England was a nation and, since the early 18th century, a constituent country of the United Kingdom on Earth. (TV: The Highlanders) Frequently visited by the Doctor, (TV: Fury from the Deep) it was also their temporary home on a number of occasions, (TV: "An Unearthly Child"; AUDIO: The Haunting of Thomas Brewster) as well as the location of their Time Lord-imposed exile. (TV: Spearhead from Space) The Twelfth Doctor spent several decades lecturing at St Luke's University, while guarding a vault. (TV: The Pilot)
Many of the Doctor's companions hailed from England — or at least embarked on their journeys in the Doctor's TARDIS from there — beginning with Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton (TV: "An Unearthly Child") and continuing on through to Ryan, Graham, Yaz, (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth) and Dan (TV: Halloween Apocalypse). Only a few human companions expressed antipathy towards the country, most of whom were not themselves English. Scots Jamie McCrimmon (TV: The Highlanders) and Amy Pond weren't fans, the latter of whom called it, flatly, "rubbish". (TV: The Eleventh Hour) Egyptian Erimem visited England only after visiting France first, which she preferred. American Peri Brown, who accompanied the ex-Pharaoh on her visit to the country in the 15th century, said that it "beat her" why the Doctor kept coming back to England's "muddy glory", but admitted that it "got better" in the 20th century thanks to the Beatles and "fashion sense". (AUDIO: The Kingmaker)
England was frequently the subject to various alien invasions, attacks, plans, intergalactic battles, experiments or conspiracies, particularly throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. It was the home to Torchwood One and UNIT operated throughout the country. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, Army of Ghosts, The Invasion) The Doctor visited it throughout its history, from the time of the Celts (AUDIO: The Relics of Time) to its journey into space as part of the Starship UK. (TV: The Beast Below)
England was south of Scotland, (TV: Tooth and Claw) and east of Wales. (TV: Boom Town, TV: Children of Earth: Day One) It was separated from the mainland of Europe by the English Channel. (TV: The Sea Devils) Along the east coast of England was the North Sea, (TV: The Lie of the Land) and along the west coast was the Irish Sea. (COMIC: Seaside Rendezvous)
The capital of England was London, which, according to Captain Maitland, ceased to exist as an entity by the 24th century, and by the 28th century, had along with the lower half of England become a part of Central City. (TV: "Strangers in Space")
Other notable cities in England included Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Exeter, (TV: Army of Ghosts) Leeds, (TV: The Lie of the Land) Liverpool, (TV: Army of Ghosts) Manchester, (TV: The Lie of the Land) Norwich, Nottingham, Plymouth and Southampton. (TV: Army of Ghosts)
Influence on the Doctor
The majority of the Doctor's visits to England followed the creation of the United Kingdom, but they still visited the country many times prior to this. (TV: The Time Meddler, The King's Demons, The Visitation, Silver Nemesis, The Shakespeare Code, The Pandorica Opens, The Day of the Doctor, Robot of Sherwood, AUDIO: The Marian Conspiracy, Seasons of Fear, The Kingmaker, The Witch from the Well, The Wrath of the Iceni, The Doctor's Tale, Living History,COMIC: Woden's Warriors, The Magician, Black Death White Life,PROSE: The Real Hereward, The Thief of Sherwood, The Nine-Day Queen, Mortlake, Managra, The Plotters, The Roundheads, The Republican's Story, Doctor Who and the Invasion from Space, GAME: The Gunpowder Plot) Of all the countries in the UK, it was England that influenced the Doctor the most. They adopted much of its customs, dress, and other cultural elements. Many of the Doctor's companions were English. (TV: An Unearthly Child onwards) The Eighth Doctor once declared 19th century England to be his favourite time and place. (PROSE: The Banquo Legacy)
While the Doctor's accent in most of their incarnations were English, both the Seventh Doctor (TV: Time and the Rani) and the Twelfth Doctor spoke with a Scottish accent. Newly regenerated, the Twelfth Doctor was unaccustomed to the accents of his English company, Clara Oswald and Jenny Flint, initially describing it as infectious and incomprehensible. (TV: Deep Breath)
After several failed attempts, the Roman Empire succeeded in conquering Britain in 43. The Roman occupation of Britain lasted until the early 5th century. (AUDIO: The Wrath of the Iceni) One of these failed attempts was led by Julius Caesar in 55 BC. (AUDIO: Living History)
- Main article: Norman Conquest
Harold Godwinson was the Saxon leader and the Earl of Wessex. (TV: Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart) Edith, who was Edward's queen (AUDIO: Seasons of Fear) was also the sister of Harold. His family was the most powerful in England.
