Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section


Newly catalogued collections:


December 2008

Needlemakers' Company

The Needlemakers’ Company, one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, recently deposited some additional records which have just been catalogued.

A few of the records in the new deposit continue series that we already hold: court minute books now continue up to 1972 (Ms 2817), and an additional volume continues the registers of freedom admissions up to 1949 (Ms 2818). In addition, the new deposit contains many other records, now catalogued as Ms 39264-91, including financial records, such as the master’s and wardens’ accounts, 1779-1959 (Ms 39273), and some of the clerk’s records. The clerk’s records are rather varied, and range from out-letter books (Ms 39277) to photographs of livery dinners (Ms 39289).

September 2008

Galloway & Pearson

The records of this firm of stockbrokers were presented to the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library in 2007 by a former partner in the firm, and have just been catalogued.

The firm was founded in around 1870 by William John Galloway and Cyrus Tom Pearson as Galloway & Pearson, with offices at 75 Old Broad Street. The founding families continued to be represented amongst the partners until the late 1950s. A service company, Gallus Services Ltd, was established in 1979 to acquire all the fixed assets of the partnership and to provide the services required to maintain the stockbroking business. In 1984, Galloway & Pearson (and Gallus Services Ltd) merged with WICO (W. I. Carr, Sons & Co (Overseas) Ltd) to form WICO Galloway & Pearson Ltd.

The records of Galloway & Pearson comprise: deed of partnership and takeover agreements 1983-4 (Ms 38959-61); minutes 1966-84 (Ms 38962, 38967); correspondence re takeover 1984 (Ms 38963); accounts 1922-84 (Ms 38964-5) and option dealing books 1960-2 (Ms38966). It is understood that the partnership kept no minutes prior to 1966, and that all clients' and jobbers' ledgers were destroyed when the firm's record-keeping was computerised in the 1970s. A surviving bank book dated 1874 of W Galloway in account with Robarts, Lubbock & Co, was passed to Coutts.

September 2008

St George’s Church, Rapallo

The first regular chaplaincy was established at Rapallo in 1875, and services were held in the private chapel of the Palazzo Serra, which later became the Hotel de l'Europe. In 1894 a piece of ground next to the cemetery in Rapallo was purchased for use as a burial ground for British residents and other protestants. In response to growing numbers of British visitors, it was decided to build a permanent church. Work began on St. George's church in 1901, and the first services were held there in January 1904. It was requisitioned by enemy forces during the Second World War and although services resumed after the war, numbers of British visitors fell and the church was eventually sold in 1975.

The records were deposited by the chaplain of St. Mark's Church, Florence, in 2006 and 2007. They comprise registers of baptisms, marriages and burials 1906-74 (Mss 38412-3); service registers 1887-1974 (Ms 38414, 38739); committee minutes 1901-34 (Mss 38740-1); financial papers 1904-60 (Mss 38742, 38749-52); papers re construction and fabric of church 1901-31 and inventory 1948 (Ms 38743-7, 38755); register of subscriptions and donations 1901-14 (Ms 38748); correspondence 1954-78 (Mss 38753-4); notes on the history of the hurch, photographs and other papers (Mss 38756-8).

Permission for access to records less than 30 years old should be sought from the Chaplain of St. Mark's Church, Florence (contact details may be obtained from the Manuscripts enquiry desk).

June 2008

Sun Insurance Office

Records of the Sun Insurance Office have been deposited in Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section at various dates since 1966. The archive has been catalogued in stages due to the bulk and complexity of the collection. We are pleased to announce that the final phase of cataloguing has now been completed!

In this final phase, some 40 shelves of volumes and documents have been catalogued. These include records of some of the Sun Insurance Office’s subsidiary companies and companies that were merged with the Office. Nearly all of these records are in the range Ms 38768-958, but a few entries have also been added to existing Ms series.

There are no additions to the main series of policy registers (Ms 11936-7), but the newly-catalogued records do include Banbury policy registers, 1925-76 (Ms 38864-5) and a Woburn policy register, 1843-95 (Ms 38866).

There are also lists of fires attended, 1805-21, giving date, time, address, trade, extent of damage, name of insurance company, and number of firemen and engines (Ms 38877).

