New Zealand Order of Merit
The New Zealand Order of Merit is an order of merit in New Zealand's honours system. It was established by royal warrant on 30 May 1996 by Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand, "for those persons who in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, contributions or other merits", to recognise outstanding service to the Crown and people of New Zealand in a civil or military capacity. In the order of precedence, the New Zealand Order of Merit ranks after the Order of New Zealand. Prior to 1996 New Zealanders received appointments to various British orders, such as the Order of the Bath, the Order of St Michael and St George, the Order of the British Empire, the Order of the Companions of Honour, as well as the distinction of Knight Bachelor; the change came about after the Prime Minister's Honours Advisory Committee was created "to consider and present options and suggestions on the structure of a New Zealand Royal Honours System in New Zealand, designed to recognise meritorious service and bravery and long service".
The monarch of New Zealand is the Sovereign of the order and the Governor-General is its Chancellor. Appointments are made at five levels: Knight or Dame Grand Companion Knight or Dame Companion Companion Officer Member; the number of Knights and Dames Grand Companion is limited to 30 living people. Additionally, new appointments are limited to 15 Knights or Dames Companion, 40 Companions, 80 Officers and 140 Members per year; as well as the five levels, there are three different types of membership. Ordinary membership is limited to citizens of a Commonwealth realm. "Additional" members, appointed on special occasions, are not counted in the numerical limits. People who are not citizens of a Commonwealth realm are given "Honorary" membership. There is a Secretary and Registrar and a Herald of the Order; the Collar, worn only by the Sovereign and Chancellor, comprises "links of the central medallion of the badge" and "S"-shaped Koru, with the Coat of Arms of New Zealand in centre. Hanging from the Coat of Arms is the badge of the Order.
The Star is an eight-pointed star with each arm bearing a representation of a fern frond, with the Order's badge superimposed in the centre. Grand Companions wear Knight Companions wear a silver star; the Badge for the three highest classes is a gold and white enamel cross with curved edges bearing at its centre the coat of arms of New Zealand within a green enamel ring bearing the motto For Merit Tohu Hiranga, topped by a royal crown. The badge for Officers and Members in silver-gilt and silver respectively. Grand Companions wear the badge on a sash over the right shoulder. Officers and Members wear the badge from a bow on the left shoulder; the ribbon and sash are plain red ochre. Knight/Dames Grand Companion and Knight/Dames Companion are entitled to use the style Sir for males and Dame for females; the order's statutes grant heraldic privileges to members of the first and second level, who are entitled to have the Order's circlet surrounding their shield. Grand Companions are entitled to heraldic supporters.
The Chancellor is entitled to supporters and a representation of the Collar of the Order around his/her shield. Sovereign: The Queen Chancellor and Principal Dame Grand Companion: The Governor-General Knights and Dames Grand Companion:Officials:Two positions, were created in the Statutes of the Order with all appointments published in the New Zealand Gazette. Secretary and Registrar: Michael L. C. Webster Herald: Philip O'Shea From 2000 to 2009, the two highest levels of the Order were Principal Companion and Distinguished Companion, without the appellation of "Sir" or "Dame"; the following contains the names of the small number of members of the grades Principal Companion and Distinguished Companion who chose not to convert their appointment to a Knight or Dame Grand Companion, or Knight or Dame Companion, thus not to accept the respective appellation of "Sir" or "Dame". The majority of those affected chose the aforereferenced appellations. A change to non-titular honours was a recommendation contained within the original report of the 1995 honours committee which prompted the creation of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Titular honours were incorporated into the new system before its implementation in 1996 after the National Party caucus and public debate were split as to whether titles should be retained. There has long been debate in New Zealand regarding the appropriateness of titles; some feel it is no longer appropriate as New Zealand has not been a colony since 1907, to these people titles are out of step with present-day New Zealand. Others feel that titles carry both domestic and international recognition, that awarded on the basis of merit they remain an appropriate recognition of excellence. In April 2000 the new Labour Prime Minister, Helen Clark, announced that knighthoods and damehoods had been abolished and the order's statutes amended. From 2000 to 2009
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate medieval ceremony for appointing a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements; the knights so created were known as "Knights of the Bath". George I "erected the Knights of the Bath into a regular Military Order", he did not revive the Order of the Bath, since it had never existed as an Order, in the sense of a body of knights who were governed by a set of statutes and whose numbers were replenished when vacancies occurred. The Order consists of the Sovereign, the Great Master, three Classes of members: Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross Knight Commander or Dame Commander Companion Members belong to either the Civil or the Military Division. Prior to 1815, the order had Knight Companion, which no longer exists. Recipients of the Order are now senior military officers or senior civil servants. Commonwealth citizens who are not subjects of the Queen and foreign nationals may be made Honorary Members.
