Boroughs incorporated in England and Wales 1882–1974

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The following is a list of towns in England and Wales which were granted charters of incorporation conferring borough status under the Municipal Corporations Act 1882 or the Local Government Act 1933.

1882–89[edit]

Forty-six boroughs were incorporated in this period. Of this number, more than half (twenty-five) were unreformed boroughs listed in the schedule to the Municipal Corporations Act 1883. This act abolished all such boroughs unless they obtained a new charter by 1886. Among the remaining 21 boroughs most were industrial centres or resorts. Also incorporated were two county towns: Chelmsford and Taunton, and two areas of suburban London, Croydon and West Ham.

Municipal Borough

County

Created

Abolished

Successor(s)

Bacup MB Lancashire 1882 1974 Rossendale
Keighley MB Yorkshire (1882-89), West Riding of Yorkshire (1889-1974) 1882 1974 Bradford
West Bromwich MB Staffordshire 1882 1889 West Bromwich CB
Bangor MB† Caernarfonshire 1883 1974 Arfon
Croydon MB Surrey 1883 1889 Croydon CB
Eastbourne MB Sussex (1883-89), East Sussex (1889-1911) 1883 1911 Eastbourne CB
Henley-on-Thames MB Oxfordshire 1883 1974 South Oxfordshire
Workington MB Cumberland 1883 1974 Allerdale
Harrogate MB Yorkshire (1884-89), West Riding of Yorkshire (1889-1974) 1884 1974 Harrogate
Lampeter MB† Cardiganshire 1884 1974 Ceredigion
Ramsgate MB Kent 1884 1974 Thanet
Aldeburgh MB† Suffolk (1884-89), East Suffolk (1889-1974) 1884 1974 Suffolk Coastal
Appleby MB† Westmorland 1885 1974 Eden
Bishop's Castle MB Shropshire 1885 1967 absorbed by Clun RD (Rural Borough)
Conway MB Caernarfonshire 1885 1974 Aberconwy
Kidwelly MB† Carmarthenshire 1885 1974 Llanelli
Llanfyllin MB† Montgomeryshire 1885 1974 Montgomery
Lostwithiel MB† Cornwall 1885 1967 absorbed by St Austell RD (Rural Borough)
Lowestoft MB Suffolk (1885-89), East Suffolk (1889-1974) 1885 1974 Waveney
Lydd MB† Kent 1885 1974 Shepway
Montgomery MB† Montgomeryshire 1885 1974 Montgomery
Morley MB Yorkshire (1885-89), West Riding of Yorkshire (1889-1974) 1885 1974 Leeds
Mossley MB Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire (1885-89), Lancashire (1889-1974) 1885 1974 Tameside
New Romney MB† Kent 1885 1974 Shepway
Okehampton MB† Devon 1885 1974 West Devon
Queenborough MB† Kent 1885 1968 Queenborough-in-Sheppey MB
Saltash MB† Cornwall 1885 1974 Caradon
Sutton Coldfield MB (Royal Town)† Warwickshire 1885 1974 Birmingham
Taunton MB Somerset 1885[1] 1974 Taunton Deane
Wilton MB† Wiltshire 1885[2] 1974 Salisbury
Wokingham MB† Berkshire 1885 1974 Wokingham
Brackley MB† Northamptonshire 1886 1974 South Northamptonshire
Christchurch MB Hampshire 1886 1974 Christchurch
Higham Ferrers MB† Northamptonshire 1886 1974 East Northamptonshire
Malmesbury MB† Wiltshire 1886 1974 North Wiltshire
Middleton MB Lancashire 1886 1974 Rochdale
Wareham MB† Dorset 1886 1974 Purbeck
Wednesbury MB Staffordshire 1886 1966 absorbed by Walsall CB and West Bromwich CB
West Ham MB Essex 1886 1889 West Ham CB
Woodstock MB† Oxfordshire 1886 1974 West Oxfordshire
Cowbridge MB Glamorganshire 1887 1974 Vale of Glamorgan
Ilkeston MB Derbyshire 1887 1974 Erewash
West Hartlepool MB County Durham 1887 1902 West Hartlepool CB
Chelmsford MB Essex 1888 1974 Chelmsford
Loughborough MB Leicestershire 1888[3] 1974 Charnwood
Tunbridge Wells MB (1889-1909),
Royal Tunbridge Wells MB (1909-1974)[4]
Kent 1889[5] 1974 Tunbridge Wells

† Listed in the schedule of the Municipal Corporations Act 1883.

