CMH Electronic Newsletter no. 8

Issue number: 
Publish date: 
Dec 2004



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


  • Details of the new MA in Metropolitan and Regional History, to be run in collaboration with colleagues from the Victoria County History, are now available online at /degrees/metma. The course, which will begin in October 2005, is interdisciplinary and takes as it main theme the relationships between large cities and regions in history, with a particular focus on London and the English localities from the middle ages to the present day. It will also examine the development of cities and their regional contexts on the continent.
  • Work is proceeding well on our two current research projects. Transcription of the original documents has now been completed for the 'Views of Hosts: Reporting the alien commodity trade 1440-1445' project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (/cmh/projects.html#voh). A glossary of commodities and measures has also been compiled, along with a quick reference table showing the name of the originator, subject/s and timespan for each individual view. 'People in Place: Families, households and housing in early modern London' (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board) now has its own web pages at /cmh/pip/. Much of the first year of this project has been spent developing, and thoroughly testing, a database structure in which data from a variety of sources (births, marriages and burials from parish registers, nominative data, information on properties, etc) could be entered in a standardised form but without losing the detail and nuances of the original sources and preserving all potential connections. This is now complete and a significant body of data for one of the three sample areas (Cheapside) has been entered and checked.
  • We have two applications currently being considered by funding bodies: the second phase of London's Past Online (/cmh/lpol), and a new project on 'Poor relief in Greater London from c.1540 to 1930: on online guide'. Several others are in the pipeline including the republishing of information on London religious houses originally compiled by the Victoria County History. With updated bibliographies and archaeological notes, the book should be available next autumn.
  • We have been involved in several events over the past couple of months. The study morning on the Great Plague on 6 October (held in association with the Wellcome Trust and Johns Hopkins University Press), attracted a wide audience and much interesting discussion. On 16 October, the Centre, for the first time, had a stall at the 'London Maze' history fair held at Guildhall. We had a very successful day, selling several publications and running out of our various leaflets. Thanks and congratulations are due to the staff of Guildhall Library for organising everything so well. Earlier this month Derek Keene, our Leverhulme Professor of Comparative Metropolitan History, was one of the organisers - with the School of Advanced Study and The National Archives - of 'Unleashing the Archive', a conference to celebrate the School's tenth anniversary. It aimed to promote new thinking about the cultural and historical significance of archives and their use. The distinguished speakers, including Paul Bew, Richard Norton-Taylor, Andrea Levy and Richard Cox, provided a stimulating and thought-provoking day. Plans for publication are currently being considered. The book Re: the archive, the image, and the very dead sheep, by Uriel Orlow and Ruth Maclennan (Bookwork, 2004, 160pp), which was produced to accompany the conference is now on sale in the Institute Bookshop ( priced £10. The book starts on one side with a correspondence between the authors while on holiday. The contrasting landscapes form the backdrop of a meandering discussion inspired by the archive. The book is complemented by a thesaurical collection of images inspired by the correspondence. The images generate their own references and associations while also pre-figuring the text. Thus the images form an autonomous yet related image-archive.
  • The final Metropolitan History Seminar for this term will be at the IHR at 5.30 pm on 1 December when Brenda Assael (Swansea) will speak on ‘Conspicuous consumption: dining out in the Victorian West End’. Everyone is welcome. The first seminar for the Winter term will be on 12 January when Mark Merry and Philip Baker of the People in Place project will give a paper entitled '"For the house her self and one servant": households and houses in late seventeenth-century London. This will be followed on 26 January by Michelle Johansen (IHR and East London) 'Struggling heroes: the public librarian in late Victorian London'. The full programme is available at: /cmh/sem04.html
  • We were delighted to welcome two new postgraduate students to the CMH in October: Catherine Wright is examining the social and cultural connections between the English and Dutch, 1660-1720', and Laurie Lindey's research is on the London furniture trade 1640-1720. They join Feona Hamilton, who began her thesis in 2002 and is working on the power and influence of the London merchant in the late thirteenth century with special reference to the de Rokesley family.



