Berwickshire (UK Parliament constituency)
Berwickshire was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1708 to 1918, when it was amalgamated with neighbouring Haddington to form a new Berwick and Haddington constituency. It elected one Member of Parliament; the British parliamentary constituency was created in 1708 following the Acts of Union, 1707 and replaced the former Parliament of Scotland shire constituency of Berwickshire. Robertson was becoming Lord Marjoribanks and causing a by-election. Marjoribanks was appointed Comptroller of the Household. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B"
1708 British general election
The 1708 British general election was the first general election to be held after the Acts of Union had united the Parliaments of England and Scotland. The election saw the Whigs gain a majority in the House of Commons, by November the Whig-dominated parliament had succeeded in pressuring the Queen into accepting the Junto into the government for the first time since the late 1690s; the Whigs were unable to take full control of the government, owing to the continued presence of the moderate Godolphin in the cabinet and the opposition of the Queen. Contests were held in 95 of the 269 English and Welsh constituencies and 28 of the 45 Scottish constituencies. See British general election, 1796 for details; the constituencies used were the same throughout the existence of the Parliament of Great Britain. The first general election held since the Union took place between 30 April 1708 and 7 July 1708. At this period elections did not take place at the same time in every constituency; the returning officer in each county or borough fixed the precise date.
List of Parliaments of Great Britain 2nd Parliament of Great Britain List of MPs elected in the British general election, 1708 British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher.. History of Parliament: Members 1690–1715 History of Parliament: Constituencies 1690–1715
Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Acts of Parliament: the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the Parliament of England, the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland. They put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union, agreed on 22 July 1706, following negotiation between commissioners representing the parliaments of the two countries. By the two Acts, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland—which at the time were separate states with separate legislatures, but with the same monarch—were, in the words of the Treaty, "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain"; the two countries had shared a monarch since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when King James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne from his double first cousin twice removed, Queen Elizabeth I. Although described as a Union of Crowns, until 1707 there were in fact two separate Crowns resting on the same head. Prior to the Acts of Union there had been three previous attempts to unite the two countries by Acts of Parliament, but it was not until the early 18th century that both political establishments came to support the idea, albeit for different reasons.
The Acts took effect on 1 May 1707. On this date, the Scottish Parliament and the English Parliament united to form the Parliament of Great Britain, based in the Palace of Westminster in London, the home of the English Parliament. Hence, the Acts are referred to as the Union of the Parliaments. On the Union, the historian Simon Schama said "What began as a hostile merger, would end in a full partnership in the most powerful going concern in the world... it was one of the most astonishing transformations in European history." Despite attempts by Edward I to conquer Scotland in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, the two countries were separate. However, when Elizabeth I became Queen of England in 1558, a union became likely as she neither married nor had children. From 1558 onwards, her heir was her Catholic cousin Mary, Queen of Scots who pledged herself to a peaceful union between the two kingdoms. In 1567, Mary was forced to abdicate as Queen of Scots and replaced by her infant son James VI, brought up as a Protestant and became heir to the English throne.
After Elizabeth died in 1603, the two Crowns were held in personal union by James, now James I of England, his Stuart successors, but England and Scotland remained separate kingdoms. When James became King of England in 1603, the creation of a unified Church of Scotland and England governed by bishops was the first step in his vision of a centralised, Unionist state. On his accession, he announced his intention to unite the two realms so he would not be "guilty of bigamy; the 1603 Union of England and Scotland Act established a joint Commission to agree terms but the English Parliament was concerned this would lead to the imposition of an absolutist structure similar to that of Scotland. James dropped his policy of a speedy union, the topic disappeared from the legislative agenda while attempts to revive it in 1610 were met with hostility; this did not mean James abandoned the idea. The problem was that the two churches were different in both structure and doctrine; the religious policies followed by James and his son Charles I were intended as precursors to political union.
The 1639–1640 Bishops' Wars confirmed the primacy of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland or kirk and established a Covenanter government in Scotland. The Scots remained neutral when the First English Civil War began in 1642, but grew concerned as to the impact of Royalist victory on Scotland after Parliamentary defeats in the first year of the war. Religious union with England was seen as the best way to preserve a Presbyterian kirk; the 1643 Solemn League and Covenant provided Scottish military support for the English Parliament in return for a religious union between the Church of England and the kirk. While it referred to'union' between England and Ireland, it did not explicitly commit to political union which had little support among their English supporters. Religious union was fiercely opposed by the Episcopalian majority in the Church of England and Independents like Oliver Cromwell; the Scots and English Presbyterians came to see the Independents who dominated the New Model Army as a bigger threat than the Royalists and when Charles I surrendered in 1646, they agreed to restore him to the English throne.
