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Calvin72

Hello All,  Can anyone throw any light onto the process that led up to Sheffield becoming a city in 1893? I'm particularly interested in when it was known it may, or was, going to happen? This would make decision making by the Corporation in the preceding years interesting in regards to one or two things I'm looking at.

            

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Edmund

In January 1893 the Council appointed a special committee to consider and report on the best means of celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Incorporation of Sheffield, and in February at a special meeting , resolved to petition the Queen to confer the title of City on the borough.  A week later it was announced that the request had been made.  The Borough Jubilee Committee, at its first meeting, requested 28 representatives of various public bodies to discuss the celebrations and the holding of an exhibition to show the rapid growth of local trades.  The outcome of this was a counter proposal that aimed for something more favourable to the inhabitants - a new building to be used as a Central Free Library at the junction of Church Street, Vicar Lane and St James Street (to replace the inadequate existing Central Library).  In June the Jubilee Committee reported that the Town Trustees had refused to donate the required 1,120 yards of land needed so the scheme was abandonned. At the same meeting a public ball to take place on 24th August was suggested, to be financed by public subscription and ensuring that the aged poor could attend. This was veoed by the Council, but consent was given for a half holiday on that date, for council employees. Another special committee was set up to revise the Borough Arms and submit the new City Arms to the College of Arms for approval.

On the 24th August (the actual Jubilee of the Incorporation), a number of council members attended an evening banquet at the Cutlers Hall.  The Mayor was present, having just returned from Chatsworth and Hadon Hall, where he had entertained over 250 officials and others of the Corporation, in celebration of the Jublilee.  The City was decorated and from noon taken as a holiday. On the 25th, 26th and other dates the Mayor provided all the council's worken (over 1,500) with tea and entertainment.

Some more info here:

http://www.calmview.eu/SheffieldArchives/CalmView/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=CA666&pos=22

 

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Calvin72

I always liked the synchronised 1843/1893 dates in Sheffield's history - I never knew it was deliberate. I was looking at the possibility of one or two decisions in the year or two before being with the knowledge of city status, but glad to know different. So Sheffield asked the Queen rather than it be bestowed? Love it, very Sheffield :)

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MartinR

There's often an assumption that a cathedral grants city status to a town, but this is not true, it is always by royal charter except for ancient cities.  I did a bit of research on this for Rochester (where I now live) which has the dubious distiction of having been a city from time immemorial, but has now lost the status.  It's slightly off topic, but here's what I posted on the Kent forum:

Quote

The origin of City status is a bit more convoluted than simply having a cathedral.  A city was originally a 'civitas' or fortified settlement.  Rochester doesn't appear to be on the list of 28 cities included by Nennius in his C9 history.  However before "time immemorial" (3 September 1189) Rochester had aquired city status.  These original cities had the status by "ancient prescriptive right" and not by a formal legal process.
Henry VIII founded six new dioceses and granted the enclosing town city status by letters patent.  It is the grant of letters patent by the crown which confers city status, not the creation of the cathedral.  In passing both Bath and Westminster lost their cathedrals, but managed to retain their city status.  The next new diocese to be created was Ripon, which did not become a city (officially) until 30 years after the cathedral.  Southwell acquired a cathedral, but never obtained city status since there was no borough corporation whereas in 1889 Birmingham became a city but had no Anglican cathedral until 1905.
In the 1972 reorganisation Rochester  received unique letters patent to allow the former city area to call itself the "City of Rochester" even though there was no council or mayor.  However when the Borough of Medway became Rochester-upon-Medway the city status was transferred to the whole borough and the historic city lost its claim based on the special letters patent from 1972.  Subsequently with the abolition of R-u-M the transferred status was lost.  Currently the 1972 letters are not recognised as being in force, so bye-bye to the City.

I mentioned below that Rochester was not on Nennius' list (c.828) of the 28 cities of Britain.  However Bede writing in c.731 does confer that dignity on Rochester (incidentally note Bede's incorrect assumption that 'Robrivis" was actually a Saxon personal name):

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"At ipse ueniens mox in ciuitate Hrofi" ("Being arrived in the city of Rochester"

Bede:Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, Liber Quartus §2.  Translation by Stevens (1910)

 

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lysandernovo

Some folk believe that Doncaster went out of its way to build their magnificent church in the expectation /hope that it would become the Cathedral of a new see. As it was, our old parish church became a cathedral and over the years has been altered on a number of occasions...the pity is that the full remodelling never took place. That said, it is my church and I love the place...as did a few ancestors whose earthly remains are in situ!

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