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Authority record

Hospital of St Thomas the Martyr

  • Corporate body
  • pre-1391-nineteenth century

Founded pre-1391. Transferred in 1478 to gild of Corpus Christi. Following dissolution of gild of Corpus Christi in 1547, hospital continued independently, then co-opted Lord Mayor and Aldermen as master and officers in 1552. Property transferred to Lord Mayor and commonalty of York in 1582-3, subsequently managed as a corporation charity.

Director of Social Services

  • GB0192-101
  • Corporate body
  • 1971-unknown

Prior to 1970, social service functions were carried out by a number of committees and departments across the council. The Local Authority Social Services Act required that a Director of Social Services be appointed.
Some functions previously carried out by Welfare Committee (1948-1971) and Housing Department. See also Social Services Committee.

Insurance Committee

  • GB0192-102
  • Corporate body
  • 1911-1948?

An independent committee setup by the National Insurance Act 1911, the corporation contributed 20% of the membership.

Parish Constables

  • GB0192-103
  • Corporate body
  • 1285-1835

The role of parish constables developed over centuries, with royal edicts dating from 1285, and form part of the communal organisation of local affairs via the administrative unit of the parish. In York, the number of parishes led to a large number of constables, and the relationship between the corporation and these parish officials was complex. They came under the jurisdiction and direction of Justices of the Peace in the 17th century. They were replaced by a professional, corporation-run police force in 1835 in York.
Crime prevention and investigation function taken over by City of York police in 1835.

Chief Constable

  • GB0192-104
  • Corporate body
  • 1835-20th century

The first city police force and chief constable were established in 1835. In 1925 there were 107 members of the force.
Reported to Watch Committee. Full responsibility for policing transferred to Corporation in 1835 from Magistrates and Parish Constables. Instructed Superintedendent and Deputy Chief Constable.

Parish Commissioners

  • GB0192-105
  • Corporate body
  • 1763-1826

York acquired a local Act of Parliament to improve street cleaning and street lighting.. The act of 1763 required water spouts on properties, and reiterated that householders were responsibile for keeping the street clean in front of their house. Street lamps were placed at intervals and lit in the darker months. The parish commissioners were replaced by an independant body of city-wide commissioners in 1826.
Legislated for functions previously carried out informally. Replaced by City Commissioners in 1826.


  • GB0192-106
  • Corporate body
  • pre-1229-present

The first entry of a coroner in York dates from 1229, and there were three in 1279 and the 1630s. Though appointed and salaried by the corporation, the coroner is an independant official, ultimately responsible to Crown and Lord Chancellor.

Magistrates / Justices of the Peace (Unreformed)

  • GB0192-107
  • Corporate body
  • 1300s-1835

The petty sessions in York were presided over by the Lord Mayor, aldermen and sheriffs from 1392, and aldermen also made up the Justices of the Peace for the Quarter sessions. York included several liberties such as the Liberty of St Peter and Davy Hall which were outside this jurisdiction. The Municipal Corporations Act setup a new Commission of the Peace and transferred this function out of the corporation in 1835.
Function transferred to Commission of the Peace in 1835.

Magistrates / Justices of the Peace (Reformed) / Commission of the Peace

  • GB0192-108
  • Corporate body
  • 1835-present

In York an independent Commission of the Peace was setup in 1835, incorporating the Lord Mayor as chief magistrate but with an membership of Justices of the Peace otherwise distinct from the corporation.
Functions transferred from city magistracy traditionally consisting of Lord Mayor, aldermen and sheriffs. Supported by a legal professional clerk.

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