Both Royalists and Covenanters agreed the institution of monarchy was divinely ordered but disagreed on the nature and extent of Royal authority versus that of the church. After defeat in the 1647–1648 Second English Civil War, Scotland was occupied by English troops which were withdrawn once the so-called Engagers whom Cromwell held responsible for the war had been replaced by the Kirk Party. In December 1648, Pride's Purge confirmed Cromwell's political control in England by removing Presbyterian MPs from Parliament and executing Charles in January 1649. Despite this, in February, the Kirk Party proclaimed Charles II King of Great Britain.
The former Royal Burgh of Lauder is a town in the Scottish Borders in the historic county of Berwickshire. On the Southern Upland Way, the burgh lies 27 miles southeast of Edinburgh, on the western edge of the Lammermuir Hills. Although Lauder sits in the valley of Leader Water, Watson notes that the names Lauder and Leader appear to be unconnected. In the earliest sources Lauder appears as Loweder; the name may be derived from the Brittonic lǭwadr, meaning "washing or bathing place". Or else, Lauder may be named from a word related to Middle Welsh llawedrawr, "a heap of ruins". Below Lauder are the lands of Kedslie which were bounded on the west by a road called "Malcolm's rode", it is thought this formed part of the Roman road known as Dere Street, which passed through Lauder. Hardie suggests that it had been reconditioned by Malcolm III for use in his constant warfare against England, it is the only old road in Scotland, associated with the name of an individual person. The ancient settlement was further up the hills on the edge of the Moor.
Its name is unknown. The New Statistical Account of Scotland says that the present town of Lauder existed as a kirk-town in the time of David I, Sir J. D. Marwick says, in his preface to the Records of Convention, that the present town of Lauder existed in the latter half of the twelfth century; the town was once surrounded by walls with gates referred to as'ports'. Two major mills, which dated from the 12th century served the town. With the introduction of the feudal system to Scotland by David I, a provincial Lordship of Regality of Lauderdale, had been created for the King's favourite, Hugh de Morville, which covered an extensive amount of territory, although Thomson states that the family of de Lawedre were "there in the previous century." About 1170 Richard de Morville, Constable of Scotland, made a donation to the Brethren of the Hospital at Lauder, in 1245 a chapter of the clergy of East Lothian met at Lauder, between 1248-52 Emericus is recorded as Rector of Lauder. Joseph Bain states that the de Morville's held one-third of half Lauder and Lauderdale for one knight's service.
It would appear that de Morville's superiority did not extend over the entire valley of Lauderdale which, by his own demarcation recorded in the Chronicle of Melrose, stopped at the Lauder burn south of the town. This appears to be confirmed by the fact that a charter mentions Hugo de Morville possessing half of the mill of Lauder being the mill lands and rights south of the Lauder Burn, the other half being in the possession of the Lauder family. De Morville's inheritance passed to Alan of Galloway and to his daughter Ellen who had married Roger de Quincy, 2nd Earl of Winchester, their daughter Margaret married William de Ferrers, 5th Earl of Derby and in 1290 their son "the late Sir William de Ferrers, Knt." was on record as holding them. An early member of the Lauder family, Sir Robert de Lawedre of The Bass was Justiciar of Lothian as early as 1316, he received a charter dated 4 March 1316, from John Graham of Abercorn, of his lands of Dalcoif, parish of Merton, Berwickshire. The superiority of this property remained in that family for centuries.
In 1683 Christina Home, the granddaughter of the last Robert Lauder of that Ilk was retoured heir to it. The same Robert de Lawedre, knt. was one of the witnesses to two charters of confirmation to Jedburgh Abbey on 20 December 1316, signed at Berwick-upon-Tweed. James Young quotes a document written in French, dated 4 September 1319, entitled: "Lettre d'attorne pur doner seysine," and is granted to "Robert de Lawedir Justice de Lounes.... Donez a la langley en la terre de Meuros le quartior de Septembre en lan de grace MCCC et disneifme." Above the burgh of Lauder, abutting Lauder Moor and the boundaries of Wedale and the lands of Ladypart, were the lands of Alanshaws, granted to the monks of Melrose by Alan of Galloway, the Constable of Scotland although by 1500 these too were in the hands of the Lauders of that Ilk by feu. The superiority of Ladypart remained in the hands of the Lauder of Bass family until the 17th century; the Exchequer Rolls record a reconfirmation of them to Robert Lauder of The Bass who died in 1576.
