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Middlesex (; abbreviation: Middx) is a historic county in southeast England. Its area is almost entirely within the wider urbanised area of London and mostly within the
ceremonial county The counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies, also referred to as the lieutenancy areas of England and informally known as ceremonial counties, are areas of England to which lords-lieutenant are appointed. Legally, the areas i ...
of
Greater London Greater may refer to: *Greatness, the state of being great *Greater than, in inequality * ''Greater'' (film), a 2016 American film * Greater (flamingo), the oldest flamingo on record * "Greater" (song), by MercyMe, 2014 * Greater Bank, an Australi ...
, with small sections in neighbouring ceremonial counties. Three rivers provide most of the county's boundaries; the
Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At , it is the longest river entirely in England and the second-longest in the United Kingdom, after the ...
in the south, the Lea to the east and the
Colne Colne () is a market town and civil parish in the Borough of Pendle in Lancashire, England. Located northeast of Nelson, north-east of Burnley, east of Preston and west of Leeds. The town should not be confused with the unrelated Colne ...
to the west. A line of hills forms the northern boundary with
Hertfordshire Hertfordshire ( or ; often abbreviated Herts) is one of the home counties in southern England. It borders Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For govern ...
. Middlesex county's name derives from its origin as the Middle Saxon Province of the
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group who inhabited England in the Early Middle Ages. They traced their origins to settlers who came to Britain from mainland Europe in the 5th century. However, the ethnogenesis of the Anglo-Saxons happened w ...
Kingdom of Essex, with the county of Middlesex subsequently formed from part of that territory in either the ninth or tenth century, and remaining an administrative unit until 1965. The county is the second smallest, after
Rutland Rutland () is a ceremonial county and unitary authority in the East Midlands, England. The county is bounded to the west and north by Leicestershire, to the northeast by Lincolnshire and the southeast by Northamptonshire. Its greatest le ...
, of the historic counties of England. The
City of London The City of London is a city, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and constitutes, alongside Canary Wharf, the primary central business district (CBD) of London. It constituted most of London from ...
became a county corporate in the 12th century; this gave it self-governance, and it was also able to exert political control over the rest of Middlesex as the
Sheriff of London Two sheriffs are elected annually for the City of London by the Liverymen of the City livery companies. Today's sheriffs have only nominal duties, but the historical officeholders had important judicial responsibilities. They have attended the ju ...
was given jurisdiction in Middlesex, though the county otherwise remained separate. To the east of the City, the Tower Division (or Tower Hamlets) had considerable autonomy under its own Lord Lieutenant. As London expanded into rural Middlesex, the
Corporation of London The City of London Corporation, officially and legally the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London, is the municipal governing body of the City of London, the historic centre of London and the location of much of the United King ...
resisted attempts to expand the
City of London The City of London is a city, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and constitutes, alongside Canary Wharf, the primary central business district (CBD) of London. It constituted most of London from ...
boundaries into the county, posing problems for the administration of local government and justice. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the population density was especially high in the southeast of the county, including the East and West Ends of London. In 1855, in response to these challenges the densely populated southeast, together with sections of Kent and
Surrey Surrey () is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in South East England, bordering Greater London to the south west. Surrey has a large rural area, and several significant urban areas which form part of the Greater London Built-up Area. ...
, came under the Metropolitan Board of Works for certain infrastructure purposes, while remaining a part of Middlesex.Saint, A., ''Politics and the people of London: the London County Council (1889–1965)'', (1989) When county councils were introduced in 1889, about 20% of the area of the historic county, along with a third of its population, was incorporated into the new administrative County of London, with the rest forming the administrative county of Middlesex, governed by the
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 co ...
Barlow, I., ''Metropolitan Government'', (1991) that met regularly at the Middlesex Guildhall in
Westminster Westminster is an area of Central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street, has many visitor attractions and historic landmarks, including the Palace of Westminster, Buck ...
. Further suburban growth, stimulated by the improvement and expansion of public transport,Wolmar, C., ''The Subterranean Railway'', (2004) and the setting up of new industries led to the creation of
Greater London Greater may refer to: *Greatness, the state of being great *Greater than, in inequality * ''Greater'' (film), a 2016 American film * Greater (flamingo), the oldest flamingo on record * "Greater" (song), by MercyMe, 2014 * Greater Bank, an Australi ...
in 1965, an area which included almost all of the historic county of Middlesex, with the rest included in neighbouring ceremonial counties.


Governance


Origin and toponymy

The county has its roots in the Middle Saxon Province of the Kingdom of Essex. The extent of the province is not clear, and probably varied over time, but it is clear that it occupied at least the area of the current county and much of
Hertfordshire Hertfordshire ( or ; often abbreviated Herts) is one of the home counties in southern England. It borders Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For govern ...
. Although the province is only ever recorded as a part of the East Saxon kingdom, charter evidence shows that it was not part of their core territory. At times, Essex was ruled jointly by co-Kings, and it thought that the Middle Saxon Province is likely to have been the domain of one of these co-kings. This link to Essex endured through the
Diocese of London The Diocese of London forms part of the Church of England's Province of Canterbury in England. It lies directly north of the Thames. For centuries the diocese covered a vast tract and bordered the dioceses of Norwich and Lincoln to the nort ...
, re-established in 604 as the East Saxon see, and its boundaries continued to be based on the Kingdom of Essex until the nineteenth century. The name means ''territory of the
middle Saxons The Middle Saxons or Middel Seaxe were a people whose territory later became, with somewhat contracted boundaries, the county of Middlesex, England. The first known mention of Middlesex stems from a royal charter of 704 between king Swæfred o ...
''. The word is formed from the Old English, 'middel' and '
Seax ''Seax'' (; also sax, sæx, sex; invariant in plural, latinized ''sachsum'') is an Old English word for " knife". In modern archaeology, the term ''seax'' is used specifically for a type of small sword, knife or dagger typical of the Germa ...
e' ('Saxons') ( Essex,
Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English (), is a historic county in South East England that was formerly an independent medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom. It is bounded to the west by Hampshire, north by Surrey, northeast by Kent, south by the Englis ...
and
Wessex la, Regnum Occidentalium Saxonum , conventional_long_name = Kingdom of the West Saxons , common_name = Wessex , image_map = Southern British Isles 9th century.svg , map_caption = S ...
). In 704, it is recorded as ''Middleseaxon'' in an Anglo-Saxon chronicle, written in Latin, about land at Twickenham. The Latin text reads: "''in prouincia quæ nuncupatur Middelseaxan Haec''". The
Saxon The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of Germanic * * * * peoples whose name was given in the early Middle Ages to a large country ( Old Saxony, la, Saxonia) near the No ...
s derived their name, ''Seaxe'' in their own tongue, from the ''
seax ''Seax'' (; also sax, sæx, sex; invariant in plural, latinized ''sachsum'') is an Old English word for " knife". In modern archaeology, the term ''seax'' is used specifically for a type of small sword, knife or dagger typical of the Germa ...
'', a kind of knife for which they were known. The seax appears in the heraldry of the English counties of Essex and Middlesex, each of which bears three seaxes in their ceremonial emblem, or rather the Tudor heralds' idea of what a seax looked like, portrayed in each case like a
falchion A falchion (; Old French: ''fauchon''; Latin: ''falx'', "sickle") is a one-handed, single-edged sword of European origin. Falchions are found in different forms from around the 13th century up to and including the 16th century. In some version ...
or
scimitar A scimitar ( or ) is a single-edged sword with a convex curved blade associated with Middle Eastern, South Asian, or North African cultures. A European term, ''scimitar'' does not refer to one specific sword type, but an assortment of different ...
. The names 'Middlesex', 'Essex', '
Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English (), is a historic county in South East England that was formerly an independent medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom. It is bounded to the west by Hampshire, north by Surrey, northeast by Kent, south by the Englis ...
' and '
Wessex la, Regnum Occidentalium Saxonum , conventional_long_name = Kingdom of the West Saxons , common_name = Wessex , image_map = Southern British Isles 9th century.svg , map_caption = S ...
', contain the name 'Seaxe'.


