From today's featured article
In the United Kingdom, representative peers were elected by the members of the Peerage of Scotland and the Peerage of Ireland to sit in the British House of Lords. The system was introduced in 1707, when England and Scotland became the Kingdom of Great Britain (Act of Union 1707 pictured). At the time, there were 168 English and 154 Scottish peers, but the English population was roughly five times greater than that of Scotland. The English peers feared that the House of Lords would be swamped, and arranged for the election of a small number of Scottish peers. A similar arrangement was adopted when the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. Scotland elected 16 representative peers, who sat for the duration of a Parliament, while Ireland elected 28, who sat for life. Elections for Irish peers ceased when the Irish Free State gained independence in 1922, although already-elected Irish peers were entitled to sit until their death; the last was the 4th Earl of Kilmorey, who died in 1961. Elections for Scottish peers ended in 1963, when they all obtained the right to sit in the House of Lords. (Full article...)
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