Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands; the unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government, based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover; the early years of the unified kingdom were marked by Jacobite risings which ended in defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746.
In 1763, victory in the Seven Years' War led to the dominance of the British Empire, to become the foremost global power for over a century and grew to become the largest empire in history. The Kingdom of Great Britain was replaced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801 with the Acts of Union 1800; the name Britain descends from the Latin name for the island of Great Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, the land of the Britons via the Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The term Great Britain was first used in 1474; the use of the word "Great" before "Britain" originates in the French language, which uses Bretagne for both Britain and Brittany. French therefore distinguishes between the two by calling Britain la Grande Bretagne, a distinction, transferred into English; the Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union state that England and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", as such "Great Britain" was the official name of the state, as well as being used in titles such as "Parliament of Great Britain".
Both the Acts and the Treaty describe the country as "One Kingdom" and a "United Kingdom", which has led some much publications into the error of treating the "United Kingdom" as a name before it came into being in 1801. The websites of the Scottish Parliament, the BBC, others, including the Historical Association, refer to the state created on 1 May 1707 as the United Kingdom of Great Britain; the term United Kingdom was sometimes used during the 18th century to describe the state, but was not its name. The kingdoms of England and Scotland, both in existence from the 9th century, were separate states until 1707. However, they had come into a personal union in 1603, when James VI of Scotland became king of England under the name of James I; this Union of the Crowns under the House of Stuart meant that the whole of the island of Great Britain was now ruled by a single monarch, who by virtue of holding the English crown ruled over the Kingdom of Ireland. Each of the three kingdoms maintained laws.
Various smaller islands were in the king's domain, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This disposition changed when the Acts of Union 1707 came into force, with a single unified Crown of Great Britain and a single unified parliament. Ireland remained formally separate, with its own parliament, until the Acts of Union 1800; the Union of 1707 provided for a Protestant-only succession to the throne in accordance with the English Act of Settlement of 1701. The Act of Settlement required that the heir to the English throne be a descendant of the Electress Sophia of Hanover and not be a Catholic. Legislative power was vested in the Parliament of Great Britain, which replaced both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. In practice it was a continuation of the English parliament, sitting at the same location in Westminster, expanded to include representation from Scotland; as with the former Parliament of England and the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of Great Britain was formally constituted of three elements: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Crown.
The right of the English peerage to sit in the House of Lords remained unchanged, while the disproportionately large Scottish peerage was permitted to send only 16 representative peers, elected from amongst their number for the life of each parliament. The members of the former English House of Commons continued as members of the British House of Commons, but as a reflection of the relative tax bases of the two countries the number of Scottish representatives was reduced to 45. Newly created peers in the Peerage of Great Britain were given the automatic right to sit in the Lords. Despite the end of a separate parliament for Scotland, it retained its own laws and system of courts, As its own established Presbyterian Church, control over its own schools; the social structure was hierarchical, the same elite remain in control after 1707. Scotland continued to have its own excellent universities, with the strong intellectual community in Edinburgh, The Scottish Enlightenment had a major impact on British and European thinking.
As a result of Poynings' Law of 1495, the Parliament of Ireland was subordinate to the Parliament of England, after 1707 to the Parliament of Great Britain. The Westminster parliament's Declaratory Act 1719 (also called the Dependency of Ireland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom, having financed the European coalition that defeated France during the Napoleonic Wars, developed a large Royal Navy that enabled the British Empire to become the foremost world power for the next century; the Crimean War with Russia and the Boer wars were small operations in a peaceful century. Rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the state's formation continued up until the mid-19th century; the Great Irish Famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the mid-19th century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland and increased calls for Irish land reform. The 19th century was an era of rapid economic modernisation and growth of industry and finance, in which Britain dominated the world economy. Outward migration was heavy to the United States; the empire was expanded into much of South Asia. The Colonial Office and India Office ruled through a small number of administrators who managed the units of the empire locally, while democratic institutions began to develop.
British India, by far the most important overseas possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In overseas policy, the central policy was free trade, which enabled British and Irish financiers and merchants to operate in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. London formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with Japan and Russia, moved closer to the United States. Growing desire for Irish self-governance led to the Irish War of Independence, which resulted in most of Ireland seceding from the Union and forming the Irish Free State in 1922. Northern Ireland remained part of the Union, the state was renamed to the current "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" in 1927; the modern-day United Kingdom is the same country as the one from this period—a direct continuation of what remained after the secession—not an new successor state. A brief period of limited independence for Ireland came to an end following the Irish Rebellion of 1798, which occurred during the British war with revolutionary France.