The Order of the Bath is the fourth-most senior of the British Orders of Chivalry, after The Most Noble Order of the Garter, The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick. In the Middle Ages, knighthood was conferred with elaborate ceremonies; these involved the knight-to-be taking a bath during which he was instructed in the duties of knighthood by more senior knights. He was put to bed to dry. Clothed in a special robe, he was led with music to the chapel. At dawn he made confession and attended Mass retired to his bed to sleep until it was daylight, he was brought before the King, who after instructing two senior knights to buckle the spurs to the knight-elect's heels, fastened a belt around his waist struck him on the neck, thus making him a knight. It was this accolade, the essential act in creating a knight, a simpler ceremony developed, conferring knighthood by striking or touching the knight-to-be on the shoulder with a sword, or "dubbing" him, as is still done today.
In the early medieval period the difference seems to have been that the full ceremonies were used for men from more prominent families. From the coronation of Henry IV in 1399 the full ceremonies were restricted to major royal occasions such as coronations, investitures of the Prince of Wales or Royal dukes, royal weddings, the knights so created became known as Knights of the Bath. Knights Bachelor continued to be created with the simpler form of ceremony; the last occasion on which Knights of the Bath were created was the coronation of Charles II in 1661. From at least 1625, from the reign of James I, Knights of the Bath were using the motto Tria juncta in uno, wearing as a badge three crowns within a plain gold oval; these were both subsequently adopted by the Order of the Bath. Their symbolism however is not clear. The'three joined in one' may be a reference to the kingdoms of England and either France or Ireland, which were held by English and British monarchs; this would correspond to the three crowns in the badge.
Another explanation of the motto is. Nicolas quotes a source who claims that prior to James I the motto was Tria numina juncta in uno, but from the reign of James I the word numina was dropped and the motto understood to mean Tria juncta in uno; the prime mover in the establishment of the Order of the Bath was John Anstis, Garter King of Arms, England's highest heraldic officer. Sir Anthony Wagner, a recent holder of the office of Garter, wrote of Anstis's motivations: It was Martin Leake's opinion that the trouble and opposition Anstis met with in establishing himself as Garter so embittered him against the heralds that when at last in 1718 he succeeded, he made it his prime object to aggrandise himself and his office at their expense, it is clear at least that he set out to make himself indispensable to the Earl Marshal, not hard, their political principles being congruous and their friendship established, but to Sir Robert Walpole and the Whig ministry, which can by no means have been easy, considering his known attachment to the Pretender and the circumstances under which he came into office...
The main object of Anstis's next move, the revival or institution of the Order of the Bath was that which it in fact secured, of ingratiating him with the all-powerful Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole. The use of honours in the early eighteenth century differed from the modern honours system in which hundreds, if not thousands, of people each year receive honours on the basis of deserving accomplishments; the only honours available at that time were hereditary peerages and baronetcies and the Order of the Garter, none of which were awarded in large numbers The political environment was significantly different from today: The Sovereign still exercised a power to be reckoned with in the eighteenth century. The Court remained the centre of the political w
Order of the Thistle
The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry associated with Scotland. The current version of the Order was founded in 1687 by King James VII of Scotland who asserted that he was reviving an earlier Order; the Order consists of the Sovereign and sixteen Knights and Ladies, as well as certain "extra" knights. The Sovereign alone grants membership of the Order; the Order's primary emblem is the national flower of Scotland. The motto is Nemo me impune lacessit; the same motto appears on the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom for use in Scotland and some pound coins, is the motto of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Scots Guards, The Black Watch of Canada and Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. The patron saint of the Order is St Andrew. Most British orders of chivalry cover the whole United Kingdom, but the three most exalted ones each pertain to one constituent country only; the Order of the Thistle, which pertains to Scotland, is the second-most senior in precedence. Its equivalent in England, The Most Noble Order of the Garter, is the oldest documented order of chivalry in the United Kingdom, dating to the middle fourteenth century.
