|Next year Southampton will celebrate its
Golden anniversary of becoming a city. It was on 24th. February 1964
that Southampton was granted a Royal Charter, to henceforth be known as
the City and County of the City of Southampton. It was the culmination
of a process that had begun 30 years earlier.
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The first informal approaches were made
in the mid 1930s, when it was suggested that Southampton, along with
other towns, should be made a city in honour of the Silver Jubilee of
King George V. Although Plymouth received its charter, Southampton was
The second world war, 1940s austerity, and the blitz
postponed the next application until September 1958, when a petition was
prepared for the Queen. It read:-
Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
|The humble petition of Your
Majesty's Loyal and Dutiful Subjects the Mayor, Alderman and Burgesses
of the Town and County of the Town of Southampton Most Humbly Praying:
That Your Majesty may be pleased to grant to the Town and County of the
Town of Southampton the Title of City. And the Petitioners pray that
Your Majesty may be prepared in good health to reign over them for many
years and that they may always be worthy of the honour which they most
humbly ask Your Majesty to confer upon them.
reasons behind the application were stated in an accompanying document:
|1. The growth in the size and population
of the town.
2. The growth in the importance of the town in the shipping world and in
the Country's economy.
3. The long established history of public administration and the
efficiency of its municipal services.
4. The record of voluntary service, public service, practice of charity,
the maintenance of historical records and customs, and the existence of
a true sense of citizenship.
|The petition was sent to the Home
Secretary, and copies were circulated to all government ministries. At
the time the minister of local government, Mr Henry Brooke, was in the
process of reorganising the boundaries of local authorities.
Consequently, so as not to confuse things, he temporarily with held his
approval. Later, when he became Home Secretary, he recommended the
petition to the Queen.
|REF: Southampton City Charters (1966).
Published by City of Southampton.