other countries in the United Kingdom, compete as a separate nations in some international sporting events, especially in football, cricket, rugby league and rugby union. The England cricket team actually represents England and Wales. However, in the Olympic Games, England competes as part of the Great Britain team. English supporters are now more likely to carry the Cross of Saint George flag than the British Union Flag.
Football maintains a consistent popularity across the country and is often indicative of trends across wider culture in England, such as in clothing and music. Different sports directly represent the different social classes within England. Rugby league, for instance, was traditionally associated with the old mill towns of north-west England, whereas cricket and rugby union have their origins in the private schools of the 18th and 19th centuries respectively.
The English flag is a red cross on a white background, commonly called the Cross of Saint George. It was adopted after the Crusades. Saint George, later famed as a dragon-slayer, is also the patron saint of England. The three golden lions on a red background was the banner of the kings of England derived from their status as Duke of Normandy and is now used to represent the English national football team and the English national cricket team, though in blue rather than gold. The English oak and the Tudor rose are also English symbols, the latter of which is (although more modernised) used by the England national rugby union team.
St George's Day in England is marked as the day of the patron saint, and is also celebrated as the day of birth and death of William Shakespeare.
England has no official anthem; however, the United Kingdom's "God Save the Queen" is currently used. Other songs are sometimes used, including "Land of Hope and Glory" (used as England's anthem in the Commonwealth Games), "Jerusalem", "Rule Britannia", and "I Vow to Thee, My Country". Moves by certain groups are encouraging adoption of an official English anthem following similar occurrences in Scotland and Wales.
- P.474,Society and Religion in Elizabethan England, Richard L. Greaves ISBN 978-0-8166-1030-3 here 
- Jurisdiction Of Courts In England And Wales And Their Recognition Of Foreign Insolvency Proceedings
- http://www.ucl.ac.uk/paediatric-epidemiology/pdfs/Signficance_Surnames_Paper.pdf University College London, Paediatric-Epidemiology Significance Surnames Paper
- "England Cricket Team Profile". Retrieved 2006-09-13.
- "The Saturday Soap Box: We have to make Jerusalem England's national anthem". Daily Mirror. 2005-09-17. Archived from the original on 2006-10-11. Retrieved 2006-11-01.
- Anthem 4 England - English National Anthem
- Anthem for England