Kingston upon Hull ( , ), usually abbreviated to Hull, is a city and unitary authority in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England.〔
〕 It lies upon the River Hull at its junction with the Humber estuary, 25 miles (40 km) inland from the North Sea,〔 with a population of ().
The town of Hull was founded late in the 12th century. The monks of Meaux Abbey needed a port where the wool from their estates could be exported. They chose a place at the junction of the rivers Hull and Humber to build a quay.
The exact year the town was founded is not known but it was first mentioned in 1193.
Renamed ''Kings-town upon Hull'' by King Edward I in 1299, Hull has been a market town,〔
〕 military supply port,〔
〕 trading hub,〔 fishing and whaling centre, and industrial metropolis.〔
Hull was an early theatre of battle in the English Civil Wars.〔 Its 18th-century Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, played a key role in the abolition of the slave trade in Britain.〔
The city is unique in the UK in having had a municipally owned telephone system from 1902, sporting cream, not red, telephone boxes.
After suffering heavy damage in the Second World War (the 'Hull Blitz'),〔 Hull weathered a period of post-industrial decline, gaining unfavourable results on measures of social deprivation, education and policing. In the early 21st-century spending boom before the late 2000s recession the city saw large amounts of new retail, commercial, housing and public service construction spending.
Tourist attractions include the historic Old Town and Museum Quarter, Hull Marina and The Deep, a city landmark. The redevelopment of one of Hull's main thoroughfares, Ferensway, included the opening of St. Stephen's Hull and the new Hull Truck Theatre. Spectator sports include Championship football and Super League Rugby. The KC Stadium houses Hull City football club and Hull FC rugby club and Craven Park rugby club Hull Kingston Rovers. Hull is also home to the English Premier Ice Hockey League Hull Pirates.
In 2013, it was announced that Hull would be the 2017 UK City of Culture.〔
Kingston upon Hull stands on the north bank of the Humber estuary at the mouth of its tributary, the River Hull. The valley of the River Hull has been inhabited since the early Neolithic period but there is little evidence of a substantial settlement in the area of the present city.〔
〕 The area was attractive to people because it gave access to a prosperous hinterland and navigable rivers but the site was poor, being remote, low-lying and with no fresh water. It was originally an outlying part of the hamlet of Myton, named Wyke. The name is thought to originate either from a Scandinavian word ''Vik'' meaning creek or from the Saxon ''Wic'' meaning dwelling place or refuge.〔
The River Hull was a good haven for shipping, whose trade included the export of wool from Meaux abbey. In 1293 the town was acquired from the abbey by King Edward I, who on 1 April 1299 granted it a royal charter that renamed the settlement ''King's town upon Hull'' or Kingston upon Hull. The charter is preserved in the archives of the Guildhall.〔
In 1440, a further charter incorporated the town and instituted local government consisting of a mayor, a sheriff and twelve aldermen.〔
In his ''Guide to Hull (1817)'', J. C. Craggs provides a colourful background to Edward's acquisition and naming of the town. He writes that the King and a hunting party started a hare which "led them along the delightful banks of the River Hull to the hamlet of Wyke … (), charmed with the scene before him, viewed with delight the advantageous situation of this hitherto neglected and obscure corner. He foresaw it might become subservient both to render the kingdom more secure against foreign invasion, and at the same time greatly to enforce its commerce". Pursuant to these thoughts, Craggs continues, Edward purchased the land from the Abbot of Meaux, had a manor hall built for himself, issued proclamations encouraging development within the town, and bestowed upon it the royal appellation, ''King's Town''.〔
The port served as a base for Edward I during the First War of Scottish Independence and later developed into the foremost port on the east coast of England. It prospered by exporting wool and woollen cloth, and importing wine and timber. Hull also established a flourishing commerce with the Baltic ports as part of the Hanseatic League.〔
From its medieval beginnings, Hull's main trading links were with Scotland and northern Europe. Scandinavia, the Baltic and the Low Countries were all key trading areas for Hull's merchants. In addition, there was trade with France, Spain and Portugal. As sail power gave way to steam, Hull's trading links extended throughout the world. Docks were opened to serve the frozen meat trade of Australia, New Zealand and South America. Hull was also the centre of a thriving inland and coastal trading network, serving the whole of the United Kingdom.〔
Sir William de la Pole was the town's first mayor.〔
〕 A prosperous merchant, de la Pole founded a family that became prominent in government.〔 Another successful son of a Hull trading family was bishop John Alcock, who founded Jesus College, Cambridge and was a patron of the grammar school in Hull.〔 The increase in trade after the discovery of the Americas and the town's maritime connections are thought to have played a part in the introduction of a virulent strain of syphilis through Hull and on into Europe from the New World.〔
The town prospered during the 16th and early 17th centuries,〔 and Hull's affluence at this time is preserved in the form of several well-maintained buildings from the period, including Wilberforce House, now a museum documenting the life of William Wilberforce.〔
During the English Civil War, Hull became strategically important because of the large arsenal located there. Very early in the war, on 11 January 1642, the king named the Earl of Newcastle governor of Hull while Parliament nominated Sir John Hotham and asked his son, Captain John Hotham, to secure the town at once.〔 Sir John Hotham and Hull corporation declared support for Parliament and denied Charles I entry into the town.〔 Charles I responded to these events by besieging the town.〔 This siege helped precipitate open conflict between the forces of Parliament and those of the Royalists.〔
Throughout the second half of the 19th century and leading up to the First World War, the Port of Hull played a major role in the transmigration of Northern European settlers to the New World, with thousands of emigrants sailing to the city and stopping for administrative purposes before travelling on to Liverpool and then North America.〔
Parallel to this growth in passenger shipping was the emergence of the Wilson Line of Hull. Founded in the city in 1825 by Thomas Wilson, by the early 20th century the company had grown – largely through its monopolisation of North Sea passenger routes and later mergers and acquisitions – to be the largest privately owned shipping company in the world, with over 100 ships sailing to different parts of the globe. The Wilson Line was sold to the Ellerman Line – which itself was owned by Hull-born magnate (and the richest man in Britain at the time) Sir John Ellerman.〔(【引用サイトリンク】Archives and Special Collections: Subject guides – Business Records )
Whaling played a major role in the town's fortunes until the mid-19th century.〔 Hull's prosperity peaked in the decades just before the First World War; it was during this time, in 1897, that city status was granted.〔 After the decline of the whaling industry, emphasis shifted to deep-sea trawling until the Anglo-Icelandic Cod War of 1975–1976. The conditions set at the end of this dispute initiated Hull's economic decline.〔
Many of the suburban areas on the western side of Hull were built in the 1930s, particularly Willerby Road and Anlaby Park, as well as most of Willerby itself. This was part of the biggest British housing boom of the 20th century (possibly ever).
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