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
Grand Duchy of Tuscany
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was a central Italian monarchy that existed, with interruptions, from 1569 to 1859, replacing the Duchy of Florence. The grand duchy's capital was Florence. Tuscany was nominally a state of the Holy Roman Empire until the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797. Tuscany was ruled by the House of Medici until the extinction of its senior branch in 1737. While not as internationally renowned as the old republic, the grand duchy thrived under the Medici and it bore witness to unprecedented economic and military success under Cosimo I and his sons, until the reign of Ferdinando II, which saw the beginning of the state's long economic decline, it peaked under Cosimo III. The Medicis' only advancement in the latter days of their existence was their elevation to royalty, by the Holy Roman Emperor, in 1691. Francis Stephen of Lorraine, a cognatic descendant of the Medici, succeeded the family and ascended the throne of his Medicean ancestors. Tuscany was governed by Marc de Beauvau-Craon, for his entire rule.
His descendants ruled, resided in, the grand duchy until its end in 1859, barring one interruption, when Napoleon Bonaparte gave Tuscany to the House of Bourbon-Parma. Following the collapse of the Napoleonic system in 1814, the grand duchy was restored; the United Provinces of Central Italy, a client state of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, annexed Tuscany in 1859. Tuscany was formally annexed to Sardinia in 1860, as a part of the unification of Italy, following a landslide referendum, in which 95% of voters approved. In 1569, Cosimo de' Medici had ruled the Duchy of Florence for 32 years. During his reign, Florence purchased the island of Elba from the Republic of Genoa, conquered Siena and developed a well-equipped and powerful naval base on Elba. Cosimo banned the clergy from holding administrative positions and promulgated laws of freedom of religion, which were unknown during his time. Cosimo was a long-term supporter of Pope Pius V, who in the light of Florence's expansion in August 1569 declared Cosimo Grand Duke of Tuscany, a title unprecedented in Italy.
The international reaction to Cosimo's elevation was bleak. Queen Catherine of France, though herself a Medici, viewed Cosimo with the utmost disdain. Rumours circulated at the Viennese court. Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor and his cousin King Philip II of Spain reacted quite angrily, as Florence was an Imperial fief and declared Pius V's actions invalid. However, Maximilian confirmed the elevation with an Imperial diploma in 1576. During the Holy League of 1571, Cosimo fought against the Ottoman Empire, siding with the Holy Roman Empire; the Holy League inflicted a crushing defeat against the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto. Cosimo's reign was one of the most militaristic Tuscany had seen. Cosimo experienced several personal tragedies during the years of his reign, his wife, Eleanor of Toledo, died in 1562, along with four of his children due to a plague epidemic in Florence. These deaths were to affect him which, along with illness, forced Cosimo to unofficially abdicate in 1564; this left Francesco, to rule the duchy.
Cosimo I died in 1574 of apoplexy, leaving a stable and prosperous Tuscany behind him, having been the longest ruling Medici yet. Francesco had little interest in governing his realm, instead participating in scientific experiments; the administration of the state was delegated to bureaucrats. He continued his father's Austrian/Imperial alliance. Francesco is best remembered for dying on the same day as his second wife, Bianca Cappello, spurring rumours of poisoning, he was succeeded by his younger brother, whom he loathed. Ferdinando eagerly assumed the government of Tuscany, he commanded the draining of the Tuscan marshlands, built a road network in Southern Tuscany, cultivated trade in Livorno. To augment the Tuscan silk industry, he oversaw the planting of Mulberry trees along the major roads, he shifted Tuscany away from Habsburg hegemony by marrying the first non-Habsburg candidate since Alessandro de' Medici, Duke of Florence, Christina of Lorraine, a granddaughter of Catherine de' Medici.
The Spanish reaction was to construct a citadel on their portion of the island of Elba. To strengthen the new Tuscan alliance, he married the deceased Francesco's younger daughter, Marie, to Henry IV of France. Henry explicitly stated that he would defend Tuscany from Spanish aggression, but reneged. Ferdinando was forced to marry his heir, Cosimo, to Archduchess Maria Maddalena of Austria to assuage Spain. Ferdinando sponsored a Tuscan colony in America, with the intention of establishing a Tuscan settlement in the area of what is now French Guiana. Despite all of these incentives to economic growth and prosperity, the population of Florence, at dawn of the 17th century, was a mere 75,000 souls, far smaller than the other capitals of Italy: Rome, Venice and Naples. Francesco and Ferdinando, due to lax distinction between Medici and Tuscan state property, are thought to be wealthier than their ancestor, Cosimo de' Medici, the founder of the dynasty; the Grand Duke alone had the prerogative to exploit the state's salt resources.
