It takes its status and name as the 'Kings Towne on the River Hull' from Royal Charter granted April 1, 1299 by King Edward I of England who needed a northern port to supply his campaigns in Scotland. The 700+ year old charter remains preserved in Hull's Guildhall Archives.
In times preceding this the port and settlement on the site of Hull was known as Wyke.
In 1440, the city became a county corporate, known as Hullshire.
The city's association with royalty was broken in 1642 when Hull governor Sir John Hotham declared for the Parliamentarian cause and later refused Charles I entry into the City and access to its large arsenal. He was declared a traitor and despite a parliamentarian pardon was later executed. This series of events was to precipitate the English Civil War since Charles I felt obliged to respond to the 'insult' by besieging the City; an event that played a critical role in triggering open conflict between the Parliamentarian and Royalist causes.
Hull developed as a British trade port with mainland Europe, Whaling until the mid 19th Century and deep sea fishing until the Anglo-Icelandic Cod War 1975-1976, which resolution lead to a major decline in Hull economic fortune. It remains a major port dealing mostly with bulk commodities and commercial road traffic by RORO ferry to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge on mainland Europe. The city remains a UK centre of food processing.
William Wilberforce, the leading slavery abolitionist, was born in Hull 1759, baptised at Holy Trinity church and represented the City as its Member of Parliament until his death in 1833.
Joseph Malet Lambert, a British education reformer who proposed universal education as an economic stimulus was born in Hull in 1853.
Thomas R. Ferens philanthropist, industrialist and Member of Parliament for East Hull from 1906-1918, proved to be one of the city's greatest benefactors, endowing among others University College, the Ferens Art Gallery, and East Park in 1927.
Amy Johnson, the pioneering woman flyer who was the first person to fly solo from England to Australia, was born in Hull in 1903.
Hull's administrative status has changed several times. It had been a county borough for many decades, but from the 1974 to the 1996 it was part of Humberside, and upon the abolition of that county, it was made a unitary authority.
Hull is also home to Paul Heaton, of The Housemartins and latterly The Beautiful South, proving that there's a lot of musical talent in the area too. Both bands have been amongst the most popular in the UK.
Hull also has the dubious claim to fame of having only 28.9% achieving 5+ GCSE grades A to C (the lowest in the country). The town was also awarded first place in The Idler Book of Crap Towns (Ed. Sam Jordison & Dan Kieran, Boxtree 2003)
This has in recent years led to speculation that the term "I've been to Hell and back" was merely a misspelling of Hull.
The City & County of Kingston Upon Hull