CMH Electronic Newsletter no. 13

Issue number: 
Publish date: 
May 2006





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 email alert 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 are available at /cmh/newsletter.html.

News from the CMH
News from the Institute of Historical Research (IHR)
News from other Centres
News from Museums and Local Studies Libraries
Online Resources
New Publications








As several months have passed since the last Newsletter there is a good deal of news to catch up on:

  • First of all, congratulations are due to Matthew Davies on being awarded the title of Reader in London History by the University of London. As well as all the many activities he undertakes as Director of the CMH, Matthew is the Course Director for the joint CMH/Victoria County History MA in Metropolitan Regional History, and he is a member of the Academic Support Team and serves on the advisory board of British History Online <>, the Institute of Historical Research's digital library of sources for British history. Matthew is also the IHR's representative on the History Advisory Panel of the Subject Panel for History, Classics and Archaeology, and he has recently been appointed as a Senior Advisor to the Records of Early English Drama (REED) project.



  • We are looking forward to welcoming two new members of staff, Dr Jonathan Mackman and Dr Matthew Stevens, on 1 June when work begins on our Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded project, 'Londoners and the Law: pleadings in the court of common pleas, 1399-1509'. Jonathan’s DPhil (York) was on ‘The Lincolnshire Gentry and the Wars of the Roses’ and he joins us from The National Archives where he worked on the E 179 (Lay Taxation) project. Matthew’s PhD thesis was entitled ‘Race, Gender and Wealth in a Medieval Welsh Borough: Access to Capital, market Participation, and Social Status in Ruthin 1312-1322’ (University of Wales, Aberystwyth). He is the current holder of the Economic History Society Eileen Power Research Fellowship at the IHR/Oxford. The 30-month project, under the directorship of Matthew Davies and Hannes Kleineke (History of Parliament Trust), will extract and analyse information from the 433 plea rolls of the Court of Common Pleas (TNA class CP40) relating to litigation involving Londoners in the 15th century. During this period, the Court of Common Pleas became ever more popular amongst litigants. The project aims to assess the nature of the litigation, and the function of particular kinds of suit in seeking remedies to a wide range of breaches of contract, to expand our knowledge of how individuals and groups, such as guilds, understood and used the law in relation to their business, family or property interest. As many of the cases arose from disputes with commercial and other contacts in the English counties, it is hoped that the research will also shed a great deal of light on the nature of the links between the city and the regions in the later middle ages, thereby building on work previously carried out at the Centre by Jim Galloway and Margaret Murphy (see the Market Networks and the Metropolis: the trade in agrarian produce, c.1400 <> and Metropolitan Market Networks, 1300-1600. It is intended that the results of the project will be published in a series of articles and that data from the project will be made available through British History Online. A short feature on the new project appeared in the latest issue of Podium, the AHRC’s magazine (Issue 4, April 2006, p. 8: <>).
  • Our other AHRC-funded project, ‘People in Place: families, households and housing in early modern London’  (undertaken in collaboration with Birkbeck College and the Cambridge Group for the History of Population; see </cmh/pip/> for the background to the project) is well into its final year of funding. Work is now being undertaken on the comparative analysis of the Cheapside and St Botolph Aldgate sample areas across three ‘snapshot’ periods (1580-1600, 1620-1640 and 1670-1710), based on the material contained in the project’s database: taxation data, parish registers, wills, various surveys, beadles’ returns, parish clerk memoranda and parish listings. The analysis to date has concentrated on the composition of households and families to test assumptions about the differing nature of the social and demographic makeup of these contrasting areas. Articles based on this analysis will be submitted to a journal in the near future . In addition, because of the survival of numerous inhabitants listings for the parish throughout the 17th century, a case-study of St Mary Colechurch has been made to examine the issue of length of residence in a more systematic way than the information for the other parishes allows. Family reconstitution for the Cheapside and Clerkenwell areas has now been been completed and has generated considerable detail on the demographic characteristics of these areas. The next stage will be to investigate the impact living conditions may have had on the nature of the domestic group by linking families and households to specific buildings. The project team presented papers at a session dedicated to the project at the Economic History Society Conference in March. They will also be giving papers at: the Historical Studies Postgraduate Forum, University of Birmingham, 14th June; the Eighth International Conference of the European Urban History Association in Stockholm, 30 August-2 September; and the British Society for Population Studies Conference, University of Southampton, 18-20 September. The result of an application submitted to the Wellcome Trust for a complementary project examining mortality, housing, and the social and physical environment c.1550-1750 is expected in June.
