CMH

CMH Research section banner

Centre for Metropolitan History

The Centre for Metropolitan History (CMH), established by the Institute in 1988, is one of the world’s leading centres for the study of the history of London and other metropolises. It specialises in innovative research projects, covering a wide range of periods, themes and problems in metropolitan history, publishing the results and data online and in print. The Centre runs a seminar, and organises workshops and conferences on many different topics in metropolitan and urban history. Staff at the Centre supervise more than a dozen PhD students and are involved in the Institute’s MA programme.

CMH News

CFP: The Global City, Past and Present - Space (14-15 May 2015)

The CMH is a member of the new AHRC International Research Network on 'The Global City: Past and Present' (http://globalcities.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/). The network seeks to promote interdisciplinary dialogue between scholars working on the history of those cities that anchored Europe's early modern empire. It will bring together scholars investigating the city in an imperial setting between 1500 and 1850 to discuss urban life in a comparative framework. Central to the discussion will be to better understand the relationship of these cities to the modern 'global city' and the associated process of globalisation.

The network is organising four workshops  - Space (St Andrews, May 2015), Political Economy (Brazil, Autumn 2015), People (London, Spring 2016) and a concluding discussion (St Andrews Autumn 2016) - and it now invites submissions for the first workshop from scholars of all humanities and social science disciplines working on the issue of 'Space' in the early modern colonial city and its modern descendants. See the full Call for Papers for details. Deadline for proposals, 30 September 2014

Records of London's Livery Companies Online (ROLLCO) Project

The ROLLCO database has recently been updated to include freedom and apprenticeship records from the Bowyers', Girdlers' and Salters' Companies, and brings the total number of individuals contained in the database to 320,000. The database can be searched at londonroll.orgThe new records include a number of notable people. To read more about them and the update, see the two-part blog.

The next ROLLCO update, due in a few weeks, will feature the membership records of the Tallow Chandlers', Founders' and Musicians' Companies.

The Curriers' Company London History Essay Prize

We are pleased to announce that applications are now invited for this essay prize, established by the Worshipful Company of Curriers' in association with the London Journal Trust and the IHR, for original research on any aspect of the history of London. Open to postgraduate students and early career researchers, the winning author will receive £1,000 and the essay will normally be published in the London Journal. See details

Metropolitan History Seminar

The seminar programme for the academic session 2013-14 has now ended, but podcasts from previous seminars are now available on the IHR website

The Medieval and Tudor London seminar will be held in the Summer Term. The full programme will be available at www.history.ac.uk/events/seminars/133 shortly.

Medieval Merchants and Money conference podcasts

Seventeen papers from our highly successful conference held last November in celebration of the work of Professor Jim Bolton (QMUL) are now online as free podcasts. We are very grateful to the speakers who have given permission to make their papers available.

Locating London's Past wins BSECS Prize

We are delighted that Locating London's Past has won the 2014 British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS) Prize for Digital Resources. This prestigious prize, sponsored by Adam Matthew Digital, is awarded annually to the best resource supporting eighteenth-century studies.  Locating London's Past was funded by a grant from the JISC e-content programme 2011, and is a partnership between the CMH, the University of Hertfordshire and the University of Sheffield. Visit the website at: http://www.locatinglondon.org

CMH Publications

A number of our publications can still be purchased online from the University of London's bookstore. Bestsellers include: The Religious Houses of London and Middlesex; Guilds, Society & Economy in London 1450-1800 and London in the 1690s: A Social Atlas. Also available are IHR Conference Series volumes: London and Beyond: Essays in Honour of Derek Keene and A History of the French in London: Liberty, Equality, Opportunity

Mobilising London's Housing Histories Conference Podcasts

Papers from the 'Mobilising London's Housing Histories: The Provision of Homes since 1850' conference, held on 27-28 June, are now available as podcasts on History SPOT

Life in the Suburbs Project

Datasets compiled by the ESRC-funded 'Life in the Suburbs: health, domesticity and status in early modern London' project are now available from the UK Data Archive: Study No 7244: Life in the Suburbs: Health, Domesticity and Status in Early Modern London, 1523-1720

