A national identity of the English as the people or ethnic group native to England developed in the Middle Ages arguably beginning with the unification of the Kingdom of England in the 10th century, but explicitly in the 11th century after the Norman Conquest, when Englishry came to be the status of the subject indigenous population.
From the Union in the eighteenth century the terms 'English' and 'British' began to be seen as interchangeable,
While the official UK census does record ethnicity, it conflates the English, Welsh and Scottish groups into White British (while making the distinction of White Irish).
Although Englishness and Britishness are used synonymously in some contexts, the two terms are not identical and their relation to each other is complex. Englishness is often a response to different national identities within Britain such as Scottishness, Irishness, Welshness.
Sometimes Englishness is thought to be encapsulated in terms of a particular relation to sport: "fair play," for instance. Arguably, England's "national games" are football and, particularly, cricket. As cricket historian Dominic Malcolm argues, the link between cricket and England's national identity became solidified through literature. Works such as James Love's "Cricket: an heroic poem" and Mary Mitford's "our Village," along with Nyren's "cricketers of my Time" and Pycroft's "The Cricket Field," purported to identity the characteristics of cricket with the notional characteristics of English society, such as pragmatism, integrity, and independence.