British Indians are citizens of the United Kingdom whose ancestral roots lie in India. This includes people born in the UK who are of Indian descent, Indian-born people who have migrated to the UK. Today, Indians comprise about 1.4 million people in the UK, making them the single largest visible ethnic minority population in the country. They make up the largest subgroup of British Asians, are one of the largest Indian communities in the Indian diaspora due to the Indian-British relations; the British Indian community is the sixth largest in the Indian diaspora, behind the Indian communities in the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Nepal. The largest group of British Indians are those of Punjabi origin, accounting for an estimated 45 percent of the British Indian population, followed by other communities including Gujarati and Marathi communities. Official figures demonstrate that Indian employees have the highest average hourly rate among all ethnic groups in Britain.
A study in 2011 found British Indians have among the lowest poverty rates among all non-Caucasian ethnic groups in Britain. Studies and official figures have shown that Indians are more to be employed in professional and managerial occupations, than all other ethnic groups, including White British people. People from India have settled in Great Britain since the East India Company recruited lascars to replace vacancies in their crews on East Indiamen whilst on voyages in India; these were men from the Indo-Portuguese or Luso-Asian communities of the subcontinent, including men from Bombay, Cochin and the Hugli River in Bengal. Muslim Bengalis and men from Ratnagiri were hired. Many were refused passage back and had no alternative than to settle in London. There were some ayahs, domestic servants and nannies of wealthy British families, who accompanied their employers back to Britain when their stay in South Asia came to an end. British soldiers would sometimes marry Indian women and send their mixed race children back to Britain, although the wife did not accompany them.
Indian wives of British soldiers would sometimes ask for passage home after being abandoned or widowed if they did accompany their children. In 1835, Bridget Peter a native of the Madras region lost her husband, a British soldier serving in His Majesty's 1st Foot Regiment, she petitioned the Directors from Chelsea Hospital'in a state of destitution'. They her three children to India; the Navigation Act of 1660 restricted the employment of non-English sailors to a quarter of the crew on returning East India Company ships. Baptism records in East Greenwich suggest that a small number of young Indians from the Malabar Coast were being recruited as house servants at the end of the 17th century, records of the EIC suggest that Indo-Portuguese cooks from Goa were retained by captains from voyage to voyage. In 1797, 13 were buried in the parish of St Nicholas at Deptford. During the 19th century, the East India Company brought thousands of Indian lascars and workers to Britain to work on ships and in ports.
Some of whom settled down and took local British wives due to a lack of Indian women in Britain and abandonment due to restrictions on South Asian crew members being employed on British ships such as the Navigation Acts. It is estimated 8,000 Indians lived in Britain permanently prior to the 1950s. Due to the majority of early Asian immigrants being lascar seamen, the earliest Indian communities were found in port towns. Naval cooks came, many of them from the Sylhet Division of what is now Bangladesh. One of the most famous early Bengali immigrants to Britain was Sake Dean Mahomet, a captain of the British East India Company. In 1810, he founded the Hindoostanee Coffee House, he is valued for introducing shampoo and therapeutic massage to the United Kingdom. By the mid-19th century, there were more than 40,000 Indian seamen, scholars, officials, tourists and students in Britain, the majority of them being seamen working on ships, Lascars lodged in British ports in between voyages. Most Indians during this period would visit or reside in Britain temporarily, returning to India after months or several years, bringing back knowledge about Britain in the process.
The 1931 Census of India estimated that there were at least 2,000 Indian students in English and Scottish Universities at the time, from an estimated, overwhelmingly male population of 9,243 South Asians on the British mainland, of which 7,128 resided in England and Wales, two thousand in Scotland, with a thousand in Northern Ireland, 1 on the Isle of Man. Their origins were recorded as: In 1932, the Indian National Congress survey of "all Indians outside India" estimated that there were 7,128 Indians living in the United Kingdom, which included students and professionals such as doctors; the resident Indian population of Birmingham was recorded at 100 by 1939. By 1945 it was 1,000. Following the Second World War and the breakup of the British Empire, Indian migration to the UK increased through the 1950s and 1960s; this was due to the British Nationality Act 1948, which enabled migration from the Commonwealth with few limits. In 1950 there were fewer than 20,000 non-white residents in B
British Chinese are people of Chinese – Han Chinese – ancestry who reside in the United Kingdom, constituting the second or third-largest group of overseas Chinese in Europe apart from the Chinese diaspora in France and the overseas Chinese community in Russia. The British Chinese community is thought to be the oldest Chinese community in Western Europe, with the first Chinese immigrants having come from the ports of Tianjin and Shanghai in the early-nineteenth century to settle in port cities such as Liverpool, they opened restaurants on the ports. Most British Chinese are descended from people who were themselves overseas Chinese when they first arrived in the UK. Most are from former British colonies, such as: Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Mauritius. People from mainland China and Taiwan and their descendants constitute a minor proportion of the British Chinese community. Chinese communities are found in many major cities including: London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Nottingham and Aberdeen.
