Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
First Parliament of the United Kingdom
In the first Parliament to be held after the Union of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801, the first House of Commons of the United Kingdom was composed of all 558 members of the former Parliament of Great Britain and 100 of the members of the House of Commons of Ireland. The Parliament of Great Britain had held its last general election in 1796 and last met on 5 November 1800; the final general election for the Parliament of Ireland had taken place in 1797, although by-elections had continued to take place until 1800. The other chamber of the Parliament, the House of Lords, consisted of members of the pre-existing House of Lords in Great Britain, in addition to 28 representative peers elected by members of the former Irish House of Lords. By a proclamation dated 5 November 1800, the members of the new united Parliament were summoned to a first meeting at Westminster on 22 January 1801. At the outset, the Tories led by Addington enjoyed a majority of 108 in the new House of Commons.
Great Britain had been at war with France since 1792. The Prime Minister since 1783, William Pitt the Younger, led a broad wartime coalition of Whig and Tory politicians; the principal opposition to Pitt was a weak faction of Whigs, led by Charles James Fox. For four years after 1797 opposition attendance at Westminster had been sporadic as Fox pursued a strategy of secession from Parliament. Only a small group, led by George Tierney, had attended to oppose the ministers; as Foord observes "only once did the minority reach seventy-five, it was less than ten". The Act of Union 1800 created the United Kingdom by merging the previous Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland; the first Parliament of the United Kingdom was composed of all the members of the last Parliament of Great Britain and some of the members of the final Parliament of Ireland. Pitt wished to grant Catholic emancipation, to help reconcile the Irish Catholic majority with the Union. King George III was opposed to that policy, so Pitt was compelled to resign in March 1801.
The new Tory Prime Minister was Henry Addington. He led another wartime administration of pro-government Whigs and Tories, collectively referred to as the "Addingtonians"; this was however weaker than Pitt's ministry as Pitt and his faction did not join the new government. The younger opposition Whigs became more involved in parliamentary opposition. Charles Grey, on 25 March 1801, tried to persuade the House of Commons to set up a Committee on the State of the Nation, his motion was lost. The Foxite leaders ended their secession from Parliament. Pitt was supportive of the Addington ministry, but was semi-detached from it; as the well-known couplet tellingly observed: "Pitt is to Addington, as London is to Paddington", which indicates the contemporary view of the relative abilities of the two prime ministers. All British MPs and those Irish members representing constituencies which retained two members after the Union automatically retained their seats when the Union took effect on 1 January 1801.
Those members of the Irish House of Commons to sit at Westminster, who represented constituencies still enfranchised after the Union but reduced from two members to one, were selected by drawing lots. If one of the seats in the Irish Parliament was vacant the remaining member for the constituency was automatically chosen for the Westminster Parliament. If both seats were vacant a by-election was held. Monmouthshire is included in Wales in these tables. Sources for this period may include the county in England. Table 1: Constituencies and MPs, by type and country Table 2: Number of seats per constituency, by type and country United Kingdom general elections Members of the 1st UK Parliament from Ireland British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher. Source: Dates of Elections – Footnote to Table 5.02 British Historical Facts 1760–1830, by Chris Cook and John Stevenson. Source: Types of constituencies – Great Britain His Majesty's Opposition 1714–1830, by Archibald S. Foord Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland 1801–1922, edited by B.
M. Walker. Source: Types of constituencies – Ireland
The Catholic Association was an Irish Roman Catholic political organisation set up by Daniel O'Connell in the early nineteenth century to campaign for Catholic emancipation within Great Britain. It was one of the first mass-membership political movements in Europe, it organized large-scale public protests in Ireland. British Home Secretary Robert Peel was alarmed and warned an associate of his in 1824, "We cannot tamely sit by while the danger is hourly increasing, while a power co-ordinate with that of the Government is rising by its side, daily counteracting its views." The Duke of Wellington, Britain's prime minister and its most famous war hero, told Peel, "If we cannot get rid of the Catholic Association, we must look to civil war in Ireland sooner or later." To stop the momentum of the Catholic Association it was necessary to pass Catholic Emancipation, so Wellington and Peel turned enough Tory votes to win. Passage demonstrated that the veto power long held by the Ultra-Tories faction of reactionary Tories no longer was operational, significant reforms were now possible.
