During the Roman Empire the area now known as England formed the major part of the Province of Britannia, having been conquered by the Emperor Claudius in AD 43.
After the Romans left it was settled by Anglo-Saxon tribes, which formed a number of kingdoms. England is considered to have been united as a single Kingdom in 927 by King Æthelstan of Wessex. The Kings of England became Lords of Ireland during the 12th century, and conquered Wales during the 13th Century. The Crown of England was united with that of Scotland on the accession of King James I in 1603.
For many legal purposes England and Wales are treated as a single unit. Since the devolution in the other parts of the United Kingdom, some UK Acts of Parliament now apply to England only.England is the largest country within the United Kingdom.
Local government in England has been reorganised several times in the 20th century. The country is currently divided into 48 ceremonial counties as shown on the map above. Within individual ceremonial counties there are a number of different arrangements:
- Greater London has an overall authority, the Greater London Authority, and borough councils for each of the 32 London Boroughs (plus the City of London, which is nonetheless a separate ceremonial county).
- The six metropolitan counties (Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, West Midlands, and West Yorkshire) are each divided into metropolitan boroughs: each borough has its own council running all local government services.
- Of the remaining counties, most but not all have county councils; some county councils are unitary authorities providing all services, while others provide only certain services, the reminder being provided by district councils. Some districts within particular ceremonial counties are unitary authorities, not covered by the county council. See the articles on individual counties for details.
For police services in England and the rest of the UK (with map), see Police.
For the LGBT history of particular parts of the country, click the county name on the map above.
For LGBT subjects not related to a particular area, search for the item in question, or try browsing Category:Main categories.