CMH Electronic Newsletter no. 11

Issue number: 
Publish date: 
Sep 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.



  • The Centre is currently undergoing some changes. Foremost of these is that Heather Creaton, Deputy Director since the CMH's foundation in 1988, retired on 31 August. Heather's immense contribution to the Centre, to the Institute of Historical Research and to the archive and local studies community was outlined in the June newsletter and it goes without saying that she will be very greatly missed by us all. Although Heather was determined to leave quietly, this did not prevent staff, past and present, holding a lunch in her honour and celebrating her new freedom in true CMH style! It was also an opportunity for her to be presented with the University of London's long service award - an engraved piece of Senate House marble - as well as gifts and a very large cheque from her friends and colleagues. We have received several messages from Heather indicating that she is thoroughly enjoying her retirement in Bath and has already booked several trips to destinations in Europe to be taken before the year is out! She has not cut her ties with the Centre completely, however, and will be coming back in the autumn to teach some classes for our new MA.
  • Although Heather is a very hard act to follow, we are delighted to announce that our new Deputy Director will be Dr James Moore. James joins us from the University of Lancaster where he was a lecturer in history. He has also been Research Centre Administrator at the Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester. James has wide-ranging interests in British urban, regional and political history of the long nineteenth century and is particularly concerned with issues of civic politics and governance, political ideology, regional identity, and urban culture. His forthcoming publications include a study of Liberal politics and urban government in the late nineteenth century, an edited volume on political corruption, a history of art patronage and institutions in the north-west of England, and a book on London Progressivism and political culture 1889-1914. As well as bringing fresh perspectives on metropolitan history, James is also eager to build up contacts with London archives and local studies libraries. We look forward to welcoming him to the CMH at the beginning of October.
  • Also joining us in October is Dr Jennifer Holmes as Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow in Comparative Metropolitan History. Jennifer has recently completed her doctorate at the European University Institute in Florence on '"A Futurism of Place": Representations of the City and the Rejection of Domesticity in Vorticism and Italian Futurism, c.1909-1918'. She previously studied at the International Women's University, University of Kassel, and the University of Leicester. As well as a book arising from her doctoral thesis, Jennifer's forthcoming publications include an article on 'The Vortex of London Revisited: representations of suburbs and centre in the imperial metropolis'. The subject of Jennifer's Leverhulme Fellowship is '"The heart of the nation?" The cultural significance of Rome and London in comparative perspective, circa 1890 to 1930.
  • Our main event for the Autumn term is the conference 'Beyond Shakespeare's Globe: People, Place and Plays in the Middlesex suburbs, 1400-1700', which we are organising with Dr Eva Griffith and London Metropolitan Archives 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. Papers will address the themes of 'History, theatre history and the Middlesex suburbs', 'Early Middlesex: People, Players and Entertaining Clerkenwell', 'Middlesex and Clerkenwell: Terrain, Evidence, Data' and 'Citizen Playhouses? Actors and Audiences'. Speakers include: Vanessa Harding, William Ingram, Jessica Freeman, Anne Lancashire, John Lock, John Schofield, Gill Newton, Duncan Salkeld, John Astington, Marta Straznicky and Mark Bayer. There will also be an opportunity to visit the sites of the Red Bull Theatre and the Revels Office Buildings. The day will end at the Clerkenwell Theatre with a Jacobean-themed buffet supper and a performance of 'Jigs, Ballads and Drolls' by the Lions part theatre company and Passamezzo. The full programme and booking details are available at: /cmh/globe.html. The deadline for bookings is 7 October 2005.
  • Derek Keene is one of the organisers, with The National Archives and the University's School of Advanced Study, of The National Archives Annual Lecture which will be held on Monday 24 October 2005 at 5.30 pm in the Beveridge Hall, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. Albie Sachs, Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and actively associated with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will lecture on ' Archives, Truth and Reconciliation'. It will be followed by a drinks reception. The lecture is free and all are welcome to attend. This event is also supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
  • October looks like being a busy month as we also see the start of the MA in Metropolitan and Regional History which we are running in conjunction with the Victoria County History. We have recruited a good mix of students. We are looking forward to the challenges this new venture will bring and hope that the course will be further developed with input from James Moore who will be the course's administrator. Course details are available at: /degrees/metma.
  • There have been a few last-minute hitches in finalising the Metropolitan History Seminar programme for 2005-6, but this should be posted within the next week or so on the IHR website at: /ihrseminars/metropol.html. The seminar is held on alternate Wednesdays at 5.30 pm in the Pollard Room, First Floor, Institute of Historical Research. The first seminar for this term is expected to be on 26 October. One of the other seminars held at the Institute which might be of interest is that to be given by Dr David Green (King's College London) on Wednesday 12 October (5.15 pm, Wolfson Room) on 'Pauper Protests: power and resistance in early nineteenth-century London workhouses'. This is part of the programme for the British History in the Long Eighteenth Century Seminar. For a complete list of the seminar programmes hosted by the Institute visit: /ihrseminars. These seminars are free and open to all.
  • The 'Views of Hosts: Reporting the alien commodity trade 1440-1445' project (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council </cmh/projects.html#voh>) is now in its final month of funding. The transcript and translation of all the views has been completed, the transcript checked against the originals, and the translation checked against the transcript. The glossary has been updated, lists compiled (eg., of ships and shipmasters mentioned in the texts) and correlation of information from other primary sources - such as testamentary records, mayor's court cases and particulars of account for customs - undertaken. It is hoped that the transcript of the views and database of information contained in them will be available online through the British History Online <> site later in the year.
  • The 'People in Place: Families, households and housing in early modern London' project </cmh/pip>, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council) is progressing well. Inputting of all the parish register information into the database and coding of the Marriage Duty Returns of 1695 has been completed, resulting in a database which now contains 55,000 records of individuals. Work on the property histories has started. Gill Newton, one of the project's researchers, will be giving a paper arising from this work - 'Marriage a-la-mode: matrimony and mobility among the inhabitants of early modern Clerkenwell' - at the 'Beyond Shakespeare's Globe' conference (see above).



