Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section

General Guide

18: INSTITUTIONS vi Other institutions

This section includes orphanages, hospitals, dispensaries, lunatic asylums, markets, prisons, penitentiaries etc. The Manuscripts Section holds few records of such institutions.

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 00459, Ms 03166 or Ms 29735).

If the collection consists of a single document, it will be given in the following way in this guide: Ms 3545a; 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 18352-. 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 18352. 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.

BILLINGSGATE CHRISTIAN MISSION AND DISPENSARY, of Weigh House Chapel, 31 King Street 1878-90 and 19 St Mary at Hill, 1890-1993. Founded in 1878 as the Billingsgate Christian Mission to undertake missionary work in Billingsgate Fish Market and the surrounding area; name changed in 1897 to Billingsgate Christian Mission and Dispensary when dispensary work started. Also trained nurses and missionaries for work abroad. Closed in 1990. 1901-90. L 47.2 Restricted access. Ms 29735-

BRIDEWELL ROYAL HOSPITAL. Established by royal charter in 1553 at Bridewell Palace. Administered (by City appointed Governors) jointly with Bethlem Royal Hospital until 1948. Established as a place of correction, reformation and employment of idle and vagrant poor, became a house of correction (prison) with a house of occupations for apprenticed poor children. House of Occupations moved to St George’s Fields, Southwark in 1830, renamed King Edward’s Schools 1860 and split in 1867 as girls’ school (in Southwark) and boys’ school (in Witley). (See Section 18 (iii) for school records and Section 11 (iii) for Bridewell precinct records) Bridewell prison closed in 1855 but Bridewell Royal Hospital remained to administer endowments, moving to Witley in 20th century. Records are largely of Bridewell Royal Hospital but circa a quarter are of Bridewell and Bethlem jointly and these are catalogued as Royal Hospitals of Bridewell and Bethlem. Substantial archive (court minutes and general committee minutes are held on microfilm only; originals held at Bethlem Royal Hospital, Beckenham, Kent). 1553-1989. Restricted access to pupil records (100 years) and all other records (30 years). Ms 33001-

BROOKE'S MARKET, Leather Lane. Set up in 1682/3. Stall holders rent accounts, 1685/8. Ms. 459

CHRIST'S HOSPITAL see Section 18 (iii)



LONDON DIOCESAN PENITENTIARY, of Park house, Highgate, established in 1854 for the "reception and reformation of fallen women". Taken over in 1900 by the Clewer sisters, and became known at a later date as the House of Mercy. Closed in 1940. 1854-1952. Also deeds from 1732. L 22.86 Ms 18532-

METROPOLITAN DISPENSARY AND CHARITABLE FOUNDATION, Fore Street. Established 1779, closed in 1920, when its assets were transferred to the Cripplegate Foundation (see Section 18 (iv)). Part of the archives of the parish of St Giles Cripplegate. 1833-1924. L 47.2 Ms 6472-


SMITHFIELD MARKET, see Section 16(i) for records of the parish of St Sepulchre Holborn concerning the market. 1691-1758, 1850-1, 1871-4 (Ms 3166-70, Ms 3218, Ms 3223, Ms 3610, Ms 3828). Main archive is at LMA.

SOUTHWARK MARKET, see Section 26 SOUTHWARK, Manor of

TOWER OF LONDON. Fragments of the accounts of the governor. 1692-5. L 43 Ms 3545A

WESTERN CITY DISPENSARY. Established in 1829 to provide free medicines and medical advice to the poor of the wards of Farringdon Within, Farringdon Without and Castle Baynard. 1829-77 (minute book) L 47.2 Ms 30628

Last updated 31st January 2008

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Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section