Boroughs incorporated in England and Wales 1835–1882

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The Municipal Corporations Act 1835 reformed 178 existing boroughs. It also allowed for further towns to submit petitions for the grant of a charter of incorporation as a municipal borough. There were 62 such incorporations before the 1835 act was repealed and replaced by the Municipal Corporations Act 1882.

Up to 1851, eighteen boroughs were incorporated: sixteen towns that had been enfranchised by the Reform Act 1832 and two of the boroughs unreformed in 1835 were brought under the act.

In the following years a further six unreformed boroughs were incorporated and 38 other towns became municipalities. Most of the newly incorporated towns were rapidly growing industrial centres. A number of coastal resorts were created boroughs, reflecting the growth of seaside tourism, and in 1875 Leamington Spa became the first inland spa resort to gain incorporation.

Borough County Year Successor
Devonport Devon 1837[1][2] City of Plymouth
Bolton Lancashire 1838[3] Metropolitan Borough of Bolton
Birmingham Warwickshire 1838[4] City of Birmingham
Manchester Lancashire 1838[5] City of Manchester
Sheffield Yorkshire 1843[6] City of Sheffield
Salford Lancashire 1844[7] City of Salford
Honiton Devon 1846 Honiton Town Council
Ashton-under-Lyne Lancashire 1847 Metropolitan Borough of Tameside
Bradford Yorkshire 1847 City of Bradford
Warrington Lancashire and Cheshire 1847 Warrington Borough
Halifax Yorkshire 1848 Calderdale Metropolitan Borough
Wakefield Yorkshire 1848 City of Wakefield
Wolverhampton Staffordshire 1848 City of Wolverhampton
Oldham Lancashire 1849 Metropolitan Borough of Oldham
Tynemouth Northumberland 1849 North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough
Hartlepool County Durham 1850 Hartlepool Borough
South Shields County Durham 1850 South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough
Blackburn Lancashire 1851 Blackburn with Darwen Borough
Middlesbrough Yorkshire 1853 Middlesbrough Borough
Brighton Sussex 1854 Brighton and Hove City
Yeovil Somerset 1854 Yeovil Town Council
Rochdale Lancashire 1856 Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale
Hanley Staffordshire 1857 Stoke-on-Trent City
Margate Kent 1857 Charter Trustees of the Town of Margate
Stalybridge Cheshire and Lancashire 1857 Metropolitan Borough of Tameside
Wrexham Denbighshire 1857 Wrexham County Borough
Hedon Yorkshire 1861[8] Hedon Town Council
Aberavon Glamorgan 1861 Neath Port Talbot County Borough
Burnley Lancashire 1861 Burnley Borough
Dewsbury Yorkshire 1862 Kirklees Metropolitan Borough
Reigate Surrey 1863 Reigate and Banstead Borough
Dunstable Bedfordshire 1864 Dunstable Town Council
Dudley Worcestershire 1865 Metropolitan Borough of Dudley
Longton Staffordshire 1865 City of Stoke on Trent
Glossop Derbyshire 1866 High Peak Borough
Southport Lancashire 1866 Metropolitan Borough of Sefton
Barrow-in-Furness Lancashire 1867 Barrow-in-Furness Borough
Darlington County Durham 1867 Darlington Borough
Batley Yorkshire 1868 Kirklees Metropolitan Borough
Bootle cum Linacre Lancashire 1868 Metropolitan Borough of Sefton
Huddersfield Yorkshire 1868 Kirklees Metropolitan Borough
Ryde Hampshire (Isle of Wight) 1868 Ryde Town Council
St Helens Lancashire 1868 Metropolitan Borough of St Helens
Barnsley Yorkshire 1869 Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley
Rotherham Yorkshire 1871 Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham
Peterborough Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire 1874 City of Peterborough
St. Ives Huntingdonshire 1874 St Ives Town Council
Stoke upon Trent Staffordshire 1874 City of Stoke on Trent
Jarrow County Durham 1875 Metropolitan Borough of South Tyneside
Royal Leamington Spa Warwickshire 1875 Royal Leamington Spa Town Council
Blackpool Lancashire 1876 Blackpool Borough
Bury Lancashire 1876 Metropolitan Borough of Bury
Cheltenham Gloucestershire 1876 Cheltenham Borough
Luton Bedfordshire 1876 Luton Borough
Birkenhead Cheshire 1877 Metropolitan Borough of Wirral
Crewe Cheshire 1877 Crewe and Nantwich Borough
Taunton Somerset 1877 Taunton Deane Borough
Accrington Lancashire 1878 Hyndburn Borough
Burslem Staffordshire 1878 City of Stoke on Trent
Burton upon Trent Staffordshire and Derbyshire 1878 East Staffordshire Borough
Darwen Lancashire 1878 Darwen Town Council
Chorley Lancashire 1881 Chorley Borough
Heywood Lancashire 1881 Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale
Hyde Lancashire 1881 Metropolitan Borough of Tameside
Lewes Sussex 1881 Lewes Town Council

† Boroughs enfranchised 1832 ‡ Borough unreformed in 1835


  1. ^ Petition submitted to the Privy Council on 28 January 1837 The London Gazette: no. 19462. pp. 221–222. 31 January 1837. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
  2. ^ Charter granted 20 October 1837 "Incorporation of Devonport". Morning Post. 25 October 1837. 
  3. ^ Local Authority Records. Bolton Museums and Archive Service. URL accessed 12 July 2008.
  4. ^ "A brief history of the Birmingham City Council". Birmingham Community Safety Partnership. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  5. ^ "Manchester Quarter Sessions Records". Access to Archives. The National Archives. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  6. ^ "History of the Lord Mayor". Sheffield City Council. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  7. ^ "Townships: Salford". A History of the County of Lancaster, Vol.4. British History Online. 1911. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  8. ^ The Municipal corporations act was applied to the borough by the Hedon Corporation and Borough Improvement Act 1860 (23 & 24 Vict c.xxxi). The first elections to the reformed borough were held on 1 November 1860. "Municipal Elections". Hull Packet & East Riding Times. 2 November 1860.