Stoke-on-Trent Local History





Federation of the six towns
31st March 1910 saw the federation of the
six towns to form the County Borough of Stoke-on-Trent



contents: Index page for Federation

Definitions associated with federation

Definitions associated with local government and federation


Under the Municipal Reform Act 1835, municipal borough corporations consisted of councillors and aldermen. Aldermen would be elected not by the electorate, but by the council (including the outgoing aldermen), for a term of six years, which allowed a party that narrowly lost an election to retain control by choosing aldermen.


A borough is an administrative division and a term used in many countries. Generally the term borough indicates a self-governing township. Often, a borough is a single town with its own local government.

The word 'borough' derives from a common Indo-European language cognate, meaning fort.
In the Middle Ages, boroughs were settlements in England that were granted some self-government.

Debates on the Reform Bill (eventually the Reform Act 1832) had highlighted the many variations in the  governance of towns at the time. A Royal Commission was set up to investigate the issue. This resulted in a regularisation of municipal government (Municipal Corporations Act 1835).

1857 The townships of Hanley and Shelton, forming a portion of the parish of Stoke-upon-Trent, were incorporated to constitute the municipal borough of Hanley.
1865 Longton was created a borough.
1871 Burslem was created a borough.
1874 Stoke was created a borough.


A councillor is a member of a local government council.
Councillors are typically elected as members of political parties or alternatively as independents. Once elected they are meant to represent all their constituents and not just those who voted for them.


A mayor (from the Latin māior, meaning "greater") is a used for the highest ranking officer in a municipal government.
The Municipal Corporations Act 1882 regulated the election of mayors. He was to be a fit person elected annually on 9 November by the council of the borough from among the aldermen or councillors or persons qualified to be such. His term of office was one year, but he is eligible for re-election.

School Board

The Elementary Education Act 1870  set the framework for schooling of all children over the age of 5 and under 13 in England and Wales. A purpose of the Act was a perceived need for Britain to remain competitive in the world by being at the forefront of manufacture and improvement.

School boards were created in boroughs and parishes under the Act. Education was still not free. Members of the school board were directly elected, not appointed by borough councils or parishes. Each board had certain powers, among them was the ability to raise funds from a rate, build and run schools, subsidise church schools, pay the fees of the poorest children.

Attendance at school was not nationally compulsory (until 1880) and each local board could if they deemed it necessary, create a by-law making attendance compulsory between ages 5-13

School boards were abolished by the Education Act 1902, which replaced them with Local Education Authorities (LEA's).

Burslem School Board
Burslem School Board
Hanley School Board
Hanley School Board