history of Lancashire

Lancashire is a county of England, in the northwest of the country. The county did not exist in 1086, for the Domesday Book, and was apparently first created in 1182, making it one of the youngest of the traditional counties. The historic county consisted of two separate parts. The main part runs along the northwestern coast of England. When it included Manchester and Liverpool it had a greatest length of 76 miles, and breadth of 45 miles, and an area of 1,208,154 acres. The northern detached part of the old county palatine, consisting of Furness and Cartmell was 25 miles in length, 23 miles in breadth and was separated from the main portion of Lancashire by Morecambe Bay and the Kendal district of Westmorland. The highest point in the historic county is 803 metres (2,633 ft) at the Old Man of Coniston.As a county palatine, the Duke of Lancaster had sovereignty rights in the areas of justice and administration within the county. However the third man to hold the title, Henry Bolingbroke seized the English throne in 1399 to become Henry IV and both the duchy and palatinate have since been possessions of the crown, administered separately but consistently with the rest of the country. The later part of the 19th century brought large reforms with the much of county's independent legal system merged into the national courts and a new administrative county and network of county boroughs being formed. Since then Lancashire County Council has been seated at County Hall in Preston. In 1974 the administrative county was abolished and new ceremonial counties created with the areas around the cities of Manchester and Liverpool forming the larger portions of Greater Manchester and Merseyside. The section north of Morecambe Bay joined Westmorland and Cumberland to form the modern county of Cumbria. However the new Lancashire gained control of the Forest of Bowland and West Craven areas formerly under the administration of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Throughout these changes, historic Lancashire still continues to be recognised as a geographical and cultural area by the British Government. The historic county palatine boundaries are also still recognised and unmoved with Lancaster still being recognised as the county town. Traditional borders are still followed by organisations such as the Lancashire FA.The High Sheriffs of Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside are still appointed by the Queen in right of the duchy. The duchy also benefits from the legal concept of bona vacantia within county palatine, whereby it has the right to property for which the legal owner cannot be found. The proceeds are divided between two registered charities, the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund and the Duchy of Lancaster Jubilee Trust.The emblem of the historic county of Lancashire is the Red Rose of the English royal House of Lancaster, and in 2008 the Flag of Lancashire became recognised by the Flag Institute. On 27 November, Lancashire Day celebrates the culture of the historic county ranging from its history to its own dialect.
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