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Leicester, a city and the county town of Leicestershire in England, where it is also the largest settlement in the East Midlands. It is located on the River Soar, close to the National Forest. The Romans appeared in the area during their conquest of southern Britain, around 47 AD.

After the Norman Invasion in the 11th century, the Domesday Book documented Leicester as Ledecestre, that entry being made in 1086.

In 1231, Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, gave the city a grant to expel all Jewish residents and cancelled all debts due to them. Most of the exiles were allowed to immigrate to the countryside in the east, which were controlled by Simon’s great-aunt, Margaret, Countess of Winchester. There they remained, according to historians, until 1253.

In the 14th century, the earls of both Leicester and Lancaster, founding a hospital dedicated to the sick and poor and establishing the Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady of The Newarke, a collegiate church. Newarke is Latin for “new work.” The church became a burial place of members of the Lancastrian dynasty, and it was the place that the naked body of Richard III of England was put on display after he died.

Richard died in the Battle of Bosworth, the last significant battle of the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York, known as the War of Roses. The death of Richard III was the death of the last king from the House of York. The victor of that battle, Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, soon to be the King of England because of his victory, stripped Richard and strapped his body over a horse and displayed it at the church in order to prove that he was indeed dead.

The first railroad station in Leicester in 1832 allowed coal to move to town from the coal mines, and by 1840, the town was part of a national network. By 1901, the town was bustling with commerce and construction. New workshops and factories blossomed. Shoes, textiles, and hosiery were the major products manufactured there.

Leicester was again a city as of 1919, and in 1927, St. Martin’s Church became a cathedral. In 1935 Leicester annexed Evington, Beaumont Leys, Humberstone, and a piece of Braunstone.



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