Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section

Electronic Newsletter

Issue No. 5 Autumn 2006


The newsletter is intended to keep you informed about the latest news from the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library. It is edited by Philippa Smith, Deputy Keeper of Manuscripts. Please feel free to forward it to anyone you think might like to read it. The newsletter now has over 200 subscribers. If you are not already on the mailing list, and would like to receive future issues, please email us at

A subscriber has made a useful suggestion for those whose email system is web-based and unformatted, which, she says, makes the more complicated pieces in the newsletter, with sub-headings, disappear into a largely undifferentiated mass of text! She suggests that these subscribers go to the current issue on the Manuscripts Section’s website at which is much clearer (it will appear in a few days’ time!) You can also see back numbers here as well.


Venture Abroad: images from Guildhall Library’s business collections, 1860-1930 (exhibition enthusiastically received)

Refreshment area reinstated

Measuring Up: annual statistics of accessions and listing, 2005/6 (cataloguing backlog lowest ever); enquiry service statistics for July-          September 2006 (August almost twice as busy as last year)

Cataloguing news: additional Christ’s Hospital records (including papers relating to the conduct of pupils in the school and their subsequent           careers, and what the children ate)

National Survey of Visitors to British Archives (how the Manuscripts Section compared)

Conservation: What not to wear or “Stop the White Glove”!

New index to Trinity House Pilot’s Licences (complete index to the Trinity House pilot’s licence registers available for the first time)

London Probate Index, 1750-1858

More useful websites: Domesday Book; HELPERS; British phone books,1880-1984

Dictionary corner: “colting” amongst the Watermen and Lightermen

Ancestors magazine (news of more articles contributed by the Manuscripts Section)

Volunteers needed: Almshouse Research Project; Hearth Tax Project

Archive Awareness Campaign 2006/7 (programme of talks and tours at Guildhall Library including “Sion College, its History and Archives”, by           Stephen Freeth, Keeper of Manuscripts on 9th November)

Guided tours of Guildhall Library (including electronic resources and sources for family historians)

Forthcoming events at London Metropolitan Archives

Archives for London seminars (including seminar on City livery company records and City Freedom records)

William Powell Frith: Painting the Victorian Age (exhibition at Guildhall Art Gallery)

We welcome your views!

Contact details

“Venture Abroad: Images from Guildhall Library’s Business Collections c.1868-1929”

Guildhall Library 18th September to 29th December 2006 – Admission Free – Monday-Saturday 9.30-5.00

The Manuscripts Section’s exhibition, Venture Abroad: Images from Guildhall Library’s Business Collections c1868-1929, is proving to be very popular. The exhibition aims to show London at the centre of global trade in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It displays over 50 photographs from six City-based businesses, the Bank of British West Africa, the Borneo Company, Guardian Assurance, Harrisons and Crosfield, Steel Brothers and Sun Fire Office. We are delighted that the exhibition has been enthusiastically received by members of the public. Comments in the visitors’ book include, “Worthy of visit”, “A fascinating exhibition of images with most informative captions” and “Really enjoyable, glad I came”. Please add your thoughts to the visitors’ book if you visit the exhibition; we find your comments most helpful. The exhibition continues until 29th December. A fully illustrated catalogue to accompany the exhibition is available for £3.00 in Guildhall Library Bookshop (telephone 020 7332 1858).


Guildhall Library is pleased to report that the refreshment area on the lower ground floor has been reinstated, following the completion of work on a new security control centre in the basement. It is rather unwelcoming at the moment, but there are plans to brighten it up with displays about the behind-the-scenes work of the Library. These displays will be changed periodically.

Previously, no refreshments have been available within the Library. Now visitors can use the sandwich trolley which visits the lower ground floor between 11.00 and 11.30 Monday to Friday. However, the same rules about eating and drinking in the library will continue – you can only do so on the lower ground floor and must not walk upstairs and through the library lobby with open food and drink.


