Sheffield is a city
City status in the United Kingdom
City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The holding of city status gives a settlement no special rights other than that of calling itself a "city". Nonetheless, this appellation carries its own prestige and, consequently, competitions...

 and metropolitan borough
Metropolitan borough
A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district in England, and is a subdivision of a metropolitan county. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972, metropolitan boroughs are defined in English law as metropolitan districts, however all of them have been granted or regranted...

 of South Yorkshire
South Yorkshire
South Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England. It has a population of 1.29 million. It consists of four metropolitan boroughs: Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, and City of Sheffield...

, England. Its name derives from the River Sheaf
River Sheaf
The River Sheaf is a river in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. Its source is the union of the Totley Brook and the Old Hay Brook in Totley, now a suburb of Sheffield. It flows northwards, past Dore, through the valley called Abbeydale and north of Heeley...

, which runs through the city. Historically
Historic counties of England
The historic counties of England are subdivisions of England established for administration by the Normans and in most cases based on earlier Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and shires...

 a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire
West Riding of Yorkshire
The West Riding of Yorkshire is one of the three historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England. From 1889 to 1974 the administrative county, County of York, West Riding , was based closely on the historic boundaries...

, and with some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire
Derbyshire is a county in the East Midlands of England. A substantial portion of the Peak District National Park lies within Derbyshire. The northern part of Derbyshire overlaps with the Pennines, a famous chain of hills and mountains. The county contains within its boundary of approx...

, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the English Core Cities Group
English Core Cities Group
The Core Cities Group is a coalition of some of England's major regional cities:*Birmingham - West Midlands*Bristol - South West England*Leeds - Yorkshire and the Humber*Liverpool - North West England*Manchester - North West England...


During the 19th century, Sheffield gained an international reputation for steel production.

This town of Sheffield is very populous and large, the streets narrow, and the houses dark and black, occasioned by the continued smoke of the forges, which are always at work: Here they make all sorts of cutlery-ware, but especially that of edged-tools, knives, razors, axes, &. and nails;

Daniel Defoe, A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain, (1724).

Some houses are brick, some stone, and there is a fair number of pretty ones; but they are lost in such a multitude of shapeless huts and outlandish factory-buildings that Sheffield could never pass for a fine town.

Alexandre and François La Rochefoucauld, Diaries, translation in Norman Scarfe, Innocent Espionage: The LA Rochefoucauld Brothers' Tour of England in 1785

If the people of Sheffield could only receive a tenth part of what their knives sell for by retail in America, Sheffield might pave its streets with silver.

William Cobbett|William Cobbett, Rural Rides|Rural Rides, (1830).

What a beautiful place Sheffield would be, if Sheffield were not there!

Walter White, A Month in Yorkshire, (1861).

There is no more public spirit in Sheffield than there is in the smallest village of Yorkshire.

Thomas Moore, Sheffield Independent, 16 April 1870, quoted in Clyde Binfield et al, The History of the City of Sheffield 1843-1993: Volume One: Politics, (1993).

I see a pretty state of things in your Municipality. Everything is mean, petty, and narrow in the extreme. What a contrast to Leeds!

Anthony John Mundella|Anthony John Mundella, letter of October 1871 to Robert Leader, quoted in Clyde Binfield et al, The History of the City of Sheffield 1843-1993: Volume One: Politics, (1993).

...the town of Sheffield is of great antiquity, and its manufactures are of world-wide reputation, especially that of cutlery, which has been celebrated for more than 500 years.

Petition for city status to Queen Victoria from Sheffield Town Council, 1 February 1893.

The progress of Sheffield in my lifetime has been something wonderful. Why, in my young days it was a little bit of a place of no consequence and no trade. When I think of the small notions and little minds of the public men of old Sheffield I can hardly realise that the City has become the fine important flourishing place it is today, one of the largest Cities of the Empire.

Frederick Mappin|Frederick Mappin, 1905, quoted in Sidney Pollard, A History of Labour in Sheffield, (1959).