Compared with most ethnic minorities in the UK, the Chinese are socioeconomically more widespread and decentralised, have a record of high academic achievement, have one of the highest household incomes among demographic groups in the UK. The first recorded Chinese person in Britain was Shen Fu Tsong, a Jesuit scholar called, present in the court of King James II in the 17th century. Shen was the first person to catalogue the Chinese books in the Bodleian Library; the King was so taken with him he had his portrait painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller and hung it in his bed chamber. The portrait of Shen is in the Queen's collection; the first Chinese to settle in Britain was William Macao who lived in Edinburgh from 1779. He was the first Chinese to marry a British woman and have children, was the first to be baptised into the Protestant Church, he worked for The Board of Excise at Dundas House, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh for 40 years, beginning as a servant to the clerks and retiring as Senior Accountant.
He was involved in a significant naturalisation law case and for two years, until the first decision was over-turned on appeal, was deemed a naturalised Scotsman. For a full biography see Chapter 2, The Chinese in Britain - A History of Visitors and Settlers by Barclay Price; the British East India Company, importing popular Chinese commodities such as tea and silks began employing Chinese seamen from the early 1880s. Those who crewed ships to Britain had to spend time in London's dock area while waiting for a ship to return to China and so the Limehouse area became the site of the first Chinatown in Britain. A Chinese known as John Anthony was brought to London in 1799 by the East India Company to manage the barracks where the Asian sailors stayed. Anthony married his British partner's daughter. Wishing to buy property, but unable to so while an alien, in 1805 he used part of the fortune he had amassed from his London work to pay for an Act of Parliament. Naturalising him as a British subject.
However, he died a few months. The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is the most important celebration for Chinese and other East Asian communities, it links overseas Chinese and their descendants to their heritage though they live thousands of miles away from their ancestral homelands. Celebrations for Chinese people are of great traditional significance and include a ritual cleaning of their houses and visit to the temple, but involve feasting with the family, celebration and gift-giving; this festival follows the lunar calendar so it can fall any time from late January to mid-February and begins on the first day of a new moon and ends with the full moon on the day of the Lantern Festival. Celebrations in London are famous for colourful parades and street dancing; the route goes along Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue. Other activities include a family show in Trafalgar Square with dragon and lion dances and traditional and contemporary Chinese arts by performers from both London and China.
There are fireworks displays in Leicester Square, as well as cultural stalls, food and lion dance displays throughout the day in London Chinatown. There are Chinatowns and Chinese community centres in every place where there is a substantial Chinese community, new immigrants and long term citizens can find help and support there. There are many activities of interest to new generations and the community at large, such as women's groups, health talks, day trips, cookery sessions, English-language classes, IT training courses. There are celebrations of Chinese and British festivals, volunteer groups to help members of the community, as well as a work experience scheme for local school students to spend placements working within businesses in the community. There exist several organisations in the UK; the Chinese community is a non-profit organisation that runs social events for the Chinese community. Dimsum is a media organisation which aims to raise awareness of the cultural issues that the Chinese community face.
The Chinese Information and Advice Centre supports disadvantaged people of Chinese ethnic origin in the UK. Since 2000, the emergence of Internet discussion sites produced by British Chinese young people has provided an important forum for many of them to grapple with questions concerning their identities and status in Britain. Within these onlin
Lewisham is an area of south London, England, 5.9 miles south-east of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. Lewisham had a population of 60,573 in 2011, it is most to have been founded by a pagan Jute, who settled near St Mary's Church where the ground was drier, in the 6th century. As to the etymology of the name, Daniel Lysons wrote: "In the most ancient Saxon records this place is called Levesham, that is, the house among the meadows. A Latin legal record, dated 1440, mentions a place in Kent as Levesham, it is now written, as well in parochial and other records as in common usage, Lewisham.""Leofshema" was an important settlement at the confluence of the rivers Quaggy and Ravensbourne, so the village expanded north into the wetter area as drainage techniques improved. King Alfred was Lord of the Manor of Lewisham; the Manor of Lewisham, with its appendages of Greenwich and Combe, was given by Elthruda, King Alfred's niece, to the abbey of St. Peter at Ghent, of which Lewisham became a cell, or an alien priory.