Harald Hardrada was a Viking and the King of Norway. He believed his ancestors and King Cnut of England had made an arrangement that gave him a right to the throne. He was supported by Harold's brother, Tostig.
Harald attacked with three hundred longboats carrying his army to the north of England. He defeated the Northern Earls at Gate Fulford. Harold II travelled north and launched a surprise attack, defeating the unsuspecting Viking army in the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September 1066. However, news soon arrived that William had invaded Sussex. (TV: Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart)
Harold marched his army south, covering hundreds of miles to face William and up to ten thousand Norman invaders in the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. During the battle, the Normans tricked the Saxon army into the open and showered them with arrows. Harold was killed in the battle and the English were defeated. According to legend, Harold was killed by an arrow to the eye, (TV: Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart) although Rani Chandra said she had read online that this was untrue. (TV: Lost in Time)
After the conquest, the Normans created the Bayeux Tapestry, which told their version of events. (TV: Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart) The tapestry was later added to, showing other events from England's history. (TV: The Power of Kroll)
William later faced rebellions against his rule in England. In 1069, he launched a series of campaigns to deal with the uprisings. He ordered villages to be burnt down and people to be killed. Those who survived starved to death, as all of the animals and crops had been destroyed. (TV: Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart)
In the late 12th century, King Richard I personally participated in the Third Crusade, leading troops in the Holy Land. (TV: The Crusade) As he did so, John, his younger brother, ruled England in his stead. (TV: Invasion of the Dinosaurs) John became King upon Richard's death in 1199. (PROSE: A History of Humankind)
While the real King John was in London taking the Crusader's Oath on 4 March 1215, the android Kamelion was being used in a plot by the Master to sabotage Earth history by preventing King John's signing of the Magna Carta, an event pivotal to the development of parliamentary democracy on that planet. The plot was foiled by the intervention of the Fifth Doctor. (TV: The King's Demons)
John was also notable for having lost the British Crown Jewels in the Wash in 1216. (TV: The King's Demons) He was succeeded by his son Henry III, (PROSE: The King's Demons) who was crowned at Gloucester Cathedral in 1216, when he was nine years old. (TV: Fugitive of the Judoon)
In the late 14th century, Richard II's reign saw a flourishing of art and culture. His favourites included the author Geoffrey Chaucer, the Earl of Kent and the Earl of Huntingdon. His emblem was the White Hart.
In 1399, he visited Ireland. Several months later, he was deposed by a group of rebellious barons led by Henry Plantagenet, also known as Henry of Bolingbroke. Henry seized the throne, becoming Henry IV. Richard II was imprisoned in Pomfret Castle. Having been denied food on the orders of the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Arundel, he starved to death in the castle in 1400.
In the mid-15th century, the Scottish Border Wars were a series of territory conflicts fought between Scotland and England. In 1447, a minor battle was fought in Alnwick which was won by a Scottish warlord. (PROSE: Iris at the V&A)
Edward IV died suddenly on the night of 9 April 1483. His successor, Prince Edward V, was still a twelve-year-old (AUDIO: The Battle of the Tower) child whose mother's family was manoeuvreing to keep the future king under their own control. The Queen Consort sent her brother, Earl Rivers, to escort the prince back to London. The escort passed through Buckinghamshire, where Richard, Duke of Gloucester and brother of the late Edward, and his ally Henry, Duke of Buckingham joined the Prince's party to keep close watch on both him and Rivers.
After the Prince and Rivers had retired at an inn, Richard and Henry were startled by the arrival of the Doctor's TARDIS. A mysterious man calling himself Mr Seyton emerged, claiming to be a wise traveller who had come from the future to provide counsel to Richard. Seyton told Richard he would be crowned king, and centuries later there would even be a play based on his reign. Richard was dubious about Seyton's claims of foreknowledge, but considered his presence a portent. Richard decided to allow Seyton to prove himself as adviser.
Before the young Prince could be crowned King, he and his brother were declared illegitimate by the court when it invalidated the marriage of the deceased King Edward to their mother. Richard was crowned king.