In 1783 an Irish equivalent, The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, was founded, but has now fallen dormant. The claim that James VII was reviving an earlier Order is not supported by the evidence; the 1687 warrant states that during the 786 battle of Athelstaneford with Æthelstan of East Anglia, the cross of St Andrew appeared in the sky to Achaius, King of Scots. This seems unlikely. An alternative version is that the Order was founded in 809 to commemorate an alliance between Achaius and Emperor Charlemagne, yet another is Robert the Bruce instituted the order after his victory at Bannockburn in 1314. Most historians consider the earliest credible claim to be the founding of the Order by James III, during the fifteenth century, he adopted the thistle as the royal badge, issued coins depicting thistles and conferred membership of the "Order of the Burr or Thissil" on Francis I of France. However, there is no conclusive evidence for this. Writing around 1578, John Lesley refers to the three foreign orders of chivalry carved on the gate of Linlithgow Palace, with James V's ornaments of St Andrew, proper to this nation.
Some Scottish order of chivalry may have existed during the sixteenth century founded by James V and called the Order of St. Andrew, but lapsed by the end of that century. James VII issued letters patent "reviving and restoring the Order of the Thistle to its full glory and magnificency" on 29 May 1687, his intention was to reward Scottish Catholics for their loyalty but the initiative came from John, 1st Earl and 1st Jacobite Duke of Melfort Secretary of State for Scotland. Only eight members out of a possible twelve were appointed. After James was deposed by the 1688 Glorious Revolution and no further appointments were made until his younger daughter Anne did so in 1703, it remains in existence and is used to recognise Scots'who have held public office or contributed to national life.' James, Earl of Perth. When James VII revived the Order, the statutes stated that the Order would continue the ancient number of Knights, described in the preceding warrant as "the Sovereign and twelve Knights-Brethren in allusion to the Blessed Saviour and his Twelve Apostles".
In 1827, George IV augmented the Order to sixteen members. Women were excluded from the Order. From time to time, individuals may be admitted to the Order by special statutes; such members do not count towards the sixteen-member limit. Members of the British Royal Family are admitted through this procedure. King Olav V of Norway, the first foreigner to be admitted to the Order, was admitted
Bernard Freyberg, 1st Baron Freyberg
Lieutenant General Bernard Cyril Freyberg, 1st Baron Freyberg, was a British-born soldier and Victoria Cross recipient, who served as the 7th Governor-General of New Zealand from 1946 to 1952. Freyberg served as an officer in the British Army during the First World War, he took part in the beach landings during the Gallipoli Campaign and was the youngest general in the British Army during the First World War serving on the Western Front, where he was decorated with the Victoria Cross and three Distinguished Service Orders, making him one of the most decorated British Empire soldiers of the First World War. He liked to be in the thick of the action—Winston Churchill called him "the Salamander" due to his ability to pass through fire unharmed. During the Second World War, he commanded the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Battle of Crete, the North African Campaign and the Italian Campaign. Freyberg was involved in the Allied defeat in the Battle of Greece, defeated again as the Allied commander in the Battle of Crete and performed in the North African Campaign commanding the 2nd New Zealand Division, including during the Second Battle of El Alamein.
In Italy, he was defeated again at the Second Battle of Cassino as a corps commander but relieved Padua and Venice and was one of the first to enter Trieste, where he confronted Josip Broz Tito's Partisans. By the end of the Second World War, Freyberg had spent ten and a half years fighting the Germans. Freyberg, born in Richmond, Surrey to James Freyberg and his second wife, Julia was of partial Austrian-German descent, he moved to New Zealand with his parents at the age of two. He attended Wellington College from 1897 to 1904. A strong swimmer, he won the New Zealand 100-yards championship in 1906 and 1910. On 22 May 1911, Freyberg gained formal registration as a dentist, he worked as an assistant dentist in Morrinsville and practised in Hamilton and in Levin. While in Morrinsville he was asked to take up a subalternship in the local Territorial Army unit, but he did not succeed in gaining the King's commission. Freyberg left New Zealand in March 1914. A 1942 Life magazine article claims that Freyberg went to San Francisco and Mexico around this time, was a captain under Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution.
Upon hearing of the outbreak of war in Europe in August 1914, he travelled to Britain via Los Angeles and New York, to earn money to cross the United States and the Atlantic. On the outbreak of the First World War Freyberg went to England and volunteered for service. G. S. Richardson arranged for him to join the 7th “Hood” Battalion of the Royal Naval Brigade, he was on the Belgian front in September 1914. In late 1914 Freyberg met Winston Churchill First Lord of the Admiralty, persuaded him to grant him a Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve commission in the'Hood' Battalion, part of the 2nd Brigade of the newly constituted Royal Naval Division. In April 1915 Freyberg became involved in the Dardanelles campaign. On the night of 24 April, during the initial landings by Allied troops following the failed naval attempt to force the straits by sea, Freyberg volunteered to swim ashore in the Gulf of Saros. Once ashore, he began lighting flares so as to distract the defending Turkish forces from the real landings taking place at Gallipoli.
