CMH Electronic Newsletter no. 10

Issue number: 
Publish date: 
Jun 2005



Welcome to the new issue of the Centre for Metropolitan History’s periodic electronic newsletter. Our intention is to keep you informed about the latest news from the Centre for Metropolitan History, other research centres and local history societies, record offices and libraries which may be of interest. Each item of news is brief but links are provided to sources where fuller information is available.

The newsletter will only be sent to people who have asked to receive it. To unsubscribe, to notify change of address, or to send items of news for the next issue, please email Back issues will be available at /cmh/newsletter.html.








  • Those of you who have visited the website recently will know that our Deputy Director, Heather Creaton, will be retiring at the end of August. Heather, who came to the Institute of Historical Research in 1976 as editor of Writings on British History, has made an immense contribution to the Centre since its foundation in 1988. As well as her lectures and courses on sources and methods, she has been responsible for the Centre's Bibliographical and Information Services, producing a number of books and guides which have become indispensable tools for researchers. Foremost among these is the prize-winning Bibliography of London History to 1939 which formed the core of London's Past Online </cmh/lpol>. Heather has also served for 26 years as Hon. Secretary of the London Record Society, and has been Vice-Chairman of the British Records Association, served on the Royal Society of Arts' History Panel and the London Archives Regional Council and been a member of the Greater London Archives Network, the London Archive Users' Forum and Friends of the National Archives Council. She will be very greatly missed by everyone at the Centre, the IHR and the archives and local studies community, but we wish her well in her retirement and in her travels around Europe.
  • As a consequence of Heather's retirement, we are looking for a new Deputy Director from mid September 2005.
  • 'Views of Hosts: Reporting the alien commodity trade 1440-1445' project (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council </cmh/projects.html#voh>): translation of the views from Anglo-Norman French and Latin into modern English is progressing well. When this has been completed the text will be annotated and formatted for future publication by the London Record Society. The project's Research Officer, Dr Helen Bradley, gave a paper on 'Regulating alien trade in fifteenth-century London' at the Medieval and Tudor London History seminar earlier this month.
  • Having completed the data entry for Cheapside for 1660-1710, the London team of the 'People in Place: Families, households and housing in early modern London' project </cmh/pip>, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council) is now gathering and analysing relevant information for the earlier sample periods of 1540-1570 and 1600-1640 alongside continuing the work on the St Botolph Aldgate sample and developing property narratives for the post-Fire period. The Cambridge team has begun work on the family reconstitution of Clerkenwell for the period 1540-1720. Two papers are currently in preparation detailing the project's analyses of the material and dealing with issues such as household and family composition, patterns of residence, family reconstitution, and contemporary perceptions of the family in late 17th-century Cheapside.
  • London and Middlesex religious houses: this project is seeking to republish in one volume the Victoria County History entries relating to the religious houses of London and Middlesex, accompanied by brief historiographical and bibloiographical updates. Over half the updated entries have now been received from the team of researchers and the Museum of London has supplied details of published archaeological reports relating to the religious houses. The volume will be published by the CMH in late 2005.
  • Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in our applications for 'Poor relief in Greater London from c.1540 to 1930: an online guide' and for the second phase of London's Past Online. We are currently exploring other sources of funding for these projects. An application for a 30-month project on 'Londoners and the Law: pleadings in the Court of Common Pleas 1399-1509' has just been submitted to the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Devised by Matthew Davies, and Dr Hannes Kleineke of the History of Parliament, the project will track and analyse the litigation brought both by and against Londoners in the royal court of common pleas over the course of the period and use the data to increase our understanding of how the law was regarded and employed both in London, and more widely in late medieval England. In addition, it will use this comprehensive archival material to create a substantial database of litigants and subjects of litigation involving Londoners which will be made available on the web, thus opening the source up to further enquiry. The result of the application should be known by the end of the year.
  • The response to the new MA in Metropolitan and Regional History, which we are running in collaboration with the Victoria County History from October 2005, has been very encouraging, with several students already signed up. Course details are available at: /degrees/metma.
  • The Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellowship in Comparative Metropolitan History is about to be advertised. The fellowship is tenable for one year, in the first instance, from October 2005 and open to applicants who have completed a doctorate by 31 July. The proposal for the fellowship should be for a new area of research, which may build on that for the doctorate. Research proposals should demonstrate both an original and intellectually wide-ranging approach to the subject and the skills appropriate to it. Possible themes for exploration include European metropolises from the Early Middle Ages to the present, cross-Atlantic metropolitan development and comparison between Asian and western metropolises, but imaginative proposals in any territory or period of history will be considered. The research should explore a historical theme, or themes, comparatively in more than one metropolis. Further particulars and applications details will be available from 27 June from The deadline for completed applications is 22 July 2005.
  • There has been a good response to the Call for Papers for the 'Beyond Shakespeare's Globe: People, Place and Plays in the Middlesex suburbs, 1440-1770', which we are organising with Dr Eva Griffith, to mark the 400th anniversary of the building of the Red Bull Playhouse, Clerkenwell. The conference will be held on Saturday 15 October at London Metropolitan Archives; the programme and booking details will appear soon at:
  • The Centre is also organising, with the University of Amsterdam, an international conference entitled 'Metropolis and State in Early Modern Europe (c.1400-1800)', which will be held at the IHR on 27-28 March 2006. The conference aims to investigate, from a comparative point of view, the peculiar relationship between European metropolises and the central state during the early modern period. Proposals (up to 300 words) for papers are now invited and should be submitted by email to both Derek Keene (email: and Marjolein 't Hart (email: by 31 July 2005. The full Call for Papers is online at: /cmh/metandstate.html.
  • Phil Baker, one of the researchers on the People in Place project is co-organising a conference on ‘Rediscovering radicalism in the British Isles and Ireland, c.1550-c.1700: movements of people, texts and ideas’. This interdisciplinary conference, which seeks to explore the role of migration and the exchange of ideas, images and texts in the history of radical events, ideologies and movements, will be held at Goldsmiths College, London, on 21-23 June 2006. Proposals for papers (maximum 300 words) are now invited and should be sent by 31 July to either Phil at the CMH (email: or Ariel Hessayon at Goldsmiths (email Further information is available at /cmh/radicalism.html.
  • It is hoped that the much-delayed redesign of the CMH website will be undertaken over the summer. As part of the redesign we plan to add a page of links to freely available online resources for the history of London. We would like this to be as comprehensive as possible, so please send details of any recommended sites to Olwen Myhill (email:





