In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Westminster like this:
Westminster.-- parl. bor. and city, Middlesex, on N. bank of river Thames, in W. of London, 2546 ac., pop. 229,238. The parl. limits include the pars. of St James Westminster, St Margaret and St John the Evangelist Westminster, St George Hanover Square. St Anne Soho, St Martin in the Fields, &c. Westminster is the seat of government and the residence of royalty, and contains, besides Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, St James's Palace, Buckingham Palace, &c. It was formerly separated from the city of London by Temple Bar. ...
It owes its origin to a market and fair granted to the abbot and convent of Westminster Abbey in 1259. It was made a separate diocese at the suppression of religious houses, but was re-incorporated with the diocese of London in 1550. It was made a parl. bor. in the time of Edward VI.; it returns 3 members to Parliament (3 divisions - viz., Hanover Square, Abbey, and Strand, 1 member for each division); its representation was increased from 2 to 3 members in 1885.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Westminster has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Westminster. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Westminster and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Westminster in Middlesex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 21st May 2013
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