This family erected a Scottish tower house, "the beginning of authentic history as far as the town is concerned," around which the present town grew, "Alan Lawedir of the Tower of Lawedir" is mentioned in 1445. The Registers of the Privy Council of Scotland refer to an inter-family litigation over the tower in 1598. Lauder Tower stood in what in 1903 was known as Tower Yard, a garden area bounded by the Free Kirk Manse and the County Police Station, close by the Easter Port; the road west from the town crossed the Midrow and passed Tower Yard passed by Lauder Mill. A continuation of the road went onwards to Chester Hill, it was not taken down until 1700. In Lauder & Lauderdale it is stated that in 1837 "the new United Presbyterian manse was built on a site, purchased, for £115, from Baillie Lauder." Notable buildings in the town today include the Tolbooth or Town Hall, which predates 1598 when records show it being burnt by a party of Homes and Cranstouns led by Lord Home, in a feud between them and the Lauder family who were at the time sitting on the bench as hereditary baillies.
On 18 July 1793, during a severe and prolonged thunderstorm, a "ball of fire struck the steeple above the Tollbooth, did considerable damage". The last of the ancient proprietors, Robert Lauder of that Ilk, bequeathed the tower house and other lands to his daughter Isobel, who had married Alexande
Sir David Dalrymple, 1st Baronet
Sir David Dalrymple of Hailes, 1st Baronet was a Scottish advocate and politician who sat in the Parliament of Scotland from 1698 to 1707 and in the British House of Commons from 1707 to 1721. He served as Lord Advocate, Auditor of the Exchequer in Scotland. David Dalrymple was the youngest son of James Dalrymple, 1st Viscount of Stair, he was educated at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Utrecht, was admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates 3 November 1688. He was elected to represent Culross in 1698 in the Parliament of Scotland, where he served until 1707. In 1706 he was one of the Commissioners who negotiated the Act of Union 1707 with England and was a Member of Parliament elected to the first Parliament of Great Britain for Haddington from 1708 until his death in 1721. In 1709 he bought Whitehills House. Sir David was an enthusiastic bibliophile and added a remarkable Library Wing to Newhailes to accommodate his large book collection; this extension to the building was completed in around 1722.
From 1709 to 1711 and again from 1714 to 1720 he served as Lord Advocate of Scotland, with the gap in service caused by the rise to power of a Tory ministry. He was elected Dean of the Faculty of Advocates until 1721, he died in 1721. On 4 April 1691 he had married Janet, daughter of Sir James Rocheid of Inverleith, the widow of Alexander Murray of Melgund. By her he had three sons and a daughter: His heir: Sir James Dalrymple, 2nd Baronet, of Hailes, East Lothian. Hugh Dalrymple-Murray-Kynnynmond. Janet, who married Sir John Baird, 2nd Baronet of Newbyth, MP for Edinburghshire 1715-1722. P; the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies of England and Scotland, by Messrs. John and John Bernard Burke, second edition, London, 1841, p. 620. Leigh Rayment's list of baronets Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
House of Commons of the United Kingdom
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House; the Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament. Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved; the House of Commons of England started to evolve in 14th centuries. It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707, assumed the title of "House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland" after the political union with Ireland at the start of the 19th century; the "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Accordingly, the House of Commons assumed its current title. Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power; the Government is responsible to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as she or he retains the confidence of a majority of the Commons. Although it does not formally elect the prime minister, the position of the parties in the House of Commons is of overriding importance. By convention, the prime minister is answerable to, must maintain the support of, the House of Commons. Thus, whenever the office of prime minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person who has the support of the House, or, most to command the support of the House—normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons, while the leader of the second-largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Since 1963, by convention, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords.
The Commons may indicate its lack of support for the Government by rejecting a motion of confidence or by passing a motion of no confidence. Confidence and no confidence motions are phrased explicitly, for instance: "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government." Many other motions were until recent decades considered confidence issues though not explicitly phrased as such: in particular, important bills that were part of the Government's agenda. The annual Budget is still considered a matter of confidence; when a Government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, the prime minister is obliged either to resign, making way for another MP who can command confidence, or to request the monarch to dissolve Parliament, thereby precipitating a general election. Parliament sits for a maximum term of five years. Subject to that limit, the prime minister could choose the timing of the dissolution of parliament, with the permission of the Monarch. However, since the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, terms are now a fixed five years, an early general election is brought about by a two-thirds majority in favour of a motion for a dissolution, or by a vote of no confidence, not followed within fourteen days by a vote of confidence.
