is an historic county of England, centred on the county town of York,
and was originally composed of three sections called Thrydings, now
referred to as Ridings. The region was first colonised during the first
millennium by Romans, Angles and Vikings. The name Yorkshire first
appeared in writing in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1065. Following the
Norman Invasion, Yorkshire was subject to the "Harrying of the North"
which caused great hardship. The area proved to be notable for uprisings
and rebellions through to the Tudor period. During the industrial
revolution, the West Riding became the second most important
manufacturing area in the United Kingdom, while the predominant industry
of the East and North Ridings remained fishing and agriculture. In
modern times, the Yorkshire economy has suffered from a decline in
manufacturing output which has affected the traditional coal, steel,
wool and shipping industries.
Yorkshire is named after York and York is a shortened form of the Viking
name Jorvik, which was in turn an interpretation of the Anglo-Saxon name
Eoforwic. Yorkshire is the county or ‘shire’ of York City and has been
know in the past as Eoferwicscir, the County of York and Le Counte d’
The White Rose of York (Rosa alba) is the symbol of the House of York
and latterly of Yorkshire.
The origins of the emblem are somewhat obscure, but it is said to have
first been adopted by Edmund of Langley, the first Duke of York, in the
14th century. It represents the Virgin Mary, who was often called the
"Mystical Rose of Heaven" (white being a symbol of purity).
During the civil wars of the 15th century, the White Rose was the symbol
of Yorkist partisans opposed to the rival House of Lancaster, whose
symbol was the Red Rose of Lancaster. The opposition of the two roses
gave the wars their name: the Wars of the Roses. The conflict was ended
by King Henry VII of England, who symbolically united the White and Red
Roses to create the Tudor Rose, symbol of the Tudor dynasty.
In the late Seventeenth Century the Jacobites took up the White Rose of
York as their emblem, celebrating "White Rose Day" on 10 June, the
anniversary of the birth of James III and VIII in 1688.