Sources: Corporation of London

Pages 1-11

A Survey of Documentary Sources for Property Holding in London before the Great Fire. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1985.

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The archive of the Corporation (Corporation of London Records Office, Guildhall) is the most valuable single collection of material for the topographical study of pre-Fire London. It contains a mass of administrative and judicial records with information from the mid 13C onwards relating to the properties of individual citizens, described here under the various courts or aspects of the governing body under which they were created, and also the records of 3 of the estates (Corporation, Bridge House, and Gresham) in which the Corporation had a proprietary or supervisory interest. The archives of the Royal Hospitals, of which the mayor and aldermen were governors, are located elsewhere, but see 3c below. Records of the eyres or sessions of royal justices sitting at the Tower, some copies of which survive in CLRO, are described under PRO (445) as being essentially records of central government. However, all the records relating to rebuilding after the Great Fire, now in several record offices, are described in this section (11). The survival rate of the Corporation records has been high, and many are now calendared, indexed, or usefully described, in print or MS. See also P. E. Jones and R. Smith, A Guide to the Records in the Corporation of London Records Office and the Guildhall Library Muniment Room (1950). The collections in Guildhall Library are described under 459–60 and elsewhere.

1. CLRO: charters, custumals, etc.

Charters and custumals (listed in Jones and Smith, Guide, 20–4) are of more value for the history of London in general than for particular topographical studies. 'Liber Custumarum', comp. 14C, includes charters and ordinances relating to trading in various parts of the city, some memoranda relating to benefices and tithes in 1292, details of a dispute concerning the Fishwharf c. 1321 (85), and a valuable view of the lanes leading to the Thames in 1343. 'Liber Albus', comp. bef. 1419, also contains charters and ordinances, and notes on the procedure of the Husting and other courts. Both these are printed, with introductions, as Munimenta Gildhallae Londoniensis, vols. i-iii (in 4), ed. H. T. Riley (Rolls Ser. 1859–62); the latter is also translated and printed as Liber Albus, ed. H. T. Riley (1861).

Most of the other custumals etc. are derived from these or other books, of which 'Liber Horn', comp. c. 1311, is the earliest. However, 'Liber Lynne' is a 15C cartulary, made for John Lawneye, citizen and grocer, of 13C to 15C deeds concerning King's Lynn and London (4, 19, 44, 51, 53, 103, 106); the reason for its presence among the city's archives is not clear. The Lynn section is noted in The Making of King's Lynn, vol. 3: A Survey of documentary sources for the Middle Ages, ed. D. M. Owen (British Academy, Records of Social and Economic History, n.s. ix, 1984).

2. CLRO: Court of Husting

The records of this court, which existed in the 11C or earlier, (fn. 1) begin in the 13C. It was the county court of the city, and by the mid 13C met weekly to hear common pleas, pleas of land, and the probate of testaments and enrolment of private deeds. Each of these 3 functions generated a separate set of records. Admissions to the freedom and outlawries were also recorded in the pleas of land and common pleas rolls in the 13th and 14th centuries; Misc. Roll KK is a separate roll of outlawries, 1415–17.

a. Before the end of the 12C, citizens were publicising transactions concerning land in the Husting Court. From the mid 13C, deeds and wills were read at the weekly Husting Court and copied (at first in abstract and by the mid 14C verbatim) into a series of 388 rolls, 1252 to date. Enrolment of deeds was a particularly popular way of registering title (having the force of a fine in common law) between the late 13C and the early 15C. Some 30,000 deeds and wills had been enrolled by 1700, but very few enrolments were made thereafter. (fn. 2) The wills are calendared and printed, with an introduction, as Calendar of Wills proved and enrolled in the Court of Husting, London, 1258–1688, ed. R. R. Sharpe (1889–90); see 529a. The deeds are briefly calendared by Sharpe in 9 MS vols., and the calendars indexed by names and places in 5 MS vols., in CLRO. Sharpe's calendar entries commonly omit second or subsequent properties recorded in deeds. For the acknowledgement of leases in Husting, see 3a.

b. Common pleas were heard alternate weeks by the Court of Husting. Pleas of nam (unjust distraint) provide most topographical information; pleas of execution of testament and dower can be valuable, but parishes are not always named. Agreements and otherwise unrecorded deeds may be included. Pleas of error, intrusion, and nuisance were also entered but not usually heard. The 172 rolls (1272–1506) are not indexed, but much useful information can be gathered by scanning them.

