St Mary Abbots
St Mary Abbots is a church located on Kensington High Street and the corner of Kensington Church Street in London W8. The present church structure was built in 1872 and designed by the celebrated architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, combining neo-Gothic and early-English styles; this edifice remains noted for having the tallest spire in London and is the latest in a series on the site since the beginning of the 12th century. The church is listed Grade II* on the National Heritage List for England. Sir Aubrey de Vere was a Norman knight, rewarded with the manor of Kensington, among other estates, after the successful Norman Conquest. Around 1100, his eldest son, was taken ill and cared for by Faritius, abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of St Mary at Abingdon. After a period of remission, Godfrey de Vere died in 1106 aged about 19; the de Vere family's gratitude to the abbey for their son's care was recognised by its bequest of land 270 acres. In 1262 the abbey founded a parish in Kensington, dedicated to St Mary.
The epithet of Abbots is deemed to derive from its link with the ancient Abingdon Abbey rather than that subsequently with the diocese of the Bishop of London. However, this led to a dispute with the bishop and legal action followed in the diocesan consistory court; this resulted in the patronage of the church passing to the bishop in perpetuity but rights over the surrounding land remaining with the abbey. The succession of vicars is recorded in a direct line back to this foundation in 1262. In 1370 the Norman church was rebuilt; when William III relocated the Royal Court to Kensington Palace the area became fashionable rendering the medieval church too small, thus it was demolished at the end of the 17th century and replaced by a Late Renaissance-style building. This in turn proved too small. Around 1860 the vicar, Archdeacon William Sinclair, launched a campaign for the building of a striking new church; the architect George Gilbert Scott was engaged and recommended the demolition of the existing church to take advantage of the site at the road junction.
St Mary Abbot's design is certainly influenced by Scott's earlier work on Dunblane Cathedral - its west front's tall window and carved tympanum are similar to those in the Cathedral. The 278 ft high spire is influenced by that of St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol; the present church retains many fittings from the earlier churches funeral monuments from the mid-17th century onwards. In June 2015, the church launched a major fundraising appeal, looking to raise around £7.2m, to be spent on restoring the church and improving it as a community hub. The tower holds a ring of ten bells hung for change ringing. Five of these bells, the fourth, sixth and ninth of the current ring date from 1772 and were cast by Thomas Janaway; the other five, the treble, third and tenor were cast in 1879 by John Warner & Sons. The church has an associated primary school in its churchyard, founded in 1707 as the Charity School. Previous buildings for the school where designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor in 1711, but demolished to make way for a town hall.
The present buildings date from 1875 and are notable for the painted stone statues of a boy and girl by Thomas Eustace, now on the north face of the school. The school maintains close connections with the Church of England. Canon Donald Allchin, served his curacy here from 1956 to 1960 Joseph Addison David Cameron George Canning Tennessee Claflin Michael Gove Adrian Hardy Haworth P. D. James John Lockwood Kipling and Alice Kipling, parents of Rudyard Kipling married at the church in 1865 Thomas Babington Macaulay Sir Isaac Newton Beatrix Potter William Thackeray William Wilberforce Diana, Princess of Wales – in 1997 the church became a focus for mourners. Allchin, A. M.. St. Mary Abbots, Kensington: a brief history and guide. Favil Press. Official website www.london.anglican.org
The Central Criminal Court of England and Wales is a court in London and one of a number of buildings housing the Crown Court. Part of the present building stands on the site of the medieval Newgate gaol, on a road named Old Bailey that follows the line of the City of London's fortified wall, which runs from Ludgate Hill to the junction of Newgate Street and Holborn Viaduct; the Old Bailey has been housed in several structures near this location since the sixteenth century, its present building dates from 1902. The Crown Court sitting at the Central Criminal Court deals with major criminal cases from within Greater London and in exceptional cases, from other parts of England and Wales. Trials at the Old Bailey, as at other courts, are open to the public; the court originated as the sessions house of the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of the City of London and of Middlesex. The original medieval court was first mentioned in 1585, it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and rebuilt in 1674, with the court open to the weather to prevent the spread of disease.
