Municipal Corporations Act 1835
|Long title||An Act to provide for the Regulation of Municipal Corporations in England and Wales|
|Citation||5 & 6 Will.4 c.76|
|Territorial extent||England and Wales|
|Royal assent||9 September 1835|
|Commencement||1 January 1836|
|Repealed by||Municipal Corporations Act 1882|
The Municipal Corporations Act 1835 (5 & 6 Wm. IV., c.76), sometimes known as the Municipal Reform Act, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in the incorporated boroughs of England and Wales. The legislation was part of the reform programme of the Whigs and followed the Reform Act 1832, which had abolished most of the rotten boroughs for parliamentary purposes.
The government of Lord Grey, having carried reform out of parliamentary constituencies, turned its attention to local government. In February 1833 a select committee was appointed "to inquire into the state of the Municipal Corporations in England, Wales, and Ireland; and to report if any, and what abuses existed in them, and what measures, in their opinion, it would be most expedient to adopt, with a view to the correction of those abuses". The committee made their report in June 1833, having enquired into a handful of boroughs. The committee found that:
The jurisdiction of the corporations is defective in some case in consequence of the town having been extended beyond the limits of the ancient borough; and in other cases it is objectionable from extending to places that are distant, and more properly falling within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates.
The principle which prevails of a small portion of corporators choosing those who are to be associated with them in power, generally for life, is felt to be a great grievance. The tendency of this principle is to maintain an exclusive system, to uphold local, political and religious party feelings, and is destructive of that confidence which ought always to be reposed in those who are intrusted with control, judicial or otherwise, over their fellow citizens…
The committee are further led to infer that corporations, as now constituted, are not adapted to the present state of society… To make corporations instruments of useful and efficient local government, it seems to be essential that the corporate officers should be more popularly chosen…[and] that their proceedings should be open and subject to control of public opinion.
The committee did not believe that they had sufficient powers to carry out a full review of the existing system. They instead recommended the appointment of a royal commission, and that the country be divided into districts with a commissioner responsible for enquiring into boroughs in each district.
The royal commission was appointed by letters patent passed under the great seal. The commission, which was dominated by Radicals, had eighteen members, with two assigned to each district or circuit:
- North Midland: Richard Whitcombe and Alexander Edward Cockburn
- Eastern: George Long and John Buckle
- South Western: Henry Roscoe and Edward Rushton
- Southern: John Elliot Drinkwater and Edward John Gambier
- Western: Charles Austin and James Booth
- Midland: Peregrine Bingham and David Jardine
- Northern: Fortunatus Dwarris and Sampson Augustus Rambull
- North-Western: George Hutton Wilkinson and Thomas Jefferson Hogg
- South-Eastern: Thomas Flowers Ellis and Daniel Maude
The commission's secretary was Joseph Parkes.
- The corporations were exclusive bodies with no community of interest with the town after which they were named.
- The electorate of some corporations was kept as small as possible.
- Some corporations merely existed as "political engines" for maintaining the ascendancy of a particular party.
- Members of corporations usually served for life and the corporate body was a self-perpetuating entity. Roman Catholics and Dissenters, although no longer disabled from being members, were systematically excluded.
- Vacancies rarely occurred and were not filled by well-qualified persons.
- Some close corporations operated in almost complete secrecy, sometimes secured by oath. Local residents could not obtain information on the operation of the corporation without initiating expensive legal actions.
- The duties of the mayor were, in some places, completely neglected.
- Magistrates were appointed by the corporations on party lines. They were often incompetent and did not have the respect of the inhabitants.
- Juries in many boroughs were exclusively composed of freemen. As the gift of freedom lay with the corporation, they were political appointees and often dispensed justice on a partisan basis.
- Policing in the boroughs was often not the responsibility of the corporation but of one or more bodies of commissioners. An extreme example was the City of Bath, which had four districts under different authorities, while part of the city had no police whatever.
- Borough funds were "frequently expended in feasting, and in paying the salaries of unimportant officers" rather than on the good government of the borough. In some places funds had been expended on public works without adequate supervision, and large avoidable debts had accrued. This often arose from contracts being given to members of the corporation or their friends or relations. Municipal property was also treated as if it were only for the use of the corporation and not the general population.
