Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section

Newly catalogued collections:

May 2005

Anglican Chaplaincy of Christ Church, Naples, Italy

The records of Christ Church, Naples, which were deposited in Guildhall Library in 1997, have recently been catalogued (Mss 35911-30).

An Anglican burial ground was constructed in Naples in 1827, and was consecrated in 1844. The chaplaincy began in 1831 as a Legation Chaplaincy within the Palazzo Sasso, the residence of the British Minister to the Court of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Services were held in a room in the British Consulate. In 1861 land was granted for the building of an Anglican Church, which was consecrated in 1865. The chaplaincy’s archives include burial registers 1843-9, 1906-10 (Ms 35911), burial ground committee minute books 1825-78 (Ms 35914), general meetings and committee meetings minute books 1830-1915 (Ms 35915-18) and pew subscriptions accounts books 1857-1903 (Ms 35922).

There is a 30 year closure period on the collection.

 May 2005

Anglican Chaplaincy of St Andrew, Tangier, Morocco

The records of St Andrew's Church, Tangier, which were deposited in Guildhall Library in 1999 and 2003, have recently been catalogued (Mss 35867-99).

In 1882 a church building fund was started in order to build a small Anglican church in Tangier. An iron church was erected in 1884, but it was found to have insufficient accommodation and was sold. The foundation stone of the present stone church was laid in 1894. The church was consecrated in 1905. The chaplaincy’s archives include a banns book 1924-66 (Ms 35867), registers of services 1885-1991 (Ms 35868-9), minutes of annual general meetings, churchwardens’ meetings and committee meetings 1933-83 (Ms 35871) and church building and maintenance fund account books 1882-1926 (Ms 35877-8).

There is a 30 year closure period on the collection.

April 2005

Edmund Schluter and Company

The records of Edmund Schluter and Company, which were given to Guildhall Library in 2004, have recently been catalogued (Mss 35975-91).

Edmund Schluter and Company were general merchants (particularly in rubber, tea and coffee) with trading links in France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Austria, Poland, and the United States and Brazil. The business was founded in 1858. The collection consists of letter books 1889-99 (incomplete), and financial records 1873-1971.

April 2005

Legal and General

The records of Legal and General Assurance Society, which were given to Guildhall Library in 1996, have recently been catalogued (Mss 36001-443). The constitutional documents, board minutes and life policy registers had already been catalogued (Mss 18473-8 and 33434-8). Legal and General was established in 1836 as the Legal and General Life Assurance Society with offices at 10 Fleet Street. It changed its name to Legal and General Assurance Society in 1919 when its business expanded beyond life assurance.  Its head offices moved to Temple Court, Queen Victoria Street in 1962, where they remain today. The records, which date from its formation in 1836, include extensive series of minutes, accounts and correspondence.

The collection also contains records of subsidiary companies as well as firms taken over by Legal and General, including Gresham Fire and Accident Insurance Society (Mss 36334-89), British Commonwealth Insurance Company (Mss 36390-406), Glanfield Securities Ltd, a clothworking firm (Mss 36407-15), Victory Insurance Company (Mss 36416-18), and Settle, Speakman and Co, coal merchants (Mss 36419-21).

This material is all stored off-site, so 24 hours notice is required to order any items from the collection.

March 2005

Corporation of Insurance Brokers

The records of the Corporation of Insurance Brokers were given to Guildhall Library in 2001 and have been catalogued as Mss 35830-52. The Corporation was formed in 1906 as the Association of Insurance Brokers and Agents and incorporated in 1910. It aimed to represent and provide a central organization for incorporated insurance brokers. From 1910-18 it was known as the Corporation of Insurance Brokers and Agents, until the agents formed a separate corporation. The records include a run of council minutes from 1909-77.

March 2005

Institute of Meat

The Institute of Meat was formed in 1946 as a membership company which provided the organization and management of the UK meat industry training. Its training and educational roles were taken over in 1993 by the newly-formed Meat Training Council. The Institute continued as an independent body, changing its name at some point after 1995 to the Worshipful Company of Butchers’ Guild to reflect its close association with the Butchers’ Company.

The records, which were deposited at Guildhall Library in 2004, have been catalogued as Mss 35711-24. They include a full run of council minutes as well as minutes of committees and accounts. The collection also includes 2 volumes of minutes of the Association of Fresh Meat Wholesalers.

