Middlesex

Middlesex

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Encyclopedia
Middlesex is one of the historic counties of England
Historic counties of England
The historic counties of England are subdivisions of England established for administration by the Normans and in most cases based on earlier Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and shires...

 and the second smallest by area. The low-lying county contained the wealthy and politically independent City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 on its southern boundary and was dominated by it from a very early time. The county was significantly affected by the expansion of the metropolitan area of London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in both the 18th and 19th centuries, such that from 1855 the south-east was administered as part of the metropolis
Metropolitan Board of Works
The Metropolitan Board of Works was the principal instrument of London-wide government from 1855 until the establishment of the London County Council in 1889. Its principal responsibility was to provide infrastructure to cope with London's rapid growth, which it successfully accomplished. The MBW...

. When county council
County council
A county council is the elected administrative body governing an area known as a county. This term has slightly different meanings in different countries.-United Kingdom:...

s were initially introduced in England in 1889 about 20% of the area of Middlesex, along with a third of its population, was transferred to the County of London
County of London
The County of London was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of the general introduction of elected county government in England, by way of the Local Government Act 1888. The Act created an administrative County of...

, and the remainder formed a smaller county, in the north-west, under the control of Middlesex County Council.

In the interwar years
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

 urban London had further expanded, with increasing suburbanisation, improvement and expansion of public transport, and the setting up of new industries
Second Industrial Revolution
The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, was a phase of the larger Industrial Revolution corresponding to the latter half of the 19th century until World War I...

 outside the inner London area. After the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the population of the County of London and inner Middlesex was in steady decline, with new population growth only experienced in the outer suburbs. After a Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London
Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London
The Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London, also known as the Herbert Commission, was established in 1957 and published its report in 1960...

, almost all of the original area was incorporated into an enlarged Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 in 1965, with small parts transferred to neighbouring Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

 and Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

. Despite the disappearance of the county council, Middlesex is still used as an area name and was retained as a postal county
Postal counties of the United Kingdom
The postal counties of the United Kingdom, now known officially as the former postal counties, were postal subdivisions in routine use by the Royal Mail until 1996. The raison d'être of the postal county – as opposed to any other kind of county – was to aid the sorting of mail by...

; which is now an optional component of postal addresses.

Toponomy


The name means territory of the middle Saxons
Middle Saxons
The Middle Saxons or Middel Seaxe were a people and their territory which later became, with somewhat contracted boundaries, the county of Middlesex, England. It included the early London settlement. The area was part of the Kingdom of Essex, but was ceded to Mercia in the 8th century....

and refers to the tribal origin of its inhabitants. The word is formed from the Anglo-Saxon, i.e. Old English, 'middel' and 'Seaxe'. Its first recorded use was in 704 as Middleseaxan.

Early settlement




Middlesex was recorded in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 as being divided into the six hundreds of Edmonton
Edmonton (hundred)
Edmonton was an ancient hundred in the north of the county of Middlesex, England. Its former area has been mostly absorbed by the growth of London and it now corresponds to the London Borough of Enfield and parts of the London Borough of Barnet and London Borough of Haringey in Greater London and...

, Elthorne, Gore
Gore (hundred)
Gore was a hundred of the ancient county of Middlesex, England. It covered an area in the north of the county. According to it contained the following parishes and settlements*Edgware*Great Stanmore*Harrow on the Hill*Hendon*Kingsbury*Little Stanmore...

, Hounslow (Isleworth
Isleworth (hundred)
Isleworth was a hundred of the ancient county of Middlesex, England. It contained the following parishes and settlements :*Heston*Isleworth*Twickenham...

 in all later records), Ossulstone
Ossulstone
Ossulstone was an ancient hundred in the south east of the county of Middlesex, England. Its area has been entirely absorbed by the growth of London; and now corresponds to the part of Inner London that is north of the River Thames and, from Outer London, parts of the London boroughs of Barnet,...

 and Spelthorne
Spelthorne (hundred)
Spelthorne was a hundred of the ancient county of Middlesex, England. It contained the following parishes and settlements :*Feltham*Hampton*Hanworth*Staines*Stanwell*Sunbury*Teddington...

. The City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

, which has been self-governing since the thirteenth century, was geographically within the county, which also included Westminster
Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...

, which had a high degree of autonomy. Of the six hundreds, Ossulstone contained the districts closest to the City of London. During the 17th century it was divided into four divisions, which, along with the Liberty of Westminster
Liberty of Westminster
The City and Liberty of Westminster was an independent liberty, located to the west of the City of London in the county of Middlesex, England....

, largely took over the administrative functions of the hundred. The divisions were named Finsbury
Finsbury division
The Finsbury Division was one of four divisions of the Hundred of Ossulstone, in the county of Middlesex, England.The other divisions were named Holborn, Kensington and Tower...

, Holborn
Holborn division
The Holborn Division was one of four divisions of the Hundred of Ossulstone, in the county of Middlesex, England.The other divisions were named Finsbury, Kensington and Tower....

, Kensington
Kensington division
The Kensington Division was one of four divisions of the Hundred of Ossulstone, in the county of Middlesex, England.The other divisions were named Finsbury, Holborn and Tower...

 and Tower
Tower division
The Tower Division was a liberty, a historical form of local government, in the ancient county of Middlesex, England. It was also known as the Tower Hamlets, and took its name from being under the special jurisdiction of the Constable of the Tower of London...

. The county had parliamentary representation
Parliamentary representation from Middlesex
The historic county of Middlesex in south east England was represented in Parliament from the 13th century. This article provides a list of constituencies constituting the Parliamentary representation from Middlesex....

 from the 13th century. The title Earl of Middlesex
Earl of Middlesex
Earl of Middlesex was a title that was created twice in the Peerage of England. The first creation came in 1622 for Lionel Cranfield, 1st Baron Cranfield, the Lord High Treasurer. He had already been created Baron Cranfield, of Cranfield in the County of Bedford, the year before, also in the...

 was created twice, in 1622 and 1677, but became extinct in 1843.

Economic development


The economy of the county was dependent on the City of London from an early time and was primarily agricultural. All manner of goods were provided for the City, including crops such as grain and hay, livestock and building materials. Tourism in early resorts such as Hackney, Islington and Highgate
Highgate
Highgate is an area of North London on the north-eastern corner of Hampstead Heath.Highgate is one of the most expensive London suburbs in which to live. It has an active conservation body, the Highgate Society, to protect its character....

 also formed part of the early economy. However, during the 18th century the inner parishes of Middlesex started to function as suburbs of the City and were increasingly urbanised.

