Acts of Union 1800

The Acts of Union 1800 (sometimes erroneously referred to as a single Act of Union 1801) were parallel acts of the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland which united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland (previously in personal union) to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The acts came into force on 1 January 1801, and the merged Parliament of the United Kingdom had its first meeting on 22 January 1801.

Both acts remain in force, with amendments, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,[2] and have been repealed in the Republic of Ireland.[3]

Act of Union (Ireland) 1800
Long titleAn Act for the Union of Great Britain and Ireland
Citation40 Geo. 3 c.38
Introduced byJohn Toler[1]
Dates
Commencement1 January 1801
Status: Amended
Revised text of statute as amended
Constitutional documents and events relevant to the status of the United Kingdom and its constituent countries
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government)
Treaty of Union1706
Acts of Union1707
Wales and Berwick Act1746
Irish Constitution1782
Acts of Union1800
Parliament Act1911
Government of Ireland Act1920
Anglo-Irish Treaty1921
Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act1927
Statute of Westminster1931
United Nations Act1946
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EC Treaty of Accession1972
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NI Border Poll1973
NI Constitution Act1973
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Scotland Act1978
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Local Government (Wales) Act1994
Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act1994
Referendums (Scotland & Wales) Act1997
Scottish Devolution Referendum1997
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Good Friday Agreement1998
Northern Ireland Act1998
Government of Wales Act1998
Human Rights Act1998
Scotland Act1998
Government of Wales Act2006
Northern Ireland Act2009
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European Union Act2011
Fixed-term Parliaments Act2011
Scotland Act2012
Edinburgh Agreement2012
Scottish Independence Referendum2014
Wales Act2014
European Union Referendum Act2015
EU Membership Referendum2016
Scotland Act2016
Wales Act2017
EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Act2017
Invocation of Article 502017
European Union (Withdrawal) Act2018

Name

Two acts were passed in 1800 with the same long title, An Act for the Union of Great Britain and Ireland. The short title of the act of the British Parliament is Union with Ireland Act 1800, assigned by the Short Titles Act 1896. The short title of the act of the Irish Parliament is Act of Union (Ireland) 1800, assigned by a 1951 act of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, and hence not effective in the Republic of Ireland, where it was referred to by its long title when repealed in 1962.

Background

Before these Acts, Ireland had been in personal union with England since 1541, when the Irish Parliament had passed the Crown of Ireland Act 1542, proclaiming King Henry VIII of England to be King of Ireland. Since the 12th century, the King of England had been technical overlord of the Lordship of Ireland, a papal possession. Both the Kingdoms of Ireland and England later came into personal union with that of Scotland upon the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

In 1707, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland were united into a single kingdom: the Kingdom of Great Britain. Upon that union, each House of the Parliament of Ireland passed a congratulatory address to Queen Anne, praying that, "May God put it in your royal heart to add greater strength and lustre to your crown, by a still more comprehensive Union".[4] The Irish parliament at that time was subject to a number of restrictions that placed it subservient to the Parliament of England (and following the union of England and Scotland, the Parliament of Great Britain), however Ireland gained effective legislative independence from Great Britain through the Constitution of 1782.

By this time access to institutional power in Ireland was restricted to a small minority, the Anglo-Irish of the Protestant Ascendancy, and frustration at the lack of reform among the Catholic majority eventually led, along with other reasons, to a rebellion in 1798, involving a French invasion of Ireland and the seeking of complete independence from Great Britain. This rebellion was crushed with much bloodshed, and the subsequent drive for union between Great Britain and Ireland that passed in 1800 was motivated at least in part by the belief that the rebellion was caused as much by reactionary loyalist brutality as by the United Irishmen.

Furthermore, Catholic emancipation was being discussed in Great Britain, and fears that a newly enfranchised Catholic majority would drastically change the character of the Irish government and parliament also contributed to a desire from London to merge the parliaments.

