Cheltenham (UK Parliament constituency)
Cheltenham is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 7 May 2015 by Alex Chalk, a Conservative. As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election at least every five years. 1885-1918: 1918-1950: The Municipal Borough of Cheltenham, the Urban District of Charlton Kings. 1950-1983: As prior but with redrawn boundaries. 1983-1997: The Borough of Cheltenham, the Borough of Tewkesbury wards of Leckhampton with Up Hatherley, Prestbury St Mary's, Prestbury St Nicolas. Leckhampton, Up Hatherley, Prestbury were added to the seat from the Cirencester and Tewkesbury constituency. 1997-2010: The Borough of Cheltenham wards of All Saints, Charlton Kings, College and The Reddings, Hesters Way, Park, Pittville, St Mark's, St Paul's, St Peter's. Leckhampton, Up Hatherley, Prestbury were transferred to the new Tewkesbury constituency. 2010-present: The Borough of Cheltenham wards of All Saints, Battledown and The Reddings, Charlton Kings, Charlton Park, Hesters Way, Leckhampton, Park, Pittville, St Mark's, St Paul's, St Peter's, Springbank, Up Hatherley, Warden Hill.
Leckhampton and Up Hatherley were transferred back to this seat from the Tewkesbury seat. The seat covers the town of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire with a smaller, different area to the borough of the same name, it is bordered by the Cotswolds seats. Famous for its racecourse which hosts in March the annual Cheltenham Gold Cup, a long-established girls' school and right at the edge of the Cotswold Hills, Cheltenham has a large tourism sector. GE Aviation is a large employer and GCHQ, the government communications centre, is here, so numbers of skilled workers and professionals are well above the national average. One of the West of England's most upmarket towns, the few neighbourhoods of medium levels in the Index of Multiple Deprivation are wholly in Hester's Way ward which has the most social housing. About 10% of the electorate are students at the University of Gloucestershire just outside the compact town centre. A Liberal Democrat served the seat from 1992 when their candidate Nigel Jones overturned four decades of Conservative MPs to 2015 when the Tories regained the seat.
Cheltenham borough constituency was created in the Great Reform Act of 1832 and has returned nine Liberals and nine Conservatives to Parliament since that time, along with one independent. A Conservative served the constituency from 1950 until 1992; the Conservatives' campaign in the 1992 general election following the Poll Tax riots saw a local party member's racist remarks about their own candidate, John Taylor, of Afro-Caribbean descent. Taylor lost the election to Nigel Jones of the Liberal Democrats. In 2000, Jones was nearly murdered in a horrific incident at one of his MP's surgeries, his colleague, Andrew Pennington, was killed in the attack. Jones was made a life peer in 2005; the Liberal Democrats held Cheltenham in the 2005 election when Martin Horwood won the election, again in 2010, but lost when the Conservatives retook the seat in 2015. General Election 1939/40: Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1940; the political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place from 1939 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected.
By the autumn of 1914, the following candidates had been adopted to contest that election. Unionist Party: James Agg-Gardner Liberal Party: Rhys WilliamsDue to the outbreak of war, the election never took place. Caused by Berkeley's appointment as a Commissioner of Customs. Caused by Berkeley's death. Election declared void on petition due to "acts of corruption"Election declared void on petition due to bribery List of Parliamentary constituencies in Gloucestershire nomis Constituency Profile for Cheltenham – presenting data from the ONS annual population survey and other official statistics
National Library of Australia
The National Library of Australia is the largest reference library in Australia, responsible under the terms of the National Library Act for "maintaining and developing a national collection of library material, including a comprehensive collection of library material relating to Australia and the Australian people." In 2012–13, the National Library collection comprised 6,496,772 items, an additional 15,506 metres of manuscript material. It is located in Parkes, Canberra, ACT; the National Library of Australia, while formally established by the passage of the National Library Act 1960, had been functioning as a national library rather than a Parliamentary Library since its inception. In 1901, a Commonwealth Parliamentary Library was established to serve the newly formed Federal Parliament of Australia. From its inception the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library was driven to development of a national collection. In 1907 the Joint Parliamentary Library Committee under the Chairmanship of the Speaker, Sir Frederick William Holder defined the objective of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library in the following words: The Library Committee is keeping before it the ideal of building up, for the time when Parliament shall be established in the Federal Capital, a great Public Library on the lines of the world-famed Library of Congress at Washington.
