1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Municipality
MUNICIPALITY, a modern term (derived from Lat. municipium; see below), now used both for a city or town which is organized for self-government under a municipal corporation, and also for the governing body itself. Such a corporation in Great Britain consists of a head as a mayor or provost, and of superior members, as aldermen and councillors, together with the simple corporators, who are represented by the governing body; it acts as a person by its common seal, and has a perpetual succession, with power to hold lands subject to the restrictions of the Mortmain laws; and it can sue or be sued. Where necessary for its primary objects, every corporation has power to make by-laws and to enforce them by penalties, provided they are not unjust or unreasonable or otherwise inconsistent with the objects of the charter or other instrument of foundation.