Can You Master This UK Pub Trivia Quiz?


By: Torrance Grey

6 Min Quiz

Image: youtube

About This Quiz

Let's face it: "bar trivia" will never have the same ring as "pub trivia" -- which is why we'll forever associate this pastime with the UK, where it was born and still thrives. Is there any nation more competitive than England about trivia? They take it so seriously that there's actually a professional, ranked circuit of "quizzers." It's no wonder that several of America's most popular quiz shows in the past 20 years, like "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" and "The Weakest Link," were created on the other side of the pond.

To celebrate the classic pub trivia experience, we've written a quiz that focuses on all things British: its history, its literature, its movies, and TV ... and, of course, its royals. Do you know where an English king's bones were discovered in 2013? Or which beloved crime writer used to be a jockey before picking up the pen? Or how many incarnations of "the Doctor" there have been? (For that matter, do you know who we mean when we say "the Doctor"? If not, this quiz might not be for you. Fair warning).

So whether you're an Anglophile, a trivia enthusiast, or a bit of both, we've got a quiz to challenge you! Pour a pint, or brew up some Earl Grey, and test your wits now!

Which of these is the legendary rival of the Sheriff of Nottingham?

Robin Hood is a figure of legend, first referred to in the writings of the late Middle Ages. His reputation for "stealing from the rich to give to the poor" has grown throughout the centuries.


The Parliament consists of the House of Commons and the House of ______.

The House of Lords is made up of members from the peerage. They are divided into Lords Spiritual (from the Church of England) and Lords Temporal, peers from the secular class.


Who heads the Church of England?

To be technical, the current king or queen is the head of the church (much like the president of the U.S. is Commander in Chief of the military). In practice, though, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the top clergyman.


Which of these actors was known for his Shakespearean roles on stage and screen?

Olivier was a giant of stage and screen. He was knighted late in life, as was his peer, Guinness (who might be best known for his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars.")


What would you buy at Harrods?

Harrods is a department store whose motto is "Omnia omnibus ubique," or "Everything for everyone, everywhere." The giant building looks like the box that Downton Abbey came in.


What is the district of Wimbledon best known for?

The formal name of the tournament is "The Wimbledon Tennis Championships." However, the overall district is home to a posh shopping area, as well as a lot of public land, open to ramblers and dog walkers.


Which of these is NOT a Charles Dickens novel?

Dickens was a prolific writer who produced 15 novels and more than 100 short stories. He needed to keep the work coming -- he had 11 children.


What nickname did the USSR give Margaret Thatcher?

This was also the name of a 2011 film about Thatcher. American actress Meryl Streep played the lead role.


Which of these is NOT a British TV show?

"Murder, She Wrote" was a wildly popular American show in the "cozy" mystery subgenre. Angela Lansbury, its star, was born in London.


Who was the former Princess Diana dating at the time of her death?

Fayed was the son a wealthy Egyptian family. His father owned Harrods and the Paris Ritz. Fayed, who was a producer on films like "Chariots of Fire," died along with Diana in the 1997 car crash.


Which of these wives of Henry VIII came first?

Catherine of Aragon was the first wife of the much-married Henry, and a favorite with the English people. She lived out her days, after Henry discarded her, in the English countryside.


What is the common name for those who worship in the Church of England?

The faith of the Church of England is popularly known as "Anglicanism." "Recusants" were Catholics who refused to worship at Anglican churches in the years after the schism.


What is England's equivalent of the Oscars called?

The awards are given out by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.


Which of these wives of Henry VIII was executed?

Both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were executed. Both women were convicted of "treasonous" sexual affairs, leading to their deaths and that of their lovers.


Which of these is NOT a British soap opera?

"Guiding Light" was a long-running American soap opera. Of the English shows listed, "Coronation Street" is probably the best known. It's been on the air since 1960 and is loved for its view of working-class life.


In what year did "Doctor Who" premiere?

The show follows the adventures of a "Time Lord" who travels the universe in a spaceship called the TARDIS (disguised as a "police box.") When the first actor to play the Doctor became ill, the writers came up with the idea that the Doctor could take on a new body; this allowed the series to continue with a new actor.


Which of these shows introduced Benedict Cumberbatch to the wider world?