  • We were very pleased to hear that the End of Award Report for the ESRC-funded ‘Views of Hosts: Reporting the Alien Commodity Trade, 1440-45' project </cmh/project.html#voh> was graded ‘Outstanding’ by the ESRC’s peer reviewers. Once again congratulations are due to Matthew Davies, the project’s director, and particularly to Dr Helen Bradley who both formulated the project and undertook the research. The text of the end of award report is now available on the CMH website </cmh/vohfinal.pdf>. As noted in the last Newsletter, the database of names and commodity descriptions from 2,300 business transactions contained in the Views can be downloaded from the UK Data Archive <> (Study Number 5297); it will also be available on British History Online later in the year. It is hoped that the transcripts of all of the 74 Views will be online on the Centre’s website within the next few weeks. Work is being completed on the London Record Society volume which will include translations, a glossary and an extended introduction; this should be delivered in the autumn.
  • Thanks to generous donations from the Mercers’ and Goldsmiths’ Companies, David Tomkins has now completed work on editing and checking data from the Museum of London’s Bibliography of the Archaeology of Greater London. This has resulted in the addition of over 3,000 new records to the London’s Past Online (LPOL) database </cmh/lpol/>. The total number of items in the bibliography now stands at over 40,000. We hope that further funding can be secured to enable LPOL to be extended and updated in the future.
  • Derek Keene, Leverhulme Professor of Comparative Metropolitan History, has completed his research on Poland/Lithuania which will be published as a paper on ‘England and Poland: medieval metropolises compared’. He has also finished editing Cities and Cultural Exchange in Early Modern Europe, which is to be published later this year by Cambridge University Press, and is now working on a volume of essays on Segregation and Assimilation in the Medieval Towns of Central and Eastern Europe. His other current research concerns investigations of early medieval London’s judicial hinterland and the interaction between record-keeping, history making, city government and national politics between the 11th and the early 13th century.
  • Derek is also involved with colleagues at the Institute of Archaeology (UCL) and the Museum of London in a new Leverhulme Trust-funded project, ‘An interdisciplinary study of human growth in London over the past 1500 years’. In 19th-20th century Europe there was a consistent rise in growth rate, apparently due to improved health, diet and social conditions. The direction of secular growth rate change before the 19th century, however, is not known because there are no appropriate records providing information on stature. This 3-year project, based at the Institute of Archaeology, aims to investigate secular change in the rate and pattern of dental and skeletal growth in Roman and 11th-19th century London children, using the Museum of London’s collection of 17,000 skeletons. Both historical and archaeological evidence will also be used to investigate the potential effect of social change on such variation in child growth and health.
  • Jennifer Holmes, our Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow has made an excellent start on her research on the cultural significance of Rome and London in comparative perspective, circa 1890 to 1930, including a short research trip to Rome which provided a good opportunity to meet Italian scholars working in related fields and helped to define themes and sources relating to her research.
  • As far as future projects are concerned James Moore, our Deputy Director, is developing plans for a project on 'Urban Governance, Political Networks and Policy Formation in English Municipal Government'. The project will probably focus on the period 1860-1914 when local government management became increasingly ‘professionalised’ and tightly organised political parties came to dominate local politics and policy formation. James is currently in discussion with a number of potential partners interested in this area, including both academics specialising in urban governance and those working in the local government sector.



