Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section

General Guide


11: LOCAL AUTHORITIES iii) Liberties, precincts, civil parishes (including those places which formed the 'Middlesex' part of an ancient parish whose parish church lay within the City of London), and extra-parochial places


Explanatory notes on the status and location of liberties, precincts, hamlets and extra-parochial places in and near the City of London can be consulted at the Manuscripts Section's enquiry desk.

Full catalogue entries will be found in our online catalogue www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/librarycatalogue (use the “Former catalogue”). To find the entries, do a Classification search for the Manuscript number given below in bold, adding leading zeroes if necessary to give the number five digits (e.g. Ms 02298 or Ms 10050).

If the collection consists of a single document, it will be given in the following way in this guide: Ms 50; if the collection consists of more than one document, the first manuscript reference number only will be given with a dash to indicate further numbers, e.g. Ms 2309-. In order to find the entries in our online catalogue, please just enter the first number in a classification search, without a dash, e.g. Ms 02309. This search will find the collection level description which shows the full range of manuscript numbers for each collection.

The catalogue is available in hard copy at the Manuscripts Section's enquiry desk.

For records of parishes with ecclesiastical status, see Section 16(i).


BARNARD'S INN, on south side of Holborn. Overseers’ records 1882-1902 and rate assessments, 1896-1907. L 92 Ms 2298-

BRIDEWELL PRECINCT. The land immediately around first Bridewell Palace and then Bridewell Royal Hospital was an extra-parochial area. The Precinct was absorbed into the parish of St Bride Fleet Street in 1864. Vestry minutes, 1818-1908, wardens’ accounts and papers 1750-1848, poor law records 1825-36, 1886-1908, census returns 1801 and 1821, rate assessments 1733-1907. L 92 Ms 2309-. For Bridewell Chapel see section 16 (ii). For Bridewell Royal Hospital see Section 18vi

EAST SMITHFIELD, LIBERTY, being the Middlesex part of the parish of St Botolph Aldgate. Vestry minutes 1724-1841, churchwardens' accounts 1683-1715, rate assessments 1687-1871, charity records 1826-93, paving commissioners' accounts 1815-41, and other administrative papers 1736-1892. L 95.79 Ms 2534- Earlier records are contained in those of St Botolph Aldgate - see Section 16 (i). Other records are held at Tower Hamlets Library. For the Manor of East Smithfield, see Section 19

GLASSHOUSE YARD, LIBERTY, being the Middlesex part of the parish of St Botolph Aldersgate. Vestry minutes 1726-1879, and rate assessments 1844-90. L 95.29 Ms 1491-. Earlier records are contained in those of St Botolph Aldersgate - see Section 16 (i). Some rate assessments are held at London Metropolitan Archives and some later records are held by Finsbury Library.

LIBERTY OF ST MARTIN LE GRAND. Precinct of the collegiate church of St Martin le Grand dissolved at the Reformation. Precinct was within the bounds of St Leonard Foster Lane and St Anne and St Agnes. Court leet book 1615-1814. L60.3 Ms 50

LIBERTY OF THE TOWER. Before 1686 the liberties of the Tower were restricted to the area within its wall and land on Tower Hill immediately outside. 1686 Letters Patent took the Liberty out of the City’s jurisdiction and included Little Minories, the Old Artillery Ground and Well Close within it. The Liberty was divided into two precincts, Tower Within and Tower Without, which shared a courthouse and prison. Became a civil parish in 1858. 1789, 1837, 1878-95. L95.79 Tower Liberty Ms 2563-

PORTPOOL LIBERTY see St Andrew Holborn above bars with St George the Martyr Queen Square

ST ANDREW HOLBORN ABOVE BARS WITH ST GEORGE THE MARTYR QUEEN SQUARE (a civil parish created in 1767, comprising the Portpool liberty (a part of the Middlesex portion of the parish of St Andrew Holborn), part of which had formed the separate civil and ecclesiastical parish of St George the Martyr Queen Square 1723-67). Rate assessments 1864-6, and paving rate assignments 1773-5. L 94.59 Ms 10050-1 and Ms 23737/12. Other records are held at Holborn Library.

ST JAMES DUKE'S PLACE, LIBERTY. The parish of St James Duke’s Place was a former monastic precinct, constituted as a parish at the Reformation. The parish had a semi-manorial court leet which exercised some powers, primarily of paving. Records are all of the court leet. Minute books 1781-1835, account and cash books 1827-39, presentment 1825, rate assessments 1742-1844.  L92 Ms 1835-

ST KATHARINE BY THE TOWER, precinct of see Section 18 (i)

PARISH OF ST SEPULCHRE HOLBORN (Middlesex division). The Middlesex part of the parish was a separate civil parish from at least 1625 but its records have been catalogued as records of St Sepulchre Holborn. Vestry minutes 1685-1908, rate assessments 1649-1906, poor law administration 1625-1849, estates and charities 1700-1930, and paving commissioners' records 1772-1855. L 92 Ms 9078- Further records, including rate assessments 1847-1900 and poor law records are held at Finsbury Library

SERJEANTS' INN, Fleet Street. An extra-parochial place, constituted a civil parish in 1858, which was co-terminous with the Serjeants’ Inn in Fleet Street. It was on the south side of Fleet Street, adjoining the Temple precincts. Rate assessments 1873-1907 and overseers’ book 1896-1908. L92 Ms 02424-

STAPLE INN, on south side of Holborn. Rate assessments 1789-99. L 94.59 Ms 1964. Assessments 1728-71 included in Ms 9975.

THAVIES INN, on south side of Holborn, next to church of St Andrew Holborn. Vestry minutes 1889-1904, overseers’ book 1887-1908 and rate assessments 1875- 1907. L 92 Ms 2429-

WHITEFRIARS PRECINCT, precinct of Whitefriars monastery. The precinct or liberty stretched from Whitefriars Street to Temple Lane and from the Thames almost to Fleet Street. Made a civil parish in 1858. Vestry minutes 1829-56, rate assessments 1782-1907, overseers’ book 1857-1908 and papers re boundary marks and privileges 1730-1872. L 92 Ms 1036- See also Farringdon Ward rate assessments in Section 11ii


Last updated 21st February 2008

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