Passing the Acts

Complementary acts had to be passed in the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland.

The Parliament of Ireland had recently gained a large measure of legislative independence under the Constitution of 1782. Many members of the Irish Parliament jealously guarded this autonomy (notably Henry Grattan) and a motion for union was legally rejected in 1799.

Only Anglicans were permitted to become members of the Parliament of Ireland, though the great majority of the Irish population were Roman Catholic, with many Presbyterians in Ulster. In 1793 Roman Catholics regained the right to vote if they owned or rented property worth £2 p.a. The Catholic hierarchy was strongly in favour of union, hoping for rapid emancipation and the right to sit as MPs – which was however delayed after the passage of the acts until 1829.

From the perspective of Great Britain, the union was desirable because of the uncertainty that followed the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and the French Revolution of 1789; if Ireland adopted Catholic Emancipation, willingly or not, a Roman Catholic parliament could break away from Britain and ally with the French, while the same measure within a united kingdom would exclude that possibility. Also the Irish and British parliaments, when creating a regency during King George III's "madness", gave the Prince Regent different powers. These considerations led Great Britain to decide to attempt merger of the two kingdoms and their parliaments.

The final passage of the Act in the Irish Parliament was achieved with substantial majorities, in part according to contemporary documents through bribery, namely the awarding of peerages and honours to critics to get their votes.[5] Whereas the first attempt had been defeated in the Irish House of Commons by 109 votes against to 104 for, the second vote in 1800 produced a result of 158 to 115.[5]

Provisions

The Acts of Union were two complementary Acts, namely:

They were passed on 2 July 1800 and 1 August 1800 respectively, and came into force on 1 January 1801. They ratified eight articles which had been previously agreed by the British and Irish Parliaments:

  • Articles I–IV dealt with the political aspects of the Union. It created a united parliament.
    • In the House of Lords, the existing members of the Parliament of Great Britain were joined by, as Lords Spiritual, four bishops of the Church of Ireland, rotating among the dioceses in each session and as Lords Temporal 28 representative peers elected for life by the Peerage of Ireland.
    • The House of Commons was to include the pre-union representation from Great Britain and 100 members from Ireland: two members from each of the 32 counties and from the two largest boroughs, and one from each of the next 31 boroughs and from Dublin University. The other 84 Irish parliamentary boroughs were disfranchised; all were pocket boroughs, whose patrons received £15,000 compensation for the loss of what was considered their property.
  • Article V united the established Church of England and Church of Ireland into "one Protestant Episcopal Church, to be called, The United Church of England and Ireland"; but also confirmed the independence of the Church of Scotland.
  • Article VI created a customs union, with the exception that customs duties on certain British and Irish goods passing between the two countries would remain for 10 years (a consequence of having trade depressed by the ongoing war with revolutionary France).
  • Article VII stated that Ireland would have to contribute two-seventeenths towards the expenditure of the United Kingdom. The figure was a ratio of Irish to British foreign trade.
  • Article VIII formalised the legal and judicial aspects of the Union.

Part of the attraction of the Union for many Irish Catholics was the promise of Catholic Emancipation, allowing Roman Catholic MPs, who had not been allowed in the Irish Parliament. This was however blocked by King George III who argued that emancipating Roman Catholics would breach his Coronation Oath, and was not realised until 1829.

The traditionally separate Irish Army, which had been funded by the Irish Parliament, was merged into the larger British Army.

The first parliament

In the first Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the members of the House of Commons were not elected afresh. By royal proclamation authorised by the Act, all the members of the last House of Commons from Great Britain took seats in the new House, and from Ireland 100 members were chosen from the last Irish House of Commons; both members from each of the 32 counties and from the two largest boroughs, and one each (chosen by lot) from the next 31 boroughs and from Dublin University.