Early county government

It is not known exactly when Middlesex was established as a county, possibly the early tenth century, but it is clear that it did not cover the whole of the former Middle Saxon Province of Essex. It was recorded in the
Domesday Book Domesday Book () – the Middle English spelling of "Doomsday Book" – is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William I, known as William the Conqueror. The manusc ...
of 1086 as being divided into the six hundreds of
Edmonton Edmonton ( ) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. Edmonton is situated on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, which is surrounded by Alberta's central region. The city ancho ...
, Elthorne,
Gore Gore may refer to: Places Australia * Gore, Queensland * Gore Creek (New South Wales) * Gore Island (Queensland) Canada * Gore, Nova Scotia, a rural community * Gore, Quebec, a township municipality * Gore Bay, Ontario, a township on Manit ...
, Hounslow (
Isleworth Isleworth ( ) is a town located within the London Borough of Hounslow in West London, England. It lies immediately east of the town of Hounslow and west of the River Thames and its tributary the River Crane. Isleworth's original area of sett ...
in all later records),
Ossulstone Ossulstone is an obsolete subdivision ( hundred) covering 26.4% of – and the most metropolitan part – of the historic county of Middlesex, England.British History Online Hundreds of Middlesex/ref> It surrounded but did not include th ...
and Spelthorne. The
City of London The City of London is a city, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and constitutes, alongside Canary Wharf, the primary central business district (CBD) of London. It constituted most of London from ...
has been self-governing since the thirteenth century and became a county in its own right, a county corporate. Middlesex also included
Westminster Westminster is an area of Central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street, has many visitor attractions and historic landmarks, including the Palace of Westminster, Buck ...
, which was separate from the City of London.
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is an historic, mainly Gothic church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Ki ...
dominated the area of Westminster, until the Dissolution of the Monasteries greatly reduced its influence. A Court of Burgesses was established, in 1585, to fill the power vacuum left behind by the Abbey. The Proceedings of the Old Bailey
Rural Middlesex
. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
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, largely took over the administrative functions of the hundred. The divisions were named
Finsbury Finsbury is a district of Central London, forming the south-eastern part of the London Borough of Islington. It borders the City of London. The Manor of Finsbury is first recorded as ''Vinisbir'' (1231) and means "manor of a man called Finn" ...
, Holborn, Kensington and
Tower A tower is a tall structure, taller than it is wide, often by a significant factor. Towers are distinguished from masts by their lack of guy-wires and are therefore, along with tall buildings, self-supporting structures. Towers are specifi ...
. The county had parliamentary representation from the 13th century. Middlesex outside the metropolitan area remained largely rural until the middle of the 19th century and so the special boards of local government for various metropolitan areas were late in developing. Other than the Cities of London and Westminster, there were no ancient boroughs.London Metropolitan Archives
A Brief Guide to the Middlesex Sessions Records
, (2009). Retrieved 26 July 2009.
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 meeting in quarter sessions, 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 is an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium ''Vibrio cholerae''. Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe. The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea that lasts a few days. Vomiting an ...
forced the creation of local boards and poor law unions to help govern most areas; in a few cases parishes appointed
improvement commissioners Boards of improvement commissioners were ''ad hoc'' urban local government boards created during the 18th and 19th centuries in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and its predecessors the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Irel ...
. 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.


Tower Division

The Tower division, better known as the Tower Hamlets, was an area in the Southeast of the county covering what is now the London Borough of Tower Hamlets as well as most of what is now the London Borough of Hackney. The territory had its origin in the medieval Manor of Stepney. The area was unusual in combining Hundred and many County responsibilities, to form a "county within a county" comparable to one of the Ridings of Yorkshire. Of particular note was its military autonomy: it had its own Lord-Lieutenant of the Tower Hamlets and was thus independent of the Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex.


Metropolitan challenges

By the 19th century, the East End of London had expanded to the eastern boundary with Essex, and the
Tower division The Tower Division was a liberty in the ancient county of Middlesex, England. It was also known as the Tower Hamlets, and took its name from the military obligations owed to the Constable of the Tower of London. The term ‘Hamlets’ probably ...
, an area which approximated to the East End, had reached a population of over a million. When the railways were built, 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 from 1829, and from 1840 the entire county was included in the Metropolitan Police District.Order in Council enlarging the Metropolitan Police District (SI 1840 5001) Local government in the county was unaffected by the
Municipal Corporations Act 1835 The Municipal Corporations Act 1835 (5 & 6 Will 4 c 76), 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. The legisl ...
, and civic works continued to be the responsibility of the individual parish vestries or ''ad hoc''
improvement commissioners Boards of improvement commissioners were ''ad hoc'' urban local government boards created during the 18th and 19th centuries in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and its predecessors the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Irel ...
. From 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 for certain infrastructure purposes, though the area remained a part of Middlesex. Despite this innovation, the system was described by commentators at the time as one "in chaos".