In the last issue of the newsletter, Charlie Turpie, Deputy Keeper of Manuscripts, who manages the section’s cataloguing programme, discussed access to uncatalogued material and how we went about tackling the backlog of cataloguing. At 31 March 2005 the backlog was 23.95% of our total holdings.

We have recently finished the painstaking work involved in compiling our annual statistics of accessions and listing for last year, and can reveal that the backlog has now decreased to 19.74%. We are really pleased with this as the backlog is now below 20%, probably for the first time ever.

This has continued a process of reducing the backlog, which at its worst, on 31 March 2001, was 2791 linear yards. It is now 2056 linear yards, and we have accessioned around 570 linear yards since that date. The backlog is the same size as it was over ten years ago, in the middle of 1995/6. However, our holdings now are nearly a mile bigger than at the end of 1995/6 (10,416 as opposed to 8,833 linear yards).

Stephen Freeth, Keeper of Manuscripts, says that this achievement is down to teamwork not just by the cataloguers, but by everyone who has helped with labelling manuscripts, placing them, computerising the shelf list, and keeping the Stores tidy and efficient, and to the Desk staff as well. He says: “Special thanks are due to Charlie, as Deputy Keeper with responsibility for new cataloguing, for her sustained efforts to deal with the backlog, for several years running. I really am very pleased. The results are magnificent.”


The number of written enquiries (now mostly emails) continues to soar with the monthly total for August more than double that for last year. This month also saw an over 40% increase in visitors to the reading room with a concomitant increase in original documents produced. In spite of these increases, the Manuscripts Section continues to exceed its target of at least 85% of written enquiries answered within two days of receipt, with at least 99.5% answered within two days. Our speedy document delivery within 15 minutes of an order being placed continues to find favour with users (see the report on the National Survey of Visitors to British Archives below).

July 2006

536 visitors to the reading room (481 in 2005)

1183 documents produced in the reading room (1177)

194 written enquiries (178)

184 telephone calls (148)

Enquiry response time for written enquiries (target at least 85% answered within two days): 99.5% answered within two days; over 97% answered on the day of receipt.

August 2006

719 visitors to the reading room (414 in 2005)

1444 documents produced in the reading room (1099)

268 written enquiries (132)

218 telephone calls (167)

Enquiry response time: 99.6% answered within two days; 97% answered on the day of receipt.

September 2006

680 visitors to the reading room (470 in 2005)

1815 documents produced in the reading room (876)

188 written enquiries (164)

210 telephone calls (197)

Enquiry response time: 99.5% answered within two days; over 87% answered on the day of receipt.


Charlie Turpie describes some very recently catalogued additional records of Christ’s Hospital.

Was your ancestor a bluecoat boy (or girl)?

We hold the records of Christ’s Hospital, the original bluecoat school (so called because of its distinctive uniform, complete with yellow stockings allegedly to discourage rats). It was founded by Edward VI in Newgate Street in the City of London in 1552 for the education of poor children.

In the early years of the school, those too young to receive full-time education were "put out to nurse" in the country, usually in Essex or Hertfordshire, or else remained with their parents, who received a weekly allowance. Branches of the school existed at Hertford from at least 1653, at Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, from 1666-ca. 1690, and at Ware, Hertfordshire, from about the same period until 1760.

From 1778 the Hertford premises were used as the girls' school and as a preparatory school for boys. The Royal Mathematical School, founded in 1673, was an integral part of Christ's Hospital, from which its pupils, all boys, were chosen at the age of 11 or 12. They were educated in mathematics and navigation, and intended for service in the Royal Navy.

Christ's Hospital moved from the City of London to Horsham in 1902, and at the same time the boys’ preparatory school also moved from Hertford to Horsham. The girl's school remained at Hertford until 1985, when it also moved to Horsham.

