York, North Yorkshire - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"
York is a historic walled city at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England.
The city was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD. It became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, and later of the kingdoms of Northumbria and Jórvík. In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major wool trading centre and became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province of the Church of England, a role it has retained.
In the 19th century, York became a hub of the railway network and a confectionery manufacturing centre.
The word York (Old Norse: Jórvík) derives from the Latinised name for the city, variously rendered as Eboracum, Eburacum or Eburaci. The first mention of York by this name is dated to circa 95–104 AD as an address on a wooden stylus tablet from the Roman fortress of Vindolanda in Northumberland.
The toponymy of Eboracum is uncertain because the language of the pre-Roman indigenous population was never recorded. They are thought to have spoken a Celtic language related to modern Welsh. It is thought that Eboracum is derived from the Brythonic word Eborakon, a combination of eburos "yew-tree" and suffix *-?ko(n) "place" meaning either "place of the yew trees"
In his Historia Regum Britanniae the 12th century chronicler, Geoffrey of Monmouth, suggests the name derives from that of a pre-Roman city founded by the legendary king Ebraucus.
The name Eboracum became the Anglian Eoforwic in the 7th century. The Anglo-Saxon newcomers probably interpreted the ebor part as eofor, and -rac as ric (meaning rich), while -um was (and is) a common abbreviation of the Saxon -heem, meaning home. To them, it sounded as a 'home rich in boar'. As is common in Saxon place names, the -um part gradually faded; eoforic. When the Danish army conquered the city in 866, its name became Jórvík.
By the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, the area was occupied by a tribe known to the Romans as the Brigantes. The Brigantian tribal area initially became a Roman client state, but later its leaders became more hostile and the Roman Ninth Legion was sent north of the Humber into Brigantian territory.
The city was founded in 71 AD, when the Ninth Legion conquered the Brigantes and constructed a wooden military fortress on flat ground above the River Ouse close to its confluence with the River Foss. The fortress, whose walls were rebuilt in stone by the VI legion based there subsequent to the IX legion, covered an area of 50 acres and was inhabited by 6,000 legionary soldiers. The site of the principia of the fortress lies under the foundations of York Minster, and excavations in the undercroft have revealed part of the Roman structure and columns.
The Emperors Hadrian, Septimius Severus and Constantius I all held court in York during their various campaigns. During his stay 207–211 AD, the Emperor Severus proclaimed York capital of the province of Britannia Inferior, and it is likely that it was he who granted York the privileges of a 'colonia' or city. Constantius I died in 306 AD during his stay in York, and his son Constantine the Great was proclaimed Emperor by the troops based in the fortress.
In 314 AD a bishop from York attended the Council at Arles to represent Christians from the province.
While the Roman colonia and fortress were located on high ground, by 400 AD the town was victim to occasional flooding from the Rivers Ouse and Foss and the population reduced.
York declined in the post-Roman era, and was taken and settled by the Angles in the 5th century.
Reclamation of parts of the town was initiated in the 7th century under King Edwin of Northumbria, and York became his chief city. The first wooden minster church was built in York for the baptism of Edwin in 627, according to the Venerable Bede. Edwin ordered the small wooden church be rebuilt in stone but was killed in 633 and the task of completing the stone minster fell to his successor Oswald.
In the following century Alcuin of York came to the cathedral school of York. He had a long career as a teacher and scholar, first at the school at York now known as St Peter's School, founded in 627 AD, and later as Charlemagne's leading advisor on ecclesiastical and educational affairs.
In 866, Northumbria was in the midst of internecine struggles when the Vikings raided and captured York. Under Viking rule the city became a major river port, part of the extensive Viking trading routes throughout northern Europe. The last ruler of an independent Jórvík, Eric Bloodaxe, was driven from the city in 954 AD by King Eadred in his successful attempt to complete the unification of England.
In 1068, two years after the Norman conquest of England, the people of York rebelled. Initially the rebellion was successful, but upon the arrival of William the Conqueror the rebellion was put down. William at once built a wooden fortress on a motte. In 1069, after another rebellion, William built another timbered castle across the River Ouse. These were destroyed in 1069 and rebuilt by William about the time of his ravaging Northumbria in what is called the "Harrying of the North" where he destroyed everything from York to Durham. The remains of the rebuilt castles, now in stone, are visible on either side of the River Ouse.
The first stone minster church was badly damaged by fire in the uprising, and the Normans built a minster on a new site. Around the year 1080 Archbishop Thomas started building the cathedral that in time became the current Minster. In the 12th century York started to prosper. In 1190, York Castle was the site of an infamous massacre of its Jewish inhabitants, in which at least 150 Jews died.
York became a major trading centre. King John granted the city's first charter in 1212, confirming trading rights in England and Europe. During the later Middle Ages York merchants imported wine from France, cloth, wax, canvas, and oats from the Low Countries, timber and furs from the Baltic and exported grain to Gascony and grain and wool to the Low Countries.
York became a major cloth manufacturing and trading centre. Edward I further stimulated the city's economy by using the city as a base for his war in Scotland.
The city was the location of significant unrest during the so-called Peasants' Revolt in 1381.
The city acquired an increasing degree of autonomy from central government including the privileges granted by a charter of Richard II in 1396.