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The History Of Leicester

 

About The City of Leicester

Leicester is one of England’s oldest cities; located in the East Midlands, the district sits on the River Soar and is near the National Forest. As of 2020, Leicester’s population is an estimated 552,178 residents, implying that the city is the most populated borough within the region. Leicester’s name originates from Old English, the first half is the name of its locals, “ligore” and the second part of its name is the Old English word ‘ceaster’, translating to ‘town’.

 

Leicester’s Medieval History (1066–1485)

After the Saxons invaded Britain, Leicester was inhabited by the Middle Angles. The town was elevated to a bishopric around 680, though The Saxon bishop soon left, and Leicester was no longer a bishopric until the Church of St Martin became Leicester Cathedral in 1927.

In 1231, Simon de Montfort became the Lord of Leicester and demanded a banish on the Jewish population. His reasoning for his actions was “for the good of my soul, and for the souls of my ancestors and successors”. Jews who resided in the city were moved to the eastern suburb, but there is evidence that evokes that Jews remained in Leicester until 1253, suggesting de Montfort’s enforcement was not thorough. However, he soon realised this and in 1253, made a second order for the exclusion of Leicester’s Jews.

When the War of the Roses ended, King Richard III was buried in Leicester’s Greyfriars Church which was sadly destroyed in 1538. A myth soon arose that his corpse had been thrown into the river, but historians disagreed with this and theorised that his tomb was ruined during the cessation of the monasteries, ordered by Henry VIII. Centuries later, in September 2012, an archaeological examination of the car park the Church once stood on revealed a skeleton. After DNA checks were made, it was found that the skeleton was indeed that of Richard III. During 2015, Richard III was yet again laid to rest near the high altar in Leicester’s Cathedral.

 

Leicester’s Part In The Civil War (1642-1651)

King Charles decided to attack Leicester for his own benefits; due to the city’s location and being in the heart of Britain, Leicester would create a Royalist stronghold in an increasing Parliamentarian area. Moreover, Charles believed that the Committee of Leicester was struggling and that their military experience was minimal. Soon after, Charles summoned his troops and met them at Ashby de la Zouch. Lord Loughborough’s army also attended, plus 1,200 soldiers from Newark, totaling the King’s army to over 10,000.

As Leicester had previously lost its medieval walls in the beginning of the 17th century, its defense strategies consisted of timber fences and ditches within the ground. These tactics were of course, unsuccessful and would not keep Leicester safe. Thankfully, there were improvements to the area’s fortifications, yet these were still too weak to provide a significant cover; they were placed too far apart and would not be effective. Despite all of this, artillery was the main issue. On May 15th, Parliament requested for it, but it was not put in place in time before the dismal day of May 29th.

 

More Historical Facts

 The River Soar was once known for being pink, caused by Leicester’s famous textile history. Due to the fact that water was an essential necessity in the manufacture of textile mills, the waste was flushed back into the river and resulted in the pink tone. Textile production was incredibly successful in Leicester and the city was considered the second richest in Europe.

Leicester’s notable market has nestled there for over 700 years and is said to be the largest covered market in all of Europe. Locals often visit this market for its selection of fruit and veg, and an indoor food hall that distributes fish, meat, cheese, and the famous Melton Mowbray pork pies.

BBC Radio Leicester, which was the UK’s first local radio station, began in November 1967.

According to research, Narborough Road is the most diverse street in England, with 222 shops and a mile-long entrance to the city centre.

Also, Leicester holds a positive reputation in women’s rights. Alice Hawkins was a leading English suffragette and started her campaign for Votes for Women. In 2018, a statue of Alice was positioned in the Market Square.

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Leicester’s Crime Rates; Are They Increasing?

Leicester is not an unsafe city. Although some statistics may appear to be daunting, there is advanced policing across the district and one study has inferred that locals do in fact feel secure. Some people imply that the area is underrated, due to its superb range of visitor attractions and shopping that is second to none.

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Crime in Leicester

Shockingly, Leicester’s violent crime rate has surged over the course of twelve months. Since September 2019, violence has swept across the city and resulted in an escalation of 7.5%; it makes up 33.1% of all felonies within the borough. Research reveals that 34 offences are reported to Leicestershire Police per 1000 people.

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Top 8 Reasons To Visit Leicester

With an estimated population of over 500,000, Leicester is the largest city in the East Midlands and the tenth largest within Britain. Leicester is often described as underrated; many of its residents imply that it is a “safe and friendly city” with a diverse community and great culture. The area is unique, it is able to combine the finest traditions with a captivating urban life.

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