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KarmaticIrony t1_iw0fvv1 wrote

As the Wikipedia article mentions this was about preventing unattended fires rather than policing peoples sleep schedule.


Gemmabeta t1_iw0jv6m wrote

And to prevent the recently conquered English from plotting rebellion at night.


longshortandlarge t1_iw1hrju wrote

The "English" were not recently conquered. Alfred the Great and Wessex were English (Anglo-Saxon/Anglish) and simply united the disperate English Kingdoms. More accurate to say "peoples of the recently conquered territories" or something like that.


listyraesder t1_iw1vu47 wrote

Alfred the Great wasn’t the first King of England. His grandson Æthelstan was the first and it was he who finally united the kingdoms.


goyboysotbot t1_iw1yyly wrote

Alfred united the kingdoms in spirit. The sibling monarchs, Edward of Wessex and Æthelflæd of Mercia united the kingdoms by sword. Æthelstan stood on their shoulders and died childless. Not a bad king, but only the first by a technicality.


MansfromDaVinci t1_iw31atw wrote

Alfred was not the first to hold the position of a sort of English high king, at the very least Egbert, Offa and Penda held similar power and there were other Bretwalda. Æthelstan was certainly the first to unite the kingdoms of England but it's possible Vortigern, Riothamus, or Ambrosius Aurelianus held the lands that became England and Wales earlier


TigBiddiesMacDaddy t1_iw29gnp wrote

How funny would it be, that after all of this… it turns out King Arthur was real, was the one to unite all of England and be it’s first king, and he was buried one foot below where the Queen is currently buried?


goyboysotbot t1_iw29wwf wrote

We all know the first ruler of a united England was the forefathers of Gwent and pretenders to Rome, the emperors of the briefly lived Gallic Empire.


KingDarius89 t1_iw58pf4 wrote

I recall reading a book about the history of England that spent a chapter or two on the story of King Arthur, basically saying that they did their best to try and gloss over that he was Welsh because they were in the process of conquering Wales at the time, heh.


mooses51 t1_iw4szyy wrote

Æthelstan still conquered jorvik. I get that his dad and aunt did more but you really can't call jorvik a technicality.


goyboysotbot t1_iw4t683 wrote

We all know his dad and aunt could have finished the job. It was for politics that they didn’t. What politics, we can only speculate. But I’m willing to bet that it had something to do with Edward’s hot head and his failed attempt to usurp his sister’s throne.


mooses51 t1_iw4u0ms wrote

His dad most likely killed his aunt as he invited her to a feast and she died at like 35 right before it. Also if I remember correctly that made mercia go into rebellion as he also deposed her daughter a few months after so the reason he didn't conquer jorvik is because he pissed off the mercians. If he wouldn't have done that then yeah he probably could have. You say technicality I say failed from poor decisions.


goyboysotbot t1_iw4xcy6 wrote

I never heard about the Mercian rebellion. But that would make sense. The Vikings had their own problems but it wasn’t a rebellion but a lack of leadership. I guess Æthelstan had a more stable situation all around


mooses51 t1_iw4y0fh wrote

Yeah it was in chester. Edward died a few days after putting it down so probably from battle wounds but that's my own conjecture.


goyboysotbot t1_iw4y6eh wrote

He was kind of a shit. I think it’s fair to consider both him and his father a king of England but I’m glad he never officially held the title.


Gemmabeta t1_iw1p688 wrote

The second sentence of that section notes that the ruling was particularly fiercely enforced by William the Conqueror, to deal with any English malcontent.


Super_Turnip t1_iw0hiz5 wrote

This was very interesting. The wiki entry says:

> Historians, poets, and lawyers speak of the Medieval law associated with the curfew bell as being levelled mostly against the conquered Anglo-Saxons. It was initially used as a repressive measure by William I to prevent rebellious meetings of the conquered English. He prohibited the use of live fires after the curfew bell was rung to prevent associations and conspiracies. The strict practice of this medieval tradition was pretty much observed during the reign of King William I and William II of England.[7] The law was eventually repealed by Henry I of England in 1103.[8]


> The English word curfew is from old French carre-feu or cerre-feu.[2] These initial French words later derived into couvre-feu.[2] The word was again later turned into cover-feu in the Norman language after the conquering of the English.[6] Each of these meant to cover the live flaming fire.

There's a horror novel called Curfew by British author Phil Rickman, that heavily features a village's need to honor an ancient curfew. From goodreads:

> On the border between England and Wales lies the tiny town of Crybbe, not picturesque enough for the tourist trade, quietly sliding into decay. Max Goff means to change all that. Goff has made millions in the record business, but his heart is in New Age philosophy. He has learned that Crybbe was once a spiritual center of sorts, surrounded by ancient standing stones that were emblems of power. He means to replace the stones that have fallen - or been destroyed, as many of them were - and establish a thriving New Age community that will draw tourists and students from all over the world. What Max Goff doesn't know is that the standing stones of Crybbe were destroyed in the sixteenth century for a very good reason. Some of the endearing customs of the town - such as tolling the church bell for curfew each night - are actually deadly serious rituals. The people of Crybbe know that evil has been kept at bay here by the old ways, and that there's nothing quaint about them. And the power about to be unleashed by Max Goff is nothing like the soothing music and herbal remedies he associates with the New Age. This is the power of the old age, pent up for centuries and about to be released with deadly fury!

I'm subbed to /r/horrorlit and talk up the very talented Phil Rickman at every opportunity.


inthegarden5 t1_iw0lmpa wrote

First Norman king of England. There were kings before William usurped the throne.