The British government's fear of an independent Ireland siding against them with the French resulted in the decision to unite the two countries. This was brought about by legislation in the parliaments of both kingdoms and came into effect on 1 January 1801; the Irish had been led to believe by the British that their loss of legislative independence would be compensated with Catholic emancipation, that is, by the removal of civil disabilities placed upon Roman Catholics in both Great Britain and Ireland. However, King George III was bitterly opposed to any such Emancipation and succeeded in defeating his government's attempts to introduce it. During the War of the Second Coalition, Britain occupied most of the French and Dutch overseas possessions, the Netherlands having become a satellite state of France in 1796, but tropical diseases claimed the lives of over 40,000 troops; when the Treaty of Amiens ended the war, Britain agreed to return most of the territories it had seized. The peace settlement was in effect only a ceasefire, Napoleon continued to provoke the British by attempting a trade embargo on the country and by occupying the city of Hanover, capital of the Electorate, a German-speaking duchy, in a personal union with the United Kingdom.
In May 1803, war was declared again. Napoleon's plans to invade Great Britain failed, chiefly due to the inferiority of his navy, in 1805 a Royal Navy fleet led by Nelson decisively defeated the French and Spanish at Trafalgar, the last significant naval action of the Napoleonic Wars. In 1806, Napoleon issued the series of Berlin Decrees, which brought into effect the Continental System; this policy aimed to eliminate the threat from the British by closing French-controlled territory to foreign trade. The British Army remained a minimal threat to France. Although the Royal Navy disrupted France's extra-continental trade—both by seizing and threatening French shipping and by seizing French colonial possessions—it could do nothing about France's trade with the major continental economies and posed little threat to French territory in Europe. France's population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that of the British Isles, but it was smaller in terms of industry, mercantile marine and naval strength.
Napoleon expected that cutting Britain off from the European mainland would end its economic hegemony. On the contrary Britain possessed the greatest industrial capacity in the world, its mastery of the seas allowed it to build up considerable economic strength through trade to its possessions and the United States; the Spanish uprising in 1808 at last permitted Britain to gain a foothold on the Continent. The Duke of Wellington pushed the French out of Spain, in early 1814, as Napoleon was being driven back in the east by the Prussians and Russians, Wellington invaded southern France. After Napoleon's surrender and exile to the island of Elba, peace appeared to have returned. Napoleon reappeared in 1815; the Allies united and the armies of Wellington and Blücher defeated Napoleon once and for all at Waterloo. To defeat France, Britain put heavy pressure on the Americans
Hansard is the traditional name of the transcripts of Parliamentary Debates in Britain and many Commonwealth countries. It is named after Thomas Curson Hansard, a London printer and publisher, the first official printer to the parliament at Westminster. Though the history of the Hansard began in the British parliament, each of Britain's colonies developed a separate and distinctive history. Before 1771, the British Parliament had long been a secretive body; the official record of the actions of the House was publicly available, but there was no record of the debates. The publication of remarks made in the House became a breach of Parliamentary privilege, punishable by the two Houses of Parliament; as the populace became interested in parliamentary debates, more independent newspapers began publishing unofficial accounts of them. The many penalties implemented by the government, including fines, dismissal and investigations, are reflective of "the difficulties faced by independent newspapermen who took an interest in the development of Upper Canada, who, in varying degrees, attempted to educate the populace to the shortcomings of their rulers".
Several editors used the device of veiling parliamentary debates as debates of fictitious societies or bodies. The names under which parliamentary debates were published include Proceedings of the Lower Room of the Robin Hood Society and Debates of the Senate of Magna Lilliputia; the Senate of Magna Lilliputia was printed in Edward Cave's The Gentleman's Magazine, first published in 1732. The names of the speakers were "filleted". In 1771 Brass Crosby, Lord Mayor of the City of London, had brought before him a printer by the name of John Miller who dared publish reports of Parliamentary proceedings, he was subsequently ordered to appear before the House to explain his actions. Crosby was committed to the Tower of London, but when he was brought to trial, several judges refused to hear the case and after protests from the public, Crosby was released. Parliament ceased to punish the publishing of its debates as harshly due to the campaigns of John Wilkes on behalf of free speech. There began several attempts to publish reports of debates.