We have recently catalogued many additional records of Christ’s Hospital, including some papers to do with the conduct of pupils in the school and their subsequent career. These include discharge certificates 1871-1910 (Guildhall Library Ms 22552/1-28). These certificates are often referred to in the discharge page of the children’s admission registers (GL Ms 12818). The certificates are not indexed so you do need to have an idea of the year when the pupil left Christ’s Hospital.

As well as information about academic achievements, certificates from 1896 have the address of the pupil after leaving school and from 1902 the entries also give the pupil’s occupation (on the back of the certificate – always look at the back of any document!). Occupations are given of boys only. However, I suspect that many of the girls went into domestic service and if you find a “care of” address which is not a family member, this probably indicates a girl who went into service.

If you are interested in the career of your late Victorian or Edwardian blue coat boy or girl after school, you might also like to look at the apprenticeship indentures, agreements and letters about former pupils, 1885-1927 (GL Ms 22553/1-31).

What did Christ’s Hospital children eat?

Most of us have vivid memories of school dinners. If you fancy putting some flesh on the dry bones of your ancestors, you could find out what they had for dinner! Several of the records newly catalogued give a clear picture of the meals the Christ’s Hospital children ate, particularly GL Ms 22569 and Ms 22578-9. From these papers I looked at the list of food served at Hertford in 1891 (at this date a girls’ school and a preparatory school for boys). They started the day with bread and half a pint of cocoa (to be made with half milk). In winter porridge was to be substituted for cocoa twice a week.

Sunday was evidently roast beef day with 4 oz of roast beef, 4 oz of potatoes and 2 and a half oz of bread. Roast mutton (3 oz) was served on Mondays and on some other days of the week. I was struck that puddings were only served on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays (rice pudding, apple or rhubarb pudding and suet pudding, since you ask). Water was the general beverage at dinner except for children “for whom beer or porter is ordered by the medical officer”.

I also looked at a list of meals served in 1800, also at Hertford, which showed that the children were served much more boiled meat (mostly mutton), with roast beef only on the first Sunday of each month and on Founder’s day (23rd October).  There is no mention of what they drank at dinner, but there was beer for breakfast and supper. No mention is made of vegetables or fruit at all in the 1800 diet, and very little in the 1891 list. Cheese was given (with bread) for supper at all dates I investigated.

From a 1737 list which survives for the London school, there was lots of boiled mutton on offer again, interspersed with some boiled beef, pease pottage, milk pottage, rice milk or “firmity” (also known as furmity, frumenty or furmenty - a porridge made of hulled wheat boiled in sweetened milk). Again no fruit or vegetables are mentioned.

For a recipe for frumenty laced with some additional historical information go to For a modern interpretation with pine nuts and rum, go to

Postscript: We have a leaflet about the (existing) records of Christ’s Hospital on our website which (I hope) makes clear that there were many other bluecoat schools, even a few other Christ’s Hospital schools, but that we only have records of the London (later Horsham) establishment with its girls and preparatory schools at Ware, Hertford and Hoddesdon.


In February and March 2006 about 120 archives across the UK took part in the latest National Survey of Visitors to British Archives. Over13,500 people completed survey forms. Once again the Manuscripts Section’s results compare well with the national averages. 100% of our visitors said that the quality and appropriateness of the advice they received from the staff was very good or good and that staff were friendly and helpful. Nearly three quarters (national average 63.8%) felt that the advice was very good, while 92.9% (national average 62.2%) rated the helpfulness and friendliness of staff as very good. 95.8% of people rated our overall service as good or very good.

The best rating for an individual aspect of our service was for document delivery, where 98.4% of users rated our service as good with 72.4% rating it as very good. Other combined very good and good scores over 90% included advance information, physical access, and lists, indexes, leaflets and reference books. Most of the other ratings were on a par with the results of the previous 2004 survey, apart from website and onsite IT facilities where satisfaction levels have improved.

