The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve personnel; the modern British Army traces back to 1707, with an antecedent in the English Army, created during the Restoration in 1660. The term British Army was adopted in 1707 after the Acts of Union between Scotland. Although all members of the British Army are expected to swear allegiance to Elizabeth II as their commander-in-chief, the Bill of Rights of 1689 requires parliamentary consent for the Crown to maintain a peacetime standing army. Therefore, Parliament approves the army by passing an Armed Forces Act at least once every five years; the army is commanded by the Chief of the General Staff. The British Army has seen action in major wars between the world's great powers, including the Seven Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War and the First and Second World Wars.
Britain's victories in these decisive wars allowed it to influence world events and establish itself as one of the world's leading military and economic powers. Since the end of the Cold War, the British Army has been deployed to a number of conflict zones as part of an expeditionary force, a coalition force or part of a United Nations peacekeeping operation; until the English Civil War, England never had a standing army with professional officers and careerist corporals and sergeants. It relied on militia organized by local officials, or private forces mobilized by the nobility, or on hired mercenaries from Europe. From the Middle Ages until the English Civil War, when a foreign expeditionary force was needed, such as the one that Henry V of England took to France and that fought at the Battle of Agincourt, the army, a professional one, was raised for the duration of the expedition. During the English Civil War, the members of the Long Parliament realised that the use of county militia organised into regional associations commanded by local members of parliament, while more than able to hold their own in the regions which Parliamentarians controlled, were unlikely to win the war.
So Parliament initiated two actions. The Self-denying Ordinance, with the notable exception of Oliver Cromwell, forbade members of parliament from serving as officers in the Parliamentary armies; this created a distinction between the civilians in Parliament, who tended to be Presbyterian and conciliatory to the Royalists in nature, a corps of professional officers, who tended to Independent politics, to whom they reported. The second action was legislation for the creation of a Parliamentary-funded army, commanded by Lord General Thomas Fairfax, which became known as the New Model Army. While this proved to be a war winning formula, the New Model Army, being organized and politically active, went on to dominate the politics of the Interregnum and by 1660 was disliked; the New Model Army was paid off and disbanded at the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660. For many decades the excesses of the New Model Army under the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell was a horror story and the Whig element recoiled from allowing a standing army.
The militia acts of 1661 and 1662 prevented local authorities from calling up militia and oppressing their own local opponents. Calling up the militia was possible only if the king and local elites agreed to do so. Charles II and his Cavalier supporters favoured a new army under royal control; the first English Army regiments, including elements of the disbanded New Model Army, were formed between November 1660 and January 1661 and became a standing military force for Britain. The Royal Scots and Irish Armies were financed by the parliaments of Ireland. Parliamentary control was established by the Bill of Rights 1689 and Claim of Right Act 1689, although the monarch continued to influence aspects of army administration until at least the end of the nineteenth century. After the Restoration Charles II pulled together four regiments of infantry and cavalry, calling them his guards, at a cost of £122,000 from his general budget; this became the foundation of the permanent English Army. By 1685 it had grown to 7,500 soldiers in marching regiments, 1,400 men permanently stationed in garrisons.
A rebellion in 1685 allowed James II to raise the forces to 20,000 men. There were 37,000 in 1678. After William and Mary's accession to the throne England involved itself in the War of the Grand Alliance to prevent a French invasion restoring James II. In 1689, William III expanded the army to 74,000, to 94,000 in 1694. Parliament was nervous, reduced the cadre to 7000 in 1697. Scotland and Ireland had theoretically separate military establishments, but they were unofficially merged with the English force. By the time of the 1707 Acts of Union, many regiments of the English and Scottish armies were combined under one operational command and stationed in the Netherlands for the War of the Spanish Succession. Although all the regiments were now part of the new British military establishment, they remained under the old operational-command structure and retained much of the institutional ethos and traditions of the standing armies created shortly after the restoration of the monarchy 47 years earlier.
The order of seniority of the most-senior British Army line regiments is based on that of the English army
Ian William Richardson, was a Scottish actor of film and television. He portrayed the Machiavellian Tory politician Francis Urquhart in the BBC's House of Cards television trilogy. Richardson was a leading Shakespearean stage actor. Richardson's other notable work included a portrayal of Sherlock Holmes for the BBC, significant roles in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, M. Butterfly, as the lead in the Broadway production of Marat/Sade. Richardson was born in the son of Margaret and John Richardson, he was educated in the city, at Balgreen Primary School, Tynecastle High School and George Heriot's School. He first appeared on stage in an amateur production of A Tale of Two Cities; the director encouraged his talent but warned that he would need to lose his Scottish accent to progress as an actor. His mother arranged elocution lessons, he became a stage manager with the semi-professional Edinburgh People's Theatre. After National Service in the Army he obtained a place at the College of Dramatic Arts in Glasgow.
