What’s in a name – a town or a city?

Leicester was, in the etymological sense, a town (from the Old English, tun, an enclosed place) defined by the remains of the Roman walls.  By the C18th town had a more specific meaning – a place with certain legal rights and an element of self-government, but with the growth of urbanisation, size began to matter.  Dr Johnson, in his dictionary (1755) unhelpfully defined a village as less than a town but a town as more than a village.  Leicester had all the marks that set it above a village; it was an incorporated borough (it had its own local government from the Norman conquest, and a Corporation was formally created in 1589); above that, it was a parliamentary borough, and sent two members to parliament, initially in 1294.  It had a market, mentioned in the Domesday Book, at ‘Cheapside’, an Old English place name; the street name is still there, next to East Gates.  Although ‘city’ was widely used for urban centres of large size, strictly it requires a Cathedral; although Leicester briefly had a Bishop in the C7th, the Church of St Martins was not consecrated as a cathedral until 1927.  Watts calls Leicester a town: so shall I.