Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Video: What Is The City of London?

Friday, October 2, 2015
St. Paul's Cathedral ca 1830
Loretta reports:

One thing we writers of British-set historical romance need to get straight (among hundreds of thousands of other puzzles and pitfalls), is London vs. the City of London. It’s easy enough to learn where the City is, and to spot it on a map of London. On a visit, you can find remnants of the ancient city walls.

But there’s a great deal more to the City than the location. This video explains how it came to be a separate entity, and the surprising powers it wields.

Image: Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, St. Paul’s Cathedral ca 1830

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Regencyresearcher said...

Lovely explanation. Even with it though, it is hard for USAmericans to understand. It does explain why the Regency people said they were going to Town when they went up to the West end of greater London for Parliament and the season. The city was where the bankers and the cits were.

Bill Ellson said...

The CPG Grey video is a bit of fun, not a documentary. Greater London is made up of 32 London Boroughs (corporations created by the London Government Act 1963) and the City of London given similar powers and responsibilities by the same Act. The 32+City provide the vast majority of municipal services (Housing, Social Services, Education, Town Planning, Gambling & Liquor licensing, Highways, Waste collection and disposal etc.) The Mayor of London, who is not really a Mayor, is responsible for Public Transport, Fire & Rescue, Strategic Roads and Strategic Planning Policy across the 32+City and Police (32 only).

Anonymous said...

Of all the clauses in Magna Carta, only 3 have never been repealed, and one deals with the City of London - "The City of London shall have all the old Liberties and Customs which it hath been used to have. Moreover We will and grant, that all other Cities, Boroughs, Towns, and the Barons of the Five Ports, as with all other Ports, shall have all their Liberties and free Customs." It makes me wonder how the on-going special status of the City of London is tied to that clause - viz. in what various ways it is expressed.

Bill Ellson said...

"It makes me wonder how the on-going special status of the City of London is tied to that clause - viz. in what various ways it is expressed."

Magna Carta is a historical curiosity more than anything else. The operative words re the City are "which it hath been used to have", past tense. In practice the only extant thing that I can think of that would come under Article 9 is the City's ancient right to appoint its own sheriffs (elsewhere in England the crown appoints sheriffs), but as none of the old shrieval duties such as arranging executions exist anymore in England it does not amount to much.

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