Description in 1842
"The metropolis of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland ...
extends from Woolwich and Bow to Fulham and Hammersmith, and from
Highgate to Norwood, including the cities of London and Westminster, with
their liberties, and the towns, parishes, &c. &c. which cover
this vast area. The streets of the city, with the exception of the great
thoroughfares, are for the most part narrow and irregular; but the main
lines of traffic and communication are wide and noble, as are the more
recently built parts of this enormous city... The public edifices are
innumerable, and for magnificence may vie with those of any city in the
world... The prodigious docks, with their immense bonding-warehouses...
convey the notion of wealth and commerce completely stupendous... By
means of the river, London ranks as the first port of the kingdom... The
squares, which are usually ornamentally planted, are of great advantage
to some districts, in regard to health. But the parts of the metropolis
inhabited by the poorer classes, are yet the prolific sources of disease;
and the retention of Smithfield market and the slaughter-houses in the
very heart of London must also be noticed as a heavy drawback on the
health, safety, and even morality of the city... The city of London is
under the control of a corporation, of enormous wealth; whose practical
inefficiency, and steadfast resistance of all reformation or change, are
matters of painful notoriety. Population, London (within the walls),
54,626; (without the walls), 70,382. Total metropolitan, 1,873,676."
(From Barclay's Complete and Universal English Dictionary, 1842.)
City of London, County of London, ancient counties
"London City is a County in itself and is divided into Wards whose
boundaries do not coincide with those of the parishes in the City. In
1889 the Administrative County of London was formed from the City of
London, and parts of Middlesex, Kent and Surrey and was divided into
boroughs. In 1963 this County was replaced by Greater London which also
took in the rest of Middlesex and parts of Essex and Herts as well as
some county boroughs. New London boroughs were then formed." [T.V.H.
FitzHugh, The Dictionary of Genealogy, 1994.]
There is thus a considerable overlap in the coverage of London and in
particular Middlesex on this server. And even this complicated
description doesn't give the full story, as parts of Middlesex went to
Surrey and Hertfordshire. However, following the practice adopted in the
LDS Family History Library, parish-level information will be provided
here only for parishes belonging to the City of London, leaving parishes
from elsewhere in the Greater London area to the Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Hertfordshire pages
INFORMATION RELATING TO ALL OF LONDON
Archives and Libraries
Aside from such essentially national institutions as
Archives, the British Library,
the Society of Genealogists, the
Institute for Historical
Research, and the Principal Probate
Registry, London has many specialised major libraries and archives,
London Boroughs - Archives and Local Studies
Libraries: we have links to web sites of each London borough, and to
their archives or local studies libraries.
ARCHON list of archives in the London region
Archives for London (AfL),
the "independent voice for archives" in London.
Richmond University's Guide to London Specialist Libraries.
A Directory of Local Authority Record Offices and Libraries, by
E. Silverthorne, and
Genealogical Sources in London, by the Society of Genealogists.
Untold London "searches
for the histories that relate to all the cultures of London. We focus
on London museums, but also look at archives, galleries and the history
work of communities themselves."
provide a guide to record offices with information on (access
requirements, photocopying charges, reproduction services, use of own
camera, microform printing and nearby hotels. They also have a handy
archives in central London.
Access to Archives
Campaigning London is a London regional A2A project. Led by the
Greater London Archives Network and delivered by London Metropolitan
Archives, the project will retroconvert 15,000 catalogue pages relating
to the archives of many London-based charities, pressure groups and
community organisations from 1620 to modern times, held in London
Metropolitan Archives and the following repositories: the borough archive
services of Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Hackney, Haringey, Lewisham,
Sutton and Westminster; the archives of King's College and of Save the
Children; and the Women's Library.
Saints and Sinners is contributing catalogues of
diocesan archives from 8 repositories in London and the South East, and
includes material relating to various deaneries in the dioceses of
Rochester and Guildford (London Metropolitan Archives).
AIM25 - Archives in London and the
M25 Area - "is a major project to provide electronic access to collection
level descriptions of the archives of over fifty higher education
institutions and learned societies within the greater London area."
Outside London, the Institute of Genealogical and Heraldic Studies, in
Canterbury, Kent, provides an online list of their library
resources relating to London and Middlesex (pdf).