The introduction of radial railway lines from 1839 caused a fundamental shift away from agricultural supply for London towards large scale house building. Tottenham
Tottenham
Tottenham is an area of the London Borough of Haringey, England, situated north north east of Charing Cross.-Toponymy:Tottenham is believed to have been named after Tota, a farmer, whose hamlet was mentioned in the Domesday Book; hence Tota's hamlet became Tottenham...

, Edmonton
Edmonton, London
Edmonton is an area in the east of the London Borough of Enfield, England, north-north-east of Charing Cross. It has a long history as a settlement distinct from Enfield.-Location:...

 and Enfield
Enfield Town
Enfield Town is the historic town centre of Enfield, formerly in the county of Middlesex and now in the London Borough of Enfield. It is north north-east of Charing Cross...

 in the northeast developed first as working class residential suburbs with easy access to central London. The line to Windsor
Windsor, Berkshire
Windsor is an affluent suburban town and unparished area in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England. It is widely known as the site of Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the British Royal Family....

 through Middlesex was completed in 1848, to Potter's Bar in 1850 and the Metropolitan
Metropolitan railway
Metropolitan Railway can refer to:* Metropolitan line, part of the London Underground* Metropolitan Railway, the first underground railway to be built in London...

 and Metropolitan District Railway
Metropolitan District Railway
The Metropolitan District Railway was the predecessor of the District line of the London Underground. Set up on 29 July 1864, at first to complete the "Inner Circle" railway around central London, it was gradually extended into the suburbs...

s started a series of extensions into the county in 1878. Closer to London, the districts of Acton
Acton, London
Acton is a district of west London, England, located in the London Borough of Ealing. It is situated west of Charing Cross.At the time of the 2001 census, Acton, comprising the wards of East Acton, Acton Central, South Acton and Southfield, had a population of 53,689 people...

, Willesden
Willesden
Willesden is an area in North West London which forms part of the London Borough of Brent. It is situated 5 miles north west of Charing Cross...

, Ealing
Ealing
Ealing is a suburban area of west London, England and the administrative centre of the London Borough of Ealing. It is located west of Charing Cross and around from the City of London. It is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan. It was historically a rural village...

 and Hornsey
Hornsey
Hornsey is a district in London Borough of Haringey in north London in England. Whilst Hornsey was formerly the name of a parish and later a municipal borough of Middlesex, today, the name refers only to the London district. It is an inner-suburban area located north of Charing Cross.-Locale:The ...

 came within reach of the tram and bus networks, providing cheap transport to central London.

Following World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the availability of labour and proximity to London made areas such as Hayes
Hayes, Hillingdon
Hayes is a town in the London Borough of Hillingdon, West London. It is a suburban development situated west of Charing Cross. Hayes was developed in the late 19th and 20th centuries as an industrial locality to which residential districts were later added in order to house factory workers...

 and Park Royal
Park Royal
Park Royal is an area in northwest London, UK. It is the largest industrial and business park in London, occupying about , and is promoted commercially by the Park Royal Partnership...

 ideal locations for the developing new industries
Second Industrial Revolution
The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, was a phase of the larger Industrial Revolution corresponding to the latter half of the 19th century until World War I...

. New jobs attracted more people to the county and the population continued to rise, reaching a peak in 1951.

The Metropolis


By the 19th century, the East End of London
East End of London
The East End of London, also known simply as the East End, is the area of London, England, United Kingdom, east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Although not defined by universally accepted formal boundaries, the River Lea can be considered another boundary...

 had expanded to the eastern boundary with Essex, and the Tower division had reached a population of over a million. Following the coming of the railways, the north western suburbs of London steadily spread over large parts of the county. The areas closest to London were served by the Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police Service
The Metropolitan Police Service is the territorial police force responsible for Greater London, excluding the "square mile" of the City of London which is the responsibility of the City of London Police...

 from 1829 and, from 1840, the entire county was included in the Metropolitan Police District
Metropolitan Police District
The Metropolitan Police District is the police area which is policed by London's Metropolitan Police Service. It currently consists of Greater London, excluding the City of London.-History:...

. Local government in the county was unaffected by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835
Municipal Corporations Act 1835
The Municipal Corporations Act 1835  – sometimes known as the Municipal Reform Act, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in the incorporated boroughs of England and Wales...

, and civic works continued to be the responsibility of the individual parish vestries or ad hoc improvement commissioners
Improvement commissioners
Boards of improvement commissioners were ad-hoc boards created during the 18th and 19th centuries in the United Kingdom. They were an early form of local government.The first Improvement Commission was the Manchester Police Commission, established in 1765...

. In 1855, the parishes of the densely populated area in the south east, but excluding the City of London, came within the responsibility of the Metropolitan Board of Works
Metropolitan Board of Works
The Metropolitan Board of Works was the principal instrument of London-wide government from 1855 until the establishment of the London County Council in 1889. Its principal responsibility was to provide infrastructure to cope with London's rapid growth, which it successfully accomplished. The MBW...

. Despite this innovation, the system was described by commentators at the time as one "in chaos". In 1889, under the Local Government Act 1888
Local Government Act 1888
The Local Government Act 1888 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which established county councils and county borough councils in England and Wales...

, the metropolitan area of approximately 30000 acres (121.4 km²) became part of the County of London
County of London
The County of London was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of the general introduction of elected county government in England, by way of the Local Government Act 1888. The Act created an administrative County of...

. The Act also provided that the part of Middlesex in the administrative county of London should be "severed from [Middlesex], and form a separate county for all non-administrative purposes".


The part of the County of London that had been transferred from Middlesex was divided in 1900 into 18 metropolitan borough
Metropolitan boroughs of the County of London
The term metropolitan borough was used from 1900 to 1965, for the subdivisions of the County of London created by the London Government Act 1899....

s, which were merged in 1965 to form seven of the present-day inner London
Inner London
Inner London is the name for the group of London boroughs which form the interior part of Greater London and are surrounded by Outer London. The area was first officially defined in 1965 and for purposes such as statistics, the definition has changed over time. The terms Inner London and Central...

 boroughs:
  • Camden
    London Borough of Camden
    In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough were already developed and had a total population of 96,795. This continued to rise swiftly throughout the 19th century, as the district became built up; reaching 270,197 in the middle of the century...

     was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of Hampstead
    Metropolitan Borough of Hampstead
    The Metropolitan Borough of Hampstead was a Metropolitan borough of the County of London from 1900 to 1965, when it was amalgamated with the Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras and the Metropolitan Borough of Holborn to form the London Borough of Camden....

