Wales Jurisdictions

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Jurisdictions[edit | edit source]

  • Hamlet: is a small village or collection of houses in a parish. It has no separate jurisdiction or administrative functions.
  • Township: is an ancient jurisdiction in Wales and parishes were formed from them as the Normans, over several hundred years, conquered Wales. Townships are divisions of a parish. They were units of local administration, levied a separate poor rate, and appointed a constable.
  • Parish: an area of varying size under the responsibility of a clergyman of the Church of England/Church in Wales
  • Hundred: an administrative subdivision of a county, usually a group of two or more parishes
  • Sub-district: comprised of more than one civil parish
  • Registration District: Subdivisions used specifically with civil registration, which began in 1837. Registration districts in rural areas have many villages and parishes included in one district. Large cities have many districts.
  • Poor Law Union: Under the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 all parishes in Wales and England were grouped together into Poor Law Unions. Each Poor Law Union had to provide a place where people who were unable to support themselves could live and work, known as the workhouse. Poor Law Unions were based on neither county boundaries nor national boundaries, with many Unions along the Wales-England border covering parts of both countries.
  • Archdeaconry: is a subdivision of a diocese with proscribed boundaries. It is presided over by an archdeacon. An Archdeaconry is composed of parishes.
  • Diocese: Represents an area of land with designated boundaries, whose population is presided over by a Bishop. Diocese vary in size, and are usually divided into one or more archdeaconries.
  • County: Administratively, the county is the next jurisdiction below the national government. There were thirteen historic counties in Wales before 1974. The authority and responsibilities of the county are varied and diverse.