The Catholic Association was founded in 1823 by Daniel O'Connell. It was the latest in a series of similar associations formed over the previous ten years or so. Like the other associations, this new association was composed of the middle-class elite: the annual subscription amounting to a guinea, an amount equivalent to what an average farmer would pay for six months' rent. In 1824, the Catholic Association began to use the money that it had raised to campaign for Catholic emancipation. Furthermore, in this year the association created a new category of associate member at the cost of a penny a month, the so-called Catholic Rent; the reasoning behind the creation of this new membership category was to stimulate a swelling in association numbers. This new cheaper category ensured Catholics from a poorer background could join and thus the association's initial class-based entry barriers were removed; the Catholic rent transformed the association. Arguably, it could be interpreted as having transformed the entire history of Ireland.
In terms of the association, the rent catalysed a transformation in a number of ways. Firstly, as mentioned, it gave the Catholic Association a constant source of money which enabled Daniel O'Connell to run a consistent campaign. Secondly, it facilitated easy calculation of total association membership numbers so that O'Connell could say with confidence that he had the support of so many people; this was important. Third, most however, it announced the arrival of mass mobilisation politics, it being the first such populist movement in Europe. Daniel O'Connell decided to add this additional membership level, at a reduced price of a penny a month, deliberately; the benefits were clear. With the membership subscription set at a cheap price, a large number of the peasant and working classes could join. Affordability ensured large numbers. In effect, it became a universal Catholic organisation and populist. Members of the association were in essence the owners; the fact that each member had contributed financially to the association ensured that they were more involved in pushing the cause of Catholic emancipation.
People wanted value for money. Thus, this ensured a cheap method for O'Connell to get the message of Catholic emancipation spread throughout Ireland; the Catholic Association's funds were to be diffused in a variety of areas. Some was spent campaigning for Catholic emancipation, defraying the costs of sending petitions to Westminster, for the training of Priests. Following the 1826 election campaign, funds were used to support the members of the organisation who had voted against their landlords; the money was used for those, evicted from land by the landlords because of their connection to the Catholic organisation, or to those who were boycotting absentee landlords. For the Catholic peasants that were in this situation the future would be grim as they would be unable to continue the boycott without food and money and they would be unable to lease land from any landlord as the peasants would be boycotted against in return; the Catholic Association's funds were used to support these boycotts so that they could continue and live well enough to have enough food to survive.
The Catholic Association was aristocratic in its composition, some of the gentry held conservative views. However Daniel O'Connell held an enormous influence over the society and dictated the policies it pursued, it was radical in nature, but extremely loyal to the crown in appearance. This had been the strategy of the previous major catholic group, the Catholic Committee of the 1790s which achieved major Catholic Relief in 1793. Since the aims of the Catholic Association were moderate, the organisation remained loyal to the monarch, British MPs were conceptually more willing to pass Catholic emancipation; the matter had been discussed in London since the 1800 Act of Union, when the Prime Minister Pitt and most of his colleagues had resigned from the cabinet when emancipation was denied by the king. Henry Grattan continued to support the cause and Catholic emancipation had been passed by the House of Commons by a majority of six, but it was rejected in the House of Lords, by King George III who lived until 1820.
The biggest strength of the Catholic Association was that the Catholic Church helped in the collection of the Catholic Rent. Catholic priests held sermons in favour of
Assassination of Spencer Perceval
Spencer Perceval, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, was shot and killed in the lobby of the House of Commons in London, at about 5:15 pm on Monday 11 May 1812. His assassin was a Liverpool merchant with a grievance against the government. Bellingham was detained and, four days after the murder, was tried and sentenced to death, he was hanged at Newgate Prison one week on 18 May. Perceval had led the Tory government during a critical phase of the Napoleonic Wars, his determination to prosecute the war using the harshest of measures caused widespread poverty and unrest on the home front. Despite initial fears that the assassination might be linked to a general uprising, it transpired that Bellingham had acted alone, protesting against the government's failure to compensate him for his treatment a few years when he had been imprisoned in Russia for a trading debt. Bellingham's lack of remorse, apparent certainty that his action was justified, raised questions about his sanity, but at his trial he was judged to be responsible for his actions.