c. Pleas of Land were heard alternate weeks by the Court of Husting. The sessions were distinguished by their cognizance of pleas begun under writs of right patent, which can provide much topographical and tenurial information, although parishes are not always given. Of similar value are the pleas of dower, execution of testament, and mort d'ancestor. All these may include details of otherwise unrecorded deeds. Pleas of intrusion and nuisance were also entered, but not usually heard, although the relevant parishes are usually named. From 1461 onwards the rolls (nos. 168–216) contain only actions, presumably fictitious, under writs of right and leading to recoveries. These actions are briefly calendared by Sharpe in a MS volume, where the entries sometimes fail to list all the locations given in the original. There is a separate index to the names and places given in the calendar. There is no guide to the contents of the earlier rolls (1–167, from 1273), but much of value can be gathered by scanning them. Mayor's Court Original Bills file 5C is a bundle of writs relating to the Husting Court, Pleas of Land, 1569–71.

d. Husting Books: 10 vols. cover the periods 1448–86 and 1506–1680. These provide a record of the meetings of the Court of Husting with notices of both common pleas and pleas of land; parishes are given, but not details of pleading. They also record admissions of aliens to the liberty. Earlier notes of meetings of the court are in Journals (see 3b) vols. 3 and 4. There is no guide to the contents.

3. CLRO: Court of Common Council and Court of Aldermen

a. Letter Books: 50 vols., 1275–1689, so called from the letters of the alphabet by which they have been known since the fourteenth century. Books A to L, 1275–1498, are calendared by R. R. Sharpe, as Calendar of Letter Books A–L (1899–1912), and the series is described principally in his introduction to Letter Book A. Full translations of many extracts from Books A to I are in Memorials of London and London Life in the XIIIth, XIVth, and XVth Centuries, ed. H. T. Riley (1868). The books contain the earliest proceedings of the Court of Common Council and the Court of Aldermen.

The greater part of books A and B consists of sections of a register of recognizances of debts, 1275–94 and 1310–13. This has no connection with the rolls of recognizances kept by the city under the provisions of the statute of Acton Burnel (CLRO, Recognizance Rolls 1–12, 1285–1392; location 241A) which contain no references to real property. Books A and B also include sections of a register of leases of privately-owned properties acknowledged in the Court of Husting during 1281–3, 1295, and 1299–1300. Book B includes copies of the now lost coroners' rolls for 1275–8. These two books appear to have been made up during the reign of Edward II out of the fragmentary remains of series of records which no longer exist independently. Both books also contain contemporary and later memoranda of interest to the city authorities. Later books form a more uniform series in which it was intended to enter matters of general interest, sometimes described as communia memoranda. Up to the end of the reign of Edward III (Book G), these incl. many records of private deeds and leases entered in chronological order among ordinances, oaths, and other business. Bound in with book D is a register of apprenticeships.

The nature of the communia memoranda varies a good deal over the period covered by the books. From book H onwards there are few private deeds, although matters concerning the common soil and the tenements of the Bridge and the Corporation itself are regularly entered. Cases arising from the city's responsibility for orphans (cf. 7) are frequently recorded and are sometimes informative on real property as well as chattels. From c. 1400 onwards the books contain little information on property holding. Much of the uncalendared series (M onwards) consists of fair copies of extracts from the Journals (b, below) and the Repertories (c, below), or orphanage matters.

Sharpe's Calendars provide a compressed but accurate guide to the contents of the books, but details of properties are often omitted; the indexes are in general adequate for topographical purposes. There is a 19C MS index to the whole series in 2 vols.: this is of little direct use for topographical purposes, although the headings 'streets and lanes', 'nuisances', 'buildings', and 'leases' can lead to valuable material. The 'card calendar to property references' in CLRO is a useful means of access to unpublished Letter Books before 1596, and covers private as well as corporation properties. There are, however, some valuable refs. which are not identified in either of these finding aids.