This grant is said to have been confirmed by King Edgar in 964, by Edward the Confessor in 1044, with the addition of many privileges. In the mid-17th century, the vicar of Lewisham, Abraham Colfe, built a grammar school, a primary school and six almshouses for the inhabitants. In the 17th century the Manor of Lewisham was purchased by George Legge Baron Dartmouth, his son William was raised by Queen Anne to several positions of honour and trust, was a member of her privy council. His grandson George, Lord Dartmouth, obtained the privilege of holding a fair twice a year, a market twice a week, upon Blackheath in the parish; the fair used to be held on 12 May and 11 October, but in 1772 it was discontinued, by the Earl of Dartmouth, as lord of the manor. The village of Lewisham had its nucleus in its southern part, around the parish church of St Mary, towards the present site of University Hospital Lewisham; the centre migrated north with the coming of the North Kent railway line to Dartford in 1849, encouraging commuter housing.
The Official Illustrated Guide to South-Eastern and North and Mid-Kent Railways of June 1863, by George Measom, describes Lewisham as follows:'Lewisham Station, situated on the slope of an eminence admist picturesque scenery, beautiful green meadows rising abruptly to the summit of the hill on the left, dotted with handsome residences and gardens, while the Common is seen intersected by various cross roads and studded with country inns and houses on the low ground or valley to the right. The area of the parish is 5,789 acres... Lord of the manor, the Earl of Dartmouth to whom it gives the title Viscount'. Lewisham was administratively part of Kent until 1889, formed part of the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham in the County of London until 1965; the town centre was hit by a V-1 flying bomb in 1944: there were over 300 casualties including 51 fatalities, it devastated the high street, restored by the mid-1950s. This horrific event is commemorated by a plaque outside the Lewisham Shopping Centre.
The plaque was on the pavement outside the Marks and Spencers store in the main shopping precinct. However, suffering wear and tear, the local authority arranged. In 1955 Sainsbury's opened a store in Lewisham, reported to be Europe's largest self-service supermarket, with 7,500 square feet of retail space, although the one now incorporated in the 1977 shopping centre is much smaller; the area at the north end of the High Street was pedestrianised in 1994. It is home to a daily street market and a local landmark, the clock tower, completed in 1900 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897; the police station, opened in 2004 to replace the station in Ladywell, is the largest in Europe. Lewisham Cricket Club was one of the most prestigious London sides during the Victorian era. From 1864 they played at Lewisham Cricket Ground, which lay north of Ladywell Road, until its closure in the 19th century. Lewisham Swimming Club was very successful, with several of its members representing England at water polo and other gymkhana events.
During the First World War, Lewisham Hospital's infirmary became the Lewisham Military Hospital, during the Second World War the hospital was hit by a V-1 flying bomb, which destroyed two wards, injured 70 people and killed one nurse. Lewisham is the site of one of the worst disasters on British Railways in the 20th century. On 4 December 1957 a crowded steam-hauled passenger express headed for the Kent coast overran signals at danger in thick fog near St. John's station and crashed into a stationary electric train for the Hayes branch line; the force of the impact brought down an overhead railway bridge onto the wreckage below. An electric multiple unit about to cross the bridge towards Nunhead managed to pull up in time. Ninety passengers and crew died in the accident. In 1977, the Battle of Lewisham saw the biggest street battle against fascists since the Battle of Cable Street in 1936. Over 10,000 people turned out to oppose a National Front march, organised on the back of increasing electoral success at that time.