1889 - Administrative County of London

In 1889, under the
Local Government Act 1888 Local may refer to: Geography and transportation * Local (train), a train serving local traffic demand * Local, Missouri, a community in the United States * Local government, a form of public administration, usually the lowest tier of administr ...
, the metropolitan area of approximately became part of the administrative County of London. 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 boroughs: * Bethnal Green *
Chelsea Chelsea or Chelsey may refer to: Places Australia * Chelsea, Victoria Canada * Chelsea, Nova Scotia * Chelsea, Quebec United Kingdom * Chelsea, London, an area of London, bounded to the south by the River Thames ** Chelsea (UK Parliament con ...
*
Finsbury Finsbury is a district of Central London, forming the south-eastern part of the London Borough of Islington. It borders the City of London. The Manor of Finsbury is first recorded as ''Vinisbir'' (1231) and means "manor of a man called Finn" ...
*
Fulham Fulham () is an area of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham in West London, England, southwest of Charing Cross. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, bordering Hammersmith, Kensington and Chelsea. The area faces Wandsworth ...
* Hackney *
Hammersmith Hammersmith is a district of West London, England, southwest of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. I ...
* Hampstead * Holborn * Islington * Kensington (Royal Borough) *
Paddington Paddington is an area within the City of Westminster, in Central London. First a medieval parish then a metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater London in 1965. Three important landmarks of the district are Paddi ...
* Poplar *
Shoreditch Shoreditch is a district in the East End of London in England, and forms the southern part of the London Borough of Hackney. Neighbouring parts of Tower Hamlets are also perceived as part of the area. In the 16th century, Shoreditch was an impor ...
* St Marylebone * St Pancras *
Stepney Stepney is a district in the East End of London in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The district is no longer officially defined, and is usually used to refer to a relatively small area. However, for much of its history the place name app ...
*
Stoke Newington Stoke Newington is an area occupying the north-west part of the London Borough of Hackney in north-east London, England. It is northeast of Charing Cross. The Manor of Stoke Newington gave its name to Stoke Newington the ancient parish. The ...
*
Westminster Westminster is an area of Central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street, has many visitor attractions and historic landmarks, including the Palace of Westminster, Buck ...
(City)


1889 - Middlesex County Council

Following the Local Government Act 1888, the remaining county came under the control of
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 co ...
except for the parish of
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 on the very edge of Greater London north north-west of Charing Cross, while retaining much of its rural ...
, which became part of
Hertfordshire Hertfordshire ( or ; often abbreviated Herts) is one of the home counties in southern England. It borders Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For govern ...
. The area of responsibility of the Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex was reduced accordingly. Middlesex did not contain any county boroughs, so the county and administrative county (the area of county council control) were identical. At this time, Middlesex regained the right to appoint its own sheriff, lost in 1199. The
Local Government Act 1894 The Local Government Act 1894 (56 & 57 Vict. c. 73) 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 ...
divided the administrative county into four rural districts and thirty-one urban districts, based on existing
sanitary district Sanitary districts were established in England and Wales in 1872 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 *Rural sanitary dis ...
s. One urban district, South Hornsey, was an exclave of Middlesex within the County of London until 1900, when it was transferred to the latter county.Frederic Youngs, ''Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England'', Vol.I : Southern England, London, 1979 The rural districts were
Hendon Hendon is an urban area in the Borough of Barnet, North-West London northwest of Charing Cross. Hendon was an ancient manor and parish in the county of Middlesex and a former borough, the Municipal Borough of Hendon; it has been part of G ...
,
South Mimms South Mimms is a village and civil parish in the Hertsmere district of Hertfordshire in the East of England. It is a small settlement located near to the junction of the M25 motorway with the A1(M) motorway and is perhaps more widely known becau ...
, Staines and
Uxbridge Uxbridge () is a suburban town in west London and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Hillingdon. Situated west-northwest of Charing Cross, it is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan. Uxb ...
. 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: 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 developments, which covered a large part of the county. The expanding urbanisation had, however, been foretold in 1771 by
Tobias Smollett Tobias George Smollett (baptised 19 March 1721 – 17 September 1771) was a Scottish poet and author. He was best known for picaresque novels such as '' The Adventures of Roderick Random'' (1748), '' The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle'' (1751 ...
in ''
The Expedition of Humphry Clinker ''The Expedition of Humphry Clinker'' was the last of the picaresque novels of Tobias Smollett, published in London on 17 June 1771 (three months before Smollett's death), and is considered by many to be his best and funniest work. It is an e ...
'', in which it is said: Public transport in the county, including the extensive network of trams,Reed, J., ''London Tramways'', (1997) buses and the London Underground came under control of the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933Office of Public Sector Information –
London Passenger Transport Act 1933 (as amended)
'. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
and a New Works Programme 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 and contained military establishments, such as
RAF Uxbridge RAF Uxbridge was a Royal Air Force (RAF) station in Uxbridge, within the London Borough of Hillingdon, occupying a site that originally belonged to the Hillingdon House estate. The British Government purchased the estate in 1915, three years ...
and RAF Heston, which were involved in the Battle of Britain.Royal Air Force
Battle of Britain Campaign Diary
. Retrieved 20 February 2008.


County town

Middlesex arguably never, and certainly not since 1789, had a single, established
county town In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a county town is the most important town or city in a county. It is usually the location of administrative or judicial functions within a county and the place where the county's members of Parliament are ele ...
. The
City of London The City of London is a city, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and constitutes, alongside Canary Wharf, the primary central business district (CBD) of London. It constituted most of London from ...
could be regarded as its county town for most purposes and provided different locations for the various, mostly judicial, county purposes. The county assizes for Middlesex were held at the Old Bailey in the City of London. Until 1889, the High Sheriff of Middlesex was chosen by the
City of London Corporation The City of London Corporation, officially and legally the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London, is the municipal governing body of the City of London, the historic centre of London and the location of much of the United King ...
. The sessions house for the Middlesex Quarter Sessions was Hicks Hall in Clerkenwell (just outside the City boundary) from 1612 to 1782, and Middlesex Sessions House on Clerkenwell Green from 1782 to 1921. The quarter sessions performed most of the limited administration on a county level prior to the creation of the Middlesex County Council in 1889. New Brentford was first promulgated as the county town in 1789, on the basis that it was where elections of
knights of the shire Knight of the shire ( la, milites comitatus) was the formal title for a member of parliament (MP) representing a county constituency in the British House of Commons, from its origins in the medieval Parliament of England until the Redistributi ...
(or Members of Parliament) were held from 1701.Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911 Edition Thus a traveller's and historian's London regional summary of 1795 states that (New) Brentford was "considered as the county-town; but there is no town-hall or other public building". Middlesex County Council took over at the Guildhall in
Westminster Westminster is an area of Central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street, has many visitor attractions and historic landmarks, including the Palace of Westminster, Buck ...
, which became the Middlesex Guildhall. In the same year, this location was placed into the new County of London, and was thus outside the council's area of jurisdiction.


Creation of Greater London

The population of inner London (then the County of London) declined after its creation in 1889 as more residents moved into the outer suburbs. In the interwar years, suburban London expanded further, with improvement and expansion of public transport, and the setting up of new industries. After the Second World War, from 1951 to 1961, the populations of the administrative county of London and of inner Middlesex were in steady decline, with population growth continuing in the outer parts of Middlesex. According to the 1961 census, Ealing, Enfield, Harrow, Hendon, Heston & Isleworth, Tottenham, Wembley, Willesden and Twickenham had each reached a population greater than 100,000, which would normally have entitled each of them to seek county borough status. If this status were to be granted to all those boroughs, it would mean that the population of the administrative county of Middlesex would be reduced by over half, to just under one million. Evidence submitted to the Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London included a recommendation to divide Middlesex into two administrative counties of North Middlesex and West Middlesex. However, the commission instead proposed abolition of the county and merging of the boroughs and districts. This was enacted by Parliament as the London Government Act 1963, 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 A lord-lieutenant ( ) is the British monarch's personal representative in each lieutenancy area of the United Kingdom. Historically, each lieutenant was responsible for organising the county's militia. In 1871, the lieutenant's responsibility ...
, and altered the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court.