"Sherlock" began airing in 2010, and has become a worldwide sensation. The series brings the Sherlock Holmes story into the present day, with Sherlock Holmes meeting up with an Army doctor, John Watson, just back from the Afghanistan conflict.


Who preceded Winston Churchill as prime minister?

Chamberlain is now mostly known to history for his policy of appeasement of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Churchill, on the other hand, gave the famous "We shall fight them on the beaches" speech and became the subject of flattering movies like "Darkest Hour."


Which of these "British" writers was actually born in the US?

Some writers are claimed by "both side of the Atlantic," as literature professors like to put it. Both England and America take pride in these expatriate authors who found a home in England.


What historic event happened in 1066 C.E.?

The invaders were from three political entities of the time -- France, Normandy, and Breton, now all part of modern-day France. The Norman Invasion changed the language and culture of the British Isles forever.


Where were King Richard III's bones discovered in 2013?

The Richard III Society, a group that believes Richard was a better king than Shakespeare's depiction of him makes out, pushed for the excavation. Sure enough, the king's remains lay under the pavement of a parking lot (which, to clarify, was once the site of a church.)


Which of these novelists wrote about the region of Wessex?

Hardy was a realist and social critic who wrote about the changing lives of working-class rural people. His characters are sometimes crushed under the wheels of modernity, like his most famous heroine, "Tess of the D'Urbervilles."


In which year was the Magna Carta signed?

The Magna Carta was an agreement between the king and a group of rebel barons. Its text is complicated, but essentially it protected personal and religious liberties, and influenced the U.S. Constitution centuries later.


How many novels did Jane Austen write?

Austen was working on a seventh, now called "Sanditon," when she died. The other novels are "Sense and Sensibility," "Pride and Prejudice," "Northanger Abbey," "Persuasion," "Emma," and "Mansfield Park."


Where would you find "backbenchers"?

"Backbenchers" are the less-elite members of the House of Commons. The term falls somewhere between "rank-and-file" and "peanut gallery."


Which of these painters was also a writer on mystical subjects?

Blake wrote "Songs of Innocence and Experience," which are probably his best-known poems. You might also know him because of his painting, "The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun," which features prominently in crime novelist Thomas Harris's "Red Dragon" and its film and television adaptations.


Which of these literary figures was also a cleric in the Church of England?

Donne is known for both saucy love poetry in his youth and later in life, religious poems. He saw himself as two men: irreverent "Jack Donne" and pious "Reverend Donne."


Publisher "Debrett's" is best known for a book on what subject?

"Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage" is a listing of what used to be called the "noble" families of England, with short histories. It is published every four years.


Which British mystery writer was a celebrated "jump jockey" before turning to writing?

Dick Francis, a former jockey, collaborated with his wife, Mary, to become one of England's best-loved writers. The pair started out writing about the world of racing and its denizens, but quickly branched out into other subjects.


In which northern England city was "The Full Monty" set?

"The Full Monty" was a cheeky (literally!), feel-good film set in the economically-depressed steel town. A group of unemployed steelworkers put on a all-male nude cabaret to make money.


How many actors have played the Doctor on "Doctor Who"?

If you've been hiding under a rock, you might have missed the kerfuffle over Jodie Whittaker's casting as the 12th doctor. She is the first woman to play the part.


Which writer created the beloved detective, Adam Dalgliesh?

P.D. James wrote 14 novels about Scotland Yard detective Dalgliesh. But she's also known for "An Unsuitable Job for a Woman," introducing a quietly resourceful female protagonist, Cordelia Gray.


Which of these was a powerful medieval queen?

The Duchess of Aquitaine by birth, Eleanor first married King Louis VII of France, then Henry II of England. Three of her sons became kings -- and all this family lore doesn't scratch the surface of how Eleanor wielded power in her own right.


Who was the leader of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot?

Though Fawkes is the one who sticks in public memory, he was only the man who guarded the gunpowder, because he had military experience. But Robert Catesby spearheaded the plot to blow up Parliament, all in an attempt to restore England to Catholicism. Catesby, said to be a charismatic leader, drew other men like Fawkes to his cause.


Which of these cities is furthest north?

Blackpool is a seaside resort. Its position high on the northwest coast makes it a popular destination for people from cities like Leeds and Manchester.


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