The fortunes of the Medici were directly tied to the Tuscan economy. Ferdinando, despite no longer being a cardinal, exercised much influence at successive Papal conclaves. In 1605, Ferdinando succeeded in getting his candidate, Alessandro de' Medici, elected as Pope Leo XI. Leo XI died
The Royal Navy is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France; the modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century. From the middle decades of the 17th century, through the 18th century, the Royal Navy vied with the Dutch Navy and with the French Navy for maritime supremacy. From the mid 18th century, it was the world's most powerful navy until surpassed by the United States Navy during the Second World War; the Royal Navy played a key part in establishing the British Empire as the unmatched world power during the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries. Due to this historical prominence, it is common among non-Britons, to refer to it as "the Royal Navy" without qualification. Following World War I, the Royal Navy was reduced in size, although at the onset of World War II it was still the world's largest.
By the end of the war, the United States Navy had emerged as the world's largest. During the Cold War, the Royal Navy transformed into a anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines and active in the GIUK gap. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its focus has returned to expeditionary operations around the world and remains one of the world's foremost blue-water navies. However, 21st century reductions in naval spending have led to a personnel shortage and a reduction in the number of warships; the Royal Navy maintains a fleet of technologically sophisticated ships and submarines including two aircraft carriers, two amphibious transport docks, four ballistic missile submarines, six nuclear fleet submarines, six guided missile destroyers, 13 frigates, 13 mine-countermeasure vessels and 22 patrol vessels. As of November 2018, there are 74 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy, plus 12 ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; the RFA replenishes Royal Navy warships at sea, augments the Royal Navy's amphibious warfare capabilities through its three Bay-class landing ship vessels.
It works as a force multiplier for the Royal Navy doing patrols that frigates used to do. The total displacement of the Royal Navy is 408,750 tonnes; the Royal Navy is part of Her Majesty's Naval Service, which includes the Royal Marines. The professional head of the Naval Service is the First Sea Lord, an admiral and member of the Defence Council of the United Kingdom; the Defence Council delegates management of the Naval Service to the Admiralty Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Royal Navy operates three bases in the United Kingdom; as the seaborne branch of HM Armed Forces, the RN has various roles. As it stands today, the RN has stated its 6 major roles as detailed below in umbrella terms. Preventing Conflict – On a global and regional level Providing Security At Sea – To ensure the stability of international trade at sea International Partnerships – To help cement the relationship with the United Kingdom's allies Maintaining a Readiness To Fight – To protect the United Kingdom's interests across the globe Protecting the Economy – To safe guard vital trade routes to guarantee the United Kingdom's and its allies' economic prosperity at sea Providing Humanitarian Aid – To deliver a fast and effective response to global catastrophes The strength of the fleet of the Kingdom of England was an important element in the kingdom's power in the 10th century.