After Perceval's death, Parliament made generous provision to his widow and children, approved the erection of monuments. Thereafter his ministry was soon forgotten, his policies reversed, he is better known for the manner of his death than for any of his achievements. Historians have characterised Bellingham's hasty trial and execution as contrary to the principles of justice; the possibility that he was acting within a conspiracy, on behalf of a consortium of Liverpool traders hostile to Perceval's economic policies, is the subject of a 2012 study. Spencer Perceval was born on 1 November 1762, the second son from the second marriage of John Perceval, 2nd Earl of Egmont, he attended Harrow School and, in 1780, entered Trinity College, where he was a noted scholar and prizewinner. A religious boy, at Cambridge he became aligned with evangelicalism, to which he remained faithful all his life. Under the rule of primogeniture, Perceval had no realistic prospect of a family inheritance, needed to earn his living.
After being called to the bar in 1786, Perceval joined the Midland Circuit, where his family connections helped him to acquire a lucrative practice. In 1790 he married the couple having eloped on her 21st birthday; the marriage proved prolific. Perceval's politics were conservative, he acquired a reputation for his attacks on radicalism; as a junior prosecuting counsel in the trials of Thomas Paine and John Horne Tooke, he was noticed by senior politicians in the ruling Pitt ministry. In 1796, having refused the post of Chief Secretary for Ireland, Perceval was elected to parliament as the Tory member for Northampton, won acclaim in 1798 with a speech defending Pitt's government against attacks by the radicals Charles James Fox and Francis Burdett, he was seen as a rising star in his party. After William Pitt's resignation in 1801, Perceval served as Solicitor General, as Attorney General, in the Addington ministry of 1801–04, continuing in the latter office through the Pitt ministry of 1804–06.
Perceval's deep evangelical convictions led him to his unwavering opposition to the Catholic Church and to Catholic emancipation, his fervent support for the abolition of the slave trade, when he worked with fellow evangelicals such as William Wilberforce to secure the passage of the Slave Trade Act 1807. When Pitt died in 1806 his government was succeeded by the cross-party "Ministry of All the Talents", under Lord Grenville. Perceval remained in opposition during this short-lived ministry, but when the Duke of Portland formed a new Tory administration in March 1807, Perceval took office as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons. Portland was elderly and ailing, on his resignation in October 1809, Perceval succeeded him as First Lord of the Treasury—the formal title by which prime ministers were known—after a wounding internecine leadership struggle. In addition to his duties as head of the government he retained the Chancellorship because he could find no minister of appropriate stature who would accept the office.
Perceval's government was weakened by the refusals to serve of former ministers such as George Canning and William Huskisson. It faced massive problems at a time of considerable industrial unrest and at a low point in the war against Napoleon; the unsuccessful Walcheren Campaign in the Netherlands was unravelling, the army of Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, was pinned down in Portugal. At the outset of his ministry Perceval enjoyed the strong support of King George III, but in October 1810 the king lapsed into insanity and was permanently incapacitated. Perceval's relationship with the Prince of Wales, who became Prince Regent, was far less cordial, but in the following months he and Perceval established a reasonable affinity motivated in part by the prince's fear that the king might recover and find his favourite statesman deposed; when the final British forces withdrew from Walcheren in February 1810, Wellington's force in Portugal was Britain's only military presence on the continent of Europe.
Perceval insisted that it stayed there, against the advice of most of his ministers and at great cost to the British exchequer. This decision was vindicated, but for the time being his main weapon agains
Daniel O'Connell referred to as The Liberator or The Emancipator, was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century. He campaigned for Catholic emancipation—including the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, denied for over 100 years—and repeal of the Acts of Union which combined Great Britain and Ireland. Throughout his career in Irish politics, O'Connell was able to gain a large following among the Irish masses in support of him and his Catholic Association. O'Connell's main strategy was one of political reformism, working within the parliamentary structures of the British state in Ireland and forming an alliance of convenience with the Whigs. More radical elements broke with O'Connell to found the Young Ireland movement. O'Connell was born at Carhan near Cahersiveen, County Kerry, to the O'Connells of Derrynane, a once-wealthy Roman Catholic family, dispossessed of its lands, his parents were Catherine O'Mullane. Among his uncles was Daniel Charles, Count O'Connell, an officer in the Irish Brigades of the French Army.