    , Holborn
    Metropolitan Borough of Holborn
    The Metropolitan Borough of Holborn was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965, when it was amalgamated with the Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras and the Metropolitan Borough of Hampstead to form the London Borough of Camden....

     and St Pancras
    Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras
    The Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras was a Metropolitan borough of the County of London between 1900 and 1965, when it was amalgamated with the Metropolitan Borough of Hampstead and the Metropolitan Borough of Holborn to form the London Borough of Camden...

  • Hackney
    London Borough of Hackney
    The London Borough of Hackney is a London borough of North/North East London, and forms part of inner London. The local authority is Hackney London Borough Council....

     was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of Hackney
    Metropolitan Borough of Hackney
    The Metropolitan Borough of Hackney was a Metropolitan borough of the County of London from 1900 to 1965. Its area became part of the London Borough of Hackney.-Formation and boundaries:...

    , Shoreditch
    Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch
    The Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch was a Metropolitan borough of the County of London between 1900 and 1965, when it was merged with the Metropolitan Borough of Stoke Newington and the Metropolitan Borough of Hackney to form the London Borough of Hackney....

     and Stoke Newington
    Metropolitan Borough of Stoke Newington
    The Metropolitan Borough of Stoke Newington was a metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965 when it became part of the London Borough of Hackney.-Predecessor authorities:...

  • Hammersmith
    London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
    The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is a London borough in West London, and forms part of Inner London. Traversed by the east-west main roads of the A4 Great West Road and the A40 Westway, many international corporations have offices in the borough....

     (known as Hammersmith and Fulham from 1979) was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of Hammersmith
    Metropolitan Borough of Hammersmith
    The Metropolitan Borough of Hammersmith was, between 1900 and 1965, a Metropolitan borough of the County of London. It included Hammersmith, Wormwood Scrubs, Old Oak Common and Shepherd's Bush....

     and Fulham
    Metropolitan Borough of Fulham
    The Metropolitan Borough of Fulham was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965, when it was merged with the Metropolitan Borough of Hammersmith to form the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. It was a riverside borough, and included the areas of Fulham, West...

  • Islington
    London Borough of Islington
    The London Borough of Islington is a London borough in Inner London. It was formed in 1965 by merging the former metropolitan boroughs of Islington and Finsbury. The borough contains two Westminster parliamentary constituencies, Islington North and Islington South & Finsbury...

     was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of Finsbury
    Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury
    The Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury was a Metropolitan borough within the County of London from 1900 to 1965, when it was amalgamated with the Metropolitan Borough of Islington to form the London Borough of Islington.- Boundaries :...

     and Islington
    Metropolitan Borough of Islington
    The Metropolitan Borough of Islington was a Metropolitan borough within the County of London from 1900 to 1965, when it was amalgamated with the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury to form the London Borough of Islington.-Boundaries:...

  • Kensington and Chelsea
    Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
    The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a central London borough of Royal borough status. After the City of Westminster, it is the wealthiest borough in England....

     was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of Chelsea
    Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea
    The Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea was a Metropolitan borough of the County of London between 1900 and 1965. It was created by the London Government Act 1899 from most of the ancient parish of Chelsea...

     and Kensington
    Metropolitan Borough of Kensington
    The Metropolitan Borough of Kensington was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London from 1900 to 1965.It bordered Chelsea, Fulham, Hammersmith, Paddington, and Westminster...

  • Tower Hamlets
    London Borough of Tower Hamlets
    The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It is in the eastern part of London and covers much of the traditional East End. It also includes much of the redeveloped Docklands region of London, including West India Docks...

     was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of Bethnal Green
    Metropolitan Borough of Bethnal Green
    Bethnal Green was a civil parish and a metropolitan borough in the East End of London, England. It was formed as a civil parish in 1743 from the Bethnal Green hamlet in Stepney ancient parish. The vestry became an electing authority to the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855 and in 1889 it became...

    , Poplar
    Metropolitan Borough of Poplar
    Poplar was a local government district in the metropolitan area of London, England. It was formed as a district of the Metropolis in 1855 and became a metropolitan borough in the County of London in 1900. It comprised the civil parishes of Bow, Bromley and Poplar until 1907, when it also became a...

     and Stepney
    Metropolitan Borough of Stepney
    The Metropolitan Borough of Stepney was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London created in 1900. In 1965 it became part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.-Boundaries:...

  • The City of Westminster
    City of Westminster
    The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

     was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of Paddington
    Metropolitan Borough of Paddington
    The Metropolitan Borough of Paddington was a Metropolitan borough of the County of London between 1900 and 1965.-History:Its area covered that part of the current City of Westminster west of Edgware Road and Maida Vale, and north of Bayswater Road. Places in the borough included Paddington,...

    , St Marylebone
    Metropolitan Borough of St Marylebone
    The Metropolitan Borough of St Marylebone was a Metropolitan borough of the County of London from 1900 to 1965. It was based directly on the previously existing civil parish of St Marylebone, which was incorporated into the Metropolitan Board of Works area in 1855, retaining a parish vestry, and...

     and the City of Westminster
    Metropolitan Borough of Westminster
    The Metropolitan Borough of Westminster was a metropolitan borough in the County of London, England, from 1900 to 1965.-City Status:By royal charter dated 29 October 1900 the borough was granted the title City of Westminster. Westminster had originally been created a city and seat of the...

    .

Extra-metropolitan area



Middlesex outside the metropolitan area remained largely rural until the middle of the 19th century, and so local government was slow to develop. Other than the Cities of London and Westminster, there were no ancient borough
Borough
A borough is an administrative division in various countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing township although, in practice, official use of the term varies widely....

s. The importance of the hundred courts declined, and such local administration as there was divided between "county business" conducted by the justices of the peace
Justice of the Peace
A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...

 meeting in quarter sessions
Quarter Sessions
The Courts of Quarter Sessions or Quarter Sessions were local courts traditionally held at four set times each year in the United Kingdom and other countries in the former British Empire...

, and the local matters dealt with by parish vestries. As the suburbs of London spread into the area, unplanned development and outbreaks of cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 forced the creation of local boards
Local board of health
Local Boards or Local Boards of Health were local authorities in urban areas of England and Wales from 1848 to 1894. They were formed in response to cholera epidemics and were given powers to control sewers, clean the streets, regulate slaughterhouses and ensure the proper supply of water to their...

 or improvement commissioners
Improvement commissioners
Boards of improvement commissioners were ad-hoc boards created during the 18th and 19th centuries in the United Kingdom. They were an early form of local government.The first Improvement Commission was the Manchester Police Commission, established in 1765...

 to govern the growing towns. In rural areas, parishes began to be grouped for different administrative purposes. From 1875 these local bodies were designated as urban or rural sanitary districts.

