The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is a country of the United Kingdom, and English people in England are British Citizens. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain after the fifth century AD.
Historically, the English population is descended from several genetically similar peoples—the earlier Britons (or Brythons), the Germanic tribes that settled in the region, including Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, collectively known as the Anglo-Saxons, who founded what was to become England (from the Old English Englaland), and the later Danes, Normans and other groups. Following the Act of Union in 1707, in which the Kingdom of England became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain, English customs and identity became closely aligned with British customs and identity.
Today, some English people have recent forbears from other parts of the United Kingdom, while some are also descended from more recent immigrants from other European countries and from the Commonwealth.
The English people are the source of the English language, the parliamentary system, the common law system and numerous major sports. These and other English cultural characteristics have spread worldwide, in part as a result of the former British Empire.