The present library building was opened on 15 August 1968 by Prime Minister John Gorton. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Bunning and Madden in the Late Twentieth Century Stripped Classical style; the foyer is decorated in marble, with stained-glass windows by Leonard French and three tapestries by Mathieu Matégot. The building was listed on the Australian Commonwealth Heritage List on 22 June 2004. In 2012–13 the Library collection comprised 6,496,772 items, with an estimated additional 2,325,900 items held in the manuscripts collection; the Library's collections of Australiana have developed into the nation's single most important resource of materials recording the Australian cultural heritage. Australian writers and illustrators are sought and well represented—whether published in Australia or overseas; the Library's collection includes all formats of material, from books, journals and manuscripts to pictures, maps, oral history recordings, manuscript papers and ephemera.
92.1% of the Library's collection has been catalogued and is discoverable through the online catalogue. The Library has digitized over 174,000 items from its collection and, where possible, delivers these directly across the Internet; the Library is a world leader in digital preservation techniques, maintains an Internet-accessible archive of selected Australian websites called the Pandora Archive. The Library collects material produced by Australians, for Australians or about the Australian experience in all formats—not just printed works—books, newspapers, posters and printed ephemera—but online publications and unpublished material such as manuscripts and oral histories. A core Australiana collection is that of John A. Ferguson; the Library has particular collection strengths in the performing arts, including dance. The Library's considerable collections of general overseas and rare book materials, as well as world-class Asian and Pacific collections which augment the Australiana collections.
The print collections are further supported by extensive microform holdings. The Library maintains the National Reserve Braille Collection; the Library houses the largest and most developing research resource on Asia in Australia, the largest Asian language collections in the Southern hemisphere, with over half a million volumes in the collection, as well as extensive online and electronic resources. The Library collects resources about all Asian countries in Western languages extensively, resources in the following Asian languages: Burmese, Persian, Japanese, Korean, Manchu, Thai and Vietnamese; the Library has acquired a number of important Western and Asian language scholarly collections from researchers and bibliophiles. These collections include: Australian Buddhist Library Collection Braga Collection Claasz Collection Coedes Collection London Missionary Society Collection Luce Collection McLaren-Human Collection Otley Beyer Collection Sakakibara Collection Sang Ye Collection Simon Collection Harold S. Williams Collection The Asian Collections are searchable via the National Library's catalogue.
The National Library holds an extensive collection of manuscripts. The manuscript collection contains about 26 million separate items, covering in excess of 10,492 meters of shelf space; the collection relates predominantly to Australia, but there are important holdings relating to Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and the Pacific. The collection holds a number of European and Asian manuscript collections or single items have been received as part of formed book collections; the Australian manuscript collections date from the period of maritime exploration and settlement in the 18th century until the present, with the greatest area of strength dating from the 1890s onwards. The collection includes a large number of outstanding single items, such as the 14th century Chertsey Cartulary, the journal of James Cook on the HM Bark Endeavour, inscribed on t
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis
The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788; the Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, itself wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, have only had common ownership since 1967. In 1959, the historian of journalism Allan Nevins analysed the importance of The Times in shaping the views of events of London's elite: For much more than a century The Times has been an integral and important part of the political structure of Great Britain, its news and its editorial comment have in general been coordinated, have at most times been handled with an earnest sense of responsibility. While the paper has admitted some trivia to its columns, its whole emphasis has been on important public affairs treated with an eye to the best interests of Britain.
To guide this treatment, the editors have for long periods been in close touch with 10 Downing Street. The Times is the first newspaper to have borne that name, lending it to numerous other papers around the world, such as The Times of India and The New York Times. In countries where these other titles are popular, the newspaper is referred to as The London Times or The Times of London, although the newspaper is of national scope and distribution; the Times is the originator of the used Times Roman typeface developed by Stanley Morison of The Times in collaboration with the Monotype Corporation for its legibility in low-tech printing. In November 2006 The Times began printing headlines in Times Modern; the Times was printed in broadsheet format for 219 years, but switched to compact size in 2004 in an attempt to appeal more to younger readers and commuters using public transport. The Sunday Times remains a broadsheet; the Times had an average daily circulation of 417,298 in January 2019. An American edition of The Times has been published since 6 June 2006.