  • The IHR and the Royal Historical Society have been awarded funding by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to develop a framework for the peer review and evaluation of digital resources for the arts and humanities. The project, one of 12 funded under the AHRC's ICT Strategy Projects Scheme, will be hosted by the IHR from 1 August 2005. The mechanisms for the evaluation and peer review of the traditional print outputs of scholarly research in the arts and humanities are well established, but no equivalent exists for assessing the value of digital resources and of the scholarly work which leads to their creation. The project proposes to establish a framework for evaluating the quality, sustainability and impact over time of digital resources for the arts and humanities, using History, in its broadest sense, as a case study.
  • The Centre for Contemporary British History (CCBH) will be holding their 19th Annual Summer Conference on 29 June-1 July. The theme this year is 'The History of the Media in 20th Century Britain'. Speakers include: Sir Bob Worcester, Prof. Jean Seaton, Alison Oram, Ralph Negrine and Kelly Boyd. A witness seminar on 'Regulating The Press: The Calcutt Report and the Establishment of the Press Complaints Commission' will take place as part of the conference on 29 June. The Programme and Registration Form is available at:
  • The Annual Postgraduate Conference will be on 'Revolutions' and will take place at the Institute on 4 July 2005. A wide range of papers from students working in a variety of topics, from revolutions in constitutional practice in the eighteenth century through to cultural revolution in the 1960s, will be presented.
  • The full programme and booking details for this year's Anglo-American Conference: 'States and Empires' (6-8 July) are now available to download at: /news.html#anglo.
  • Following the success of the recent 'History in British Education' conference, the IHR, together with the Historical Association, the RHS and the History at the Universities Defence Group are organising a conference on 'History in Schools and Higher Education: Issues of Common Concern' to be held at Senate House on 29 September 2005. Among the issues to be addressed are the role of A-Levels in preparing students for Higher Education; the role of the History degree in the preparation of school teachers; and the strengthening of links between teachers of History in School and in Higher Education.
  • The deadline for submission of proposals of papers for the IHR's winter conference on 'History and the Public' (13-14 February 2006) is 30 June. The call for papers is at /conferences/education.html#wintc. The new edition of Historical Research for Higher Degrees in the United Kingdom is now available from the IHR bookshop <http://www/>. Part I Theses Completed 2004 (containing c.750 titles) is £5 and Part II Theses in Progress 2005 (3,400 titles) is £10.






