Royal charter

chartercharter of incorporationcharteredRoyal WarrantRoyal Charter of IncorporationchartersCharter corporationsCrown grantmarket charterRoyal title
A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative as letters patent.wikipedia
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List of organisations in the United Kingdom with a royal charter

List of UK organisations with royal patronagehas issued over 1,000 royal chartersRoyal Charter
The British monarchy has issued over 1,000 royal charters.
List of organisations in the United Kingdom with a royal charter is an incomplete list of organisations based in the United Kingdom that have received a royal charter from an English, Scottish, or British monarch.

University of Cambridge

Cambridge UniversityCambridgeUniversity
The earliest charter recorded on the UK government's list was granted to the University of Cambridge by the King of England in 1231, although older charters are known to have existed including to the Worshipful Company of Weavers in England in 1150 and to the town of Tain in Scotland in 1066.
Founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university.

Hudson's Bay Company

Hudson’s Bay CompanyHBCHudson Bay Company
Among the past and present groups formed by royal charter are the Company of Merchants of the Staple of England (13th Century), the British East India Company (1600), the Hudson's Bay Company, the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China (since merged into Standard Chartered), the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), the British South Africa Company, and some of the former British colonies on the North American mainland, City livery companies, the Bank of England and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
After incorporation by English royal charter in 1670, the company functioned as the de facto government in parts of North America for nearly 200 years until the HBC sold the land it owned (the entire Hudson Bay drainage basin, known as Rupert's Land) to Canada in 1869 as part of The Deed of Surrender, authorised by the Rupert's Land Act 1868.

British South Africa Company

British South African CompanyBritish South Africa Company (BSAC)Chartered Company
Among the past and present groups formed by royal charter are the Company of Merchants of the Staple of England (13th Century), the British East India Company (1600), the Hudson's Bay Company, the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China (since merged into Standard Chartered), the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), the British South Africa Company, and some of the former British colonies on the North American mainland, City livery companies, the Bank of England and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
The company received a Royal Charter in 1889 modelled on that of the British East India Company.

Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China

Chartered BankChartered Bank of India, Australia, and ChinaThe Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China
Among the past and present groups formed by royal charter are the Company of Merchants of the Staple of England (13th Century), the British East India Company (1600), the Hudson's Bay Company, the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China (since merged into Standard Chartered), the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), the British South Africa Company, and some of the former British colonies on the North American mainland, City livery companies, the Bank of England and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China (informally The Chartered Bank) was a bank incorporated in London in 1853 by Scotsman James Wilson, under a Royal Charter from Queen Victoria.

Livery company

Livery CompaniesLiverymanliverymen
Among the past and present groups formed by royal charter are the Company of Merchants of the Staple of England (13th Century), the British East India Company (1600), the Hudson's Bay Company, the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China (since merged into Standard Chartered), the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), the British South Africa Company, and some of the former British colonies on the North American mainland, City livery companies, the Bank of England and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
Livery companies evolved from London's medieval guilds, becoming corporations under Royal Charter responsible for training in their respective trades, as well as for the regulation of aspects such as wage control, labour conditions and industry standards.

Tain

Tain Royal AcademyTain, Ross-shireTain, Scotland
The earliest charter recorded on the UK government's list was granted to the University of Cambridge by the King of England in 1231, although older charters are known to have existed including to the Worshipful Company of Weavers in England in 1150 and to the town of Tain in Scotland in 1066.
Tain was granted its first royal charter in 1066, making it Scotland's oldest royal burgh, commemorated in 1966 with the opening of the Rose Garden by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom

Privy CouncilPCPrivy Counsellor
Until the 19th century, royal charters were the only means other than an act of parliament by which a company could be incorporated; in the UK, the Joint Stock Companies Act 1844 opened up a route to incorporation by registration, since when incorporation by royal charter has been, according to the Privy Council, "a special token of Royal favour or … a mark of distinction".
The Council advises the sovereign on the issuing of Royal Charters, which are used to grant special status to incorporated bodies, and city or borough status to local authorities.

Chartered company

chartered companiescharteredcharter companies
Between the 14th and 19th centuries, royal charters were used to create chartered companies – for-profit ventures with shareholders, used for exploration, trade and colonisation.
A chartered company is an association with investors or shareholders and incorporated and granted (often exclusive) rights by royal charter (or similar instrument of government) for the purpose of trade, exploration, and colonization.

Bank of England

The Bank of EnglandBankAsset Purchase Facility
Among the past and present groups formed by royal charter are the Company of Merchants of the Staple of England (13th Century), the British East India Company (1600), the Hudson's Bay Company, the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China (since merged into Standard Chartered), the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), the British South Africa Company, and some of the former British colonies on the North American mainland, City livery companies, the Bank of England and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
The royal charter was granted on 27 July through the passage of the Tonnage Act 1694.

P&O (company)

P&OPeninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation CompanyP & O
Among the past and present groups formed by royal charter are the Company of Merchants of the Staple of England (13th Century), the British East India Company (1600), the Hudson's Bay Company, the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China (since merged into Standard Chartered), the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), the British South Africa Company, and some of the former British colonies on the North American mainland, City livery companies, the Bank of England and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
As the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company was incorporated in 1840 by a Royal Charter its name therefore included neither "Plc" nor "Limited".

Municipal charter

city chartertown chartercharter
They were, and are still, used to establish significant organisations such as boroughs (with municipal charters), universities and learned societies.
In monarchies, charters are still often a royal charter given by the Crown or the authorities acting on behalf of the Crown.