b. Journals: 46 vols. cover 1416–1669. To 1495 these contain the proceedings of both the Court of Common Council and the Court of Aldermen, and from 1495 those of the Common Council only. Vols. 3 and 4 also record meetings of the Husting Court (cf. 2d). Two vols. of a 19C MS index cover the Journals for 1416–1694. Its design and coverage is similar to that for the Letter Books (a, above), and in addition the headings 'encroachments' and 'churches' can provide valuable leads; the heading 'leases' includes corporation properties, for which locations are given. Use should also be made of the 'card calendar' (see a, above), covering the period c. 1500–1596. There is, however, no complete guide to topograpical refs. in the Journals.

c. Repertories: 77 vols. cover 1495–1672. These contain the proceedings of the Court of Aldermen and are the main record of the administrative work of the city, including matters concerning the common soil and tenements. The first 5 vols. of a 19C MS index cover the period. Its design is similar to those for the Letter Books and Journals (a and b, above), but it enables a great deal of topographical material to be identified. For the period to 1596, use should also be made of the 'card calendar' (see a, above). Some of the 19C indexes are less adequate than others, and in order to remedy this deficiency the compiler of the 'card calendar' made a particularly thorough search of Repertories 20–3.

In the late 16C separate series of records were established for administrative decisions concerning the lands of the Corporation (13), the Bridge (14), and the royal hospitals (see 100, 102, 226, 404, 409) but records of those decisions continued to be entered in the Repertories.

d. Remembrancia, 1579–1664. These are books of copies of correspondence, petitions, etc., principally to and from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, relating to various subjects. The Analytical index to the series of records known as the Remembrancia. . . . A.D. 1579–1664 (1878), contains brief calendars, arranged by subject, of the contents of the series; subject headings include concealed lands, encroachments, leases, streets, walls, and ditches, Thames.

4. CLRO: Mayor's Court

This court dealt chiefly with actions relating to trade and commerce, and the topographical interest of the records is largely in the information they contain about the locations of commercial activities, and in the inventories for debt etc. of tradesmen's stock. The surviving rolls are published with introductions as Early Mayor's Court Rolls of the City of London, 1298–1307, ed. A. H. Thomas (1924), and Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London, 1323–1482, 6 vols., ed. A. H. Thomas (1926–43) and P. E. Jones (1954–61).

There are also files of original bills, for the early 14C to mid 15C, and from 1560 to 1725. The medieval files (1–4) are mostly calendared on cards, with an index to the contents of some of the calendars. The 16C and later files (5–175 to c. 1670) have been sorted and arranged but are not indexed. Many were lost in the Royal Exchange fire of 1838. By the 16C the cases concern debt and trespass, and include cases transferred from the Sheriffs' Court, and occasional writs for the Husting Court. There is a 20C MS introduction, with examples, to the class, and a list of cases containing schedules of goods (noting date, parties, kind of goods); the list also contains notes on some other kinds of case. There is a subject-index to the list. References in cases to the parishes of 48, 64 are fictitious; other parishes referred to in the subject index are 15, 21, 34, 45, 62, 81, 83, 85, 95, 104, 155.

5. CLRO: Mayor as Escheator

a. Escheat Rolls (Misc. Rolls EE, GG, HH), 1342–76, 1388–9: rolls of writs and inquisitions (post mortem and miscellaneous) held by the mayor as escheator, most but not all duplicated in PRO, Chancery Inquisitions files. TS calendar, indexes, and introduction by H. M. Chew (CLRO 205C); see also H. M. Chew, 'Mortmain in Medieval London', EHR 60 (1945), 1–15. For the mayor's a/c for escheated estates, 1416–17, see PRO, E136/108/14 (437).

b. Inquisitions Post Mortem (Misc. Roll LL), 1619–20: no list or index; some but probably not all duplicated in PRO.

6. CLRO: Coroners' Rolls

These contain topographical as well as biographical detail. Letter book B (see 3a) includes copies of the now lost coroners' rolls for 1275–8.

a. Coroners' Rolls A–I, 1300–78: calendared and indexed by R. R. Sharpe, Calendar of Coroners' Rolls of the City of London (1913).

b. Coroner's Roll J, 1590: inquisitions held in the following parishes: 10, 15, 18, 34, 38, 43, 46, 47 (incl. Newgate gaol), 54, 62, 78, 80, 85, 96, 127, 152.