1890–99[edit]

Twenty-five boroughs were incorporated in 1890s.

Municipal Borough

County

Created

Abolished

Successor(s)

Bournemouth MB Hampshire 1890 1900 Bournemouth CB
Chatham MB Kent 1890 1974 Rochester-upon-Medway
Nelson MB Lancashire 1890 1974 Pendle
Ossett MB West Riding of Yorkshire 1890 1974 Wakefield
Richmond MB Surrey 1890 1965 Richmond upon Thames
Worthing MB West Sussex 1890 1974 Worthing
Haslingden MB Lancashire 1891 1974 Rossendale
Mansfield MB Nottinghamshire 1891 1974 Mansfield
Rawtenstall MB Lancashire 1891 1974 Rossendale
Eccles MB Lancashire 1892 1974 Salford
Southend-on-Sea MB Essex 1892 1914 Southend-on-Sea CB
Thornaby-on-Tees MB North Riding of Yorkshire 1892 1968 Teesside CB
Torquay MB Devon 1892 1967 Torbay CB
Widnes MB Lancashire 1892 1974 Halton
Brighouse MB West Riding of Yorkshire 1893 1974 Calderdale
Whitehaven MB Cumberland 1894 1974 Copeland
Colne MB Lancashire 1895 1974 Pendle
Todmorden MB West Riding of Yorkshire 1896 1974 Calderdale
Hemel Hempstead MB Hertfordshire 1898 1974 Dacorum
Hove MB East Sussex 1898 1974 Hove
Abergavenny MB Monmouthshire 1899 1974 Monmouth
Bridlington MB East Riding of Yorkshire 1899 1974 North Wolds
Dukinfield MB Cheshire 1899 1974 Tameside
Leigh MB Lancashire 1899 1974 Wigan
Smethwick MB Staffordshire 1899 1907 Smethwick CB

1900–09[edit]

There were 14 incorporations in the years 1900–1909. 1900 also saw the creation of 28 Metropolitan Boroughs in the County of London by the London Government Act 1899.

Municipal Borough

County

Created

Abolished

Successor(s)

Pudsey MB West Riding of Yorkshire 1900 1974 Leeds
Swindon MB Wiltshire 1900 1974 Thamesdown
Ealing MB Middlesex 1901 1965 Ealing
Wallsend MB Northumberland 1901 1974 North Tyneside
Bexhill MB East Sussex 1902 1974 Rother
Morecambe MB (1902-28), Morecambe and Heysham MB (1928-74) Lancashire 1902 1974 Lancaster
Aston Manor MB Warwickshire 1903 1911 absorbed by Birmingham CB
Bromley MB Kent 1903 1965 Bromley
Gillingham MB Kent 1903 1974 Gillingham
Hornsey MB Middlesex 1903 1965 Haringey
East Ham MB Essex 1904 1915 East Ham CB
Merthyr Tydfil MB Glamorganshire 1905 1908 Merthyr Tydfil CB
Wimbledon MB Surrey 1905 1965 Merton
Nuneaton MB Warwickshire 1907 1974 Nuneaton

1910–19[edit]

There were only seven incorporations in this period. In fact, the number of boroughs only increased by one, as six boroughs were abolished. Stoke-on-Trent was an amalgam of four boroughs: Burslem, Hanley, Longton and Stoke upon Trent (and two urban districts); Aston Manor was absorbed by Birmingham in 1911; and Devonport by Plymouth in 1914.