  • Some of you will have noticed that the IHR website <> has undergone a complete overhaul. The new design went live on 1 September. Although the structure is similar to the old design, much attention has been given to producing a 'cleaner' appearance and complying with accessibility requirements, as well as improving navigation of the site. The website manager, Martin Cook, would be grateful for any feedback on the redesign email
  • The symposium on 'History in Schools and Higher Education: Issues of Common Concern' will be held at the IHR on 29 September 2005. Organised by the IHR, the Historical Association, the Royal Historical Society and the History at the Universities Defence Group, the meeting will address issues arising from the forthcoming changes in 14-19 education and concerns that links between schools and the Higher Education sector have been weakened. The full programme and booking information is available at: /conferences/education.html#schools. Bookings should be made by 22 September 2005.
  • The IHR is hosting two open days for history students. On 13 October from 2.00 pm there will be an afternoon of presentations for new research students, focusing on the unique research facilities, publications and traing resources offered by the Institute. This will be followed at 5.00 pm by the launch of the History Lab, the IHR's postgraduate history network for, and administered by, history postgraduate students. A drinks reception will be accompanied by a short presentation that will outline the History Lab's objectives. The afternoon and evening of 25 October will be devoted to London's research resources. The afternoon session, from 3.30 pm will be devoted to questions and short presentations about historical research in London. The issues of funding, choosing a supervisor and gaining access to resources will be addressed. The evening exhibition will be open from 5.00 pm until 8.00 pm. Representatives from History Departments in London Universities will be available to discuss opportunities for historical study at postgraduate level.



  • A reminder that the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries and Dr Johnson’s House have organised a symposium in honour of Roy Porter on 'Apothecaries, Art and Architecture: Interpreting Georgian Medicine'. It will be held at Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, London EC4V 6EJ on 24-25 November 2005. Speakers include Penelope Corfield, Ludmilla Jordanova, Brian Hurwitz, Tim Hitchcock, Ruth Richardson and Simon Chaplin.
  • The University of East Anglia School of History's Fifth Roger Virgoe Memorial Lecture will be given by Professor Barrie Dobson (York) on 'The Jews of Medieval Norwich and York' on Thursday 10 November 2005 in Lecture Theatre 2. Also at the UEA, there will be a one-day conference commemorating Lord Nelson on Saturday 26 November. Speakers inlcude Roger Knight, Professor of Maritime History, University of Greenwich, Professor Eric Grove, University of Hull and Professor Richard Wilson, University of East Anglia. The conference will be held in the Elizabeth Fry Building, University of East Anglia, Norwich. Further details of both events from


