The Act of Union (40 Geo. III c. 67)
July 2, 1800
The parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland have resolved to concur in measures for uniting the two kingdoms:
WHEREAS in pursuance of his Majesty’s most gracious recommendation to the two Houses of Parliament in Great Britain and Ireland respectively, to consider of such measures as might best tend to strengthen and consolidate the connection between the two Kingdoms, the two Houses of the Parliament of Great Britain and the two Houses of the Parliament of Ireland have severally agreed and resolved that, in order to promote and secure the essential interests of Great Britain and Ireland, and to consolidate the strength, power and resources of the British Empire, it will be advisable to concur in such measures as may best tend to unite the two Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland into one Kingdom, in such a manner, and on such terms and conditions, as may be established by the Acts of the respective Parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland.
And whereas, in furtherance of the said Resolution, both Houses of the said two Parliaments respectively have likewise agreed upon certain Articles for effectuating and establishing the said purposes, in the tenor following:
That it be the first Article of the Union of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, that the said Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland shall, upon the first day of January which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and one, and for ever after, be united into one Kingdom, by the name of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; and that the royal style and titles appertaining to the Imperial Crown of the said United Kingdom and its dependencies; and also the ensigns, armorial flags and banners thereof shall be such as his Majesty, by his royal Proclamation under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, shall be pleased to appoint.
That it be the second Article of Union, that the succession to the Imperial Crown of the said United Kingdom, and of the dominions thereunto belonging, shall continue limited and settled in the same manner as the succession to the imperial crown of the said kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland now stands limited and settled, according to the existing laws, and to the terms of union between England and Scotland.
That it be the third Article of Union that the said United Kingdom be represented in one and the same Parliament, to be styled The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
That it be the fourth Article of Union that four Lords Spiritual of Ireland by rotation of sessions, and 28 Lords Temporal of Ireland elected for life by the peers of Ireland, shall be the number to sit and vote on the part of Ireland in the House of Lords of the Parliament of the United Kingdom; and 100 commoners (two for each County of Ireland, two for the City of Dublin, two for the City of Cork, one for the University of Trinity College, and one for each of the 31 most considerable Cities, Towns and Boroughs) be the number to sit and vote on the part of Ireland in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom:
That such Act as shall be passed in the Parliament of Ireland previous to the Union, to regulate the mode by which the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons, to serve in the Parliament of the United Kingdom on the part of Ireland, shall be summoned and returned to the said Parliament, shall be considered as forming part of the Treaty of the Union, and shall be incorporated in the Acts of the respective Parliaments by which the said Union shall be ratified and established.
That any person holding any peerage in Ireland now subsisting, or hereafter to be created, shall not thereby be disqualified from being elected to serve, if he shall so think fit . . . for any county, city or borough of Great Britain, in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, unless he shall have been previously elected as above, to sit in the House of Lords of the United Kingdom; but that so long as such peer of Ireland shall so continue to be a member of the House of Commons, he shall not be entitled to the privilege of peerage, nor be capable of being elected to serve as a peer on the part of Ireland, or of voting at any such election; and that he shall be liable to be sued, indicted, proceeded against, and tried as a commoner, for any offence with which he may be charged.
