There has been a human presence in England for about 780,000 years, though the first permanent human settlements were first established about 6,000 years ago. Most of the population was originally from the Iberian Peninsula. Around 2500 BC more advanced culture began to develop, and it was around this time that the famous structure at Stonehenge was built. During the Iron Age the population was mainly Celtic, agricultural and tribal. The Romans invaded in 43 AD, and was incorporated it into the Empire as Britannia Province. Christianity, which would become the main religion, was introduced in about the 3rd century. In 410 the Romans began to withdraw from the island, leaving them exposed to raids from the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. These invaders began to settle, and the island was roughly divided into several warring tribal territories, though this eventually settled to about a dozen. During the 9th century, sustained attacks from Denmark resulted in the northern and eastern parts of the island being conquered. The territory of Wessex remained the only English kingdom, ruled by Alfred the Great. His descendants later expanded the kingdom, eventually taking control of many of the Danish possessions. England was finally consolidated under the rule Athelstan in 927 and then Eadred in 953. In 1013 the island was briefly conquered by the Scandinavian Sweyn Forkbeard, but returned to Edward the Confessor of the House of Wessex after the death of Forkbeard's son, Cnut, in 1016. When Edward the Confessor died in 1066 he had no heir and the subsequent dispute allowed the Norman conquest of England, led by Duke William of Normandy. The House of Plantagenet next succeeded to the throne, placing England in the hands of the Angevin Empire. The following three centuries continued under this relatively stable rule, and saw the adoption of such important documents of the Magna Carta in 1215, which placed limits on the powers of the monarch and asserted the rights of freemen.
In the 14th century England was drawn into the Hundred Years' War due to the claims of the Plantagenet family on the House of Capet. In 1348 the Black Death moved into England from mainland Europe, an epidemic which claimed as much as half of the English population. In the mid- to late-15th century England underwent the War of the Roses, in which two rival claimants to the English throne, the Yorkists and the Lancastrians, battled for the right to the throne. It was ultimately won by the Tudor family, a branch of the Lancastrians. During this period, called the Tudor period, the Renaissance reached England. As well, England began to develop its naval power, and began exploration of the West. In 1534 the monarchy under Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church, and the head of the monarchy became the head of the newly-created Church of England. Wales was incorporated into England in 1535. In 1585 Sir Walter Raleigh established the first American colony in Virginia. In 1603 King James I inherited the throne from Queen Elizabeth I, and brought Scotland, where he was also king, into what he called Great Britain. The English Civil War took place between 1642 and 1651, and were between the supporters of the contemporary king and the supporters of the parliament. The parliament supporters succeeded, and the kingdom became a commonwealth controlled by Oliver Cromwell. Upon his death in 1660 the monarchy was restored in the aptly-named Restoration. This Restoration had king and parliament ruling side by side, though gave all real power to parliament. In 1707 Scotland and England formally became the Kingdom of Great Britain. These two countries began to work together in science and engineering, and set the stage for the formation of the British Empire. Socioeconomic change rocked England, allowing for industrialisation and the rise of manufacturing. In 1761 the Bridgewater Canal was opened. The Industrial Revolution saw the mass exodus of English people from the countryside to the large manufacturing cities, such as Manchester. Napoleon Bonaparte planned to invade during the Napoleonic Wars but failed. Instead, he fostered a sense of British unity that included Wales and Scotland. In the 19th and early 20th century England underwent political tumult from a number of political movements. During the First World War England fought on the side of the Allies. During the Second World War England again fought on the side of the Allies, and sustained heavy bombing damages from the Blitz. The National Health Service, which provides free health care to residents, was established in 1948. The 20th century onwards has seen a rapid increase in immigration, especially from old British colonies like India. From the 1970s there has been a general decline in the manufacturing industry and an increase in the service sector. In 1973 England, as a constituent part of the United Kingdom, joined the European Union.
England is an island located in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the United Kingdom, which is composed of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It takes up most of the island of Great Britain, and shares borders with Scotland and Wales. It stands 34 kilometres across the English Channel from France, and is the closest of all the countries in Great Britain to that country. England is divided into four subnational divisions, and further divided into nine regions, then forty-eight ceremonial counties and finally eighty-three metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties. The capital of England is the city of London, which is located in southern England and composes its own region.
There are approximately 51 million people in England, making up about 84% of the population of the United Kingdom. A majority of the population is Caucasian and most of these are native to Britain or Ireland. The next largest ethnic group is Indian, followed by Pakistani, Bangladeshi, South Asian, Black Caribbean, Black African, Black other, mixed and Chinese. Christianity is the dominant religion in England, with about 71.6% of the population identifying as such. Mainly these Christian practitioners are Anglicans. Islam is the second largest religion, with about 2.4 million adherents in the whole of the United Kingdom. Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism comprise about 2% of the population, and 14.6% report having no religion.
The language spoken in England is, predictably, English, although there is a proliferation of languages brought into the country by immigrants, as well as a number of languages that still exist from the early inhabitants, such as Gaelic and Cornish. England is known for its multitudinous and diverse regional dialects.
Due to its extensive and tumultuous history, a number of characters from comic books have come from England, as have many comics been set in the country. As well, many historical English people and characters have found their way into comics in some way or another. What follows is a partial list of such characters and locations.
Characters from England include:
English Characters from History or Mythology include:
English Locations in Comics include: