A quiz on British history you can do in the car

Edlingham castle Image copyright Thinkstock

Do you know your ancient from your modern? Test your knowledge of British history with these 12 quick questions.

1. Richard III died at the Battle of Bosworth - commonly accepted as the last battle in the War of the Roses. But where was the war's first battle?

A) St Albans

B) Ludford Bridge

C) Wakefield

2. Who is the only British prime minister to have been assassinated?

A) William Pitt the Elder

B) Spencer Perceval

C) George Canning

3. "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants" is a line which is (partially) inscribed on the side of the £2 coin, and which was also referenced in an Oasis LP title. But which British scientist is it ascribed to?

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A) Isaac Newton

B) William Faraday

C) Ada Lovelace

4. According to legend, Queen Boudica - who took up arms against the Roman invasion in AD60 - is said to be buried under a platform of which London train station?

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A) Paddington

B) King's Cross

C) Victoria

5. Which English monarch died on the toilet?

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A) Elizabeth I

B) George II

C) Edward III

6. Which infamous incident of treachery in Scotland is said to have inspired the extremely bloody "Red Wedding" massacre scene in the TV series Game of Thrones?

A) The Black Dinner of 1440

B) The Glencoe Massacre of 1692

C) The murder of Lord Darnley in 1567

7. Which town was the seat of Welsh leader's Owain Glyndwr's Parliament in 1404 and is sometimes referred to as Wales's ancient capital?

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A) Aberystwyth

B) Lampeter

C) Machynlleth

8. Who was the first woman elected as an MP in the British parliament?

A) Constance Markievicz

B) Nancy, Viscountess Astor

C) Ellen Wilkinson

9. What was the occupation of William Shakespeare's father?

A) Fuller

B) Glover

C) Bowyer

10. In the run-up World War Two, Bawdsey Manor in Suffolk was associated with the development of which technology?

Image copyright ALAMY

A) Computers

B) Atomic power

C) Radar

11. Charles Dickens's historical novel Barnaby Rudge is set during which historical event?

A) The Gordon riots of 1780

B) The Spitalfield riots of 1769

C) The Sacheverell riots of 1710

12. The Fosse Way was a Roman road which connected Exeter with which other settlement?

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A) Colchester

B) London

C) Lincoln


1. St Albans in 1455 - an early victory for the House of York.

2. Spencer Perceval was assassinated on 11 May 1812, shot by a pistol in the lobby of the House of Commons. His killer, John Bellingham, had been obsessively pursuing a claim to compensation from the government.

3. Isaac Newton wrote it in a letter to fellow scientist Robert Hooke in 1676 - although he's not believed to have coined the phrase himself.

4. King's Cross - according to urban folklore - is said to be where Boudica was laid to rest, although there is absolutely no historical evidence for this.

5. George II died on the toilet - he may have shared this unfortunate distinction with his ancestor Edmund II (d. 1016), who was rumoured to have been stabbed to death by a Viking hiding in his privy.

6. The Black Dinner of 1440 was cited by author George RR Martin as one of the inspirations for the "Red Wedding" scene - Scots noblemen William Crichton and Alexander Livingston invited their rivals the Earl of Douglas and his younger brother to dinner at Edinburgh Castle, where they murdered them in front of King James II.

7. Machynlleth - Owain Glyndwr was the last native-born man to hold the title Prince of Wales, and he instigated a Welsh revolt against Henry IV.

8. Constance Markievicz - an Irish nationalist, she was elected Sinn Fein MP for Dublin St Patrick's in 1918. However, in line with party policy, she never took her seat.

9. Glover - there are numerous references to the trade in Shakespeare's plays, such as this from A Winter's Tale: "Come, you promised me a tawdry-lace and/a pair of sweet gloves."

10. Radar - Bawdsey Manor became the site of the world's first radar station in 1937.

11. The 1790 Gordon riots form the backdrop for Barnaby Rudge. The title character is caught up in the anti-Catholic disturbances.

12. Lincoln - the Fosse Way ran in a more-or-less straight line between the two cities,

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