In 1734, it was refronted, enclosing the court and reducing the influence of spectators: this led to outbreaks of typhus, notably in 1750 when 60 people died, including the Lord Mayor and two judges. It was rebuilt again in 1774 and a second courtroom was added in 1824. Over 100,000 criminal trials were carried out at the Old Bailey between 1674 and 1834. In 1834, it was renamed as the Central Criminal Court and its jurisdiction extended beyond that of London and Middlesex to the whole of the English jurisdiction for trials of major cases, her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service manages the courts and administers the trials but the building itself is owned by the City of London Corporation, which finances the building, the running of it, the staff and the maintenance out of their own resources. The court was intended as the site where only criminals accused of crimes committed in the City and Middlesex were tried. However, in 1856, there was public revulsion at the accusations against the doctor William Palmer that he was a poisoner and murderer.
This led to fears. The Central Criminal Court Act 1856 was passed to enable his trial to be held at the Old Bailey. In the 19th century, the Old Bailey was a courtroom adjacent to Newgate Prison. Hangings were a public spectacle in the street outside until May 1868; the condemned would be led along Dead Man's Walk between the prison and the court, many were buried in the walk itself. Large, riotous crowds would gather and pelt the condemned with rotten fruit and vegetables and stones. In 1807, 28 people were crushed to death. A secret tunnel was subsequently created between the prison and St Sepulchre's church opposite, to allow the chaplain to minister to the condemned man without having to force his way through the crowds; the present Old Bailey building dates from 1902 but it was opened on 27 February 1907. It was designed by E. W. Mountford and built on the site of the infamous Newgate Prison, demolished to allow the court buildings to be constructed. Above the main entrance is inscribed the admonition: "Defend the Children of the Poor & Punish the Wrongdoer".
King Edward VII opened the courthouse. On the dome above the court stands a bronze statue of Lady Justice, executed by the British sculptor F. W. Pomeroy, she holds the scales of justice in her left. The statue is popularly supposed to show blind Justice, the figure is not blindfolded: the courthouse brochures explain that this is because Lady Justice was not blindfolded, because her "maidenly form" is supposed to guarantee her impartiality which renders the blindfold redundant. During the Blitz of World War II, the Old Bailey was bombed and damaged, but subsequent reconstruction work restored most of it in the early 1950s. In 1952, the restored interior of the Grand Hall of the Central Criminal Court was once again open; the interior of the Great Hall is decorated with paintings commemorating the Blitz, as well as quasi-historical scenes of St Paul's Cathedral with nobles outside. Running around the entire hall are a series of axioms, some of biblical reference, they read: "The law of the wise is a fountain of life" "The welfare of the people is supreme" "Right lives by law and law subsists by power" "Poise the cause in justice's equal scales" "Moses gave unto the people the laws of God" "London shall have all its ancient rights"The Great Hall is decorated with many busts and statues, chiefly of British monarchs, but of legal figures, those who achieved renown by campaigning for improvement in prison conditions in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
This part of the building houses the shorthand-writers' offices. The lower level hosts a minor exhibition on the history of the Old Bailey and Newgate featuring historical prison artefacts. In 1973, the Belfast Brigade of the Provisional IRA exploded a car bomb in the street outside the courts, killing one and injuring 200 people. A shard of glass is preserved as a reminder, embedded in the wall at the top of the main stairs. Between 1968 and 1972, a new South Block, designed by the architects Donald McMorran and George Whitby, was built to accommodate more modern courts. There are presently 18 courts in use. Court 19 is now used variously as a press overflow facility, as a registra
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
West Norwood Cemetery
West Norwood Cemetery is a 40-acre cemetery in West Norwood in London, England. It was known as the South Metropolitan Cemetery. One of the first private landscaped cemeteries in London, it is one of the "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of London, is a site of major historical and ecological interest, its grounds are a mixture of historic monumental cemetery and modern lawn cemetery, but it has catacombs, cremation plots and a columbarium for cinerary ashes. The cemetery's crematorium still operates, cremation plots are still available, but all the conventional burial plots have been allocated and hence it is closed to new burials pending further agreement under current burial legislation; the Main gate is located on Norwood Road near the junction with Robson Road, where Norwood Road forks into Norwood High Street and Knights' Hill. It is in the London Borough of Lambeth; the local authority is the current owner. The site, with some of its neighbouring streets, forms part of a conservation area.
