Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle
He is commonly known as the Duke of Newcastle. A protégé of Sir Robert Walpole, he served him for more than twenty years. He held power with his brother, Prime Minister Henry Pelham until 1754 and he had at this point served as a Secretary of State continuously for thirty years—dominating British foreign policy. After Henrys death the Duke was prime minister six years, in two separate periods, while his first premiership was not particularly notable, Newcastle precipitated the Seven Years War, his weak diplomacy cost him the premiership. After his second term as Prime Minister, he served for a short while in Lord Rockinghams ministry and he was most effective as a deputy to a leader of greater ability, such as Walpole, his brother, or Pitt. Few politicians in British history matched his skills and industry in using patronage to maintain power over long stretches of time and his genius appeared as the chief party manager for the Whigs, 1715-1761. He used his energy and his money to candidates, distribute patronage.
He was especially influential in the counties of Sussex, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire and his greatest triumph came in the 1734 election. Outside the electoral realm, his reputation has suffered, many modern historians have depicted him as the epitome of unredeemed mediocrity and as a veritable buffoon in office. He studied at Westminster School and was admitted a fellow-commoner at Clare College, Cambridge in 1710, Pelhams uncle died in 1711, and his father the next year, both leaving their large estates to their nephew and son. When he came of age in 1714, Lord Pelham was one of the greatest landowners in the kingdom, one stipulation of his uncles will was that his nephew add Holles to his name, which he faithfully did, thereafter styling himself as Thomas Pelham-Holles. A long-standing legal dispute over the estate with his Aunt was finally settled in 1714 and he increasingly identified with Whig politics, like his father and uncle – but whereas they had been moderate in their views, he grew increasingly more partisan and militant in his views.
This issue dominated British politics during the last few years of Queen Annes reign and he joined the Hannover Club and the Kit Kat Club, both leading centres of Whig thinking and organisation. Newcastle House in London became his premier residence and he became Lord-Lieutenant of the Counties of Middlesex and Nottingham and a Knight of the Garter. In his new position he was in charge of suppressing Jacobitism in the counties under his control, in Middlesex he arrested and questioned eight hundred people, and drew up a Voluntary Defence Association to defend the county. During 1715 he became involved in a riot ended with two men being killed, and Newcastle fleeing along rooftops. The succession of George I was secured in late 1715 by the defeat of a Jacobite army at the Battle of Preston, the victory of the Hanoverians over the Jacobites marked the beginning of the Whig Ascendancy which lasted for much of the 18th century. Following their victory, the Whigs split with one forming the government for George I
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of the English monarchy which arguably culminated in the English Civil War, the Act of Union 1707 merged the English Parliament with the Parliament of Scotland to form the Parliament of Great Britain. When the Parliament of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its members were merged into what was now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Under a monarchical system of government, monarchs usually must consult, early kings of England had no standing army or police, and so depended on the support of powerful subjects. The monarchy had agents in every part of the country, under the feudal system that evolved in England following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the laws of the Crown could not have been upheld without the support of the nobility and the clergy. The former had economic and military bases of their own through major ownership of land. The Church was virtually a law unto itself in this period as it had its own system of law courts.
In order to seek consultation and consent from the nobility and the clergy on major decisions. A typical Great Council would consist of archbishops, abbots and earls, when this system of consultation and consent broke down, it often became impossible for government to function effectively. The most prominent instances of prior to the reign of Henry III are the disagreements between Thomas Becket and Henry II and between King John and the barons. Becket, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1162 and 1170, was murdered following a long running dispute with Henry II over the jurisdiction of the Church. John, who was king from 1199 to 1216, aroused such hostility from many leading noblemen that they forced him to agree to Magna Carta in 1215, johns refusal to adhere to this charter led to civil war. The Great Council evolved into the Parliament of England, the term itself came into use during the early 13th century, deriving from the Latin and French words for discussion and speaking.
The word first appears in documents in the 1230s. As a result of the work by historians G. O. Sayles and H. G. Richardson, during the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings began to call Knights of the Shire to meet when the monarch saw it as necessary. A notable example of this was in 1254 when sheriffs of counties were instructed to send Knights of the Shire to parliament to advise the king on finance, parliaments were mostly summoned when the king needed to raise money through taxes. Following the Magna Carta this became a convention and this was due in no small part to the fact that King John died in 1216 and was succeeded by his young son Henry III. Leading peers and clergy governed on Henrys behalf until he came of age, among other things, they made sure that Magna Carta would be reaffirmed by the young king
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of Her Majestys Government in the United Kingdom. The prime minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Monarch, to Parliament, to their political party, the office is one of the Great Offices of State. The current prime minister, Theresa May, leader of the Conservative Party, was appointed by the Queen on 13 July 2016. The position of Prime Minister was not created, it evolved slowly and erratically over three hundred years due to acts of Parliament, political developments, and accidents of history. The office is therefore best understood from a historical perspective, the origins of the position are found in constitutional changes that occurred during the Revolutionary Settlement and the resulting shift of political power from the Sovereign to Parliament. The political position of Prime Minister was enhanced by the development of political parties, the introduction of mass communication. By the start of the 20th century the modern premiership had emerged, prior to 1902, the prime minister sometimes came from the House of Lords, provided that his government could form a majority in the Commons.