That all questions touching the election of members to sit on the part of Ireland in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom shall be heard and decided in the same manner as questions touching such elections in Great Britain now are, or at any time hereafter shall by law be heard and decided, subject nevertheless to such particular regulations in respect of Ireland as, from local circumstances, the Parliament of the United Kingdom may from time to time deem expedient:
That the qualifications in respect of property of the members elected on the part of Ireland to sit in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, shall be respectively the same as are now provided by law in the cases of elections for counties and cities and boroughs respectively in that part of the United Kingdom called England, unless any other provision shall hereafter be made in that respect by Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom…
That when H.M., his heirs or successors, shall declare his, her, or their pleasure for holding the first or any subsequent Parliament of the United Kingdom, a Proclamation shall issue, under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, to cause the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, who are to serve in the Parliament thereof on the part of Ireland, to be returned in such manner as by any Act of this present Session of the Parliament of Ireland shall be provided; and that the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons of Great Britain shall together with the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons so returned as aforesaid on the part of Ireland, constitute the two Houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
That it be the fifth Article of Union, that the Churches of England and Ireland, as now by law established, be united into one Protestant Episcopal Church, to be called, The United Church of England and Ireland; and that the doctrine, worship, discipline and government of the said United Church shall be, and shall remain in full force for ever, as the same are now by law established for the Church of England; and that the continuance and preservation of the said united Church, as the Established Church of England and Ireland, shall be deemed and taken to be an essential and fundamental part of the Union; and that in like manner the doctrine, worship, discipline and government of the Church of Scotland shall remain and be preserved as the same are now established by law, and by the Acts for the Union of the two kingdoms of England and Scotland.
That it be the sixth Article of Union, that his Majesty’s subjects of Great Britain and Ireland shall, from and after the first day of January 1801 be entitled to the same privileges, and be on the same footing, as to encouragements and bounties on the like articles being the growth, produce or manufacture of either country respectively, and generally in respect of trade and navigation in all ports and places in the United King dom and its dependencies; and that in all treaties made by his Majesty, his heirs and successors with any foreign Power, his Majesty’s subjects of Ireland shall have the same privileges and be on the same footing as his Majesty’s subjects of Great Britain . .
That it be the seventh Article of Union, that the charge arising from the payment of interest, and the sinking fund for the reduction of the principal, of the debt incurred in either kingdom before the Union, shall continue to be separately defrayed by Great Britain and Ireland respectively, except as hereinafter provided: that for the space of 20 years after the Union shall take place, the contribution of Great Britain and Ireland respectively towards the expenditure of the United Kingdom in each year shall be defrayed in the proportion of fifteen parts for Great Britain, and two parts for Ireland; and that at the expiration of the said 20 years, the future expenditure of the United Kingdom (other than the interest and charges of the debt to which either country shall be separately liable) shall be defrayed in such proportion as the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall deem just and reasonable upon a comparison of the real value of the exports and imports of the respective countries, upon an average of the three years next preceding the period of revision; or on a comparison of the value of the quantities of the following articles consumed within the respective countries, on a similar average; videlicet, beer, spirits, sugar, wine, tea, tobacco and malt; or according to the aggregate proportion resulting from both these considerations combined; or on a comparison of the amount of income in each country, estimated from the produce for the same period of a general tax, if such shall have been imposed on the same descriptions of income in both countries; and that
the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall afterwards proceed in like manner to revise and fix the said proportions according to the same rules, or any of them, at periods not more distant than 20 years, nor less than seven years from each other; unless, previous to any such period, the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall have declared, as hereinafter, provided, that the expenditure of the United Kingdom shall be defrayed indiscriminately, by equal taxes imposed on the like articles in both countries.
That it be the eighth Article of Union, that all laws in force at the time of the Union, and all the courts of civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction within the respective kingdoms, shall remain as now by law established within the same, subject only to such alterations and regulations from time to time as circumstances may appear to the Parliament of the United Kingdom to require.
And whereas the said Articles having, by Address of the respective Houses of Parliament in Great Britain and Ireland, been humbly laid before his Majesty, his Majesty has been graciously pleased to approve the same; and to recommend it to his two Houses of Parliament in Great Britain and Ireland to consider of such measures as may be necessary for giving effect to the said Articles: in order, therefore, to give full effect and validity to the same, be it enacted by the King’s most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that the said foregoing recited Articles, each and every one of them, according to the true import and tenor thereof, be ratified, confirmed and approved, and be and they are hereby declared to be the Articles of the Union of Great Britain and Ireland, and the same shall be in force and have effect for ever, from the first day of January which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and one;; provided that before that period an Act shall have been passed by the Parliament of Ireland, for carrying into effect, in the like manner, the said foregoing recited Articles.