Pages 5-10

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section


When available the information on each person is presented as follows

I Name
II Office, ward, and period of service
III House and date or dates of residence
IV Street and date or dates of residence
V Precinct and parish, and date or dates of residence, with date of service as Church Warden
VI City Company with date of apprenticeship, name of his master, date of Freedom of the Company, date of Livery, and date as Assistant, Warden, and Master of the Company
VII Date and place of birth and baptism
VIII Date and place of death and of burial
IX Will, with Court and date of probate, or administration
X Name, place of residence, and status of father
XI Name of mother
XII Date and place of marriage(s), and name(s) of bride(s)
XIII Occupation or trade, and positions held in trading-companies, etc
XIV Extent of personal estate, investments, general wealth
XV Property and land held
XVI Knighthood, other civic offices held, and parliamentary career
XVII Political sympathies and religious alignment
XVIII Service with regiments of the City Militia, and in the Commission of the Militia
XIX Relationship to other Aldermen or Common Councilmen
XX Relationship to persons of a wider importance

To conserve space, these headings have been grouped into paragraphs of connected matter, and no space has been left where information is not available

Where it has been thought necessary, a word of explanation is given below on some of the twenty headings, to which reference is made by number

I, II.

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)

There are lists of Common Councilmen to be found among the State Papers Domestic SP/29/387/155 for 1676, SP/29/418/199 for 1682 (fn. 1), and SP/29/435/99-102 for 1683 (fn. 2)

Lastly, there are other piecemeal sources of information fortuitously met with diaries, letters, petitions, presentments, etc

The surname of an Alderman or Common Councilman always appears in capitals


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


City companies are abbreviated in capitals Unless otherwise stated, each person is a Freeman and Citizen


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

(v) The lists of Committees of the Court of the East India Company are to be found in the printed volumes of the Calendar of Court Minutes as follows

Date of publication Year of committee Page number
1916 1656-7 105
1657-8 153
1658-9 268
1659-60 333
1922 1660-1 (fn. 3) 23
1662-3 200
1663-4 306-7
1925 1664-5 31
1665-6 151
1666-7 218
1667-8 316
1925 1668-9 55
1669-70 188
1670-1 322
1932 1671-2 30
1672-3 122
1673-4 225
1935 1674-5 46-7
1675-6 175
1676-7 302
1938 1677-8 40
1678-9 176
1679-80 268


Sources used here include

(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

(II) Where there is a statement of the value of a recognised portion of a personal estate in a will it is possible to indicate the value of the whole estate

(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)


Information of service in the regiments of the City militia is taken from the following documents

February 1659/60 GHL, MS 186/1, ff i-ii Minutes of the proceedings for the Commissioners of the Militia of London
March 1660 GHL, MS 186/1, f iii
October 1660 Mercurius Publicus, I, Monday 29 October 1660, p 59
1672 BM, Stowe MS 186, ff 14(9d)-16(10d) The Present State of the Militia, 1672
1676/7 GHL, MS 186/1, ff 9-10
1678 Cal S P Dom, 1678, p 318
1681 SP/30/Case C/301 Officers in the Trained Band, 20 October 1681
1686 HMC, 10th Rept, pt IV, p 135b
July-September 1688 GHL, MS 186/2, ff 648, 650, 654

Information of service as a Commissioner of Lieutenancy is taken from the following documents

February 1659/60 GHL, MS 186/1, ff 1, 6
1676 SP/29/387/72
1677 SP/29/396/186
1681 SP/29/415/153
1687 GHL, MS 186/2, f 641
1688 Bodl Lib, Rawlinson MS D 862


Here the line has normally been drawn at first cousin, uncle, and nephew It need hardly be said that it would be possible to trace many more distant relationships


  • 1. SP/29/418/199 is twenty-one pages of a book held together by part of the spine Although each page is separately numbered, it is essentially one document, and is therefore referred to here as "/199" See p 7 for its other uses in compiling the handlist
  • 2. SP/29/435/99-102 is wrongly calendared by PRO as being of December 1683 It belongs in fact to December 1682
  • 3. Bank of England stock was also considered to belong to the real estate (see the will of Sir Patience Ward)
  • 4. The 1660-1 Committee was extended in April 1661 to sit until April 1662