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North Shields is the main settlement in the borough, and was a municipal borough from 1835 until 1974. It has a population of 45,717 (2001 census), increasing to 49,922 at the 2011 Census. The town's motto is "Nil Desperandum Auspice Christo", Latin for "Never Despair By Christ's Assistance". History [ edit ] The earliest written reference to North Shields appears in Henry III’s Charter of 1255 where it is called ‘Neuwerk’. In 1346 it was known as 'Northwerk', but by 1433 its name had become 'Norhtwerke' or North Works,. This refers to fortifications erected on Seaton Hill overlooking the River Tyne that were constructed under King Henry V between 1413 and 1420.:p.