Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section

General Guide

18: INSTITUTIONS (i) Religious foundations

This section includes monasteries, theological colleges, home and overseas missions, religious fraternities etc.

For other surviving records of monasteries in London consult G.R.C. Davis, "Medieval Cartularies of Great Britain" (London 1958) and a website maintained by University College London,

For records of chantries, including those of St Paul's Cathedral, City of London parish churches and livery companies, do a classification search for L 16.6 on our online catalogue (use the “Former catalogue”).

For religious societies and church guilds see Section 21.

Full catalogue entries will be found in our online catalogue (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 05535 or Ms 10542).

If the collection consists of a single document, it will be given in the following way in this guide: Ms 31692; 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 15673-. 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 34978. 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.


CITY LAY AGENCY ASSOCIATION, first known as the City Parochial Lay Agency Association: met at Sion College, q.v.; its agents were to read the scriptures and promote Christian education in the parishes or districts assigned to them. 1853-5 (minute book only). L 14.6 Ms 10542




COMMONWEALTH AND CONTINENTAL CHURCH SOCIETY of 4 Serjeants Inn, Fleet Street (1851-4); 9 Serjeants Inn, Fleet Street (1855-1941); 6 Salisbury Square EC4 (1942-5); 13 Victoria Street SW1 (1946-59); 7 York Buildings WC2 (1960-74); and 175 Tower Bridge Road SE1 (from 1975). Formed in 1851 by the uniting of two earlier societies:- a) the Colonial Church Society (established 1835 as the Western Australia Church Missionary Society, becoming in 1836 the Australian Church Missionary Society and in 1838 the Colonial Church Society) and b) the Newfoundland School Society (established in 1823, becoming in 1829 the Newfoundland and British North American Society for the Education of the Poor and in 1846 the Church of England Society for the Education of the Poor in Newfoundland and the Colonies, but frequently referred to as the Newfoundland School Society). Known as the Colonial Church and School Society (1851-61); Colonial and Continental Church Society (1861- 1958); Commonwealth and Continental Church Society (1958-79); and from 1979 as the Intercontinental Church Society. Its principal object was the provision of Anglican clergymen, missionaries and schoolteachers for territories of the British Empire and Commonwealth overseas and for communities of British residents in Europe.

1823-1974 (records of administration, fund raising and other supporting activities in the UK, as well as of the Society's work overseas. Mostly from 1851, but also a few pre-1851 records of both predecessor societies, chiefly annual reports). L 10.062 Ms 15673-

See also Section 15 (i) for records of Anglican chaplaincies in Europe administered by the society on behalf of the Diocese of London and from 1842 also for the Diocese of Gibraltar.

FRATERNITY (AND SORORITY) OF CORPUS CHRISTI (later the Skinners’ Company). Ordinances (made 1365/6) and annual lists of wardens and members, 1485-1586, recorded in Ms 31693 (Skinners’ Company Book of the Fraternity of Corpus Christi, circa 1485-1734).

FRATERNITY (AND SORORITY) OF THE ASSUMPTION OF OUR LADY (later the Skinners’ Company). Ordinances and annual lists of wardens and members, 21 Richard II to 1549, recorded in Ms 31692 (Skinners’ Company Book of the Fraternity of the Assumption of Our Lady, circa 1441-1689).


FRATERNITY OF ST ANTONIN (or Pepperers' Fraternity), (later the Grocers' Company). The Fraternity of St. Antonin was founded in 1345, though a Pepperers Guild, a forerunner of the Grocers’ Company, existed from at least late 12th century. Ordinances, admissions and wardens' accounts from 1345 on (with gaps) are recorded in Ms 11570 (Grocers' Company memorandum and ordinance book, 1345-1463).

FRATERNITY OF ST CLEMENT (later the Founders' Company). There are references to this fraternity in Ms 6330/1 (Founders' Company wardens' account book, 1497-1577).