However as the power of the aristocracy waned during the 19th century the convention developed that the Prime Minister should always sit in the lower house. As leader of the House of Commons, the Prime Ministers authority was further enhanced by the Parliament Act of 1911 which marginalised the influence of the House of Lords in the law-making process. The Prime Minister is ex officio First Lord of the Treasury, certain privileges, such as residency of 10 Downing Street, are accorded to Prime Ministers by virtue of their position as First Lord of the Treasury. As the Head of Her Majestys Government the modern Prime Minister leads the Cabinet, in addition the Prime Minister leads a major political party and generally commands a majority in the House of Commons. As such the incumbent wields both legislative and executive powers, under the British system there is a unity of powers rather than separation. In the House of Commons, the Prime Minister guides the process with the goal of enacting the legislative agenda of their political party.
The Prime Minister acts as the face and voice of Her Majestys Government. The British system of government is based on an uncodified constitution, in 1928, Prime Minister H. H. Asquith described this characteristic of the British constitution in his memoirs, In this country we live. Our constitutional practices do not derive their validity and sanction from any Bill which has received the assent of the King, Lords. They rest on usage, convention, often of slow growth in their early stages, not always uniform, the relationships between the Prime Minister and the Sovereign and Cabinet are defined largely by these unwritten conventions of the constitution. Many of the Prime Ministers executive and legislative powers are actually royal prerogatives which are still vested in the Sovereign
A husting originally referred to a native Germanic governing assembly, the thing. By metonymy, the term may now refer to any event, such as debates or speeches, the term is used synonymously with stump in the United States. Husting, or more usually the plural hustings, developed to mean a court of the city of London and it had probate jurisdiction and the ability to register wills. The Charter of Harthacnut contains a reference to hustings weights, which points to the establishment of this court. It is doubtful whether courts of this name were held in other towns, says that according to Fleta there were such courts at Winchester, Lincoln, Isle of Sheppey and elsewhere. However, the passage from Fleta, as the New English Dictionary points out and this hustings court jurisdiction eventually became obsolete, but the court still sits occasionally for registering gifts made to the city. Today, the Hustings Court tradition can be found in areas of the United States, such as in Virginia. In Richmond, there is a park called Hustings Court Square, the husting was a platform or pavilion, a temporary structure erected at the place of an election.
The returning officer was responsible for the timing of the election. County elections took place at a place of election, which was usually the county town or a large town. On the appointed day the returning officer attended at the husting with the prospective candidates, the candidates, with a proposer and a seconder for each, addressed the assembled voters. This could sometimes be a task in a large urban constituency. At the conclusion of the speeches, a show of hands was taken and this was an informal indication of the opinion of the voters and no official record was kept of how many voted for a particular candidate. Sometimes a candidate who found he had little support or otherwise did not want to continue declined to call for a poll, one example of this was seen in the 1784 election for the four seats of the City of London. William Pitt the Younger was proposed and was returned on the show of hands, if after this process there were no more candidates nominated and willing to go to the poll than seats to be filled, the existing candidates were declared elected.
This was called an unopposed return, but if there remained more candidates than vacancies, the polling commenced. During polling, each vote was declared openly on the husting, the vote was recorded in a poll book, along with the name of each voter. In certain occasions, additional candidates were nominated as the polling continued, polling could continue for many days, so long as there were voters wanting to participate and the candidates desired to continue
Parliament of Scotland
The Parliament of Scotland, or Estates of Parliament, was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The parliament, like other such institutions, evolved during the Middle Ages from the council of bishops. It is first identifiable as a parliament in 1235, during the reign of Alexander II, by the early fourteenth century, the attendance of knights and freeholders had become important, and from 1326 commissioners from the burghs attended. Parliamentary business was carried out by sister institutions, such as General Councils or Convention of Estates. These could carry out much business dealt with by parliament – taxation and policy-making –, the Parliament of Scotland met for more than four centuries, until it was prorogued sine die at the time of the Acts of Union in 1707. Thereafter the Parliament of Great Britain operated for both England and Scotland, thus creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain, when the Parliament of Ireland was abolished in 1801, its former members were merged into what was now called the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Later, the bishops themselves were removed from the Church of Scotland during the Glorious Revolution, the Second Estate was split into two to retain the division into three. From the 16th century, the estate was reorganised by the selection of Shire Commissioners. During the 17th century, after the Union of the Crowns and these latter identifications remain highly controversial among parliamentary historians. Regardless, the used for the assembled members continued to be the Three Estates. A Shire Commissioner was the closest equivalent of the English office of Member of Parliament, because the parliament of Scotland was unicameral, all members sat in the same chamber, as opposed to the separate English House of Lords and House of Commons. The Scottish parliament evolved during the Middle Ages from the Kings Council and it is perhaps first identifiable as a parliament in 1235, described as a colloquium and already with a political and judicial role. In 1296 we have the first mention of burgh representatives taking part in decision making, by the early 14th century, the attendance of knights and freeholders had become important, and Robert the Bruce began regularly calling burgh commissioners to his Parliament.
Consisting of The Three Estates – of clerics, lay Tenants-in-chief and burgh commissioners – sitting in a single chamber, parliamentary business was carried out by sister institutions, before c.1500 by General Council and thereafter by the Convention of Estates. These could carry out much business dealt with by Parliament – taxation and policy-making –, the Scottish parliament met in a number of different locations throughout its history. In addition to Edinburgh, meetings were held in Perth, Stirling, St Andrews, Linlithgow, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Berwick-upon-Tweed. From the early 1450s until 1690, a deal of the legislative business of the Scottish Parliament was usually carried out by a parliamentary committee known as the Lords of the Articles. This was a chosen by the three estates to draft legislation which was presented to the full assembly to be confirmed