Union flag

Flag of Great Britain (1707–1800)
Earlier Union Flag,
prior to the union with Ireland
Flag of the United Kingdom
The second Union Flag,
incorporating the Irish Saint Patrick's Saltire

The flag, created as a consequence of the union of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1800, still remains the flag of the United Kingdom. Called the Union Flag, it combined the flags of St George's Cross (which included Wales) and the St Andrew's Saltire of Scotland with the St Patrick's Saltire to represent Ireland (it now represents Northern Ireland).

References

Sources

Primary
Secondary
  • Ward, Alan J. The Irish Constitutional Tradition: Responsible Government and Modern Ireland 1782–1992. Irish Academic Press, 1994.
  • Lalor, Brian (ed). The Encyclopaedia of Ireland. Gill & Macmillan, Dublin, Ireland, 2003. ISBN 0-7171-3000-2, p7

Citations

  1. ^ "Bill 4098: For the union of Great Britain and Ireland". Irish Legislation Database. Belfast: Queen's University. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  2. ^ From legislation.gov.uk:
  3. ^ From Irish Statute Book:
  4. ^ Journals of the Irish Commons, vol. iii. p. 421
  5. ^ a b Alan J. Ward, The Irish Constitutional Tradition p.28.
  6. ^ "Union with Ireland Act 1800".  No. (39 & 40 Geo. 3 c. 67) of 2 July 1800. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Act of Union (Ireland) 1800".  No. (40 Geo. 3 c. 38) of 1 August 1800. Retrieved 6 September 2015.

Further reading

  • Kelly, James. "The origins of the act of union: an examination of unionist opinion in Britain and Ireland, 1650-1800." Irish Historical Studies 25.99 (1987): 236-263.
  • Keogh, Dáire, and Kevin Whelan, eds. Acts of Union: The causes, contexts, and consequences of the Act of Union (Four Courts Press 2001).
  • McDowell, R. B. Ireland in the Age of Imperialism and Revolution, 1760-1801 (1991) pp 678-704.

External links

1801 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1801 in the United Kingdom. The Acts of Union 1800 came into force this year.

Augher (Parliament of Ireland constituency)

Augher was a constituency represented in the Irish House of Commons until the Acts of Union 1800 came into force on January 1, 1801.

Baron Fermoy

Baron Fermoy is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. This title was created by Queen Victoria by letters patent of 10 September 1856 for Edmond Roche. Previous letters patent were issued on 14 May 1855 which purported to create the barony for Roche, but these were ruled invalid in 1856. Under the Acts of Union 1800, three pre-1801 Irish peerages had to go extinct for each new Irish peerage created; the three extinct peerages cited in 1855 were Viscounts Melbourne and Tyrconnel and the Earl of Mountrath; the earldom went extinct in 1802, but the subsidiary title Baron Castle Coote passed by special remainder and remained current until 1827. The Committee for Privileges of the House of Lords reasoned that the number of peerages had reduced in 1802, but the number of peers had not, and so the 1855 patent was incompatible with the terms of the Act of Union. The 1856 patent substituted Viscount O'Neill for Earl of Mountrath and was accepted.The first baron represented County Cork and Marylebone in the House of Commons, taking the Chiltern Hundreds the day the spurious 1855 patent was issued. He also served as Lord Lieutenant of County Cork. His younger son, the third Baron, sat as Member of Parliament for Kerry East. He was succeeded by his son, the fourth Baron. He notably represented King's Lynn in Parliament. As of 2017 the title is held by his grandson, the sixth Baron, who succeeded his father in 1984. The first baron was named after his relative Edmund Burke and are descended from the House of Burke.

Diana, Princess of Wales, was a great-great-granddaughter of the first Baron Fermoy through her mother, Frances Shand Kydd. Shand Kydd was the younger daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy, a friend of King George VI and the elder of the twin sons of the American heiress Frances Work and her first husband, the Hon. James Boothby Burke Roche, who, after their divorce, became the third Baron Fermoy. Diana's maternal grandmother, Ruth Roche, Baroness Fermoy, was a confidante and lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother, and the founder of the annual King's Lynn Festival (of classical music) in Norfolk, England.