It has been used by scholars and researchers because of its widespread availability in libraries and its detailed index. A complete historical file of the digitised paper, up to 2010, is online from Gale Cengage Learning; the Times was founded by publisher John Walter on 1 January 1785 as The Daily Universal Register, with Walter in the role of editor. Walter had lost his job by the end of 1784 after the insurance company where he worked went bankrupt due to losses from a Jamaican hurricane. Unemployed, Walter began a new business venture. Henry Johnson had invented the logography, a new typography, reputedly faster and more precise. Walter bought the logography's patent and with it opened a printing house to produce a daily advertising sheet; the first publication of the newspaper The Daily Universal Register in Great Britain was 1 January 1785. Unhappy because the word Universal was omitted from the name, Walter changed the title after 940 editions on 1 January 1788 to The Times. In 1803, Walter handed editorship to his son of the same name.
In spite of Walter Sr's sixteen-month stay in Newgate Prison for libel printed in The Times, his pioneering efforts to obtain Continental news from France, helped build the paper's reputation among policy makers and financiers. The Times used contributions from significant figures in the fields of politics, science and the arts to build its reputation. For much of its early life, the profits of The Times were large and the competition minimal, so it could pay far better than its rivals for information or writers. Beginning in 1814, the paper was printed on the new steam-driven cylinder press developed by Friedrich Koenig. In 1815, The Times had a circulation of 5,000. Thomas Barnes was appointed general editor in 1817. In the same year, the paper's printer James Lawson and passed the business onto his son John Joseph Lawson. Under the editorship of Barnes and his successor in 1841, John Thadeus Delane, the influence of The Times rose to great heights in politics and amongst the City of London.
Peter Fraser and Edward Sterling were two noted journalists, gained for The Times the pompous/satirical nickname'The Thunderer'. The increased circulation and influence of the paper was based in part to its early adoption of the steam-driven rotary printing press. Distribution via steam trains to growing concentrations of urban populations helped ensure the profitability of the paper and its growing influence; the Times was the first newspaper to send war correspondents to cover particular conflicts. W. H. Russell, the paper's correspondent with the army in the Crimean War, was immensely influential with his dispatches back to England. In other events of the nineteenth century, The Times opposed the repeal of the Corn Laws until the number of demonstrations convinced the editorial board otherwise, only reluctantly supported aid to victims of the Irish Potato Famine, it enthusiastically supported the Great Reform Bill of 1832, which reduced corruption and increased the electorate from 400,000 people to 800,000 people.
During the American Civil War, The Times represented the view of the wealthy classes, favouring the secessionists, but it was not a supporter of slavery. The third John Walter, the founder's grandson, succeeded his father in 1847; the paper continued as more or less independent, but from t
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, was an Anglo-Irish soldier and Tory statesman, one of the leading military and political figures of 19th-century Britain, serving twice as Prime Minister. His victory against Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 puts him in the first rank of Britain's military heroes. Wellesley was born in Dublin into the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland, he was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army in 1787, serving in Ireland as aide-de-camp to two successive Lords Lieutenant of Ireland. He was elected as a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons, he was a colonel by 1796, saw action in the Netherlands and in India, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam. He was appointed governor of Seringapatam and Mysore in 1799 and, as a newly appointed major-general, won a decisive victory over the Maratha Confederacy at the Battle of Assaye in 1803. Wellesley rose to prominence as a general during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, was promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French Empire at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813.
Following Napoleon's exile in 1814, he was granted a dukedom. During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the allied army which, together with a Prussian Army under Blücher, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Wellington's battle record is exemplary. Wellington is famous for his adaptive defensive style of warfare, resulting in several victories against numerically superior forces while minimising his own losses, he is regarded as one of the greatest defensive commanders of all time, many of his tactics and battle plans are still studied in military academies around the world. After the end of his active military career, Wellington returned to politics, he was twice British prime minister as part of the Tory party: from 1828 to 1830, for a little less than a month in 1834. He oversaw the passage of the Catholic Relief Act 1829, but opposed the Reform Act 1832, he continued as one of the leading figures in the House of Lords until his retirement and remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army until his death.
