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Dr Matthew Davies

Director, Centre for Metropolitan History

Matthew has researched and written on many aspects of London's crafts and livery companies in the medieval and early modern periods.


New resources for London now live

Dr Matthew Davies, 11 August 2008

Several new sources for the City and Middlesex are now live. Chief among them are the feet of fines for London and Middlesex (1189-1569). Also recently released are editions of Tudor churchwardens' accounts for London churches, including St Martin-in-the-Fields. Read more at:

New records for early modern Middlesex now live

Dr Matthew Davies, 19 June 2008

Quarter Sessions records for 1612-18 are now live. These records of this periodic court complement other seventeenth century records for the county, which include recognizances and inquisitions post mortem. Read them all at:

London Livery Companies Commission report

Dr Matthew Davies, 09 May 2008

The report of the Royal Commission on the companies is now live. Volume 1 contains the summary report; volumes 2-5, which will be launched over the next few weeks, contain extensive supporting material on the companies in the late nineteenth century, and their history. Read volume 1, alongside other primary sources for the companies, at:

Memorials of the Merchant Taylors

Dr Matthew Davies, 24 April 2008

The Memorials of the Guild are now live. Published in 1875, in an edition by C.M Clode, the Memorials is a substantial collection of sources relating to the history of the Company from its foundation. Read it, and other sources relating to the livery companies of the City of London, at:

John Stow's 'Survey of London'

Dr Matthew Davies, 10 April 2008

The Kingsford edition of Stow's 'Survey' is now live. Based on the 1603 edition of the 'Survey', it appeared in two volumes, here given as one. It adds to our growing collection of survey histories of the capital, including Lysons' 'Environs of London'. Read it, and other sixteenth century chronicles and diaries, including that of Henry Machyn, at:

New sources for the City of London

Dr Matthew Davies, 31 January 2008

Two new sources for the City are now live. H.T. Riley's 'Memorials of London and London life', being extracts from the early archives, is available alongside the Calendar of the Letter Books on which it draws. For the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the index to the Remembrancia (1878) is also live. Read them both, using the links below:

London religious houses

Dr Matthew Davies, 10 December 2007

The charters of Westminster Abbey are now live. This volume, published by kind permission of the London Record Society, is accompanied by the LRS edition of the cartulary of Holy Trinity Aldgate. Read them both, and records for other London houses, at:

London trade

Dr Matthew Davies, 22 November 2007

Three London Record Society volumes on early modern trade are now live. The three volumes reproduce the letters of the merchant John Paige, the transactions of Trinity House, Deptford, and papers relating to the Spanish Company. Read them all, along with other records of the port of London, at:

Middlesex quarter sessions records now live

Dr Matthew Davies, 07 November 2007

Sessions records for 1550-1709 are now live. Published between 1886 and 1905, these five volumes contain extensive records of this periodic court. Read them all at:

London chronicles

Dr Matthew Davies, 15 October 2007

The 'Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs' are now live. These important sources for the history of thirteenth-century London complement our existing collection of London chronicles. Read them all at:

London consistory court wills now live

Dr Matthew Davies, 17 August 2007

Consistory court wills for 1492-1547 are now live. These transcripts, reproduced here by permission of the London Record Society, give a fascinating picture of the lives and possessions of Londoners in the early sixteeenth century. Read them at:

London assizes

Dr Matthew Davies, 26 July 2007

Records of the possessory assizes are now live. Volume 1 of the publications of the London Record Society is a calendar of the possessory assize rolls for the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Ten more volumes from the London Record Society are currently in production, including an edition of the early charters of Westminster Abbey. View our collection of assize records at:

London chronicles

Dr Matthew Davies, 18 June 2007

Three fifteenth-century chronicles of London are now live. First published by the Camden Society, this edition also includes extensive historical notes on the chronicles by the antiquarian John Stow. An edition of Stow's own 'A survey of London' will be launched on British History Online soon. Read the Three Chronicles, and other London chronicles, at:

Statutes and charters of St Paul's cathedral now live

Dr Matthew Davies, 12 March 2007

The Registrum of St Paul's cathedral is now live. The Registrum Statutorum et Consuetudinum.. contains the collected charters, statutes, privileges and other illustrative documents of the cathedral church from its earliest days until the nineteenth century. A presentation volume for new canons of the cathedral, it includes the statutes as assembled by Baldock and Lisieux, plus later enactments, and the same for the college of minor canons and the Fraternity of Jesus, and visitation articles and other documents illustrative of the church's history. Read more of this, and on the history of other monastic and cathedral foundations using the links:

Three volumes from the Survey of London on Kensington now live

Dr Matthew Davies, 06 December 2006

Volumes 37, 38 and 42 of the Survey of London are now live. Between them they detail the history of northern Kensington, the area from Kensington Square to Earl's Court, and the museums area of southern Kensington, including the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Albert Hall. Volume 41, on Brompton, will be launched in the next few weeks. Read them all at:

The Grey Friars of London

Dr Matthew Davies, 30 November 2006

The Register and other key sources for the history of the Grey Friars are now live. These two volumes from the publications of the British Society of Franciscan Studies contain an edition of the Register of the London convent, along with a substantial historical introduction, abstracts of related wills, and other illustrative documents. These complement our growing holdings for the history of the monastic orders in England, as represented by our editions of cartularies and other primary sources (which will be augmented over the next few months) and by the accounts of the religious houses contained in the Victoria County History. Read more at:

Survey of London volume 27 - Spitalfields and Mile End New Town

Dr Matthew Davies, 28 November 2006

Volume 27 of the Survey of London is now live. It concentrates on the historic housing on Spital Square, Fournier Street and Elder Street, as well as Christ Church, the masterpiece of Nicholas Hawksmoor. Also on the site is the London Record Society edition of the minute books of the Commissions for building fifty new churches, of which Christ Church was one.

Borough Market Privileges dataset now live

Dr Matthew Davies, 30 October 2006

This previously unpublished dataset contains some 2,300 records relating to borough markets in the hinterland of London from 1370 to 1425. It was compiled by Dr Hannes Kleineke as part of a research project at the Centre for Metropolitan History. It complements the CMH's own Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs, also on BHO. Read them both at:

Daniel Lysons's 'Environs of London' now complete

Dr Matthew Davies, 16 August 2006

With the launch of volumes 2, 3 and 4, this key source for the history of London is now complete. Volumes 2 and 3 cover the historic county of Middlesex in alphabetical order from Acton to Willesden. Volume 4 describes the parts of Essex, Hertfordshire and Kent that are within twelve miles of the City, including East Barnet, Barking and Greenwich. The 'Environs' complements our other general histories of London, including 'Old and New London' and John Noorthoucks's 'New History'. Read more at:

Records of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters

Dr Matthew Davies, 20 June 2006

The Apprentices' Entry Books for 1654-1694 are now live. These books record the names of nearly 3,000 apprentices bound to members of the Company, along with details of their family background and place of origin. As well as illustrating the economic history of London, they are also of use for the study of economic migration within England and Wales. They may also be read alongside other sources on the site relating to the inhabitants of London, including records of taxation and of residence. We plan to add further records of this and others of the city's livery companies over the next few months. Read more at:

VCH resources for metropolitan Essex and east London

Dr Matthew Davies, 20 March 2006

The site now includes a major set of resources relating to those parts of greater London previously within the historic county of Essex. Volume 5 gives a detailed thematic account of the growth of metropolitan Essex in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. There are also detailed accounts of historic parishes now within the boroughs of Newham, Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Havering. Places covered include: Barking, Dagenham and Ilford (volume 5); West and East Ham and Walthamstow (volume 6); and Havering, Hornchurch and Romford (volume 7). Read more at:

Resources for medieval London government

Dr Matthew Davies, 29 October 2005

The site contains several key resources for the government and law of medieval London, from the late thirteenth to the early sixteenth centuries. The ten volume Calendar of the Letter Books of the City of London contains early material relating to the governing of the city such as freedom admissions, recognizances for debts, and economic regulation, later developing into a formal record of proceedings of the court of aldermen and the court of common council. This important series of records is complemented by material in the Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls, and the proceedings of one of the City's courts, contained in the Calendar of Early Mayor's Court Rolls.

Calendar of Letter-books of the City of London now complete

Dr Matthew Davies, 05 August 2005

Our publication of this core source is now complete. The books contain a wealth of information on the inhabitants of London and its government, trade, crime and punishment. The eleven volumes cover the period from 1275 to 1496.