Following the Local Government Act 1888, the remaining county came under the control of Middlesex County Council
Middlesex County Council
Middlesex County Council was the principal local government body in the administrative county of Middlesex from 1889 to 1965.The county council was created by the Local Government Act 1888, which also removed the most populous part of the county to constitute the County of London...

 except for the parish of Monken Hadley
Monken Hadley
Monken Hadley is a place in the London Borough of Barnet. An ancient country village north of Barnet, it is now a suburban development situated on the very edge of Greater London north north-west of Charing Cross, while retaining much of its rural character....

, which became part of Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

. The area of responsibility of the Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex
Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex
This is a list of people who served as Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex. The office was abolished on 1 April 1965, with the creation of Greater London and the post of Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, with small parts of Middlesex coming under the jurisdiction of the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, the...

 was reduced accordingly. Middlesex did not contain any county borough
County borough
County borough is a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland , to refer to a borough or a city independent of county council control. They were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales, but continue in use for lieutenancy and shrievalty in...

s, so the county and administrative county
Administrative county
An administrative county was an administrative division in England and Wales and Ireland used for the purposes of local government. They are now abolished, although in Northern Ireland their former areas are used as the basis for lieutenancy....

 (the area of county council control) were identical.

The Local Government Act 1894
Local Government Act 1894
The Local Government Act 1894 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in England and Wales outside the County of London. The Act followed the reforms carried out at county level under the Local Government Act 1888...

 divided the administrative county into four rural district
Rural district
Rural districts were a type of local government area – now superseded – established at the end of the 19th century in England, Wales, and Ireland for the administration of predominantly rural areas at a level lower than that of the administrative counties.-England and Wales:In England...

s and thirty-one urban district
Urban district
In the England, Wales and Ireland, an urban district was a type of local government district that covered an urbanised area. Urban districts had an elected Urban District Council , which shared local government responsibilities with a county council....

s, based on existing sanitary district
Sanitary district
Sanitary districts were established in England and Wales in 1875 and in Ireland in 1878. The districts were of two types, based on existing structures:*Urban sanitary districts in towns with existing local government bodies...

s. One urban district, South Hornsey
South Hornsey
South Hornsey was a local government district in Middlesex, England from 1865 to 1900.The district was formed in 1865 when the Local Government Act 1858 was adopted in the southern part of the parish of Hornsey. South Hornsey Local Board was formed to govern the area.The majority of the district ...

, was an exclave of Middlesex within the County of London
County of London
The County of London was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of the general introduction of elected county government in England, by way of the Local Government Act 1888. The Act created an administrative County of...

 until 1900, when it was transferred to the latter county. The rural districts were Hendon
Hendon Rural District
Hendon was a rural district in Middlesex, England from 1894 to 1934.The rural district was established in 1894 under the Local Government Act 1894, consisting of the following parishes:...

, South Mimms
Potters Bar Urban District
South Mimms Rural District and Potters Bar Urban District were local government districts occupying the area around the town of Potters Bar, England....

, Staines
Staines Rural District
Staines was a rural district of Middlesex in England from 1894 to 1930.It was created in 1894 based on the former Staines rural sanitary district...

 and Uxbridge
Uxbridge Rural District
Uxbridge was, from 1875 to 1925, a local government district in Middlesex, England.The district was formed as a rural sanitary district in 1875. It was based on the existing poor Uxbridge Poor Law Union, except for Uxbridge, to the west, which was an urban sanitary district. Part of the Hillingdon...

. Because of increasing urbanisation these had all been abolished by 1934. Urban districts had been created, merged, and many had gained the status of municipal borough by 1965. The districts as at the 1961 census were:

  1. Potters Bar
    Potters Bar Urban District
    South Mimms Rural District and Potters Bar Urban District were local government districts occupying the area around the town of Potters Bar, England....


  2. Enfield
    Municipal Borough of Enfield
    Enfield was a local government district in Middlesex, England from 1850 to 1965.The parish of Enfield adopted the Public Health Act 1848 in 1850, and formed a local board of health of 12 members to govern the area. The local board's area was reconstituted by the Local Government Act 1894, and...


  3. Southgate
    Municipal Borough of Southgate
    Southgate was a local government district of Middlesex from 1881 to 1965. It was part of the London postal district and Metropolitan Police District....


  4. Edmonton
    Municipal Borough of Edmonton
    Edmonton was a local government district in north-east Middlesex, England, from 1850 to 1965.Edmonton local board was formed in 1850 for the parish of Edmonton All Saints. In 1881 Southgate was separated from the Edmonton local board's district, forming its own local board. Edmonton became an urban...


  5. Tottenham
    Municipal Borough of Tottenham
    Tottenham was a local government district in north east Middlesex from 1850 to 1965. It was part of the London postal district and Metropolitan Police District....


  6. Wood Green
    Municipal Borough of Wood Green
    Wood Green was a local government district in south east Middlesex from 1888 to 1965.Until 1888 Wood Green was part of Tottenham, and was included in the district of the Tottenham Local Board in 1850...


  7. Friern Barnet

  8. Hornsey
    Municipal Borough of Hornsey
    Hornsey was a local government district in east Middlesex from 1867 to 1965.In 1867, a Local Board was formed for part of the civil parish of Hornsey. The rest of the parish was already under South Hornsey Local Board formed in 1865....


  9. Finchley
    Municipal Borough of Finchley
    Finchley was a local government district in Middlesex, England, from 1878 to 1965. It formed part of the northern suburbs of London and was within the Metropolitan Police District and London Passenger Transport Area. Its former area now forms part of the London Borough of Barnet.-Formation:The...


  10. Hendon
    Municipal Borough of Hendon
    Hendon was an ancient civil parish of around which included Mill Hill, as well as Golders Green and Childs Hill. In 1894 it was created an urban district of Middlesex and in 1932 it became a municipal borough...


  11. Harrow
    London Borough of Harrow
    The London Borough of Harrow is a London borough of north-west London. It borders Hertfordshire to the north and other London boroughs: Hillingdon to the west, Ealing to the south, Brent to the south-east and Barnet to the east.-History:...