Among the early successes, the Parliamentary Register published by John Almon and John Debrett began in 1775 and ran until 1813. William Cobbett, a noted radical and publisher, began publishing Parliamentary Debates as a supplement to his Political Register in 1802 extending his reach back with the Parliamentary History. Cobbett's avocation for the freedom of the press was punished by the British Government. On June 5, 1810 William Cobbett stood trial for seditious libel for an article he wrote against the British Government, published by Thomas Curson Hansard. Cobbett was found "guilty, upon the fullest and most satisfactory evidence"; the court sentence read: "The court do adjudge that you, William Cobbett pay to our Lord the King a fine of £1000. The sentence was described by J. C. Trewin as "vindictive"; the Court argued that Thomas Curson Hansard, who had "seen the copy before it was printed, ought not to have suffered it to have been printed at all" and was sentenced to three months imprisonment in the King's Bench Prison.
Cobbett's reports were printed by Thomas Curson Hansard from 1809. Cobbett's Parliamentary Debates became Hansard Parliamentary Debates, "abbreviated over time to the now familiar Hansard". From 1829 the name "Hansard" appeared on the title page of each issue. Neither Cobbett nor Hansard employed anyone to take down notes of the debates, which were taken from a multiplicity of sources in the morning newspapers. For this reason, early editions of Hansard are not to be relied upon as a guide to everything discussed in Parliament. Hansard outlasted competitors including Almon and Debrett, the Mirror of Parliament published by J. H. Barrow from 1828 to 1843; the last attempt at a commercial rival was The Times. In 1878 a subsidy was granted at that point reporters were employed. Despite hiring contract reporters there were still widespread complaints about the accuracy of the debate reports. In 1889 Henry Hansard, the son of Thomas Hansard, broke the family connection with the debates; the Hansard of today, a comprehensive account of every speech, began in 1909 when Parliament took over the publication and established its own staff of official Hansard reporters.
At the same time the decision was made to publish debates of the two houses in separate volumes, to change the front cover from orange-red to light blue. A larger page format was introduced with new technology in 1980. Hansard is not a word-for-word transcript of debates in Parliament, its terms of reference are those set by a House of Commons Select Committee in 1893, as being a report which, though not verbatim, is the verbatim report with repetitions and redundancies omitted and with obvious mistak
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, domestically as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, the House of Commons; the two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London. The House of Lords includes two different types of members: the Lords Spiritual, consisting of the most senior bishops of the Church of England, the Lords Temporal, consisting of life peers, appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister, of 92 hereditary peers, sitting either by virtue of holding a royal office, or by being elected by their fellow hereditary peers.
Prior to the opening of the Supreme Court in October 2009, the House of Lords performed a judicial role through the Law Lords. The House of Commons is an elected chamber with elections to 650 single member constituencies held at least every five years under the first-past-the-post system; the two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Palace of Westminster in London. By constitutional convention, all government ministers, including the Prime Minister, are members of the House of Commons or, less the House of Lords and are thereby accountable to the respective branches of the legislature. Most cabinet ministers are from the Commons, whilst junior ministers can be from either House. However, the Leader of the House of Lords must be a peer; the Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union by Acts of Union passed by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, both Acts of Union stating, "That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same Parliament to be styled The Parliament of Great Britain".
At the start of the 19th century, Parliament was further enlarged by Acts of Union ratified by the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland that abolished the latter and added 100 Irish MPs and 32 Lords to the former to create the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 formally amended the name to the "Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", five years after the secession of the Irish Free State in 1922. With the global expansion of the British Empire, the UK Parliament has shaped the political systems of many countries as ex-colonies and so it has been called the "Mother of Parliaments". However, John Bright – who coined the epithet – used it in reference to the political culture of "England" rather than just the parliamentary system. In theory, the UK's supreme legislative power is vested in the Crown-in-Parliament. However, the Crown acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the powers of the House of Lords are limited to only delaying legislation.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was created on 1 January 1801, by the merger of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland under the Acts of Union 1800. The principle of ministerial responsibility to the lower House did not develop until the 19th century—the House of Lords was superior to the House of Commons both in theory and in practice. Members of the House of Commons were elected in an antiquated electoral system, under which constituencies of vastly different sizes existed. Thus, the borough of Old Sarum, with seven voters, could elect two members, as could the borough of Dunwich, which had completely disappeared into the sea due to land erosion. Many small constituencies, known as pocket or rotten boroughs, were controlled by members of the House of Lords, who could ensure the election of their relatives or supporters. During the reforms of the 19th century, beginning with the Reform Act 1832, the electoral system for the House of Commons was progressively regularised.
