Riding (country subdivision)

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A riding is an administrative jurisdiction or electoral district, particularly in several current or former Commonwealth countries. [1]

Administrative division A territorial entity for administration purposes

An administrative division, unit, entity, area or region, also referred to as a subnational entity, constituent unit, or country subdivision, is a portion of a country or other region delineated for the purpose of administration. Administrative divisions are granted a certain degree of autonomy and are usually required to manage themselves through their own local governments. Countries are divided up into these smaller units to make managing their land and the affairs of their people easier. A country may be divided into provinces, states, counties, cantons or other sub-units, which, in turn, may be divided in whole or in part into municipalities, counties or others.

An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscription, or electorate, is a territorial subdivision for electing members to a legislative body. Generally, only voters (constituents) who reside within the district are permitted to vote in an election held there. From a single district, a single member or multiple members might be chosen. Members might be chosen by a first-past-the-post system or a proportional representative system, or another voting method entirely. Members might be chosen through a direct election under universal suffrage, an indirect election, or another form of suffrage.

Commonwealth of Nations Intergovernmental organisation

The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, and the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states.

Contents

Etymology

The word riding is descended from late Old English *þriðing or *þriding (recorded only in Latin contexts or forms, e.g., trehing, treding, trithing, with Latin initial t here representing the Old English letter thorn). It came into Old English as a loanword from Old Norse þriðjungr, meaning a third part (especially of a county) – the original "ridings", in the English counties of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, were in each case a set of three, though once the term was adopted elsewhere it was used for other numbers (cf. farthing). The modern form riding was the result of initial th being absorbed in the final th or t of the words north, south, east and west, by which it was normally preceded. [2] [3] [4]

Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers probably in the mid-5th century, and the first Old English literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, as the language of the upper classes by Anglo-Norman, a relative of French. This is regarded as marking the end of the Old English era, as during this period the English language was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English.

Thorn (letter) Latin letter

Thorn or þorn is a letter in the Old English, Gothic, Old Norse, Old Swedish, and modern Icelandic alphabets, as well as some dialects of Middle English. It was also used in medieval Scandinavia, but was later replaced with the digraph th, except in Iceland, where it survives. The letter originated from the rune in the Elder Fuþark and was called thorn in the Anglo-Saxon and thorn or thurs in the Scandinavian rune poems. It is similar in appearance to the archaic Greek letter sho (ϸ), although the two are historically unrelated.

Old Norse North Germanic language

Old Norse was a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements from about the 9th to the 13th centuries.

A common misconception holds that the term arose from some association between the size of the district and the distance that can be covered or encircled on horseback in a certain amount of time (cf. the Walking Purchase).

Folk etymology or reanalysis – sometimes called pseudo-etymology, popular etymology, analogical reformation, or etymological reinterpretation – is a change in a word or phrase resulting from the replacement of an unfamiliar form by a more familiar one. The form or the meaning of an archaic, foreign, or otherwise unfamiliar word is reanalyzed as resembling more familiar words or morphemes. Rebracketing is a form of folk etymology in which a word is broken down or "bracketed" into a new set of supposed elements. Back-formation, creating a new word by removing or changing parts of an existing word, is often based on folk etymology.

Walking Purchase Possible land agreement between Penn family and Lenape native Indians in the 1730s

The Walking Purchase was an alleged 1737 agreement between the Penn family, the original proprietors of the Province of Pennsylvania in the colonial era, and the Lenape native Indians. By it the Penn family and proprietors claimed an area of 1,200,000 acres (4,860 km2) along the northern reaches of the Delaware River at the northeastern boundary between the Province of Pennsylvania and the West New Jersey area to the east of the Province of New Jersey and forced the Lenape to vacate it. The Lenape appeal to the Iroquois Indian tribe further north for aid on the issue was refused.

Australia

The term was used in Australia as a division of some shire councils, similar to a ward in city, borough, town and many shire councils. [5]

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

A shire is a traditional term for a division of land, found in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and some other English-speaking countries. It was first used in Wessex from the beginning of Anglo-Saxon settlement, and spread to most of the rest of England in the tenth century. In some rural parts of Australia, a shire is a local government area; however, in Australia it is not synonymous with a "county", which is a lands administrative division.