Despite coming under heavy Turkish fire, he returned safely from this outing and received the Distinguished Service Order. He received serious wounds on several occasions and left the peninsula when his division evacuated in January 1916. In May 1916 Freyberg was transferred to the British Army as a captain in the Queen's Regiment. However, he remained with the'Hood' Battalion as a seconded temporary major and went with them to France. During the final stages of the Battle of the Somme, when commanding a battalion as a temporary lieutenant colonel, he so distinguished himself in the capture of Beaucourt village that he was awarded the Victoria Cross. On 13 November 1916 at Beaucourt-sur-Ancre, after Freyberg's battalion had carried the initial attack through the enemy's front system of trenches, he rallied and re-formed his own much disorganised men and some others, led them on a successful assault of the second objective, during which he suffered two wounds, but remained in command and held his ground throughout the day and the following night.
When reinforced the next morning, he attacked and captured a fortified village, taking 500 prisoners. Although wounded twice more, the second time Freyberg refused to leave the line until he had issued final instructions; the citation for the award, published in the London Gazette in December 1916, describes the events concluding with: The personality and utter contempt of danger on the part of this single Officer enabled the lodgment in the most advanced objective of the Corps to be permanently held, on this point d'appui the line was formed. During his time on the Western Front Freyberg continued to lead by example, his bold leadership had a cost: Freyberg received nine wounds during his service in France, men who served with him in his career said hardly a part of his body did not have scars. Freyberg gained promotion to the rank of temporary brigadier general and took command of the 173rd Brigade, part of the 58th Division, in April 1917, which made him the youngest general officer in the British Army.
He was awarded a Companion of the Order of St George the same year. In September a shell exploding at his feet inflicted the worst of his many wounds; when he resumed
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe, he was heir apparent to the British throne and held the title of Prince of Wales for longer than any of his predecessors. He was heir presumptive to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha until before his marriage he renounced his right to the duchy, which devolved to his younger brother Alfred. During the long reign of his mother, he was excluded from political power, came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite, he travelled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties, represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were popular successes, but despite public approval his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother; as king, Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War.
He reinstituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialised. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries France, for which he was popularly called "Peacemaker", but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor; the Edwardian era, which covered Edward's reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis, resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords. Edward was born at 10:48 in the morning on 9 November 1841 in Buckingham Palace, he was the eldest son and second child of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was christened Albert Edward at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 25 January 1842.
He was named Albert after his father and Edward after his maternal grandfather Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. He was known as Bertie to the royal family throughout his life; as the eldest son of the British sovereign, he was automatically Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay at birth. As a son of Prince Albert, he held the titles of Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke of Saxony, he was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on 8 December 1841, Earl of Dublin on 10 September 1849 or 17 January 1850, a Knight of the Garter on 9 November 1858, a Knight of the Thistle on 24 May 1867. In 1863, he renounced his succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in favour of his younger brother, Prince Alfred. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were determined that their eldest son should have an education that would prepare him to be a model constitutional monarch. At age seven, Edward embarked on a rigorous educational programme devised by Prince Albert, supervised by several tutors.
Unlike his elder sister Victoria, Edward did not excel in his studies. He to no avail. Although Edward was not a diligent student—his true talents were those of charm and tact—Benjamin Disraeli described him as informed, intelligent and of sweet manner. After the completion of his secondary-level studies, his tutor was replaced by a personal governor, Robert Bruce. After an educational trip to Rome, undertaken in the first few months of 1859, he spent the summer of that year studying at the University of Edinburgh under, among others, the chemist Lyon Playfair. In October, he matriculated as an undergraduate at Oxford. Now released from the educational strictures imposed by his parents, he enjoyed studying for the first time and performed satisfactorily in examinations. In 1861, he transferred to Trinity College, where he was tutored in history by Charles Kingsley, Regius Professor of Modern History. Kingsley's efforts brought forth the best academic performances of Edward's life, Edward looked forward to his lectures.