New London Boroughs from former London CC area

Eighteen of London County Council Metropolitan Boroughs were part of the ancient county of Middlesex. In 1965 these merged to form seven of the twelve current boroughs of Inner London: * Camden was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of Hampstead, Holborn and St Pancras. * Hackney was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of Hackney,
Shoreditch Shoreditch is a district in the East End of London in England, and forms the southern part of the London Borough of Hackney. Neighbouring parts of Tower Hamlets are also perceived as part of the area. In the 16th century, Shoreditch was an impor ...
and
Stoke Newington Stoke Newington is an area occupying the north-west part of the London Borough of Hackney in north-east London, England. It is northeast of Charing Cross. The Manor of Stoke Newington gave its name to Stoke Newington the ancient parish. The ...
. *
Hammersmith Hammersmith is a district of West London, England, southwest of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. I ...
(known as Hammersmith and Fulham from 1979) was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of
Hammersmith Hammersmith is a district of West London, England, southwest of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. I ...
and
Fulham Fulham () is an area of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham in West London, England, southwest of Charing Cross. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, bordering Hammersmith, Kensington and Chelsea. The area faces Wandsworth ...
. * Islington was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of
Finsbury Finsbury is a district of Central London, forming the south-eastern part of the London Borough of Islington. It borders the City of London. The Manor of Finsbury is first recorded as ''Vinisbir'' (1231) and means "manor of a man called Finn" ...
and Islington. * Kensington and Chelsea was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of
Chelsea Chelsea or Chelsey may refer to: Places Australia * Chelsea, Victoria Canada * Chelsea, Nova Scotia * Chelsea, Quebec United Kingdom * Chelsea, London, an area of London, bounded to the south by the River Thames ** Chelsea (UK Parliament con ...
and Kensington. *
Tower Hamlets The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough covering much of the traditional East End. It was formed in 1965 from the merger of the former metropolitan boroughs of Stepney, Poplar, and Bethnal Green. 'Tower Hamlets' was origi ...
was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of Bethnal Green, Poplar and
Stepney Stepney is a district in the East End of London in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The district is no longer officially defined, and is usually used to refer to a relatively small area. However, for much of its history the place name app ...
. * The
City of Westminster The City of Westminster is a city and borough in Inner London. It is the site of the United Kingdom's Houses of Parliament and much of the British government. It occupies a large area of central Greater London, including most of the West End. ...
was formed from the metropolitan boroughs of
Paddington Paddington is an area within the City of Westminster, in Central London. First a medieval parish then a metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater London in 1965. Three important landmarks of the district are Paddi ...
and St Marylebone and the City of
Westminster Westminster is an area of Central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street, has many visitor attractions and historic landmarks, including the Palace of Westminster, Buck ...
.


New London Boroughs from former Middlesex CC area

In April 1965, nearly all of the area of the historic county of Middlesex became part of
Greater London Greater may refer to: *Greatness, the state of being great *Greater than, in inequality * ''Greater'' (film), a 2016 American film * Greater (flamingo), the oldest flamingo on record * "Greater" (song), by MercyMe, 2014 * Greater Bank, an Australi ...
, under the control of the Greater London Council, and formed the new outer London boroughs of
Barnet Barnet may refer to: People * Barnet (surname) * Barnet (given name) Places United Kingdom *Chipping Barnet or High Barnet, commonly known as Barnet, one of three focal towns of the borough below. * East Barnet, a district of the borough below; ...
(part only),
Brent Brent may refer to: * Brent (name), an English given and surname Place name ;In the United States * Brent, Alabama * Brent, Florida * Brent, Georgia * Brent, Missouri, a ghost town * Brent, Oklahoma ;In the United Kingdom * Brent, Cornwall ...
, Ealing, Enfield,
Haringey The London Borough of Haringey (pronounced , same as Harringay) 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 ...
, Harrow,
Hillingdon Hillingdon is an area of Uxbridge within the London Borough of Hillingdon, centred 14.2 miles (22.8 km) west of Charing Cross. It was an ancient parish in Middlesex that included the market town of Uxbridge. During the 1920s the civi ...
, Hounslow and
Richmond upon Thames The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames () in southwest London forms part of Outer London and is the only London borough on both sides of the River Thames. It was created in 1965 when three smaller council areas amalgamated under the London ...
(part only).Office of Public Sector Information
London Government Act 1963 (as amended)
. Retrieved 20 February 2008.


Areas transferred to Surrey and Hertfordshire County Councils

The remaining areas were Potters Bar Urban District, which became part of the administrative county of
Hertfordshire Hertfordshire ( or ; often abbreviated Herts) is one of the home counties in southern England. It borders Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For govern ...
, and Sunbury-on-Thames Urban District and Staines Urban District, which became part of the administrative county of
Surrey Surrey () is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in South East England, bordering Greater London to the south west. Surrey has a large rural area, and several significant urban areas which form part of the Greater London Built-up Area. ...
. Following the changes, local acts of Parliament relating to Middlesex were henceforth to apply to the entirety of the nine "North West London Boroughs".The Local Law (North West London Boroughs) Order 1965 (S.I. 1965 No. 533) In 1974, the three urban districts that had been transferred to Hertfordshire and Surrey were abolished and became the districts of Hertsmere (part only) and Spelthorne respectively.The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972 (SI 1972/2038) In 1995 the village of
Poyle Poyle is a largely industrial and agricultural area in the unitary authority of Slough, in the ceremonial county of Berkshire, England (of which it is the easternmost settlement). It is located west of Charing Cross in London and immediately we ...
was transferred from Spelthorne to the Berkshire borough of
Slough Slough () is a town and unparished area in the unitary authority of the same name in Berkshire, England, bordering west London. It lies in the Thames Valley, west of central London and north-east of Reading, at the intersection of the ...
.Office of Public Sector Information
Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey (County Boundaries) Order 1994
. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
Additionally, the Greater London boundary to the west and north has been subject to several small changes since 1965.


Judicial areas

On its creation in 1965, Greater London was divided into five Commission Areas for justice. The one named "Middlesex" consisted of the boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Enfield, Haringey, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow.Administration of Justice Act 1964 (1964 C. 42) It was abolished on 1 July 2003.Office of Public Sector Information
''The Commission Areas (Greater London) Order 2003'' (Statutory Instrument 2003 No. 640)
Retrieved 20 February 2008.


Earldom

The title Earl of Middlesex was created twice, in 1622 and 1677, but became extinct in 1843.