  • Professor David Bates, Director of the Institute, will deliver his Inaugural Lecture '1066: Does the Date Still Matter?' on 7 December 2004 at 5.30 pm in the Beveridge Hall at Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. Admission is open to all.
  • A reminder that the Institute of Historical Research is holding an Open Day on 9 December 2004. The aim of the Open Day is to display London's research resources to students who are seriously considering undertaking historical research, both those who intend to take or are taking a taught Masters degree, and those who intend to proceed directly to a research degree. The Colleges and Universities in and around London will participate along with major libraries and archives. 
  • The IHR’s winter conference ‘History in British Education’ will be held in the Beveridge Hall, Senate House on 14-15 February 2005. This conference will consider what History should be taught in schools and universities, how it should be taught , and how it can, and should, inter-relate with wider concerns about economic prosperity, national identity, citizenship, social inclusion and professional development. Plenary lectures will be given by David Starkey, David Eastwood and Sean Lang. Programme and registration details are available at /conferences/britire.html#histed. Bookings should be made by 24 January.
  • Grants for History 2005 is now available from the IHR Bookshop (/bookshop/index.html; email:, price £15 It provides the most up-to-date information about financial resources available from UK and overseas funders for historical and affiliated research activitiesand details of all scholarships and fellowships available, including exchange and research fellowships, as well as sources of grants for maintenance, travel, study leave, conferences and publications.
  • Forthcoming training courses at the IHR include: An Introduction to Latin for Historical Research, 6-10 December and An Introduction to Oral History, 10 January-21 March. Information on these and other courses is available from here.



  • The 2005 Pre-Modern Towns Conference will be held on Saturday 22 January at the Instititue of Historical Research. This meeting of historians, geographers, archaeologists and other working on the medieval and early modern town will focus on the urban household. Postgraduate students are particularly welcome. The Conference will be held between 9.45 am and 4.15 pm and will include the following papers: Mark Merry and Phil Baker (CMH): 'Family, housing and household in early modern London'; Catherine Richardson (Birmingham): 'Household good and urban status in the 16th century'; Jeremy Goldberg (York): 'Investigating domesticity: the evidence of probate inventories'; Nicola McDonald (York): 'Ladies at Leisure: courtly games and erotic pastimes'; Jane Grenville (York): 'Early-modern Japanese town houses: a comparative approach'; Vanessa McMahon (Richmond): 'Dangerous Wives: husband killers in late 17th- and early 18th-century London'; and Fleur Richards (Jesus, Oxford): 'Gender and space in late 17th-century London'. There is a registration fee of £18 (£9 for registered students and the unwaged) to include refreshments and a sandwich lunch.
  • A series of open events on Medieval London is being held at King’s College London as part of the Medieval Cultures in Contact programme. On Thursday 9 December Paul Binski will speak on ‘Meditation on Christ’s Faces in the 13th century’ (6.30-7.30 pm); Monday 24 January, Jonathan Harris will give a paper on ‘London and the Byzantine World in the Fifteenth Century’ (6.15-7.15 pm); “Writing London, Medieval to Modern will be held on Saturday 26 February (10am - 5 pm) when speakers will include Jinty Nelson (KCL), Alex Burkhart (KCL), Paul Strohm (Columbia), Paulina Kewes (Oxford), Marion Turner (KCL) and Alex Gillespie (Toronto); on Monday 28 February The Lords of Misrule (CMS, York) will present the “Wakefield Second Shepherd’s Pageant’.
  • The Charles Booth Centre for the Study of Social History at the Open University are holding a conference on ‘The History of Social Investigation: A Reconsideration’ 14-15 January 2005 at the OU’s Milton Keynes campus. It will explore and re-conceptualise the field of ‘social investigation’ concentrating on the period 1800-1914. Themes include: ‘The origins of scientific social work’, ‘Methods of social Investigation’, Social Investigation and work’, ‘Charles Booth and Positivism’, ‘Class, Gender and Social Investigation’. Cost £10-£65. Bookings must be made by 3 January. Conference Programme and registration details from:
  • At the Centre of East Anglian Studies (University of East Anglia), Andy Wood has been awarded £236,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Board to pursue research into popular memory. The project will produce two books: one looking at the politics of memory in a variety of societies and epoch from the Bronze Age to the fall of the Soviet Union; the other will investigate how English labouring people c.1500-1750 understood their own and their communities’ past in the period. It will study customary law and popular memory and will involve a number of overlapping case studies including the Peak Country, London, the Forest of Dean, Nidderdale and towns and villages in East Anglia. The programme for the CEAS Winter Lecture Series includes Dr Andrew Wear, ‘Medicine and Society in Seventeenth Century England’ (17 February) and Dr Vic Morgan ‘Sir Thomas Browne: a man in his time’ (24 February) both at the University of East Anglia at 7 pm. All welcome.