Wellesley was born into an aristocratic Anglo-Irish family in Ireland as The Hon. Arthur Wesley, the third of five surviving sons of Anne and Garret Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington, his mother was the eldest daughter of The 1st Viscount Dungannon. As such, he belonged to the Protestant Ascendancy, his biographers follow the same contemporary newspaper evidence in saying that he was born on 1 May 1769, the day before he was baptised. His birthplace is uncertain, he was most born at his parents' townhouse, 24 Upper Merrion Street, now the Merrion Hotel. But his mother Anne, Countess of Mornington, recalled in 1815 that he had been born at 6 Merrion Street, Dublin. Other places have been put forward as the location of his birth, including Mornington House, as his father had asserted, he spent most of his childhood at his family's two homes, the first a large house in Dublin and the second Dangan Castle, 3 miles north of Summerhill on the Trim Road in County Meath. In 1781, Arthur's father died and his eldest brother Richard inherited his father's earldom.
He went to the diocesan school in Trim when at Dangan, Mr Whyte's Academy when in Dublin, Brown's School in Chelsea when in London. He enrolled at Eton College, where he studied from 1781 to 1784, his loneliness there caused him to hate it, makes it unlikely that he said "The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton", a quotation, attributed to him. Moreover, Eton had no playing fields at the time. In 1785, a lack of success at Eton, combined with a shortage of family funds due to his father's death, forced the young Wellesley and his mother to move to Brussels; until his early twenties, Arthur showed little sign of distinction and his mother grew concerned at his idleness, stating, "I don't know what I shall do with my awkward son Arthur."A year Arthur enrolled in the French Royal Academy of Equitation in Angers, where he progressed becoming a good horseman and learning French, which proved useful. Upon returning to England in late 1786, he astonished his mother with his improvement.
Despite his new promise, he had yet to find a job and his family was still short of money, so upon the advice of his mother, his brother Richard asked his friend the Duke of Rutland to consider Arthur for a commission in the Army. Soon afterward, on 7 March 1787, he was gazetted ensign in the 73rd Regiment of Foot. In October, with the assistance of his brother, he was assigned as aide-de-camp, on ten shillings a day, to the new Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Buckingham, he was transferred to the new 76th Regiment forming in Ireland and on Christmas Day, 1787, was promoted lieutenant. During his time in Dublin his duties were social. While in Ireland, he overextended himself in borrowing due to his occasional gambling, but in his defence stated that "I have known what it was to be in want of money, but I have never got helplessly into debt". On 23 January 1788, he transferred into the 41st Regiment of Foot again on 25 June 1789, still a lieutenant, he transferred to the 12th Regi
A Tory is a person who holds a political philosophy known as Toryism, based on a British version of traditionalism and conservatism, which upholds the supremacy of social order as it has evolved throughout history. The Tory ethos has been summed up with the phrase "God and Country". Tories advocate monarchism, were of a high church Anglican religious heritage, opposed to the liberalism of the Whig faction; the philosophy originates from a royalist group during the English Civil War. The Tories political faction that emerged in 1681 was a reaction to the Whig-controlled Parliaments that succeeded the Cavalier Parliament, it has exponents in other parts of the former British Empire, such as the Loyalists of British America, who opposed American secession during the American War of Independence. The loyalists that fled to the Canadas at the end of the American Revolution, the United Empire Loyalists, formed the support base for political cliques in Upper and Lower Canada. Toryism remains prominent in the United Kingdom.
The British Conservative Party and Conservative Party of Canada, their members, continue to be referred to as Tories. The term Tory is used regardless of. Adherents to traditional Toryism in contemporary times are referred to as High Tories; the terms Blue Tory and Red Tory have been used to describe the two different factions of the federal and provincial Conservative/Progressive Conservative parties in Canada. In addition, Pink Tory is used in Canadian politics as a pejorative term to describe a member of the Conservative/Progressive Conservative party, perceived as liberal; the word Tory derives from the Middle Irish word tóraidhe. The term was applied in Ireland to the isolated bands of guerrillas resisting Oliver Cromwell's nine-month 1649–1650 campaign in Ireland, who were allied with Royalists through treaty with the Parliament of Confederate Ireland, signed at Kilkenny in January 1649, it was used to refer to a Rapparee and applied to Confederates or Cavaliers in arms. The term was thus a term of abuse, "an Irish rebel", before being adopted as a political label in the same way as "Whig".
