Middlesex is one of the 39 historic counties of England and
the second smallest by area. The low-lying county contained the
wealthy and politically independent City of London on its southern
boundary and was dominated by it from a very early time. The county
was significantly affected by the expansion of the metropolitan area
of London in both the 18th and 19th centuries, such that from 1855
the south-east was administered as part of the metropolis.