  • Archives for London (AfL) - the new networking body for both practitioners and users of London archives - have organised a series of free seminars to be held on the first Thursday of each month at London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R 0HB. The seminars start at 6.00 pm with refreshments are available from 5.30 pm. The next three seminars are: 6 October - Janice Tullock (NWRAC) 'Beating the backlog: What has the North West Regional Archives Council's Logjam project achieved by autiditing uncatalogued archive collections?'; 3 November - Colin Thomas (Survey of London, English Heritage) 'Living in London' [history of London's houses]; and 1 December - Caroline Reed (ALM London) 'Images of London: What is the region planning for film archive provision in our city?'. Each seminar is also an open forum providing opportunities to ask questions and to exchange the latest news. A list of future seminars is available at: /events/morext.html#arc. To book a place, please contact Nicola Avery at the LMA (email: Nicola is also the person to contact if you would like to join Archives for London.
  • o As part of the Archive Awareness Campaign Guildhall Library Manuscript Section has organised a series of free events. All events are at 2.00 pm in the Guildhall Library Lecture Theatre, Aldermanbury, London EC2P. Places are limited, so please book in advance (Tel: 020 7332 1863 or email: The events include: 13 October - behind the scenes tour of the Manuscripts Section store and Conservation workshop; 25 October - 'Bravery Awards at Guildhall Library' (Matthew Payne, Assistant Archivist); 17 November - 'Four early maps of London' (John Fisher, Prints and Maps Librarian); 29 November - 'Business records for family historians' (Charlie Turpie, Deputy Keeper of Manuscripts), followed by a visit to the Bank of England Museum. For a full list of events see:
  • London Metropolitan Archives have also organised a an extensive programme of events, many free, as part of the Archive Awareness Campaign. Topics include: 'London's transport 1855-1889' (3 October); 'Down Below: The Commissions of Sewers' (13 October); 'London's Sick children - a workshop on the history of health care for children from the nineteenth-century' (22 October); and 'Caring for Your Family History' (27 October). The full list and booking information is available at:
  • At the Museum of London, the new Medieval London Gallery is due to open on 25 November. Covering the period from the end of Roman rule in 410 AD to the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558, the new more spacious gallery will be able to exhibit hitherto unseen archaeological finds. The Museum of London is also holding lecture on 'Migration and modernity' on 11 October, 7.00 pm-9.00 pm. Dr Mike Phillips will examine how London Transport served as a beacon for Caribbean immigrants struggling to come to terms with cultural change in the 1940s and 1950s, and how the structure of the transport system affected both the way migrants lived and their view of the opportunities open to them. Fee: £5.00/£3.00.Visit:
  • The Open Museum department at the National Maritime Museum (NMM) in Greenwich is running a special one-day course 'Did your ancestor sail with Nelson' which combines practical genealogy and stories of those who sailed with Nelson. There is also a 9-week course on 'How to research maritime history at the Museum'. Further details are available at:
  • The V&A Museum is holding a conference on 'The Georgian Interior' on 4-5 November to coincide with the 5th anniversary of the opening of the British Galleries at the V&A. The conference will discuss the key styles associated with the Georgian period and also address such questions as 'How did contemporaries furnish their homes' and 'Why has Georgian architecture come to be so popular and so protected, and where can we find the 'Georgian interior' today'. Information at:
  • A number of exhibitions are currently being held in London to mark the 400th anniversary of the ‘Gunpowder Plot’: 'The Gunpowder Plot: Parliament and Treason in 1605' (free, Westminster Hall, SW1); 'Gunpowder Treason (HM Tower of London, EC3); 'Gunpowder, Treason and Plot' (National Portrait Gallery, from 17 September); 'He Who Whispers: Shakespeare and the Gunpowder Plot' (Shakespeare's Globe Exhibition, Bankside, SE1); and 'Remember, Remember' (City of Westminster Archives Centre). The National Archives at Kew will be holding a workshop on 'Gunpowder 400: The people and the plot' on Saturday 5 November 2005, 12.00 pm to 2.00 pm. The speakers will be Mark Nicholls (St John's College Cambridge, author of Investigating the Gunpowder Plot) and James Travers (The National Archives and author of the forthcoming book Gunpowder: The Players behind the Plot) who will present their views on Guy Fawkes's co-conspirators (Tickets £5/£4).



  • The London Borough of Bromley Archives' catalogue is now online. It was formally launched on 8 July and received over 750 hits in the first two weeks. Much of the content is the result of particpating in three A2A projects: Local Governance, Aladdin's Cave and Magpie's Nest. The archives are also halfway through an HLF-funded cataloguing project entitled 'From Penge to Petts Wood' which has added nearly 3000 entries to the database. The catalogue is available at
  • The Kingston Life Cycles database is on available online via the Kingston University Centre for Local History Studies website at: (then click on 'Search Records'). The online database was officially launched in May and contains data from: the census records for Kingston upon Thames Census area 1851-1891; Bonner Hill Cemetery Burial Registers 1855-1911; Kingston Parish Burial Registers 1850-1901; and Kingston Parish Marriage Registers 1850-1901.



  • The list of contents and abstracts of papers of the latest issue of The London Journal (Volume 30, no. 1, 2005) are now on the Journal's website: /cmh/londonjournal/.
  • Dr Stephen Inwood's next book is due to be published on 7 October by Pan Macmillan. Entitled City of Cities: The Birth of Modern London (ISBN 0333782879; £25), it covers the period c.1883-1914 and explores the great changes that took place in industry, education, transport, technology, immigration, social policy and the position of women which, he argues, turned London into a twentieth-century city by 1914. Details at:
  • Also due to be published this autumn is London Politics, 1760-1914 (ed. Matthew Cragoe, Antony Taylor; Palgrave Macmillan; ISBN 140399000X; £45). A collection of essays providing a detailed investigation of political life in London. Full details at:
  • We have received a message from BookForce, a London-based publishing company, about a nationwide writing competition called Undiscovered Authors. They are looking for people with interesting stories, historical insights or facts to convey, from local history guides, historical places of interest, archaeology, research into place names, pleasant walks and tours, religion in history, family history, etc. Entries can be on any subject matter, under the categories of General Fiction, Non-fiction and Academic with prizes up to £10,000. The closing date for registrations is 31 December 2005. Details at:




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The information in this newsletter is provided in good faith, however the Centre for Metropolitan History cannot guarantee
the accuracy of the information and accepts no responsibility for any error or misrepresentation.


Centre for Metropolitan History
Institute of Historical Research
(School of Advanced Study, University of London)
Senate House
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU