Metropolitan Police Service
As of March 2016, the Met employed 48,661 full-time personnel. This included 32,125 sworn police officers,9,521 police staff and this number excludes the 3,271 Special Constables, who work part-time and who have the same powers and uniform as their regular colleagues. This makes the Metropolitan Police the largest police force in the United Kingdom by a significant margin, the post of Commissioner was first held jointly by Sir Charles Rowan and Sir Richard Mayne. The post is occupied by the now-outgoing Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. The Commissioners deputy, the Deputy Commissioner, is currently Craig Mackey, a number of informal names and abbreviations exists for the Metropolitan Police Service, the most common being the Met. In colloquial London, it is referred to as the Old Bill. The Met is referred to by the metonym Scotland Yard after the location of its headquarters in a road called Great Scotland Yard in Whitehall. The Mets current headquarters is New Scotland Yard, in Victoria, the Metropolitan Police Service, whose officers became affectionately known as bobbies, was founded in 1829 by Robert Peel under the Metropolitan Police Act 1829.
In 1839, the Marine Police Force, which had formed in 1798, was amalgamated into the Metropolitan Police. In 1837, it incorporated with the Bow Street Horse Patrol that had organised in 1805. Since January 2012, the Mayor of London is responsible for the governance of the Metropolitan Police through the Mayors Office for Policing, the mayor is able to appoint someone to act on his behalf, the current office-holder is Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden. The work of MOPAC is scrutinised by the Police and Crime Committee of the London Assembly, the area policed by the Metropolitan Police Service is known as the Metropolitan Police District. In terms of policing, the Met is divided into a number of Borough Operational Command Units. The City of London is a police area and is the responsibility of the separate City of London Police. The British Transport Police are responsible for policing of the network in the United Kingdom. Within London, they are responsible for the policing of the London Underground, The Emirates Air Line.
There is a park police force, the Kew Constabulary, responsible for the Royal Botanic Gardens. Officers have limited powers in Scotland and Northern Ireland, within the MPD, the Met will take over the investigation of any serious crime from the British Transport Police and Ministry of Defence Police, if it is deemed appropriate
The Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great, sometimes abbreviated to Great St Barts, is an Anglican church in West Smithfield within the City of London. The building was founded as an Augustinian priory in 1123 and it adjoins St Bartholomews Hospital of the same foundation. It was founded in 1123 by Rahere, a prebendary of St Pauls Cathedral and his fabled miraculous return to good health contributed to the priory gaining a reputation for curative powers and with sick people filling its aisles, notably on 24 August. Its nave was pulled down up to the last bay but the crossing and choir survive largely intact from the Norman and Middle Ages, from there to its west door, the church path leads along roughly where the south aisle of the nave formerly existed. Very little trace of its buildings now survive, although parts of the cloister now house a café. The two parish churches were reunited in 2012 under one benefice, having escaped the Great Fire of London of 1666 the church fell into disrepair, becoming occupied by squatters in the 18th century. W. G.
Grace, was one famous congregant before its restoration in the late 19th century, during Canon Edwin Savages tenure as rector the church was further restored at the cost of more than £60,000. The Lady chapel at the east end had been used for commercial purposes. The north transept was formerly used as a blacksmiths forge in order to make ends meet. The Priory Church was one of the few City churches to escape damage during the Second World War and, in 1941, was where the 11th Duke of Devonshire, the poet and heritage campaigner Sir John Betjeman kept a flat opposite the churchyard on Cloth Fair. Betjeman considered the church to have the finest surviving Norman interior in London, in 2005 a memorial service was held for Sir William Wallace, on the 700th anniversary of the Scottish heros execution, organised by the historian David R. Ross. Charitable distributions in the churchyard on Good Friday continue, the church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950. In April 2007 it became the first Anglican parish church to charge a fee to tourists not attending worship.
The Rector of the parish of St Bartholomew the Great became rector of the united benefice. The boundary of the new parish incorporates precisely both former parishes, there is now a single PCC and churchwardens responsible for both buildings. The parish church is St Bartholomew the Great, while St Bartholomew the Less is a chapel of ease within the parish. The oriel window was installed inside St Bartholomew the Great in the early 16th century by Prior William Bolton, the symbol in the centre panel is a crossbow bolt passing through a tun, a rebus or pun on the name of the prior. The church served as the chapel of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor before the establishment of the permanent chapel in St Pauls Cathedral in 2005
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, the Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east, the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight. England became a state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the worlds first industrialised nation, Englands terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north and in the southwest, the capital is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the name England is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means land of the Angles. The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, the Angles came from the Angeln peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea. The earliest recorded use of the term, as Engla londe, is in the ninth century translation into Old English of Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars, it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. An alternative name for England is Albion, the name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain.