Municipal Borough

County

Created

Abolished

Successor(s)

Wallasey MB Cheshire 1910 1913 Wallasey CB
Fowey MB Cornwall 1913 1968 St Austell with Fowey MB
Llanelly MB (1913-66), Llanelli MB (1966-74) Carmarthenshire 1913 1974 Llanelli
Stourbridge MB Worcestershire 1914 1974 Dudley
Aylesbury MB Buckinghamshire 1917 1974 Aylesbury Vale
Buxton MB Derbyshire 1917 1974 High Peak

1920–29[edit]

Eleven boroughs were incorporated in the 1920s. This only represented a net increase of ten, however as Port Talbot was formed from the merger of the borough of Aberavon and the urban district of Margam.

Municipal Borough

County

Created

Abolished

Successor(s)

Acton MB Middlesex 1921 1965 Ealing
Port Talbot MB Glamorganshire 1921 1974 Afan
Redcar MB North Riding of Yorkshire 1921 1968 Teesside CB
Aldershot MB Hampshire 1922 1974 Rushmoor
Blyth MB Northumberland 1922 1974 Blyth Valley
Gosport MB Hampshire 1922 1974 Gosport
Lytham St Annes MB Lancashire 1922 1974 Fylde
Watford MB Hertfordshire 1922 1974 Watford
Ilford MB Essex 1926 1965 Redbridge
Leyton MB Essex 1926 1965 Waltham Forest
Twickenham MB Middlesex 1926 1965 Richmond upon Thames
Walthamstow MB Essex 1929 1965 Waltham Forest

1930–39[edit]

There were fifty-three incorporations of boroughs in this period.

Municipal Borough

County

Created

Abolished

Successor(s)

Barking MB Essex 1931 1965 Barking, Newham
Worksop MB Nottinghamshire 1931 1974 Bassetlaw
Barnes MB Surrey 1932 1965 Richmond upon Thames
Brentford and Chiswick MB Middlesex 1932 1965 Hounslow
Hendon MB Middlesex 1932 1965 Barnet
Heston and Isleworth MB Middlesex 1932 1965 Hounslow
Rugby MB Warwickshire 1932 1974 Rugby
Bilston MB Staffordshire 1933 1966 absorbed by Walsall CB, West Bromwich CB and Wolverhampton CB
Dartford MB Kent 1933 1974 Dartford
Finchley MB Middlesex 1933 1965 Barnet
Fleetwood MB Lancashire 1933 1974 Wyre
Goole MB West Riding of Yorkshire 1933 1974 Boothferry
Rowley Regis MB Staffordshire 1933 1966 absorbed by Dudley CB, Halesowen MB, Warley CB and West Bromwich CB
Southgate MB Middlesex 1933 1965 Enfield
Stretford MB Lancashire 1933 1974 Trafford
Willesden MB Middlesex 1933 1965 Brent
Wood Green MB Middlesex 1933 1965 Haringey
Colwyn Bay MB Denbighshire 1934 1974 Colwyn
Mitcham MB Surrey 1934 1965 Merton
Sutton and Cheam MB Surrey 1934 1965 Sutton
Swinton and Pendlebury MB Lancashire 1934 1974 Salford
Tottenham MB Middlesex 1934 1965 Haringey
Beckenham MB Kent 1935 1965 Bromley
Oldbury MB Worcestershire 1935 1966 absorbed by Halesowen MB, Warley CB and West Bromwich CB
Radcliffe MB Lancashire 1935 1974 Bury
Sale MB Cheshire 1935 1974 Trafford
Cleethorpes MB Lincolnshire, Parts of Lindsey 1936 1974 Cleethorpes
Eastleigh MB Hampshire 1936 1974 Eastleigh
Halesowen MB Worcestershire 1936 1974 Dudley
Malden and Coombe MB Surrey 1936 1965 Kingston upon Thames
Scunthorpe MB Lincolnshire, Parts of Lindsey 1936 1974 Scunthorpe
Southall MB Middlesex 1936 1965 Ealing
Surbiton MB Surrey 1936 1965 Kingston upon Thames
Altrincham MB Cheshire 1937 1974 Trafford
Bebington MB Cheshire 1937 1974 Wirral
Beddington and Wallington MB Surrey 1937 1965 Sutton
Bexley MB Kent 1937 1965 Bexley
Crosby MB Lancashire 1937 1974 Sefton
Edmonton MB Middlesex 1937 1965 Enfield
Epsom and Ewell MB Surrey 1937 1974 Epsom and Ewell
Romford MB Essex 1937 1965 Havering
Wanstead and Woodford MB Essex 1937 1965 Redbridge
Wembley MB Middlesex 1937 1965 Brent
Weston-super-Mare MB Somerset 1937 1974 Woodspring
Chingford MB Essex 1938 1965 Waltham Forest
Dagenham MB Essex 1938 1965 Barking, Redbridge
Erith MB Kent 1938 1965 Bexley
Kettering MB Northamptonshire 1938 1974 Kettering
Slough MB Buckinghamshire 1938 1974 Slough
Tipton MB Staffordshire 1938 1966 absorbed by Dudley CB, Warley CB and West Bromwich CB
Barry MB Glamorganshire 1938 1974 Vale of Glamorgan
Farnworth MB Lancashire 1939 1974 Bolton
Prestwich MB Lancashire 1939 1974 Bury