No longer dependent on the Lords for their seats, MPs grew more assertive. The supremacy of the British House of Commons was reaffirmed in the early 20th century. In 1909, the Commons passed the so-called "People's Budget", which made numerous changes to the taxation system which were detrimental to wealthy landowners; the House of Lords, which consisted of powerful landowners, rejected the Budget. On the basis of the Budget's popularity and the Lords' consequent unpopularity, the Liberal Party narrowly won two general elections in 1910. Using the result as a mandate, the Liberal Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith, introduced the Parliament Bill, which sought to restrict the powers of the House of Lords; when the Lords refused to pass the bill, Asquith countered with a promise extracted from the King in secret before the second general election of 1910 and requested the creation of several hundred Liberal peers, so as to erase the Conservative majority in the House of Lords. In the face of such a threat, the House of Lords narrowly passed the bill.
The Parliament Act 1911, as it became, prevented the Lords from blocking a money bill, allowed them to delay any other bill for a maximum of three sessions, after which it could become law over their objections. However, regardless of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, t
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth
Succession to the British throne
Succession to the British throne is determined by descent, sex and religion. Under common law, the Crown is inherited by a sovereign's children or by a childless sovereign's nearest collateral line; the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701 restrict succession to the throne to the legitimate Protestant descendants of Sophia of Hanover who are in "communion with the Church of England". Spouses of Roman Catholics were disqualified from 1689 until the law was amended in 2015. Protestant descendants of those excluded for being Roman Catholics are eligible. Queen Elizabeth II is the sovereign, her heir apparent is her eldest son, Prince of Wales. Next in line after him is Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, the Prince of Wales's elder son. Third in line is Prince George, the eldest child of the Duke of Cambridge, followed by his sister, Princess Charlotte and younger brother, Prince Louis. Sixth in line is Prince Duke of Sussex, the younger son of the Prince of Wales. Under the Perth Agreement, which came into effect in 2015, only the first six in line of succession require the sovereign's consent before they marry.
The first four individuals in the line of succession who are over 21, the sovereign's consort, may be appointed Counsellors of State. Counsellors of State perform some of the sovereign's duties in the United Kingdom while he or she is out of the country or temporarily incapacitated. Otherwise, individuals in the line of succession need not have specific official roles; the United Kingdom is one of the 16 Commonwealth realms. Each of those countries has the same order of succession. In 2011, the prime ministers of the realms agreed unanimously to adopt a common approach to amending the rules on the succession to their respective Crowns so that absolute primogeniture would apply for persons born after the date of the agreement, instead of male-preference primogeniture, the ban on marriages to Roman Catholics would be lifted, but the monarch would still need to be in communion with the Church of England. After the necessary legislation had been enacted in accordance with each realm's constitution, the changes took effect on 26 March 2015.
No official, complete version of the line of succession is maintained. The exact number, in remoter collateral lines, of the people who would be eligible is uncertain. In 2001, American genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner compiled a list of 4,973 living descendants of the Electress Sophia in order of succession, but did so disregarding Roman Catholic status; when updated in January 2011, the number was 5,753. The annotated list below covers the first part of this line of succession, being limited to descendants of the sons of George V; the order of the first seventeen numbered in the list is given on the official website of the British Monarchy. People named in italics are unnumbered either because they are deceased or because sources report them to be excluded from the succession. In 1485, Henry Tudor, a female-line descendant of a legitimated branch of the royal house of Lancaster, the House of Beaufort, assumed the English crown as Henry VII, after defeating Richard III, killed at the battle of Bosworth when leading a charge against Henry's standard.
Richard was the last king of the House of York, the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. Henry declared himself king retroactively from 21 August 1485, the day before his victory over Richard at Bosworth Field, caused Richard's Titulus Regius to be repealed and expunged from the Rolls of Parliament. After Henry's coronation in London in October that year, his first parliament, summoned to meet at Westminster in November, enacted that "the inheritance of the crown should be, rest and abide in the most royal person of the sovereign lord, King Henry VII, the heirs of his body lawfully coming."Henry VII was followed by his son, Henry VIII. Though his father descended from the Lancastrians, Henry VIII could claim the throne through the Yorkist line, as his mother Elizabeth was the sister and heiress of Edward V. In 1542 Henry assumed the title King of Ireland. Henry VIII's numerous marriages led to several complications over succession. Henry VIII was first married by whom he had a daughter named Mary.