The areas where users think we most ought to improve are visitor facilities (30.1%) and microfilm and fiche viewing facilities (24.7%). The latter compares badly with the 2004 percentage (13.46%) even though we have installed two electric viewers since the previous survey. Unfortunately, lack of visitor facilities is a perennial problem. Encouragingly, 34.3% of users thought no improvements were necessary, although, of course, we are always trying to improve our services where we can.

The survey asked various questions about users, their research and what they were intending to do with it. The answers reveal that we have a below average percentage of readers doing research for personal leisure (50.5% against a national average of 66.7%), but more in formal education as a student or researcher (16.8% versus 13.5%) and, strikingly, a much higher proportion doing research in connection with their employment (24.8% versus 9.7%).  More of our users intended to share their research with colleagues (17.7% versus 10.9%) or for educational purposes (18.8% versus 10.5%). Nearly 30% (versus 11.7%) were going to publish the results of their research, 14% on a website.

As always, the additional comments made by those who completed the surveys are revealing. In the next issue, we will look at these and through them examine some of the issues raised by the survey.


Here in the Manuscripts Section we are often asked by visitors from across the pond whether they need to wear gloves when they are looking at original manuscripts. Our answer is invariably no, as we believe that gloves can do more harm than good - they restrict movement and can lead to torn pages. Personally, I am always amused when I see the celebrities donning white gloves on “Who Do You Think You Are?” I have always assumed that this is more to do with theatrically reinforcing the idea that the documents are unique and irreplaceable, rather than for any practical preservation reasons.

I was therefore interested to see a piece in the Guardian about this issue and the campaign of an American librarian to “stop the white glove”. You can read more about this at,,1864171,00.html.

Ann Stewart, our Senior Conservator says: “I am totally in agreement! It's important that hands are clean, and kept clean, but cotton gloves can be downright dangerous as it points out in the article. Nitrile [synthetic rubber] gloves are much better if gloves are needed at all. Sometimes, when handling particularly dirty books, you need to protect yourself from the grime!”


Jonathan Burton, Archives Assistant, writes about the new index to Trinity House pilots which he devised and has recently completed. This is the first time that a complete index to the Trinity House pilot’s licence registers (GL Ms 30172/1-4 and Ms 30174/1-2) has been available. The index contains over 4500 names and covers the period 1808-1986 for London, and 1808-1929 for outports.

The Corporation of Trinity House was, until 1988, the Pilotage Authority for London and forty other districts (known as outports) in England and Wales including Southampton, but excluding Liverpool, Bristol and several ports in the North-East of England.  Although the Corporation had general powers to regulate pilotage from 1514, and the exclusive right to licence pilots on the Thames from 1604, the system of outports was only formally established in 1808.  Separate records of examinations of pilots only begin in 1808.

Pilots were licensed, not employed, by Trinity House.  When a pilot first applied to be licensed, he had to be of British nationality, have several years’ experience as a watch-keeping officer of a ship, hold a foreign-going Master Mariner’s certificate (or Naval certificate of service), and be under 35.

The Corporation examined London Pilotage district pilots itself (about two-thirds of all Trinity House pilots).  The London Pilotage district extended from Felixstowe to Dungeness, taking in all the intermediate harbours and the River Thames up to London Bridge.  In the forty outport districts, sub-commissioners of pilotage, appointed by the Corporation, examined pilots and recommended them for licences.  In the smaller ports, “Trinity House pilots” were often fishermen.

The outports licence register for Bridport, Cowes, Dartmouth, Exeter, Falmouth, Fowey, Holyhead, Newhaven, Penzance, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Rye, Shoreham, Weymouth and Yarmouth survives for the period 1808-46, whilst that for Aberdovey, Beaumaris, Caernarvon, Fleetwood on Wyre, Gloucester, Ipswich, Milford, Newport, Padstow, Portmadoc, Scarborough, Scilly, Southampton, Waterford, Wells and Wisbech survives for 1810-76.  London district licence registers survive for the period 1808-1986. Please note that the registers are subject to a 30 year rule and permission from the Corporation of Trinity House is required to view entries which fall within the closure period.