Believed by some to hold the finest collection of sepulchral monuments in London, the cemetery features 69 Grade II and Grade II* listed buildings and structures, including a dedicated Greek Orthodox necropolis with 19 listed mausoleums and monuments. It is one of the Magnificent Seven metropolitan lawn cemeteries of the Victorian era, its extensive Gothic Revival architecture qualifies it as one of the significant cemeteries in Europe. Lambeth Council have recognised it as a site of nature conservation value within the Borough in addition to its outstanding value as a site of national historic and cultural interest. English Heritage have placed it on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, describing it as the first cemetery to be designed in the Gothic Revival style; the entrance gate is set within railings, painted a accurate'spice' brown. Railings and walls were kept high to dispel fears of body snatchers. There is a second entrance nearby kept locked, in Norwood High Street, close to West Norwood railway station.
It is a mixture of cleared and mature landscaping, includes Anglican and unconsecrated burial grounds, a crematorium, memorial gardens, recordia, chapel and catacombs on top of a rolling hill, with views across South London. The larger plots on the central higher ground and by the main drives were sold as prime locations and are the site of some of the grander Anglican monuments and mausolea, while the Greek Orthodox necropolis in the North East contains a high density of neoclassical architecture. Many of these mausolea are listed, such as the Grade II mausoleum for Sir Henry Doulton's family, constructed appropriately of pottery and terrcotta; as a contrast, just a few yards to the west of the crematorium is the simple headstone to Isabella Mary Mayson Beeton, aka Mrs Beeton, the Victorian cookery writer. The cemetery was founded by its own Act of Parliament of 1836 and consecrated for its first burials in 1837. By 2000, there had been 164,000 burials in 42,000 plots, plus 34,000 cremations and several thousand interments in its catacombs.
As early as 1711, Sir Christopher Wren advocated the creation of burial grounds on the outskirts of town, "inclosed with a strong Brick Wall, having a walk round, two cross walks, decently planted with Yew-trees". In 1830, George Frederick Carden, editor of The Penny Magazine petitioned Parliament about the parlous state of London's over-full church burial yards. Over time they passed a number of laws that halted burials in London's churchyards, moving them'to places where they would be less prejudicial to the health of the inhabitants'. In 1836, a specific Parliamentary statute enabled the South Metropolitan Cemetery Company to purchase land from the estate of the late Lord Thurlow in what was called Lower Norwood and create the second of the'Magnificent Seven' cemeteries; the new cemetery was consecrated by the Bishop of Winchester on 7 December, 1837, receiving its first burial soon after. Until 1877, the consecrated grounds were overseen by the Diocese of Winchester, Rochester, before coming under the authority of Southwark from 1905.
Architect William Tite was a director of the cemetery company and designed the landscaping, some monuments, was interred there himself. This was the first cemetery in the UK to be designed in the new Gothic style, it offered a rural setting in open countryside. Its design and location attracted the attention of wealthy – and aspirational – Victorians, who commissioned many fine mausoleums and memorials for their burial plots and vaults; the cemetery was built on the site of the ancient Great North Wood, from which Norwood took its name. Although many trees had been cleared, a number of mature specimens were included in Tite's original landscaping. A tree survey of the cemetery in 2005 identified one oak, thought to date from 1540 to 1640. Fourteen more oaks, a maple and an ash tree were identified that predate the foundation of the cemetery in 1836. In the first years of the cemetery's operation, these were joined by coniferous trees and evergreen holm oaks; the site included two Gothic chapels at the crest of the hill, which dominated the local landscape.