StupidMastiff t1_iw0pwv3 wrote

No, Alfred was Saxon, and the first King of England, as before him, it was split into several kingdoms.


inthegarden5 t1_iw0vwx7 wrote

I misread, thank you. Saw the William I reference and not the Alfred. I see many history of England things that start counting at William and that frustrates me.


listyraesder t1_iw1w1ob wrote

Alfred wasn’t the first King of England. That goes to his grandson Æthelstan.


Lego105 t1_iw1pa5h wrote

That’s true, but there were Roman “kings” of England before him, even if they weren’t technically kings by title. Depends on your perspective. It’s complicated to discuss ancient titles that didn’t really have set boundaries the same way modern titles do, even Aelfred wasn’t necessarily king of England in the sense we’d consider it now, and there’s a lot of minutia about whether he even technically ruled the lands he claimed by his title.


DaiGorll t1_iwhmqtq wrote

Sorry if I've misconstrued your point, but "England" wasn't a thing when the Romans were here


bobcat7781 t1_iw0zvt3 wrote

Yes, William could be called a usurper, but he won the throne by conquest.


[deleted] t1_iw1y3i0 wrote



theincrediblenick t1_iw2cx8k wrote

William made the law which OP posted about, but William the Bastard (later Conqueror) was NOT the first King of England. That was Athelstan.


FreneticPlatypus t1_iw0bfil wrote

When I was little my dad was just like a king!


evil_lurker t1_iw0gdrw wrote

Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town, Upstairs and downstairs, in his nightgown; Rapping at the window, crying through the lock, “Are the children in their beds? Now it’s eight o’clock.”


goyboysotbot t1_iw1ysjs wrote

William the Bastard was not the first King of England. There were about a dozen Saxons and Vikings and one possibly mythological native Briton before him.


MansfromDaVinci t1_iw31j1c wrote



KingDarius89 t1_iw57j07 wrote

William the Conqueror, which is who he was talking about was from Normandy, and descended from Vikings.

Before him, there was also King Cnut, who was king of England, Denmark, and Norway.


jwg020 t1_iw0nf27 wrote

I live by this law now.


not_a_droid t1_iw0lq0s wrote

I would be yelling in the streets along with everyone else, but secretly really enjoy that rule


Ythio t1_iw1xyhd wrote

Curfew in older times isn't about going to bed, it's about extinguishing public lighting (curfew => cover fire in french)


baggottman t1_iw0de3v wrote

Well the sun dials only worked from 8pm onwards for 4 months of the year


raytaylor t1_iwfyt4m wrote

Elsewhere it was water clocks synchronised to a sundial and whenever your local church monks decided it was 8pm


no1name t1_iw0iuss wrote

Those were the good old days.


mojomonkeyfish t1_iw0sbw1 wrote

I made a similar law. I hope it worked out better for him.


geekgodzeus t1_iw1zbju wrote

As someone who has a 5 month baby I wish this was a global rule.


rosanna4 t1_iw2a8f3 wrote

My kind of king!


Buddy_spiked t1_iw2cqrw wrote

I’m down for this law. Nothing good happens after 8pm.


Gabi_Social t1_iw0fn2a wrote

It’s not a very big bell to cover the whole of England.


UsrnameInATrenchcoat t1_iw0m1fs wrote

The new King should make a law where people have to eat their veggies and potatas


notevilfellow t1_iw0y63l wrote

And I'm still following this law that i just found out existed today


CNWDI_Sigma_1 t1_iw1qj68 wrote

Ah, so that’s why the First British Revolution happened. Cruel (some parts of king’s remains were never found), but necessary.


zinky30 t1_iw1rw66 wrote

They didn’t even have clocks back then. How did they know when it was 8pm?


SparkySailor t1_iw1uu4r wrote

There were clocks, they were just uncommon. The ancient greeks had clocks, look up the channel "clickspring" on youtube for a breakdown of a VERY intricate one for modeling the known solar system. Also, even if they didn't have mechanical clocks, you can make clocks using other means. Hourglasses, clock candles, etc. Our ancestors weren't dumb.


Wendals87 t1_iw1wtd8 wrote

what was he, the sleep police?


Gargomon251 t1_iw2541u wrote

What time do they wake up, 4:00 a.m.?


Pepf t1_iw36esf wrote

Nanny state!


v-stromtrooper t1_iw40g8v wrote

I see a lot of people arguing who should be considered the first king of England, who's English, and whatnot... but the real question is how the hell did anyone know when 8pm was in a time before clocks!?


PoppedUrMomsCherry OP t1_iw40zxz wrote

Clocks have been around since Archimedes. 2-4 AD or something


Edit: It's 3rd Century BC apparently.


v-stromtrooper t1_iw41hko wrote

I was partially joking. Sure clocks have been around but surely not widespread in medieval England at this time. Was the practice of church bells marking time by ringing on the full hour already in practice?


PoppedUrMomsCherry OP t1_iw4idhm wrote

My bad, it's hard to get humour on text.

Yeah, I think this very practice was one of the beginnings of those church bells. They were called curfew balls. Archaically, curfew meant to curb the fire as in to put it off. Similar to turning off the light in today's time.


Fluffy_Web8995 t1_iw57zgf wrote

Scotland was not included in the union of crowns until centuries later


AlDente t1_iw9mh20 wrote

Tell that to all the Britain First fascists.


umronije t1_iw0dxqc wrote

A man of culture!


Starbuck4 t1_iw192vn wrote

Don’t temp me with a good time


IBeTrippin t1_iw1i1mb wrote

As far as laws go, not the worst ever made.