At one point Aethelred II had an large fleet built by a national levy of one ship for every 310 hides of land, but it is uncertain whether this was a standard or exceptional model for raising fleets. During the period of Danish rule in the 11th century, the authorities maintained a standing fleet by taxation, this continued for a time under the restored English regime of Edward the Confessor, who commanded fleets in person. English naval power declined as a result of the Norman conquest. Following the Battle of Hastings, the Norman navy that brought over William the Conqueror disappeared from records due to William receiving all of those ships from feudal obligations or because of some sort of leasing agreement which lasted only for the duration of the enterprise. More troubling, is the fact that there is no evidence that William adopted or kept the Anglo-Saxon ship mustering system, known as the scipfryd. Hardly noted after 1066, it appears that the Normans let the scipfryd languish so that by 1086, when the Doomsday Book was completed, it had ceased to exist.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in 1068, Harold Godwinson's sons Godwine and Edmund conducted a ‘raiding-ship army’ which came from Ireland, raiding across the region and to the townships of Bristol and Somerset. In the following year of 1069, they returned with a bigger fleet which they sailed up the River Taw before being beaten back by a local earl near Devon. However, this made explicitly clear that the newly conquered England under Norman rule, in effect, ceded the Irish Sea to the Irish, the Vikings of Dublin, other Norwegians. Besides ceding away the Irish Sea, the Normans ceded the North Sea, a major area where Nordic peoples traveled. In 1069, this lack of naval presence in the North Sea allowed for the invasion an
The Crimean War was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France and Sardinia. The immediate cause involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, a part of the Ottoman Empire; the French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The longer-term causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power at Ottoman expense, it has been noted that the causes, in one case involving an argument over a key, have never revealed a "greater confusion of purpose", yet they led to a war noted for its "notoriously incompetent international butchery". While the churches worked out their differences and came to an agreement, Nicholas I of Russia and the French Emperor Napoleon III refused to back down. Nicholas issued an ultimatum that the Orthodox subjects of the Ottoman Empire be placed under his protection.
Britain arranged a compromise that Nicholas agreed to. When the Ottomans demanded changes, Nicholas prepared for war. Having obtained promises of support from France and Britain, the Ottomans declared war on Russia in October 1853; the war started in the Balkans in July 1853, when Russian troops occupied the Danubian Principalities, which were under Ottoman suzerainty began to cross the Danube. Led by Omar Pasha, the Ottomans fought a strong defensive campaign and stopped the advance at Silistra. A separate action on the fort town of Kars in eastern Anatolia led to a siege, a Turkish attempt to reinforce the garrison was destroyed by a Russian fleet at Sinop. Fearing an Ottoman collapse and Britain rushed forces to Gallipoli, they moved north to Varna in June 1854, arriving just in time for the Russians to abandon Silistra. Aside from a minor skirmish at Köstence, there was little for the allies to do. Karl Marx quipped, "there they are, the French doing nothing and the British helping them as fast as possible".
Frustrated by the wasted effort, with demands for action from their citizens, the allied force decided to attack Russia's main naval base in the Black Sea at Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula. After extended preparations, the forces landed on the peninsula in September 1854 and marched their way to a point south of Sevastopol after the successful Battle of the Alma; the Russians counterattacked on 25 October in what became the Battle of Balaclava and were repulsed, but at the cost of depleting the British Army forces. A second counterattack, at Inkerman, ended in stalemate; the front led to brutal conditions for troops on both sides. Smaller military actions took place in the Baltic, the Caucasus, the White Sea, the North Pacific. Sevastopol fell after eleven months, neutral countries began to join the Allied cause. Isolated and facing a bleak prospect of invasion from the west if the war continued, Russia sued for peace in March 1856. France and Britain welcomed this development; the Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 March 1856, ended the war.
It forbade Russia from basing warships in the Black Sea. The Ottoman vassal states of Wallachia and Moldavia became independent. Christians there were granted a degree of official equality, the Orthodox Church regained control of the Christian churches in dispute; the Crimean War was one of the first conflicts in which the military used modern technologies such as explosive naval shells and telegraphs. The war was one of the first to be documented extensively in written photographs; as the legend of the "Charge of the Light Brigade" demonstrates, the war became an iconic symbol of logistical and tactical failures and mismanagement. The reaction in the UK was a demand for professionalisation, most famously achieved by Florence Nightingale, who gained worldwide attention for pioneering modern nursing while treating the wounded; the Crimean War proved to be the moment of truth for Nikolaevan Russia. The humiliation forced Russia's educated elites to identify the Empire's problems and to recognize the need for fundamental transformations aimed at modernizing and restoring Russia's position in the ranks of European powers.