For a general bibliography see London's Past online, a
bibliography produced by the Centre for Metropolitan History in
association with the Royal Historical Society Bibliography.
We give below some specific genealogy books about London. Books in print
are grouped by publisher in this list, with links to their websites.
GENfair, the Federation of Family History Societies
"One-Stop Shop" for Family and Local Historians.
- "London & Middlesex: a genealogical bibliography", by Stuart
Raymond, vol.1: Genealogical Sources, vol.2. Family Histories &
Pedigrees, (2nd edn 1997) also "Londoners' Occupations: A Genealogical
Guide" (2nd edn 2001), published jointly with Stuart Raymond.
- "Basic Facts about Research in London, pt 1 Researching London
Ancestors", by Lilian Gibbens, 2001,
- "Lists of Londoners", by J.S.W. Gibson and H. Creaton, 2nd edn 1997.
Manuscripts Section - Publications - includes:
- "17th Century London Inhabitants", by T.C. Dale, London, Guildhall Library.
- "A Guide to the Genealogical Sources in the Guildhall Library", by R.
- "The 1695 Inhabitants of the City", by M.P.E. Jones, London,
Society of Genealogists
- "County Sources at the Society of Genealogists - The City of London
and Middlesex", ed. Neville Taylor, 2002,
- "National Index of Parish Registers vol 9 pt 5 London and Middlesex",
by Cliff Webb, 2nd edn revised 2002,
- "My Ancestors were Londoners", by Cliff Webb, 3rd edn 1999
West Surrey FHS Research Aids - over
twenty of these deal with London and Middlesex - a mass of information -
- "A Guide to London and Middlesex Genealogy and Records", by Cliff
Webb, 2000, West Surrey FHS
Pan Macmillan Publishers
- The London Encyclopaedia, ed. Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert,
3rd edn 1993,
The best list of cemeteries where ancestors may have been buried
within the area of the County of London seems to be I M Holmes
Return of burial grounds in the County of London 1895,
which lists all burial grounds then existing in the County. Copies
of the book are held at the Guildhall Library and LMA.
A scanned copy of a Catalogue of of the tombs in the churches
of the City of London AD 1666 is in the
Websites with information about several cemeteries
London burials from David
Orme attempts to have details, photos, documents about every burial
ground in the old Greater London area.
London Cemeteries from Gendocs.
London's Victorian Cemeteries - web links - an extensive list of
official and unofficial sites, supplied by Chris Willis in connection
with the Mausolea and
Monuments Trust. (NB this is no longer maintained, and although it
is available from the Internet Archive the links are likely to become
increasingly out of date.)
information on Victorian Cemeteries from Tracy Chevalier's website
about her novel "Falling Angels"
- The Church Monuments
Society has a page devoted to churches in Greater
London with interesting collections of monuments.
The Historic UK website has a map and description of the reputed
plague pits of London during the great plague of 1665.
Charitable Foundation is an independent Jewish Orthodox
burial society has a graves database covering its cemeteries at
Edmonton, Cheshunt, Streatham and Fulham, whcih is searchable by
surname, and gives full name, cemetery, plot number and date of
The Magnificent Seven - large cemeteries established 1832-1841
Until the 19th century most parish churches had an adjacent churchyard.
These became over-full, and there was a public outcry. Between 1837 and
1841 Parliament authorised seven commercial cemeteries. Links given are
to the Friends organisations - which in many cases are transcribing and
indexing the memorials or the burial registers. For information about
these and similar organisations see National Federation of Cemetery
Other large cemeteries
See the Middlesex Census page for
general information and details of indexes and facsimiles covering
Middlesex and the City of London. See the Kent
and Surrey pages for details of indexes for those
areas. The following is a partial list of indexes for the London area
south of the Thames:
1861 census from
findmypast.co.uk. Search, index details and digitised images are on a
pay-per-view basis. London, Essex, Kent, Middlesex, and Surrey are
1871 census from British
Origins is an index with digitised images. Available by
subscription, from 72 hours to annual.