  • The National Archives at Kew is hosting the BBC Family History Day on Saturday 4 December (10 am - 4 pm; free, booking not required). As well as opportunities to 'meet the experts', behind the scenes tours of the National Archives, 'Who Do You Think You Are?' exhibition, and a Family History fair with representatives from 25 major archives, libraries and history societies, there will be a series of talks on using various sources for family history and practical sessions.
  • Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre will be closed during the week Monday 6 December to Saturday 11 December inclusive, re-opening on Monday 13 December. Due to refurbishment of Holborn Library during January, the Centre will also be closed between 24 December and 3 January and will be open by appointment only from 4 to 29 January. Normal opening hours will resume on Monday 31 January (website:; email:
  • The text of the talk given by Stacey Gee on 'Estate Maps at Guildhall Library' on 14 September as part of the Archives Awareness Campaign 2004 is now available on the Guildhall Library website: /gh/Estate.htm. The final talk in the series, on 13 December, is now fully booked.
  • The Guildhall Library Manuscript Section catalogue is now available online at: as part of the catalogue of items available in all of the Corporation of London's lending and reference libraries.
  • There will be a free talk on Thursday 16 December (12.30-1.30 pm), on 'Researching site history in London - Exploring the history of a site in the City of London through printed, archival and visual sources' organised by Guildhall Library Printed Books Section and held in Guildhall Library’s lecture theatre. Reservations are advised: tel: 020 7332 1866; (
  • The website accompanying the Museum of London's current exhibition The London Look: Fashion from Street to Catwalk (29 October 2004 - 08 May 2005) is now available at: The exhibition tells the story of the city's engagement with fashion and of the people who set the trends and make the fashions through clothing, accessories, photographs, archive film and sound recordings. There are also a number of events related to the exhibition (details on the website).
  • The National Gallery and the Courtauld Institute of Art are holding a conference on 'European Trade in Painters' Materials to 1700' on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 February 2005. The conference will cover European trade and trade routes, the retail distribution and wholesale trade in painters' materials. It will encompass specific case histories as well as a more general view of the mechanisms and actuality of trading. Attention is concentrated on painters' supplies, but attention will also be given to associated crafts such as tapestry. It brings together a widely dispersed body of knowledge and aims to place it in a broad economic and historical context, bringing together the expertise of conservators, conservation scientists and historians.
  • The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich is organising a number of ‘Adult Learning’ courses and lectures. Among these are a free talk on the origin and meaning of Greenwich Mean Time on 18 March (2 pm); a 10-week course on ‘Picturing’ the River (Mondays 10 January-14 March) which will examine some of the most famous views of the Thames, investigate how they were made and visit some of the places represented. Explore academic concepts like topography, the picturesque, realism, naturalism, landscape and setting; and an 8-week lecture series (Thursday 27 January-17 March (10.30-12.30 on Sea-London which celebrates the tidal Thames in the ‘Year of the Sea’ and will cover a diverse range of topics from the degeneration and regeneration of the docks to the working port and shipping on the Thames today. Further details on all the events on offer is available from Museum’s website:
  • The Heritage of London Trust has organised a Lecture Series entitled ‘The Secret Heritage of London’: the lectures planned for 2005 include: Timothy Jones on ‘Clubland’; Lady Lucinda Lambton on ‘Secret Suburbia’; Peter Guillery on ‘Spitalfields’; Steven Robb ‘the Stuart Royal Family’ and a lecture on ‘The Secret Jewish Heritage of London’. Details of these lectures will be posted on the Heritage of London Trust website: in the next couple of months.