Historians have studied the role of the Crimean War as a catalyst for the reforms of Russia's social institutions: serfdom, local self-government and military service. More scholars have turned their attention to the impact of the Crimean War on the development of Russian nationalistic discourse; as the Ottoman Empire weakened during the 19th century, Russia stood poised to take advantage by expanding south. In the 1850s, the British and the French, who were allied with the Ottoman Empire, were determined not to allow this to happen. A. J. P. Taylor argues that the war resulted not from aggression but from the interacting fears of the major players: In some sense the Crimean war was predestined and had deep-seated causes. Neither Nicholas I nor Napoleon III nor the British government could retreat in the conflict for prestige once it was launched. Nicholas needed a subservient Turkey for the sake of Russian security. Mutual fear, not mutual aggression, caused the Crimean war. In the early 1800s, the Ottoman Empire
Whitehall is a road in the City of Westminster, Central London, which forms the first part of the A3212 road from Trafalgar Square to Chelsea. It is the main thoroughfare running south from Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square; the street is recognised as the centre of the Government of the United Kingdom and is lined with numerous departments and ministries, including the Ministry of Defence, Horse Guards and the Cabinet Office. The name'Whitehall' is used as a metonym for the British civil service and government, as the geographic name for the surrounding area; the name was taken from the Palace of Whitehall, the residence of Kings Henry VIII through to William III, before its destruction by fire in 1698. Whitehall was a wide road that led to the front of the palace; as well as government buildings, the street is known for its memorial statues and monuments, including Britain's primary war memorial, the Cenotaph. The Whitehall Theatre, now the Trafalgar Studios, has been popular for farce comedies since the mid-20th century.
The name Whitehall was used for several buildings in the Tudor period. It either referred to a building made of light stone, or as a general term for any festival building; this included the Royal Palace of Whitehall. The street runs through the City of Westminster, it is part of the A3212, a main road in Central London that leads towards Chelsea via the Houses of Parliament and Vauxhall Bridge. It runs south from Trafalgar Square, past numerous government buildings, including the old War Office building, Horse Guards, the Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health, it ends at the Cenotaph, the road ahead being Parliament Street. Great Scotland Yard and Horse Guards Avenue branch off to the east, while Downing Street branches off to the west at the southern section of the street; the nearest tube stations are Charing Cross at the north end, Westminster at the south. Numerous London bus routes run along Whitehall, including 12, 24, 53, 88, 159 and 453. There has been a route connecting Charing Cross to Westminster since the Middle Ages.
The name Whitehall was only used for the section of road between Charing Cross and Holbein Gate. It had become a residential street by the 16th century, had become a popular place to live by the 17th, with residents including Lord Howard of Effingham and Edmund Spenser; the Palace of Whitehall, to the east of the road, was named York Palace, but was renamed during the reign of Henry VIII. The palace was redesigned in 1531–32 and became the King's main residence in the decade, he married Anne Boleyn here in 1533, followed by Jane Seymour in 1536, died at the palace in 1547. Charles I owned an extensive art collection at the palace and several of William Shakespeare's plays had their first performances here, it ceased to be a royal residence after 1689. The palace was damaged by fire in 1691, following which the front entrance was redesigned by Sir Christopher Wren. In 1698, most of the palace burned to the ground accidentally after a fire started by a careless washerwoman. Wallingford House was constructed in 1572 by William Knollys, 1st Earl of Banbury along the western edge of Whitehall.
It was subsequently used by Charles I. During the reign of William III, it was bought for the Admiralty; the Old Admiralty Buildings now sit on the house's site. Banqueting House was built as an extension to the Palace of Whitehall in 1622 by Inigo Jones, it is the only surviving portion of the palace after it was burned down, was the first Renaissance building in London. It became a museum to the Royal United Services Institute and has been opened to the public since 1963. Oliver Cromwell moved to the street in 1647. Two years Charles I was carried through Whitehall on the way to his trial at Westminster Hall. Whitehall itself was a wide street and had sufficient space for a scaffold to be erected for the King's execution at Banqueting House, he made a brief speech there before being beheaded. Cromwell died at the Palace of Whitehall in 1658. During the Great Plague of London in 1665, people boarded coaches at Whitehall at the edge of urban London, in an attempt to escape; the King and court temporarily moved to Oxford to avoid the plague, while Samuel Pepys remarked in his diary on 29 June, "By water to Whitehall, where the Court is full of waggons and people ready to go out of town.
