Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne has joined with Members of Parliament from across the historic County Palatine (and the modern-day Duchy) of Lancaster, to celebrate the 27th November as Lancashire Day.
On 27th November 1295 the first elected representatives from the County Palatine of Lancaster were summoned by King Edward I to attend a Parliament at Westminster, this was later to be know as the ‘Model Parliament’ and is acknowledged as the beginning of democracy in England, and later Great Britain.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“Although I missed out on being a ‘proper’ Lancastrian by just two months, so much of the Lancashire heritage and the Lancashire spirit still survives around much of my constituency. It’s great that once a year we can set our modern allegiances to one side and enjoy the 900 years linking Audenshaw, Denton, Haughton, Reddish and the Heatons to the County Palatine of Lancaster.
“And of course, not many people realise that in 1974, the whole of Greater Manchester was made part of the Duchy of Lancaster – it certainly might come as a shock revelation to my constituents across the Tame in Dukinfield, who are as proud of their historic Cheshire associations. But as the 27th November is Lancashire Day, let’s celebrate as Lancastrians!”
“Know ye that this day, 27th November in the year of our lord 2015, in the 64th year of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Duke of Lancaster, is Lancashire Day.
“Know ye also, and rejoice that, by virtue of Her Majesty’s County Palatine of Lancaster, the citizens of the Hundreds of Lonsdale, North and South of the Sands, Amounderness, Leyland, Blackburn, Salford and West Derby, are forever entitled to style themselves Lancastrians.
“Throughout the County Palatine, from the Furness fells to the River Mersey, from the Irish Sea Coast to the Pennines, this day shall forever mark the people’s pleasure in that excellent distinction – true Lancastrians, proud of the Red Rose and loyal to our Sovereign Duke. God Bless Lancashire and God Save the Queen, Duke of Lancaster.”
Although the administrative boundaries of Lancashire have been altered a number of times throughout history, the most radical being in April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972; most people are not aware that the Duchy of Lancaster remains as a legal entity and administrative unit, and encompasses the entirety of the present day Counties of Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside (including those parts formerly in Cheshire and Yorkshire West Riding prior to 1974).
Indeed, it is the Queen in her role as Duke of Lancaster – rather than as Sovereign of the United Kingdom – who appoints the Lords-Lieutenant and High Sheriffs of Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester.
- Both the towns of Audenshaw and Denton (which was unified with Haughton in 1894) were jointly administered by their respective Urban District Councils and the Lancashire County Council right up until March 31st 1974.
- Reddish and the Heatons were transferred to Stockport in 1901, as the only parts of ‘historic Lancashire’ to be put within the then County Borough of Stockport (which was then in the ceremonial county of Cheshire). “County of Lancaster” can still be made out in the stonework on the old Reddish police station – although Lancaster has at one time been chiselled off – and Lancashire Hill gets its name from being located on the Lancashire side of the Rivers Mersey and Tame.