Middlesex Day in England Date in the current year: May 16, 2024

Middlesex Day in England Some historic counties in the United Kingdom have a special observance set aside to celebrate their history and cultural heritage. Most often, county days either coincide with the observance of their patron saint’s day or commemorate an important historic event. For example, Middlesex Day, observed on May 16, marks the anniversary of the Battle of Albuera.

Middlesex is a historic county located in southeast England. Most of its area is within the ceremonial county of Greater London. The name of the county can be translated as “territory of middle Saxon” and refers to the origin of its original inhabitants. The first recorded mention of Middlesex (Middleseaxon) dates back to 704.

In the 6th-9th centuries, Middlesex was part of the Kingdom of the East Saxons (Essex). In 825, it became part of the Kingdom of West Saxons (Wessex), along with the rest of Essex. After the Norman Conquest of England, Middlesex was recorded in Domesday Book, the survey of England commissioned by William the Conqueror. The manuscript describes Middlesex as consisting of six hundreds: Edmonton, Elthorne, Gore, Hounslow (subsequently known as Isleworth), Ossulstone, and Spelthorne.

In 1130, King Henry I granted London the right to appoint its own sheriff, who was also responsible for Middlesex. Although London and Middlesex were independent from one another, they were regarded as one entity from an administrative viewpoint. In the 13th century, Middlesex acquired parliamentary representation.

During most of the country’s history, the economy of Middlesex was heavily dependent on London. The county provided the city with a variety of goods, such as grain, hay, and building materials. In the 18th century, the inner parishes of the primarily agricultural county became suburbs of London and underwent urbanization. Due to the development of railway infrastructure in the first half of the 19th century, more towns of Middlesex were absorbed into London, becoming working-class residential suburbs.

Following the enactment of the Local Government Act 1888, about 20% of the area of Middlesex, along with a third of the county’s population, was incorporated into the administrative county of London, and the remainder formed the administrative county of Middlesex. It was then that Middlesex finally regained the right to choose its own sheriff.

In the early 1960s, it was proposed to divide the administrative county into North Middlesex and West Middlesex. However, instead of it, the administrative county of Middlesex was abolished and became part of the new ceremonial county of Greater London. Because of this, Middlesex is now regarded as a historic county.

Middlesex Day was inaugurated in the early 2000s. Interestingly, it commemorates an event that did not take place in the county. The Battle of Albuera was fought in Spain on May 16, 1811, during the Peninsular War. The 57th West Middlesex regiment participated in the battle, and Middlesex Day is observed on May 16 to commemorate the actions of the regiment and the bravery of its soldiers.

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Middlesex Day, county days in England, observances in England, historic counties of England, Battle of Albuera