The term 'Greater London' may have been first officially employed by the Registrar-General when, in 1875, he defined it as the area of the Metropolitan Police District (Freeman 1968, 150), wh ich remained the statistical basis for the Census conurbation almost a century later. However, local government was reluctant to recognise that its functions should be unified despite growing description of London as a metropolis from around 1830. Metropolitan policing had commenced in 1829, followed by the Metropolitan Commission of Sewers in 1847, the significant creation ofthe Metropolitan Board ofWorks in 1855 and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1865. But it was only in 1889 that twenty years of political dispute and a troubled history of the Commissions was ended by the formation of the London County Council, as part of the comprehensive reform of English local government.