  • The CMH is keen to continue the expansion of its postgraduate programmes at both MA and MPhil/PhD level, and is very pleased that, in partnership with the Museum of London, it has been awarded funding by the AHRC for studentships under the Collaborative Doctoral Awards scheme. The three fully-funded studentships, the first of which will start in October 2006, will be for work relating to the broad theme of ‘London on display: civic identities, cultures and industry, 1851-1951’. Research will be based around key collections at the Museum of London, including archives of exhibitions, museum and galleries records, prints and drawings, newspapers and periodicals, proceedings of voluntary associations and business/trade archives.
  • The Centre’s two new graduate research students have made very good progress. Jordan Landes, who started her research in October on London Quakers and their transatlantic connections in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, has found much useful material relating to ship ownership, mercantile activities and contacts between London meeting houses and their counterparts in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Carlos López Galviz, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, joined us in January to undertake his study of the cultural impact of metro systems in London and Paris, and has begun to explore the relevant visual and archival sources for London and to acquaint himself with published material for Paris. Our existing students, Catherine Wright and Laurie Lindey, are also progressing well. Catherine has delivered two conference papers relating to her work on the Dutch community in seventeenth-century London, while Laurie is completing an very interesting analysis of the social and geographic origins of apprentices within the Joiners’ Company between 1640 and 1720.
  • The first year of the joint CMH/VCH MA in Metropolitan and Regional History is coming to an end. Judging from an article in the June issue of Ancestors magazine written by one of the current students, Cheryl Bailey, and various other feedback, the students appear to have both enjoyed and benefitted from the experience. We are now in the midst of recruiting for 2006-7 and are very encouraged by the number of applications received so far. Details of the course are available at </degrees/metma>.

Conferences and other activities

  • On 19 March, joining some 50 other stallholders representing many of London’s museums, archives, local history libraries, history group and societies at the London Maze local history fair at the Guildhall, we spent the day answering diverse London-related questions, explaining the MA course and selling CMH publications. We were so busy that at one stage an emergency dash back to the Institute was necessary to restock our leaflets and publications, and we were not surprised to learn that the fair had attracted over 2700 people! The staff at Guildhall Library and Art Gallery are to be congratulated for organising such a highly successful event. We look forward to participating in the next London Maze in October 2007.
  • The CMH's international conference co-organised with the University of Amsterdam on ‘Metropolis and State in Early Modern Europe, 1400-1800’ held at the on 27-28 March was another great success. It attracted speakers from Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and the USA. Supported by Leverhulme and the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research, the conference explored, from a comparative point of view, the peculiar relationship between European metropolises and the central state during the early modern period. Plans for publishing the papers are currently being considered.
  • Unfortunately, the conference on ‘Teaching London’, co-organised with the University of Westminster and due to be held on 28-29 April, had to be postponed. We are now looking to rearrange it for sometime in November. Details will be available in the next Newsletter and on the website.
  • Phil Baker, one of the researchers on the People in Place project is currently co-organising an interdisciplinary conference on ‘Rediscovering Radicalism in the British Isles and Ireland, c.1550-c.1700: movements of people, texts and ideas', which will take place at Goldsmiths College, London on 21-23 June. The programme and booking details are now online at <>.
  • The final symposium in the joint CMH/Raphael Samuel History Centre (UEL) Cities and Empires series will be on 23 June. The theme will be ‘Cities and Imperial Commodities’ and paper will be given by: Michelle Craig (Harvard Business School), Erika Rappaport (University of California, Santa Barbara), Jenny Anderson (New York University), and Hal Cook (University College London). The meeting will be held from 4.30 to 7.30 pm in Room 275, Stewart House (adjoined to Senate House, Russell Square entrance), University of London, 32 Russell Square, London WC1B. It is open to all and is free of charge, with no advanced booking necessary. For further information please email
  • James Moore has organised a conference in conjunction with the Liberal Democrat History Group to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1906 election. ‘Landslide! The 1906 Election and the Legacy of the Last Liberal Government’ will be held on Saturday 1 July at the IHR; participants include: Danny Alexander MP, Professor Peter Barberis, Professor Michael Freeden, Julia Goldsworthy MP, Dr Evan Harris MP, Dr Alison Holmes, Paul Holmes MP, Dr Bill Lancaster, Dr Michael Lynch, Dr Ian Packer, Dr Paul Readman, Dr Kathryn Rix and Professor José J Sanmartín. The conference is free, but please email James if you would like to attend:
  • The CMH is seeking to develop more contacts with local studies libraries and societies. Most of the current intake on the MA course developed an interest in history through local and regional history groups and leaflets placed in record offices and libraries or distributed by local history groups have proved to be the most successful recruitment tool. We have recently written to over 150 local, regional and family history societies inviting members to use our online facilities and to take a greater interest in our work. The CMH hopes, in conjunction with the Victoria County History, to organise activities with local societies and to encourage further community history work within the region. We are also very happy to publicise local history news, events, resources and publications through this Newsletter and - in the near future - through an improved website. For further information, please email:






  • The IHR is delighted to report that it has been awarded US$900,000 by The Andrew W Mellon Foundation to develop British History Online <>. Phase II of the project, from 1 August 2006, will see the digitisation of the Calendars of State Papers, Domestic (1547–1704, 1760–75), a further 40 volumes of the Victoria County History, and a range of other sources for the social, administrative, economic and political history of Britain. The project will also expand its London-related material to include published chronicles and livery company records, Middlesex sessions records, Sharpe’s Calendar of Husting Wills, Beaven’s Aldermen of London, Stow’s Survey of London, as well as several CMH datasets.
  • The Centre for Contemporary British History’s Summer Conference will be held in Senate House on 28-30 June. ‘From "Voluntary Organisation" to "NGO"? Voluntary action in Britain since 1900’ will explore the range and the place of voluntary action in British society over the past century, in what respects it has changed and the influences upon change. Speakers include Frank Prochaska, Jose Harris, Chris Pond. For the programme and booking form see <>.
  • The Institute’s 75th Anglo-American Conference will take place on 5-7 July. This year’s theme is ‘Religions and Politics’ and plenary speakers include Callum Brown (Dundee), Richard Carwardine (Oxford), David Cesarani (Royal Holloway University of London), Patrick Collinson (Cambridge), Barbara D. Metcalf (Michigan) and Jinty Nelson (King's College London). The conference programme is available in pdf form at: </conferences/prog.pdf> and the registration form at </conferences/regform.rtf>. For further information, contact Richard Butler at the Institute:
  • The papers from the two conferences held in 2005 at the IHR on Education – History in British Education (February) and History in Schools and Higher Education (September) are now online at </education/index.html>. A third conference, ‘History in British education: issues of progression and assessment’ will be held on 25 October 2006. Details from Richard Butler:
  • Thanks to generous funding from the IHR Friends, a free booklet, How to get published: a guide for historians, has been produced. It should be of particular value to postgraduate students and others wishing to publish their research for the first time. Articles focus on monograph and article publishing, preparing camera ready copy, developments in electronic publishing, technical tips from publishers, and comment on personal experiences from academics who have been through the publishing process. If you would like a copy, please contact the IHR Bookshop: with your name and address. The booklet will also soon be available on the IHR website <>.
  • Forthcoming training courses at the IHR include: 'An introduction to family history' (26-30 June), 'British sources and archives' (10-14 July) and 'Databases for historians' (18-21). For further information and application forms see: </training/> or email:






  • The School of English and Drama at Queen Mary, University of London is holding a symposium on ‘Literature and Independence’ on Saturday 10 June from 9.30 am-5.30 pm. The symposium seeks to explore how episodes of conflict, partition and mass migration in India, Israel/Palestine and Ireland, and the beginnings of Caribbean emigration to Britain, registered in the literary imagination and the impact they had on the literary world of the English metropolis. The symposium is free. For details and registration, please contact Alistair Daniel (
  • The Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies (School of Advanced Study, University of London) is hosting several events in June which may be of interest to readers: as part of the ‘Cutural Exchange in Vienna and Berlin in the early twentieth century postgraduate series, John Warren (Oxford) will speak on 'Berlin Cabaret and the Viennese Contribution' (15 June 3.15 to 5.15 pm); in the ‘Cultural Identity of European Cities’ lecture series, Professor Adrian Rifkin (Middlesex) will present ‘Bayreuth, World City?’ (15 June, 5.30 to 7.30 pm); and Professor Juliet Flower MacCannell (University of California) will give the Cassal Lecture in French Culture on ‘The City, Year Zero: Memory and the Spatial Unconscious’ on 19 June at 6.00pm. All are welcome. Please see <> for the venues and details of these events.
  • The 23rd Harlaxton Medieval Symposium will take place on 17-20 July . This year’s theme is ‘Signs and Symbols’, and the symposium will explore their use for communication in the Middle Ages in art and the written word, looking at why symbols were chosen, why they were needed and how popular they were. A tour of Peterborough Cathedral is also included in the programme. Speakers include: John Cherry, Elizabeth Danbury, Lucy Freeman Sandler, Paul Harvey, Derek Keene Elizabeth New, Andrew Prescott, Nicholas Rogers, Nigel Saul, Magnus Williamson and Pamela Tudor-Craig, Lady Wedgwood. The cost, including accommodation and meals, is £150 (£100 for full-time students). Details and a provisional programme are available at <>. Places should be booked by the end of June.
  • The Conference of Regional and Local Historians (CORAL) has organised a Research Colloquium for tutors of part-time graduate degree courses in local and regional history which will take place at the IHR on Thursday 13 July. The colloquium will provide an opportunity to discuss problems encountered by part-time students and their tutors, and how these have been overcome. Topics will include assignments, supervisions, and support for mature students. Further particulars from Dr Evelyn Lord, Madingley Hall, Cambridge, CB3 8AQ. Email:
  • Evelyn Lord is also the person to contact for details of CORAL’s annual conference which will take place on 15 September 2006 at Peterborough College of Adult Education. The theme is ‘Sport, Entertainment, Leisure and Local Identity’ and it aims to explore the role of leisure activities in shaping local identity from the late medieval period to the present. Email:
  • The papers from the 2004 CORAL conference on 'The Development of the Provincial Press in England, c.1780-1914' will appear as a special issue (Volume 7, Number 3 (June 2006)) of Journalism Studies <>. Members of CORAL paying the full subscription rate (£16) will automatically receive a copy.
  • The Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in conjunction with the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, invites 300-word abstracts and poster proposals on any relevant topic for a conference on ‘Environment, health and history’ to be held in London on 12-15 September 2007. Abstracts should be submitted to Ingrid James (email: by 17 November 2006. Details at <>.