The Docklands Light Railway was extended to Lewisham in 1999. In the 21st century, Lewisham has seen regeneration including the construction of several high-rise residential buildings around Lo
Directly elected mayors in England and Wales
Directly elected mayors in England and Wales are local government executive leaders who have been directly elected by the people who live in a local authority area. The first such political post was the Mayor of London, created as the executive of the Greater London Authority in 2000 as part of a reform of the local government of Greater London. Since the Local Government Act 2000, all of the several hundred principal local councils in England and Wales are required to review their executive arrangements. Most local authorities opt for the "leader and cabinet" model where the council leader is selected from the councillors, but in some areas the council proposes to adopt the "mayor and cabinet" model. Following a successful "yes" vote in a local referendum, a directly elected mayor is established to replace the council leader. Since 2007, councils can adopt the elected mayoral model without a referendum. Most authorities with elected mayors had a ceremonial mayor and the two roles continue to exist concurrently.
As of May 2015, 16 council areas are using the "mayor and cabinet" model of governance with a directly elected executive mayor. The system of elected mayors had been considered by the Major ministry, the former Environment Secretary Michael Heseltine had been a proponent of it; the 1997 Labour manifesto included a commitment to reform local government in London by introducing an elected mayor. The first directly elected mayor was introduced in Greater London in 2000 as part of the statutory provisions of the Greater London Authority Act 1999; the position of the elected Mayor of London is a strategic regional one, quite different from that of local authority mayors. The work of the Mayor of London is scrutinised by the London Assembly, a unique arrangement in the English local government system; the Mayor of London cannot be removed from office by a referendum following a petition, as is the case for directly elected mayors elsewhere in England. Elsewhere in England and Wales, since the Local Government Act 2000, there have been a range of options for how a local council executive leadership can be constituted, installing a directly elected mayor is one of these options.
The 2000 act ended the previous committee-based system, where functions were exercised by committees of the council. All of several hundred principal councils were required to review their executive arrangements under the 2000 legislation. Local authorities considering the option of an elected mayor were required to put the question to a local referendum, it is possible for campaign groups to trigger a local referendum with a signed petition. A number of areas with elected mayors have civic mayors or Lord mayors and these ceremonial roles conferred on acting councillors are separate from elected mayors. Eleven mayors were established during 2002, covering metropolitan and non-metropolitan districts, unitary authorities and London boroughs. Three further mayoralties were created under this legislation: in 2005, 2010, 2015; some of the first mayoral elections were won by independents, notably in Hartlepool, where the election was won by Stuart Drummond, who played Hartlepool United's mascot. Although Wales is included in the legislation, only one Welsh authority, has held a referendum on such a proposal.
The referendum, in May 2004, resulted in the proposal being rejected by over 70% of the voters. In October 2006, the DCLG white paper Strong and Prosperous Communities proposed that in future the requirement for a referendum to approve the establishment of an elected mayor for a council area be dropped in favour of a simple resolution of the council following community consultation, it proposed the direct election of council cabinets where requested, that the "mayor and council manager" system in Stoke-on-Trent be reformed into a conventional "mayor and cabinet" system, it having been the only English council to adopt that system. The "mayor and council manager" option was revoked by the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 and a referendum was no longer required if two thirds of a council voted in favour of the change in executive model; the elected cabinet option was not taken forward. The 2007 legislation required all local authorities to review their executive arrangements again and consider the case for an elected mayor.
In February 2006, the Institute for Public Policy Research published a report calling for elected mayors in Birmingham and Manchester, positively received by the government, but not by the two city councils concerned. British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed support for the system, saying directly elected mayors are "accountable" and can "galvanise action". On 2 May 2012, think tank the Bow Group published a short article supporting directly elected mayors in large English cities; the Localism Act 2011 permitted central government to trigger referendums for elected mayors, this was intended to happen in the largest cities during 2012. Ahead of this, Leicester City Council in 2011 and Liverpool City Council in 2012 exercised their option to have a directly elected mayor without a referendum. In September 2011 citizens of Salford collected the required number of signatures to force a referendum, successful; the first mayoral election took place in May 2012. Using the powers in the Localism Act 2011, on 3 May 2012, referendums were held in 10 English cities to decide whether or not to switch to a system that includes a directly elected mayor.
Only one, voted for a mayoral system. Doncaster voted to retain its elected mayoral system in a referendum held on the same day. In 2014
Blackheath is a district of south east London, within the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Lewisham. It is located east of Lewisham, south of Greenwich. Blackheath is within the historic boundaries of Kent; the name is recorded in 1166 as Blachehedfeld and means the "dark coloured heathland". It is formed from the Old English'blæc' and'hǣth' and refers to the open space, the meeting place of the ancient hundred of Blackheath; the name was applied to the Victorian suburb that developed in the 19th century and was extended to the areas known as Blackheath Park and Blackheath Vale. An urban myth is that Blackheath was associated with the 1665 Plague or the Black Death of the mid-14th century; the idea that Blackheath got its name from its use as a burial pit goes all the way back to the medieval period, when it was certainly used for the disposal of the dead during the ‘Black Death‘. Every part of London has a local tradition about plague pits under, say, a local school or shop.
