When the Conservatives formed a government in June 1866, Disraeli tried repeatedly to establish a boundary commission prior to the introduction of another reform bill. In doing so he hoped to delay the reform process, ensure the creation of voting requirements that would mitigate the democratising extent of any extension of the suffrage, and allow for boundary reforms that provided a clear party advantage to the Conservatives. He didn’t quite get what he wanted, however.....
The process of boundary reform during the Victorian era fascinates me. There had been various minor changes over the centuries, but it seems that no-one thought that tidying boundaries up was necessary until about 1840, and the 1844 Act cleared up the weirdest anomalies. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counties_(Detached_Parts)_Act_1844
Yet many anomalies were left, and it took further reforms to gradually iron them out, and the job was more or less complete by the turn of the century. (A few stubborn bits and bobs remained, eg. the exclave at the bottom of Huntingonshire that survived till 1974.) One boundary review I hadn't seen before is represented by this map: antique-prints-maps.com/acatalog/ref1.php?imagefile=../largeimages/ROJWorcs16.jpg (and there are a few more on that website). These maps are fascinating because they show not only the changes that I know took place, but several that were aborted. The site suggests they are of 1880 vintage, but I wonder if they're a few years out. There was a review in 1886-7, but the information given by Wikipedia doesn't quite tally with these maps. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Government_(Boundaries)_Act_1887
Post by David Boothroyd on Sept 21, 2018 20:14:51 GMT
The two volumes by F.A. Youngs, 'Local Administrative Units of England', are the best source for what changes in county boundaries took place at what time. The Vision of Britain website sometimes helps (especially with historic boundary maps).
By the way I have a pdf of the Report of the Local Government Boundary Commission of 1888 if anyone wants to know what was in it.
Does your pdf include the maps?
Looking in the Bodleian catalogue, I saw that Vol 1 is available online solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/primo-explore/search?query=any,contains,Report%20of%20the%20Boundary%20Commissioners%20of%20England%20and%20Wales,%201888,%20volume%201,%20C.360&tab=local&search_scope=LSCOP_ALL&vid=SOLO&lang=en_US&offset=0 but clicking through I see it's hosted on ProQuest :-( Quite why the UK govt is using an expensive American portal to host its parliamentary papers, I've no idea.
Anyway, I've applied for a free trial pass, so I'll see how that goes.
On the subject of the 1868 Boundaries Act (which is where this thread started), I'm pleased to say that I now have in my possession a paper copy of the Act.
This is valuable because the although a boundary commission was established by the Reform Act 1867, its recommendations (all of which can be found on VoB) were by no means the end of the story. Parliament made a large number of changes to the commission's proposals, so it's crucial to check the Boundaries Act itself and not rely on the boundary commission's maps.