The Liberty of the Tower, or the Tower Liberty, was a liberty around and including the Tower of London. It was outside the jurisdiction of the City of London and the County of Middlesex, with its own county government. The area of the liberty expanded in 1686. It became part of the County of London in 1889, but was abolished in 1905, when it became part of the parish of St. Botolph without Aldgate. In turn, the parts of St Botolph without Aldgate outside the City became part of Stepney Metropolitan Borough in 1900. The metropolitan borough was abolished in 1965 and became part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
The liberty as set out in the 16th century consisted of the area inside the walls of the Tower of London (also known as Tower Within) and immediately outside it (known as Old Tower Without).
In 1686 letters patent granted by James II added the Old Artillery Ground, Little Minories and the Liberty of Wellclose. These areas came into the possession of the crown when the religious houses that formerly administered them were dissolved. They had subsequently been used for the storing of ordnance.
The population of the Liberties was 3,995 in 1811 and 4,190 in 1831.
From 1837 the liberty formed part of the Whitechapel Poor Law Union. Extra-parochial places were progressively eliminated and following the Extra-Parochial Places Act 1857, the Tower of London and Old Tower Without became civil parishes in 1858. The Old Artillery Ground became a civil parish in 1866, following the Poor Law Amendment Act 1866.
From 1855 the area became part of the Whitechapel District and was administered by the Whitechapel District Board of Works. The liberty became part of the County of London in 1889 and the area of the former liberty was included in the Metropolitan Borough of Stepney in 1900. The area of the former liberty now forms part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and following boundary changes around the Minories in 1994 is partly in the City of London.