1881 U.K. census index online in
FamilySearch This covers the whole country. From the home page
choose "search", it is one of the databases available. Online search
and details are free. It is also available on CDROM. From FamilySearch
home page choose Order/Download products, search for "British Census"
or "1881". The index is available in Family History Centres of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, from all their
distribution centres, and in many other libraries.
Online is available from the Public Record Office, providing a name
index and digital images of enumeration book pages. This covers the
whole country. Search is free, details are pay-per-view.
S&N British Data
Archive CDs for London have published on CD as facsimile of
enumerators' books the census for London 1851, 1861 (with partial name
index for 269,000 entries at October 2003), 1871 (with partial name
index, 62,000 entries), 1891 (with partial name index, 1.3 million
names at June 2003) and 1901. PRO street indexes are included. S &
N also have a census name indexing project - in progress. This is a
scheme where users do indexing of at least half a PRO piece and will
receive an index of other pieces in return (there are 1200 members of
this scheme). The name indexes are sold with the CDs of the images
(1891 available as a separate item). Facsimile of the 1841 census is
being prepared. The indexes are also searchable online, on a
1891 and 1901 census index from
Ancestry - complete for England and Wales. Surname search is free,
details available on a paid subscription.
North West Kent FHS -
1851 census indexes (also some 1891)
Surrey FHS - 1851, 1871, 1891 census indexes
West Surrey FHS - 1851
& 1861 census indexes
FreeCen have projects to
transcribe UK censuses for most years, starting with 1891. Progress is
recorded in the status pages:
Local History Library - has unpublished indexes, but web page has
no list, see London Census
Surname Indexes from Gendocs for list
of London Anglican churches from Gendocs.
from FindAChurch in the City of London.
Churches of London from Steve James (now only availble in the
Internet Archive) has a map of the City of London showing churches, and
a list showing dates previous churches were demolished, or where there
is a tower only. The map also shows the city wall, and the extent of
the great fire of London.There are photos of many of the churches.
www.cityoflondonchurches.com - City of London churches - from Stephen
Millar, "designed mainly to be a photographic record and celebration of
the churches", is no longer available at March 2006
database (Corporation of London Libraries and Guildhall Art Gallery
image database) has very many images related to the churches of the City
of London the wider London area. Simply search on the church name or the
place-name plus 'church' to find relevant images.
The Friends of the
City Churches has pictures and details of opening times and
services for all surviving churches in the City of London.
- A list of Victorian
London Churches for all the main denominations from Gendocs.
Registers of the Bishops of London, 1304-1660 are available on
microfilm from Thomson Gale, and include ordination registers which are
useful for tracing clergy ancestors.
London churches and olde celebrities by John Blythe Smart
(Blythe Smart Publications, Kingsbridge, Devon, 2012) lists and
describes, with many architectural illustrations, almost all the
churches and chapels in inner London (the former London County
Council area). Volume 1 covers the City and Volume II the 'environs'.
See separate page.
The Proceedings of the Old
Bailey London 1674 to 1834 from the Universities of Sheffield and
Hertfordshire, a fully searchable online edition of accounts of over
100,000 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court. Includes
links to maps, and the manuscript sessions papers (which include witness
and defendant statements made before the trial took place) and the
Ordinary's Accounts (biographies of convicted felons compiled just before
they were executed).
The Consistory Court of London was a church court with jurisdiction over
much of London and Middlesex as well as parts of Essex and Hertfordshire.
It heard cases involving matrimonial matters (including divorce and
separation), breach of promise, probate disputes and defamation. The
Society of Genealogists has published
an index for the years 1700-1713, and an online version is available on
British Origins with a useful
of the structure of the records.
Over the years London has had many prisons and similar institutions.
There were Compters
to hold debtors both within the City and outside it, in Southwark and
Middlesex. At various times there were prisons at Ludgate, Newgate, the
Fleet, Temple Bar, and Bridewell, and there were medieval prisons at St
Martin Le Grand, and Tun upon Cornhill.
- A list of
inmates, victims and those associated with Newgate Prison, from the
book The Chronicles of Newgate by Arthur Griffiths, published
Calendars - formerly provided by the University of Texas in their Law in
Popular Culture Collection E-texts, but now only on the Wayback Machine. A reproduction of the Newgate
calendars, from the mid sixteenth century to the nineteenth there is
plenty of gory details about murderers, forgers and many other
wrongdoers. Each entry has a potted biography of the guilty and a
detail of their crime.