  12. Ruislip-Northwood
    Ruislip-Northwood Urban District
    Ruislip-Northwood was an urban district in west Middlesex, England, from 1904 to 1965. From its inception Ruislip-Northwood fell within the Metropolitan Police District and from 1933 it was part of the London Passenger Transport Area....


  13. Uxbridge
    Municipal Borough of Uxbridge
    Uxbridge was a local government district in north west Middlesex, England, from 1849 to 1965, based around the town of Uxbridge.Uxbridge was one of the first towns in England to adopt the Public Health Act 1848 in 1849 and form a local board of health. Under the Local Government Act 1894 the local...



  1. Ealing
    Municipal Borough of Ealing
    Ealing was a local government district from 1863 to 1965 around the town of Ealing.A local board of health was formed for the southern part of the parish of Ealing, Middlesex, in 1863. In 1873 the board's area was extended to the rest of the parish....


  2. Wembley
    Municipal Borough of Wembley
    Wembley was an urban district and later a municipal borough in Middlesex, England from 1894 to 1965.Wembley Urban District was created by the Local Government Act 1894 from part of the existing Hendon Rural Sanitary District, and originally consisted of two civil parishes: Kingsbury and Wembley...


  3. Willesden
    Municipal Borough of Willesden
    Willesden was a local government district in the county of Middlesex, England from 1874 to 1965. It formed part of the Metropolitan Police District and London postal district...


  4. Acton
    Municipal Borough of Acton
    Acton was a local government district in Middlesex, England from 1865 to 1965.In 1865 the Local Government Act 1858 was adopted by the parish of Acton, and a twelve-member local board of health was formed to govern the area. The Local Government Act 1894 constituted the area an urban district, and...


  5. Brentford and Chiswick
    Municipal Borough of Brentford and Chiswick
    Brentford and Chiswick was a local government district of Middlesex, England from 1927 to 1965.It was created an urban district in 1927 by a merger of the former area of the Brentford Urban District and the Chiswick Urban District. It gained the status of municipal borough in 1932...


  6. Heston and Isleworth
    Municipal Borough of Heston and Isleworth
    Heston and Isleworth was a local government district of Middlesex, England from 1894 to 1965.It was created an urban district in 1894 by the Local Government Act 1894...


  7. Southall
    Municipal Borough of Southall
    Southall was a local government district in the county of Middlesex, United Kingdom from 1891 to 1965. It consisted of the civil parish of Norwood....


  8. Hayes and Harlington
    Hayes and Harlington Urban District
    Hayes was a local government district in west Middlesex, England from 1904 to 1965.It was originally created in 1904 as an urban district, Hayes Urban District, covering the Hayes parish transferred from Uxbridge Rural District...


  9. Yiewsley and West Drayton
    Yiewsley and West Drayton Urban District
    Yiewsley and West Drayton was an urban district in Middlesex, England.It was formed in 1911 from the parish of Yiewsley, formerly part of Uxbridge Rural District. This rural district was abolished in 1929, and Yiewsley was joined by the parish of West Drayton, resulting in a change of name for the...


  10. Staines
    Staines Urban District
    Staines was a local government district from 1894 to 1974 around the town of Staines. Apart from Staines itself, it also covered Ashford, Laleham and Stanwell....


  11. Feltham
    Feltham Urban District
    Feltham was an urban district in Middlesex, England from 1904 to 1965.It was based on the parish of Feltham, which had previously been part of the Staines Rural District...


  12. Twickenham
    Municipal Borough of Twickenham
    Twickenham was a local government district in Middlesex, England from 1868 to 1965.Twickenham Local Government District was formed in 1868, when the civil parish of Twickenham adopted the Local Government Act 1858. The district was governed by a local board of 27 members.The Local Government Act...


  13. Sunbury-on-Thames
    Sunbury-on-Thames Urban District
    Sunbury on Thames - also known as Sunbury - was a local government district from 1894 to 1974 around the town of Sunbury-on-Thames, also covering Littleton and Shepperton....




After 1889 the growth of London continued, and the county became almost entirely filled by suburbs of London, with a big rise in population density. This process was accelerated by the Metro-land
Metro-land
Metro-land is a name given to the suburban areas that were built to the north west of London in the counties of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex in the early part of the 20th century, and were served by the Metropolitan Railway, an independent company until absorbed by the London...

 developments, which covered a large part of the county. Public transport in the county, including the extensive network of trams, buses and the London Underground came under control of the London Passenger Transport Board
London Passenger Transport Board
The London Passenger Transport Board was the organisation responsible for public transport in London, UK, and its environs from 1933 to 1948...

 in 1933 and a New Works Programme
New Works Programme
The "New Works Programme, 1935 - 1940" was the major investment programme delivered by the London Passenger Transport Board , commonly known as London Transport, which had been created in 1933 to coordinate underground train, tram, trolleybus and bus services in the capital and the surrounding areas...

 was developed to further enhance services during the 1930s. Partly because of its proximity to the capital, the county had a major role during the Second World War. The county was subject to aerial bombardment
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

 and contained various military establishments, such as RAF Uxbridge
RAF Uxbridge
RAF Uxbridge was a Royal Air Force station in Uxbridge within the London Borough of Hillingdon. Its grounds covered originally belonging to the Hillingdon House estate, which was purchased by the British Government in 1915, three years before the founding of the RAF...

 and RAF Heston
Heston Aerodrome
Heston Aerodrome was a 1930s airfield located to the west of London, UK, operational between 1929 and 1947. It was situated on the border of the Heston and Cranford areas of Hounslow, Middlesex...

, which were involved in the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain is the name given to the World War II air campaign waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940...

.

County town



Middlesex does not have a single established historic county town, because of the proximity and the dominance of London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. However, different locations having been used for different county purposes. The County Assizes for Middlesex were held at the Old Bailey
Old Bailey
The Central Criminal Court in England and Wales, commonly known as the Old Bailey from the street in which it stands, is a court building in central London, one of a number of buildings housing the Crown Court...

 in the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

. Until 1889 the High Sheriff of Middlesex
High Sheriff of Middlesex
This is a list of High Sheriffs of Middlesex.-History of the office:From c.1131–1889 there was no separate sheriff for the county. By a charter of Henry I the livery of the City of London were given the right to elect two sheriffs of "London and Middlesex" on a payment of £300 per annum to...

 was chosen by the City of London Corporation. The sessions house for the Middlesex Quarter Sessions was at Clerkenwell Green from the early eighteenth century. The quarter sessions at the former Middlesex Sessions House
Middlesex Sessions House
The Former Middlesex Sessions House is a building on Clerkenwell Green in the London Borough of Islington in London, England.It was built in 1780 for the Middlesex Quarter Sessions of the justices of the peace, replacing nearby Hicks Hall which had fallen into disrepair...

 performed most of the administration of the county until the creation of the Middlesex County Council in 1889. New Brentford was first described as the county town in 1789, on the basis that it was the location of elections of knights for the shire (or Members of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

) from 1701. In 1795, New Brentford was "considered as the county-town; but there is no town-hall or other public building". Middlesex County Council, which took over the administrative duties of the Quarter Sessions in 1889, was based at the Middlesex Guildhall
Middlesex Guildhall
The Middlesex Guildhall is the home of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. It stands on the south-west corner of Parliament Square in London.-History:...