December 2004

Press Association

The records of the Press Association up to 1991, which were presented to Guildhall Library in 1995, have now been catalogued (Guildhall Library Mss 35512-73).

The Press Association was founded in 1868 as a limited company. It was formed by provincial newspapers acting together in a cooperative venture to organise their own collection and supply of national and foreign news to their newspapers outside London. In forming the Press Association, its founders sought to produce a more accurate and reliable alternative to the monopoly service of the telegraph companies. Through their co-operation, they wanted to provide a London-based service of news-collecting and reporting with correspondents in all the major towns.

In 1868 an Act was passed providing for the taking over of the old telegraph companies by the State. From 1870, when the first Press Association news message was sent, to 1920, news was distributed by means of Post Office press telegrams (except to the London newspapers, which were served by messengers). In 1869 a contract was signed under which Reuters supplied the Press Association with foreign telegrams for exclusive use in the British Isles outside London. In turn, Reuters would disseminate Press Association news overseas. In 1905 the Press Association began to use telephones to supply sports results and news items. Telephone centres were opened in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield, and one in London in 150 Fleet Street. From 1868 to 1918 the news was mainly sent on the Wheatstone-Morse telegraph system which was subject to Post Office delays. From the beginning of the 20th century the Exchange Telegraph Company had used teleprinted machines which printed messages at a faster speed, and both Reuters and the Press Association later used this system for transmission of some of their news in London. In 1915 the Post Office proposed sharp increases in the charges for press telegrams. The increases did not come into operation until 1920 and then at a lower rate than originally planned, but by that time the Press Association had decided that it needed a more efficient system for disseminating news. From 1919 the Press Association installed its own "private wire system" using the experimental Creed-Wheatstone telegraph service, and in 1920 the first provincial telegraph service was opened in Bristol. The Creed system was abandoned in 1949 and replaced with a new voice frequency (v.f.) multi-channel teleprinter system working on 6-channel broadcast. This system was much faster as it enabled all the provincial newspaper offices to receive the news simultaneously.

The main services offered by the Press Association were general home news and Reuters' foreign news services. Additional services were gradually introduced, culminating in the introduction of the Comprehensive Service in 1941, which offered Parliamentary reports, golf, racing, cricket and football reports, as well as home and foreign news. The Press Association also provided more detailed reports, known as "Special Reporting". The opening of telephone centres by the Press Association in 1905 led to intense competition between the Press Association and the Exchange Telegraph Company. An agreement was reached in 1906 whereby the Press Association and the Exchange Telegraph Company would run a joint service in all areas except London. There were difficulties in working the agreement and it was not until c1911 that the joint service began to work effectively. In 1922 a Joint Commercial Service of London Stock Exchange prices and London Market Reports was agreed between the Press Association and Exchange Telegraph Company. The Press Association and Exchange Telegraph Company combined their separate Law Courts staffs in 1931, and set up the Joint Law Service. In 1945 the Press Association, Reuters and Exchange Telegraph Company concluded an agreement to pool their handling of commercial news. An agreement signed in 1961 (in effect from 1962) provided for the joint collection and sale of horse racing and greyhound racing results, betting details, and cricket and football results and scores, and for equal shares of the annual surpluses. The Exchange Telegraph Company withdrew from the joint law service it had operated with the Press Association in 1965.

At the beginning of the First World War, the government tried to control the dissemination of news in emergency situations. A committee, later called the D (Defence) Notice Committee, was set up in 1914, under which newspapers were asked not to refer to certain matters, or to consult the War Office before doing so. An Assistant Secretary of the War Office and Edmund Robbins, the representative of the Press Association, were appointed as joint Secretaries of the Committee. If the Admiralty or the War Office wished to inform the Press of something which should not be published, the War Office would get in touch with Robbins, a meeting of the Committee would be convened or the members would be consulted, their agreement would be obtained and Robbins would send the agreed notice to the newspaper editors. The volumes of D-notices 1914-39 kept by the Press Association have not survived. References to D-notices may however be found in the minute books of the Management Committee (Ms 35358), manager's memoranda books (Ms 35461), Robbins' memoranda books (Ms 35417) and the typescript histories (Mss 35596-8).

An inventory of the Association's records was made in 1980 by the Business Archives Council. A substantial part of the archive was subsequently lost in 1994 after an eruption of the drains in the basement of Byron House, Fleet Street. As a result, many series of accounts, correspondence, etc are now incomplete. In particular, names of full-time staff, and of occasional contributors ("correspondents") can be difficult to trace.