7. CLRO: Court of Orphans

The Court of Orphans supervised the administration and distribution of the goods of freemen who died leaving children under age. It did not deal with real property, but its records include over 2000 inventories (c. 1600–1760) of personal estates, including household and trade goods grouped by rooms. Many inventories give the parish in which the house lay, but the index covers freemen's names only. See C. H. Carlton, 'The administration of London's Court of Orphans', Guildhall Miscellany vol. 4, no. 1 (1971), 22–35; Jones and Smith, Guide, 68, 74–5.

8. CLRO: assize of nuisance

The proceedings of the assize, held by the mayor and aldermen to settle disputes, usually between neighbours and concerning nuisances caused by buildings or occupational use, contain much useful topographical information. The records (Misc. Rolls DD, EE, II) are calendared in London Assize of Nuisance 1301–1431, ed. H. M. Chew and W. Kellaway (LRS 10, 1973).

9. CLRO: possessory assizes

By the 14C possessory assizes in London consisted chiefly of pleas of disseisin, of rents as well as of lands and tenements, and were held by the coroner and sheriffs (later by the sheriffs alone). The surviving records ('Mort d'ancestor rolls' AA–FF, 1340–1451, and individual pleas 1317, 1380, 1470, 1583–1603) are calendared in London Possessory Assizes, a Calendar, ed. H. M. Chew (LRS 1, 1965).

10. CLRO: viewers' reports

In cases where citizens were disputing some non-tenurial matter concerning property (party walls, lights, nuisance, etc.), the mayor and aldermen could direct the city's sworn viewers (usually building craftsmen) to make a detailed view or survey of the properties or matters concerned. The CLRO Viewers' Reports are copies of these surveys, covering many parishes, kept by the city; other copies of the same may survive in the archives of the parties to a dispute.

a. Reports 1508–57 (file, envelopes, and loose certificates, in Bound File 204A and Misc. MSS Box 91): at present (1983) not indexed, but being calendared and edited in a forthcoming volume for LRS by Janet Loengard. Reports ('Presentments') 1623–36 (roll or file, Box 204A): TS list in CLRO. Reports 1659–1704 (vols. and Misc. MSS): TS index, by street or parish, in CLRO.

11. CLRO: records relating to the Great Fire

Special powers were granted to cope with the problems of rebuilding the city after the Fire; the records of the bodies exercising these powers survive in CLRO, GL, and BL. See T. F. Reddaway, The rebuilding of London after the Great Fire (1940); Jones and Smith, Guide, 75–6.

a. Fire Court Decrees. The Court of Judicature appointed to determine differences between landlords and tenants as to rebuilding after the Great Fire, established by statute 18 & 19 Chas. II c. 7, met at Cliffords Inn from 1667 until 1676. Its judgments or decrees survive as BL, Add. MSS 5063–5103 (paper copies or originals, rebound as 41 vols. c. 1843) and CLRO, Fire Court Decrees A–I (contemp. engrossments in 9 parchment vols.). The decrees are in a slightly different order in the 2 series, and a few survive in one series and not the other. CLRO vols. A–D are calendared, with introduction and cross-references to BL vols., as The Fire Court, ed. P. E. Jones (2 vols., 1966, 1970). MS calendar and index of CLRO vol. E, by P. E. Jones, is available in CLRO. BL, Add. MS 14331 is a 'Tabular Analysis' or summary calendar, with index, of the contents of the BL vols. (microfilm of calendar but not index in CLRO, mf. 1967/23). CLRO, 'Alphabetical Table' is a companion vol. to the CLRO vols. of decrees, listing the contents of each alphabetically by petitioner's name. Decrees in CLRO vols. F—I for specific properties or parishes can be identified by using the 'Tabular Analysis' microfilm and the 'Alphabetical Table' in conjunction. In addition, many private archives include paper copies of decrees relating to individual properties.

b. Surveys of building plots. The Rebuilding Acts empowered the city's official surveyors (Robert Hooke, Peter Mills, and John Oliver) to determine, by survey and certification, the foundations on which individuals could rebuild their houses. Few original survey certificates survive. Transcripts of Mills's and Oliver's notebooks (or of 17C transcripts of the same), containing draft surveys and some memoranda, were made c. 1720: only these 18C transcripts now survive (GL, MS 84). Hooke's notebooks were not transcribed and do not survive. Payments of fees for foundation surveys were recorded chronologically in CLRO, Chamberlain's Foundation Day Book (3 vols., 1667–96), and, arranged alphabetically by street, in CLRO, Chamberlain's Foundations Posting Book (1667–76). The 18C transcripts of Mills's and Oliver's surveys are reproduced, and the Foundations Posting Book transcribed, with introduction and index, as The Survey of Building Sites in the City of London by Peter Mills and John Oliver, ed. P. E. Jones and T. F. Reddaway (LTS 97–9, 101, 103, 1962–6).

