At various times during the late medieval and early modern periods certain towns in Great Britain were separated from their original counties and given their own sheriffs, assizes and quarter sessions and became counties in their own right. Known as a county corporate because authority was vested in the borough corporation rather than an individual. (As was the case with a shire county.)

The counties corporate consisted of the following cities

and the following towns The date in brackets indicating when county corporate status was granted (where available).

Poole and Haverfordwest were both created to deal with the specific problem of piracy in their home waters. With the exceptions of Lichfield, Berwick upon Tweed, Caernarfon and Haverfordwest all the above became a county borough under the Local Government Act 1888.

London was a special case of its own, and continued (in the sense of the City of London) as a county corporate until Local Government Act 1972.


Sourced from The Companion to British History by Charles Arnold-Baker (Longcross Press 1996)

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