Geography

The county lies within the London BasinNatural England
London Basin Natural Area
Retrieved 23 February 2008.
and the most significant feature is the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At , it is the longest river entirely in England and the second-longest in the United Kingdom, after the ...
, which forms the southern boundary. The
River Lea The River Lea ( ) is in South East England. It originates in Bedfordshire, in the Chiltern Hills, and flows southeast through Hertfordshire, along the Essex border and into Greater London, to meet the River Thames at Bow Creek. It is one of t ...
and the River Colne form natural boundaries to the east and west. The entire south west boundary of Middlesex follows a gently descending
meander A meander is one of a series of regular sinuous curves in the channel of a river or other watercourse. It is produced as a watercourse erodes the sediments of an outer, concave bank ( cut bank) and deposits sediments on an inner, convex ba ...
of the Thames without hills. In many places "Middlesex bank" is more accurate than "north bank" — for instance at
Teddington Teddington is a suburb in south-west London in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. In 2021, Teddington was named as the best place to live in London by '' The Sunday Times''. Historically in Middlesex, Teddington is situated on a long ...
the river flows north-westward, so the left (Middlesex) bank is the south-west bank. The largely low-lying county is dominated by clay in its north and
alluvium Alluvium (from Latin ''alluvius'', from ''alluere'' 'to wash against') is loose clay, silt, sand, or gravel that has been deposited by running water in a stream bed, on a floodplain, in an alluvial fan or beach, or in similar settings. Alluv ...
on gravel in its south. In the north, the boundary runs along a WSW/ENE aligned ridge of hills. From the Colne to Barnet Gate Wood, this boundary is marked by a 20 kilometre
hedge A hedge or hedgerow is a line of closely spaced shrubs and sometimes trees, planted and trained to form a barrier or to mark the boundary of an area, such as between neighbouring properties. Hedges that are used to separate a road from adjoini ...
of great antiquity. East of the wood the hedge continues, but no longer forms the county boundary, suggesting that the eastern part of the boundary is younger. After Barnett Gate Wood the hedge continues east to
Arkley Arkley is an area of north London, England, within the London Borough of Barnet. It is located north-northwest of Charing Cross. It consists of a long village strung out between Barnet and Stirling Corner, roughly centred on the "Gate" pu ...
where it divides into two branches, one continuing east to
Chipping Barnet Chipping Barnet or High Barnet is a suburban market town in north London, forming part of the London Borough of Barnet, England. It is a suburban development built around a 12th-century settlement, and is located north-northwest of Charin ...
and Cockfosters, with another heading north to form the parish boundary between
Shenley Shenley is a village and civil parish in Hertfordshire, England, between Barnet and St Albans. The village is located 14 miles from Central London. History The history of Shenley stretches back a thousand years or more – it is mentioned in ...
and Ridge, both in Hertforshire. Neither branch forms part of the county boundary. The change to the county boundary was probably caused in the late 8th century, before Middlesex took the form of a county, when the
Liberty of St Albans The Liberty of St Albans (also known as the ''Hundred of Albanestou'' or ''Cashio'') was a liberty situated within Hertfordshire, but enjoying the powers of an independent county. It was originally associated with the abbey of St Albans, and late ...
was created from parts of the Dioceses of London and
Lincoln Lincoln most commonly refers to: * Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865), the sixteenth president of the United States * Lincoln, England, cathedral city and county town of Lincolnshire, England * Lincoln, Nebraska, the capital of Nebraska, U.S. * Lincol ...
. The hills are broken by Barnet or 'Dollis' valleys. (South of the boundary, these feed into the Welsh Harp Lake or Brent Reservoir which becomes the
River Brent The River Brent is a river in west and northwest London, England, and a tributary of the River Thames. in length, it rises in the Borough of Barnet and flows in a generally south-west direction before joining the Tideway stretch of the Tham ...
). This forms a long protrusion of Hertfordshire into the county. The county was once well wooded, with much of it covered by the ancient Forest of Middlesex; Domesday returns for Middlesex indicate that it was around 30% wooded (much of it wood-pasture) in 1086, about double the English average. The highest point is the High Road by Bushey Heath at .The Mountains of England and Wales
Historic County Tops
Retrieved 20 February 2008.


Economic development

There were settlements in the area of Middlesex that can be traced back thousands of years before the creation of a county.The economy of the county was dependent on the City of London from early times and was primarily agricultural. A variety of goods were provided for the City, including crops such as grain and hay, livestock and building materials. Recreation at day trip destinations such as Hackney, Islington,
Highgate Highgate ( ) is a suburban area of north London at the northeastern corner of Hampstead Heath, north-northwest of Charing Cross. Highgate is one of the most expensive London suburbs in which to live. It has two active conservation organisa ...
and
Twickenham Twickenham is a suburban district in London, England. It is situated on the River Thames southwest of Charing Cross. Historic counties of England, Historically part of Middlesex, it has formed part of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames ...
, as well as coaching, inn-keeping and sale of goods and services at daily shops and stalls to the considerable passing trade provided much local employment and also formed part of the early economy. However, during the 18th century the inner parishes of Middlesex became suburbs of the City and were increasingly urbanised. The Middlesex volume of
John Norden John Norden (1625) was an English cartographer, chorographer and antiquary. He planned (but did not complete) a series of county maps and accompanying county histories of England, the '' Speculum Britanniae''. He was also a prolific writer ...
's '' Speculum Britanniae'' (a chorography) of 1593 summarises: Similarly Thomas Cox wrote in 1794: In 1803, Sir John Sinclair, president of the Board of Agriculture, spoke of the need to cultivate the substantial Finchley Common and Hounslow Heath (perhaps prophetic of the Dig for Victory campaign of World War II) and fellow Board member Middleton estimated that one tenth of the county, , was uncultivated common, capable of improvement. However,
William Cobbett William Cobbett (9 March 1763 – 18 June 1835) was an English pamphleteer, journalist, politician, and farmer born in Farnham, Surrey. He was one of an agrarian faction seeking to reform Parliament, abolish " rotten boroughs", restrain forei ...
, in casual travel writing in 1822, said that "A more ugly country between
Egham Egham ( ) is a university town in the Borough of Runnymede in Surrey, England, approximately west of central London. First settled in the Bronze Age, the town was under the control of Chertsey Abbey for much of the Middle Ages. In 1215, Magna ...
(
Surrey Surrey () is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in South East England, bordering Greater London to the south west. Surrey has a large rural area, and several significant urban areas which form part of the Greater London Built-up Area. ...
) and Kensington would with great difficulty be found in England. Flat as a pancake, and until you come to Hammersmith, the soil is a nasty, stony dirt upon a bed of gravel. Hounslow Heath which is only a little worse than the general run, is a sample of all that is bad in soil and villainous in look. Yet this is now enclosed, and what they call 'cultivated'. Here is a fresh robbery of villages, hamlets, and farm and labourers' buildings and abodes."
Thomas Babington Thomas Babington of Rothley Temple (; 18 December 1758 – 21 November 1837) was an English philanthropist and politician. He was a member of the Clapham Sect, alongside more famous abolitionists such as William Wilberforce and Hannah More. An ...
wrote in 1843, "An acre in Middlesex is worth a principality in
Utopia A utopia ( ) typically describes an imaginary community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its members. It was coined by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book '' Utopia'', describing a fictional island soci ...
" which contrasts neatly with its agricultural description. The building of radial railway lines from 1839 caused a fundamental shift away from agricultural supply for London towards large scale house building.
Tottenham Tottenham () is a town in North London, England, within the London Borough of Haringey. It is located in the ceremonial county of Greater London. Tottenham is centred north-northeast of Charing Cross, bordering Edmonton to the north, Waltha ...
,
Edmonton Edmonton ( ) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. Edmonton is situated on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, which is surrounded by Alberta's central region. The city ancho ...
and Enfield in the north developed first as working-class residential suburbs with easy access to central London. The line to Windsor through Middlesex was completed in 1848, and the railway to
Potters Bar Potters Bar is a town in Hertfordshire, England,in the historic County of Middlesex Hertsmere Borough Council – Community Strategy First Review (PDF) north of central London. In 2011, it had a population of 21,882. In 2022 the population was ...
in 1850; and the
Metropolitan Metropolitan may refer to: * Metropolitan area, a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories * Metropolitan borough, a form of local government district in England * Metropolitan county, a typ ...
and District Railways started a series of extensions into the county in 1878. Closer to London, the districts of Acton,
Willesden Willesden () is an area of northwest London, situated 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Charing Cross. It is historically a parish in the county of Middlesex that was incorporated as the Municipal Borough of Willesden in 1933, and has forme ...
, Ealing and
Hornsey Hornsey is a district of north London, England in the London Borough of Haringey. It is an inner-suburban, for the most part residential, area centred north of Charing Cross. It adjoins green spaces Queen's Wood and Alexandra Park to the ...
came within reach of the tram and bus networks, providing cheap transport to central London. After World War I, the availability of labour and proximity to London made areas such as Hayes and Park Royal ideal locations for the developing new industries. New jobs attracted more people to the county and the population continued to rise, reaching a peak in 1951. Middlesex became the location of facilities for the film industry. Twickenham Studios were established in 1913. There were also studios at Cricklewood Studios,
Gainsborough Pictures Gainsborough Pictures was a British film studio based on the south bank of the Regent's Canal, in Poole Street, Hoxton in the former Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch, north London. Gainsborough Studios was active between 1924 and 1951. The co ...
, Isleworth Studios, Kew Bridge Studios and Southall Studios.


