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The Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965. It was amalgamated with the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwichmarker to form the London Borough of Greenwichmarker.

It bordered the boroughs of Woolwichmarker, Deptfordmarker, Lewishammarker.

The borough was formed from the civil parishes of Charltonmarker-next-Woolwich, Deptfordmarker St Nicholas, Greenwichmarker and Kidbrookemarker. The area was previously administered by the Greenwichmarker and Plumsteadmarker District Boards of Works.

Within the area of the borough were the Royal Naval College (now the National Maritime Museummarker), the Royal Observatorymarker and Greenwich Parkmarker.

Population and area

The borough covered . The population in each decennial census was:

Former civil parishes
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
22,077 25,303 28,748 33,374 39,800 47,377 57,417 56,450 65,411 78,167

Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich
1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961
95,780 95,968 100,450 100,924 89,846 85,546


Borough council

Metropolitan borough councils elections were held triennially. The first election to the borough council was held on November 1, 1900. The result was a majority for the pro-Conservative Moderates, who had 16 councillors elected. The opposition was formed by the Progressives with 8 seats. At the next election in 1903 Moderates held control with the support of 2 Independent Conservative councillors. By the time of the 1906 election, the Conservatives contested the elections throughout London under the Municipal Reform label. The Municipal Reformers held the council with 21 seats to 5 Progressives and 4 Independents. They held the council at the 1909 and 1912 elections: 1909 saw the first Socialist councillor elected to the council. Due to World War I, the next council election was not held until 1919. The Labour Party took control of the borough, with 20 seats to 10 for the Municipal Reform Party. Three years later the position was reversed, with Municipal Reformers retaking control with 22 seats to Labour's 11. At the 1925 election the Municipal Reform and Labour parties both took 15 seats, and the borough council was consequently under no overall control. The same party composition was returned at the 1928 and 1931 elections. Labour subsequently gained control, which they held at the 1934 election. Labour held the borough at the 1937 election. Elections were again suspended during the Second World War, the next contest being in 1945: Labour held the borough. Elections to boroughs due in November 1948 were postponed to May 1949 to coincide with those for county councils. The Conservative Party contested the elections in the place of the Municipal Reformers. Labour held the council at this and all later elections to the metropolitan borough council, with the Conservatives forming the only other grouping. The last election to the council was held on May 10, 1962, when Labour gained 29 seats to 6 for the Conservatives.

Parliamentary constituency

A parliamentary borough of Greenwich had been formed by the Reform Act 1832. In 1918 the boundaries were realigned to correspond to the metropolitan borough.

Coat of arms

The borough council was granted a coat of arms by the College of Armsmarker on July 15, 1903. The central band bearing an hour-glass represented the Greenwich Meridian and the surrounding stars the Royal Observatory. The crest above the shield was an ancient ship and crossed anchors, standing for the connections of Greenwich with the Royal Navy. The Latin motto was Tempore utimur or "We use time": a reference to Greenwich Mean Time.


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