The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo, in it are two very large islands called Britannia, these are Albion and Ierne. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, the word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins. Albion is now applied to England in a poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago, Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, PC KC was an English philosopher, scientist, jurist and author. He served both as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England, after his death, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method during the scientific revolution. Bacon has been called the father of empiricism and his works argued for the possibility of scientific knowledge based only upon inductive reasoning and careful observation of events in nature. Most importantly, he argued this could be achieved by use of a sceptical and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading themselves. This marked a new turn in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, Bacon was generally neglected at court by Queen Elizabeth, but after the accession of King James I in 1603, Bacon was knighted. He was created Baron Verulam in 1618 and Viscount St. Alban in 1621, because he had no heirs, both titles became extinct upon his death in 1626, at 65 years of age.
Bacon died of pneumonia, with one account by John Aubrey stating that he had contracted the condition while studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat. Francis Bacon was born on 22 January 1561 at York House near the Strand in London, the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon by his wife, Anne Bacon. His mothers sister was married to William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, biographers believe that Bacon was educated at home in his early years owing to poor health, which would plague him throughout his life. He received tuition from John Walsall, a graduate of Oxford with a leaning toward Puritanism. Bacons education was conducted largely in Latin and followed the medieval curriculum and he was educated at the University of Poitiers. It was at Cambridge that he first met Queen Elizabeth, who was impressed by his precocious intellect and his studies brought him to the belief that the methods and results of science as practised were erroneous. His reverence for Aristotle conflicted with his rejection of Aristotelian philosophy, on 27 June 1576, he and Anthony entered de societate magistrorum at Grays Inn.
A few months later, Francis went abroad with Sir Amias Paulet, the state of government and society in France under Henry III afforded him valuable political instruction. For the next three years he visited Blois, Tours and Spain, during his travels, Bacon studied language and civil law while performing routine diplomatic tasks. On at least one occasion he delivered diplomatic letters to England for Walsingham, the sudden death of his father in February 1579 prompted Bacon to return to England. Sir Nicholas had laid up a sum of money to purchase an estate for his youngest son, but he died before doing so. Having borrowed money, Bacon got into debt, Bacon stated that he had three goals, to uncover truth, to serve his country, and to serve his church
London Fire Brigade
The London Fire Brigade is the statutory fire and rescue service for London. It was formed by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Act of 1865 under the leadership of superintendent Eyre Massey Shaw. Dany Cotton is the Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Planning, which includes the position of Chief Fire Officer, statutory responsibility for the running of the brigade lies with the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. In 2013/14 the LFB handled 171,067999 emergency calls, of the calls it actually mobilised to,20,934 were fires, including 10,992 that were of a serious nature, making it one of the busiest fire brigades in the world. In the same 12-month period, it received 3,172 hoax calls, the highest number of any UK fire service, in 2015/16 the LFB received 171,488 emergency calls. These consisted of,20,773 fires,30,066 special service callouts and it conducts emergency planning and performs fire safety inspections and education. He introduced a uniform that, for the first time, included personal protection from the hazards of firefighting.
With 80 firefighters and 13 fire stations, the unit was still a private enterprise, funded by the insurance companies, in 1904 it was renamed as the London Fire Brigade. The LFB moved into a new headquarters built by Higgs and Hill on the Albert Embankment in Lambeth in 1937, during the Second World War the countrys brigades were amalgamated into a single National Fire Service. The separate London Fire Brigade for the County of London was re-established in 1948, in 1986 the Greater London Council was disbanded and a new statutory authority, the London Fire and Civil Defence Authority, was formed to take responsibility for the LFB. The LFCDA was replaced in 2000 by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, at the same time, the Greater London Authority was established to administer the LFEPA and coordinate emergency planning for London. Consisting of the Mayor of London and other elected members, the GLA takes responsibility for the Metropolitan Police Authority, Transport for London, in 2007 the LFB vacated its Lambeth headquarters and moved to a site in Union Street, Southwark.
In the same year, the Department for Communities and Local Government announced that LFB Commissioner Ken Knight had been appointed as the first Chief Fire, Knight was succeeded as Commissioner at that time by Ron Dobson, who served for almost ten years. Dany Cotton took over in 2017, becoming the brigades first female commissioner, dany Cotton is the current commissioner, having taken up the role on 1 January 2017. She holds the Queens Fire Service Medal, frank Jackson, CBE1938 to 1941, Cdr. Sir Aylmer Firebrace, CBE1933 to 1938, Maj. Cyril Morris 1918 to 1933, Arthur Reginald Dyer 1909 to 1918, sir Sampson Sladen 1903 to 1909, RAdm. James de Courcy Hamilton 1896 to 1903, lionel de Latour Wells 1891 to 1896, James Sexton Simmonds 1861 to 1891, Capt. Both divisions were divided into three districts, each under a Superintendent with his headquarters at a superintendent station, the superintendent stations themselves were commanded by District Officers, with the other stations under Station Officers
Detective fiction is a subgenre of crime fiction and mystery fiction in which an investigator or a detective—either professional or amateur—investigates a crime, often murder. Some scholars have suggested that ancient and religious texts bear similarities to what would be called detective fiction. In the Old Testament story of Susanna and the Elders, the account told by two breaks down when Daniel cross-examines them. In the play Oedipus Rex by Ancient Greek playwright Sophocles, the character discovers the truth about his origins after questioning various witnesses. The earliest known example of a story was The Three Apples, one of the tales narrated by Scheherazade in the One Thousand. In this story, a fisherman discovers a heavy, locked chest along the Tigris river and he sells it to the Abbasid Caliph, when Harun breaks open the chest, he finds inside it, the dead body of a young woman who has been cut into pieces. Harun orders his vizier, Jafar ibn Yahya, to solve the crime, suspense is generated through multiple plot twists that occur as the story progresses.
This may thus be considered an archetype for detective fiction, the main difference between Jafar and fictional detectives, such as Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, is that Jafar has no actual desire to solve the case. The whodunit mystery is solved when the murderer himself confesses his crime and this in turn leads to another assignment in which Jafar has to find the culprit who instigated the murder within three days or else be executed. Gongan fiction （公案小说, literally：case records of a public law court）is the earliest known genre of Chinese detective fiction, some well known stories include the Yuan Dynasty story Circle of Chalk, the Ming Dynasty story collection Bao Gong An and the 18th century Di Gong An story collection. The latter was translated into English as Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee by Dutch sinologist Robert Van Gulik, the hero/detective of these novels is typically a traditional judge or similar official based on historical personages such as Judge Bao or Judge Dee. Although the historical characters may have lived in an earlier period most stories are written in the latter Ming or Qing period, Van Gulik chose Di Gong An to translate because it was in his view closer to the Western tradition and more likely to appeal to non-Chinese readers.
One notable fact is that a number of Gong An works may have been lost or destroyed during the Literary Inquisitions and the wars in ancient China. Only little or incomplete case volumes can be found, for example, One of the earliest examples of detective fiction is Voltaires Zadig, which features a main character who performs feats of analysis. Things as They Are, or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams by William Godwin shows the law as protecting the murderer, das Fräulein von Scuderi, an 1819 short story by E. T. A. Auguste Dupin. Poe devised a plot formula thats been successful ever since, give or take a few shifting variables, Poe followed with further Auguste Dupin tales, The Mystery of Marie Rogêt in 1843 and The Purloined Letter in 1845. Poe referred to his stories as tales of ratiocination, early detective stories tended to follow an investigating protagonist from the first scene to the last, making the unraveling a practical rather than emotional matter. The Mystery of Marie Rogêt is particularly interesting because it is a fictionalized account based on Poes theory of what happened to the real-life Mary Cecilia Rogers
Postcodes in the United Kingdom
Postal codes used in the United Kingdom are known as postcodes. They are alphanumeric and were adopted nationally between 11 October 1959 and 1974, having been devised by the GPO, a full postcode is known as a postcode unit and designates an area with a number of addresses or a single major delivery point. For example, the postcode of the University of Roehampton in London is SW15 5PU, the postcode of GCHQ is GL51 0EX, where GL signifies the postal town of Gloucester. The postal town refers to an area and does not relate to a specific town. GL51 is one of the postcodes for the town of Cheltenham which is where GCHQ is located, the London post town covers 40% of Greater London. On inception it was divided into ten districts, EC, WC, N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W. The S and NE sectors were abolished and these divisions changed little, usually only changed for operational efficiency. Some older road signs in Hackney still indicate the North East sector/district, following the successful introduction of postal districts in London, the system was extended to other large towns and cities.
Liverpool was divided into Eastern, Northern and Western districts in 1864/65, in 1917 Dublin – still part of the United Kingdom – was divided into numbered postal districts. These continue in use in a form by An Post. In 1923 Glasgow was divided in a way to London. In January 1932 the Postmaster General approved the designation of some urban areas into numbered districts. In November 1934 the Post Office announced the introduction of numbered districts in every town in the United Kingdom large enough to justify it. Pamphlets were issued to each householder and business in ten areas notifying them of the number of the district in which their premises lay, the pamphlets included a map of the districts, and copies were made available at local head post offices. The public were invited to include the district number in the address at the head of letters. A publicity campaign in the following year encouraged the use of the district numbers, the slogan for the campaign was For speed and certainty always use a postal district number on your letters and notepaper. A poster was fixed to every box in the affected areas bearing the number of the district.
Every post office in the district was to display this information
Public housing in the United Kingdom
Public housing in the United Kingdom provides the largest proportion of rented accommodation in the country. Houses built for public or social housing use are built by local authorities, before 1865 housing for the poor was provided solely by the private sector. Council houses were built on estates, where frequently other amenities like schools. From the 1950s blocks of flats and three or four blocks of maisonnettes were widely built too. Flats and houses were built in mixed estates. Council homes were built to supply uncrowded, well-built homes on secure tenancies at reasonable rents to primarily working-class people, Public housing in the mid-20th century included many large suburban council estates and numerous urban developments featuring tower blocks. Many of these developments did not live up to the hopes of their supporters, in 1979, the role of council housing was to change. Housing stock has sold off through Right to Buy legislation. A substantial part of the UK population still lives in council housing, approximately 55% of the countrys social housing stock is owned by local authorities, and 45% by housing associations.
In Scotland, council estates are known as schemes, the history of public housing is the history of the housing of the poor. Even that statement is controversial, as before 1890 the state was not involved in housing policy, Public housing became needed to provide homes fit for heroes in 1919, to enable slum clearance. Standards were set to high quality homes. The Labour government of Harold Wilson built houses and flats to the point where there was a surplus in the late 1960s. The documented history of housing in Britain starts with almshouses which were established from the 10th century, to provide a place of residence for poor, old. The first recorded almshouse was founded in York by King Æthelstan, the public workhouse was the final fall back solution for the destitute. Rural poverty had been increased by the Enclosure Acts leaving many in need of assistance. This was divided into outside relief, or handouts to keep the family together, the workhouse provided for two groups of people - the transient population roaming the country looking for seasonal work, and the long-term residents.
The two were kept separate where possible, the City of London Corporation built tenements in the Farringdon Road in 1865, but this was an isolated instance
London Borough of Islington
The London Borough of Islington /ˈɪzlɪŋtən/ is a London borough in Inner London with an estimated population of 215,667. The borough contains two Westminster parliamentary constituencies, Islington North and Islington South & Finsbury, the local authority is Islington Council. The borough is home to football club Arsenal, one of the most successful clubs in England, Islington was originally named by the Saxons Giseldone, Gislandune. The name means Gīslas hill from the Old English personal name Gīsla and dun hill, the name later mutated to Isledon, which remained in use well into the 17th century when the modern form arose. In medieval times, Islington was just one of many manors in the area, along with Bernersbury, Neweton Berewe or Hey-bury. Islington came to be applied as the name for the parish covering these villages, on the merger with Finsbury, to form the modern borough this name came to be applied to the whole borough. It is a London borough council, one of thirty-two principal subdivisions of the area of Greater London.
The council was created by the London Government Act 1963 and replaced two local authorities, Finsbury Metropolitan Borough Council and Islington Metropolitan Borough Council, the former Islington Metropolitan Town Hall, at the intersection of Upper Street and Richmond Grove, serves as the present Boroughs council building. Islington is divided into 16 wards, each electing three councillors, following the May 2014 election, Islington Council comprises 47 Labour Party councillors and 1 Green Party councillor. Of these 48 councillors, the Leader of the Council is Councillor Richard Watts, Islington is represented by two parliamentary constituencies. Islington North is represented by Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party, inmarsat has its head office in the borough. Islington has a variety of transportation services, with direct connections to the suburbs. Islington has ten tube stations within its boundaries, with connections by the tube to all around London, farringdon station is served by the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines.
There are several London Overground stations in the borough, there are two prisons in Islington, a mens prison, HM Prison Pentonville and a womens prison HM Prison Holloway, which in the early 20th century was used to hold many suffragettes. The farm contains a range of animals from rabbits to cows to chickens. In 1801, the parishes that form the modern borough had a total population of 65,721. This rose steadily throughout the 19th century, as the district built up. The increase in population peaked before World War I, falling slowly in the aftermath until World War II began an exodus from London towards the new towns under the Abercrombie Plan for London, the decline in population reversed in the 1980s, but it remains below its 1971 level
London Ambulance Service
It is one of the busiest ambulance services in the world, and the busiest in the United Kingdom, providing care to more than 8.6 million people, who live and work in London. The service is currently under the leadership of chief executive Dr Fionna Moore MBE, the service employ around 4,500 staff. In exceptional cases, or where the service deems in necessary, specialist teams can be deployed from within the service, such as the Hazardous Area Response Team and these teams are specially trained and equipped to deal with incidents such as working at height or in confined spaces. It is one of 10 ambulance trusts in England providing emergency medical services, there is no charge to patients for use of the service, as every person in England has the right to the attendance of an ambulance in an emergency. The LAS responded to over 1.8 million calls for assistance, incidents rose by 20,000 in 2015/16, putting more pressure on the service. All 999 calls from the public are answered at the Emergency Operations Centre in Waterloo, to assist, the services command and control system is linked electronically with the equivalent system for Londons Metropolitan Police.
This means that police updates regarding specific jobs will be updated directly on the computer-aided dispatch log, to be viewed by the EOC, the first became operational at The South Eastern Fever Hospital, Deptford, in October 1883. In all, six hospitals operated horse-drawn land ambulances, putting almost the whole of London within three miles of one of them, each ambulance station included accommodation for a married superintendent and around 20 drivers, horse keepers and attendants, laundry staff and domestic cleaners. At Deptford, in order to transfer patients between the hospitals at Joyce Green and Long Reach near Gravesend, a horse-drawn ambulance tramway was constructed in 1897, in 1902, the MAB introduced a steam driven ambulance and in 1904, their first motor ambulance. The last horse-drawn ambulances were used on 14 September 1912, although the MAB was legally supposed to be transporting only infectious patients, it increasingly carried accident victims and emergency medical cases.
Also in 1915, the MAB Ambulance Section were the first public body to women drivers. By July 1916 the London County Council Ambulance Corps was staffed entirely by women, the LCC took control of the River Ambulance Service, but it was disbanded in 1932. During World War II, the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service was operated by over 10,000 auxiliaries, mainly women and they ran services from 139 Auxiliary Stations across London. A plaque at one of the last to close, Station 39 in Weymouth Mews, near Portland Place, in 1948 the National Health Service Act made it a requirement for ambulances to be available for anyone who needed them. On 1 April 1996, the LAS left the control of the South West Thames Regional Health Authority, as an NHS Trust, the LAS has a Trust Board consisting of 12 members. The board includes, a chairman, five of the Service’s executive directors. Special events in London are co-ordinated from the Services event control room, located in east London, during mass casualty incidents, the command structure works on three levels, gold and bronze.
Silver control, tactical command, from a point in the vicinity of the incident, Bronze control
The degrees of freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow, and Master Mason. These are the degrees offered by Craft Freemasonry, members of these organisations are known as Freemasons or Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, the basic, local organisational unit of Freemasonry is the Lodge. The Lodges are usually supervised and governed at the level by a Grand Lodge or Grand Orient. There is no international, worldwide Grand Lodge that supervises all of Freemasonry, each Grand Lodge is independent, modern Freemasonry broadly consists of two main recognition groups. Continental Freemasonry is now the term for the liberal jurisdictions who have removed some, or all. The Masonic Lodge is the organisational unit of Freemasonry. The Lodge meets regularly to conduct the formal business of any small organisation. In addition to business, the meeting may perform a ceremony to confer a Masonic degree or receive a lecture, at the conclusion of the meeting, the Lodge might adjourn for a formal dinner, or festive board, sometimes involving toasting and song.
The bulk of Masonic ritual consists of degree ceremonies, candidates for Freemasonry are progressively initiated into Freemasonry, first in the degree of Entered Apprentice. Some time later, in a ceremony, they will be passed to the degree of Fellowcraft. In all of ceremonies, the candidate is entrusted with passwords, signs. Another ceremony is the installation of the Master and officers of the Lodge. In some jurisdictions Installed Master is valued as a separate rank, in other jurisdictions, the grade is not recognised, and no inner ceremony conveys new secrets during the installation of a new Master of the Lodge. Most Lodges have some sort of calendar, allowing Masons. Often coupled with events is the obligation placed on every Mason to contribute to charity. This occurs at both Lodge and Grand Lodge level, Masonic charities contribute to many fields from education to disaster relief. These private local Lodges form the backbone of Freemasonry, and a Freemason will necessarily have been initiated into one of these, there exist specialist Lodges where Masons meet to celebrate anything from sport to Masonic research
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.
The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index.
It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government