, in Westminster
Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...

. This was in the County of London
County of London
The County of London was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of the general introduction of elected county government in England, by way of the Local Government Act 1888. The Act created an administrative County of...

, and thus outside the council's area of jurisdiction.

Arms of Middlesex County Council



Coats of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 were attributed by the medieval heralds to the Kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

 Heptarchy
Heptarchy
The Heptarchy is a collective name applied to the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of south, east, and central Great Britain during late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, conventionally identified as seven: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Sussex and Wessex...

. That assigned to the Kingdom of the Middle and East Saxons
Kingdom of Essex
The Kingdom of Essex or Kingdom of the East Saxons was one of the seven traditional kingdoms of the so-called Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It was founded in the 6th century and covered the territory later occupied by the counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Kent. Kings of Essex were...

 depicted three "seax
Seax
Seax in Old English means knife or cutting tool. The name of the roofer's tool, the zax, is a development from this word...

es" or short notched swords on a red background. The seaxe was a weapon carried by Anglo-Saxon warriors, and the term "Saxon" may be derived from the word. These arms became associated with the two counties that approximated to the kingdom: Middlesex and Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

. County authorities, militia and volunteer regiments associated with both counties used the attributed arms.

In 1910 it was noted that the county councils of Essex and Middlesex and the Sheriff's Office of the County of London
County of London
The County of London was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of the general introduction of elected county government in England, by way of the Local Government Act 1888. The Act created an administrative County of...

 were all using the same arms. Middlesex County Council decided to apply for a formal grant of arms from the College of Arms
College of Arms
The College of Arms, or Heralds’ College, is an office regulating heraldry and granting new armorial bearings for England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

, with the addition of an heraldic "difference" to the attributed arms. Colonel Otley Parry, a Justice of the Peace
Justice of the Peace
A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...

 for Middlesex and author of a book on military badges, was asked to devise an addition to the shield. The chosen addition was a "Saxon Crown", derived from the portrait of King Athelstan
Athelstan of England
Athelstan , called the Glorious, was the King of England from 924 or 925 to 939. He was the son of King Edward the Elder, grandson of Alfred the Great and nephew of Æthelflæd of Mercia...

 on a silver penny of his reign, stated to be the earliest form of crown associated with any English sovereign. The grant of arms was made by letters patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 dated 7 November 1910. The blazon
Blazon
In heraldry and heraldic vexillology, a blazon is a formal description of a coat of arms, flag or similar emblem, from which the reader can reconstruct the appropriate image...

 of the arms was:

Gules, three seaxes fessewise points to the sinister proper, pomels and hilts and in the centre chief point a Saxon crown or.


The undifferenced arms of the Kingdom were eventually granted to Essex County Council in 1932. Seaxes were also used in the insignia of many of the boroughs and urban districts in the county, while the Saxon crown came to be a common heraldic charge in English civic arms. On the creation of the Greater London Council
Greater London Council
The Greater London Council was the top-tier local government administrative body for Greater London from 1965 to 1986. It replaced the earlier London County Council which had covered a much smaller area...

 in 1965 a Saxon crown was introduced in its coat of arms. Seaxes appear in the arms of several London borough council
London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...

s and of Spelthorne Borough Council
Spelthorne
Spelthorne is a local government district and borough in Surrey, England. It includes the towns of Ashford, Laleham, Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell and Sunbury...

, whose area was in Middlesex.

Creation of Greater London


The population of the County of London had been in decline since its creation in 1889, and following the Second World War, the exodus continued. In contrast, the population of Middlesex had seen a steady increase during that period. From 1951 to 1961 the population of the inner districts of the county started to drop and growth was experienced only in eight of the suburban outer districts. According to the 1961 census, Ealing, Enfield, Harrow, Hendon, Heston and Isleworth, Tottenham, Wembley, Willesden and Twickenham had all reached a population of greater than 100,000, which would normally have entitled them to seek county borough
County borough
County borough is a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland , to refer to a borough or a city independent of county council control. They were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales, but continue in use for lieutenancy and shrievalty in...

 status. If granted to all these boroughs, this would have reduced the population of the administrative county of Middlesex by over half, to just shy of a million.

Following the Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London
Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London
The Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London, also known as the Herbert Commission, was established in 1957 and published its report in 1960...

, Parliament enacted the London Government Act 1963
London Government Act 1963
The London Government Act 1963 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which recognised officially the conurbation known as Greater London and created a new local government structure for the capital. The Act significantly reduced the number of local government districts in the area,...

, which came into force on 1 April 1965.

The Act abolished the administrative counties of Middlesex and London. The Administration of Justice Act 1964 abolished the Middlesex magistracy and lieutenancy. Nearly all the remainder of Middlesex became part of Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 in 1965 and formed the new outer London
Outer London
Outer London is the name for the group of London Boroughs that form a ring around Inner London.These were areas that were not part of the County of London and became formally part of Greater London in 1965...

 boroughs of Barnet
London Borough of Barnet
The London Borough of Barnet is a London borough in North London and forms part of Outer London. It has a population of 331,500 and covers . It borders Hertfordshire to the north and five other London boroughs: Harrow and Brent to the west, Camden and Haringey to the south-east and Enfield to the...

 (part only), Brent
London Borough of Brent
In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough had a total population of 2,022. This rose slowly throughout the 19th century, as the district became built up; reaching 5,646 in the middle of the century. When the railways arrived the rate of population growth increased...

, Ealing
London Borough of Ealing
The London Borough of Ealing is a borough in west London.-Location:The London Borough of Ealing borders the London Borough of Hillingdon to the west, the London Borough of Harrow and the London Borough of Brent to the north, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to the east and the London...

