Borough Councils

Borough Councils

The only municipal borough council in the Doncaster area was the Doncaster Borough Council, incorporated in 1467 by a charter of King Edward IV. The town had obtained earlier royal charters, whose provisions were slight and ambiguous, from Richard I in 1194, Richard II in 1381 and Henry IV in 1465. Further modifications of the rights of the borough were granted by seven further royal charters between 1505 and 1688.

In the charter of 1505, the borough was authorised to have a mayor, twelve aldermen and twenty-four councillors. It is likely that this merely ratified the existence of a body which had come into being at some previous date; certainly the town had a mayor at least seventy years earlier, in 1437.

The mayor was allowed to act as coroner and as justice of the peace, and three aldermen could also be justices from 1505. The borough was allowed to hold a civil court for the settlement of debt and other commercial matters. In 1505, the corporation acquired the manor of Doncaster from the Crown. From 1836, in Doncaster, as in 177 other municipal boroughs, the council was elected by the ratepayers rather than chosen by a small group of freemen.

Doncaster was raised to the status of a county borough from 1 April 1927. It ceased to exist after 31 March 1974, when it was superseded by the newly-created Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council. The archives of the borough of Doncaster from 1194 are to be found at Doncaster Archives.


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