By this second mechanism, the UK's government can change its political composition without an intervening general election. Only four of the eight last Prime Ministers have attained office as the immediate result of a general election; the latter four were Jim Callaghan, John Major, Gordon Brown and the current Prime Minister Theresa May. In such circumstances there may not have been an internal party leadership election, as the new leader may be chosen by acclaim, having no electoral rival. A prime minister will resign after party defeat at an election if unable to lead a coalition, or obtain a confidence and supply arrangement, she or he may resign after a motion of no confidence or for health reasons. In such cases, the premiership goes to, it has become the practice to write the constitution of major UK political parties to provide a set way in which to appoint a new leader. Until 1965, the Conservative Party had no fixed mechanism for this, it fell to the Queen to appoint Harold Macmillan as the new prime minister, after taking the consensus of cabinet ministers.
By convention, ministers are members of the House of House of Lords. A handful have been appointed who were outside Parliament, but in most cases they entered Parliament in a by-election or by receiving a peerage. Exceptions include Peter Mandelson, appointed Secretary of State for Business and Regulatory Reform in October 2008 before his peerage. Since 1902, all prime ministers have been members of the Commons; the new session of Parliament was delayed to await the outcome of his by-election, which happened
An electoral district, election district, or legislative district, called a voting district by the US Census is a territorial subdivision for electing members to a legislative body. Only voters who reside within the district are permitted to vote in an election held there. From a single district, a single member or multiple members might be chosen. Members might be chosen by a first-past-the-post system or a proportional representative system, or another voting method entirely. Members might be chosen through a direct election under universal suffrage, an indirect election, or another form of suffrage; the names for electoral districts vary across countries and for the office being elected. The term constituency is used to refer to an electoral district in British English, but it can refer to the body of eligible voters or all the residents of the represented area or only those who voted for a certain candidate; the terms precinct and election district are more common in American English. In Australia and New Zealand, electoral districts are called electorates, however elsewhere the term electorate refers to the body of voters.
In India electoral districts are referred to as "Nirvachan Kshetra" in Hindi, which can be translated to English as "electoral area" though the official English translation for the term is "constituency". The term "Nirvachan Kshetra" is used while referring to an electoral district in general irrespective of the legislature; when referring to a particular legislatorial constituency, it is referred to as "Kshetra" along with the name of the legislature, in Hindi. Electoral districts for municipal or other local bodies are called "wards". In Canada, districts are colloquially called ridings. Local electoral districts are sometimes called wards, a term which designates administrative subdivisions of a municipality. In local government in the Republic of Ireland voting districts are called "electoral areas". District magnitude is the number of representatives elected from a given district to the same legislative body. A single-member district has one representative. Voting systems that seek proportional representation inherently require multi-member districts, the larger the district magnitude the more proportional a system will tend to be Non-proportional systems may use multi-member districts, as in the House of Commons until 1950, Singapore's Group Representation Constituency, or the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
Under proportional representation systems, district magnitude is an important determinant of the makeup of the elected body. With a larger number of winners, candidates are able to represent proportionately smaller minorities; the geographic distribution of minorities affects their representation - an unpopular nationwide minority can still secure a seat if they are concentrated in a particular district. District magnitude can sometimes vary within the same system during an election. In the Republic of Ireland, for instance, national elections to Dáil Éireann are held using a combination of 3, 4, 5 member districts. In Hong Kong, the magnitude ranged from 3 to 5 in 1998, when the current electoral system was introduced for Legislative Council geographical constituency elections, will range from 5 to 9 in the forthcoming election in September 2012; the only democracies with one single nationwide electoral district and no other territorial correctors are Fiji, The Netherlands, Mozambique, South Africa and Serbia.
Main articles: Apportionment and RedistrictingApportionment is the process of allocating a number of representatives to different regions, such as states or provinces. Apportionment changes are accompanied by redistricting, the redrawing of electoral district boundaries to accommodate the new number of representatives; this redrawing is necessary under single-member district systems, as each new representative requires their own district. Multi-member systems, vary depending on other rules. Ireland, for example, redraws its electoral districts after every census while Belgium uses its existing administrative boundaries for electoral districts and instead modifies the number of representatives allotted to each. Israel and the Netherlands avoid the need for apportionment by electing legislators at-large. Apportionment is done on the basis of population. Seats in the United States House of Representatives, for instance, are reapportioned to individual states every 10 years following a census, with some states that have grown in population gaining seats.
By contrast, seats in the Cantonal Council of Zürich are reapportioned in every election based on the number of votes cast in each district, only made possible by use of multi-member districts, the House of Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by contrast, is apportioned without regard to population. Malapportionment occurs when voters are under- or over-represented due to variation in district population. Given the complexity of this process, softwa