CMH Electronic Newsletter no. 4

Issue number: 
Publish date: 
Feb 2004



Welcome to the fourth 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.

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  • We are delighted to announce that the Economic and Social Research Council has awarded funding for a new 18-month project based on the 'Views of Hosts' returns which are housed at The National Archives (PRO E101). The 'Views of Hosts' were the product of legislation of 1439 requiring that money made by alien merchants from sales of imports was spent on English goods for export. Each alien was assigned to a host who kept a record of his transactions, detailing the names of his business contacts, goods bought and sold and their price. Twice a year the host copied out his book entries and returned them to the Exchequer. They provide unique qualitative and quantitative data for alien trade and social networks, particularly in London, from a period when English central and local government sought the social exclusion and economic restriction of those who were not English by allegiance or birth. The data will be disseminated to a wide audience in three complementary formats: an online transcript made from the originals; a database to facilitate detailed analyses of customers, suppliers, goods and prices; and a modern English translation will be published by the London Record Society as a companion volume. The project will additionally examine the social, political and economic context of the legislation, exploring the mechanics of the system employed by the government in this early attempt to identify and regulate the trading practices of non-English communities. We look forward to welcoming Dr Helen Bradley to the CMH when she begins work on the project on 1 April.
  • We were very sorry to say goodbye to Dr Emilia Jamroziak ('Markets and Fairs in Thirteenth-Century England' project) who left us at the end of December to take up a Research Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh. We wish her every success with her new appointment.
  • Our new AHRB-funded project, People in Place: families, households and housing in early modern London (, began on 1 October. Using the Cheapside parish of All Hallows Honey Lane as a test bed for ways to integrate information about people and properties, the London and Cambridge teams have designed a database structure which will incorporate the principle sources (both concerning individuals and cross-sections of the community) that the project will encounter. Work has begun on the gathering of material from the parish registers, from a number of 17th century inhabitants lists and from probate materials, and a method is being investigated to convert information from the narrative format of the Cheapside Gazetteer into a format suitable for inclusion in the database.
  • The History of St Paul's Cathedral, edited by Derek Keene, Arthur Burns and Andrew Saint, is nearing completion and is due to be published by Yale University Press on 24 April 2004 - the feast of St Mellitus and the diocese's 1400th anniversary. Over forty contributors have worked on the volume which covers every aspect of the cathedral's history during this long period. Lavishly illustrated and annotated, it will be on sale at all good bookshops priced £65 (ISBN 0 300 09276 8).
  • The 'Guilds: London...England...Europe' conference (31 October-1 November 2003) attracted a large and international audience. We were fortunate to be able to hold our conference reception at the Merchant Taylors' Hall in the City, which provided a very appropriate and convivial setting for the evening. Plans in hand to publish the papers in book form in due course.
  • The 2004 Leverhulme Lecture on Comparative Metropolitan History will be given by Professor Peter Johanek (Institut fuer vergleichende Staedtegeschichte, Muenster) on 5 May 2004 at 5.30 pm in the Chancellor's Hall, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. The lecture will be on 'The idea of the metropolis in medieval Europe: the case of the Holy Roman Empire'. All are welcome. Admission free, no ticket required.
  • The programme and booking information for the Metropolitan Folklore conference to be held at the Institute of Historical Research on 19 May is now available at Organised by the CMH and the Folklore Society, papers will include: 'Belief and ritual at the end of life: dying in late medieval England'; 'The context of a witchcraft accusation: Sarah Morduck, Southwark, 1701'; and 'New Troy: the origins of London from Geoffrey of Monmouth to Stow'.
  • The response to the Call for Papers for the 'Metropolitan Catastrophes: Scenarios, Experiences and Commemorations in the Era of Total War' conference (Institute of Historical Research, 12-13 July 2004) was overwhelming, with many outstanding papers being offered. Consequently, it has taken longer than expected to put the programme together but this will be available shortly at: The conference should provide a very stimulating exploration of the cultural imprint of military conflict on metropolises worldwide over a long time-span.
  • A Leverhulme Postgraduate Studentship, based in the CMH, is being offered for research in any aspect of comparative metropolitan history from the early medieval period onwards and with one element of the comparison situated in Europe. Further details are at:

It is with great sadness that we report the untimely death of Mr Gerry Martin. Gerry was a most generous benefactor and enthusiastic supporter of the Centre, especially of the 'Growth of the Skilled Workforce 1500-1750' Project (1992-1994, and until recently served as one of the CMH's Patrons. He also funded the seminar and conferences in global history at the IHR. A true philanthropist and an exceptional gentleman, Gerry will be sorely missed.


