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In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major wool trading centre and became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province of the Church of England, a role it has retained.
In the 19th century, York became a hub of the railway network and a confectionery manufacturing centre.
Old Irish ibar "yew-tree", Welsh efwr "alder buckthorn", Breton evor "alder buckthorn") and suffix *-āko(n) "place" (cf.
Welsh -og) meaning either "place of the yew trees" (cf.
The first mention of York by this name is dated to circa 95–104 AD as an address on a wooden stylus tablet from the Roman fortress of Vindolanda in Northumberland.
It is thought that Eboracum is derived from the Brythonic word Eborakon, a combination of eburos "yew-tree" (cf.
Under Viking rule the city became a major river port, part of the extensive Viking trading routes throughout northern Europe.
The last ruler of an independent Jórvík, Eric Bloodaxe, was driven from the city in 954 AD by King Eadred in his successful attempt to complete the unification of England.
In 1068, two years after the Norman conquest of England, the people of York rebelled.
In recent decades, the economy of York has moved from being dominated by its confectionery and railway-related industries to one that provides services.
The University of York and health services have become major employers, whilst tourism has become an important element of the local economy.