c. Deeds and papers, including foundation surveys, relating to properties and slips of land acquired by the City after the Fire by compulsory purchase for street improvements are described under 13.

d. Coal Duty Accounts. An extraordinary duty on coal imports to London was granted to the City to finance public works, including the purchase of land for street widening, new markets, etc. Payments for these purposes are listed in chronological order in Coal Duty a/c bk. 1 (1669–79), ff. 94–176. Bk. 4 is an abridged copy of bk. 1, to 1672; bk. 5, f. 45 et seqq., is a rough version of bk. 1, to 1674, usually with rather less information, but occasionally including more.

12. CLRO: assessments

Several general, ward, and parish assessments, almost all of late 17C date, are in CLRO: see GL handlist London Rate Assessments and Inhabitants Lists in GL and CLRO (2nd edn. 1968). See also the assessment of ecclesiastical property in the city, 1392 (CLRO, 239A), calendared in The Church in London 1375–92, ed. A. K. McHardy (LRS 13, 1977).

13. CLRO: corporation estate

Many of the corporation's properties were associated with the walls and gates of the city or were originally waste ground in the streets and next to the defensive circuit. The value of the estate was much increased by private encroachments on to public ground during the 16C and 17C, but nevertheless included many houses and quit-rents on private ground. Many properties were acquired after the Great Fire for street improvements. For an account of the estate in the early 14C, see LBC, 237–9. For the 15C and 16C, see the Letter Books (3a), Journals (3b), Repertories (3c). In CLRO search room there is a card calendar, arranged topographically, of refs. to properties in the Repertories, Journals, and unpublished Letter Books before 1596. Comprehensive records of the management of the estate survive only from the late 16C onwards. Between then and the late 17C the corporation had holdings in: 2, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 25, 26, 30, 32, 37, 38, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 49, 51, 53, 54, 56, 58, 59, 62, 67, 70, 74, 77, 78, 80, 81, 83, 85, 87, 88, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 99, 100, 101, 104, 105, 108, 111, 112, 113, 116, 117, 118, 119, 123, 124, 127, 128, 129, 132, 135, 137, 141, 144, 145, 149, 150, 151, 152, 155, 157, 158, 159, precinct of Whitefriars.

The records are in CLRO.

a. Comptroller's (City Lands) Deeds: principally leases of city lands, but also deeds and other papers, 16C to 19C (few before 1600, most after 1666), arranged in boxes in numerical (1–1076) and alphabetical (A–W) sequences, both with gaps. A card index to the contents of this series, arranged by streets and parishes, is at present being compiled in CLRO; it covers boxes 1–171, 173–4, and A–H. The unindexed boxes in the numerical series contain principally 19C and 20C material. Several boxes contain records of a special character. The unindexed Box K contains post-Fire surveyors' certificates, none of which were entered in the later registers (3b). Most of these certificates concern lands bought and sold for improving the city streets and the Fleet Channel after the Great Fire, but a few concern the foundations of private houses; there is a modern topographical index in the list entitled 'City Lands Committee Papers, 1666–1704' in CLRO search room. The unindexed Box L contains 'expired' 16C–17C deeds and bonds (4, 25, 118, Bishopsgate Street, Leadenhall, Southwark). The unindexed Boxes M and N contain conveyances to the city of lands taken into the streets after the Fire. A guide to the contents of all the boxes which then existed, entitled 'A Numerical General Index', was compiled c. 1701; it contains brief records of a number of items which have since been lost.

