The Rulers of London 1660-1689 A Biographical Record of the Aldermen and Common Councilment of the City of London. Originally published by London & Middlesex Archaeological Society, London, 1966.
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The information on the dates of service of the Aldermen is taken solely from A B Beaven, The Aldermen of the City of London The names and years of service of the Common Councilmen are derived largely from two manuscript lists in the Corporation of London Record Office (CRO) One list is alphabetical, the other by ward These lists are principally compiled from information contained in the Journals of the Court of Common Council, i e. committee lists, and records of the swearing-in of Common Councilmen, from other committee lists, i e City Lands Committee Books, from printed lists (CRO, MS 40c), from pocket books, and from the returns of victuallers to be licensed No reference is made to this source in the handlist unless there is reason to query its correctness, or supplement the information it contains
A second principal group of sources is made up of the vestry books of the City parishes (VBk), the wardmote books (WMBk) and wardmote inquest books (WIM) of some wards These cannot always be relied on for correctness
Other sources belonging to City government include the returns of election by the Aldermen of Common Councilmen for the year 1672 in six wards only (CRO, Small MS Box 20/1), certificates of Sacrament and of declarations against the Covenant, returned to the Lord Mayor, 1671 (CRO, MS 109 15), and records of taking the oaths and making the declaration, found in the Lord Mayor's Waiting Book (CRO, MS vols), and in the Oath Books (CRO, MS 37c)
III, IV, V.
When, as was frequently the case, the person changed his residence, the "house-street-parish" order is repeated for the second address. The dates that are given for residence are in no way exclusive, nor is residence necessarily to be thought of as continuous
The date of birth is often calculated from the age at marriage or at death, as provided by parish registers, marriage licences, and memorials, and is, therefore, perhaps inaccurate in some cases by one year
Explanation of the use made of several sources may be made here (1) Sessions Minute Books of Gaol Delivery and Oyer and Terminer of the City of London and the County of Middlesex (SBk) For a short period (from July 1674 to October 1678) there appear in these books lists of assess ments on certain members of the smaller and richer parishes of the City for contributions to the rates of larger and poorer parishes in fact, some system of rate re-adjustment In every case the occupation of the persons assessed is given
(II) House of Lords, MS154 (x) and (y) are printed in HMC, 12th Rept, pt VI, pp 283-6, and pp 290-2 These are lists of persons impanelled to sit on the juries at the trials of Henry Cornish (154 (x)) and William, Lord Russell (154 (y)) The lists were made for the House of Lords Committee of Inspection and they were produced on 2 November 1689 They give the trade or occupation of most of the impanelled persons
(III) Of a similar nature are SP/29/418/112 and /114 These contain the names, addresses, and occupations of the members of the Grand Jury returned for the City on 24 November 1681, together with comments on the political and religious sympathies of the members, clearly made by a supporter of the Court
(IV) SP/29/418/199 (already referred to under I, and II, + note (1)) gives, along with information on political and religious allegiance, the trade of most members of the Common Council of 1682 It, too, is the work of an informant to the Court on City affairs Perhaps its authorship belongs to Sir Benjamin Newland, for his name is missing from the list of Common Councilmen for Tower ward
|Date of publication||Year of committee||Page number|
|1922||1660-1 (fn. 3)||23|
(I) The information contained in the Common Serjeant's Books (CSB) These records belong to the Court of Orphans, and are summaries of the value of the personal estates of Freemen of the City from which the orphanage parts of the unadvanced children of the deceased were calculated They are of only limited value as a guide to the true worth of a Citizen's estate, for there is no means of ascertaining with what sums the grown-up children had been advanced Moreover, much of the personal estate may have been changed into real estate by the purchase of freehold lands (fn. 4) The Books can be of value in the case of a merchant or small trader who was cut off in the full bloom of his business activities, but in the case of a man who had lived to the age of retirement, advanced his children, and largely wound up his business estate, they can be misleading The inventories (CSB/Inv) made of the Citizens' estates, of which the CSB is a summary, are largely extant for our period, and they have been used in many cases where no will exists
