US consular representation in Britain since 1790 (2018)
In its early years the United States Consular Service was a relatively amateurish organization, often staffed by unsuitable characters whose appointments had been obtained as political favours from victorious presidential candidates—a practice known as the Spoils System. Most personnel changed every four years when new administrations came in. This compared unfavourably with the consular services of the European nations, but gradually by the turn of the twentieth century things had improved considerably—appointment procedures were tightened up, inspections of consuls and how they managed their consulates were introduced, and the separate Consular Service and Diplomatic Service were merged to form the Foreign Service. The first appointments to Britain were made in 1790, with James Maury becoming the first operational consul in the country, at Liverpool. At one point, there was a network of up to ninety US consular offices throughout the UK, stretching from the Orkney Islands to the Channel Islands. Nowadays, there is only the consular section in the embassy and the consulates general in Edinburgh and Belfast.