  • For those of you who get a drowning feeling when wading through the vast number of history-related websites available on the internet, the Humbul Humanities Hub (a service of the Resource Discovery Network and funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the AHRB) has produced, in association with the IHR, a 16-page printed guide The Best of the Web: Internet Resources for History. This guide provides details of a range of useful internet resources for studies in History. It is not exhaustive but is intended to give a flavour of the range and types of resources available on the Internet. Printed copies for UK Institutions of Higher or Further Education can be obtained from; an online version of the guide is provided at All of the online resources identified in the booklet and many, many more can be found in Humbul's online Internet resource catalogue ( Happy surfing!
  • As part of King's College London's 175th Anniversary celebrations, the College has produced a number of college-themed physical exhibitions on view in the main entrance of King's Strand campus which also have parallel online versions. These include 'Coming to London' ( which looks at the experience of London through the eyes of King's students since the nineteenth century; and 'Mayhem in the Metropolis' ( which explores the history of student rags in London, in particular the rivalry between King's and University College.
  • Funded by the New Opportunites Fund and working with SOPSE (Sense of Place South East), Thames Pilot ( has been created by a partnership of archives and museum along the length of the Thames to make freely available images and documents from their collections. It aims to help the user navigate the history of the River Thames through a series of themes, which include: working on and along the river, the river environment, leisure activities on the river, the changing riverside landscape, the 'sacred river' and the river in art.
  • Also funded by the New Opportunities Fund, and the result of collaboration between the Science Museum, the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television and the National Railway Museum ( launched in June 2004. It aims to explore the feats of human ingenuity and provide an insight into science and culture for anyone interested in human invention through 4 interlinked sections: Read (in-depth articles on a wide range of subjects from the Industrial Revolution to the present day), Debate (online discussions related to the subjects covered under 'Read'), See (access to 30,000 images from the Museums' collections), and Create (enabling visitors to collate pictures from the collections and email them to friends or family).



  • Coinciding with the London Record Society's 40th anniversary celebrations held in October, was the publication of the its 40th volume: The Estate and Household Accounts of William Worsley, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, 1479-97, ed. S. R. Hovland and H. Kleineke (a joint publication with the Richard III Society and the Yorkish History Trust, 2004). This is now available to non-LRS members at £20 (+ postage). Please contact the Hon. Secretary if you would like a copy.</cmh/lrs/>
  • Details, including abstracts, of the latest issue of the London Journal (Volume 29, no. 1, 2004) are now available on the website: /cmh/londonjournal/. Included are papers by Markman Ellis on 'Pasqua Rosee's Coffee-House, 1652-1666' , Nick Draper on '"Across the Bridges": Representations of Victorian South London', Stanley Chapman, 'The "Revolution" in the Manufacture of Ready-Made Clothing, 1840-1860' and Isabel Watson '"Rebuilding London": Abraham Davis and his Brothers, 1881-1924'.
  • Bromley Libraries have launched a new series of local history books. The first three titles are: The Story of Green Street Green by Marjorie Ford and Geoffrey Rickard (ISBN 0 901002 16 X); Palace of the People by Graham Reeves (the story of Crystal Palace; 2nd edition, revised and updated; ISBN 0-901-002-18-6); and Mottingham from hamlet to urban village by Winifred H. Parkinson (due late 2004; 2nd edition, revised and updated; ISBN 0-901-002-17-8). All are priced at £8, which includes UK postage, and can be ordered from Local Studies, Bromley Central Library, High Street, Bromley BR1 1EX. Cheques should be made payable to LB Bromley. They can also be ordered from bookshops.
  • The 2-volume History of Norwich, edited by Carole Rawcliffe and Richard Wilson, has just been published by Hambledon & London Books. The volumes, Medieval Norwich (15 contributors, 416pp, 65 illus., hardback, ISBN 1 85285 449 9) and Norwich since 1550 (19 contributors, 600pp, 125 illus., hardback, ISBN 1 85285 450 2) are being offered at the special price of £19.50 (plus postage) per volume or £35 (plus postage) for both until 31 January 2005 if purchased directly from the Hambledon & London website (, click on Special Offers). Also due from Hambledon & London is Tim Hitchcock's book Down and Out in Eighteenth-Century London (356 pp, 47 illus., ISBN 1 85285 281 X £19.99).


Merry Christmas!



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Centre for Metropolitan History
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