Information contained in the registers of pilots include licence number, date of licence, name, age, residence, physical description, and limits of licence.

Prior to the completion of the new index, the outports licences were completely unindexed, meaning we could not search for people on behalf of remote enquirers due to shortage of staff time (something we are now happy to do).  Whilst the London district was indexed, the index was often difficult to use as the names were not in a strict alphabetical order, and were often difficult to read.

The index is available on the open shelves in the upper part of the Manuscripts Reading Room in a temporary ring binder; a bound version will appear later in the year.

Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section holds further records of pilots in the Trinity House archive. Please see the leaflet about Trinity House family history sources available from the Manuscripts Section enquiry desk or on our website. Pilotage records are also discussed in an article about Trinity House records by Charlie Turpie published in Ancestors magazine, January 2006, “The Sailors’ Shining Beacon”.


Surnames A-E of the London Probate Index are now available on CD Rom. The London Probate Index, 1750-1858, compiled by Dr David Wright, draws together into a single alphabetical sequence by personal name all wills and administrations in nine courts undertaking probate business in London. The probate courts are those for the Consistory Court of London; Commissary Court of London; Archdeaconry Court of London; Archdeaconry Court of Middlesex; Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s; Royal Peculiar of St Katharine by the Tower; Royal Peculiar of the Commissary Court of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster; Archbishop’s Peculiar of the Deanery of Croydon; and Archbishop of Canterbury’s Peculiar of the Deanery of Arches. The CD Rom costs £20 post free to any address.  Alternatively, an SAE and £5 will supply up to ten entries of a surname and specified variants. Dates of death, even if approximate, should always be supplied. An estimate will be given for any remainder at 50 pence per entry. Enquiries should be addressed to Dr David Wright, 71 Island Wall, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1EL (;


New version of Domesday Book online

At the beginning of August, the National Archives launched a new online version of Domesday Book at In addition to being able to conduct searches by place name or personal name, you can now download images of the original pages together with a translation into English. The site includes two online exhibitions: Discover Domesday tells you why Domesday was made and how you can interpret it; World of Domesday explores life in 11th century England. There is also a Domesday glossary and bibliography, and a number of resources for teachers and pupils. You can even play the Domesday game and test your knowledge by doing the Domesday quiz!


Helpers (Higher Education Libraries in your PERsonal history reSearch) at is an online guide to using the resources held in London University’s libraries and archives for family and local history research. It is designed for those who have exhausted all the possibilities in their local library or with the census data and have come up against a brick wall, or who want to deepen their understanding of their family history, rather than for beginners.

London University’s libraries and colleges hold a huge amount of material. The site identifies the collections that would be especially useful to family and local historians and describes what you can find in them. The site also includes tutorials and guides, annotated links to other useful sites, and details of news and events.

British phone books, 1880-1984 online, in association with BT, have launched online at “The British phone books, 1880-1984” – the contents of BT’s historical phone book collection, the most complete set of British telephone directories in existence. The original books are Public Records up to 1984, the date of BT’s privatization, and are held and safeguarded on behalf of the nation by BT Archives.


The first records to be launched are the phone books for “London”. The 430 London records (which include the counties of Surrey, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent and Middlesex), contain over 72 million names. The total collection of the British phone books, 1880-1984 contain in excess of 200-250 million names, greater than the English, Welsh and Scottish Census collections combined. 


You can search the phone books by name, year, and county. Family historians can now find online exactly where their ancestors once lived, enabling them to build a more detailed picture of their family history, while social history enthusiasts interested in the growing trend of exploring “hidden house history” can begin to identify and learn about the previous inhabitants of their homes. Go to and click on British Phone Books in the Browse list in the right hand column. is a subscription and pay-per-view website, but you can take advantage of a free trial period.

