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The British Isles are a group of islands northwest of Europe. Not all of these islands are British.

The largest island in the group is Great Britain which consists of the nations of England, Scotland and Wales.

Ireland is the second largest island in the group and is divided between the Republic of Ireland, that is not British, and Northern Ireland which is.

The Isle of Man lies in the Irish Sea between the two main islands. The Channel Islands are British Crown Dependencies that are located to the south of Great Britain in the English Channel and are physically closer to France.

The term "British Isles" is used for convenience in grouping the following countries into one category: to inderstand this better see What Is Britain? a presentation by Audrey Collins, Records Specialist at The National Archives.


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