Former postal county

Middlesex (abbreviated Middx) was a former postal county.Royal Mail – tp://ftp.royalmail.com/Downloads/public/cmwalk/doc/active/doc21800003/PAF_Digest_Dec_03.pdf PAF Digest Issue 6.0 Retrieved 20 February 2008. Counties were an element of postal addressing in routine use until 1996, intended to avoid confusion between post towns, and are no longer required for the routing of the mail. The postal county did not match the boundaries of Middlesex because of the presence of the
London postal district The London postal district is the area in England of to which mail addressed to the London post town is delivered. The General Post Office under the control of the Postmaster General directed Sir Rowland Hill to devise the area in 1856 and th ...
, which stretched into the county to include Tottenham, Willesden, Hornsey and Chiswick.HMSO,
Names of Street and Places in the London Postal area
', (1930). Retrieved 20 February 2008.
Addresses in this area included "LONDON" which is the post town but any overlap with the then County of London was coincidental. In 1965,
Royal Mail , kw, Postya Riel, ga, An Post Ríoga , logo = Royal Mail.svg , logo_size = 250px , type = Public limited company , traded_as = , foundation = , founder = Henry VIII , location = London, England, UK , key_people = * Keith Williams ...
retained the postal county because it would have been too costly to amend addresses covering the bulk of Outer London. Exceptionally, the Potters Bar post town was transferred to Hertfordshire. Geographically the postal county consisted of two unconnected areas, apart. The first was in and around Enfield and the second, larger area was to the west. This led the retention of 25 Post Towns to this day: † = postal county was not required The postal county had many border inconsistencies where its constituent post towns encroached on neighbouring counties, such as the villages of Denham in Buckinghamshire, Wraysbury in Berkshire and Eastbury in Hertfordshire which were respectively in the post towns of
Uxbridge Uxbridge () is a suburban town in west London and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Hillingdon. Situated west-northwest of Charing Cross, it is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan. Uxb ...
, Staines and Northwood and therefore in the postal county of Middlesex. Egham Hythe, Surrey also had postal addresses of Staines, Middlesex. Conversely, Hampton Wick was conveniently placed in
Kingston Kingston may refer to: Places * List of places called Kingston, including the five most populated: ** Kingston, Jamaica ** Kingston upon Hull, England ** City of Kingston, Victoria, Australia ** Kingston, Ontario, Canada ** Kingston upon Thame ...
, Surrey with its sorting offices just across the river. Nearby Hampton Court Palace has a postal address of East Molesey, therefore associating it with Surrey. The Enfield post town in the EN postcode area was in the former postal county. All post towns in the
HA postcode area The HA postcode area, also known as the Harrow postcode area, is a group of ten postcode districts in England, within seven post towns. These cover part of northwest London London is the capital and largest city of England and the Uni ...
and UB postcode area were in the former postal county. Most of the TW postcode area was in the former postal county.