Going Underground Conference Podcasts

The majority of papers given at the recent 'Going Underground: Travel Beneath the Metropolis 1863-2013' conference, marking the 150th Anniversary of the London Underground, are now available as podcasts on History SPOT

Book: London and Beyond: Essays in Honour of Derek Keene (ed. Matthew Davies and James A. Galloway)

The third title in the IHR's new conference series, London and Beyond arose from the CMH's 20th Anniversary conference in 2008, at which Derek Keene was guest of honour. Derek was the founding director of the CMH, from 2001 Leverhulme Professor of Comparative Metropolitan History (also based at the Centre) and, before his retirement in 2008, acting director of the IHR. The papers in this festschrift are written by internationally renowned and long-standing colleagues, postgraduate students, or researchers who began their careers under Derek’s guidance.  Chapters range from the effect of flooding around the Thames in the middle ages to railways in early 20th-century Paris and London. Buy

Book: Cities into Battlefields (ed. Stefan Goebel and Derek Keene)

Arising from the Centre's 2004 'Metropolitan catastrophes' conference on cities' role in warfare, Ashgate have just published Cities into Battlefields: Metropolitan Scenarios, Experiences and Commemorations of Total War.  The volume explores the cultural imprint of military conflict on metropolises world wide in the era of the First and Second World Wars and examines how the emergence of 'total' warfare blurred the boundaries between home and front. With contributions from Susan Grayzel, Peter Stansky, Patrice Higonnet, Eyal Ginio, Maureen Healey, Tim Cole, Antony Beevor, Lisa Yoneyama, Julie Higashi and Jay Winter, it is currently available at the reduced price of £58.50 (normally £65) from the Ashgate website.

Online mapping resource: Locating London's Past

The Locating London's Past website is now available at: www.locatinglondon.org. The website enables users to map information from a vast array of sources, including trial accounts from the Old Bailey, hearth tax, plague deaths and population data and even archaeological records, on to John Rocque’s 1746 map of London, now fully referenced to modern geographical coordinates. This new resource is the result of a collaborative project, funded by JISC, involving the CMH, the Universities of Sheffield and Hertfordshire, and Museum of London Archaeology (see CMH project page for details).

'The Last of the Jobbers'

‘Big Bang’ in 1986 signalled the end of the historic jobbing system of the London Stock Exchange. Jobbers were market-makers who acted as intermediaries between stockbrokers on the floor of the exchange.  Few written records are left of their activities. In 1990 the CMH undertook a series of interviews - predominantly with former jobbers but augmented by those from the point of view of brokers and financial journalists - which now form a rare resource for the history of this distinctive part of the financial life of the City.

The tapes and transcripts of the 42 interviews were originally deposited at the British Library Sound Archive (ref no. C463) for permanent archiving but they are now also available online via the University of London School of Advanced Study’s e-repository, SAS-Space.  To access the collection visit http://www.history.ac.uk/projects/jobbing.

CMH working papers volume: Tides and Floods

The five papers in Tides and floods: new research on London and the tidal Thames from the middle ages to the twentieth century (ed. James A. Galloway; CMH Working papers series no. 4) arise from a conference held in October 2009, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the London and the tidal Thames 1250-1550 research project. Written by archaeologists, historians and historical geographers, they present up-to-date work on the flood threat from the later middle ages to the 20th century, focusing upon the changing political, institutional and economic response to this environmental challenge. Also included is a preliminary report on the medieval tidal mills recently uncovered at Greenwich and Northfleet and an overview of the multi-faceted work of the Thames Discovery Programme. 80pp (illus); price £5 + £2 postage. Order a copy from the IHR Bookshop.

Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs

Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs screenshot

Want to investigate markets and fairs? Take a look at our Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516 - the first systematic national survey of the establishment and operation of markets and fairs from c.900. It contains entries for 2,400 places and lists details for more than 2,600 markets and nearly 3,000 fairs.