1939–54: a halt to incorporations[edit]

The incorporations of Farnworth and Prestwich in 1939 were to be the last for fifteen years.

Initially a halt was put to the creation of new boroughs for the duration of the 1939–1945 war. The Local Elections and Register of Electors (Temporary Provisions) Act 1939, a piece of emergency war time legislation, provided that no changes could be made to the status or boundaries of local government areas. The legislation was renewed on an annual basis until 1945.

With the ending of hostilities a Local Government Boundary Commission was appointed in October 1945 to review the entire structure of local administration. While the review was being held, no petitions for incorporation were made.

The commission was abolished without completing its work in 1949, and following a change of government in 1951, new applications for incorporation were again accepted.

1954–55[edit]

Nine towns were incorporated in the years 1954 and 1955.

Municipal Borough

County

Created

Abolished

Successor(s)

Harrow MB Middlesex 1954 1965 Harrow
Solihull MB Warwickshire 1954 1964 Solihull CB
Whitley Bay MB Northumberland 1954 1974 North Tyneside, Blyth Valley
Castleford MB West Riding of Yorkshire 1955 1974 Wakefield
Ellesmere Port MB Cheshire 1955 1974 Ellesmere Port
Enfield MB Middlesex 1955 1965 Enfield
Rhondda MB Glamorganshire 1955 1974 Rhondda
Spenborough MB West Riding of Yorkshire 1955 1974 Kirklees
Uxbridge MB Middlesex 1955 1965 Hillingdon

1956–74[edit]

The only new municipal boroughs were created by amalgamation of existing corporations in this period. In fact there was a decrease in the number of municipalities as various local government changes were made.

Municipal Borough

County

Created

Abolished

Successor(s)

Huntingdon and Godmanchester MB Huntingdonshire (1961-65), Huntingdon and Peterborough (1965-74) 1961 1974 Huntingdon
St Austell with Fowey MB Cornwall 1968 1974 Restormel
Queenborough-in-Sheppey MB Kent 1968 1974 Swale

Unsuccessful petitions for incorporation[edit]

In order for a town to be incorporated as a borough, a petition was submitted to the Privy Council for consideration. Although the majority of petitions were successful, a number of applications were not. Petitions seeking incorporation were recorded in the London Gazette, and the following is a list of petitions listed in the Gazette in the period 1882 to 1955 that did not lead to the grant of a charter:[6]