  • The next seminars in the free Archives for London (AfL) monthly series are: 1 June, 'Journalists and using the Freedom of Information Act' (speaker, Rob Evans, The Guardian); 6 July, 'From the outside looking in' – how visitor survey feedback and the aims of the National Survey of Visitors to British Archives programme help archive users and practictioners (Geoff Pick, LMA); 7 September, 'Using electronic resources for research' (Ruth Paley, History of Parliament and Jan Booth, Records Manager, KCL); and 5 October, 'Room for improvement?' - how Comprehensive Performance Assessment and best value reviews can help archive users and practitioners’ (Karen Esson, Audit Commission and Paul Bristow, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council). All take place at London Metropolitan Archives at 6 pm, with refreshments from 5.30 pm. If you would like to join AfL (the 2006-7 subscription rate for individual members is £10), or attend any of the seminars, please contact Nicola Avery, c/o London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R 0HB; email:
  • Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre will be closed on Monday 19 June 2006 so that staff can attend a training day. Until 22 July, the Archives Centre is hosting a an exhibition on the origins of cinema in London. Covering the period 1894-1914 'Moving Pictures Come to London: the First Decades' includes screenings of early London film and also features part of Colin Sorenson’s exhibition, 'London on Film', first displayed at the Museum of London. The exhibition is open during normal opening hours see <> for more information.
  • The name index (c.9500 entries) for the Marriage Licence Records for the Royal Peculiar of St Katharine by the Tower has now been completed and is available in Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section reading room. The records cover the periods 1686-9, 1698-1704, and 1720-1802 (with gaps).
  • Guildhall Library Print Room’s current exhibition (until 10 June) is 'City of London Interiors'. It features the drawings made by Victorian artist John Crowther to record some of London’s buildings which were under threat of demolition at the end of the nineteenth-century, including taverns, schools, Inns of Court, livery halls, churches and synagogues. The exhibition is free and is open Monday to Saturday 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.
  • Hour-long guided tours of Guildhall Library will take place on Wednesdays 7 June and 2 August at 1.00 pm. If you would like to more about the Library’s computer-based resources, practical sessions will be held on 3 May and 5 July also at 1.00pm. Tours and sessions are free but advanced booking is essential. Email:
  • Benjamin Franklin House at 36 Craven Street, London WC2 opened to the public in January 2006. Built around 1730 and Grade I listed, Franklin lived there between 1757 and 1775. The building has undergone extensive conservation and restoration over the past 10 years to return its 18th-century state, retaining many original features. The House is visited by way of the Historical Experience Tour (Adults £8, concessions £5), which uses the house as a staging for drama involving live performance, lighting, sound and projection technology - details and opening hours from <>. However, the museum is offering readers of the newsletter a free tour of the House. These tours will take place during both the mornings and afternoons of 4 July and 11 July. Post publication update: The booking has to be made as a group, so if you would like to take up this offer, please contact Olwen Myhill at the CMH with your preferred date, stating am or pm (email:
  • The Bishopsgate Institute has arranged a number of events celebrating the culture and history of London for the summer months. These include walks exploring London Film Locations (Sunday 4 June) and London’s Theatreland (Sunday 9 July), and talks on 'Musical Life in Eighteenth-Century London' (Tuesday 20 June) and 'London on Film' (Tuesday 18 July). Tickets for each event are £6 (concessions £5) and advance booking is essential. Booking forms are available on the Institute website at <> or telephone: 020 7392 9200 (Ask for the Programmes team).
  • As a result of the recent restructuring of the Hackney Archives Service (43 de Beauvoir Road, London N1 5SQ) public opening hours have been increased. The department is now open: Tuesday: 9:30 am-1pm, 2pm-8 pm; Wednesday and Thursday: 9.30 am-1pm, 2pm-5.30 pm and Friday 9.30 am-1 pm (Closed Monday). It is still essential to make an appointment before visiting the archives: <>; email:; Tel: 020 7241 2886; Fax: 020 7241 6688.
  • As part of National Archaeology Week, the Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey (in conjunction with the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society (GLIAS)), is conducting guided tours of the site on 22nd and 23rd July. An illustrated talk will be given by Wayne Cocroft on 'Gunpowder Mills and Explosives Factories in France, Germany, Portugal and the United States'. The talk begins at 12.00 on both days and will be followed by a 2-hour tour from 2 pm. GLIAS considers the Royal Gunpowder Mills to be one of the most important industrial archaeological sites in the Greater London area. It extends to around 170 acres and many buildings survive, ranging from Victorian steam driven mills to small magazines and WWII air raid shelters. In addition to the archaeology of gunpowder and explosives, the Mills are also important for the preservation of the buildings of a distributed hydraulic power system and for an internal canal system at one time extending to around 5 miles used for transporting matieral between production units. Advance book is necessary (Adult £4.50, Children £2.75). Details at <>.
  • The Museum of London’s current exhibition is ‘Satirical London: Three centuries of satire, sex and scandal’ includes over 350 social and political satires ranging from Hogarth’s prints and Punch cartoons to the latex puppets of Spitting Image. Whether tackling historical events or focusing on the comic, vice, folly and antisocial behaviour, these satires document the city and its people in a unique way. The exhibition is free and runs until 3 September. If you are unable to visit in person you could try the virtual exhibition available at <>.
    For information on exhibitions and events at the Museum of London and the Museum in Docklands see <>.




