Status details for London City Corporate

Status:London City Corporate
Number of units in system:
Geographical Level: 9 (Middle-level District)
ADL Feature Type:countries, 3rd order divisions
Is a status within:Local Government District

Full Description:

Before 1848 the County of London was an abyss 'of Parish Vestries, Boards of Improvement Commissions, Boards of Guardians', Courts of Sewers (until 1848) - totally over two hundred different governing bodies (Hasluck, 1948, p.163-164). Reforms to this system had been tried; in 1833 the London Government tried to reform the Municipal Corporation; but the London Corporation defended itself against any reform with all its Ancient County powers and privileges. The success of the London Corporation was primarily due to the city's wealth, and in this instance London City was left out of the Municipal Reform Act (1835). Again in 1853 the London Government suggested that 'London should be given a united and strong governing body, under the Lord Mayor of London and Corporation of the City' (Hasluck, 1948, p. 163), yet this suggestion involved the democratic reconstruction of the Corporation and was refused by the City Corporation. Similarly, the Metropolis Management Act (1855) established twenty-three large Vestries of uniform type and fourteen District Boards, all representing subordinate collections of parishes. Rather than aiding reform this Act gave the constituent bodies, such as the Corporation, a veto on almost everything the central Board proposed, though it did result in some reform of the city of London. Sir William Harcourt's London Government Bill (1884), which would have abolished the governing powers of the City Corporation, was, yet again, defeated by the City populace and the Lord Mayor (who used the Ancient Privilege of entering the House of Commons whilst in session, to defend the Corporation). However, the Local Government Act (1888) introduced the new London County Council that replaced all the metropolitan Board of Works, allowing the slow modernization of London City. The Vestries and District Boards were replaced by twenty-nine units; twenty-eight Metropolitan Boroughs and one anomaly - the Corporation of the City Of London that includes the Court of Common Council and the Court of Alderman (Hasluck, 1948, p.134). These units were similar in status to the Municipal Boroughs, but were controlled through the London County Council. The London City Corporation is more independent than the other Metropolitan Boroughs, though it does not administer Greater London or Middle Temple and Inner Temple. The extent of the City Corporations independence can be revealed by its several hundred anomalous privileges and functions, the powers of the Corporation extending beyond the boundaries of London County Council.