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Bible Encyclopedias
Great Britain and Ireland, the United Kingdom of

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

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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:

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Great Britain and Ireland, the United Kingdom of'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​g/great-britain-and-ireland-the-united-kingdom-of.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
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