The Commission concluded its report by stating that:
...the existing Municipal Corporations of England and Wales neither possess nor deserve the confidence or respect of Your Majesty's subjects, and that a thorough reform must be elected, before they can become, what we humbly submit to Your Majesty they ought to be, useful and efficient instruments of local government.
Effects of the Act
The Act established a uniform system of municipal boroughs, to be governed by town councils elected by ratepayers. The reformed boroughs were obliged to publish their financial accounts and were liable to audit. Each borough was to appoint a salaried town clerk and treasurer who were not to be members of the council.
The Act reformed 178 boroughs. The Burgh Reform Act 1833 had already carried similar reforms in Scotland. Similar legislation would not be introduced in Ireland until the Municipal Reform Act 1840. There remained more than 100 unreformed boroughs, which generally either fell into desuetude or were replaced later under the terms of the Act. The last of these was not reformed or abolished until 1886. The Act did not extend to the City of London which remains a sui generis authority.
The Act allowed unincorporated towns to petition for incorporation. The industrial towns of the Midlands and North quickly took advantage of this, with Birmingham and Manchester becoming boroughs as soon as 1838. Altogether, 62 additional boroughs were incorporated under the Act.
The new corporations had annual elections, with a third of the councillors up for election each year. The council also elected aldermen to serve on the council, with a six-year term. Towns were divided into wards.
The 178 reformed boroughs
The list shows the style by which the unreformed corporation was known, and the date of its governing charter. In most cases this was the last in a succession of charters granted by a number of monarchs. In a few cases boroughs had no charter, or the charter was lost.
|Number||Borough||Style of unreformed corporation||Governing charter||County||Present governance|
|1||Aberystwyth||Mayor and Burgesses of the Town, Borough, and Liberty of Aberystwith||1544||Cardiganshire||Aberystwyth Town Council|
|2||Abingdon||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Borough of Abingdon||1557||Berkshire||Abingdon Town Council|
|3||Andover||Bailiff, approved Men, and Burgesses of the Borough of Andover||1599||Hampshire||Test Valley Borough Council (charter trustees 1974–1976)|
|4||Arundel||Mayor, Steward and Burgesses of Arundel||1586||Sussex||Arundel Town Council|
|5||Banbury||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Banbury in the County of Oxford||1554||Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire||Banbury Town Council (charter trustees 1974–2000)|
|6||Barnstaple||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough and Parish of Barnstaple in the County of Devon||1610||Devon||Barnstaple Town Council|
|7||Basingstoke||Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of Basingstoke||1622, confirmed 1641||Hampshire||Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (charter trustees 1974–1978)|
|8||Bath||Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of the City of Bath||1590 and 1794||Somerset||Became district in 1974 as is; merged in 1996 to district of Bath and North East Somerset; charter trustees extant|
|9||Beaumaris||Aldeman, Bailliffs and Burgesses of Beaumaris||1562||Anglesey||Beaumaris Town Council|
|10||Beccles||Portreeve, Steward and Burgesses of Beccles||1584||Suffolk||Beccles Town Council|
|11||Bedford||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Town of Bedford||1684/5||Bedfordshire||Bedford Borough Council (charter trustees until 1975)|
|12||Berwick-upon-Tweed (County of Itself)||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Borough of Berwick-upon-Tweed||1604||Northumberland||Berwick-upon-Tweed Borough Council|
|13||Beverley||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Beverley in the County of York||1573||Yorkshire||Charter trustees (Beverley Borough Council from 1974 to 1996)|
|14||Bewdley||Bailiffs, Burgesses, and Inhabitants of the Town and Borough of Bewdley||1606, 1708||Worcestershire||Bewdley Town Council|