Culture and community


Flag and Coat of Arms

The Middlesex Flag is included in the Flag Institute's registry of county and regional flags. The flag is a banner of the arms of the former Middlesex County Council, abolished in 1965. A similar design had been used traditionally as a local badge in Middlesex and neighbouring Essex for centuries.
Coats of arms A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon (i.e., shield), surcoat, or tabard (the latter two being outer garments). The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement, which in its ...
were attributed by the mediaeval heralds to the kingdoms of the
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group who inhabited England in the Early Middle Ages. They traced their origins to settlers who came to Britain from mainland Europe in the 5th century. However, the ethnogenesis of the Anglo-Saxons happened w ...
Heptarchy. That assigned to the Kingdom of Essex, of which the Middle Saxon Province was part, depicted three "
seax ''Seax'' (; also sax, sæx, sex; invariant in plural, latinized ''sachsum'') is an Old English word for " knife". In modern archaeology, the term ''seax'' is used specifically for a type of small sword, knife or dagger typical of the Germa ...
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.Doherty, F.,
The Anglo Saxon Broken Back Seax
'. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Saxon
Retrieved 20 February 2008.
These arms became associated with the two counties that approximated to the kingdom: Middlesex and Essex. County authorities, militia and volunteer regiments associated with both counties used the attributed arms. In 1910, it was observed that the county councils of Essex and Middlesex and the Sheriff's Office of the County of London were all using the same arms. Middlesex County Council decided to apply for a formal grant of arms from the
College of Arms The College of Arms, or Heralds' College, is a royal corporation consisting of professional officers of arms, with jurisdiction over England, Wales, Northern Ireland and some Commonwealth realms. The heralds are appointed by the British Sover ...
, with the addition of a heraldic "difference" to the attributed arms. Colonel Otley Parry, a
justice of the peace A justice of the peace (JP) is a judicial officer of a lower or ''puisne'' court, elected or appointed by means of a commission (letters patent) to keep the peace. In past centuries the term commissioner of the peace was often used with the sam ...
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 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 ( la, litterae patentes) ( always in the plural) are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch, president or other head of state, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, titl ...
dated 7 November 1910."Armorial bearings of Middlesex", ''The Times''. London. 7 November 1910.''The Book of Public Arms'', A.C. Fox-Davies, 2nd edition, London, 1915''Civic Heraldry of England and Wales'', W.C. Scott-Giles, 2nd edition, London, 1953 The undifferenced arms of the kingdom were eventually granted to Essex County Council in 1932.Civic Heraldry of England and Wales –
Essex County Council
''. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
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.C W Scott-Giles, ''Royal and Kindred Emblems'', ''Civic Heraldry of England and Wales'', 2nd edition, London, 1953, p.11 On the creation of the Greater London Council in 1965 a Saxon crown was introduced in its coat of arms.Civic Heraldry of England and Wales –
Greater London Council
'. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
Seaxes appear in the arms of several London borough councils and of Spelthorne Borough Council.Civic Heraldry of England and Wales –
Greater London
'. Retrieved 20 February 2008.


Military units

As well as the ancient county
fyrd A fyrd () was a type of early Anglo-Saxon army that was mobilised from freemen or paid men to defend their Shire's lords estate, or from selected representatives to join a royal expedition. Service in the fyrd was usually of short duration and ...
and militia, Middlesex military units have included the Middlesex Regiment, the Middlesex Yeomanry and their predecessors. In the south-east, the Tower Division, effectively a separate county, had its own military arrangements.


County day

Middlesex Day is celebrated each year on 16 May. This commemorates the actions of the 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment in 1811, at the Battle of Albuera, during the
Peninsular War The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was the military conflict fought in the Iberian Peninsula by Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom against the invading and occupying forces of the First French Empire during the Napoleonic Wars. In Sp ...
. During the battle, Lieutenant-Colonel William Inglis, despite his injuries, refused to retire from the battle but remained with the regimental colours, encouraging his men with the words "Die hard 57th, die hard!" as they came under intense pressure from a French attack. The regiment held and the battle was won. The 'Die Hards' subsequently became the West Middlesex's regimental nickname and the phrase
Die Hard ''Die Hard'' is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan, with a screenplay by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza. Based on the 1979 novel '' Nothing Lasts Forever'', by Roderick Thorp, it stars Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, A ...
entered the language. In 2003, an early day motion in the House of Commons noted the celebration of 16 May, the anniversary of Albuhera, as Middlesex Day.


County flower

In 2002 Plantlife ran a county flowers campaign to assign flowers to each of the counties of the United Kingdom. The general public was invited to vote for the bloom they felt most represented their county. The wood anemone was chosen as the flower of Middlesex. The flower was a common sight in the Forest of Middlesex. When the suburbs of London swept over Middlesex, many of its woods were bypassed and preserved. The wood anemone still blooms there to this day.


County history societies

The
London and Middlesex Archaeological Society The London and Middlesex Archaeological Society (LAMAS) is a society founded in 1855 for the study of the archaeology and local history of the City of London and the historic county of Middlesex. It also takes an interest in districts that were h ...
(LAMAS) was founded in 1855 for the study of the archaeology and local history of the City of London and the county of Middlesex. It works in close association with the Museum of London and with the Museum of London Archaeology. It has over 40 affiliated local history societies in Middlesex. The interests of family historians in Middlesex are supported by two member organisations of the
Federation of Family History Societies The Federation of Family History Societies ("The Federation") is a United Kingdom-based charitable organisation. In 2019 it rebranded to the Family History Federation Its stated principal aims are "to co-ordinate and assist the work of societie ...
: The London, Westminster and Middlesex Family History Society and the West Middlesex Family History Society. For genealogical research Middlesex is assigned Chapman code MDX, except for the City of London ("square mile") assigned LND.


Literature

Sir John Betjeman, Poet Laureate from 1972 until his death in 1984, was born in 1906 in
Gospel Oak Gospel Oak is an inner urban area of north west London in the London Borough of Camden at the very south of Hampstead Heath. The neighbourhood is positioned between Hampstead to the north-west, Dartmouth Park to the north-east, Kentish Town t ...
and grew up in Highgate. He published several poems about Middlesex and suburban life. Many were featured in the televised readings '' Metroland''.Wilson, A., ''Betjeman'', (2006)


Sport


Rugby Union

The Rugby Football Union, the governing body for rugby union in England, is based at
Twickenham Stadium Twickenham Stadium () in Twickenham, south-west London, England, is a rugby union stadium owned by the Rugby Football Union ( RFU), English rugby union governing body, which has its headquarters there. The England national rugby union team pl ...
. The stadium hosts home test matches for the England national rugby union team. Seven rugby union clubs at national league levels 1 to 4 have some or all of their other teams playing in Middlesex leagues (those marked * having grounds in Middlesex). These are Harlequins*,
Saracens upright 1.5, Late 15th-century German woodcut depicting Saracens Saracen ( ) was a term used in the early centuries, both in Greek and Latin writings, to refer to the people who lived in and near what was designated by the Romans as Arabia ...
*, London Scottish, London Irish*, Richmond, Ealing Trailfinders*, and Barnes. Middlesex Rugby is the governing body for rugby union in Middlesex. The union selects players from its 88 affiliated clubs for the Middlesex team in the County Championship. It runs the Middlesex RFU Senior Cup open to the top 8 Middlesex clubs that play between tiers 6–7 of the English rugby union system. It also runs the Middlesex RFU Senior Bowl and the Middlesex RFU Senior Vase for sides from lower down the pyramid. It helps run the Herts/Middlesex 1 (tier 9) and Herts/Middlesex 2 (tier 10) leagues. Middlesex Rugby is also active in promoting youth rugby and women's rugby in the county.