Scheme area (urban district unless stated otherwise) County Gazette Date Notes
Castleford Yorkshire, West Riding 31 January 1893 Gained incorporation in 1955
Brentford Middlesex 17 March 1893 Gained incorporation as Brentford and Chiswick in 1932
Ealing Middlesex 17 March 1893
Aylesbury Buckinghamshire 19 May 1893 Gained incorporation in 1917
Llandudno Caernarvonshire 27 June 1893
Parish of St Margaret and St John, Westminster County of London 19 January 1897 Became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Westminster in 1900
Merthyr Tydfil Glamorgan 21 May 1897 Gained incorporation in 1905
Cleethorpes Lincolnshire, Parts of Lindsey 9 July 1897 Gained incorporation in 1936
Parish of Kensington County of London 9 July 1897 Became a metropolitan borough in 1900
Cleckheaton Yorkshire, West Riding 13 October 1897
Heckmondwike Yorkshire, West Riding 13 October 1897
Liversedge Yorkshire, West Riding 15 October 1897
Shipley Yorkshire, West Riding 20 May 1898
Ealing Middlesex 12 August 1898 Second petition. Gained incorporation in 1901
Leyton Essex 21 October 1898 Gained incorporation in 1926
Chiswick Middlesex 15 May 1900 Gained incorporation as Brentford and Chiswick in 1932
Stretford Lancashire 25 March 1902 Gained incorporation in 1933
Wood Green Middlesex 20 October 1908 Gained incorporation in 1933
UDs of Eston, South Bank in Normanby and the parish of Normanby Yorkshire, North Riding 21 February 1912
Hebburn Durham 17 January 1912
Hebburn Durham 18 December 1925 Second petition
Eston Yorkshire, North Riding 18 December 1925 Second petition
Pontypridd Glamorgan 18 December 1925
Hoylake and West Kirby Cheshire 18 December 1925
Cannock Staffordshire 16 November 1934
Penge Kent 27 February 1934
Newton-in-Makerfield Lancashire 10 October 1933
Harrow Middlesex 19 November 1935 Gained incorporation in 1954
Woking Surrey 10 April 1936
Coseley Staffordshire 20 August 1937
Carshalton Surrey 15 October 1937
Coulsdon and Purley Surrey 1 February 1938
Bingley Yorkshire, West Riding 14 June 1938
Huyton-with-Roby Lancashire 23 November 1951
Brierley Hill Staffordshire 26 February 1952
Staines Middlesex 21 April 1952
Haltemprice Yorkshire, East Riding 8 April 1952
Bognor Regis West Sussex 27 May 1952
Hinckley Leicestershire 22 August 1952
Willenhall Staffordshire 26 September 1952
Long Eaton Derbyshire 2 September 1952
Beeston and Stapleford Nottinghamshire 6 January 1953
Colne Valley Yorkshire, West Riding 27 January 1953
Ruislip-Northwood Middlesex 24 February 1953
Farnborough Hampshire 21 April 1953
Leek Staffordshire 22 May 1953
Malvern Worcestershire 23 June 1953
Urmston Lancashire 30 June 1953
Friern Barnet Middlesex 3 July 1953
Carshalton Surrey 25 August 1953 Second petition
Cannock Staffordshire 11 September 1953 Second petition
Hayes and Harlington Middlesex 2 March 1954
Sutton-in-Ashfield Nottinghamshire 9 March 1954
Paignton Devon 21 May 1954
Pontypridd Glamorgan 16 July 1954 Second petition
Cheadle and Gatley Cheshire 15 February 1955
Hornchurch Essex 20 May 1955
Farnham Surrey 25 November 1955
Woking Surrey 13 December 1955 Second petition

The 1955 petition by Woking was the last application before reorganisation of local government in 1965 and 1974.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Timeline History of Taunton". Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "District News". Bristol Mercury. 27 July 1885. p. 7. Retrieved 11 July 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ "The Incorporation of Loughborough". Nottingham Evening Post. 15 August 1888. p. 3. Retrieved 11 July 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ In 1909 Edward VII allowed the prefix "Royal" in recognition of the town's connections with the royal family since the Stuart dynasty. "Royal Tunbridge Wells". The Times. 3 May 1926. p. 11. 
  5. ^ "Charter Day at Tunbridge Wells". London Daily News. 28 February 1889. p. 10. Retrieved 11 July 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ London Gazette online archive