Seyton remained the king's adviser, and continually insisted that removing the princes from the line of succession would not be enough to solidify his claim to the throne and they should be killed. Richard was unwilling to murder his brother's children and refused, insisting that locking the princes in the Tower of London was enough.
In 1485, the mystery of the princes' disappearance was investigated by the Fifth Doctor, Peri Brown and Erimem, whom discovered Seyton's true plan and identity, 16th century playwright William Shakespeare. After a disastrous unfinished performance of Shakespeare's play Richard III in 1597, the Doctor had chastised Shakespeare for not doing his research and presenting a distorted view of Richard as a Machiavellian ruler who rose to power by murdering the two princes in the Tower. Infuriated by the Doctor's account of actual events which implicated the bloodline of his beloved Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare sneaked aboard the TARDIS stole various items of alien technology and weaponry, and travelled to 1483 in an attempt to influence history to more closely resemble his play.
Richard had realised Seyton/Shakespeare was untrustworthy from the beginning, however, and it was revealed that the point was moot; there were no princes in the Tower after all. Edward IV had not had sons but daughters, Susan and Judith. Edward kept up the ruse that they were boys in order to guard his family's claim to the throne with male heirs. After Edward's death, Richard discovered the ruse. He kept up the pretence that there were two princes in the tower while in reality he had sent his nieces to live out their lives safely as peasants working for Clarrie, innkeeper at The Kingmaker. Clarrie was really Richard's other brother George, disgraced Duke of Clarence, who had been sentenced to death for plotting against Edward IV. Unwilling to have his brother executed, Richard had quietly effected George's escape into anonymity.
According to one source, Richard found himself in the TARDIS as the Doctor attempted to take Shakespeare back to 1597, arriving on-stage as the unruly performance was breaking up. Shakespeare stormed onto the stage, enraged by the rowdy audience and the interruption of his play. Richard was even more enraged by the stereotypical portrayal in the play as an ugly, hunchbacked man with a limp and withered arm. He chased Shakespeare through 1597 London. Shakespeare doubled back to the TARDIS, and threatened to detonate a Sontaran grenade unless the Doctor returned immediately to 1485 to pick up the missing princesses; with Richard, they would all be brought back to Shakespeare's own time and stand trial for their crimes against the crown. During the confrontation Erimem broke Shakespeare's arm, and he was further injured by a robot when he left the TARDIS once again, this time at the 1485 Battle of Bosworth, Richard's historically recorded final defeat. Shakespeare, with his injured arm and limp, matched the stereotypical description of King Richard, and was killed by Richard's enemies in his place at the battle.
This source suggested that Richard decided to return to 1597 and take Shakespeare's allotted place in history; he had never really wanted power, and had no desire to return to the throne in his own time when the common public sentiment was that he had killed his nephews. Richard saw taking up Shakespeare's writing career as his second chance at earning a place in history. The Doctor recommended Richard contact Francis Bacon for writing tips. Settling into his new life as Shakespeare, Richard was soon surprised by a visit from Susan and Judith, whom the Doctor had brought forward in time to join him; history recorded that not only had Shakespeare had a son who'd died, but two daughters, and since the princesses had no place in the history of their own time the Doctor knew their true destiny lay with their uncle as he pursued his own. (AUDIO: The Kingmaker)
This source is one of the only to ever reference the switching of Shakespeare and Richard, and in fact most sources suggest that both men continued in their lives as historically suggested. (PROSE: The Empire of Glass, et al)
Henry Tudor was the victor of the Battle of Bosworth, claiming the crown of England on that battlefield after Richard was seemingly killed in the battle. (AUDIO: The Kingmaker) He reigned from 1485 to 1509 and had four children. (TV: The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo)
Among Henry Tudor's children was Henry VIII, who ascended to the throne in 1509. (TV: The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo) This year, at the age of 17, he married Catherine of Aragon. (PROSE: Nothing Lasts Forever)
Henry broke away from the the Catholic Church because the pope prevented him from divorcing Catherine, who he thought was unable to give him a male heir to the throne. This action also gave him more money and power. (TV: The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo)
In 1539, the Third Doctor and Liz Shaw visited Henry VIII. The Doctor cured Henry of his cataracts with his sonic screwdriver, and Liz and the Doctor finally relieved the King of his hiccups. On regaining his eyesight, King Henry expressed discontent at the appearance of his prospective new wife, the Lady Anne of Cleves, based on her miniature portrait, calling the woman "ugly as my privy!" The King was also rejuvenated by his newfound sight, and invited the Doctor and Liz to Hampton Court, though they declined. (PROSE: Hiccup in Time)
Lady Jane Grey became Queen when aged 16 as her father in-law wished, but she never wanted to rule. On 19 July 1553, the ninth and final day of her reign, Jane learned that Mary had claimed the throne and proclaimed Jane a traitor who would be sentenced to death. (TV: Lost in Time) She was executed on 12 February 1554. (PROSE: The Nine-Day Queen)
James I of England, known in Scotland as James VI, succeeded Elizabeth I in 1603 and continued her Protestant reforms. According to the Eighth Doctor, his accent was so thick, members of his new English court required a translator. A close advisor to the new king was William Lethbridge-Stewart, an ancestor of Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. (PROSE: The Dying Days, Birthright)
Over his reign, James granted Royal Charters for various organisations such as universities. One of those universities included the institution that later became St Luke's University. (PROSE: Girl Power!)
