Southend Timeline

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Incorporation Day

On Friday 5th August 1892 Her Royal Highness Queen Victoria signed a piece of paper, one of many that she signed that day one to her was as insignificant as the last and just as insignificant as the next.

But whilst for the Queen it was another day signing papers for many thousands of people it was to change their lives forever for this was the day that the Royal Charter was signed that incorporated Southend-on-Sea. On the day the charter was signed Southend had a population 13,000 residences with a rateable value of £82,000.

Incorporation Day was held on Wednesday 19th September 1892, this was the day that the official letter and charter document from the queen was delivered to Southend from Osbourne House.

The official messenger arrived from London to be met by the Lord Mayor of London, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Essex, Brass Bands, and the Southend Lifeboat which had been specially taken from the water and placed in a wheeled cradle to parade through the town.  The parade made its way down the High Street and then along pier to the pier head.

Upon reaching the end of the pier a luncheon was held, during the lunch a ceremony enrolled Thomas Dowsett in to the role of the first Mayor of Southend, the charter document was handed over and Southend became the newest town in England.


During the parade Southend gained its first true Southender...

Mrs Smith of Prittlewell suddenly went into labour and gave birth that same day to a baby boy he was named Sydney.

To commemorate the occasion of the charter the 1743 school children registered within the new borough were each presented with medals, a slap up tea party was also arranged for them, this was held in a large marquee at the site that later became Whitefield Road.  A band entertained the children by playing nursery rhymes whilst entertainers from jugglers to clowns preformed their acts.  The new Lady Mayoress arrived and played a game of Ring O Ring of Roses.

Since that day Southend has grown and grown what was once merely the South end of the parish of Prittlewell Southend has grown to become the largest of the towns in Southeast Essex, it soon swallowed Prittlewell and Westcliff and in 1897 Southchurch was included in the Borough of Southend this bought the population up to 23,000 with a rateable value £122,911

Southend grew further when in 1913 Leigh on Sea fell under the jurisdiction of the Borough of Southend-on-Sea this bought the population of Southend up to 82,000 with a rateable value of £562,574.

On Wednesday 1st April 1914 Southend attained status of County Borough with many services being taken over by Essex County Council.

Over the following decades Southend was subservient to Essex County Council, then with the re-organisation of local councils the long held ambition of regaining unitary authority over all its own services was achieved in 1998.

Southend was finally once again in charge of its own destiny answerable to no one but itself.






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