The family seat is Nethercote House, near Nethercote, Warwickshire.

Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ireland

The Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ireland was the head of the Exchequer of Ireland and a member of the Dublin Castle administration under the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the Kingdom of Ireland. In early times the title was sometimes given as Chancellor of the Green Wax. The Chancellor was an MP in the Irish House of Commons.

The office was separate from the judicial role of Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer of Ireland, although in the early centuries the two offices were often held by the same person.

Although the Kingdom of Ireland merged with the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1801 under the Acts of Union 1800 to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Exchequer of Ireland did not merge with the Exchequer of Great Britain until 1817. The last separate Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ireland was William Vesey-FitzGerald.

County Kilkenny (UK Parliament constituency)

County Kilkenny parliamentary constituency was a former UK Parliament County constituency in County Kilkenny in Ireland. The County constituency returned two Members of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, from 1801 until 1885.

County Kilkenny constituency was an original constituency represented in Parliament when the Acts of Union 1800 by Great Britain and Ireland took effect on 1 January 1801, and remained in existence until its abolition in 1885 when it was replaced by North Kilkenny and South Kilkenny.

County Kilkenny constituency was made up of the traditional county except for the borough constituency of Kilkenny City for Kilkenny.

County Londonderry

County Londonderry (Irish: Contae Dhoire; Ulster-Scots: Coontie Lunnonderrie), also known as County Derry, is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. Prior to the partition of Ireland, it was one of the counties of the Kingdom of Ireland from 1613 onward and then of the United Kingdom after the Acts of Union 1800. Adjoining the north-west shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 2,074 km² (801 sq mi) and today has a population of about 247,132.

Since 1972, the counties in Northern Ireland, including Londonderry, have no longer been used by the state as part of the local administration. Following further reforms in 2015, the area is now governed under three different districts; Derry and Strabane, Causeway Coast and Glens and Mid-Ulster. Despite no longer being used for local government and administrative purposes, it is sometimes used in a cultural context in All-Ireland sporting and cultural events (i.e. Derry GAA).

Since 1981, it has become one of four counties in Northern Ireland that has a Catholic majority (55.56% according to the 2001 Census), with 57% of the Catholic population residing within Derry City Council. The county flower is the Purple Saxifrage.

Denis Bowes Daly

Denis Bowes Daly PC (c. 1745 – 17 December 1821), was an Irish politician.

Daly was the eldest son of Hyacynth Daly of Dalystown, and his cousin Rose Daly of Raford, both of County Galway and educated privately in Dublin and at Trinity College, Dublin.

After serving as High Sheriff of King's County for 1774 he was brought into the Irish parliament by his cousin, Denis Daly of Dunsandle. There he served as MP for Galway Borough (from 1776 to 1790 and for King's County from 1790-1800. A constant supporter of the Ponsonby's, he voted for catholic relief in 1778 and 1793, the repeal of Poynings' Law in 1780, and for commercial propositions in 1785. He was an agent for Viceroy William Fitzwilliam, 4th Earl Fitzwilliam in attempting to persuade John Beresford to accept a pension, thus leaving office without scandal. Daly strongly opposed the Acts of Union 1800, co-ordinating the factions against the government.

After the acts were passed he represented King's County (now Offaly) (1801–02), Galway Borough (1802-05) and County Galway (1805–18). He was sworn of the Irish Privy Council on 7 June 1806.

In 1780 he had married Mary Charlotte Ponsonby, daughter of John Ponsonby, and sister of George Ponsonby. However she died a year after the marriage, after which Daly refused to leave his house for more than twelve months.