  • A new updated version of Internet Resources for History, a guide to the best of the web for studies in History, has recently been published by the IHR and Humbul. For a free copy, email: or download the booklet from the Humbul website <>.
  • English Heritage, in partnership with the IHR, is making the 45-volume Survey of London series available, free of charge, via British History Online <>. Since 1894, the Survey has produced detailed studies of London’s architecture and topography, and is therefore required reading for anyone interested in London’s development, buildings and monuments. Phase one of this project was launched in February. Volumes currently online cover St James Westminster, St Anne Soho and the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair. Completion of the project is planned for September 2008.
  • Funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Inner Temple Admissions Database is now available online at <>. The datatabase contains biographical information about past members of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, one of the four London-based Inns of Court, covering admissions between 1547 and 1850. As well as lawyers, the database contains members who became courtiers, writers, scientists, politicians and adventurers.
  • Two new catalogues can now be consulted on the City of London online library catalogue <> (click on "Former Catalogue"): the Harrisons and Crosfield archive (GL Mss 37001-38277) and the London Stock Exchange applications for listing from 1939 to 1965 (GL Ms18000A). Daniel and Smith Harrison and Joseph Crosfield started business in Liverpool in 1844 as tea and coffee merchants, moving to Great Tower Street, London in 1854. Over the years the business diversified into rubber, timber, palm oil, and specialty chemicals. The applications for listing were made by companies to have their shares traded on the Stock Exchange and/or by companies who wished to have their share price quoted in the Stock Exchange official list.. In return for the approval of the application for listing, the company published more information about itself and its trading performance than was statutorily required. A Word version of the catalogue for the applications is available also available. Please email:
  • It is now possible to search across 28 million archive records using The National Archives’ new Global Search engine <>. A single search will now return results not only from TNA website pages, the TNA catalogue, DocumentsOnline and Access to Archives (A2A), but also the Moving Here and Family Records websites, the National Register of Archives (NRA), the ARCHON Directory and online research guides.
  • Another useful tool available on the The National Archives website is a Currency Conversion program <>. It converts values in pounds, shillings and pence from a particular decade between 1270 and 1970 into today’s values and also shows the relative buying power of money at particular periods in history.
  • If your Latin skills are rusty or even non-existent, The National Archives’ latest in-depth online learning guide should help. The ‘Beginners’ Latin’ interactive tutorial provides a guide to the Latin used in documents between 1086 and 1733. It is divided into 12 lessons, supported by exercises, activities and word lists. No previous knowledge of Latin is necessary <>.
  • The TUC Library Collections at London Metropolitan University, in partnership with the Trades Union Congress and the National Pensioners’ Convention and supported by the Big Lottery Fund, has created the new online resource ‘The Workers’ War: Home Front Recalled’. Formally launched by Tony Benn in March, the website illustrates the experiences of firefights, rescue workers, miners and factory works during World War Two through photographs, posters, documents and oral history interviews. It is available at <>.
  • The Eastside Community Heritage website hosts the multi-media 'Hidden Histories' archives which have been set up from recollections collected during a series of community projects documenting the lives of ‘ordinary’ people in the East End. They include: Green Street Lives (Newham), Stories from Silvertown, Carry on Canals - people who have lived and worked on the Canals, and the Black Angels from the Empire - experiences of a goup of women from the Caribbean who became NHS nurses in 1950s. See <>.