|15||Bideford||Mayor, Aldermen, and Capital Burgesses of the Borough, Town, and Manor of Bideford in the County of Devon||1573, 1610||Devon||Bideford Town Council|
|16||Blandford Forum||Bailiff, Seneschal and Capital Burgesses of Blandford Forum||1605||Dorset||Blandford Forum Town Council|
|17||Bodmin||Mayor, Aldermen and Councilmen of Bodmin||1798
(The previous corporation, under a charter of 1594 had become extinct in 1789)
|Cornwall||Bodmin Town Council|
|18||Boston||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Boston||1545, 1573||Lincolnshire||Boston Borough Council|
|19||Brecknock||Bailiff, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Brecon||1556||Breconshire||Brecon Town Council|
|20||Bridgnorth||Bailiffs, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Bridgnorth||1546||Shropshire||Bridgnorth Town Council (rural borough 1967–1974)|
|21||Bridgwater||Mayor, Aldermen, Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Borough of Bridgwater||1468, 1587, 1628||Somerset||Bridgwater Town Council (charter trustees 1974–2003)|
|22||Bridport||Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Borough of Bridport||1667||Dorset||Bridport Town Council|
|23||Bristol (County of the City)||Mayor, Burgesses, and Commonalty of the City of Bristol||1664||Gloucestershire and Somerset||Bristol City Council|
|24||Buckingham||Bailiff, Principal Burgesses, and Steward of the Borough of Buckingham||1553||Buckinghamshire||Buckingham Town Council|
|25||Bury St Edmunds||Alderman and Burgesses of Bury St. Edmunds in the County of Suffolk||1606||Suffolk||St Edmundsbury Borough Council until 2003, when separate Bury St Edmunds Town Council formed|
|26||Calne||Steward and burgesses of the Borough of Calne||1668||Wiltshire||Calne Town Council|
|27||Cambridge||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Borough of Cambridge||1605||Cambridgeshire||Cambridge City Council|
|28||Canterbury (County of the City)||Mayor and Commonalty of the City of Canterbury||1609||Kent||Canterbury City Council|
|29||Cardiff||Bailiffs, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Town of Cardiff||1581 and 1608||Glamorgan||City of Cardiff 1974–1996, County and City of Cardiff since 1996|
|30||Cardigan||Mayor, Common-Council and Burgesses of the Town and Borough of Cardigan||1583||Cardiganshire||Cardigan Town Council|
|31||Carlisle (City)||Mayor, Aldermen, Bailiffs, and Citizens of the City of Carlisle||1637||Cumberland||Carlisle City Council|
|32||Carmarthen||Mayor, Burgesses, and Commonalty of the Borough of Carmarthen||1604, 1764||Carmarthenshire||Carmarthen Town Council|
|33||Carnarvon||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Town and Borough of Caernarvon||1559||Carnarvonshire||Caernarfon Royal Town Council|
|34||Chard||Portreeve and Bailiffs of the Borough of Chard||1683||Somerset||Chard Town Council|
|35||Chepping Wycombe||Mayor, Aldermen, Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Borough of Chepping Wycombe||1663||Buckinghamshire||High Wycombe Charter Trustees|
|36||Chester (County of the City)||Mayor and Citizens of the City of Chester||1506||Cheshire||Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC)|
|37||Chesterfield||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Chesterfield||1662||Derbyshire||Chesterfield Borough Council|
|38||Chichester (City)||Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of the City of Chichester||1685||Sussex||Chichester City Council (civil parish)|
|39||Chippenham||Bailiff and Capital Burgesses of the Borough of Chippenham||1553||Wiltshire||Chippenham Town Council (charter trustees 1974–1980)|
|40||Chipping Norton||Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Borough of Chipping Norton||1608||Oxfordshire||Chipping Norton Town Council|
|41||Clitheroe||Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Borough of Clitheroe in the County of Lancaster||1604||Lancashire||Clitheroe Town Council|
|42||Colchester||Mayor and Commonalty of the Borough of Colchester||1818||Essex||Colchester Borough Council|
|43||Congleton||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Congleton in the County of Chester||1625||Cheshire||Congleton Town Council|
|44||Coventry (City and County of the City)[a]||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Commonalty of the City of Coventry||1621||Warwickshire||Coventry City Council|