, Enfield
London Borough of Enfield
The London Borough of Enfield is the most northerly London borough and forms part of Outer London. It borders the London Boroughs of Barnet, Haringey and Waltham Forest...

, Haringey
London Borough of Haringey
The London Borough of Haringey is a London borough, in North London, classified by some definitions as part of Inner London, and by others as part of Outer London. It was created in 1965 by the amalgamation of three former boroughs. It shares borders with six other London boroughs...

, Harrow
London Borough of Harrow
The London Borough of Harrow is a London borough of north-west London. It borders Hertfordshire to the north and other London boroughs: Hillingdon to the west, Ealing to the south, Brent to the south-east and Barnet to the east.-History:...

, Hillingdon
London Borough of Hillingdon
The London Borough of Hillingdon is the westernmost borough in Greater London, England. The borough's population was recorded as 243,006 in the 2001 Census. The borough incorporates the former districts of Ruislip-Northwood, Uxbridge, Hayes and Harlington and Yiewsley and West Drayton in the...

, Hounslow
London Borough of Hounslow
-Political composition:Since the borough was formed it has been controlled by the Labour Party on all but two occasions. In 1968 the Conservatives formed a majority for the first and last time to date until they lost control to Labour in 1971. Labour subsequently lost control of the council in the...

 and Richmond upon Thames
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is a London borough in South West London, UK, which forms part of Outer London. It is unique because it is the only London borough situated both north and south of the River Thames.-Settlement:...

 (part only). The remaining areas were Potters Bar Urban District
Potters Bar Urban District
South Mimms Rural District and Potters Bar Urban District were local government districts occupying the area around the town of Potters Bar, England....

, which became part of Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

, while Sunbury-on-Thames Urban District
Sunbury-on-Thames Urban District
Sunbury on Thames - also known as Sunbury - was a local government district from 1894 to 1974 around the town of Sunbury-on-Thames, also covering Littleton and Shepperton....

 and Staines Urban District
Staines Urban District
Staines was a local government district from 1894 to 1974 around the town of Staines. Apart from Staines itself, it also covered Ashford, Laleham and Stanwell....

 became part of Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

. Following the changes, local acts of Parliament relating to Middlesex were henceforth to apply to the entirety of the nine "North West London Boroughs". In 1974, the three urban districts that had been transferred to Hertfordshire and Surrey were abolished and became the districts of Hertsmere
Hertsmere
Hertsmere is a local government district and borough in Hertfordshire, England. Its council is based in Borehamwood. Other towns in the borough include Bushey, Elstree, Radlett and Potters Bar.-History:...

 (part only) and Spelthorne
Spelthorne
Spelthorne is a local government district and borough in Surrey, England. It includes the towns of Ashford, Laleham, Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell and Sunbury...

 respectively.The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972 (SI 1972/2038) In 1995 the village of Poyle
Poyle
Poyle is a village and suburb in the unitary authority of Slough, in South East England. It is situated immediately west of the M25 motorway and 16.8 miles west of Charing Cross in London.-History:...

 was transferred from Spelthorne to the Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

 borough of Slough
Slough
Slough is a borough and unitary authority within the ceremonial county of Royal Berkshire, England. The town straddles the A4 Bath Road and the Great Western Main Line, west of central London...

. Additionally, since 1965 the Greater London boundary to the west and north has been subject to a significant number of small changes.

Geography


The county lies within the London Basin
London Basin
The London Basin is an elongated, roughly triangular sedimentary basin approximately long which underlies London and a large area of south east England, south eastern East Anglia and the adjacent North Sea...

 and the most significant feature was the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

, which formed the southern boundary. The River Lea and the River Colne
River Colne, Hertfordshire
The Colne is a river in England which is a tributary of the River Thames. It flows mainly through Hertfordshire and forms the boundary between the South Bucks district of Buckinghamshire and the London Borough of Hillingdon...

 formed natural boundaries to the east and west. In the south west of the county the Thames meandered enough to make "Middlesex bank" more descriptively accurate than "north bank"; a distinction used during the The Boat Race
The Boat Race
The event generally known as "The Boat Race" is a rowing race in England between the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club, rowed between competing eights each spring on the River Thames in London. It takes place generally on the last Saturday of March or the first...

. In the north the boundary was mostly formed by a ridge of hills broken by Barnet valley and a long protrusion of Hertfordshire into the county. The county was thickly wooded, with much of it covered by the ancient Forest of Middlesex
Forest of Middlesex
The Forest of Middlesex was an ancient woodland covering much of the county of Middlesex, England that was north of the City of London and now forms the northern part of Greater London. A path was cut through the forest for the creation of Watling Street. At its ancient extent the forest stretched...

. The highest point was the High Road by Bushey Heath at 502 feet (153 m), which is now one of the highest points in London.

Legacy


Middlesex is used in the names of organisations based in the area such as Middlesex County Cricket Club
Middlesex County Cricket Club
Middlesex County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Middlesex. It was announced in February 2009 that Middlesex changed their limited overs name from the Middlesex Crusaders, to the...

, the Middlesex Cricket Board
Middlesex Cricket Board
The Middlesex Cricket Board was formed in 1996. It is the governing body for all recreational cricket in the historic county of Middlesex.The Board of the MCB consists of four representatives nominated by the Middlesex County Cricket Club, three nominated by other specific affiliated associations,...

 and Middlesex University
Middlesex University
Middlesex University is a university in north London, England. It is located in the historic county boundaries of Middlesex from which it takes its name. It is one of the post-1992 universities and is a member of Million+ working group...

. There is a Middlesex County Football Association
Middlesex County Football Association
The Middlesex County Football Association is an organisation that regulates and promotes football, aiming to increase the quantity and quality of participation in the historic area of Middlesex.-History:...

 and two teams that are now within Surrey, Staines Town
Staines Town F.C.
Staines Town FC are an English football club based in Staines, Surrey. They are currently competing in the Conference South. The team are usually known as 'The Swans'...

 and Ashford Town (Middlesex)
Ashford Town F.C. (Middlesex)
Ashford Town F.C. are an English football club based in Ashford, Surrey. The club are currently members of Division One Central of the Southern League and play at Short Lane...

 as well as Potters Bar Town
Potters Bar Town F.C.
Potters Bar Town F.C. is a football club based in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, England. They were formed in 1960 as Mount Grace Old Scholars, and, after dropping 'Old Scholars' from the name in 1984, changed to their present name in 1991. Their best performance in the FA Cup was in the 2006-07...

 in Hertfordshire, compete in the Middlesex County Cup. Sir John Betjeman
John Betjeman
Sir John Betjeman, CBE was an English poet, writer and broadcaster who described himself in Who's Who as a "poet and hack".He was a founding member of the Victorian Society and a passionate defender of Victorian architecture...