Canada

The term was used in 19th century Canada to refer to subdivisions of counties.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

In Canadian politics, "riding" is a colloquial term for a constituency or electoral district. Officially, "electoral district" is generally used, although government documents sometimes use the colloquial term. In colloquial Canadian French, a riding is known as comté, i.e., "county", as the electoral districts in Quebec were historically identical to its counties; the official French term is circonscription.

The politics of Canada function within a framework of parliamentary democracy and a federal system of parliamentary government with strong democratic traditions. Canada is a constitutional monarchy, in which the monarch is head of state. In practice, the executive powers are directed by the Cabinet, a committee of ministers of the Crown responsible to the elected House of Commons of Canada and chosen and headed by the Prime Minister of Canada.

Electoral district (Canada) federal or provincial electoral district in Canada

An electoral district in Canada, also known as a "constituency" or a "riding", is a geographical constituency upon which Canada's representative democracy is based. It is officially known in Canadian French as a circonscription, but frequently called a comté (county).

The Canadian use of "riding" is derived from the English local government term, which was widely used in Canada in the 19th century. Most Canadian counties never had sufficient population to justify administrative subdivisions. Nonetheless, it was common, especially in Ontario, to divide counties with sufficient population into multiple electoral districts, which thus became known as "ridings" in official documents. The term was used in the legal description of the electoral districts of Canada West, which were grandfathered, by means of a schedule to the new constitution, as the electoral districts for the first elections to the new Canadian House of Commons, immediately following Confederation. Soon after Confederation, the urban population grew (and more importantly, most city dwellers gained the franchise after property ownership was no longer required to gain the vote). Rural constituencies therefore became geographically larger through the 20th century and generally encompassed one or more counties each, and the word "riding" was then used to refer to any electoral division.

The local association for a political party, which legally is known as an "electoral district association", is often referred to as a riding association.

England

Yorkshire

The ancient county of Yorkshire had three ridings, [4] [6] [7] North, West and East, originally each subdivided into wapentakes which were created by the Vikings. Note that the bounds of the City of York lay outwith all the Ridings, to emphasise its political impartiality.

The Yorkshire ridings were in many ways treated as separate administrative counties, having had separate quarter sessions and also separate lieutenancies since the Restoration. This practice was followed by the Local Government Act 1888, which made each of the three ridings an administrative county with an elected county council. These county councils, along with the ancient lieutenancies, were abolished in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972.

A local government area East Riding of Yorkshire was created in 1996, but this does not cover the entire area of the former East Riding and includes areas from the historical West Riding.

According to the 12th century compilation known as the Leges Edwardi Confessoris , the riding was the third part of a county (provincia); to it causes were brought which could not be determined in the wapentake, and a matter which could not be determined in the riding was brought into the court of the shire. [2]

There is abundant [ quantify ] evidence [ by whom? ] that riding courts were held after the Norman Conquest. A charter which Henry I granted to the Church of St Peters at York mentions wapentacmot, tridingmot and shiresmot (-mot designates popular assemblies), and exemptions from suit to the thriding or riding may be noticed frequently[ quantify ] in the charters of the Norman kings. As yet, however, the jurisdiction and functions of these courts have not been ascertained. It seems probable from the silence of the records that they had already fallen into disuse early in the 13th century. [2]

Although no longer having any administrative role the ridings of Yorkshire still play a part as cultural entities – they are used for the names of a number of groups and organisations and some people in Yorkshire associate themselves with one riding or another (see West Riding of Yorkshire#Current usage and Yorkshire Ridings Society). Winifred Holtby's 1936 novel South Riding and its adaptations were set in a fictional fourth riding. The title of the novel trilogy Red Riding by David Peace, set in Yorkshire, is a play on the word.

Elsewhere

The Parts of Lindsey, one of the Parts of Lincolnshire, also possessed ridings, in this case the North, West, and South ridings.