Register of Research in Progress

The Centre's register of research in progress on the history of London has just been updated with information on theses completed in 2009, along with some thirty new topics currently being studied.  We would like the register to be as comprehensive as possible, so if you are actively researching an aspect of London history and you wish to be added to the list, please email the Centre providing details of your research and indicating whether you are willing for your email address to be included in the entry.

 

Follow CMH_London on Twitter

London and Urban news and events

Museum of London Archaeological archive tours

Take a tour of the world's largest archaeological archive this summer, nestled in the heart of East London at 46 Eagle Wharf Road N1 7ED, just 10 minutes' walk from Old Street station. 'Archaeological zoo'  (2 & 16 August, 11 am & 2 pm) - discover some of the wild and wonderful zoological items in store at the archaeological archive, from beastly bones and skulls to ceramics, metals and mammalian miscellanea. All tours are £7.50. For details of these and other archaeological events see website

Call for Papers: Urban History Group 2015 - 'Urban Knowledge'

(University of Wolverhampton, 26-27 March)

This conference seeks to engage with a number of questions concerning the relationship between the city and knowledge. How is knowledge in, and of, the city formed and expressed? How is this knowledge used to manage and inform urban change? What constitutes 'expert' knowledge? How is knowledge contested between and within interest groups? 

Proposals are invited for individual papers as well as for panel sessions of up to 3 papers. Sessions that seek to draw comparisons across one or more countries, or open up new vistas for original research, are particularly encouraged. Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted to rebecca.madgin@glasgow.ac.uk by 30 September 2014. Full details

The Historical Association lectures and events October 2014-June 2015

The Central London Branch of the Historical Assocation has organised a varied programme of lectures, walks and other events, starting on 4 October 2014 with the Presidential Lecture on 'Remembering the First World War: a century of commemoration, 1914-2014' and ending on 21 June 2015 with a two-hour walk taking in some of the sculptures in the Square Mile. See Programme. Some events require advance booking - see Booking Form.

Book: The King's Cross Fraudster: Leopold Redpath, his life and times

This latest Camden History Society publication, by David A Hayes and Marian Kamlish, explores the life of Leopold Redpath, one of the greatest embezzlers of the 19th century, from his poverty -stricken childhood through his years of glory posing as a wealthy, affable philanthropist and art collector, to his arrest, conviction and transportation to Australia and life as a good-conduct ticket-of-leave man. A wealth of detail gives glimpses of the daily occupations, dress, furnishing and recreations of the well-to-do and the less well off in 1850s London. 188pp, 59 ill. Camden History Society 2013 £9.99 plus p&p via www.camdenhistorysociety.org

New publications on London Housing

Cat's Meat Square: Housing and Public Health in South St Pancras 1810-1910, Stephen W Job  (Camden History Society, 2012), £6.50. Buy from Camden History Society

The Development of Building Estates in Battersea 1780-1914, Keith Bailey (Wandsworth Historical Society, Wandsworth Paper 24, 2012), £6.00. Contact: ngrobson@tiscali.co.uk

Book: Whitechapel, 1600-1800: A social history of an early-modern London inner suburb (Derek Morris)

This new book by Derek Morris, published by the East London History Society, features the rich and the poor, the churches and chapels, criminals, merchants, the nurseries, the sugar refiners, brewers, the hay market, the militia and the London Hospital of this east London suburb in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. £12.60 (plus p&p). Further details and order form on the East London History Society website.

Historic Hospital Admissions Records Project (HHARP)

This project provides online access to nearly 120,000 individual admission records between 1852 and 1914 for three London children's hospitals: Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Evelina Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease, as well as the recently added Royal Glasgow Children's Hospital. Website

Wandsworth Historical Society: Wandsworth Historian Digital Archive (1971-2011)

The Wandsworth Historical Society has digitised the entire 40-year run of its popular journal, Wandsworth Historian and made it available in the form of a searchable DVD. The Wandsworth Historian Digital Archive 1971-2011 is available at £5.00 plus £1.50 postage from WHS, 119 Heythorp Street, London SW18 5BT. Cheques payable to 'Wandsworth Historical Society'. Further details.