Towards the end of Charles II's reign there was some debate about whether or not his brother, Duke of York, should be allowed to succeed to the throne. "Whigs" a reference to Scottish cattle-drovers, was the abusive term directed at those who wanted to exclude James on the grounds that he was a Roman Catholic. Those who were not prepared to exclude James were labelled "Abhorrers" and "Tories". Titus Oates applied the term Tory, which signified an Irish robber, to those who would not believe in his Popish Plot and the name became extended to all who were supposed to have sympathy with the Catholic Duke of York; the suffix -ism was added to both Whig and Tory to make Whiggism and Toryism, meaning the principles and methods of each faction. The term Tory was first used to designate the pre-Confederation British ruling classes of Upper Canada and Lower Canada, known as the Family Compact and the Château Clique, an elite within the governing classes and members within a section of society known as the United Empire Loyalists.
The United Empire Loyalists were American loyalists who resettled in British North America during or after the American Revolutionary War. In post-Confederation Canada, the terms "Red Tory" and "Blue Tory" have long been used to describe the two wings of the Conservative and the Progressive Conservative parties; the dyadic tensions arose out of the 1854 political union of British-Canadian Tories, French-Canadian traditionalists and the monarchist and loyalist leaning sections of the emerging commercial classes at the time—many of whom were uncomfortable with the pro-American and annexationist tendencies within the liberal Clear Grits. Tory strength and prominence in the political culture was a feature of life in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba. By the 1930s, the factions within Canadian Toryism were associated with either the urban business elites, or with rural traditionalists from the country's hinterland. A "Red Tory" is a member of the more moderate wing of the party.
They are unified by their adherence to British traditions in Canada. Throughout the course of Canadian history, the Conservative Party was controlled by MacDonaldian Tory elements, which in Canada meant an adherence to the English-Canadian traditions of Monarchy, Empire-Commonwealth, parliamentary government, protectionism, social reform and acceptance of the necessity of the welfare state. By the 1970s, the Progressive Conservative Party was a Keynesian-consensus party. With the onset of stagflation in the 1970s, some Canadian Tories came under the influence of neo-liberal developments in Great Britain and the United States, which highlighted the policies for privatization and supply-side interventions. In Canada, these tories have been labeled neoconservatives—which has a somewhat different connotation in the United States. By the early 1980s, there was no clear neoconservative in the Tory leadership cadre, but Brian Mulroney came to adopt many policies from the Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan governments.
As Mulroney took the Progressive Conservative Party further in this direction, with policy initiati
Royal Society of Literature
The Royal Society of Literature is a learned society founded in 1820, by King George IV, to'reward literary merit and excite literary talent'. The society is a cultural tenant at London's Somerset House; the society's first president was Thomas Bishop of St David's. The society maintains its current level of about 500 Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature: 14 new fellows are elected annually, who are accorded the privilege of using the post-nominal letters FRSL. Past fellows include Samuel Taylor Coleridge, J. R. R. Tolkien, W. B. Yeats, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, Arthur Koestler, Chinua Achebe, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Robert Ardrey, Sybille Bedford, Muriel Spark, P. J. Kavanagh. Present Fellows include Margaret Atwood, David Hare, Kazuo Ishiguro, Hilary Mantel, Paul Muldoon, Zadie Smith, Nadeem Aslam, Sarah Waters, Geoffrey Ashe and J. K. Rowling. A newly created fellow inscribes his or her name on the society's official roll using either Byron's pen, T. S. Eliot's fountain pen, which replaced Dickens's quill in 2013, or George Eliot's pen.