In 1860, Edward undertook the first tour of North America by a Prince of Wales. His genial good humour and confident bonhomie made the tour a great success, he inaugurated the Victoria Bridge, across the St Lawrence River, laid the cornerstone of Parliament Hill, Ottawa. He watched Charles Blondin traverse Niagara Falls by highwire, stayed for three days with President James Buchanan at the White House. Buchanan accompanied the Prince to Mount Vernon, to pay his respects at the tomb of George Washington. Vast crowds greeted him everywhere, he met Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Prayers for the royal family were said in Trinity Church, New York, for the first time since 1776; the four-month tour throughout Canada and the United States boosted Edward's confidence and self-esteem, had many diplomatic benefits for Great Britain. Edward had hoped to pursue a career in the British Army, but his mother vetoed an active military career, he had been gazetted colonel on 9 November 1858—to his disappointment, as he had wanted to earn his commission by examination.
In September 1861, Edward was sent to Germany to watch military manoeuvres, but in order to engineer a meeting between him and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the eldest daughter of Prince Christian of Denmark and his wife Louise. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had decided that Edward and Alexandra should marry, they met at Speyer on 24 September under the auspices of his elder sister, who ha
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala
House of Lords
The House of Lords known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Unlike the elected House of Commons, members of the House of Lords are appointed; the membership of the House of Lords is drawn from the peerage and is made up of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. The Lords Spiritual are 26 bishops in the established Church of England. Of the Lords Temporal, the majority are life peers who are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, or on the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. However, they include some hereditary peers including four dukes. Membership was once an entitlement of all hereditary peers, other than those in the peerage of Ireland, but under the House of Lords Act 1999, the right to membership was restricted to 92 hereditary peers.
Since 2008, only one of them is female. While the House of Commons has a defined number of seats membership, the number of members in the House of Lords is not fixed; the House of Lords is the only upper house of any bicameral parliament in the world to be larger than its lower house. The House of Lords scrutinises bills, it reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions. In this capacity, the House of Lords acts as a check on the House of Commons, independent from the electoral process. Bills can be introduced into the House of Commons. While members of the Lords may take on roles as government ministers, high-ranking officials such as cabinet ministers are drawn from the Commons; the House of Lords has its own support services, separate from the Commons, including the House of Lords Library. The Queen's Speech is delivered in the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament.
In addition to its role as the upper house, until the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2009, the House of Lords, through the Law Lords, acted as the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom judicial system. The House has a Church of England role, in that Church Measures must be tabled within the House by the Lords Spiritual. Today's Parliament of the United Kingdom descends, in practice, from the Parliament of England, though the Treaty of Union of 1706 and the Acts of Union that ratified the Treaty in 1707 and created a new Parliament of Great Britain to replace the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland; this new parliament was, in effect, the continuation of the Parliament of England with the addition of 45 MPs and 16 Peers to represent Scotland. The House of Lords developed from the "Great Council"; this royal council came to be composed of ecclesiastics and representatives of the counties of England and Wales. The first English Parliament is considered to be the "Model Parliament", which included archbishops, abbots, earls and representatives of the shires and boroughs of it.
The power of Parliament grew fluctuating as the strength of the monarchy grew or declined. For example, during much of the reign of Edward II, the nobility was supreme, the Crown weak, the shire and borough representatives powerless. In 1569, the authority of Parliament was for the first time recognised not by custom or royal charter, but by an authoritative statute, passed by Parliament itself. During the reign of Edward II's successor, Edward III, Parliament separated into two distinct chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords; the authority of Parliament continued to grow, during the early 15th century both Houses exercised powers to an extent not seen before. The Lords were far more powerful than the Commons because of the great influence of the great landowners and the prelates of the realm; the power of the nobility declined during the civil wars of the late 15th century, known as the Wars of the Roses. Much of the nobility was killed on the battlefield or executed for participation in the war, many aristocratic estates were lost to the Crown.
Moreover, feudalism was dying, the feudal armies controlled by the barons became obsolete. Henry VII established the supremacy of the monarch, symbolised by the "Crown Imperial"; the domination of the Sovereign continued to grow during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs in the 16th century. The Crown was at the height of its power during the reign of Henry VIII; the House of Lords remained more powerful than the House of Commons, but the Lower House continued to grow in influence, reaching a zenith in relation to the House of Lords during the middle 17th century. Conflicts between the King and the Parliament led to the English Civil War during the 1640s. In 1649, after the defeat and execution of King Charles I, the Commonwealth of England was declared, but the nation was under the overall control of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, S