Prince Bishopric of Durham

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Prince-Bishopric of Durham
New Durham Flag.png
County flag
Durham CoA.png
County coat of arms

Kingdom of Northumbria
Capital cityBamburgh (national)
Durham (county)
Largest citySunderland
Official language(s)English (British English, Northumbrian dialects)
Official religion(s)Anglicanism
Short nameDurham
DemonymDurhamite, Dunelmian
GovernmentPrince-Bishopric in a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
- King of NorthumbriaKing of Northumbria
- Prime Minister of NorthumbriaPrime Minister of Northumbria
- Prince-Bishop of NorthumberlandPrince-Bishop of Durham
- Prince Bishop's ElectRilgar Ompastre
LegislatureDurham Council
- Type - Unicameral county council
Established24/11/2020
CurrencyPound Sterling
Time zoneNorthumbrian Standard Time
National dishPanackelty
National animalLion
Patron saintSaint Cuthbert


Durham, or more properly the Prince-Bishopric of Durham is one of six counties within the Kingdom of Northumbria, and ceremonially one of its two 'kingly provinces', displayed on the national coat of arms alongside the county of Northumberland. It borders the counties of Northumberland, Hexhamshire and Newcastle to the north, Alston to the west and Teesside to the south. It is Northumbria's largest county by population by some margin, and its second largest by area. It is also the county with the longest micronational history in Northumbria.

History

Kozlova and Dradelia

Durham's earliest micronational predecessors - the Democratic People's Republic of Kozlova and the Republic of Dradelia - were founded in 2012 and 2011 respectively. Dradelia (which began life as Dalton) was founded by Rilgar Ompastre and his uncle as a Slavic-influenced micronational project located in East Durham. Influenced by this, Ompastre's friends created Kozlova, a communist micronation located in the City of Durham itself. Kozlova lasted until early 2013, when it succumbed to internal tensions and rebellion and was dissolved; its creators went on to form the Sorrenian Federation. Meanwhile, Dradelia was ceded to the Ashukov Federation, with the exception of a small allotment of land which became the Viadalvian Republic of Dradelia. Short lived, the VRD was ultimately absorbed by Sorrenia, and its land claim greatly expanded. After Ashukovo became defunct, Sorrenia formally claimed all of Dradelia, which was incorporated as a state.

Sorrenian Federation

Most of the Sorrenian Federation's land claim was contained within the county of Durham, and a number of areas became very important to its history and culture. The city of Durham itself contained Sorrenia's capital of Levaria and most of its government institutions. Bowburn became the site of the Presidential Palace in 2013, only briefly ended by the presidency of Rozalia Janiszewski in 2014. Ertawa and Great Derwent were used regularly by the Sorrenian military for camping and hiking expeditions.

The Sorrenian Federation lasted for four years, and in that time grew to a total population of 40. The government participated in the wider micronational community regularly, and developed a large media sector, a tradition of partisan contestation, an active military and a complex and intricate tapestry of cultures, languages and religions. By late 2016 however the Federation entered into a period of stagnation. Though a coup was attempted to galvinise Sorrenia, the project fell into hiatus.

Kingdom of Sorrenia

Sorrenia was refounded as a kingdom in 2018 after the War of the Sorrenian Succession. Once again, Durham retained a central role in Sorrenia's cultural and political life. A number of historic Durham states - like Ertawa, Bowburn and Sherburn - were retained, and though Sorrenia greatly expanded its land claim during the 'Great Expansion' to encompass all of the North East, North Yorkshire and much of the North West, Durham continued to play a central role in the micronation. Sorrenia's new capital - Sacriston - is located several miles north of the city of Durham, and Durham-based counties were disproportionately represented in the King's Council.

This was bolstered by the project of Northumbrianism, which worked to redefine the Kingdom of Sorrenia as a Northumbrian entity, which gradually replaced Celticism, an ideology which dominated the politics of the Sorrenian Federation; as Durham was one of the most important parts of the medieval Kingdom of Northumbria, this further bolstered its imagined importance. The revolutionary ideology of Pitmatic also emerged at this time, which advocated for a revolution led by the old proletariat of Sorrenia, present mostly in the pit villages of Durham. The Pitmatic ideology continues to exist today.

By 2020, most Sorrenian officials sought to entirely reform Sorrenia into the contemporary Kingdom of Northumbria.

Kingdom of Northumbria

Government

Durham's head of state is the Prince-Bishop of Durham, an ecclesiastical title within the Northumbrian Church of England, and its most senior member. The Prince-Bishop is chosen by a conclave of the Church of England. In turn, he possesses a number of powers unique for Northumbria's devolved head of states; he is for instance able to ratify (and thus veto) any ecclesiastical appointments within Northumbria, including Hexhamshire's head of state, the Abbott of Hexham.

Durham's legislature is a county council appropriatelly called Durham Council. It is the largest in Northumbria, consisting of thirty-seven members elected during general elections. It is one of the more diverse county councils, evidencing Durham's political pluralism.

The Prince-Bishop of Durham, as head of state of Durham, is entitled to appoint twelve members to the Witan, the upper chamber of Northumbria's legislature. He is one of two officials in Northumbria granted the right to send Lords spiritual to the Witan, and sends four in total - the Prince-Bishop himself usually being one of them. The remaining partisan appointees are roughly proportional to Durham's partisan makeup at the parliamentary level, though the Prince-Bishop utilises a great degree of discretion in who he appoints, demonstrating bias towards the National Democratic Party and the Christian Democrats, two Durham irredentist parties; appointed members of the Socialist Party and the Liberal-Green Alliance are also expected to actively or tacitly endorse Durham irredentism. The Tees Party - a Teesdale irredentist party - despite winning parliamentary seats in south Durham, has never been granted seats in the Witan by the Prince-Bishop. Along with pro-Durham irredentist members appointed by the Abbott of Hexham, this grants the Prince-Bishop an effective veto over constitutional policy in the Witan, entrenching Durham irredentism within Northumbria's constitution.

Political parties

Durham is perhaps the most politically diverse county in Northumbria. The western constituencies located in the North Pennines tend to support the Christian Democrats, while the Tees Party win mass appeal in the city of Darlington. The Socialist Party comfortably win seats in Gateshead and Sunderland, and also perform well throughout central and east Durham in constituencies like Easington and Hartlepool. The Liberal-Green Alliance also often wins the constituency of Durham City itself due to the city's large student population. The National Democratic Party however is the most popular party in Durham, performing well throughout the entire county

Geography

Due to its expansive size, Durham's physical and social geography varies immensely. As a result, its geographical composition is often deconstructed into a series of regions, the largest being the County Durham region (named after the area included within the English county of Durham), followed by the South Tyneside-Wearside area, the Tees-Teesdale area and Islandshire and Bedlingtonshire.

Settlements

Despite being named after the historic cathedral city of Durham, the City of Durham is in fact only the eighth largest city in the county, and is considerably smaller than cities like Sunderland and Stockton-on-Tees.

Rank Name Pop. Area Location
1 Sunderland 174,000 Tyne and Wear
2 Gateshead 120,000 Tyne and Wear
3 Darlington 92,000 Teesside
4 Hartlepool 92,000 East Durham
5 Stockton-on-Tees 85,000 Teesside
6 South Shields 75,000 Tyne and Wear
7 Washington 67,000 Tyne and Wear
8 Durham 48,000 Central Durham
9 Billingham 35,000 Teesside
10 Jarrow 27,000 Tyne and Wear

Economy

Culture