Great Britain and Ireland, the United Kingdom of
Great Britain And Ireland, The United Kingdom Of, is, since the union of Ireland, the full official designation of the country more generally-known as Great Britain, Britain, or the, United Kingdom. It includes the two large islands of Great Britain (England and Scotland) and Ireland, and the adjacent smaller islands, together with the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The island of Great Britain so called to distinguish it from Britannia — Minor, or Little Britain, SEE BRETAGNE, in France — lies between lat. 49 degrees 57' 30" and 580 40' 24" N., and between long. 1 degrees 46' E. and 6 degrees 13'W., and is the largest island in Europe. It is bounded on the N. by the Atlantic, on the E. by the North Sea, on the S. by the English Channel, and on the W. by the Irish Sea, and St. George's Channel. The most northerly point is Dunnet Head, in Caithness; the most southerly Lizard Point, in Cornwall; the most easterly, Lowestoft Ness, in Norfolk; and the most westerly, Ardsnamurchan Point, in Argyleshire. Its greatest length is about 608 miles, and its greatest breadth (from Land's End to the east coast of Kent) about 320 miles, while its surface contains about 89,600 square miles. In addition to the home territories composing the kingdom, Great Britain possesses a multitude of dependencies, some of them of vast extent, scattered over every part of the globe, and constituting "an empire over which the sun never sets." According to the official census held in 1861 in the United Kingdom, and nearly all the colonies except British India, the extent and population of all the British dominions were in that year as follows: Not included in this enumeration is the, vast territory in North America which heretofore belonged to the Hudson's Bay Company, which in 1869 ceded its right of sovereignty. Added to the above total of square miles, this territory would increase the total extent of the British dominions to about seven millions of square miles, and make it, in point of extent, the first empire of the world. The total population was estimated in 1869 at 200,000,000; and in this respect the British empire wasi the second of the world, being exceeded only by the Chinese empire.
In England and Wales the Anglican Church is recognized as the state Church SEE ENGLAND, CHURCH OF, and the sovereign must belong to it. In Ireland the Anglican Church was also the established Church until 1869, when, after a long and violent struggle between the Conservative and Liberal partiesa, it was disestablished. SEE IRELAND. In Scotland the established Church is Presbyterian. SEE SCOTLAND. According to the census meturns of 1851 (in the census returns of 1861 religious statistics were not included), the number of places of worship, together with the sittings provided in England and Wales, and the estimated number of attendants on a particular day, were as follows:
"In England the chief institutions for education are the ancient national universities of Oxford and Cambridge; the more recent institutions of London, Durham, and Lampeter in Wales; the classical schools of Eton, Westminster, Winchester, Harrow, Charterhouse, and Rugly; the various military schools; the colleges of the dissenting denominations; the middleclass schools, either started by individual teachers, and hence called 'adventure' schools, or by associated bodies, acting as directors, to whom the teachers are responsible; the schools of design and the various elementary schools and training-colleges in connection with the different religious denominations. The number of day-schools in England and Wales in 1851 was 46,042, of which 15,518 were public schools deriving a portion of their income from some source besides the scholars and 30,524 private — i.e., sustained entirely by the payments of scholars. The total number of scholars was 2,144,378, of whom 1,422,982 attended the public, and 721,396 the private schools. As the population then amounted to 17,927,609, this gives a proportion of one scholar to every 8 1/3 of the inhabitants.
"Scotland possesses four universities for the higher branches of education, viz. those of Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Andrew's, and Aberdeen, besides a variety of minor colleges connected with the Episcopalian, Free Church, and other non-established churches; a complete system of parish schools, grammar-schools, or academies in the chief towns, which serve as preparatory gymnasia for the universities, and a large number of "denominational schools." In 1851 the number of day-schools was 5242, of which 3349 were public, and 1893 private. The number of scholars was 368,517, of whom 280,045 belonged to the public, and 88,472 to the private schools. Out of a population of 2,888,742, this gives a percentage of 12'76,a or 1 scholar to every 74 of the inhabitants. According to the education statistics of 1861, the number of children from 5 to 15 years of age attending school in Scotland were 441,166, which, out of a population of 3.061,251, gives 1 scholar to every 68 of the inhabitants." For the Church History of Great Britain, SEE ENGLAND, CHURCH OF; SEE SCOTLAND, CHURCH OF; IRELAND, and the articles on the several dissenting denominations. The most important works on the Church History of Great Britain have been referred to in the art on SEE ENGLAND, CHURCH OF; besides them must be mentioned Bogue and Bennett, History of Dissenters .(Lond. 1808-14, 4 volumes); J. Bennett, History of Dissent during the last thirty Years (Lond. 1849). (A.J.S.)