They were common. The sheer number of bodies meant that the traditional churchyards became, as one contemporary put it, ‘overstuft’ quickly. During the seventeenth century Blackheath was, along with Hounslow Heath, a common assembly point for English Armies. In 1673 the Blackheath Army was assembled under Marshal Schomberg to serve in the Third Anglo-Dutch War; the Roman road that became known as Watling Street crosses the northern edge of Blackheath heading for the mouth of Deptford Creek, rather than for Deptford Bridge like the modern A2. Before the development of Greenwich palace by the Tudors, one of the most used royal palaces during the latter Plantagenet era was Eltham Palace located about 2.5 miles to the southeast of the heath and Watling Street. It continued to be used as a royal residence to the 16th century. Blackheath was a rallying point for Wat Tyler's Peasants' Revolt of 1381, for Jack Cade's Kentish rebellion in 1450. Wat Tyler is remembered by Wat Tyler Road on the heath, Jack Cade by Cade Road near the heath.
After pitching camp on Blackheath, Cornish rebels were defeated in the Battle of Deptford Bridge, just to the west, on 17 June 1497. With Watling Street carrying stagecoaches across the heath, en route to north Kent and the Channel ports, it was a notorious haunt of highwaymen during the 17th and 18th centuries; as reported in Edward Walford's Old and New London, "In past times it was planted with gibbets, on which the bleaching bones of men who had dared to ask for some extension of liberty, or who doubted the infallibility of kings, were left year after year to dangle in the wind." In 1909 Blackheath had a local branch of the London Society for Women's Suffrage. The Vanbrugh Pits are on the north-east part of the heath; the site of old gravel workings, Vanbrugh Pits have long been reclaimed by nature and form one of the more attractive parts of the rather flat Blackheath. It is attractive in spring when the extensive gorse blossoms; the pits are named after Sir John Vanbrugh, architect of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard, who had a house nearby, adjacent to Greenwich Park, now called Vanbrugh Castle.'Mince Pie House' built for his family, survived until 1911.
The sizeable estate of Blackheath Park, created on lands of Wricklemarsh Manor by John Cator is situated east of Blackheath, between Lee Road, Morden Road and Manor Way. Built over in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, it contains many fine examples of substantial Georgian and Victorian houses – most notably Michael Searles' crescent of semi-detached terrace houses linked by colonnades, The Paragon – as well as some 1930s and 1960s additions; the Cator Estate was built on part of the estate owned by Sir John Morden, whose Morden College is another notable building to the south-east of the heath. The Cator Estate contains innovative 1960s Span houses and flats, the Blackheath High School buildings on Vanburgh Park include the Church Army Chapel. St Michael and All Angels' Church, designed by local architect George Smith and completed in 1830, was dubbed the Needle of Kent in honour of its tall, thin spire. All Saints' Church, situated on the heath, designed by the architect Benjamin Ferrey, dates from 1857.
Another Anglican church, St John the Evangelist's, was designed in 1853 by Arthur Ashpitel. The Pagoda is a notable example of a beautiful property situated in Blackheath, built in 1760 by Sir William Chambers in the style of a traditional Chinese pagoda, it was leased to the Prince Regent, who would become King George IV, used as a summer home by his wife Caroline, Princess of Wales. In 1871 the management of Blackheath passed by Act of Parliament to the Metropolitan Board of Works. Unlike the commons of Hackney, Tooting Bec and Clapham, Blackheath came to the Metropolitan Board of Works at no expense, because the Earl of Dartmouth agreed to waive his manorial rights, it is held in trust for public benefit under the Metropolitan Commons Act of 1886. It passed to the London County Council in 1889 to the Greater London Council; when the GLC closed in 1986, responsibility was given to the two boroughs of Greenwich and Lewisham, where it remains today. The heath itself is not manorial waste; the freehold is retained by the Manor of Lewisham and the Royal Manor of Greenwich.