City status in the United Kingdom

city statuscitycathedral city
Charters should be distinguished from royal warrants of appointment, grants of arms and other forms of letters patent, such as those granting an organisation the right to use the word "royal" in their name or granting city status, which do not have legislative effect.
Scotland had no cities by royal charter or letters patent before 1889.

Jagiellonian University

University of KrakówKraków AcademyUniversity of Krakow
Other early universities founded by royal charter include the University of Perpignan (1349; Papal confirmation 1379) and the University of Huesca (1354; no confirmation), both by Peter IV of Aragon, the Jagiellonian University (1364; Papal confirmation the same year) by Casimir III of Poland, the University of Vienna (1365; Papal confirmation the same year) by Rudolf IV, Duke of Austria, the University of Caen (1432; Papal confirmation 1437) by Henry VI of England, the University of Girona (1446; no confirmation) and the University of Barcelona (1450; Papal confirmation the same year), both by Alfonso V of Aragon, the University of Valence (1452; Papal confirmation 1459) by the Dauphin Louis (later Louis XI of France), and the University of Palma (1483; no confirmation) by Ferdinand II of Aragon.
A royal charter of foundation was issued on 12 May 1364, and a simultaneous document was issued by the City Council granting privileges to the Studium Generale.

Worshipful Company of Weavers

weaversWeavers' CompanyWeaver
The earliest charter recorded on the UK government's list was granted to the University of Cambridge by the King of England in 1231, although older charters are known to have existed including to the Worshipful Company of Weavers in England in 1150 and to the town of Tain in Scotland in 1066.
The Company received a Royal Charter in 1155.

Joint Stock Companies Act 1844

Joint Stock Companies Act of 1844Joint Stock Companies ActStock Company Act
Until the 19th century, royal charters were the only means other than an act of parliament by which a company could be incorporated; in the UK, the Joint Stock Companies Act 1844 opened up a route to incorporation by registration, since when incorporation by royal charter has been, according to the Privy Council, "a special token of Royal favour or … a mark of distinction".
Before the Act, incorporation was possible only by royal charter or private Act and was limited owing to Parliament's protection of the privileges and advantages thereby granted.

University of Wales, Lampeter

St David's College, LampeterSt David's CollegeSt David's University College
The 1820s saw two colleges receive royal charters: St David's College, Lampeter in 1828 and King's College London in 1829.
Founded in 1822, and given its royal charter in 1828, it is the oldest degree awarding institution in Wales, with degree awarding powers since 1822, and the fourth oldest institution of higher learning in England and Wales after the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Durham (founded as a university in 1832).

University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh UniversityEdinburghThe University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh was founded under the authority of a royal charter granted to the Edinburgh town council in 1582 by James VI as the "town's college".
Through efforts by the Town Council and Ministers of the City the institution broadened in scope and became formally established as a college by a Royal Charter, granted by King James VI of Scotland on 14 April 1582 after the petitioning of the Council.

King's College London

King's College, LondonKing's CollegeKing’s College London
The 1820s saw two colleges receive royal charters: St David's College, Lampeter in 1828 and King's College London in 1829.
King's was established in 1829 by King George IV and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, when it received its first royal charter (as a university college), and claims to be the fourth oldest university institution in England.

Durham University

University of DurhamDurhamcollege
The 1830s saw an attempt by University College London to gain a charter as a university and the creation by Act of Parliament of Durham University, but without incorporating it or granting any specific powers.
Durham University (legally the University of Durham) is a collegiate public research university in Durham, England, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832 and incorporated by royal charter in 1837.

University of London

London UniversityLondonThe University of London
UCL was incorporated by royal charter in 1836, but without university status or degree-awarding powers, which went instead to the University of London, created by royal charter with the explicit power to grant degrees in Arts, Law and Medicine.
The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awarding examination board for students holding certificates from University College London and King's College London and "other such other Institutions, corporate or unincorporated, as shall be established for the purpose of Education, whether within the Metropolis or elsewhere within our United Kingdom", allowing it to be one of three institutions to claim the title of the third-oldest university in England,

British colonization of the Americas

BritishEnglishEnglish colonization of the Americas
Among the past and present groups formed by royal charter are the Company of Merchants of the Staple of England (13th Century), the British East India Company (1600), the Hudson's Bay Company, the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China (since merged into Standard Chartered), the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), the British South Africa Company, and some of the former British colonies on the North American mainland, City livery companies, the Bank of England and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
In 1670, Charles II incorporated by royal charter the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), granting it a monopoly on the fur trade in the area known as Rupert's Land.

Royal University of Ireland

Royal UniversityRoyal University, DublinRoyal University, Galway
This served as the degree awarding body for the Queen's Colleges until it was replaced by the Royal University of Ireland.
A Royal Charter was issued on 27 April 1880 and examinations were opened to candidates irrespective of attendance at college lectures.

Queen's University of Ireland

Queen's CollegeQueen's CollegesQueen's University in Ireland
The Queens University of Ireland received its royal charter in 1850, stating "We do will, order, constitute, ordain and found an University … and the same shall possess and exercise the full powers of granting all such Degrees as are granted by other Universities or Colleges in the faculties of Arts, Medicine and Law".
The Queen's University of Ireland was established formally by Royal Charter on 3 September 1850, as the degree-awarding university of the Queen's Colleges of Belfast, Cork, and Galway that were established in 1845 "to afford a university education to members of all religious denominations" in Ireland.

University College London

University College, LondonUCLUniversity College
The 1830s saw an attempt by University College London to gain a charter as a university and the creation by Act of Parliament of Durham University, but without incorporating it or granting any specific powers.
In 1836, London University was incorporated by royal charter under the name University College, London.