  • Since the last Newsletter, two issues of the London Journal have been published. Vol. 30 part 1 (2005) is a special issue, edited by Tim Hitchcock and Robert Shoemaker, on ‘Tales from the Old Bailey’. It includes articles on ‘Bigamy’, ‘Plebeian Marriage’, ‘Gay History’ and ‘Decline and fall of the Ordinary’s Account’. Vol 30 part 2 contains papers on the ‘Appreciation of ruins in Blitz-Era London’, ‘The Thames and Recreation, 1815-1840’, ‘The Metropolitan Photography of E.O. Hoppé’ and ‘Rhetoric, Reality and the Marine Society’. Abstracts and a full list of contents of both issues are currently available at </cmh/londonjournal>. From Volume 31 the London Journal will be published by Maney Publishing. Subscription and other details are now online at <>.
  • John Landers' Death and the Metropolis: Studies in the Demographic History of London, 1670-1830 is due to be published in paperback in June by Cambridge University Press (ISBN 052102854X). Originally published in hardback in 1993, the volume is based on data from the Bills of Mortality, parish registers and Quaker vital registers, it provides an analysis of demographic patterns in London – mortality, marital fertility, population structure and migration – over the period.Price: £35.00 <>.
  • New publications available from Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8PA are: Decadent London, Antony Clayton (Historical Publications, 2005), price £18.95; Waterlow Park: a mini guide, Pam Cooper, £1.50; and Sporting London: a race through time, Richard Tames (Historical Publications, 2005), £17.95. The latest in the ‘Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths’ series is Geoffrey Howse’s Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in London’s West End (Pen & Sword Books Limited, April 2006) ISBN 1 84563 001 7; 192 pp, illus. £10.99. For postage and packing charges and an order form see <>.
  • Hornsey Historical Society have produced two recent publications: the 4th edition of Rails to the People’s Palace and The Parkland Walk (Reg Davies and David Bevan) which recounts the story of the railway line, now replaced by the Parkland Walk, which ran between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace from 1873 to 1954 (£4.95+ 60p p&p); and Haringey’s Hidden Streams Revealed (Albert Pinching and David Dell) which describes the original routes of natural streams hidden by the mid-19th century in culverts, identifying their present location (£9.95, HHS members £8.95, +£1.75 p&p). An order form is available on the HHS website <> (click on Publications).
  • Featherbedds and Flock Bedds: The Early History of the Worshipful Company of Upholders of the City of London, by J.F. Houston was published in April by The Three Tents Press (Hardback, 200 pp, 23 b&w illustrations, ISBN 0 9521608 8 9). This is the first substantive book dealing with the domestic history of the London Upholders Company from the mid 13th century to 1918. The Company dealt with the upholstery, furniture making, bed manufacture, soft furnishing and funeral trades. The book is available from the author at £25.00 incl postage. Cheques made payable to J.F. Houston should be sent with orders to: Mr J.F. Houston, 15 Cambridge Road, Sandy, Beds SG19 1JE Phone/Fax: 01767 682942.




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