Swansea Borough records

Scope and Content

Contract for erection of new town hall

Administrative / Biographical History

Swansea Borough was granted its first charter by William de Newburgh, earl of Warwick, between 1158 and 1184. The ancient borough of Swansea consisted of Burgesses, elected if suitably qualified or connected, on payment of a fee. The aldermen were a self-appointing body, one of whom would be the Portreeve, elected annually at Michaelmas. The two Common Attorneys attended the Portreeve on public occasions and managed corporation finances. There were four Haywards, whose job it was to prevent trespass on corporation lands on the Burrows (the seashore and sandbanks) and the upland areas around Townhill. There was a Learkeeper to oversee the passage of ships and their cargoes through the harbour, a Crier to announce important events in the town, and six Constables to keep the peace. The Borough received County Borough status in 1889 under the 1888 Local Government Act, and was accorded city status in 1969.

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