|45||Dartmouth or Clifton-Dartmouth-Hardness||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Borough of Clifton Dartmouth Hardness in the County of Devon||1604||Devon||Dartmouth Town Council|
|46||Daventry||Bailiff, Burgesses and Commonalty of the Borough of Daventry||1674/5||Northamptonshire||Daventry Town Council (charter trustees 1974–2003)|
|47||Deal||Mayor, Jurats, and Commonalty of the Town of Deal in the County of Kent||1699[b]||Kent||Deal Town Council (charter trustees 1974–1996)|
|48||Denbigh||Aldermen, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Borough of Denbigh||1662||Denbighshire||Denbigh Town Council|
|49||Derby||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Derby||1683||Derbyshire||Derby City Council|
|50||Devizes||Mayor and Burgesses of the Borough of Devizes||1625||Wiltshire||Devizes Town Council|
|51||Doncaster||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Doncaster in the County of York||1688||Yorkshire||Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council|
|52||Dorchester||Mayor, Bailiffs, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Dorchester in the County of Dorset||1629||Dorset||Dorchester Town Council|
|53||Dover||Mayor, Jurats, and Commonalty of the Town and Port of Dover||1684||Kent||Dover Town Council (charter trustees 1974–1996)|
|54||Droitwich||Bailiffs and Burgesses of the borough of Droitwich||1625||Worcestershire||Droitwich Spa Town Council (originally named Droitwich)|
|55||Durham (City)||Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of Durham and Framwelgate||1780 (granted by the Bishop of Durham)||County Durham||Durham City Council|
|56||East Retford||Bailiffs, Aldermen and Commonalty of the Borough of East Retford||1607||Nottinghamshire||East Retford Charter Trustees|
|57||Evesham||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Evesham||1605||Worcestershire||Evesham Town Council|
|58||Exeter (County of the City)||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Commonalty of the City of Exeter||1537, renewed 1770||Devon||Exeter City Council|
|59||Eye||Bailiffs, Burgesses and Commonalty of the Borough of Eye||1558 and 1574 confirmed 1697||Suffolk||Eye Town Council|
|60||Falmouth||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Town of Falmouth in the County of Cornwall||1661||Cornwall||Falmouth Town Council|
|61||Faversham||Mayor, Jurats and Freemen of the Town of Faversham||1546, regranted 1685||Kent||Faversham Town Council|
|62||Flint||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Borough of Flint||1360 by Edward, the Black Prince as Earl of Chester||Flintshire||Flint Town Council|
|63||Folkestone||Mayor, Jurats and Commonalty of the Town of Folkestone||1313 and 1668||Kent||Folkestone Town Council (charter trustees 1974–2004)|
|64||Gateshead||Boroughholders and Freemen of the Borough of Gateshead||1695||County Durham||Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council|
|65||Glastonbury||Mayor and Burgesses of the borough of Glastonbury||1705||Somerset||Glastonbury Town Council|
|66||Gloucester (County of the City)||Mayor and Burgesses of the City of Gloucester in the County of the City of Gloucester||1672||Gloucestershire||Gloucester City Council|
|67||Godalming||Warden, Bailiff and Assistants of the Borough of Godalming||1575||Surrey||Godalming Town Council|
|68||Godmanchester||Bailiffs, Assistants and Commonalty of the Borough of Godmanchester||1605||Huntingdonshire||Godmanchester Town Council (combined with Huntingdon 1961–1982)|
|69||Grantham||Aldermen, Burgesses and Commonalty of the Borough of Grantham||1463||Lincolnshire||Grantham Charter Trustees|
|70||Gravesend||Mayor, Jurats, and Inhabitants of the Villages and Parishes of Gravesend and Milton in the County of Kent||1562, renewed by Charles I||Kent||Gravesham Borough Council|
|71||Great Grimsby||Mayor and Burgesses of the Town of Grimsby in the County of Lincoln||1688||Lincolnshire||Great Grimsby Charter Trustees (borough council 1974–1996)|
|72||Great Torrington||Mayor, Aldermen and Chief Burgesses of the Borough of Great Torrington||1686||Devon||Great Torrington Town Council|
|73||Great Yarmouth||Mayor, Aldermen, Burgesses, and Commonalty of the Borough of Great Yarmouth in the County of Norfolk.||1703||Norfolk and Suffolk||Great Yarmouth Borough Council|