History of Ireland (1691–1800)

The history of Ireland from 1691–1800 was marked by the dominance of the Protestant Ascendancy. These were Anglo-Irish families of the Anglican Church of Ireland, whose English ancestors had settled Ireland in the wake of its conquest by England and colonisation in the Plantations of Ireland, and had taken control most of the land. Many were absentee landlords based in England, but others lived full-time in Ireland and increasingly identified as Irish. (See Early Modern Ireland 1536-1691). During this time, Ireland was nominally an autonomous Kingdom with its own Parliament; in actuality it was a client state controlled by the King of Great Britain and supervised by his cabinet in London. The great majority of its population, Roman Catholics, were excluded from power and land ownership under the penal laws. The second-largest group, the Presbyterians in Ulster, owned land and businesses but could not vote and had no political power. The period begins with the defeat of the Catholic Jacobites in the Williamite War in Ireland in 1691 and ends with the Acts of Union 1800, which formally annexed Ireland in a United Kingdom from 1 January 1801 and dissolved the Irish Parliament.

Irish question

The Irish Question was a phrase used mainly by members of the British ruling classes from the early 19th century until the 1920s. It was used to describe Irish nationalism and the calls for Irish independence.

The phrase came to prominence as a result of the Acts of Union 1800 which merged the Kingdom of Ireland with the Kingdom of Great Britain to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and merged the Parliament of Ireland into a single governing body with the Parliament of Great Britain, the Parliament of the United Kingdom based in Westminster. Doing so forced the British political class to pay attention to the state of Ireland and its people.

In 1844, a future British prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli, defined the Irish Question:

A dense population, in extreme distress, inhabit an island where there is an Established Church, which is not their Church, and a territorial aristocracy the richest of whom live in foreign capitals. Thus you have a starving population, an absentee aristocracy, and an alien Church; and in addition the weakest executive in the world. That is the Irish Question.'

In 1886, with the introduction of the first Home Rule Bill in the House of Commons, the term 'the Anglo-Irish Quarrel' gained favour and became more acceptable than the implied condescension of 'the Irish Question'.

Issues relating to Northern Ireland since the 1920s are often referred to as either "The Troubles" or "The Irish Problem".

The Irish question affected British politics much the way that the nationalities problem affected Austria-Hungary. Normal British domestic issues could not be adequately addressed because of the political divisions created by the oppression of Ireland. The Liberal Party split over Home Rule, with the unionist faction leaving to create the Liberal Unionist Party, ceding control to the Conservatives, thus hurting the cause of further social and political reform.

In 2017, the term was also used to describe issues associated with the UK-Irish border and Brexit. The term Irish border question has been used more widely in recent years.

Kingdom of Ireland

The Kingdom of Ireland (Classical Irish: Ríoghacht Éireann; Modern Irish: Ríocht Éireann) was a client state of England and then of Great Britain that existed from 1542 until 1800. It was ruled by the monarchs of England and then of Great Britain in personal union with their other realms. The kingdom was administered from Dublin Castle nominally by the King or Queen, who appointed a viceroy (the Lord Deputy, later Lord Lieutenant) to rule in their stead. It had its own legislature (the Parliament of Ireland), peerage (the Peerage of Ireland), legal system, and state church (the Protestant Church of Ireland).

The territory of the Kingdom had formerly been a lordship ruled by the kings of England, founded in 1177 after the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland. By the 1500s the area of English rule had shrunk greatly, and most of Ireland was held by Gaelic Irish chiefdoms. In 1542, King Henry VIII of England was made King of Ireland. The English began establishing control over the island, which sparked the Desmond Rebellions and the Nine Years’ War. It was completed in the 1600s. The conquest involved confiscating land from the native Irish and colonising it with settlers from Britain.