Dictionary Corner

Wendy Hawke, Assistant archivist, writes: A reader was recently puzzling over the word “colting”, which appears frequently in the records of the court of complaints of the Watermen and Lightermen’s Company.

The Watermen and Lightermen’s Company was established by act of Parliament in 1555 to regulate the transport of passengers and goods on the river Thames. Competition was fierce and accusations of misconduct were heard by the Company’s court of complaints.

Details of the complaint were first entered in the complaints book (Guildhall Library Ms 6301). Common ones included working without a valid licence, carrying more passengers than a boat was designed for and using abusive language. The court of complaints met once a month to hear evidence (GL Ms 6303) and impose fines (GL Ms 6305). Accounts of bad language were primly abbreviated!

If your ancestor was a member of the Watermen and Lightermen’s Company, it is well worth looking at these records: perhaps as many as 50% of members appear at some time or other as a complainant or defendant.

So what was colting? It was the offence of putting your apprentice in charge of a boat on his own before he had completed his apprenticeship, for which the master could be fined up to £5.


The Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library is contributing a further series of articles about its records to Ancestors magazine.

Already published are:

“Paying for St. Paul’s” by Matthew Payne, about the St Paul’s briefs, the late 17th century returns from parishes throughout England and Wales recording collections towards the rebuilding of St Paul’s Cathedral after the Great Fire, in issue 49, September 2006.

“Mysteries Unravelled” by Philippa Smith, about City of London livery company records, in issue 51, November 2006;

Forthcoming articles are on (in no particular order):

Captains registers of Lloyd’s of London, by Dr Stacey Gee;

Bravery awards: records of awards made by Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund and the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire, by Matthew Payne;

Business records for family historians, by Charlie Turpie; and

St Katharine by the Tower Marriage Licence Records, by Dr Stacey Gee.

Details of Ancestors magazine can be found at


Almshouse research project

A national project has been set up to study almshouses from 1500 to 1914. It is sponsored by the Family & Community Historical Research Society (FACHRS) and the Local Population Studies Society (LPSS). They need more help with studying almshouses in London (and also in Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Durham, Hereford & Worcester, Humberside, Lancashire, Northumberland, Shropshire, and Staffordshire). If you are familiar with using records (perhaps through family or local history research) then you will be most welcome to join them. The research will take place until the end of 2007. Previous projects have been fun to do and have produced much valuable material. If you would like to contribute, please contact the coordinator for further details:

Hearth Tax Project

The hearth tax was levied between 1662 and 1689 on each householder according to the number of hearths in his/her occupation. The administrators were required to compile lists of householders with the number of their hearths according to county. Such information was used to great effect by Gregory King (d. 1712), 'the first great economic statistician', and historians have since continued to draw upon it to assess distribution of population and the divisions between rich and poor in national and local contexts.


The Hearth Tax Project was established from the Roehampton Hearth Tax Centre, and is supported by the British Academy. It aims to publish through the British Record Society the fullest surviving return for each county (where one has not already been published) together with a scholarly introduction analysing the economic structure, social profile and population density of each county.


The project is currently entering into an interesting period of work as it turns its attention to the City of London and its suburbs. The transcription of the 1666 London and Middlesex (Lady Day) return has recently been completed, and the project is looking for volunteers to transcribe the five other London returns. Volunteers work from home, at their own pace and are free to shape their work around their other commitments. In return for the valuable work that they undertake, they receive a complimentary copy of any volume that they work on, and a substantial discount on further copies, plus opportunities to socialise with other project members. More details are available at Prospective volunteers should write to


By the way, Hearth Tax Records in London are the subject of a 2007 Archives for London seminar by Colin Thomas and Peter Guillery of English Heritage (see Archives for London seminars below for details).