|74||Guildford||Mayor and Burgesses of the Town of Guldeford in the County of Surrey||1686||Surrey||Guildford Borough Council|
|75||Harwich||Mayor and Burgesses of the Borough of Harwich||1604||Essex||Harwich Town Council|
|76||Hastings||Mayors, Jurats, and Commonalty of the Town and Port of Hastings in the County of Sussex||1588, confirmed by Charles II||Sussex||Hastings Borough Council|
|77||Haverfordwest (County of the Town)||Mayor, Sheriffs, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the County of the Town of Haverfordwest, or of the Town and County of the Town of Haverfordwest||1610||Pembrokeshire||Haverfordwest Town Council|
|78||Helston||Mayor and Aldermen of the Borough of Helston||1774||Cornwall||Helston Town Council|
|79||Hereford (City)||Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of the City of Hereford||1697||Herefordshire||Hereford City Council (civil parish)|
|80||Hertford||Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the Borough of Hertford||1680||Hertfordshire||Hertford Town Council|
|81||Huntingdon||The Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Huntingdon||1630||Huntingdonshire||Huntingdon Town Council (combined with Godmanchester 1961–1982)|
|82||Hythe||The Mayor, Jurats and Commonalty of the Town and Port of Hythe||1575||Kent||Hythe Town Council|
|83||Ipswich||Bailiffs, Burgesses, and Commonalty of the Town or Borough of Ipswich.||1665||Suffolk||Ipswich Borough Council|
|84||Kendal||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Kirby-in-Kendal in the County of Westmorland||1636||Westmorland||Kendal Town Council|
|85||Kidderminster||High Bailiff and Commonalty of the Borough of Kidderminster in the County of Worcester||1827||Worcestershire||Kidderminster Charter Trustees|
|86||King's Lynn or Lynn Regis||Mayor and Burgesses of the Borough of Lynn Regis||1684||Norfolk||King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council|
|87||Kingston upon Hull (County of the Town)||Mayor and Burgesses of the Town or Borough of Kingston-upon-Hull||1688||Yorkshire||Hull City Council|
|88||Kingston upon Thames||Bailiffs and Freemen of the Borough of Kingston upon Thames||1628||Surrey||Kingston upon Thames London Borough Council|
|89||Lancaster||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Commonalty of the Town of Lancaster in the County Palatine of Lancaster||1819||Lancashire||Lancaster City Council|
|90||Launceston otherwise Dunheved||Mayor and Aldermen of Dunheved, otherwise Launceston||1555||Cornwall||Launceston Town Council|
|91||Leeds||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Leeds in the County of York||1661||Yorkshire||City of Leeds City Council|
|92||Leicester||Mayor, Bailiff, and Burgesses of the Borough of Leicester||1630||Leicestershire||Leicester City Council|
|93||Leominster||Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Borough of Leominster||1665||Herefordshire||Leominster Town Council|
|94||Lichfield (County of the City)||Bailiff and Citizens of the City of Lichfield||1664||Staffordshire||Lichfield City Council (civil parish) – charter trustees 1974–1980|
|95||Lincoln (County of the City)||Mayor, Sheriffs, Citizens, and Commonalty of the City of Lincoln||1628||Lincolnshire||Lincoln City Council|
|96||Liskeard||Mayor and Burgesses of the Borough of Liskerret otherwise Liskeard in the County of Cornwall||1580||Cornwall||Liskeard Town Council|
|97||Liverpool||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Borough of Liverpool||1207, 1626||Lancashire||Liverpool City Council|
|98||Llandovery||Bailiff and Burgesses of the Borough of Llanymtheverye||1590||Carmarthenshire||Llandovery Town Council|
|99||Llanidloes||Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Llanidloes||1449 by John Tiptoft, Lord of Powys||Montgomeryshire||Llanidloes Town Council|
|100||Louth||Warden and Six Assistants of the Town of Louth and Free School of King Edward the Sixth in Louth||1605, 1830||Lincolnshire||Louth Town Council|
|101||Ludlow||Bailiffs, Burgesses, and Commonalty of the Town and Borough of Ludlow||1665||Shropshire||Ludlow Town Council (rural borough 1967–1974)|
|102||Lyme Regis||Mayor and Capital Burgesses of the Borough of Lyme Regis||William III||Dorset||Lyme Regis Town Council|