, a native of North London
North London
North London is the northern part of London, England. It is an imprecise description and the area it covers is defined differently for a range of purposes. Common to these definitions is that it includes districts located north of the River Thames and is used in comparison with South...

 and Poet Laureate
Poet Laureate
A poet laureate is a poet officially appointed by a government and is often expected to compose poems for state occasions and other government events...

, published several poems about Middlesex and the suburban experience. Many were featured in the televised readings Metroland
Metro-land (TV)
Metro-land is a BBC documentary film written and narrated by the then Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman. It was directed by Edward Mirzoeff and first broadcast in colour on February 26, 1973...

. As part of a 2002 marketing campaign, the plant conservation charity Plantlife
Plantlife
Plantlife is a wild plant conservation charity. As of 2007, its membership was 10,500 and it owned 23 nature reserves around the UK.-History:It was founded in 1989 with its first President being Professor David Bellamy. By 1999 it had 22 nature reserves....

 chose the wood anemone
Anemone nemorosa
Anemone nemorosa is an early-spring flowering plant in the genus Anemone in the family Ranunculaceae, native to Europe. Common names include wood anemone, windflower, thimbleweed and smell fox, an allusion to the musky smell of the leaves...

 as the county flower. In 2003, an early day motion
Early day motion
An Early Day Motion , in the Westminster system, is a motion, expressed as a single sentence, tabled by Members of Parliament for debate "on an early day" . Controversial EDMs are not signed by Government Ministers, PPS or the Speaker of the House of Commons and very few are debated on the floor...

 with two signatures noted that 16 May is the anniversary of the Battle of Albuera
Battle of Albuera
The Battle of Albuera was an indecisive battle during the Peninsular War. A mixed British, Spanish and Portuguese corps engaged elements of the French Armée du Midi at the small Spanish village of Albuera, about 20 kilometres south of the frontier fortress-town of Badajoz, Spain.From...

 and in recent years has been celebrated as Middlesex Day, commemorating the valiant efforts of the Middlesex Regiment
Middlesex Regiment
The Middlesex Regiment was a regiment of the British Army. It was formed in 1881 as part of the Childers Reforms when the 57th and 77th Regiments of Foot were amalgamated with the county's militia and rifle volunteer units.On 31 December 1966 The Middlesex Regiment was amalgamated with three...

 (the "Die-hards") in that battle. The idea is to recognise and celebrate the historic county. On its creation in 1965, Greater London was divided into five commission areas for the administration of justice. One was named "Middlesex" and consisted of the boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Enfield, Haringey, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow. This was abolished on 1 July 2003.

Former postal county


Middlesex (abbreviated Middx) is also defined as a former postal county
Postal counties of the United Kingdom
The postal counties of the United Kingdom, now known officially as the former postal counties, were postal subdivisions in routine use by the Royal Mail until 1996. The raison d'être of the postal county – as opposed to any other kind of county – was to aid the sorting of mail by...

; an element of postal addressing in routine use until 1996 and now an optional component. The postal county was retained after 1965 because Royal Mail
Royal Mail
Royal Mail is the government-owned postal service in the United Kingdom. Royal Mail Holdings plc owns Royal Mail Group Limited, which in turn operates the brands Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide...

 was unable to follow all the changes to county boundaries and could not adopt Greater London as a postal county. However, much of inner Middlesex (Willesden, Hornsey etc.) was within the London postal district
London postal district
The London postal district is the area in England, currently of , to which mail addressed to the LONDON post town is delivered. The area was initially devised in 1856 and throughout its history has been subject to periodic reorganisation, contraction and division into increasingly smaller postal...

, within which addresses already included "LONDON" and did not include a county. The transfer of Potters Bar to Hertfordshire was adopted by the Royal Mail, but the transfers of Staines and Sunbury to Surrey were not. The remaining postal county consisted of two unconnected areas, 6 miles (9.7 km) apart (Enfield and the rest) and comprised the following post towns:
Postcode area Post towns
EN (part) ENFIELD
HA  EDGWARE • HARROW • NORTHWOOD • PINNER • RUISLIP • STANMORE • WEMBLEY
TW (part) ASHFORD • BRENTFORD • FELTHAM • HAMPTON • HOUNSLOW† • ISLEWORTH • SHEPPERTON • STAINES • SUNBURY-ON-THAMES • TEDDINGTON • TWICKENHAM†
UB  GREENFORD • HAYES • NORTHOLT • SOUTHALL • UXBRIDGE • WEST DRAYTON


† = postal county was not required

The postal county included many anomalies where the post town
Post town
A post town is a required part of all postal addresses in the United Kingdom, and a basic unit of the postal delivery system. Including the correct post town in the address increases the chances of a letter or parcel being delivered on time. Post towns are usually based upon the location of...

s it consisted of encroached on neighbouring counties, such as the village of Denham, Buckinghamshire
Denham, Buckinghamshire
Denham is a village and civil parish in the South Buckinghamshire district of Buckinghamshire, England. It is north west of Uxbridge and north of junction 1 of the M40 motorway. Denham contains the Buckinghamshire Golf Club.-Origin:...

, which is included in the post town of Uxbridge
Uxbridge
Uxbridge is a large town located in north west London, England and is the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Hillingdon. It forms part of the ceremonial county of Greater London. It is located west-northwest of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres...

 and was therefore within the postal county of Middlesex; conversely, Hampton Wick
Hampton Wick
Hampton Wick is a Thames-side area, formerly a village, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in London, England.Famous for its market gardens until well into the twentieth century, it is now commuter-belt territory, housing developments having been built on these areas...

 was not included in the Middlesex postal county as it was served by post towns associated with Surrey. This gives Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London; it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century. The palace is located south west of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London on the River Thames...

 a postal address suggesting it is located in East Molesey, Surrey. Wraysbury
Wraysbury
Wraysbury, traditionally spelt Wyrardisbury, is a village and civil parish in Berkshire, England. It is located in the very east of the county, in the part that was in Buckinghamshire until 1974...

, Berkshire and Egham Hythe
Egham Hythe
Egham Hythe is a place between Egham and Staines in Surrey, England, extending south of the River Thames towards Thorpe Lea , and includes the area surrounding Pooley Green...

, Surrey are with the Staines post town and thus were also included in the Middlesex postal county.

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