b. City Lands Grant Books, 1–4, 1589–1672: minutes of the City Lands Committee, including brief notices of leases, encroachments, views, petitions, etc.; there is a card index of places and persons up to 1612; vol. 1 (1589–1615) also incl. self-contained lists of surrenders of leases and licences to assign. Surrenders of City Lands Leases, 1630–93 (location: 34B), 2 vols. now bound as one: abstracts of surrendered leases and of licences to assign. City Leases, c. 1660–90 (location: 111D), 1 vol. comp. c. 1690: abstract of leases (most after 1666) under topographical headings. Copies of Deeds, c. 1650–1700 (location: 111D), 9 vols., comp. late 17C: abstracts and copies of city leases, deeds, and other papers.

c. Chamber Accounts 2: a/cs and draft rental of corporation estate, 1584–6, incomplete but rebound in reconstructed order; restored text of a/cs, but not rental, published as Chamber Accounts of the Sixteenth Century, ed. Betty R. Masters (LRS 20, 1984). There are also separate rentals for 1655 (Misc. MS 157.20) and 1660 (location: 37C). City Cash Accounts vols. 1–13, 1633–70: incl. detailed rental for each year (incl. receipts of quit-rents and rents for encroachments), receipts of fines on leases (incl. share of fines due to corporation as governor of the London hospitals, and, by the mid 17C, fines for Bridge House properties), and payments of quit-rents. Bodl, MS Rawl. B 385 incl. extensive repair a/cs c. 1630 for work at 70 and Newgate, Tower Hill, Walbrook.

d. Plans. The most useful early collections are: 'Plans of City Lands and Bridge House Properties', 2 vols. comp. c. 1680–1720 with a modern index; survey of the city wall and adjacent properties by William Leybourn, 1676 (Plan Drawer G. 6); survey of the public markets by William Leybourn, 1677 (Plan Drawer 92C; see Betty R. Masters, The Public Markets of the City of London surveyed by William Leybourn in 1677 (LTS 117, 1974)); Surveyor's City Lands Plans vol. 3 (plans of corporation properties in the city c. 1841). From c. 1675 most leases of City Lands and some of Bridge House properties include plans; those relating to City Lands may be identified from the card index to the Comptroller's Deeds (see above, a). CLRO contains in addition several large collections of loose plans dating from the late 16C onwards (mostly late 18C and 19C); most of these, including nearly all the earlier ones, are listed under topographical headings in the card index in the search room; vols. 3–6 of the Surveyor's City Lands Plans are not covered by this index, but their contents are listed in separate files in the search room; the contents of Surveyor's Bridge House Estates Plans vol. 1 (18C London plans) are neither indexed nor listed.

14. CLRO: Bridge House estate

London Bridge was maintained and repaired out of an income derived from a large estate in the city (including the houses on the Bridge) and elsewhere, from dues from the Stocks Market, and from tolls from ships and carts. The city estate was made up of properties (referred to in a/cs as 'proper rents') and quit-rents. The former changed little from the mid 14C to the 17C, but many quit-rents were lost in the 15C or 16C, and a number of new ones acquired in the mid 16C. Unless otherwise stated these estates were as follows:

A (properties): 2, 4, 11, 14, 27, ?29, ?30, 37, 47, 51, 53, 58, 59, 62, 83, 85, 89, 90, 108, 112, 118, 128, 137, Bridge, Dowgate, Minories.

B (quit-rents): 2, 4, 9, 12, 14, 21, ?29, 32, 37, 44, 46, 49, 53, 56, 78, 80, 83, 85, 87, 92, 94, 98, 99, 101, 103, 108, 118, 119, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 144, 145, 155, 156, 157, Fleet Hill, Paternoster Row.

Unless otherwise stated, the records are in CLRO. There is a TS catalogue (1933), by A. H. Thomas, and many of the records are calendared, listed, or indexed in MS.

a. Deeds. Portfolios A—K: deeds, 13C to 18C, with 20C MS calendar, cross-references to Large Register (below, c), and index (11, 12, 21, 27, 29, 30, 32, 37, 43, 45, 46, 47, 49, 51, 53, 58, 59, 62, 71, 75, 80, 83, 85, 87, 89, 90, 92, 101, 108, 112, 118, 122, 124, 125, 128, 129, 132, 137, 145, 152, 156, 157, Baynards Castle, Colechurch Street, Eastcheap, St. Paul's). Miscellaneous Deeds 1–239: deeds and leases, 14C to 18C, with 20C MS calendar and index (11, 13, 14, 37, 43, 47, 51, 58, 62, 78, 85, 112, 118, 128, 137, 145, 147, 155, Bridge, Cornhill, Paternoster Row).

