|Motto: "Man macht was man muss"|
"One does what one must"
|Anthem: God Save the Queen|
|Ethnic groups |
|Government||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
• Governor of New Shropshire
|Sir Victor FitzGerald|
|Legislature||New Shropshire Assembly|
• Claimed by Sir James FitzGerald
• West Chile Company formed, controls New Shropshire
• West Chile Company dissolved
• Independence formally declared
|0.362 km2 (0.140 sq mi)|
|5,277.7/km2 (13,669.2/sq mi)|
|Currency||Peso chileno ($)|
|Time zone||UTC−3 (Chile Standard Time (Magallanes))|
New Shropshire is a South American micronation off the coast of Chile. It consists of 3 islands, the largest being Geraldine Island. The country is purportedly a Commonwealth realm.
New Shropshire was supposedly discovered in 1792 by Sir James FitzGerald, who was in South America as a privateer and merchant against the Spanish. It was used by his ship, the Royal Geraldine, as a mooring overnight. Sir James decided to claim the island as Jamesland to be used as a more permanent privateering base for the area; unfortunately, Arthur Bothrington, his first officer, disagreed with this name, claiming it to be silly. In the end, they named it for Sir James' home county of Shropshire.
The island then saw frequent use as a small British mooring, seeing its highest usage throughout the Spanish American wars of independence. Its advantageous position near the western opening of the Strait of Magellan made it useful for ships to sail out of, and as a final resupply point before the sail up the Chilean coast.
After Chilean independence in 1818, the British presence in the area decreased greatly. Realising that legally his claim meant nothing, Sir James used his relation with the more powerful Andrew FitzGerald, Duke of Cotswold, to acquire a royal charter for a 'West Chile Company'. This company had a small fleet of ships used for privateering and trading, and lasted until 1839 when it was wound up.
A formal governor of the island was never appointed, though the FitzGerald family claimed governorship. This meant that after the WCC's dissolution, Britain did not continue to govern it as a colony. On the other hand, Chile did not make any attempt to take the small and meaningless island.
This left New Shropshire in a situation where, forgotten by both countries, it had no legal owners or claimants (bar the FitzGerald family, who debatably owned the island privately). Therefore, it could be argued that it defaulted to Chilean territory; alternatively, it could be argued that it remained Britain's territory, as which it would have become a Crown colony and eventually a British overseas territory. However, the preferred argument of the Governor is that as it was not under Britain's legal jurisdiction it could not have become a territory, so must be independent. This would render it a Commonwealth Realm.
In 2022, the 230th anniversary of the island's discovery, New Shropshire declared official independence. This somewhat solidifies its legal status.
New Shropshire is made up of 3 small islands, the largest of which is Geraldine Island. Terrain is largely rocky and mountainous. Some small structures may have been built on Geraldine Island in the 19th century, but the lack of any good flat surfaces prohibits any large buildings.
The capital, Port Geraldine, had at least two wooden docks built at it, which were likely large enough to fit most small and medium merchant vessels. It is situated in a flatter but sheltered section of the island, allowing for some amount of settlement.
The other two islands, St James Island (named after and by Sir James FitzGerald) and Holf Island are much smaller. St James Island may have had a small dock constructed on its eastern side.
The majority of the population are penguins, which can be seen throughout the Magellan Strait. There has been no permanent human population since the early 19th-century.
New Shropshire is led by a Governor, currently Sir Victor FitzGerald. The Governorship of New Shropshire is a source of pride for this branch of the rather extensive FitzGerald family, so it has effectively been passed down to heirs. The King has made no opposition to this practice.
The New Shropshire Assembly supports the Governor and advises him on his actions. Unfortunately, it is largely unproductive, possibly as a result of it being mainly made up of penguins and sea lions. The Governor and the New Shropshire Civil Service therefore carry out most executive functions.
Civil and Diplomatic Services
The New Shropshire Civil Service maintains most internal functions for the nation. It is divided into:
- The Interior Office
- The Revenue Office
- The Heraldry Office
- The Commerce Office
There is no one diplomatic service, though various diplomats are appointed; most prominently, the High Commissioner to the UK, who also serves as Deputy Governor.
The New Shropshire Armed Forces consists of a small standing navy and a single regiment.
The Royal New Shropshire Navy (RNSN) has suffered from a severe lack of funding in recent years. Its last ship was decommissioned in 2001.
It has some standing personnel, but no ships. The Armed Forces Review 2019 outlined a plan to procure a vessel by 2024, but this was cancelled in 2023.
Due to the inaccessibility of the island, and the RNSN's lack of a bluewater fleet, the Chilean Navy has very kindly provided naval coverage for the island in place of the RNSN.
Royal New Shropshire Regiment
The Royal New Shropshire Regiment is a small reserve formation with few standing personnel. It contains a Maritime Detachment, which provides naval infantry for the Royal New Shropshire Navy.
The current flag is a Blue Ensign defaced with the arms of New Shropshire. These arms were taken from the West Chile Company, which in turn took its from the arms of Sir James FitzGerald. Usage of a white disc behind the arms has varied over time, as it has with most British colonies.
New Shropshire has a lucrative fish trade, which proves immensely popular with its residents. The economy is broadly internal, though occasionally visitors elsewhere will involve themselves in it.
New Shropshire primarily follows British foreign policy. It does recognise some other micronations.