The name itself is possibly derived from a village named Harirah which was located in or about the site of modern day Howrah City. Venetian explorer Ceasare Federici was the first European who mentioned a place called Bator in his journal in 1578 AD which is identifiable with the modern day place around the Howrah City. The Bengal Council of the British East India Company, on the accession of the Emperor Farruksiyar to the throne of Delhi in AD 1713, sent a deputation to him praying for a settlement of the villages 'Salica' (Salkia), 'Harirah'(Howrah), 'Cassundeah'(Kasundia), 'Ramkrishnopoor' (Ramkrishnapur), and 'Battar'(Betor) to the west of Bhagirathi river and once the settlement was made in favour of the British East India Company the places were quickly adopted as exit and entry point of sea faring business hubs and the modernisation of Howrah city as we know it now, began.
The Howrah Railway Terminus came up in 1854 and in 1862 the first municipal administration started functioning though the modern day Corporation as we see it now came into being in 1980 when the Howrah Act, 1980 was implemented. It was transferred from the Burdwan Division to the Presidency Division under Government of West Bengal Notification No. 999-G.A. dated March 4, 1963.