Ireland

The Grand Jury (Ireland) Act 1836 empowered the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to divide Irish counties into ridings with separate assizes held in different towns. [8] This was to allow County Tipperary to be divided in 1838 into a North Riding and South Riding, because the county town of Clonmel was inconveniently far south for jurors from the north. [9] Nenagh became the North Riding's assize town. [10] The ridings became separate administrative counties, with minor boundary adjustments, under the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898, [11] [12] and were redenominated as counties "North Tipperary" and "South Tipperary" under the Local Government Act 2001. [13] They were merged back into a single County Tipperary by the Local Government Reform Act 2014. [14]

County Cork had been divided in 1823 into East and West Ridings for quarter sessions and petty sessions, [15] but not for assizes, and so had a single county council after the 1898 changes. [12] County Galway from 1837 had East and West Ridings for Royal Irish Constabulary and county surveyor purposes. [12] The Cork and Galway ridings became largely obsolete after independence in 1922, [12] although the names "Cork East[/West] Riding" were used for the relevant Garda Síochána (police) divisions into the 1990s. [16]

New Zealand

Ridings existed in rural New Zealand in the late 19th and early to mid 20th century as part of larger county councils in the area. For example, The Taranaki County Council was divided into three separate ridings: Moa (south), Omata (west) and Waitara (east). [17]

As use of the automobile became more popular with the improvement of roads, combined with the concurrent trend of urban drift (c. 1950s), the ridings were either merged back into their parent councils or separated off into county councils in their own right. The Taranaki County Council's three ridings eventually split, with the Omata Riding remaining part of the Taranaki County Council, the Moa riding merging with the Inglewood Borough Council and the Waitara Riding becoming part of the Clifton County Council. [18]

In 1989 these were again merged reorganised into district and/or city councils. For example, the above three all merged with the New Plymouth Council and Waitara Borough Councils to form the New Plymouth District Council.

Examples:

Scandinavia

Ridings are originally Scandinavian institutions.

In Iceland the third part of a thing which corresponded roughly to an English county was called þrithjungr. The island of Gotland and the Swedish provinces Närke and Hälsingland were also divided into þrithjungar instead of hundreds.

In Norway, the þrithjungr seems to have been an ecclesiastical division.

See also

The term farthing is analogous for quarters of a county. Gloucestershire was once divided into farthings.[ citation needed ] In Tolkien's fictional world of Middle-earth, the Shire is divided into four farthings, into the Fourth Age.

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North Tipperary Former County in Munster, Ireland

North Tipperary was a county in Ireland. It was part of the Mid-West Region and was also located in the province of Munster. It was named after the town of Tipperary and consisted of 48% of the land area of the traditional county of Tipperary. North Tipperary County Council was the local authority for the county. In 2011, the population of the county was 70,322. It was abolished on 3 June 2014, merged with South Tipperary under a new Tipperary County Council.

South Tipperary Former County in Munster, Ireland

South Tipperary was a county in Ireland. It was part of the South-East Region and was also located in the province of Munster. It was named after the town of Tipperary and consisted of 52% of the land area of the traditional county of Tipperary. South Tipperary County Council was the local authority for the county. The population of the county was 88,433 according to the 2011 census. It was abolished on 3 June 2014, merged with North Tipperary under a new Tipperary County Council.

A county council is the elected administrative body governing an area known as a county. This term has slightly different meanings in different countries.

Local government in the Republic of Ireland

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The counties of the United Kingdom are subnational divisions of the United Kingdom, used for the purposes of administrative, geographical and political demarcation. By the Middle Ages counties had become established as a unit of local government, at least in England. By the early 17th century, all of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland had been separated into counties. The older term shire was historically equivalent to "county". In Scotland shire was the only term used until after the Act of Union 1707.

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties are one of the four levels of subdivisions of England used for the purposes of local government outside Greater London and the Isles of Scilly. As originally constituted, the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties each consisted of multiple districts, had a county council and were also the counties for the purposes of Lieutenancies. Later changes in legislation during the 1980s and 1990s have allowed counties without county councils and 'unitary authority' counties of a single district. Counties for the purposes of Lieutenancies are now defined separately, based on the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties.

Town commissioners were elected local government bodies established in urban areas in Ireland in the 19th century. Larger towns with commissioners were converted to urban districts by the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898, with the smaller commissions continuing to exist beyond partition in 1922. The idea was a standardisation of the improvement commissioners established in an ad-hoc manner for particular towns in Britain and Ireland in the eighteenth century. The last town commissioners in Northern Ireland were abolished in 1962, while in the Republic of Ireland the remaining commissions were renamed as town councils in 2002. They were finally abolished and replaced with local electoral areas following the enactment of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 on 1 June 2014.