In its early years, the Kingdom had limited recognition, as no Catholic countries in Europe recognised Henry and his heir Edward as monarch of Ireland; although Catholic Queen Mary I was recognised as Queen of Ireland by Pope Paul IV. Catholics, who made up most of the population, were officially discriminated against in the Kingdom, which from the late 17th century was dominated by a Protestant Ascendancy. This discrimination was one of the main drivers behind several conflicts which broke out: the Irish Confederate Wars (1641–53), the Williamite-Jacobite War (1689–91), the Armagh disturbances (1780s–90s) and the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

The Parliament of Ireland passed the Acts of Union 1800 by which it abolished itself and the Kingdom. The act was also passed by the Parliament of Great Britain. It established the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on the first day of 1801 by uniting the Crowns of Ireland and of Great Britain.

Parliament of Great Britain

The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. The Acts created a new unified Kingdom of Great Britain and dissolved the separate English and Scottish parliaments in favour of a single parliament, located in the former home of the English parliament in the Palace of Westminster, near the City of London. This lasted nearly a century, until the Acts of Union 1800 merged the separate British and Irish Parliaments into a single Parliament of the United Kingdom with effect from 1 January 1801.

Parliament of Ireland

The Parliament of Ireland was the legislature of the Lordship of Ireland, and later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1297 until 1800. It was modelled on the Parliament of England and from 1537 comprised two chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Lords were members of the Irish peerage ("lords temporal") and bishops ("lords spiritual"; after the Reformation, Church of Ireland bishops). The Commons was directly elected, albeit on a very restricted franchise. Parliaments met at various places in Leinster and Munster, but latterly always in Dublin: in Christchurch Cathedral (15th century), Dublin Castle (to 1649), Chichester House (1661–1727), the Blue Coat School (1729–31), and finally a purpose-built Parliament House on College Green.The main purpose of parliament was to approve taxes that were then levied by and for the Dublin Castle administration. Those who would pay the bulk of taxation, the clergy, merchants and landowners, also comprised the members. Only the "English of Ireland" were represented until the first Gaelic lords summoned during the 16th-century Tudor reconquest. Under Poynings' Law of 1495, all Acts of Parliament had to be pre-approved by the Irish Privy Council and English Privy Council. Parliament supported the Irish Reformation and Catholics were excluded from membership and voting in penal times. The Constitution of 1782 amended Poynings' Law to allow the Irish Parliament to initiate legislation. In 1793 Catholics were re-enfranchised.

The Acts of Union 1800 merged the Kingdom of Ireland and Kingdom of Great Britain into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The parliament was merged with that of Great Britain; the united Parliament was in effect the British parliament at Westminster enlarged with a subset of the Irish Lords and Commons.

Peerage of Great Britain

The Peerage of Great Britain comprises all extant peerages created in the Kingdom of Great Britain after the Acts of Union 1707 but before the Acts of Union 1800. It replaced the Peerage of England and the Peerage of Scotland, until it was itself replaced by the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1801.

The ranks of the Peerage of Great Britain are Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron. Until the passage of the House of Lords Act 1999, all Peers of Great Britain could sit in the House of Lords.

In the following table of peers of Great Britain, higher or equal titles in the other peerages are listed. Those peers who are known by a higher title in one of the other peerages are listed in italics.

Poynings' Law

Poynings' Law or the Statute of Drogheda (10 Hen.7 c.4 [The Irish Statutes numbering] or 10

Hen.7 c.9 [Analecta Hibernica numbering]; later titled "An Act that no Parliament be holden in this Land until the Acts be certified into England") was a 1494 Act of the Parliament of Ireland which provided that the parliament could not meet until its proposed legislation had been approved both by Ireland's Lord Deputy and Privy Council and by England's monarch and Privy Council. It was a major grievance in 18th-century Ireland, was amended by the Constitution of 1782, rendered moot by the Acts of Union 1800, and repealed by the Statute Law Revision (Ireland) Act, 1878.

Richard Butler, 1st Earl of Glengall

Richard Butler, 1st Earl of Glengall (13 November 1775 – 30 January 1819), known as Lord Cahir before 1816, was an Irish peer.

