Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I remember having it explained to me when I was younger how one gets from hamlet to village to town to city in terms of size, and was confused then. So... off to google. I considered making you all do it, but I'm not sure I have much more to say on this subject, and besides, I can be a force for good too!

"According to the description, the most significant difference between the Hamlet and the Village is that the Hamlet does not provide for voter-authorized taxes or fees. It is expected that any funds raised by the Hamlet would be from grants, donations or informal fundraising."

Hmm. That can't be it.

"Whether a municipality is a city, town or village is not dependent on population or area, but on the form of government selected by the residents and approved by the state legislature. New York State considers counties, cities, towns and villages to be "municipal corporations" and "general purpose" units of local government."

Ah, wikipedia, you will help me!

"In New York State, a city is a highly autonomous incorporated area within a county. It provides almost all services to its residents and has the highest degree of home rule and taxing jurisdiction over its residents. The main difference between a city and a village is that cities are organized and governed according to their charters, which can differ widely among cities, while villages are subject to a uniform statewide Village Law. Also, villages are part of a town (or towns), with residents who pay taxes to and receive services from the town. Cities (except for the City of Sherrill) are independent of towns."

Hmm, this is good, but it's all in New York. Let's search within wikipedia

"The Town and the City is a novel by Jack Kerouac, published by Harcourt Brace in 1950 (ISBN 0-15-690790-9). "


"In the United Kingdom, a city is a town which has been known as a city since time immemorial, or which has received city status by letters patent — which is normally granted on the basis of size, importance or royal connection (traditional pointers have been whether the town has a cathedral or a university). Some cathedral cities, for example St. David's in Wales, are quite small, and may not be known as cities in common parlance. (See the City status in the United Kingdom.)Preston became England's newest city in the year 2000 to mark the Queen's jubilee."

"In general, towns can be differentiated from townships, villages, or hamlets on the basis of their economic character, in that most of a town's population will tend to derive their living from manufacturing industry, commerce, and public service rather than primary industry such as agriculture or related activities.

A place's population size is not a reliable determinant of urban character. In many areas of the world, as in India at least until recent times, a large village might contain several times as many people as a small town"

Hmmm..... Well it seems a place is called what it is because....someone says it is. Wow, if one has royal connections, one could get any town named a city. Well, ok, if one could blackmail the queen. i'm sure she's got some dark secrets here or there.

I saw Hamlet the film once. My mother decided to take me along. At the time I must have been about 12 or 13. I must have been bored out of mind, although I do love the concept of deciding guilt by putting on a play reenacting his crime and seeing how he reacts. I think we've found a new job for crimestoppers!

Always loved that theme tune. "Crimestoppers!" I suspect non-uk residents won't get what I'm talking about there. Actually, probably most residents won't either.... never mind.


At 11:48 am, Anonymous Super nun said...

I thinK Bill Bryson says in Notes from a Small Island that there is no such thing as a hamlet. It's just a poetic name

At 12:23 pm, Blogger Complex said...

But on the other hand, he is an American, biologically I mean.

I've been to a hamlet actually, to inspect its traffic calming measures.

And yes K, it is pretty much a city if someone important says it is, or it has a Cathedral.

Traditionally, a hamlet is a village without a church of its own, so it is not its own parish. Wow, this is starting to sound like group theory, a town is only a town if it is a subset of its own parish.

In the US hamlet is equivalent to village I believe.

It is also a type of sea bass.

At 4:27 am, Blogger cait said...

It's also a play, which is totally what I expected this post to be about initially.

At 2:45 pm, Blogger Mr K said...

yeah that occured to me. And was initially what I was going to write about. But then I didn't....


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