There are a number of items relating to overseas branches and agencies, including private foreign out-letter books, 1915-38 (Ms 38777); correspondence with overseas branches and agencies, 1914-61 (Ms 38784-97); foreign instructions books, 1879-1984 (Ms 38823-7A); United States letter books, 1928-9, 1936-45 (Ms 18248/18-24); and out-letter books of correspondence with the Sun Indemnity Company of New York, 1929-31, 1936-46 (Ms 38802).There are also additions to the records of Smyrna fire brigade: copy out-letter books 1893-1907, management committee minutes 1874-93, and accounts 1886-98 (Ms 24715-17).

Francis Boyer Relton, Office Secretary 1873-82, was an assiduous compiler of documents relating to insurance and there are a number of his scrapbooks of correspondence, press-cuttings and similar items in the collection (Ms 38815, 38817, 38831-42). There is also a four volume manuscript history of the Sun Insurance Office written by Relton in 1891 (Ms 38843).

The collection includes records of the following subsidiary or merged companies:

24 HOURS NOTICE IS REQUIRED FOR ACCESS TO THE RECORDS OF THE FOLLOWING COMPANIES: Colonial and Foreign Banks Guarantee Fund, County Fire Office Ltd, Economic Life Assurance Society, Farmers and General Fire and Life Insurance and Loan and Annuity Co, Imperial Insurance Company, Imperial Life Insurance Company, Law Fire Insurance Society, Provident Life Office, Asylum Life Assurance Company, British Law Fire Insurance Co, Patriotic Assurance Company, Planet Assurance Company. However, the records of the Sun itself are in our main store and do not require ordering in advance.

THE RECORDS ARE SUBJECT TO A 50 YEAR CLOSURE PERIOD. LIFE ASSURANCE MATERIAL IS CLOSED FOR 75 YEARS

May 2008

Equitable Life Assurance Society

The records of the Society for Equitable Assurances on Lives and Survivorships have recently been catalogued. Formed in 1762, it was the first society to use a scientific basis for calculating life assurance. By 1797 there were over 5,000 assurances in force. In 1893, the name of the Society was changed to the Equitable Life Assurance Society (ELAS).

In November 2006 the Actuarial Profession (comprising the Faculty of Actuaries and the Institute of Actuaries) funded the purchase from ELAS of its records up to 1950. Records up to c1833 are now held at the Institute of Actuaries Library, Staple Inn, High Holborn, WC1V 7QJ. Visits to the Institute of Actuaries Library need to be arranged at least 24 hours in advance. The cut-off date of c1833/4 was chosen as William Morgan, the first actuary, died in 1833.

The records covering the period c1834-c1950 have been deposited in Guildhall Library, and have been catalogued as Ms 38646-85. They comprise: minutes 1834-1951, and indexes 1830-89 (Ms 38646-52); financial records, 1831-1972 (Ms 38653-62); policy records, 1803-1976 (Ms 38663-76); correspondence, 1833-61 (Ms 38677); and policy forms and other operational records, [1870?]-1931 (Ms 38678-85).

Only a few stray policy registers for the period after c1834 have survived (Ms 38664). The registers are labelled “1” and “2” (compiled 1908), “51” and “52” (compiled 1927), and “181” (compiled 1961). The policy registers are subject to a 70 year closure period, so only the first volume (which dates up to 1936) is open to public access.

The purchase of the ELAS records included records of the Reversionary Interest Society and the Equitable Reversionary Interest Society, taken over by ELAS in 1919 and 1920 respectively. Some records of these societies were deposited in Guildhall Library at the same time, to add to the archives of these societies already held by the Manuscripts Section. The newly catalogued records of the Reversionary Interest Society include shareholding records, 1831-46 and 1916-37 (Ms 38689-91), and letter books, 1912, 1918, 1927, 1933 and 1938-40 (Ms 38692). The newly catalogued records of the Equitable Reversionary Interest Society comprise the certificate of incorporation, 1879 (Ms 38697), deed of settlement, 1893, with amendments to 1963 (Ms 38698) and registers of debentures and consolidated stock, 1880-1943 (Ms 38699).


Last updated December 2008

Newly catalogued collections 2002-2003

Newly catalogued collections 2004-2005

Newly catalogued collections 2006-2007

Newly catalogued collections 2009

Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section