After a period at the Old Rep, he appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company, of which he was a founding member, from 1960 to 1975. Although he gained his highest profile in film and television work such as House of Cards, Richardson was a classical stage actor, his first engagement after training was with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, where his performance of Hamlet led to an offer of a place with the RSC. He was a versatile member of the company for more than 15 years, playing villainy and tragedy to equal effect, he was The Herald in Peter Brook's production of Marat/Sade in London in 1964. In 1972, he appeared in the musical Trelawney, with which the Bristol Old Vic reopened after its refurbishment, it proved a great success, transferring to London, first to the Sadler's Wells Theatre and to the Savoy Theatre. Richardson played the hero, Tom Wrench, a small-part player who wants to write about "real people", he had a song, "Walking On", lamenting his lack of scope in the company, in which he explains that as a "walking gentleman" he will be forever "walking on", whilst Rose Trelawney will go on to be a star.
While at the RSC, Richardson played leading roles in many productions for director John Barton. These included the title role in Coriolanus, Cassius in Julius Caesar, Angelo in Measure for Measure and Iachimo in Cymbeline. Work for other directors at Stratford included the title role in Pericles, directed by Terry Hands. Richardson cited the role of Berowne as one of his all-time favorite parts. Richardson's Richard II in 1974, repeated in New York and London in the following year, was hugely celebrated. A significant Shakespearean cameo role was a brief performance as Hamlet in the gravedigger scene as part of episode six, "Protest and Communication", of Kenneth Clark's Civilisation television series in 1969; this was performed at Kirby Hall in Northamptonshire with Patrick Stewart as Horatio and Ronald Lacey as the gravedigger. On leaving the RSC, he played Professor Henry Higgins in the 20th anniversary Broadway revival of My Fair Lady and received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical and a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
He appeared on Broadway as onstage narrator in the original production of Edward Albee's play Lolita, an adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's book, not critically well received. In 2002, Richardson joined Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Donald Sinden and Dame Diana Rigg in an international tour of The Hollow Crown. A Canadian tour substituted Vanessa Redgrave for Rigg, he appeared in The Creeper by Pauline Macaulay at the Playhouse Theatre in London, on tour. His last stage appearance was in 2006 as Sir Epicure Mammon in The Alchemist at the National Theatre in London. In 1963, he played Le Beau in Michael Elliott's television production of As You Like It, playing alongside Vanessa Redgrave. In 1964, he played Antipholus of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors as part of the Festival television series. In 1966, he played Jean-Paul Marat in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Peter Weiss' Marat/Sade, directed by Peter Brook. In 1967, he played The Constable in A Man Takes a Drink as part of a television series entitled The Revenue Men.
He played Bertram in John Barton's television version of All's Well That Ends Well in 1968, as well as playing Oberon in the Peter Hall film of A Midsummer Night's Dream. He took part in the television production of John Mortimer's A Voyage Round My Father in Plays of Today in 1969 as well as appeared in the television adaptation of The Canterbury Tales, he played one musical role on film – the Priest in Man of La Mancha, the 1972 screen version of the Broadway musical. In 1972, he played Anthony Beavis in the television series Eyeless in Gaza. In 1974, he played King Richard II/Bolingbroke in Richard II part of the Camera Three television series. In 1978, he played Robespierre in the BBC's Play of the Month production of Danton's Death. In 1979, he played Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery in the TV miniseries Ike, his first major role was his appearance as Bill Haydon i
Records of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom
The article lists the records of Prime Ministers of Great Britain and of the United Kingdom since 1721. The Prime Minister with the longest single term was Sir Robert Walpole, lasting 20 years and 315 days from 3 April 1721 until 11 February 1742; this is longer than the accumulated terms of any other Prime Minister. The shortest period in office is more confused, depending on the criteria; the shortest period was only three days, a record held by Lord Bath, from 10 February to 12 February 1746, asked to form a government but was unable to find more than one person who would agree to serve in his cabinet. A satirist of the time wrote: "the minister to the astonishment of all wise men never transacted one rash thing. James Waldegrave, 2nd Earl Waldegrave was a prime minister for four days, from 8 June to 12 June 1757. However, since neither of these Earls formed an effective government, there are other contenders for the record of shortest term of office among those who governed the country. In November 1834, the Duke of Wellington declined to become Prime Minister in favour of Sir Robert Peel but formed a "caretaker" administration for 25 days while Peel returned from Europe.