|103||Lymington||Mayor and Burgesses of the Borough of Lymington||Incorporated by virtue of charters granted by Earls of Devon, confirmed by judgment given under a writ of quo warranto in 1578||Hampshire||Charter trustees until 1979, now split between four parishes|
|104||Macclesfield||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Macclesfield||1684||Cheshire||Cheshire East Council|
|105||Maidenhead||Mayor, Bridgemasters, Burgesses and Commonalty of the Town of Maidenhead||1685||Berkshire||Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council|
|106||Maidstone||Mayor, Jurats, and Commonalty of the King's Town and Parish of Maidstone in the County of Kent||1748||Kent||Maidstone Borough Council|
|107||Maldon||Mayor, Aldermen, and Capital Burgesses and Commonalty of Maldon||1810||Essex||Maldon Town Council (originally had charter trustees)|
|108||Marlborough||The Mayor and Burgesses of the Borough of Marlborough||1576||Wiltshire||Marlborough Town Council|
|109||Monmouth||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Commonalty of the Town and Borough of Monmouth||1666||Monmouthshire||Monmouth Town Council|
|110||Morpeth||Bailiffs and Free Burgesses of the Borough of Morpeth||1662||Northumberland||Castle Morpeth Borough Council (separate town council subsequently formed)|
|111||Neath||Portreeve, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Neath||1685||Glamorgan||Neath Town Council|
|112||New Windsor||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Borough of New Windsor in the County of Berks||1664||Berkshire||Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council|
|113||Newark||Mayor and Aldermen of the Borough of Newark in the County of Nottingham||1673||Nottinghamshire||Newark-on-Trent Town Council|
|114||Newbury||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Newbury||1596||Berkshire||Newbury Town Council (charter trustees 1974–1997)|
|115||Newcastle-under-Lyme||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of Newcastle-under-Lyne in the County of Stafford||1590||Staffordshire||Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council|
|116||Newcastle upon Tyne (County of the City)||Mayor and Burgesses of the Town of Newcastle upon Tyne in the County of the Town of Newcastle upon Tyne||1604||Northumberland||Newcastle upon Tyne City Council|
|117||Newport||Mayor, Aldermen, and Chief Burgesses of the Borough of Newport in the Isle of Wight in the County of Southampton||1637||Hampshire (Isle of Wight)||extinguished; Medina Borough Council from 1974 to 1995|
|118||Newport||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Newport||1685||Monmouthshire||Newport City Council|
|119||Northampton||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of Northampton||1797||Northamptonshire||Northampton Borough Council|
|120||Norwich (County of the City)||Mayor, Sheriffs, Citizens, and Commonalty of the City of Norwich||1683||Norfolk||Norwich City Council|
|121||Nottingham (County of the Town)||Mayor and Burgesses of the Town of Nottingham||1449||Nottinghamshire||Nottingham City Council|
|122||Oswestry||Mayor, Aldermen, Common Councilmen, and Burgesses of Oswestry||1674||Shropshire||Oswestry Borough Council (rural borough 1967–1974)|
|123||Oxford (City)||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Commonalty of the City of Oxford in the County of Oxford||1635||Oxfordshire||Oxford City Council|
|124||Pembroke||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Town and Borough of Pembroke||1485||Pembrokeshire||Pembroke Town Council|
|125||Penryn||Mayor, Aldermen and Councillors of the Borough of Penryn||1621||Cornwall||Penryn Town Council|
|126||Penzance||Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the Town of Penzance in the County of Cornwall||1614||Cornwall||Penzance Town Council (charter trustees 1974–1980)|
|127||Plymouth||Mayor and Commonalty of the Borough of Plymouth||1572||Devon||Plymouth City Council|
|128||Pontefract||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough or Town of Pontefract||1607||Yorkshire||Wakefield City Council|
|129||Poole (County of the Town)||Mayor, Bailiffs, Burgesses, and Commonalty of the Town of Poole||1568||Dorset||Poole Borough Council|
