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.

Borough

County at Incorporation

Year of Incorporation

Bacup Lancashire 1882
Keighley Yorkshire 1882
West Bromwich Staffordshire 1882
Bangor Carnarvonshire 1883
Croydon Surrey 1883
Eastbourne Sussex 1883
Henley-on-Thames Oxfordshire 1883
Workington Cumberland 1883
Harrogate Yorkshire 1884
Lampeter Cardiganshire 1884
Ramsgate Kent 1884
Aldeburgh Suffolk 1884
Appleby Westmorland 1885
Bishop's Castle Shropshire 1885
Conway Carnarvonshire 1885
Kidwelly Carmarthenshire 1885
Llanfyllin Montgomeryshire 1885
Lostwithiel Cornwall 1885
Lowestoft Suffolk 1885
Lydd Kent 1885
Montgomery Montgomeryshire 1885
Morley Yorkshire 1885
Mossley Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire 1885
New Romney Kent 1885
Okehampton Devon 1885
Queenborough Kent 1885
Saltash Cornwall 1885
Sutton Coldfield (Royal Town) † Warwickshire 1885
Taunton Somerset 1885
Wilton Wiltshire 1885[1]
Wokingham Berkshire 1885
Brackley Northamptonshire 1886
Christchurch Hampshire 1886
Higham Ferrers Northamptonshire 1886
Malmesbury Wiltshire 1886
Middleton Lancashire 1886
Wareham Dorset 1886
Wednesbury Staffordshire 1886
West Ham Essex 1886
Woodstock Oxfordshire 1886
Cowbridge Glamorgan 1887
Ilkeston Derbyshire 1887
West Hartlepool County Durham 1887
Chelmsford Essex 1888
Loughborough Leicestershire 1888[2]
Tunbridge Wells Kent 1889[3]

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

1890–99[edit]

Twenty-four boroughs were incorporated in 1890s.

Borough

County at Incorporation

Year of Incorporation

Bournemouth Hampshire 1890
Chatham Kent 1890
Nelson Lancashire 1890
Ossett West Riding of Yorkshire 1890
Richmond Surrey 1890
Worthing West Sussex 1890
Haslingden Lancashire 1891
Mansfield Nottinghamshire 1891
Rawtenstall Lancashire 1891
Eccles Lancashire 1892
Southend on Sea Essex 1892
Thornaby-on-Tees North Riding of Yorkshire 1892
Torquay Devon 1892
Widnes Lancashire 1892
Brighouse West Riding of Yorkshire 1893
Whitehaven Cumberland 1894
Colne Lancashire 1895
Todmorden Lancashire and West Riding of Yorkshire 1896
Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire 1898
Hove East Sussex 1898
Abergavenny Monmouthshire 1899
Bridlington East Riding of Yorkshire 1899
Dukinfield Cheshire 1899
Smethwick Staffordshire 1899

1900–09[edit]

There were 13 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.

Borough

County at Incorporation

Year of Incorporation

Pudsey West Riding of Yorkshire 1900
Swindon Wiltshire 1900
Ealing Middlesex 1901
Wallsend Northumberland 1901
Bexhill East Sussex 1902
Morecambe Lancashire 1902
Aston Manor Warwickshire 1903
Bromley Kent 1903
Gillingham Kent 1903
Hornsey Middlesex 1903
East Ham Essex 1904
Merthyr Tydfil Glamorgan 1905
Wimbledon Surrey 1905
Nuneaton Warwickshire 1907

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.

Borough

County at Incorporation

Year of Incorporation

Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire (County Borough) 1910
Wallasey Cheshire 1910
Fowey Cornwall 1913
Llanelly Carmarthenshire 1913
Stourbridge Worcestershire 1914
Aylesbury Buckinghamshire 1917
Buxton Derbyshire 1917

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.

Borough

County at Incorporation

Year of Incorporation

Acton Middlesex 1921
Port Talbot Glamorgan 1921
Redcar North Riding of Yorkshire 1921
Aldershot Hampshire 1922
Blyth Northumberland 1922
Gosport Hampshire 1922
Lytham St. Annes Lancashire 1922
Watford Hertfordshire 1922
Ilford Essex 1926
Leyton Essex 1926
Twickenham Middlesex 1926
Walthamstow Essex 1929

1930–39[edit]

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

Borough

County at Incorporation

Year of Incorporation

Barking Essex 1931
Worksop Nottinghamshire 1931
Barnes Surrey 1932
Brentford and Chiswick Middlesex 1932
Hendon Middlesex 1932
Heston and Isleworth Middlesex 1932
Rugby Warwickshire 1932
Bilston Staffordshire 1933
Dartford Kent 1933
Finchley Middlesex 1933
Fleetwood Lancashire 1933
Goole West Riding of Yorkshire 1933
Rowley Regis Staffordshire 1933
Southgate Middlesex 1933
Stretford Lancashire 1933
Willesden Middlesex 1933
Wood Green Middlesex 1933
Colwyn Bay Denbighshire 1934
Mitcham Surrey 1934
Sutton and Cheam Surrey 1934
Swinton and Pendlebury Lancashire 1934
Tottenham Middlesex 1934
Beckenham Kent 1935
Oldbury Warwickshire 1935
Radcliffe Lancashire 1935
Sale Cheshire 1935
Cleethorpes Lincolnshire Parts of Lindsey 1936
Eastleigh Hampshire 1936
Halesowen Worcestershire 1936
Malden and Coombe Surrey 1936
Scunthorpe Lincolnshire Parts of Lindsey 1936
Southall Middlesex 1936
Surbiton Surrey 1936
Altrincham Cheshire 1937
Bebington Cheshire 1937
Beddington and Wallington Surrey 1937
Bexley Kent 1937
Crosby Lancashire 1937
Edmonton Middlesex 1937
Epsom and Ewell Surrey 1937
Romford Essex 1937
Wanstead and Woodford Essex 1937
Wembley Middlesex 1937
Weston-super-Mare Somerset 1937
Chingford Essex 1938
Dagenham Essex 1938
Erith Kent 1938
Kettering Northamptonshire 1938
Slough Buckinghamshire 1938
Tipton Staffordshire 1938
Barry Glamorgan 1938
Farnworth Lancashire 1939
Prestwich Lancashire 1939

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.

Borough

County at Incorporation

Year of Incorporation

Harrow Middlesex 1954
Solihull Warwickshire 1954
Whitley Bay Northumberland 1954
Castleford West Riding of Yorkshire 1955
Ellesmere Port Cheshire 1955
Enfield Middlesex 1955
Rhondda Glamorgan 1955
Spenborough West Riding of Yorkshire 1955
Uxbridge Middlesex 1955

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.

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:[4]

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. ^ "District News". Bristol Mercury. 27 July 1885. p. 7. Retrieved 11 July 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ "The Incorporation of Loughborough". Nottingham Evening Post. 15 August 1888. p. 3. Retrieved 11 July 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ "Charter Day at Tunbridge Wells". London Daily News. 28 February 1889. p. 10. Retrieved 11 July 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ London Gazette online archive