1964: Southampton henceforth known as a City
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.

Click Here For Large Version

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 unsuccessful.
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:-
To The 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.
The principle 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.
Read By 4266 Visitors Back To Listing