However, as a caretaker administration this might not be considered a term of office in its own right. Therefore, of those with clear and effective terms, the Prime Minister with the shortest single one was Lord Rockingham, whose second term lasted 96 days from 27 March 1782 until his death on 1 July 1782. However, combined with his first term his total time in office was 1 year and 113 days, which exceeds the total periods of several other Prime Ministers; the Prime Minister with the total shortest period in office was George Canning, whose sole term lasted 119 days from 12 April 1827 until his death on 8 August 1827. The Prime Minister with the longest period between the start of their first appointment and the end of their final term was the Duke of Portland, whose first term began on 2 April 1783 and whose second and final term ended on 4 October 1809. A Prime Minister's "term" is traditionally regarded as the period between their appointment and resignation, with the number of general elections taking place in the intervening period making no difference.
The only Prime Minister to serve four terms under that definition was William Ewart Gladstone. The office of Prime Minister has coincided with the reigns of 11 British monarchs, to whom the Prime Minister has been constitutionally head of government to the sovereign's headship of state; until 1837 the death of a sovereign led to Parliament being dissolved within six months which led to a general election. Results of such elections were: Stanley Baldwin is the only Prime Minister to have served three sovereigns in succession – King George V, King Edward VIII and King George VI. Through being in office at transitions between reigns, eight Prime Ministers each served under two sovereigns: George III had 14 Prime Ministers serving during his 59-year reign, beginning with the Duke of Newcastle; the last incumbent, Lord Liverpool, was the only one appointed by his son during the father's final incapacity to rule. In downward numerical order, numbers of Prime Ministers in office during other reigns are: Only six Prime Ministers came to serve office under sovereigns in whose own reigns they were born.
The present Prime Minister, Theresa May, is the third Prime Minister to have been born in the reign of the present sovereign Queen Elizabeth II. King George III Queen Victoria Lord Rosebery Queen Elizabeth II * ^ Perceval was assassinated in 1812, his is the only complete lifetime lived by a Prime Minister under a single sovereign. Both Robert Walpole and Lord Wilmington lived under the reigns of the same six sovereigns: Charles II, James II, William III and his joint sovereign Mary II, Queen Anne, George I and George II. Sir Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee, Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan all lived under the six reigns of Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II; the youngest Prime Minister to be appointed was William Pitt the Younger on 19 December 1783 at the age of 24 years, 6 months and 21 days. The oldest Prime Minister to be appointed for the first time was Lord Palmerston on 6 February 1855 at the age of 70 years, 3 months and 17 days; the oldest Prime Minister to be appointed overall, oldest to win a General Election, was William Ewart Gladstone, born on 29 December 1809 and appointed for the final time on 15 August 1892 at the age of 82 years, 7 months and 3 days, following that year's General Election.
The youngest Prime Minister to leave office was the Duke of Grafton, who retired in 1770, aged 34. The oldest was Gladstone, 84 at the time of his final retirement in 1894. Greatest age difference – Lord Rosebery was 37 years 129 days younger than William Ewart Gladstone whom he succeeded after the final retirement of the latter in 1894. Smallest age difference – George Canning was 67 days senior to Lord Liverpool, whom he succeeded after Liverpool retired in 1827. C
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is a ministerial office in the Government of the United Kingdom that includes as part of its duties, the administration of the estates and rents of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister; the Chancellor is answerable to Parliament for the governance of the Duchy. However, the involvement of the Chancellor in the running of the day-to-day affairs of the Duchy is slight, the office is held by a senior politician whose main role is quite different; the position is held by David Lidington. The Chancellor was the chief officer in the daily management of the Duchy of Lancaster and the County Palatine of Lancaster, but that estate is now run by a deputy, leaving the Chancellor as a member of the Cabinet with little obligation in regard to the Chancellorship; the position has been given to a junior Cabinet minister with responsibilities in a particular area of policy for which there is no department with an appropriate portfolio.