- The Rossbret UK Institutions website has some information on
Prisons in London (now only available on the Internet Archive).
There are several surveys which give descriptions of the living
conditions of Londoners in the 19th century:
London has many disused and lost stations, some of which are described on
Subterranea Britannica's Disused
Stations web page, and their Disused London
Underground stations page.
Directories (link from our UK & Ireland page)
Books publish facsimile on CD of many trade directories. There are
detailed descriptions of contents on their website. They include some
sources for 17th and 18th Centuries; Post Office 1819, 1843, 1848,
1851, 1856, 1902, 1934, 1938; Post Office 1902 "London Northern
Suburbs" and "London Southern Suburbs" with more people listed than the
overall London directories; Pigots 1822 and 1825; Royal Blue Book 1833,
1860; Boyles Court Guide 1847; London Diocese Book 1890; Kelly's for
Chiswick 1938, Kensington 1939, Acton 1939, Hammersmith 1939/40.
Guildhall Library has an
excellent collection of Directories
Society of Genealogists has a good
collection and publishes a list "Directories and poll books in the
library of the Society of Genealogists" compiled by N J N
Newington-Irving, 6th edn 1995.
University of Leicester
Digital Library of Historical Directories - searchable by surname
online - includes for Middlesex:
- Kelly's 1914,
- Kelly's Wood Green ,
- Handbook for Visitors to Harrow on the Hill
Elizabeth Burton provides on-line these transcripts:
Merchants of 1677. She says "The publication in 1677 of 'A
collection of the names of the merchants living in and around London'
for Sam. Lee and Dan. Major was possibly the first printed commercial
directory of London." - the list is from this and other sources.
Directory 1740 containing an alphabetical list of the names and
places of abode of the directors of companies, persons in public
business, merchants, and other eminent traders in the cities of London
and Westminster, and the borough of Southwark.
Also see Bibliography and Maps
The National Archives have a useful podcast
by Dave Annal entitled Lost in London which is a guide
to genealogical research in London before 1837. This is a recording a of a talk
given on 14 June 2012.
- The London
Look-up Exchange maintained by Brian Fisk
- The Middlesex
Look-up Exchange maintained by Brian Fisk
GENDOCS lists for
London cover census, churches, cemeteries, inns, probate, streets,
lodging houses, institutions ... and much more.
London Ancestor is a site
with a variety of sections, including research interests, reciprocal
research, illustrations of churches and other buildings, newspaper
The London Surnames List
maintained by Hugh Winters contains a list of surnames being researched in London and Middlesex.
- Curious Fox describes itself as the "village by village contact site
for anybody researching family history, genealogy and local history in
the UK and Ireland." They have a London
"One-place studies are a branch of family history and/or local
history with a focus on the entire population of a single road,
village or community, not just a single, geographically dispersed
family line" (Wikipedia).
There are listings covering the City of London on the Society
for One-Place Studies website and the Register
of One-Place Studies.
- Mailing Lists
Hazel Dakers website has a
series of articles demonstrating by example how to go beyond the basics
of genealogy. There is a bias towards London, South African and Jewish
examples but the site is by no means only about Jewish genealogy, and
she provides good examples of migration, within the British Isles and
GenealogyWise is a social networking site for Genealogists, and has
London group covering Greater London, and a
LONDON: Livery Companies, etc.
group covering citizens of the City of London.
RootsChat bulletin board has a section for London
- The Arms of the Livery
Companies of the City Of London (formerly on Heraldic Media website, now linked to the Internet Archive.)
History of the City of London
Ten Generations - Discover how life in London has changed for
the last ten generations of Londoners and visitors to the capital. Ten
Generations draws on original evidence held in local collections to
tell the stories of how our forebears lived their lives, the changes
they will have seen, and some of the historical events they may have
witnessed during the last 300 years. There are many illustrations. Ten
Generations was a collaborative venture between City of Westminster
Archives, local studies libraries and archives in four north London
boroughs (Brent, Camden, Hackney and Islington), Bishopsgate Library
& Institute and London's Transport Museum, with further
contributions from the archives of the Royal Free Hospital and
University College London Hospitals. [This site seems no longer to be
available, but is archived at the UK web
Ideal Homes: Suburbia in
Focus is a history of suburbs in South East London's six boroughs;
Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark, including
personal accounts of life in words and pictures. It is a joint venture
between all six boroughs and the University of Greenwich. It contains
thousands of old and contemporary photographs and descriptions of life
in South East London.