|130||Portsmouth||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Portsmouth in the County of Southampton||1627||Hampshire||Portsmouth City Council|
|131||Preston||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Borough of Preston in the County Palatine of Lancaster||1685||Lancashire||Preston City Council|
|132||Pwllheli||Mayor, Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Borough of Pwllheli||Elizabeth I||Carnarvonshire||Pwllheli Town Council|
|133||Reading||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Reading in the County of Berks||1638||Berkshire||Reading Borough Council|
|134||Richmond||Mayor and Aldermen of the Borough of Richmond in the County of York||1668||Yorkshire||Richmond Town Council|
|135||Ripon||Mayor, Burgesses, and Commonalty of the Borough of Ripon in the County of York||1604||Yorkshire||Ripon City Council (civil parish)|
|136||Rochester (City)||Mayor and Citizens of the City of Rochester in the County of Kent||1629||Kent||Medway Borough Council|
|137||Romsey||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Town of Romsey Infra in the County of Southampton||1607, 1692||Hampshire||Romsey Town Council|
|138||Ruthin||Aldermen, Common Councilmen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Ruthin||1284, 1508||Denbighshire||Ruthin Town Council|
|139||Rye||Mayor, Jurats and Freemen of the Town of Rye||No charter separate from Cinque Ports||Sussex||Rye Town Council|
|140||Saffron Walden||Mayor and Aldermen of the Town of Saffron Walden in the County of Essex||1694||Essex||Saffron Walden Town Council|
|141||Salisbury or New Sarum (City)||Mayor and Commonalty of the City of New Sarum in the County of Wilts||1611||Wiltshire||Salisbury City Council|
|142||Sandwich||Mayor, Jurats and Commonalty of the Town of Sandwich||1684||Kent||Sandwich Town Council|
|143||Scarborough||Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Town of Scarborough||1684||Yorkshire||Scarborough Borough Council|
|144||Shaftesbury||Mayor and Capital Burgesses of the Borough of Shaftesbury||1604, 1665||Dorset||Shaftesbury Town Council|
|145||Shrewsbury||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Town of Shrewsbury in the County of Salop||1685||Shropshire||Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council|
|146||South Molton||Mayor, Capital Burgesses and Commonalty of the Borough of South Molton||1684||Devon||South Molton Town Council|
|147||Southampton (County of the Town)||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Town of Southampton||Hampshire||Southampton City Council|
|148||Southwold||Bailiffs and Commonalty of the Borough of Southwold||1689||Suffolk||Southwold Town Council|
|149||St Albans||Mayor and Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Saint Albans in the County of Hertford||1685||Hertfordshire||St Albans City Council|
|150||St Ives||Mayor and Burgesses of the Borough of St Ives||1685||Cornwall||St Ives Town Council|
|151||Stafford||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Stafford||1827||Staffordshire||Stafford Borough Council|
|152||Stamford||Mayor, Aldermen, and Capital Burgesses of the Town or Borough of Stamford in the County of Lincoln||1685||Lincolnshire||Stamford Town Council|
|153||Stockport||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Stockport||No charter, corporation appointed by Court Leet||Cheshire and Lancashire||Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council|
|154||Stockton-on-Tees||Mayor, Aldermen, Burgesses, and Commonalty of the Borough of Stockton||No charter extant, borough by prescription[c]||County Durham||Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council|
|155||Stratford-on-Avon||Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Stratford on Avon||1674||Warwickshire||Stratford-upon-Avon Town council|
|156||Sudbury||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Sudbury||Charles II||Suffolk and Essex||Sudbury Town Council|
|157||Sunderland||Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the Borough of Sunderland||1634 (granted by the Bishop of Durham)||County Durham||Sunderland City Council|
|158||Swansea||Portreeve, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Swansea||Borough by prescription[c] (charter of 1685 not adopted)||Glamorgan||City and County of Swansea|