Archive Awareness Campaign 2006/7

The Manuscripts Section has organised a series of free talks to encourage the use of archives by family and local historians. Some sessions will include the opportunity to see examples of documents, others to see behind the scenes at Guildhall Library. 

All events begin at 2.00pm in the Whittington Room on the lower ground floor of Guildhall Library.  

Numbers are limited. Please book in advance by telephoning 020 7332 1863/2. There are 25 places available for each talk and 16 places for the behind the scenes tours. You are welcome to come on the day and see if there are any places available.  

Programme of remaining events:

9th November 2006: “Sion College, its History and Archives”, Stephen Freeth, Keeper of Manuscripts. (1hr)

29th November 2006: Family photographs. Bring your old, original photographs for a dating and analysis session with Audrey Linkman, author of The Expert Guide to Dating Victorian Family Photographs. (1hr)

6th December 2006: Behind the scenes tour of the Manuscripts Section store and Conservation workshop. (1hr 15 minutes)

16th January 2007: Going to Law in the Medieval City, Penny Tucker, author. (1hr)


In the meantime, if you are interested in finding out more about Guildhall Library as a whole, tours will take place on:

          Wednesday 6 December 2006

          Wednesday 7 February 2007

Each visit will start at 1.00 p.m. and will last for one hour. You will hear about the history of the Library, see the collections, and visit behind the scenes. Tours are free but you must book in advance by phoning 020 7332 1866 or e-mailing

Electronic resources in Guildhall Library

Would you like to know more about our computer-based resources and receive help in using them? Practical sessions will take place on:

          Wednesday 3 January 2007

          Wednesday 7 March 2007

Each session will start at 1.00 p.m. and will last for one hour. Sessions are free but you must book in advance by phoning 020 7332 1866 or e-mailing

Sources for family historians

You will be shown resources for tracing family history in the Printed Books Section, and then view a selection of original documents in the Manuscripts Section.

          Tuesday 9 January 2007

          Tuesday 13 March 2007


Each visit will start at 1.00 p.m. and last for one hour. Tours are free but must be booked in advance by phoning 020 7332 1868/1870 or by emailing .


Among forthcoming events at London Metropolitan Archives are: House History Day (Saturday 25 November 10 am-4.30 pm): speakers include Nick Barratt and Colin Thoms; Using Online Family History Resources (Wednesday 10 January 2-3.30 pm); The Real Dick Whittington (18 January, 2-3 pm); London’s Clubs (Saturday 27 January 10:00-16:30); Family History in Parish Records (Thursday 15 February 14:00-15:00); Writing the Wrongs – 50 Years of Black British Publishing (Saturday 17 February, 9 am-4.30 pm). Details of these, and booking information, are at:


Archives for London organises a number of events, including a series of free seminars held, usually, on the first Thursday of the month at 5.30 pm at London Metropolitan Archives. Forthcoming topics in 2007 are: City of London Freedom papers and City Livery Companies by Elizabeth Scudder (LMA) and Philippa Smith (Guildhall Library) (11 January); Using digital cameras to take images of archives by Hugh Alexander, TNA (1 February); Charity records (speaker to be confirmed) (1 March); and Hearth Tax Records in London by Colin Thomas and Peter Guillery, English Heritage (5 April). These seminars are open to all, but advance booking is necessary – please contact Nicola Avery (email:


Guildhall Art Gallery, 6 November 2006 - 4 March 2007


It is more than 50 years since there was an exhibition devoted to William Powell Frith (1819-1909), one of the greatest British painters of the social scene since Hogarth. The exhibition at Guildhall Art Gallery contains more than 60 paintings, prints and drawings, many from private collections, alongside most of Frith’s major works, with loans from national and regional galleries around the country.

For more information go to


Do you have any comments about this newsletter, about the Manuscripts Section itself or the records it holds? Do you have anything to contribute about your research, or experiences of working with archives that you would like to share? If so, please contact the editor, Philippa Smith, at

Last updated November 2006

Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section