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External links

London archives and record offices

The National Archives (TNA)

Holds, among many other sources, the tax records of central government, including the Hearth Tax and the Tudor Subsidies, and also the wills and probate records for the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Electronic versions of the PCC wills can be purchased online.

Guildhall Library (GL)

The Manuscripts Section holds the deposited archives of most of the city livery companies, and the records of Christ's Hospital; the Printed Books Section has a collection of Bills of Mortality and some other early printed works.

London Metropolitan Archives (LMA)

Now holds most of the Corporation of London's records (local government activity; some taxation records, including the city returns to the Marriage Duty tax; wills proved in the Court of Husting; many records relating to the Great Fire; and records of the City's own estates) and most of the diocese of London's archive including parish registers and parish records for the city and Middlesex, and the diocesan probate and church court records. The prints and drawings collection formerly at Guildhall Library is also now at LMA.

The British Library (BL), Manuscripts

The manuscript collections contain an array of London sources, including records of the Fire Court, and the writings of early modern Londoners such as Nehemiah Wallington and Richard Smyth.

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Maps of early modern London

There are few maps of sixteenth-century London, and all seem to relate to or derive from a copperplate map made in c. 1550, of which just three plates are known to survive, now in the Museum of London. A reduced version of the copperplate map was included in a folio volume published in 1572 by Braun and Hogenberg. A woodcut version, with some amendments, was published in the seventeenth century.

Several new maps were made in the second half of the seventeenth century. Wenceslas Hollar began a large-scale and very detailed map in c. 1658, but never completed it, publishing only one sheet, though he may well have drawn on his work for the map he produced of the city shortly after the Fire of 1666.

The map by Ogilby and Morgan of the city rebuilt, in 1676, was a new, large-scale plan (100 ft to the inch, or 1:1200), and unlike its predecessors a ground-plan rather than a map-view. Ogilby and Morgan's map does not go far beyond the city, and Morgan's map of London in 1682, at 300 ft to the inch (1:3600), gives a better sense of the spreading metropolis. On a smaller scale, and less accurate, but useful for a wide overview, is the map published by James de la Feuille of London c. 1690.

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Links to other resources

British History Online

Has several sources for early modern London, including the 'Cheapside Gazetteer' of the property histories by the Social and Economic Study of Medieval London (8), selections from the Hearth Tax returns for the Cheapside parishes (15, 16), a listing of households in 1638 (176), and an index to the Marriage Duty assessments for the parishes within the walls (31).

The Old Bailey Sessions Proceedings

Presents printed records of trials at the Old Bailey between 1674 and 1834 in a fully searchable form.


Gives access to images of numerous paintings, maps, prints and drawings of London from the City of London's collection in Guildhall Library and Guildhall Art Gallery.

The Museum of London

The Tudor and Stuart collections represent most aspects of the changing structure of urban society this period, with domestic furnishings (especially ceramics), dress and wearing accessories, weapons, and coins. The 'Cheapside hoard' is an exceptional collection of jewellery from the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. For the picture library see

London's Past Online

A comprehensive bibliography for the history of London, funded by the AHRC Resource Enhancement Scheme, award no. RE/AN8717/APN13604. Please note that London's Past Online has now been incorporated in the subscription-only Bibliography of British and Irish History.

Harleian Society

Has edited and published a useful number of London parish registers, and also the Heralds' Visitations of early modern London, including the last one in 1687. CDs of some earlier publications are available.

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