An influential version of the Bible was ordered by him, and eventually bore his name. The First Doctor and Vicki Pallister once passed by the room where the translators were busy working on what would become the King James Bible. According to Barbara Wright, James' rule was characterised by relative religious tolerance. Though a staunch Protestant, he discouraged persecution of Catholics. Barbara claimed that he realised that "to govern well it made sense to unify people rather than drive them apart".
For a brief time, the TARDIS came into James' possession, but he was mostly annoyed by it, calling it a "wooden puzzle box" because he and his courtiers could not gain entrance to it. In the end, he entreated the Doctor to perform an exorcism upon it, just to ensure it was not possessed by evil spirits. The Doctor agreed, and performed an elaborate ceremony at the Guildhall in London. During the middle of this ceremony, eagerly attended by James, the Doctor and his three companions entered the TARDIS and dematerialised. (PROSE: The Plotters)
On 5 November 1605, Guy Fawkes and other Catholic conspirators planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill James and his sons, Henry and Charles, installing his daughter Elizabeth as a puppet queen, in what was known as the Gunpowder Plot. The attempt was thwarted by James's men (GAME: The Gunpowder Plot) and Fawkes's failure was celebrated every year as Bonfire Night. (PROSE: The Night After Hallowe'en)
For eleven years he ruled without regard for the Parliament, ultimately causing the English Civil War, wich lasted from 1641 to 1651. The Civil War brought down the King and saw the rise of Oliver Cromwell. By December 1648, Charles Stuart was a prisoner on the Isle of Wight and then in the Hurst Castle. Despite his successful escape aided by Polly Wright, he was eventually executed. According to the Second Doctor, no mention of his escape was left in history and his trial was to happen on 20 January 1649. (PROSE: The Roundheads) Lady Peinforte was a supporter of Charles I. (TV: Silver Nemesis)
The United Kingdom
In the 18th century, during the reign of King George II, England and Scotland, bound by the Act of Union, fought France across Europe in the Seven Years' War, which a Slitheen disguised as Sir Edward Scott Cameron would describe as a prequel to World War I and "a glorious affair" that "spanned continents" and "consumed countless lives." (AUDIO: Death on the Mile)
"England" was also frequently the casual name of sporting teams that represented the country in international play. The English cricket team who participated in The Ashes, for instance, was said to simply be "England". (PROSE: Graham Dilley Saves the World)
Cricket was popular within small communities who often had a village team. (TV: Black Orchid) Stockbridge was such a village, and one greatly favoured by the Doctor. He would sometimes spend the entire cricket season living in the village and playing for the local club. (AUDIO: Summer)
Still, football was the most popular sport in England, and one of the oldest. (COMIC: Doctor Who and the Nightmare Game, The Lodger, TV: The Lodger) In 2030, Scotland played England's football team in the World Cup final in Wembley Stadium, with the Eleventh Doctor calling it "one of the greatest football matches in history!" He meant to take Amy Pond here, but instead they ended up on a space station. (COMIC: Apotheosis)
Other sports were popular within England. It had a long heritage of golf players and the sport was often played with great seriousness. (TV: The Sea Devils, Random Shoes, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, Last Christmas)