This end of town every day grows bad with plague". By the 18th century, traffic was struggling along the narrow streets south of Holbein Gate, which led to King Street Gate being demolished in 1723. Holbein Gate, in turn, was demolished in 1759. Meanwhile, Parliament Street was a side road alongside the palace, leading to the Palace of Westminster. After the Palace of Whitehall was destroyed, Parliament Street was widened to match Whitehall's width; the present appearance of the street dates from 1899 after a group of houses between Downing Street and Great George Street were destroyed. By the time the palace was destroyed, separation of crown and state had become important, with Parliament being necessary to control military requirements and pass laws; the government wanted to be some distance from the monarch, the buildings around Whitehall, physically separated from St James's Pal
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, domestically as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, the House of Commons; the two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London. The House of Lords includes two different types of members: the Lords Spiritual, consisting of the most senior bishops of the Church of England, the Lords Temporal, consisting of life peers, appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister, of 92 hereditary peers, sitting either by virtue of holding a royal office, or by being elected by their fellow hereditary peers.
Prior to the opening of the Supreme Court in October 2009, the House of Lords performed a judicial role through the Law Lords. The House of Commons is an elected chamber with elections to 650 single member constituencies held at least every five years under the first-past-the-post system; the two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Palace of Westminster in London. By constitutional convention, all government ministers, including the Prime Minister, are members of the House of Commons or, less the House of Lords and are thereby accountable to the respective branches of the legislature. Most cabinet ministers are from the Commons, whilst junior ministers can be from either House. However, the Leader of the House of Lords must be a peer; the Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union by Acts of Union passed by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, both Acts of Union stating, "That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same Parliament to be styled The Parliament of Great Britain".
At the start of the 19th century, Parliament was further enlarged by Acts of Union ratified by the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland that abolished the latter and added 100 Irish MPs and 32 Lords to the former to create the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 formally amended the name to the "Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", five years after the secession of the Irish Free State in 1922. With the global expansion of the British Empire, the UK Parliament has shaped the political systems of many countries as ex-colonies and so it has been called the "Mother of Parliaments". However, John Bright – who coined the epithet – used it in reference to the political culture of "England" rather than just the parliamentary system. In theory, the UK's supreme legislative power is vested in the Crown-in-Parliament. However, the Crown acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the powers of the House of Lords are limited to only delaying legislation.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was created on 1 January 1801, by the merger of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland under the Acts of Union 1800. The principle of ministerial responsibility to the lower House did not develop until the 19th century—the House of Lords was superior to the House of Commons both in theory and in practice. Members of the House of Commons were elected in an antiquated electoral system, under which constituencies of vastly different sizes existed. Thus, the borough of Old Sarum, with seven voters, could elect two members, as could the borough of Dunwich, which had completely disappeared into the sea due to land erosion. Many small constituencies, known as pocket or rotten boroughs, were controlled by members of the House of Lords, who could ensure the election of their relatives or supporters. During the reforms of the 19th century, beginning with the Reform Act 1832, the electoral system for the House of Commons was progressively regularised.
No longer dependent on the Lords for their seats, MPs grew more assertive. The supremacy of the British House of Commons was reaffirmed in the early 20th century. In 1909, the Commons passed the so-called "People's Budget", which made numerous changes to the taxation system which were detrimental to wealthy landowners; the House of Lords, which consisted of powerful landowners, rejected the Budget. On the basis of the Budget's popularity and the Lords' consequent unpopularity, the Liberal Party narrowly won two general elections in 1910. Using the result as a mandate, the Liberal Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith, introduced the Parliament Bill, which sought to restrict the powers of the House of Lords; when the Lords refused to pass the bill, Asquith countered with a promise extracted from the King in secret before the second general election of 1910 and requested the creation of several hundred Liberal peers, so as to erase the Conservative majority in the House of Lords. In the face of such a threat, the House of Lords narrowly passed the bill.
The Parliament Act 1911, as it became, prevented the Lords from blocking a money bill, allowed them to delay any other bill for a maximum of three sessions, after which it could become law over their objections. However, regardless of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, t
Inchinnan is a small village in Renfrewshire, Scotland. The village is located on the main A8 road between Renfrew and Greenock, just south east of the town of Erskine; the name of Inchinnan village is derived from the Gaelic word'Innis', which means an island or low-lying land near a river or stream. The other part of the name is taken from a 9th-century confessor at Irvine. An ornamental cast iron enclosure near the ford protects "St Conval's Chariot", the stone that brought Saint Conval from Ireland to Inchinnan around 590, a 12th century church dedicated to Saint Conval was given to the Knights Templar by David I of Scotland. Another church called'Hallows Church' replaced it in 1900; the newer church was replaced by part of the airfield at Abbotsinch. The latest church is in the centre of the village, it contains burial stones dating back to around the 9th century. In the same enclosure as St Conval's Chariot, "Argyll's Stone" was where the 9th Earl of Argyll rested when he was captured in 1685, before he was executed in Edinburgh on the Maiden.