In 1491, the office of Vice-Chancellor of the County Palatine of Lancaster was created. The position is now held by a judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice, who sits in the north west of England, no longer appointed to that position as legal officer of the Duchy. In recent times, the Chancellor's duties have been said to occupy an average of one day a week. Under the Promissory Oaths Act 1868, the Chancellor is required to take the oath of allegiance and the Official Oath; the holder of the sinecure is a minister without portfolio. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is entitled to a salary under the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975, but section 3 of the Act provides that the salary "shall be reduced by the amount of the salary payable to him otherwise than out of moneys so provided in respect of his office"; the Office of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is part of the Cabinet Office. From 1997 until 2009, the holder of the title served as the Minister for the Cabinet Office.
This applied in the case of Alan Milburn, given the title by Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2004 and at the same time rejoined the Cabinet. However, in the reshuffle of 5 June 2009, the Chancellorship went to the Leader of the House of Lords, the Baroness Royall. In David Cameron's first cabinet, announced on 12 May 2010, the Chancellorship remained with the Leader of the House of Lords; the position is held by David Lidington following a Cabinet reshuffle on 8 January 2018. The previous holder of the post was Patrick McLoughlin, given the post following Theresa May's appointment as Prime Minister. Before this the holder of the post was Oliver Letwin, appointed in July 2014 when he was Minister for Government Policy. List of Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster County Palatine of Lancaster
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, it employs over 20,950 staff in total. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time and fixed-contract staff are included; the BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee, charged to all British households and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up; the fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has funded the BBC World Service, which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, online services in Arabic and Persian.
Around a quarter of BBC revenues come from its commercial arm BBC Studios Ltd, which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd. From its inception, through the Second World War, to the 21st century, the BBC has played a prominent role in British culture, it is known colloquially as "The Beeb", "Auntie", or a combination of both. Britain's first live public broadcast from the Marconi factory in Chelmsford took place in June 1920, it was sponsored by the Daily Mail's Lord Northcliffe and featured the famous Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba. The Melba broadcast caught the people's imagination and marked a turning point in the British public's attitude to radio. However, this public enthusiasm was not shared in official circles where such broadcasts were held to interfere with important military and civil communications. By late 1920, pressure from these quarters and uneasiness among the staff of the licensing authority, the General Post Office, was sufficient to lead to a ban on further Chelmsford broadcasts.
But by 1922, the GPO had received nearly 100 broadcast licence requests and moved to rescind its ban in the wake of a petition by 63 wireless societies with over 3,000 members. Anxious to avoid the same chaotic expansion experienced in the United States, the GPO proposed that it would issue a single broadcasting licence to a company jointly owned by a consortium of leading wireless receiver manufactures, to be known as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd. John Reith, a Scottish Calvinist, was appointed its General Manager in December 1922 a few weeks after the company made its first official broadcast; the company was to be financed by a royalty on the sale of BBC wireless receiving sets from approved domestic manufacturers. To this day, the BBC aims to follow the Reithian directive to "inform and entertain"; the financial arrangements soon proved inadequate. Set sales were disappointing as amateurs made their own receivers and listeners bought rival unlicensed sets. By mid-1923, discussions between the GPO and the BBC had become deadlocked and the Postmaster-General commissioned a review of broadcasting by the Sykes Committee.
The Committee recommended a short term reorganisation of licence fees with improved enforcement in order to address the BBC's immediate financial distress, an increased share of the licence revenue split between it and the GPO. This was to be followed by a simple 10 shillings licence fee with no royalty once the wireless manufactures protection expired; the BBC's broadcasting monopoly was made explicit for the duration of its current broadcast licence, as was the prohibition on advertising. The BBC was banned from presenting news bulletins before 19.00 and was required to source all news from external wire services. Mid-1925 found the future of broadcasting under further consideration, this time by the Crawford committee. By now, the BBC, under Reith's leadership, had forged a consensus favouring a continuation of the unified broadcasting service, but more money was still required to finance rapid expansion. Wireless manufacturers were anxious to exit the loss making consortium with Reith keen that the BBC be seen as a public service rather than a commercial enterprise.