A consecrated chapel faced west. To the north was a Dissenters' chapel, with its north entrance flanked by cloisters over its unconsecrated catacombs. In 1842, a section of the cemetery was acquired by London's Greek community for a Greek Orthodox cemetery, this soon filled with many fine monuments and large mausoleums, memorialising the history of An
Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, West London, England. The district's commercial heart is Kensington High Street, running on an east-west axis; the north east is taken up by Kensington Gardens, containing the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine Gallery and Speke's monument. South Kensington is home to Imperial College London, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Albert Hall; the area is home to many European embassies. The manor of Chenesitone is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, which in the Anglo-Saxon language means "Chenesi's ton". One early spelling is Kesyngton, as written in 1396; the manor of Kensington in the county of Middlesex, was one of several hundred granted by King William the Conqueror to Geoffrey de Montbray, Bishop of Coutances in Normandy, one of his inner circle of advisors and one of the wealthiest men in post-Conquest England. He granted the tenancy of Kensington to his follower Aubrey de Vere I, holding the manor from him as overlord in 1086, according to the Domesday Book.
The bishop's heir, Robert de Mowbray, rebelled against King William II and his vast feudal barony was forfeited to the Crown. Aubrey de Vere I thus became a tenant-in-chief, holding directly from the king after 1095, which increased his status in feudal England, he granted the church and an estate within the manor to Abingdon Abbey in Oxfordshire, at the deathbed request of his eldest son Geoffrey. As the de Veres became Earls of Oxford, their principal manor at Kensington came to be known as Earl's Court, as they were not resident in the manor, their manorial business was not conducted in the great hall of a manor house but in a court house. In order to differentiate it, the new sub-manor granted to Abingdon Abbey became known as Abbot's Kensington and the church St Mary Abbots; the original Kensington Barracks, built at Kensington Gate in the late 18th century, were demolished in 1858 and new barracks were built in Kensington Church Street. The focus of the area is Kensington High Street, a busy commercial centre with many shops upmarket.
The street was declared London's second best shopping street in February 2005 due to its wide range and number of shops. However, since October 2008 the street has faced competition from the Westfield shopping centre in nearby White City. Kensington's second group of commercial buildings is at South Kensington, where several streets of small to medium-sized shops and service businesses are situated close to South Kensington tube station; this is the southern end of Exhibition Road, the thoroughfare which serves the area's museums and educational institutions. The boundaries of Kensington are not well-defined. To the west, a border is defined by the line of the Counter Creek marked by the West London railway line. To the north, the only obvious border line is Holland Park Avenue, to the north of, the district of Notting Hill classed as within "North Kensington". In the north east is situated the large public Royal Park of Kensington Gardens; the other main green area in Kensington is Holland Park, on the north side of the eastern end of Kensington High Street.
Many residential roads have small communal garden squares, for the exclusive use of the residents. South Kensington largely comprises private housing. North Kensington and West Kensington are devoid of features to attract the visitor. Kensington is, in general, an affluent area, a trait that it shares with Chelsea, its neighbour to the south; the area has some of London's most expensive streets and garden squares, at about the turn of the 21st century the Holland Park neighbourhood became high-status. In early 2007 houses sold in Upper Phillimore Gardens east of Holland Park, for over £20 million. Brompton is another definable area of Kensington; the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea forms part of the most densely populated local government district in the United Kingdom. This high density has come about through the subdivision of large mid-rise Georgian and Victorian terraced houses into flats; the less-affluent northern extremity of Kensington has high-rise residential buildings, while this type of building in the southern part is only represented by the Holiday Inn's London Kensington Forum Hotel in Cromwell Road, a 27-storey building.
Notable attractions and institutions in Kensington include: Kensington Palace in Kensington Gardens. The Olympia Exhibition Hall is just over the western border in West Kensington. Kensington is administered within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, lies within the Kensington parliamentary constituency; the head office of newspaper group DMGT is located in Northcliffe House off Kensington High Street in part of the large Barkers department store building. In addition to housing the offices for the DMGT newspapers Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro, Northcliffe House accommodates the offices of the newspapers owned by Evgeny Lebedev: The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, the Evening Standard; the i newspaper, sold to Johnston Press in 2016, is still produced from offices in Northcliffe House. Most of these titles were for many decades produced and printed in Fl
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