Lancashire County is a region in England that is recognized today as being a distinct cultural and geographical area of great importance.
How the county came about
The administrative areas that were to eventually come to make up Lancashire County actually existed long before the region was even designated as a county. It was in about 1072 that King William actually gave the land between the Mersey and Ribble to Roger of Poitou. In later years, King William II also included the land of Furness, Cartmel and Lonsdale to Roger, thus increasing the extent of the region.
However, Roger eventually lost the land when he tried to rebel against King Henry I, and it was at this time in 1102 that what was to become Lancashire was then handed over to Stephen of Blois. The region was eventually designated as a county in 1182 under King Henry II.
The first person to be named Earl of Lancaster was Edmund Crouch in 1267. By 1351 the Earl of Lancaster, Henry, was given palatinate powers largely because of the excellent strategic location of the region, being on the western side of England. In other words, Lancashire was able to have its own chancery and could appoint its own sheriff. Even though the Duke was largely in control of the region, the taxes were still collected by the King.
Lancashire is found in the northwestern part of England and really became very important during the industrial revolution, especially as a major processor of cotton, and was actually important throughout the world. There were numerous cotton mills in the area that were involved in this. This county therefore played a very important and significant role during the industrial revolution. In fact, the coalfields in Lancashire also became very significant during this important period and began to be heavily mined. There was a tremendous economic growth in this area during the time of the industrial revolution. It also helped that Liverpool and Manchester, where there was an increasing population and industrialization, were part of the region, though this was to change in later years.
Up until the 1970s, Manchester and Liverpool were included in Lancashire County. However, the boundaries were redrawn to exclude these places. In fact, the county of Lancashire lost about 709 square miles when regions were removed and boundaries changed. This also meant that the population decreased since many people lived and worked in Liverpool and Manchester. The northern boundary today is the region of Cumbria and the southern boundary is the areas of Merseyside and greater Manchester. To the west of Lancashire is the Irish Sea and to the east is Yorkshire. Although the new area was smaller in size it still encompassed a lot of land and several different towns and cities.
The Lancashire area is still important today and is actually known for its beautiful countryside and wonderful cities such as Lancaster and Preston. More than 1.5 million people live and work in the county today.