Letter: Our noble Lords

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The reference to "Britain's first elected peers of the realm" in a headline (report, 6 November) was misleading.

After the Act of Union between Scotland and England in 1707, the Scottish peers - there were then more than 130 - elected 16 of their number to sit with the 170 English peers in the House of Lords. Such elections continued until the Peerage Act of 1963 gave all Scottish peers the right to sit in the House of Lords.

Similarly, the 1800 Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland allowed the 170 Irish peers to elect 28 representative peers to join the 260 British peers in the House of Lords. Such elections were held until the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922 abolished the post of Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who had arranged the elections.

ERIC THOMPSON

London NW2

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