FRATERNITY OF ST ELIGIUS (ALIAS ST ELOY), (later the Blacksmiths', Farriers' and Loriners' Companies). Copy ordinances, 1424, recorded in Ms 5535 and inventory, 1496, recorded in Ms 2883/1. L 37.01 . Part of the archives of the Blacksmiths' Company - see Section 18 (ii).

FRATERNITY OF ST JAMES, (or Hatmakers' Company) (later the Haberdashers' Company). Copy ordinances 1501. L 37.01 Ms 15838. Part of the archives of the Haberdashers' Company - see Section 18 (ii).

FRATERNITY OF ST KATHERINE THE HOLY VIRGIN, (later the Spurriers' Company). Copy ordinances 1421. L 37.01 Ms 5535. Part of the archives of the Blacksmiths' Company - see Section 18 (ii).

FRATERNITY OF ST NICHOLAS (later the Parish Clerks' Company). Bede roll 1449-1521 (on permanent loan to the Museum of London, but a microfilm copy is available). L 37.01 Ms 4889. Part of the archives of the Parish Clerks' Company - see Section 18 (ii).

FRATERNITY OF ST SIMON AND ST JUDE, (later the Shipwrights' Company). Copy ordinances 1456-83. L 37.01.Recorded in Ms 4600. Part of the archives of the Shipwrights' Company - see Section 18 (ii).

FRATERNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION (later the Weavers' Company). Ordinances 1378-9. L 37.01.Recorded in Ms 4645. Part of the archives of the Weavers' Company - see Section 18 (ii).

HOLY TRINITY ALDGATE/MINORIES, priory of see Section 26


NEW ENGLAND COMPANY, a missionary society, established in 1649 and chartered in 1662 as the "Company for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America". Its missionary activities were funded by estates in England, especially in Essex. After the American War of Independence, the Company focussed on native tribes in Canada and also on the West Indies. 1649-1987 including charters 1662, 1899, 1961; court and committee minutes 1655-1987 (gaps); financial records 1649-1979; estate and other records 1649-1976; deeds 1543-1987. (Some records are held only in the form of microfilm or xerox copies of originals held locally in North America). L 10.062 Ms 7908-


ST KATHARINE BY THE TOWER, HOSPITAL. Founded circa.1148 by Queen Matilda on land near the Tower of London formerly belonging to the Augustinian priory of Holy Trinity Aldgate; it became a royal peculiar in 1442, the governing body of the precinct of St Katherine by the Tower, exempt from the secular jurisdiction of the City of London and the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop of London; its chapel acted as a parish church for the inhabitants of the precinct, but it was never formally established as such. In 1825, the hospital, most of the houses in the Precinct and some in the adjacent parish of St Botolph Aldgate were compulsorily purchased and cleared away for the building of St Katharine’s Dock. A retirement residence and school were built in Regent’s Park. The hospital was re-founded in 1914 in Poplar as the Royal College of St Katharine. The College was reconstituted as the Royal Foundation of St Katharine in 1948 and moved then to buildings in Butcher Row, Ratcliff, where a new chapel was dedicated in 1952. 1292-2003 (arranged as below). L 16.51 Ms 2554-

1292-1948 Constitution and regulation (1292 charter includes text of charter of 1273)

1599-2000 Administration

1598-1891 Precinct administration *

1584-1946 Registers of baptisms 1584-1946, marriages 1584-1924 and burials 1584-1854

1686-1802 Marriage licensing records (incomplete)

1583-1869 Commissary court of the royal peculiar, including probate

1392-2003 Estates, including deeds

* Records of the commissioners of sewers for the precinct are held by LMA.

SION COLLEGE, a society of Anglican clergymen, established in 1630, formerly of London Wall, later of Victoria Embankment. 1630-1996, also deeds 1611-1869. L 14.5 Ms 9208-

SION HOSPITAL, see Section 18vi

SION MONASTERY, rule of St Bridget see Section 24

Last updated 31st January 2008

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