  • Dr Andrea Tanner, Director of the Great Ormond Street Hospital project at Kingston University, is looking for volunteer data inputters to work from home. Computers and software can be provided, but volunteers must be used to reading 19th-century handwriting. If you are interested, please email the Centre for Local History at Kingston University <>.
  • An international conference 'Elizabeth Gaskell and Manchester: Identity, Culture and the Modern City' is being held in the Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University on 19-21 July 2005. Organised by the Manchester Centre for Regional History in conjunction with the Gaskell Society, the conference wiill explore the literary, social, cultural and environmental importance of Gaskell. There will also be an opportunity to visit Elizabeth Gaskell's home. Details at: Bookings must be made by 1 July 2005.
  • The Twenty-Second Harlaxton Symposium will be on 'Recording Lives in England in the Later Middle Ages' and will take place on 19-22 July 2005 at Harlaxton manor, Lincolnshire. Speakers include: Anthony Bale, Caroline Barron, Mishtooni Bose, Virginia Davis, Tony Edwards, Chris Fletcher, Pamela Robinson, Henry Summerson, Anne Sutton. For details, see the conference website at: Bookings should be made by 30 June 2005.
  • The Centre for Local History Studies at Kingston University and the Conference of Regional and Local Historians (CORAL) are organising a conference on 'Issues of Community in the 19th and 20th centuries' which will take place on Friday 16th September 2005.
  • The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries and Dr Johnson’s House are organising a symposium in honour of Roy Porter on Apothecaries, Art and Architecture: Interpreting Georgian Medicine, to be held at Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, London EC4V 6EJ on 24-25 November 2005. The symposium’s objectives are to promote collections which are unknown, under exploited or not normally accessible to the research community and to encourage the use of these collections through lectures, discussion and displays. Speakers include Penelope Corfield, Ludmilla Jordanova, Brian Hurwitz, Tim Hitchcock, Ruth Richardson and Simon Chaplin.



  • Archives for London (AfL) will be launched on Wednesday 6 July at London Metropolitan Archives (40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell) at 6 pm. AfL intends to provide a single focal point for both practitioners and users of archives in London and to build on the work previously carried out by Greater London Archives Network (GLAN), the London Archive Users’ Forum (LAUF) and other networking bodies. AfL welcomes members from records/information management, collection care/conservation, local studies librarian, community archive, archive user and practitioner backgrounds who have an interest in the Capital’s wider archives agenda. Individual membership fees are £10 per annum. For those joining at the launch, this will be reduced to £5 for the period July 2005-March 2006. Institutional membership details will be available at the launch.
  • There are chances to learn about Guildhall Library's electronic resources in practical sessions on 6 July, 7 September and 2 November. Alternatively, guided tours of the Library will be available on 3 August, 5 October and 7 Decembe 2005r. For both the tours and electronic resources each session starts at 1.00pm and will last an hour. Bookings must be made in advance: Tel: 0202 7332 1866 or email:
  • Guildhall Library's Manuscript Section has launched a project to find all references to Black and Asian Londoners in their records and has invited their readers to participate in this. The list </gh/baentries.htm> currently contains 161 entries ranging from 1586 to 1896, all of which have been found in registers of baptisms, marriages and burials. The Manuscript Section is also interested in collecting the records of Black and Asian individuals, businesses and communities within the square mile of the City and would like anyone who has such records to contact them (email:
  • The Family Records Centre (1 Myddleton Street, London EC1R 1UW) hosts a programme of exhibitions and talks on a variety of family history-related topics. Tickets to the talks are free and can be collected from the Research Enquiry Desk on the first floor on the day. The events calendar is available at Among the upcoming talks is one on 28 June at 2 pm by Edward Higgs on ‘Why the Census was taken’. This coincides with the launch of the handbook Making Sense of the Census Revisited, copies of which are available now at £15 from the Institute of Historical Research bookshop: /bookshop/cat.html
  • Senate House Library’s <> latest exhibition is entitled ‘The People’s London’ and explores life in London for its inhabitants, from medieval times to the early twentieth century. It draws upon a wide range of printed book, archival and manuscript collections. Themes covered are: London before 1600; Civil War, Plague and Fire; Coffee Houses; Radicalism, c.1850-1914; Chartism; Foreign Radicals; Social Conditions; and Entertainment. The exhibition is being held in the Library’s Exhibition Hall until 28 October 2005. Admission is free.
  • From 25 June until 27 August 2005 Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre will be presenting a free exhibition on ‘Notable Asians in Camden’. It will explore the interconnected lives of a number of people of Asian descent who came to Camden to live, study and work over the past 200 years. See the Centre’s website for opening hours.
  • As well as events commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, the National Maritime Museum (NMM) at Greenwich has a full programme of lectures and courses relating to its collections and Greenwich itself. Among these is 'Greenwich People' (Saturday 25 June 10.30-16.15; £29 (£22)) which will study some of Greenwich's prominent residents and visitors such as Vanbrugh, the African-born writer Ignatius Sancho and Samuel Pepys (Booking details from the Museum <>). On 13 July2005 there will be a chance to discover the stories behind familiar landmarks along the river's embankments between Westminster and Greenwich with the boat tour 'History Afloat'. Experts from London's Transport Museum, the National Maritime Museum and the Museum of London will reveal the history of the River Thames, from Bronze-Age archaeology to Victorian railway bridges.
  • A number of events have been organised to mark the 400th anniversary of the ‘Gunpowder Plot’. From September to December 2005 a free exhibition ‘Remember, Remember’ will be held at the City of Westminster Archives Centre. On Saturday 5 November at Tower Hill, the Archives Centre will join with the Sub Rosa Theatre Company to present a new play based on the story of Guy Fawkes and the plot. Other events will be taking place at the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, The National Archives, The National Portrait Gallery; Globe Theatre, Museum of London, Hatfield House, Royal Gunpowder Mills, Coughton Court, Syon House, Alnwick Castle and Petworth House.