He was the son and heir of James Butler, 9th Baron Cahir and Sarah Nicholls. In July 1788 he succeeded to his father's title and assumed his seat in the Irish House of Lords. Following the implementation of the Acts of Union 1800, he was elected as one of the original 28 Irish representative peers, and took his seat on the Tory benches in the British House of Lords. On 22 January 1816 he was created Viscount Cahir and Earl of Glengall, both titles in the Peerage of Ireland.

Secretary of State (Ireland)

The Principal Secretary of State, or Principal Secretary of the Council, was a government office in the Kingdom of Ireland. It was abolished in 1801 when Ireland became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Acts of Union 1800.

Speaker of the Irish House of Commons

The Speaker of the Irish House of Commons was the presiding officer of the Irish House of Commons until its disestablishment in 1800.

In the absence of a government chosen from and answerable to the Commons, the Speaker was the dominant political figure in the Parliament of Ireland. Unlike in modern British and Irish parliamentary practice, the Speaker was not expected to be politically impartial and several Speakers held government or Crown-appointed positions while also presiding over the Commons. Even so, the conduct of everyday business in the House was generally overseen with impartiality and fairness by all holders of the Speakership. The position was one of considerable power and prestige in Ireland, and the holder enjoyed high precedence as the first gentleman in Ireland.Speakers of the Commons were elected on the first day of the session of a new parliament, unless the sitting Speaker resigned his post. Before the reign of Queen Anne elections to the chair were uncontested. However, the House increasingly reflected the virulent political divisions between Whig and Tory factions, and Alan Brodrick's second candidacy was contested in 1713. Further contested elections occurred in 1771, 1776 and 1790.

From 1771 the Speaker had a considerable degree of independence from the government of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, although the Speaker was regularly consulted on the executive's business. Speakers needed to have considerable wealth to carry out their conventional roles as sources of patronage in Ireland, and the Speaker was expected to host all Members of Parliament several times year. The Speaker held the casting vote when the House divided as primus inter pares..The position was abolished when the Parliament of Ireland was merged with that of Great Britain to form the Parliament of the United Kingdom following the Acts of Union 1800. The last Speaker was John Foster, who had been a vehement opponent of the Union while in the chair.

St Canice (Parliament of Ireland constituency)

St Canice, also called Irishtown, was a constituency represented in the Irish House of Commons from the 1661 until 1800. Irishtown was a borough within the parish of St Canice in the county of the city of Kilkenny. The borough was separate from the city itself, which was represented by Kilkenny City constituency.

The borough was disfranchised by the Acts of Union 1800. Compensation for the loss of the patronage was awarded in the standard amount of £15,000. The claim of Hugh Hamilton, Bishop of Ossory to this compensation was disallowed; instead it went to the Commissioners of First Fruits.

Union Street, Aberdeen

Union Street is a major street and shopping thoroughfare in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is named after the Acts of Union 1800 with Ireland.

Union Street was built to relieve the strain of the small, cramped streets that caused problems for people coming into the city. It was built higher than the old town and was designed to include the five entrances from the city: Queens Road - Rubislaw from Hazelhead; George Street from Inverurie and Morayshire; King Street from the north from Bridge Of Don, Peterhead and Fraserburgh; Market Street, which leads to the fishing town of Torry; and Holburn Street to the Ruthrieston and Garthdee areas.The street was designed in the beginning of the 19th century under plans suggested by Charles Abercrombie and nearly bankrupted the city. The Denburn River still runs under Union Bridge but has been covered over by a dual carriageway road.

The street is approximately one mile long (0.8 miles) and a feat of engineering skill involving the partial levelling of St. Catherine's Hill and the building of arches to carry the street over Putachieside.

The Denburn Valley was crossed by Union Street by Union Bridge (constructed 1801–05). The Union Street holds the record of the 'Worlds largest single span granite bridge' at 130 feet (40 m) across.

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