Kingston upon Hull (almost universally known as Hull - not to be confused with Kingston upon Thames near London, known simply as Kingston) is a major port city in the county of East Yorkshire in northern England located on the north bank of the River Humber a few miles above its entrance to the North Sea. It is a major trading port and has a significant fishing fleet, and is home to the University of Hull (founded 1927) (the new University of Lincoln, formerly the University of Humberside, also has a campus in the city).
Kingston upon Hull was founded by king Edward I in 1293, the king taking over an older port, known as Wyke, and belonging to the monks of Meaux Abbey. The town lay where the smaller River Hull entered the Humber, hence its dual name. Hull rapidly outstripped rival ports on the Humber estuary (helped by the fact that some of these were being overwhelmed by rising sea levels and others by silting) to become one of England's premier ports, a status it has maintained to this day. In 1800 Hull was the third largest port in England behind London and Liverpool. Today, as well as being a major cargo port, it is a terminal for ferries to and from the European mainland and is a major railhead.
In 1642 King Charles I, having raised his standard at Nottingham in an act regarded as being the opening of the Civil War, travelled to Hull only to be denied entrance to the city by its military governor. William Wilberforce, who led the campaign to abolish slavery in the British Empire, was born in Hull and also served as the town's Member of Parliament. Other famous people born there include Hollywood's J. Arthur Rank, the aviatrix, Amy Johnson and the poet, Stevie Smith.
In 1941 the city was very badly damaged by German bombing.
Reference: Brewer's Britain and Ireland p.558 (under Hull)