Christchurch and Nelson are among the most English of New Zealand’s cities and the only two to become cities by proclamation. Usually a town became a city when it reached a certain population – 20,000 before 1989 and 50,000 thereafter. But the British monarch could proclaim a town a city by letters patent if it was the seat of a bishop. Christchurch became a city in this way in 1856 and Nelson followed in 1858. Download the PDF to read a transcription of the letters patent for Nelson.
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Transcription courtesy of The Prow