The Press Association's cuttings library is stored at the East Riding Library Headquarters at Skirlaugh. The cuttings library contains newspapers and magazines which cover all the major news events from the whole of the 20th century. For more detailed histories of the Press Association see George Scott, Reporter Anonymous: The Story of the Press Association (1968) and Chris Moncrieff, Living on a Deadline: a History of the Press Association (2001). Both of these are held in Guildhall Library Printed Books Section.

24 hours notice is required for access and there is a 30 year closure period on the collection.

October 2004

Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society

The records of the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, which were presented to Guildhall Library in 1998, have now been catalogued (Guildhall Library Mss 35096-152). The records date from 1846 to 1984.

The first recorded meeting of the Liverpool Independent Legal Victoria Burial Society took place on 3 March 1843. From as early as 1845, the Society did not confine its activities to the city of Liverpool, and in 1845 collectors were established in Runcorn, Chester, Warrington, Ormskirk and Northwich. By 1863, its operations had extended to Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and in England as far north as Newcastle and as far west as Plymouth, with outposts in London. Under the National Insurance Act of 1911 a system of compulsory health insurance for the working-class was established, to be administered by "approved societies". In 1912 the Liverpool Victoria Approved Society was constituted. By the end of that year it had over 350,000 members and later became one of the largest and most successful of the Approved Societies.

The collection includes records of some companies that were taken over by Liverpool Victoria: General Federation of Trade Unions Friendly and Collecting Society, Ms 35145; General Friendly Collecting Society, Mss 35146-7; Independent Burial Society, Ms 35148; Liverpool Protective Assurance and Burial Society, Mss 35149-50; Most Friendly Burial Society, Ms 35151; and Withington Friendly Burial Collecting Society, Ms 35152.

24 hours notice is required for access and there is a 30 year closure period on the collection.

October 2004

Papers of the Family of Sir John Moore (1620-1702)

Sir John Moore, 1620-1702, was Lord Mayor 1681-2, President of Christ's Hospital 1686-7 and 1688-1702, member of the East India Company Committee 1669-1701 and Master of the Grocers' Company 1671-2. He came originally from Appleby in Leicestershire where his family continued to live and was bound as an apprentice to the Grocers' Company in 1647. He was the most important lead merchant of his time in London, exporting lead from Derbyshire and Yorkshire through Hull to Amsterdam and Rotterdam. He died in 1702 with no children (his wife Mary Maddocks had died in 1690) and his large fortune passed to his nephews John (son of Charles) Moore and John (son of George) Moore.

The letters and papers of Sir John Moore and the Moore family have come to Guildhall Library in different ways and at different times. The most recent donation was made in June 1999 and this has now been catalogued (Guildhall Library Mss 35080-95). This addition contains family papers 1690-1824, including correspondence, receipts and other papers of Thomas Moore (d 1725), John Moore (1693-1756), George Moore (1688-1751) of Appleby, Leicestershire, and Charles Moore (1718-1775). A family tree has been drawn up by Guildhall Library staff (Ms 29447).

January 2004

National Mutual Life Assurance Society and predecessor companies

The records of the National Mutual Life Assurance Society, and its predecessor companies, the National Life Assurance Society, the Mutual Life Assurance Society and the Whittington Life Assurance Company (taken over by the National in 1894), which were presented to Guildhall Library in 2002, have now been catalogued (Guildhall Library Mss 34401-34585).

The Society was formed in 1896 by the merger of the National (established in 1830) and the Mutual (established 1834). The collection includes papers of the economist John Maynard Keynes, arguably the most influential economist of the 20th Century, who was chairman of the board from 1921-38. These feature not only the affairs of National Mutual, but also his ideas and views on more general economic issues as well as some more personal correspondence (see, especially, his correspondence file as director (GL Ms 34486/4), and the papers of the finance committee (GL Ms 34475)). The collection also contains a complete run of board minutes for all companies except the Whittington from 1830 to 1960. Apart from some examples of policies and claim registers, details of individual policies and policy holders are not to be found in the collection.

As with most of our business collections, 24 hours notice is required for access. The Keynes’ papers require proof of identity, such as a passport or driving licence, showing a photograph and address.

Last updated July 2006

Newly catalogued collections 2002-2003

Newly catalogued collections 2006-2007

Newly catalogued collections 2008

Newly catalogued collections 2009

Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section