History Online catalogue for Greater London sources: Text of many
documents including directories, Victoria County History volumes and
drafts, maps, a tax list, gazetteers,list of City of London
inhabitants 1695, others. See also their
to urban history on BHO.
London Archaeologist covers every significant archaeological
discovery, period, event and issue. As well as archaeological reports
it includes historical articles and book reviews. The online
archive at the Archaeology Data Service includes all articles,
along with selected indexes, from 1968-2005 (volumes 1-10). More recent
volumes can be obtained from the London Archaeologist
The Astoft collection of
buildings of England has photographs by Allan Soedring of a number
of churches and other buildings
Londonist has a series of articles focussed on the historical
topics to do with London.
Books: there are thousands of books about London history, here are a few.
- W.R. Dalzell, The Shell Guide to the History of London,
Michael Joseph, 1981.
- W. Kent, An Encyclopedia of London, J.M. Dent & Sons,
- Roy Porter, London. A Social History, Hamish Hamilton, 1994.
J Bullman, N Hegarty, and B Hill, The Secret History of our
Streets: London, a social history through the houses and streets we
live in, BBC Books, 2012. This book accompanies the BBC series of the
same name looking at how
London has changed since Charles Booth's survey recording social
conditions in 1886, returning to six archetypal London streets.
Your Old Books and
Maps CDROMs include "Medieval London and Old St. Pauls cathedral" and
are preparing 1909 and 1920 guides to London.
The Medical Heritage of Great
Britain website of the Bath & Wessex Medical History Group has a
page on locations
in Greater London relating to medical history
Jews Database (compiled by Jeffrey Maynard) can be searched
together with other UK
Jewish databases of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great
The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies
Cemetery Project includes a listing of Jewish
cemeteries in and around London, and general information to aid the
location of a burial.
See above under Cemeteries for the
Western Charitable Foundation's Orthodox
For details of the Poor Jews' Temporary Shelter see the entry for
The Knowles Collection from FamilySearch includes thousands of
London Jews in a database building on the work of the late Isobel
Land and Property
Sun Fire Office policy
registers 1816-1833 are held at Guildhall Library and searchable on
a2a (Access to Archives) - choose
Guildhall Library as location, or "A place in the Sun" as A2A theme. You
can search by names of people, institutions, streets, place names and
occupations. The index covers the registers of the Sun's London office,
which cover mainly London properties. For this reason, street names only
are given for most of the entries and London can be assumed where no
county is given. A few country properties are also included.
Mike Durtnall's Historical Manuscripts Pages
(http://www.durtnall.org.uk/DEEDSIndex.html) has information about
many descriptions of historical documents taken mainly from online
auction catalogues, including nearly 2000 referring to London or
Middlesex. [At times this site has only been intermittently
available. You may find an old version
on the Wayback Machine.]
Family Deeds provide abstracts of old deeds and documents sold on the
open market. They have pages for deeds referring to places in London and Middlesex.
London Postal Districts - we have
links to maps and a list showing places for each district
- John Speed's Map and
of London, 1611
- John Speed's Map of
Greenwood's Map of
- The Collage
Portal (Corporation of London Libraries and Guildhall Art Gallery
image database) has historic maps of London. On "Advanced search" choose
picture type as "map", enter place name of interest as search term. The
website has thumbnail and part-screen images of the maps, and a facility
to order a detailed image.
