- London Records
- These are perhaps sufficiently indicated in the list of authorities set out at the commencement of this work, but it may not be amiss to deal with them somewhat more in detail.London is rich in municipal records, and in spite of numerous fires that have devastated the City from time to time, these records have been preserved in wonderful completeness to the present day.The earliest records relating to the City are to be found in charters, grants, etc., contained in the MSS. in the British Museum, the MSS. of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's in Chartularies and other private collections, and in the Ancient Deeds, etc., in the Record Office. These have been made available in : Kemble, "Codex Diplomaticus, Aevi Saxonici," 6 Vols. Birch, "Cartularium Anglo Saxonicum," 3 Vols. and Index of Names. Thorpe, "Diplomatarium Anglicum Aevi Saxonici." Calendar of Ancient Deeds in the Record Office, 6 Vols., and other publications of the Record Office, viz. the Rolls Series, etc.; Historical Manuscripts Commission, Reports and Appendices in progress. Dugdale's "Monasticon Anglicanum," 8 Vols.Numerous original charters and grants at present unpublished can be consulted in the Record Office, in the MS. room at the British Museum, in the Guildhall and elsewhere.The municipal records proper commence with the "Liber de Antiquis Legibus" (pub. Camden Society), containing the Chronicle of the Mayors and Sheriffs, 1188 to 1274, with some records of an earlier date, including extracts from various chronicles of events relating to London, etc.The admirable series of Letter Books of the Corporation, as they are called, commence with the reign of Edward I., and as a contemporary record of events form an invaluable series illustrating the government of the City, and the social, political and commercial life of the citizens. The MSS. are preserved in the Guildhall, but the contents of the earlier ones have been made available by Dr. R. R. Sharpe in the "Calendars of the Letter-Books of the Corporation of the City of London," 11 Vols., A-L, and by Mr. W. H. Riley in his "Memorials of London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries."The records of the Court of Hustings are preserved in the Hustings Rolls in the Guildhall, and some of these records have been published in the "Calendar of Wills of the Court of Hustings," 1258-1688, 2 Vols., ed. by Dr. R. R. Sharpe, published by direction of the Corporation of the City of London.The Corporation have also published "Munimenta Gildhallae," containing the "Liber Albus," and "Liber Custumarum," 4 Vols. of records relating to the trade, commerce and government of the City from the time of Henry III. The Analytical Index to the "Remembrancia," 1579-1664, was published 1878.Besides these published works there are in the Guildhall other records of the City such as the Repertories and Journals of the Court of Aldermen, etc.In addition to these admirable municipal records much information with regard to property in London can be derived from the Patent Rolls, Close Rolls, Charter Rolls, Inquisitions post mortem, made available in the invaluable series of Calendars published under the direction of the Master of the Rolls, alluded to above.Other records of London containing much valuable information have been available in : "The French Chronicle of London," extending from 44 Henry III. to 17 Edward III., published by the Camden Society, from a MS. in the Cottonian Collection. "The Chronicles of London," 1189 to 1483, published 1827. "Annales Londoniensis." "Annales Paulini" (13th and 14th century records) contained in "Chronicles of the reigns of Edward I. and II.," ed. Rolls Series. "Chronicles of London," ed. C. L. Kingsford.This list does not pretend to be exhaustive, but it will serve to indicate the masses of material that are available to the student and to assist in directing him to the original documents, so invaluable for purposes of historical study and research.
A Dictionary of London. Henry A Harben. 1918.