A famous aunt was Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, while Sir James O'Connell, 1st Baronet, was his younger brother. Under the patronage of his wealthy bachelor uncle Maurice "Hunting Cap" O'Connell. O'Connell was first sent with his brother Maurice to Reddington Academy at Long Island, near Queenstown They both studied at Douai in France from 1790 and O'Connell was admitted as a barrister to Lincoln's Inn in 1794, transferring to Dublin's King's Inns two years later. In his early years, he became acquainted with the pro-democracy radicals of the time and committed himself to bringing equal rights and religious tolerance to his own country. While in Dublin studying for the law, O'Connell was under his Uncle Maurice's instructions not to become involved in any militia activity; when Wolfe Tone's French invasion fleet entered Bantry Bay in December 1796, O'Connell found himself in a quandary. Politics was the cause of his unsettlement. Dennis Gwynn in his Daniel O'Connell: The Irish Liberator suggests that the unsettlement was because he was enrolled as a volunteer in defence of Government, yet the Government was intensifying its persecution of the Catholic people—of which he was one.
He desired to enter Parliament, yet every allowance that the Catholics had been led to anticipate, two years was now flatly vetoed. As a law student, O'Connell was aware of his own talents, but the higher ranks of the Bar were closed to him, he read the Jockey Club as a picture of the governing class in England and was persuaded by it that, "vice reigns triumphant in the English court at this day. The spirit of liberty shrinks to protect property from the attacks of French innovators; the corrupt higher orders tremble for their vicious enjoyments."O'Connell's studies at the time had concentrated upon the legal and political history of Ireland, the debates of the Historical Society concerned the records of governments, from this he was to conclude, according to one of his biographers, "in Ireland the whole policy of the Government was to repress the people and to maintain the ascendancy of a privileged and corrupt minority". On 3 January 1797, in an atmosphere of alarm over the French invasion fleet in Bantry Bay, he wrote to his uncle saying that he was the last of his colleagues to join a volunteer corps and "being young, active and single" he could offer no plausible excuse.
That month, for the sake of expediency, he joined the Lawyers' Artillery Corps. On 19 May 1798, O'Connell became a barrister. Four days the United Irishmen staged their rebellion, put down by the British with great bloodshed. O'Connell did not support the rebellion, he went on the Munster circuit, for over a decade, he went into a quiet period of private law practice in the south of Ireland. He was reputed to have the largest income of any Irish barrister but, due to natural extravagance and a growing family, was in debt. Although he was to inherit Derrynane from his uncle Maurice, the old man lived to be 100 and in the event Daniel's inheritance did not cover his debts, he condemned Robert Emmet's Rebellion of 1803. Of Emmet, a Protestant, he wrote: "A man who could coolly prepare so much bloodshed, so many murders—and such horrors of every kind has ceased to be an object of compassion."Despite his opposition to the use of violence, he was willing to defend those accused of political crimes if he suspected that they had been falsely accused, as in the Doneraile conspiracy trials of 1829, his last notable court appearance.
He was noted for his fearlessness in court: if he thought poorly of a judge he had no hesitation in making this clear. Most famous was his retort to Baron McClelland, who had said that as a barrister he would never have taken the course O'Connell had adopted: O'Connell said that McClelland had never been his model as a barrister, neither would he take directions from him as a judge, he did not lack the ambition to become a judge himself: in particular he was attracted by the position of Master of the Rolls in Ireland, yet although he was offered it more than once refused. O'Connell returned to politics in the 1810s. In 1811, he established the Catholic Board, which campaigned for Catholic emancipation, that is, the opportunity for Irish Catholics to become members of parliament. In 1823, he set up the Catholic Association which embraced other aims to better Irish Catholics, such as: electoral reform
Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Bristol Channel to the south, it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit; the country has a changeable, maritime climate. Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century; the whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation. Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea and the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector and service industries and tourism. Although Wales shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.
From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as an expression of national consciousness; the English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root, itself derived from the name of the Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all non-Germanic peoples. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Britons in particular, Wēalas when referring to their lands; the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. In Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons, as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.
The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen"; the use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage and language to the Welsh; the word came into use as a self-description before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples and was the more common literary term until c. 1200. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh.
Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales and the Welsh people. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains, the newspaper Cambrian News, the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd; the Cumbric language, thought to