(III) In The English Baronetage (1741), vol IV, pp 363-80 Thomas Wotton included "A list of Persons' Names who were fit and qualified to be made Knights of the Royal Oak with the value of their estates A D 1660"
No attempt has been made to refer to trading or stockholding activities with the East India Company unless there is evidence in addition to that found in the Calendared Minutes of the Company, for without such additional evidence it is impossible to identify persons with any certainty
Property and lands have been classified rather arbitrarily as (i) in the City, (ii) in London, i e in Westminster, the out-parishes, and on other City outskirts, (III) in Southwark, (IV) under the county in which land was owned or held Wills rarely provide any information on the value or linear extent of such land, and it has therefore not been thought useful to name more than the county, (V) land held overseas
Familiar problems of terminology present themselves here Whilst fully recognising the pitfalls of such nomenclature, the bold labels "Whig" and "Tory" have been applied in the text Information on the political views of most Aldermen and Common Councilmen before the national crisis which began in the late 1670's is usually lacking When political conflict had split the City, Court supporters provided lists for the information of the central government of the sympathies of members of the Common Council Most important of these are SP/29/418/199 and 435/99-102 for the years 1682 and 1683, respectively Lists of those impanelled for the juries packed by the Whig sheriffs in 1681 (SP/29/417/112, 114, 394 (83), and SP/30/Case C, The Two Associations, 1681), and by the Tory sheriffs after Quo Warrento (H of L, MS 154 (x), (y), CRO, MS 169 17, Bodl Lib, Rawlinson MS D 734, ff 31-3, and also found in Howell's State Trials), have also been used as indicative of the jurymen's political loyalties H of L, MS 154, annexes (f), (h), and (1) give the names of those Citizens who were dismissed their Liveries by James II because they opposed the King's move to tolerate Roman Catholicism As Charles II had already purged the City Companies of Whigs and Court opponents, it follows that those Liverymen listed in the above annexes were supporters of Charles II and firm Anglicans To argue from silence, it might be said that the Liverymen who were alive in 1687 and do not appear in the annexes had been turned out previously by Charles II as opponents of the Court Annex (m) lists the Liverymen recalled by James II on 11 February 1687/8 Unless these men have previously been found in annexes (f), (h), or (l) it is likely that they were dissenters who had accepted James' appeal to support a policy of general toleration If they also appear in annexes (f), (h), or (l) they were almost certainly high Tories for whom loyalty to the Crown over-rode all other considerations
Religious attitudes are even harder to define Certainly before the Toleration act of 1689 many men practised occasional conformity to satisfy the law and respectability, whilst privately showing the attitudes of nonconformity and dissent Moreover, the post-Revolution Church of England differed from the post-Restoration Church, and many men who could not find a spiritual home in Anglicanism in 1660 could do so in 1689 The wills of the Aldermen and Common Councilmen are the most useful records for giving an indication of religious loyalties, bequests to silenced ministers and active dissenters, expressions of Calvinistic belief, apparent preoccupation with the sins of the flesh, these, singularly or together, give a clue to their views on organised religion Activities during the Interregnum are more clearly documented lists of Elders of the Presbyterian churches in the London Province are found in Sion College, MS Acc L40 2/E17 Records of the Provincial Assembly of London, 1647-60 (the Assembly's minute book), in William A Shaw, A History of the English Church during the Civil Wars and under the Commonwealth, 1640-60, II, pp 399-403 (Appdx IIIb), and in Harleian Society Publications, vols LXXXII-LXXXIII, The Register-Booke of the Fourth Classis in the Province of London, 1646-59, transcribed and ed Charles E Surman (1953)
|February 1659/60||GHL, MS 186/1, ff 1, 6|
|1687||GHL, MS 186/2, f 641|
|1688||Bodl Lib, Rawlinson MS D 862|