The recommendations of the Crawford Committee were published in March the following year and were still under consideration by the GPO when the 1926 general strike broke out in May. The strike temporarily interrupted newspaper production, with restrictions on news bulletins waived, the BBC became the primary source of news for the duration of the crisis; the crisis placed the BBC in a delicate position. On one hand Reith was acutely aware that the Government might exercise its right to commandeer the BBC at any time as a mouthpiece of the Government if the BBC were to step out of line, but on the other he was anxious to maintain public trust by appearing to be acting independently; the Government was divided on how to handle the BBC but ended up trusting Reith, whose opposition to the strike mirrored the PM's own. Thus the BBC was granted sufficient leeway to pursue the Government's objectives in a manner of its own choosing; the resulting coverage of both striker and government viewpoints impressed millions of listeners who were unaware that the PM had broadcast to the nation from Reith's home, using one of Reith's sound bites inserted at the last moment
Michael Dobbs, Baron Dobbs is a British Conservative politician and best-selling author, most notably for his House of Cards trilogy. Michael Dobbs was born on 14 November 1948 in Cheshunt, the son of nurseryman Eric and Eileen Dobbs, he was educated at Hertford Grammar School, Cheshunt Grammar School, Christ Church, Oxford. After graduating from Oxford in 1971 with a degree in PPE, Dobbs moved to the United States, he attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford and graduated in 1977 with an M. A. M. A. L. D. and Ph. D. in nuclear defence studies. His doctoral thesis was published as SALT: Dragon Hunting in a Multinuclear World. In 2007, Dobbs gave the Alumni Salutation at Fletcher. Dobbs' studies at The Fletcher School were funded by a job as feature writer for the Boston Globe, where he worked as an editorial assistant and political feature writer from 1971 to 1975. After getting his PhD in 1977, Dobbs returned to England and began working in London for the Conservative Party.
From 1977 to 1979, he was an advisor to Margaret Thatcher, leader of the Opposition. From 1979 to 1981, he was a Conservative MP speechwriter. From 1981 to 1986, he served as a Government Special Advisor. From 1986 to 1987, he was the Conservative Party Chief of Staff. In 1984, he survived the Brighton bombing at the Conservative Party Conference. Considered a masterful political operator, he was called "Westminster's baby-faced hit man", by The Guardian in 1987. From 1994 to 1995, he served in the John Major government as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. On 18 December 2010, Dobbs was made a life peer, as Baron Dobbs, of Wylye, in the County of Wiltshire, was introduced in the House of Lords on 20 December, he sits as a Conservative Peer. Lord Dobbs is an Executive Board Member of the Conservative Friends of the Chinese. In August 2014, Lord Dobbs was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.
Dobbs supported a'Leave' vote in the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016. From 1983 to 1986, Dobbs worked at Saatchi as Deputy Advertising Chairman. From 1987 to 1988, he was Director of Worldwide Corporate Communications. From 1988 to 1991, he was Deputy Chairman. From 1991 to 1998, Dobbs was a columnist for The Mail on Sunday newspaper. From 1998 to 2001, he hosted the current affairs programme Despatch Box on BBC Two. Michael Dobbs' writing career began in 1989 with the publication of House of Cards, the first in what would become a trilogy of political thrillers with Francis Urquhart as the central character. In 1990 House of Cards was turned into a television miniseries which received 14 BAFTA nominations and two BAFTA wins and was voted the 84th Best British Show in History. Netflix made a US version based upon its BBC adaptation, his fourth novel, Winston's War, was shortlisted for the Channel 4 Political Book of the Year Award, his Harry Jones novels, A Sentimental Traitor and A Ghost at the Door, for the Paddy Power Political Book of the Year awards in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
His novels are published in the United States. Anthony Howard of The Times said "Dobbs is following in a respectable tradition. Shakespeare, Walter Scott Tolstoy, all used historical events as the framework for their writings. And, unlike some of their distinguished works, Dobbs's novel is, in fact, astonishingly accurate". Dobbs has been a judge of the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and lectures at dozens of literary and fundraising events each year, he is an executive producer of the American television series House of Cards. Dobbs, now a part-time writer, divides his time between Wiltshire, he has two stepsons with his second wife, Rachel. Dobbs has raised money for his neighbour, paralysed as a result of a rugby injury, he walked from his home town in Wylye to his old school Richard Hale. He completed this on the 27 March 2015. Michael Dobbs is a distant relative of the US non-fiction author with the same name; the two are sometimes confused. Francis Urquhart Novels House of Cards To Play the King The Final Cut Tom Goodfellowe Novels Goodfellowe MP The Buddha of Brewer Street Whispers of Betrayal Winston Churchill Novels Winston's War Never Surrender Churchill's Hour Churchill's Triumph Harry Jones Thrillers The Lords' Day The Edge of Madness The Reluctant Hero Old Enemies A Sentimental Traitor A Ghost at the Door Non-series novels Wall Games Last Man to Die The Touch of Innocents First Lady Official website Fantasticfiction.co.uk Blog.washingtonpost.com