- The London Ancestor
Journal has several on-line maps:
- The London Topographical Society
has a series of publications of early maps of London. Their many
publications include: The A to Z of Victorian London,
with notes by Ralph Hyde, 1987
Historical GIS Project at the University of Portsmouth (formerly at
Queen Mary & Westfield College, London) has a
London GIS with a number of statistical maps of London, including:
- Domestic Service in London, 1861 and 1911
- Infant Mortality in London, 1881
- Deaths from cholera in london, summer 1866
- Typhus fever and uncorrected and corrected deaths
Pocket Atlas and Guide to London, 1900 has maps including
Parliamentary Divisions, Railways, Postal Districts, also street maps
Atlas and Guide to London 1896, facsimile edn 2002
from Audrey Collins Publications, email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
PO box 483, Chesham, Bucks HP5 2ZN
Your Old Books and
Maps sell on CD Black's 1920 Guide to London and its environs,
illustrated with many maps and plans. They have other CDs for the area
including "London 1909" with bird's eye views.
Old House Books of
Moretonhampstead, Devon, have several old maps in book or folded form.
They include "A street map of London 1843" which was a guide for Hansom
Cab passengers, and Baedeker's London for 1900, and "Bacon's up to date
map of London 1902".
maps) or (Map and Plan Collection Online) is a free map website by
David Hale displaying high quality London and other maps and views.
There are maps and panoramas dating from 1560 to 1897.
Stanford's Geological Library Map Of London And Its Suburbs 1878
at 6 inches to the mile is detailed and useful.
- The MOTCO website "contains a
reference database of topographical prints, maps, prospects and panoramas
of London, the Thames and the UK. It also provides the opportunity to
purchase CDs of the London maps and high quality reproductions...". The
maps range in date from 1705 to 1862.
- The Baedeker's Old Guide Books site has maps from Baedeker's London and its
- The East London History Society offers Old Maps of Tower
Hamlets, ranging from 1745 to 2000.
- Genmaps provide a wide range of
London maps of different dates and with scans of varying quality.
- Peter Higginbotham's Workhouse website has maps of Poor Law Unions in London
(circa 1900) and Poor Law School
Districts in London.
Past website allows searches of a range of data relating to
seventeenth and eighteenth-century London, and to map the results on
either John Rocque's 1746 map, or the 1869-80 First Edition Ordnance
Survey map. The datasets include the 1666 hearth tax, Mortality and
Plague in 1665, London Lives
1690-1800, Records of clay tobacco pipes and glass tableware from
London archaeological sites, Proceedings of the Old Bailey and parish
population estimates from the Bills of Mortality, Marriage Duty
Assessments, and the 1801 census.
Records of over 100,000 patients admitted between 1852 and 1914
to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, its
convalescent home at Cromwell House, the Evelina
Hospital (now part of Guy's and St Thomas's) and the specialist
Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease are available
online at the Historic Hospital
Admission Registers Project (HHARP) website. The precise
periods differ between the institutions.
The former County Asylums website had information about the local
authority funded mental hospitals in London (both
the City of London and the 1889-1963 London County Council) and in Middlesex.
Simon Forman, the notorious London astrologer, recorded 10,000
consultations between 1596 and 1603. Most of these are medical.
Forman's casebooks can now be searched by name (of any party
involved), date, sex, age, topic of consultation and many other
criteria. The edition includes images of all the manuscript pages of
Forman's first volume, and more will follow. They are available from
Project at the Department of History and
Philosophy of Science of the University of Cambridge
- City of London
Livery Companies with links to the Web sites of some of the
Membership Guide (Guildhall Library leaflet)
- Heraldic Media has a site devoted to The Livery
Companies & their Heraldry. (Formerly on Heraldic Media website, now linked to the Internet Archive.)
Licensed Victuallers records (LMA leaflet) PDF format
- Thousands of children were apprenticed to masters in London. Cliff
Webb has compiled indexes to the records for the Society of Genealogists, and an online
version is available on British
Origins with a useful explanation
of the records.
- Ancestry have an index to about 1000
Child Apprentices in America from Christ's Hospital, London,
1617-1778, drawn from Coldham, PW (1990) Child Apprentices in
America from Christ's Hospital, London, 1617-1778. Baltimore, MD,
USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., which itself was based on the
manuscript records in the Guildhall Library.
The Records of London's Livery
Companies Online website provides "records of Apprentices and
Freemen in the City of London Livery Companies between 1400 and 1900".
As of June 2012 if covered the Clothworkers (1545-1908) and the
Drapers (c.1400-1900) with Goldsmiths (1600-1700). In future it
will have complete coverage of Goldsmiths and of Mercers.