His second marriage, to Anne Boleyn, resulted in a daughter named Elizabeth. Henry VIII had Edward, by his third wife, Jane Seymour. An Act of Parliament passed in 1533 declared Mary illegitimate. Though the two remained illegitimate, an Act of Parliament passed in 1544 allowed reinserting them, providing further "that the King should and might give, limit, appoint or dispose the said imperial Crown and the other premises … by letters patent or last will in writing." Mary and Elizabeth, under Henry VIII's will, were to be followed by descendants of the King's deceased sister Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk. This will excluded from the succession the descendants of Henry's eldest sister Margaret Tudor, who were the rulers of Scotland; when Henry VIII died in 1547, the young Edward succeeded him, becoming Edward VI. Edward VI was the first Protestant Sovereign to succeed to the rule of England, he attempted to divert the course of succession in his will to prevent his Catholic half-s
Hanged, drawn and quartered
To be hanged and quartered was from 1352 a statutory penalty in England for men convicted of high treason, although the ritual was first recorded during the reign of King Henry III. A convicted traitor was fastened to a hurdle, or wooden panel, drawn by horse to the place of execution, where he was hanged, disembowelled and quartered; the traitor's remains were displayed in prominent places across the country, such as London Bridge. For reasons of public decency, women convicted of high treason were instead burned at the stake; the severity of the sentence was measured against the seriousness of the crime. As an attack on the monarch's authority, high treason was considered a deplorable act demanding the most extreme form of punishment. Although some convicts had their sentences modified and suffered a less ignominious end, over a period of several hundred years many men found guilty of high treason were subjected to the law's ultimate sanction, they included many English Catholic priests executed during the Elizabethan era, several of the regicides involved in the 1649 execution of Charles I.
Although the Act of Parliament defining high treason remains on the United Kingdom's statute books, during a long period of 19th-century legal reform the sentence of hanging and quartering was changed to drawing, hanging until dead, posthumous beheading and quartering, before being abolished in England in 1870. The death penalty for treason was abolished in 1998. During the High Middle Ages those in England guilty of treason were punished in a variety of ways, including drawing and hanging. In the 13th century other, more brutal penalties were introduced, such as disembowelling, burning and quartering; the 13th-century English chronicler Matthew Paris described how in 1238 "a certain man at arms, a man of some education" attempted to kill King Henry III. His account records in gruesome detail how the would-be assassin was executed: "dragged asunder beheaded, his body divided into three parts, he was sent by William de Marisco, an outlaw who some years earlier had killed a man under royal protection before fleeing to Lundy Island.
De Marisco was captured in 1242 and on Henry's order dragged from Westminster to the Tower of London to be executed. There he was hanged from a gibbet until dead, his corpse was disembowelled, his entrails burned, his body quartered and the parts distributed to cities across the country. The punishment is more recorded during Edward I's reign; the Welsh Prince Dafydd ap Gruffydd became the first nobleman in England and Wales to be hanged and quartered after he turned against the king and proclaimed himself Prince of Wales and Lord of Snowdon. Dafydd's rebellion infuriated Edward so much. Therefore, following his capture and trial in 1283, for his betrayal he was drawn by horse to his place of execution. For killing English nobles he was hanged alive. For killing those nobles at Easter he was eviscerated and his entrails burned. For conspiring to kill the king in various parts of the realm, his body was quartered and the parts sent across the country. A similar fate was suffered by the Scottish leader Sir William Wallace.
Captured and tried in 1305, he was forced to wear a crown of laurel leaves and was drawn to Smithfield, where he was hanged and beheaded. His entrails were burned and his corpse quartered, his head was set on London Bridge and the quarters sent to Newcastle, Berwick and Perth. These and other executions, such as those of Andrew Harclay, 1st Earl of Carlisle, Hugh Despenser the Younger, which each occurred during King Edward II's reign, happened when acts of treason in England, their punishments, were not defined in common law. Treason was based on an allegiance to the sovereign from all subjects aged 14 or over and it remained for the king and his judges to determine whether that allegiance had been broken. Edward III's justices had offered somewhat over-zealous interpretations of what activities constituted treason, "calling felonies treasons and afforcing indictments by talk of accroachment of the royal power", prompting parliamentary demands to clarify the law. Edward therefore introduced the Treason Act 1351.
It was enacted at a time in English history when a monarch's right to rule was indisputable and was therefore written principally to protect the throne and sovereign. The new law offered a narrower definition of treason than had existed before and split the old feudal offence into two classes. Petty treason referred to the killing of a master by his servant, a husband by his wife, or a prelate by his clergyman. Men guilty of petty treason were hanged, whereas women were burned. High treason was the most egregious offence. Attempts to undermine the king's authority were viewed with as much seriousness as if the accused had attacked him which itself would be an assault on his status as sovereign and a direct threat to his right to govern; as this might undermine the state, retribution was considered an absolute necessity and the crime deserving of the ultimate punishment. The practical difference between the two offences therefore was in the consequence of being convicted; the Act declared that a person ha