Liberty (division)


Liberty (division)

A Liberty was a local government unit in England. Originating in the Middle Ages, liberties were areas of widely variable extent which were independent of the usual system of hundreds and boroughs for a number of different reasons, usually to do with peculiarities of tenure. Because of their tenurial rather than geographical origin, the areas covered by liberties could either be widely scattered across a county or limited to an area smaller than a single parish: an example of the former is Fordington Liberty, and of the latter, the Liberty of Waybayouse, both in Dorset.

Legislation passed in 1836 ended the temporal jurisdiction of the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Ely in several liberties, and an act of 1850 permitted the merging of liberties in their counties. By 1867 only a handful remained: Ely, Havering-atte-Bower, St Albans, Peterborough, Ripon and Haverfordwest. St Albans was subsequently joined to the county of Hertfordshire in 1875.

The Local Government Act 1888 led to the ending of the special jurisdictions: the Isle of Ely and Soke of Peterborough became administrative counties, while the three remaining liberties were united to their surrounding counties.

ee also

*Allertonshire
*Alverstoke Liberty
*Beaulieu Liberty
*Bentley Liberty
*Bircholt Franchise and Barony
*Bolingbroke Soke
*Breamore Liberty
*Precinct of Bridewell
*Bridgnorth Liberty
*Liberty of the Clink
*Dibden Liberty
*Doncaster Soke
*List of liberties in Dorset
*East Medina Liberty
*East Smithfield Liberty
*Ely Place Liberty
*Ely Rents Liberty
*Liberty of Glasshouse Yard
*Grantham Soke
*Havant Liberty
*Hatton Garden Liberty
*Haverfordwest
*Horncastle Soke
*Isle of Ely
*Royal Liberty of Havering
*Liberty of Howdenshire
*Liberty of Langbaurgh
*Langport Liberty
*Liberty of Norton Folgate
*Old Artillery Ground Liberty (part of the Liberties of the Tower of London)
*Soke of Peterborough
*Pevensey Lowey
*Portsmouth and Portsea Island Liberty
*Richmondshire
*Liberty of Ripon
*Romney Marsh Liberty
*Liberty of the Rolls
*Liberty of St Albans
*Saint Martin le Grand Liberty
*Liberty of the Savoy/Savoy Precinct
*Liberty of Saint Edmund
*Precinct of St Katharine
*Liberty of Saffron Hill
*Isle of Sheppey Liberty
*Shrewsbury Liberty
*Borough of Southwark
*Southwell and Scrooby
*Lowey of Tonbridge
*Tower division
*Liberties of the Tower of London
*Wenlock Franchise
*West Medina Liberty
*Liberty of Westminster
*Westover Liberty
*Precinct of Whitefriars
*Whitby Strand Liberty

In the United States:
*Northern Liberties


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