Ancestry have indexed and placed on line images of the Admission
Papers for Freemen of the City of London, 1681-1925. These are
from the records of the City itself, but include reference to the
livery company of the admitted person. They cover all types of
admission, but there are some gaps (mostly in the 1680s and
1770s-1780s). Full information is given in a leaflet
Pub History gives
many details about an enormous number of pubs in the South East of England.
The Metropolitan Police have a page on their Historical
The London Vintage Taxi
Association: information about cabs and their drivers, even some
offers a database of 19th century photographers and allied trades in
Orphans and Orphanages
(extract from their History page): In 1867, Thomas Barnardo set up a
ragged school in the East End, where poor children could get a basic
education. .. In 1870, Barnardo opened his first home for boys in
Stepney Causeway. .. Barnardo later opened the Girls' Village Home in
Barkingside, a collection of cottages around a green, which housed
1,500 girls. By the time a child left Barnardo's they were able to make
their own way in the world - the girls were equipped with domestic
skills and the boys learnt a craft or trade.
The Coram Family (formerly the
Thomas Coram Foundation for Children) has been working continuously
with deprived and disadvantaged children since 1739 when Thomas Coram
Foundling Hospital to provide care for the homeless children he
found living and dying on the streets of London. Through support from
artists and others, he made a remarkable collection of treasures, now
housed in The Foundling
Museum at No 40 Brunswick Square, on the site of the original
From its foundation in 1741 the Foundling Hospital rescued abaondoned
babies, but from the 1760s it extended its remit to accommodate the
children of unmarried mothers who made written petition for the child
to be accepted. The surviving applications record details of the lives
of the mothers, which can include how they became pregnant and of their
employment. About two-thirds of applications in the 19th century were
from women in domestic service. The type of information available is
detailed in an article by Pamela Horn in Genealogists'
Magazine vol. 29, no. 8, pp.293-297 (December 2008).
Metropolitan and City Police Orphanage: records
relating to children who were in the Orphanage are at the Metropolitan
and City Police Orphans Fund, 30 Hazlewell Road, Putney, London, SW15
6LH. "Beer and Bullets - yes it's the police orphanage" is an article
in the March 2002 issue of Metline, the magazine of the Metropolitan Police Federation.
- The Rossbret UK Institutions website has some information on
London Orphanages (now only available on the Internet Archive).
Politics and Government
The City of London is governed by the Corporation of London which is run
by the Lord Mayor and 132 members elected from 25 voting districts or
"wards". Each ward elects an alderman and between 4 and 12 members
depending on its size.
The wards are:
Bridge and Bridge Without
From 1550 to 1899 there was a 26th ward of Bridge Without,
as the Borough of Southwark was partly under the jurisdiction of the City
of London, but this ward only had an appointed alderman and no common
councilmen. It was merged with the ancient ward of Bridge, alias Bridge
Within, to form the current ward.
Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.
Postal, Shipping and Similar Guides
"Pre-1858 Wills are found at the following repositories: the GLRO [now
LMA] for those provided at the Consistory Court of London, the Commisary
Court of Surrey and the Archdeaconry Courts of Middlesex (Middlesex
Division) and Surrey; the Guildhall Library for those proved at the
Commisary Court of London (London Division), the Archdeaconry Court of
London, the Peculiar Court of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's and the
Royal Peculiar of St Katherine by the Tower; the Corporation of London
Record Office for those proved at the Court of Hustings; at Lambeth
Palace Library for the Peculiar Courts of the Deaneries of the Arches and
of Croydon; and at Westminster Library for the Royal Peculiar of the Dean
and Chapter of Westminster. Wills were also proved at the Consistory of
Winchester and the Prerogative Court of Canterbury." [T.V.H. FitzHugh,
The Dictionary of Genealogy, 1994.]
The University of London has
placed online lists of all officials, teachers, graduates and
undergraduates from its foundation in 1836 up until 31 March 1901, as
published in 1890, 1899 and 1901, and a list of all University of London
graduates up to December 1932.