b. Comptroller's (Bridge House) Leases: 16C to 19C (estate A). A card index to the contents of this series, arranged by modern street names, is maintained by the Comptroller and City Solicitor but is not available to the general public. Enquiries should be made at CLRO.

c. Small Register: cartulary, comp. 14C to 16C, of deeds, wills, 13C to 16C (2, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 21, 29, 32, 37, 44, 45, 49, 51, 53, 56, 59, 61, 72, 83, 85, 87, 89, 90, 98, 101, 108, 112, 118, 122, 124, 125, 128, 129, 137, 141, 145, 149, 157, Bridge, Candlewick Street, Colechurch Street); also incl. rental, 1358, and 15C plan (112); 20C MS calendar and index to deeds etc. not incl. in Portfolio Deeds A–K, Miscellaneous Deeds, or Large Register. Large Register: cartulary, comp. early 16C and later, of deeds, wills, 13C to 17C (as Small Register, except for 72, Candlewick Street; also 27, 43, 46, 58, 73, 74, 75, 80, 92, 123, 152, 155, Old Change, Paternoster Row, Thames Street); 20C MS calendar and index to deeds etc. not incl. in Portfolio Deeds A–K and Miscellaneous Deeds. Grant Book, 1570–1622: memoranda of leases (estate A).

d. Small Register (not foliated): incl. rental, 1358. Bridgemasters' a/c rolls, 1382–94, 1395–8, 1405–6: annual receipts (total), details of arrears, vacancies, repairs; 20C MS transcript, index, and introduction. Bridge House Rentals, vols. 1–21, 1404–1666 (full MS translation and transcript of vol. 3): rentals and a/cs, detailed receipts and expenditure; quit-rent receipts not listed in detail from c. 1464 to 1557, but quit-rents in long arrears listed to c. 1485, then omitted. Weekly Payment Books, 1st series, vols. 1–4 (1405–45), 2nd series, vols. 1–3 (1505–38), 3rd series, vols. 1–11 (1552–5, 1575–6, 1594–1634, 1643–77): details of weekly expenditure incl. payment of wages, quit-rents, repairs to Bridge; some notes of misc. receipts; MS index to 1st series, vols. 1–2 (1404–21) with index to Bridgemasters' a/c rolls, above. Cash Books, vols. 1–7, 1602–67: weekly receipts and payments, incl. rents, but few details of properties. Bodl, MS Tanner 121, ff. 118–35: rental, 1632. For fines from Bridge House properties, see City Cash Accounts, vols. 1–13 (1633–70), described under 13c.

e. Bridge House Grant Book, 1570–1622: memoranda of leases granted; name index. Bridge House Committee Journals, vols. 1–2, 1622–57, 1665–80: memoranda of leases granted; incomplete name index, 20C place index to vol. 1. Book of Orders, 1611–1741: reports to and orders of Court of Aldermen concerning Bridge House property, incl. lease decisions. 'Account of Materials sold', vol. 1, 1614–30: incl. diary of repairs and views (Bridge, Paternoster Row), memoranda of sealing of leases. See also 3a, 3c.

f. For plans, see 13d.

15. CLRO: Gresham estate

The city of London shared responsibility for and revenues from Gresham College (in 64, 148) and the Royal Exchange (32, 48, 124) with the Mercers' Company; the majority of the records, from the 16C, are at Mercers' Hall (47).

a. CLRO, Gresham Estate 'Cash Books 1' (1659–70) and 'Journals 1' (from 1662): rough daily and quarterly a/cs for rents and fines (totalled) and payments, incl. salaries and workmen's wages. Ibid. 'Ledgers 1' (1665–80): first surviving vol. of full a/cs, incl. annual rentals, total receipts from fines; expenditure incl. repairs to Exchange and College; Exchange business and tenants moved to College for some years after the Fire. Ibid., 'Book of Fines for leases' (1654–61): fines for leases of shops at Royal Exchange, arranged chronologically.


  • 1. . F. M. Stenton, 'Norman London' in Preparatory to Anglo Saxon England, ed. D. M. Stenton (1970), 30–1.
  • 2. . The rolls from 1717 to 1838 were destroyed in the fire at the Royal Exchange. Enrolments in the 19C and 20C are of a different character.