The confluence of the rivers Black Cart and White Cart is situated near Inchinnan. Travelers crossed by a ford and by ferry. A stone bridge was built to cross the Black Cart and a bascule bridge crosses the White Cart. In the 1700s there were quarries within the village; the quarries produced high quality freestone right up until the 1900s. In 1809-1812 stone from the quarries built the nearby White Cart bridges; the bascule bridge at the border with Renfrew was replaced in 1923 by a bascule bridge, made by Sir William Arrol & Company. It is still capable of opening, as the Doosan Babcock factory at Renfrew requires the capability to move large loads by river; the bridge onto the River Clyde. Inchinnan hosts an art deco style category, it is the former office block of India Tyres factory which occupied the site from 1927 until the early 1980s. It has now been renovated into private offices; the company built two groups of houses to accommodate its workers. These streets were called India Drive. Prior to its use as a tyre factory, the site was used by William Beardmore and Company to build airships in World War I.
Several airships, the No's R24, R27, the R36 were built on this site. The company built 52 houses in Inchinnan, at Beardmore Cottages. Inchinnan has a large industrial estate within the town. There are a few manufacturing companies left within the area; some of the companies associated with Inchinnan past and present include: Reekie Machine Tools, Scot Tubes, Gas Measurement Instruments, Armour Park, Metecno and Rolls Royce. M&Co has its head office at Caledonia House in the industrial estate. There is a bus depot in Inchinnan which belonged to Arriva Scotland West and before that Western SMT. In December 2011, it was announced that Arriva had agreed to sell the company to the independent operator McGill's Bus Services and all of Arriva Scotland West's operations ceased on Monday 26 March 2012. East of the village beside the A8 road is a spoil tip from a disused ironstone mine; this hillock is now covered with trees. The mine, known as the Blythswood mine was abandoned by 1875. A palace was situated within the village about 1506.
It was built by Lord Darnley, second Earl of Lennox. Remains of the building known as Palace of Inchinnan could be seen up to 1710 but have now since been destroyed, it was situated on the border with Erskine. Wilhelmina Alexander, famous as Robert Burns"The Bonnie Lass of Ballochmyle', is buried in the Old Inchinnan Cemetery near the Black Cart Water; the site has restricted access and is overgrown. The Inchinnan Cruising club was established in 1932, it is sited east of the village. The disused Park or Fulton's Quay stands on the River Clyde in the parish of Inchinnan, it was used by the owners of Park House. Inchinnan Primary school is the only school within the village, it is a non-denominational state school. For secondary education the village falls within the catchment area of Park Mains High School in Erskine. For Roman Catholic denomination education, the nearest primary school is St Anne's in Erskine and Trinity High School in Renfrew is the nearest secondary school. Inchinnan Community Nursery provides pre-school education within the village.
Inchinnan is served by Glasgow International Airport, located 2 km south of the town. The village has close links to Erskine Bridge. Inchinnan is serviced by McGill's Bus Services. Services operate to Glasgow, Renfrew, Clydebank, Glasgow Airport. Inchinnan is situated in the north east of Renfrewshire, it close to where the River Gryffe meets the River Cart. The village borders a number of some separated by a rural hinterland. Gregory, Donald The History of the Western Highlands and Isles of Scotland 1493 - 1625. Edinburgh. Birlinn. 2008 reprint - published by Thomas D. Morrison. ISBN 1-904607-57-8 Johnson, Ian. Beardmore Built: The Rise and Fall of a Clydeside Shipyard. Clydebank: Clydebank District Libraries & Museums Department. Wool, Alex "The Age of the Sea-Kings: 900-1300" in Omand, Donald The Argyll Book. Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 1-84158-480-0 FamilySearch - Inchinnan, Scotland