  • The IHR has organised a number of training courses which may be of interest: 'Visual Sources for Historians' (Fridays, 27 February-26 March), 'Introduction to Methods & Sources for Gender and Women's History' (8-12 March), 'Introduction to Methods and Sources for Historical Research' (29 March-2 April), 'Databases for Historical Research' (9-12 February and 19-22 July), and 'Internet Sources for Historical Research' (27-28 April).
  • The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the Victoria County History a grant of £3.56 million towards the 'England's Past for Everyone' project. This will produce life-long learning materials in paperback and on-line, providing over 1 million users with access to high-quality, engaging local history information. This material will be researched and written by volunteer members of local communities around England, working in partnership with professional historians in the VCH counties. The future of the Middlesex Victoria County History, however, is at present in serious doubt after the withdrawal of all local authority funding at the end of March 2004. Further information on the Middlesex and London VCH appeal is available at
  • The new editions of Grants for History: A Guide to Funding, compiled by John R Davies with Jane Winters, and Teachers of History (listing almost 3,000 people teaching history in UK universities and colleges of higher education, with details of each individual's teaching area and research interests. Contact details are also provided). Both volumes are available now from the Institute Bookshop at £15 and £12 respectively. Catalogue and ordering information available at:


  • From 10 October 2003 the History Data Service became AHDS History, one of the five centres of the Arts and Humanities Data Service. In addition to providing researchers with advice and guidance on creating digital resources, AHDS History manages and curates digital resources to ensure their long-term preservation and dissemination. Its collection currently comprises over 600 separate data collections transcribed, scanned or compiled from original sources from the seventh to the twentieth century. Access to the collection has been facilitated by a new cross-subject catalogue. Further information about AHDS History can be found at their new website:
  • A conference on 'Banking in Late-Medieval and Renaissance Europe' will be held on 7-9 September 2004 at Queen Mary, University of London. Organised by the Borromei Bank Research Project, the conference will survey work in progress on banking and credit systems, international and local, in Europe from c.1300 to c. 1550.
  • Congratulations to Dr Andrea Tanner, a former research officer at the CMH (Mortality in the Metropolis Project), who has been awarded a grant of £51,585 from the Wellcome Trust for her on-going project on Great Ormond Street Hospital based at the Centre for Local History Studies, Kingston University. The project database currently contains over 54,000 entries representing in-patients between 1852 and 1903. Andrea will be giving a paper at the Society of Genealogists' Workshop on 'Records of the Poor' on Saturday 17 April (further information at The Centre for Local History Studies is involved in plans to launch a new Centre for Suburban Studies in the Spring, with a number of joint activities on the subject of 'Suburbia' in the next academic year. For information on the Centre log onto:
  • The Centre of East Anglian Studies (CEAS) at the University of East Anglia, has a new Director, Dr Steve Cherry, Senior Lecturer in Economic and Social History in the School of History at the UEA. The History of Norwich, edited by Carole Rawcliffe and Richard Wilson with Christine Clark, containing 32 chapters and totalling over 320,000 words will be published by Hambledon in 2004 to mark the 600th anniversary of the award to the city of county status. The CEAS Winter Lecture Series (each Thursday during February) is devoted to aspects of the history of Norwich. For further information on this and other activities of the CEAS see:
  • The Conference of Regional and Local Historians (CORAL) have just published the proceedings of the 2002 Conference 'Rural and Urban Encounters in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Regional Perspectives' (ISBN 0 9545069 9 5) at the discounted price of £5 inc. p&p to CORAL members. CORAL's 2004 conference will take place on 2 September at the University of Lincoln on 'The Nineteenth-Century Provincial Press'. CORAL's website is:
  • Cultural History and Tropes/Traps of Modernity, the next meeting in the 'Conversations and Disputations: Discussions among Historians' series sponsored by the IHR and the Raphael Samuel History Centre, University of East London will be held at the IHR on 21 February 2004, 1.30 pm-4 pm.


  • Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre is currently hosting the exhibition 'Architectural details on Hampstead Houses. Photographs by Bryan Diamond' at Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8PA (Tel: 020 7974 6342;; closed Wednesday, Sunday) until 28 February 2004.
  • The British Museum is holding a study day on 'The Enlightenment: discovering the world in the 18th century' on 20 May 2004. For information on this and other events, the museum's website is:
  • The Museum of London's 'Connected London' exhibition has just opened and continues to 25 April. It takes a look at the telephone communication revolution and its history over the past 125 years. '1920s: the decade that changed London' continues until 18 July. (


  • Pathe News has made their entire 3,500 hours of film archive, covering news, sport, social history and entertainment from 1896 to 1970, available online - The site also includes 12 million still images. Viewing online is free of charge and licences may be obtained for higher resolution copies.
  • Henry Harben's long out-of-print Dictionary of London (1918), is now available on British History Online ( It provides historical notes of streets and buildings in the City of London, including references to other relevant sources.
  • A navigable, digitised version of John Rocque's map of London, Westminster and Southwark, 1746 is accessible at
  • Sources from the London Metropolitan Archives form the basis of two new sites: London Generations ( is a searchable database including Parish Registers of Baptism, Marriage and Burial, Parish Poor Law Registers, Registers of Kensington, Chelsea, Shoreditch and Hackney Boards of Guardians, Bishops' transcripts of parish registers and other sources, London County Council School Registers and Electoral Registers for the Counties of London and Middlesex. London Signatures ( is a free, searchable index of 10,000 wills from the Archdeaconry Court of Middlesex, covering 1609-1810. Digital copies of the wills can also be purchased.
  • As noted in a previous issue of the newsletter, the New Opportunities Fund Digitisation programme has funded the website Ten Generations ( This website draws on a broad range of material from each of the partners (Camden Local Studies, Brent, Hackney, Islington and Westminster archives, Bishopsgate Institute, London Transport Museum, the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust Archives and the University College London Hospitals (NHS) Trust Archives) to create a social and cultural history of north London over 300 years. Users can now search the site database and call up details and images of items and explore aspects of London's history in a range of specially written 'learning journeys. This site is part of the London Discovery portal ( which provides access to websites on 'the growth of suburbia in SE London', 'Unlocking London's architecture', 'Hidden Histories from Eastside Community Heritage', 'Tudor Hackney', 'life in Kensington & Chelsea', 'Islington's artefacts collection'.
  • is the result of a joint project by the Wellcome Trust and The National Archives. It consists of a searchable database providing information on the existence and location of the records of hospitals in the U.K. Over 2,800 entries are currently accessible.
  • The European Visual Archive (EVA) is a searchable image resource containing photographs dating from 1840 to the present drawn from the collections of the London Metropolitan Archives and the Stadsarchief Antwerpen. The EVA database currently contains 18,028 descriptsons of digitised photographs. Log on to


  • The Bede Roll of the Parish Clerks' Company, ed. N. and V. James, is due to be published by the London Record Society this month. The volume is available to non-members of the LRS for £20 (plus postage). Please contact the Hon. Secretary. The full list of LRS publications is at: /cmh/lrs/LRSpubs.html
  • The next issue of the London Journal (Vol 28 No. 2, 2003) is due shortly. It will include articles on 'Policing and Public Order in the City of London, 1784-1815', 'London Capital Convicts and the Reactions of the Courts and Press, 1789', 'Lodging-house Keeping and the Accommodation Business in Nineteenth-century London' and 'The London County Council's River Steamboat Service'. As well as exhibition and book reviews, there will be a conference report on 'City Merchants and the Arts' held at Guildhall, November 2003. Lists of contents, abstracts from recent issues, and information on the London Journal is available 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)
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