Barony (Ireland) historical subdivision of a county of Ireland

In Ireland, a barony is a historical subdivision of a county, analogous to the hundreds into which the counties of England were divided. Baronies were created during the Tudor reconquest of Ireland, replacing the earlier cantreds formed after the original Norman invasion. Some early baronies were later subdivided into half baronies with the same standing as full baronies.

The wards and electoral divisions in the United Kingdom are electoral districts at sub-national level represented by one or more councillors. The ward is the primary unit of English electoral geography for civil parishes and borough and district councils, electoral ward is the unit used by Welsh principal councils, while the electoral division is the unit used by English county councils and some unitary authorities. Each ward/division has an average electorate of about 5,500 people, but ward-population counts can vary substantially. As at the end of 2014 there were 9,456 electoral wards/divisions in the UK.

History of local government in England

The history of local government in England is one of gradual change and evolution since the Middle Ages. England has never possessed a formal written constitution, with the result that modern administration is based on precedent, and is derived from administrative powers granted to older systems, such as that of the shires.

The history of local government in Yorkshire is unique and complex. Yorkshire is the largest historic English county and consists of a diverse mix of urban and rural development with a heritage in agriculture, manufacturing, and mining. After a long period of very little change, it has been subject to a number of significant reforms of local government structures in modern times, some of which were controversial. The most significant of these was the Local Government Act 1972 and the 1990s UK local government reform. It currently corresponds to several counties and districts and is mostly contained within the Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Tipperary County Council

Tipperary County Council is the authority responsible for local government in County Tipperary, Ireland. It came into operation on 3 June 2014 after the 2014 local elections, following the merger of North Tipperary County Council and South Tipperary County Council under the provisions of the Local Government Reform Act 2014. As a county council, it is governed by the Local Government Act 2001. The council is responsible for housing and community, roads and transportation, urban planning and development, amenity and culture, and environment. The council has 40 elected members. Elections are held every five years and are by single transferable vote. The head of the council has the title of Cathaoirleach. The county administration is headed by a Chief Executive, Joe MacGrath. The administrative centres are Nenagh and Clonmel.

References

Citations

  1. Merriam Webster Online
  2. 1 2 3 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ridings". Encyclopædia Britannica . 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 319.
  3. Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, edited by John Simpson and Edmund Weiner, Clarendon Press, 1989, twenty volumes, hardcover, ISBN   0-19-861186-2.
  4. 1 2 Online Etymology Dictionary – riding. URL accessed 21 April 2007.
  5. "Ivanhoe riding, shire of Heidelberg, counties of Bourke and Evelyn [cartographic material]". National Library of Australia.
  6. "The Yorkshire Ridings". The Yorkshire Ridings Society. Retrieved 2017-12-03.
  7. About Yorkshire – The Yorkshire Ridings. URL accessed 21 April 2007.
  8. Murphy 1994 p.291; "Grand Jury (Ireland) Act, 1836 ss.176–177". electronic Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  9. Murphy 1994 p.251
  10. Murphy 1994 p.91
  11. Murphy 1994 p.109
  12. 1 2 3 4 Potter, Matthew (2012). "'Geographical loyalty'? Counties, palatinates, boroughs and ridings". History Ireland. 20 (5): 24–27. JSTOR   41588745 . Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  13. "Local Government Act, 2001 s.10(4)(a)". electronic Irish Statute Book (eISB). Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  14. "Local Government Reform Act 2014 s.9(1)(b)". electronic Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  15. "4 George 3 c.93". Public General Acts and General Synod Measures. 47. Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales. 1823. p. 199.; "Cork Baronies and Towns". A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. Samuel Lewis. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  16. "Written Answers. - Garda Graduates". Dáil Éireann debate. 30 October 1991. Retrieved 21 August 2018.; "An able commissioner in a time of need". The Irish Times. 3 February 2001. Retrieved 21 August 2018. He subsequently became chief superintendent in charge of the old Cork East Riding Division, which has since been split into the two divisions of Cork City and Cork East.; "Indictable Offences per 1,000 population by Garda Divisions - 1991" (PDF). Report on Crime, 1991. Garda Síochána. August 1992. p. 6.
  17. "Taranaki County Council". nzetc.org.
  18. https://web.archive.org/web/20051215171135/http://www.nzart.org.nz/NZART/awards/NZART_NZ_Counties_Map.pdf

Sources