The heath's chief natural resource is gravel, the freeholders retain rights over its extraction. In 1608, according to tradition, Blackheath was the place where golf was introduced to England – the Royal Blackheath G
British African-Caribbean people
British African-Caribbean people are residents of the United Kingdom whose ancestors were indigenous to Africa. As immigration to the United Kingdom from Africa increased in the 1990s, the term has sometimes been used to include UK residents of African origin or as a term to define all Black British residents, though the phrase African and Caribbean has more been used to cover such a broader grouping; the most common and traditional use of the term African-Caribbean community is in reference to groups of residents continuing aspects of Caribbean culture and traditions in the UK. The African-Caribbean population in the UK come from the Islands in the British West Indies such as Jamaica and Tobago, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Belize. African-Caribbean communities are present throughout the United Kingdom's major cities, the UK Census identified the largest concentration is in Birmingham followed by London. Manchester, Nottingham, Luton, Leicester, Gloucester, Huddersfield, Sheffield and Cardiff.
In these cities, the community is traditionally associated with a particular area, such as Brixton, Stonebridge, Lewisham, Peckham in London, West Bowling and Heaton in Bradford, Chapeltown in Leeds, St. Pauls in Bristol, or Handsworth and Aston in Birmingham or Moss Side in Manchester, St Ann's in Nottingham and Toxteth in Liverpool. According to the 2011 UK Census, the largest number of African-Caribbean people are now found in Croydon, South London. A glossary published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health with the intention of stimulating debate about the development of better and more internationally applicable terms to describe ethnicity and race, suggests a definition of Afro-Caribbean/African Caribbean as, "A person of African ancestral origins whose family settled in the Caribbean before emigrating and who self identifies, or is identified, as Afro-Caribbean". A survey of the use of terms to describe people of African descent in medical research notes that: "The term African Caribbean/Afro-Caribbean when used in Europe and North America refers to people with African ancestral origins who migrated via the Caribbean islands".
It suggests that use of the term in the UK is inconsistent, with some researchers using it to describe people of Black and of Caribbean descent, whereas others use it to refer to those of either West African or Caribbean background. The British Sociological Association's guidelines on ethnicity and race state that "African-Caribbean has replaced the term Afro-Caribbean to refer to Caribbean peoples and those of Caribbean origin who are of African descent. There is now a view that the term should not be hyphenated and that indeed, the differences between such groups mean the people of African and Caribbean origins should be referred to separately"; the Guardian and Observer style guide prescribes the use of "African-Caribbean" for use in the two newspapers noting "not Afro-Caribbean". Sociologist Peter J. Aspinall argues that the term "Black" has been reclaimed by people of African and Caribbean origin in the UK, noting that in a 1992 health survey, 17 per cent of 722 African–Caribbeans surveyed, including 36 percent of those aged 16 to 29, described themselves as "Black British".
This, he suggests, "appears to be a pragmatic and spontaneous response to the wish to describe an allegiance to a'British' identity and the diminishing importance of ties with a homeland in the Caribbean". From the 16th century to the 19th century, enslaved Africans were shipped by European slave traders to British colonies in the Caribbean and British North America, as well as French, Danish and Portuguese colonies. New World slavery was focused on the extraction of gold and other precious raw materials. Africans were later set to work on the vast cotton and sugar plantations in the Americas for the economic benefit of these colonial powers and their plantocracy. One impact of the American Revolution was the differing historical development of African-American and African-Caribbean people. Whereas the American colonies had established slavery by positive laws, slavery did not exist under English common law and was thus prohibited in England; the much lauded British Afro-Caribbean Ignatius Sancho was among the leading British abolitionists in the 18th century, in 1783 an abolitionist movement spread throughout Britain to end slavery throughout the British Empire, with the poet William Cowper writing in 1785: "We have no slaves at home – Then why abroad?
Slaves cannot breathe in England. They touch our country, their shackles fall. That's noble, bespeaks a nation proud, and jealous of the blessing. Spread it And let it circulate through every vein." There are records of small communities in the ports of Cardiff, Liverpool and South Shields dating back to the mid-18th century. These communities were formed by freed slaves following the abolition of slavery. Typical occupations of the early migrants were coachmen. Prominent African-Caribbean people in Britain during the 19th century include: William Davidson, Cato Street Conspirator Rev. George Cousens, a Jamaican who became minister of Cradley Heath Baptist Church in 1837 Mary Seacole
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created 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 and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K