The society publishes an annual magazine, The Royal Society of Literature Review, administers a number of literary prizes and awards, including the RSL Ondaatje Prize, the RSL Jerwood Awards for Non-Fiction, the RSL Encore Award for best second novel of the year and the V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize for short stories. From time to time it confers the honour and title of Companion of Literature to writers of particular note. Additionally the RSL can bestow its award of the Benson Medal for lifetime service in the field of literature; the RSL runs a membership scheme and offers a varied programme of events to members and the general public. Membership of the RSL is open to all; the RSL runs a schools outreach programme in collaboration with the literacy charity First Story. The RSL administers two annual prizes, two awards, two honours. Through its prize programmes, the RSL supports new and established contemporary writers; the RSL Christopher Bland Prize — £10,000 for debut prose writers over the age of 50.
The Encore Awards — £10,000 for best second novel of the year. The RSL took over the administration of this award in 2016; the RSL Giles St Aubyn Awards for Non-Fiction – annual awards, one of £10,000 and two of £5,000, to authors engaged on their first commissioned works of non-fiction. The RSL Ondaatje Prize – an annual award of £10,000 for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place; the V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize – an annual prize of £1,000 for the best unpublished short story of the year; the Benson Medal -- awarded to those. Companion of Literature – the highest honour that the Society can bestow upon a writer; the Council of the Royal Society of Literature is central to the election of new fellows, directs the RSL's activities through its monthly meetings. Patron Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall President Dame Marina Warner DBE Presidents Emeritus Sir Michael Holroyd CBE FRHistS C Lit Colin Thubron CBE Chair of Council Lisa Appignanesi OBE Vice-PresidentsAnne Chisholm OBE Maureen Duffy Maggie Gee OBE The Hon. Victoria Glendinning CBE Sir Ronald Harwood CBE Dame Hilary Mantel DBE Philip Pullman CBE Claire Tomalin Jenny Uglow OBE, Benson Medallist CouncilBernardine Evaristo MBE, Vice Chair Blake Morrison, Vice Chair Simon Armitage CBE Colin Chisholm, Hon Treasurer Jonathan Coe Imtiaz Dharker Sir Richard Eyre CH CBE Abdulrazak Gurnah Tessa Hadley Derek Johns Jonathan Keates FSA Dame Hermione Lee FBA Daljit Nagra Michèle Roberts 1820–1832 Bishop Thomas Burgess 1832–1833 The Lord Dover 1834–1845 The Earl of Ripon 1845–1849 Henry Hallam 1849–1851 The Marquess of Northampton 1851–1856 The Earl of Carlisle 1856–1876 The Rt Rev. Connop Thirlwall 1876–1884 The Prince Leopold 1885–1893 Sir Patrick Colquhoun 1893–1920 The Earl of Halsbury 1921–1945 The Marquess of Crewe 1946–1947 The Earl of Lytton 1947–1982 The Lord Butler of Saffron Walden 1982–1988 Sir Angus Wilson 1988–2003 The Lord Jenkins of Hillhead 2003–2008 Sir Michael Holroyd 2008–2017 Colin Thubron 2017–present Marina Warner The Royal Society of Literature comprises up to 500 fellows who are entitled to use the post-nominal letters FRSL.
New fellows of the Royal Society of Literature are elected by its current fellows. To be nominated for fellowship, a writer must have published two works of literary merit, nominations must be seconded by an RSL fellow. All nominations are presented to members of the Council of the Royal Society of Literature, who vote biannually to elect new fellows. Nominated candidates who have not been successful are reconsidered at every election for three years from the year in which they were proposed. Newly elected fellows are introduced at the Society's AGM and summer party. While the President reads a citation for each, they are invited to sign their names in the roll book which dates back to 1820, using either T. S. Eliot's fountain pen or Byron's pen. In 2013, Charles Dickens's quill was retired and replaced with Eliot's fountain pen, in 2018 George Eliot's pen was offered as a choice, the first time in the RSL's history that a pen that belonged to a woman writer was an option. In 2018 the RSL honoured the achievements of Britain's younger writers through the initiative "40 Under 40", which saw the election of 40 new fellows aged under 40.
The * before the name denotes an Honorary Fellow. The list is online at the RSL website; the Royal Society of Literature website RSL biannual magazine RSL literary prizes and awards Current RSL Fellows