|159||Tamworth||Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Borough of Tamworth||1663||Staffordshire and Warwickshire||Tamworth Borough Council|
|160||Tenby||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the Borough of Tenby||1631||Pembrokeshire||Tenby Town Council|
|161||Tenterden||The Mayor, Jurats and Commons of the Town and Hundred of Tenterden||1600||Kent||Tenterden Town Council|
|162||Tewkesbury||Bailiffs, Burgesses, and Commonalty of the Borough of Tewkesbury in the County of Gloucester||1698||Gloucestershire||Tewkesbury Borough Council (although a separate Town Council also exists)|
|163||Thetford||Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the Borough of Thetford||1573||Norfolk and Suffolk||Thetford Town Council|
|164||Tiverton||Mayor and Burgesses of the Town and Parish of Tiverton in the County of Devon||1723||Devon||Tiverton Town Council|
|165||Totnes||Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Totness||1596||Devon||Totnes Town Council|
|166||Truro||Mayor, Aldermen, and Capital Burgesses of the Borough of Truro||1589||Cornwall||Truro City Council (civil parish)|
|167||Wallingford||Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Wallingford||1663||Berkshire||Wallingford Town Council|
|168||Walsall||Mayor and Commonalty of the Borough and Foreign of Walsall in the County of Stafford||1627, confirmed 1661||Staffordshire||Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council|
|169||Warwick||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Warwick||1693,||Warwickshire||Warwick Town Council|
|170||Wells (City)||Mayor, Masters, and Burgesses of the City or Borough of Wells in the County of Somerset||1589||Somerset||Wells City Council (civil parish)|
|171||Welshpool||Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Borough of Poole in the County of Montgomery||1615||Montgomeryshire||Welshpool Town Council|
|172||Wenlock||Burgesses of the Borough of Wenlock||1631||Shropshire||Much Wenlock Town Council (rural borough 1966–1974)|
|173||Weymouth and Melcombe Regis||Mayor, Aldermen, Bailiffs, Burgesses, and Commonalty of the Borough and Town of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis in the County of Dorset||1803||Dorset||Weymouth and Portland Borough Council|
|174||Wigan||Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Wigan||1662||Lancashire||Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council|
|175||Winchester (City)||Mayor, Bailiffs, and Commonalty of the City of Winchester||1588||Hampshire||Winchester City Council|
|176||Wisbech||Burgesses of the Borough of Wisbech||1646||Cambridgeshire||Wisbech Town Council|
|177||Worcester||Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of the City of Worcester||1621||Worcestershire||Worcester City Council|
|178||York (County of the City)||Mayor and Commonalty of the City of York||1679||Yorkshire||City of York Council (unitary)|
- In 1842 the County of the City of Coventry was joined to Warwickshire
- Prior to this charter, Deal was governed a deputy and assistants appointed by the Corporation of Sandwich
- "Boroughs by prescription" existed by custom from time immemorial without a charter or other formal document of incorporation.
- "Corporations". Hansard 1803-2005. Parliament of the United Kingdom. 14 February 1833. Retrieved 19 February 2009.
- "Municipal Corporations". The Times. 24 June 1833. p. 3.
- "Corporations' Commission". The Times. 16 September 1833. p. 3.
- Finlayson, G. B. A. M. (October 1966). "The Politics of Municipal Reform, 1835". The English Historical Review. 81 (321): 673–692. doi:10.1093/ehr/LXXXI.CCCXXI.673. JSTOR 562019.
- "Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Municipal Corporations in England and Wales, First Report". Parliamentary Papers (XXIII). 1835.
- Marjie Bloy (11 October 2002). "Defects in Constitutions of Municipal Corporations". The Victorian Web. Retrieved 19 February 2009.
- "Local elections - proposals for reform" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 February 2006. Retrieved 7 December 2005.
- Ballard, Adolphus (1914). The English Borough in the Twelfth Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 27.
- Webb, Sidney; Beatrice Webb (1908). English Local Government: From the Revolution to the Municipal Corporations Act. pp. 693–755.