Football

The
Football Association The Football Association (also known as The FA) is the governing body of association football in England and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world an ...
, the governing body of association football in England, is based at
Wembley Stadium Wembley Stadium (branded as Wembley Stadium connected by EE for sponsorship reasons) is a football stadium in Wembley, London. It opened in 2007 on the site of the Wembley Stadium (1923), original Wembley Stadium, which was demolished from 200 ...
. The stadium hosts major football matches including home matches of the
England national football team The England national football team has represented England in international Association football, football since the first international match in 1872. It is controlled by The Football Association (FA), the governing body for football in Engl ...
, and the
FA Cup Final The FA Cup Final, commonly referred to in England as just the Cup Final, is the last match in the Football Association Challenge Cup. It has regularly been one of the most attended domestic football events in the world, with an official atten ...
. There are 19 football clubs based in Middlesex in the top eight tiers of the
English football league system The English football league system, also known as the football pyramid, is a series of interconnected leagues for men's association football clubs in England, with five teams from Wales, one from Guernsey, one from Jersey and one from the I ...
(correct for 2018/9 season):
Arsenal An arsenal is a place where arms and ammunition are made, maintained and repaired, stored, or issued, in any combination, whether privately or publicly owned. Arsenal and armoury (British English) or armory (American English) are mostl ...
,
Chelsea Chelsea or Chelsey may refer to: Places Australia * Chelsea, Victoria Canada * Chelsea, Nova Scotia * Chelsea, Quebec United Kingdom * Chelsea, London, an area of London, bounded to the south by the River Thames ** Chelsea (UK Parliament con ...
,
Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, commonly referred to as Tottenham () or Spurs, is a professional association football, football club based in Tottenham, London, England. It competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English footba ...
,
Brentford Brentford is a suburban town in West London, England and part of the London Borough of Hounslow. It lies at the confluence of the River Brent and the Thames, west of Charing Cross. Its economy has diverse company headquarters buildings w ...
,
Fulham Fulham () is an area of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham in West London, England, southwest of Charing Cross. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, bordering Hammersmith, Kensington and Chelsea. The area faces Wandsworth ...
,
Queens Park Rangers Queens Park Rangers Football Club, commonly abbreviated to QPR, is a professional football club based in Shepherd's Bush, West London, England, which compete in the . After a nomadic early existence, they have played home matches at Loftus Ro ...
,
Barnet Barnet may refer to: People * Barnet (surname) * Barnet (given name) Places United Kingdom *Chipping Barnet or High Barnet, commonly known as Barnet, one of three focal towns of the borough below. * East Barnet, a district of the borough below; ...
, Hampton and Richmond Borough,
Wealdstone Wealdstone () is a district located in the centre of the London Borough of Harrow, England. It is located just north of Harrow town centre and is south of Harrow Weald, west of Belmont and Kenton, and east of Headstone. The area accommodates ...
, Enfield, Haringey Borough, Finchley and Wingate, Harrow Borough, Hayes and Yeading United,
Hendon Hendon is an urban area in the Borough of Barnet, North-West London northwest of Charing Cross. Hendon was an ancient manor and parish in the county of Middlesex and a former borough, the Municipal Borough of Hendon; it has been part of G ...
, Ashford Town (Middlesex), Bedfont Sports, Hanwell Town, and Northwood. There are 4 women's football clubs based in Middlesex in the top two tiers of Women's football in England: Arsenal Women, Chelsea F.C. Women, London Bees and Tottenham Hotspur Ladies. The Middlesex County Football Association regulates and promotes football in the county. The Middlesex F.A. organises many cup competitions, the most prestigious being the Middlesex Senior Cup (founded in 1889) and the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup (founded in 1901). The Middlesex County Football League was founded in 1984 and currently comprises 5 divisions. The premier divisions sits at level 7 of the
National League System The National League System comprises the six levels of the English football league system immediately below the level of the English Football League. It comes under the jurisdiction of The Football Association. The National League System has a h ...
.


Cricket

Middlesex County Cricket Club Middlesex County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Middlesex which has effectively been subsumed within the ceremoni ...
is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. The club was founded in 1864 but teams representing the county have played top-class cricket since the early 18th century and the club has always held first-class status. Middlesex have won thirteen County Championship titles (including 2 shared titles), the most recent in 2016. The Middlesex Cricket Board is the governing body of all recreational cricket in Middlesex. The Middlesex County Cricket League is the top-level competition for all recreational club cricket in the county. The League consists of nine divisions in total. The top division has been designated an ECB Premier League. Marylebone Cricket Club (the MCC) was founded in 1787 and based since 1814 at Lord's Cricket Ground, which it owns, in St John's Wood. The club was formerly the governing body of cricket in England and Wales and, as the sport's legislator, held considerable global influence. Lord's Cricket Ground is also home to the
England and Wales Cricket Board The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is the national governing body of cricket in England and Wales. It was formed on 1 January 1997 as a single governing body to combine the roles formerly fulfilled by the Test and County Cricket Board, ...
(ECB). Lord's is widely referred to as the Home of Cricket.


Other sports

Middlesex Bowling Association has over 80 affiliated clubs throughout the county. Middlesex County Amateur Swimming Association organises training, competitions and representative county teams in swimming, diving, water polo and synchronised swimming. Middlesex County Athletics Association is the organisation controlling Amateur Athletics in Middlesex under the direction of
UK Athletics UK Athletics (UKA) is the governing body for the sport of athletics in the United Kingdom. It is responsible for overseeing the governance of athletics events in the UK as well as athletes, their development, and athletics officials. The org ...
. Middlesex Golf represents all aspects of golf within the county. It has 33 affiliated golf clubs. Middlesex Tennis, affiliated to the LTA, works to create more opportunities for people in Middlesex to play and compete in tennis at all levels of the game. The Middlesex County Championships are the highlight of Middlesex's Competition Calendar. Middlesex County Badminton Association has over 80 affiliated clubs and organises men's, ladies' and mixed leagues. Middlesex Squash & Racketball Association is responsible for organising and promoting squash in Middlesex. It was founded in the 1930s and ran the first Middlesex Open Championships in 1937. Middlesex County Archery Association is the governing body for the sport of archery in the county. Middlesex Small-Bore Rifle Association brings together small-bore rifle and airgun clubs in the county, and organises teams to represent the County in competitions. Middlesex County Chess Association aims to foster chess throughout Middlesex. It has 15 affiliated clubs. Middlesex County Bridge Association runs the Middlesex Cup and the Middlesex League and enters county teams in national and regional competitions.Middlesex County Bridge Associatio

Retrieved 13 June 2019.


See also

* Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex, List of Lord Lieutenants of Middlesex * Custos Rotulorum of Middlesex – List of Keepers of the Rolls * List of High Sheriffs of Middlesex *
Middlesex (UK Parliament constituency) Middlesex was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England, then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800, then of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 until abolished in 1885. It returned two member ...
– Historical list of MPs for the Middlesex constituency


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* * * *


External links


Victoria County History of MiddlesexMap of Middlesex
on Wikishire
Historic boundary as layer for Google Earth

Article on Middlesex from Encyclopædia BritannicaThe Middlesex Federation
* Maps o
Middlesex
subdivisions
EdmontonElthorneGoreIsleworth
an
Spelthorne
*
OssulstoneOuter FinsburyInner Finsbury

Outer KensingtonInner KensingtonHolborn
an
Tower

Middlesex and West London Photo Galleries
{{Authority control * Counties of England established in antiquity Counties of England disestablished in 1965 Greater London predecessors Former counties of England Home counties