  • A number of volumes published by the London Record Society (LRS) before 1995, including those out of print, are now available through the British History Online website. The LRS website contains a list of publications with convenient clickable links direct to the online entries: visit /cmh/lrs/LRSpubs.html
  • On Thursday 19 May, The National Archives released the complete 1861 Census records for England and Wales via their Licensed Internet Associateship initiative with MyFamily Inc. This new online service, provided by MyFamily Inc on its website, offers free searches of the individual census database, with access to the digital images provided on a pay-per-view basis. To access the service, follow the links from The National Archives website at:
  • Over 3,700 historic photographs of London have recently been made available online via the National Monuments Record’s Viewfinder website 2400 photographs for the period 1870-1900 are from the collection of the London firm York & Son, which was one of the largest English produces of lantern slides, and contains a wide variety of street views, events, people and public buildings; 1300 photographs of the Thames and docks are from the Stanley W Rawlings collection of c.1945-65.
  • The Society of Antiquaries of London Catalogue of Drawings and Museum Objects is now available on line via the Arts and Humanities Data Service at The database contains over 4100 drawing and museum objects from the Society’s collections with images of over 2000 of these items.
  • The 24 Hour Museum <>, hosts a link to 'Discover London Trails' <> which have been created by the Campaign for Museums with support from the Mayor's Office and ALM London to cover different regions of the capital. Small museums and galleries, such as the Museum of Immigration and Diversity, are linked with other places of interest in half- and full-day trails. There are 11 trails, complete with map guides, which can be downloaded from the site including: the Historic Gardens Museum Trail; London's Literary Houses; London's Children and Family; London Arts and Crafts; The Hilltops of South London; London a World City; The Docklands and Brunel; Hendon to Camden; Exploring the Upper Thames; Wimbledon; Bright Lights and City Squares.




  • The list of contents and abstracts of papers of the latest issue of The London Journal (Volume 29, no. 2, 2004) are now on the Journal's website /cmh/londonjournal/.
  • In eighteenth-century London messengers from the Goldsmiths' Company crisscrossed the city bringing urgent news of the latest thefts and other crimes to the capital's goldsmiths, bankers, watchmakers, pawnbrokers and jewellers. A notebook, dating from c.1730, held in the Goldsmiths' Company archives, contains tantalising information about these messengers, known as Warning Carriers, and the work they undertook. Judy Jowett's investigations into this document, which lists some of the most famous craftsmen of the period (and many more previously unknown to historians), have brought to light a remarkable system of communication that was effective, efficient and apprarently unique to this livery company. This publication will fascinate all those who are interested in the life of eighteenth-century London and its luxury trades. Introductory text explains the background to the warning system, maps plot the routes of the messengers to nearly 550 addresses and contemporary documents have been searched for details of each business. Together these bring to life the role of the Warning Carriers and reveal how the various trades clustered in different parts of London. The Warning Carriers, by Judy Jowett, will be published by The Silver Society in September 2005 (144pp (48pp in colour); 50-60 illus plus maps. Guide price: £15). Further information from:




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Centre for Metropolitan History
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