The City of London is covered by
The following societies cover areas that fall within Greater
The following Societies cover areas which include parts of Greater
Map showing the areas covered by these societies
Coal Tax Posts as previously described on the Corporation of London website
"were erected under the London Coal and Wine Duties Continuance Act,
1861, but some were originally set up under earlier nineteenth century
Acts. The duties whose area of application they marked out originated in
the seventeenth century and earlier.The Corporation of London had
exercised the right of 'metage' (measuring) of coal and other commodities
since mediaeval times and these rights were confirmed by two Charters of
King James I. The City was later permitted to set up "a Boundary Stone,
or some other permanent Mark" where any turnpike road, public highway,
railway or canal entered the District. The surviving boundary marks
define the London district after it was changed in 1861." The website
gives details of the duties and posts, and gives a list of the remaining posts around
Lay Subsidies were medieval taxes (see a brief description
of them), whioh often included compilations of lists of names.
Published lists for London include:
- Ekwall, E (1951) Two Early London Subsidy Rolls. Lund: CWK
Gleerup. Covers the years 1292 and 1319 and is now available at
- Unwin G (ed.) (1918) Finance and trade under Edward III - The
London lay subsidy of 1332. Contains a discussion of various analyses
of the lay subsidy roll, but very few names. Now available at British History
- Lang RG (ed.) (1993) Two Tudor subsidy rolls for the city of
London 1541 and 1582. London: London Record Society. Now available at
- Alan H. Nelson is developing an online
index to the names in the Lay Subsidy Returns for London and adjacent
areas, covering London, Middlesex and north Surrey 1593-1600, London 1582
(including some material in Lang above), and London 1576.
- Bolton P (ed.) (1998) The alien communities of London in the
fifteenth century: the subsidy rolls of 1440 & 1483-4. Stamford:
Richard III & Yorkist History Trust. ('Alien' ws the term for a
A 1638 list of tithe-payers has survived in Lambeth Palace Library and
was published as Dale TC (ed.) (1931) The Inhabitants of London in
1638. London: Society of Genealogists. It is Now available at
The Hearth Tax returns for London 1662 and 1666, Westminster 1664 and
Middlesex 1666 have been transcribed by the
London Hearth Tax Project and are available via British History Online.
In 1694 an act was passed to levy taxes upon burials, births and
marriages and annual dues upon bachelors over 25 years of age and upon
childless widowers. As a consequence lists were prepared in 1695 of:
- London Inhabitants within the Walls, published as Glass DV (ed)
(1966) London inhabitants within the walls, 1695. Leicester:
London Record Society. Now available at British History
- London Inhabitants without [i.e. outside] the Walls, for which a
typescript index is available at LMA.
Returns for 17 parishes do not survive, but an attempt has been made to
fill the gaps using tax assessment of similar date, and an index
published as "A Supplement to the London Inhabitants List of 1695
Compiled by Staff at Guildhall Library" in Guildhall Studies in London
History Vol. 2, Nos. 2 (surnames A-M) and 3 (surnames N-Z and trades)
(April and October 1976).
Land Tax was levied 1692-1932. Ancestry have
indexed the records held at LMA,
covering the City of London, Middlesex (including most Westminster
parishes), and some parishes in Kent and Surrey. A description is
given in a copy of a leaflet
from LMA, though this out of date in some respects.
FamilySearch have the
London Electoral Registers, 1847-1913. These cover the current
Greater London area with varying periods within that timespan.
Visitations by the Heralds were designed to record the pedigree of
armorial families and to confirm their right to bear arms. There is a
good guide to them on Chris Phillips'
Medieval English Genealogy site. Several of the visitations of London
have been published:
- The Harleian Society volume 1: Howard, JJ, and Armytage, GJ (eds)
(1869) The Visitation of London in the Year 1568 is available from
- The Harleian Society volumes 15 and 17: Howard, JJ, and Chester, JL
(eds) (1880) The Visitation of London, 1633, 1634, and 1635 is
available, for volume 15, surnames A-H from Google
books, and UK
Genealogy Archive, and for volume 17 surnames I-W from Google
- The Harleian Society volume 92: Whitmore JB and Hughes AW (eds)
(1940) London Vistation Pedigrees 1664. Available on CD from
(NB If you find you cannot view the Google Books, try the suggestions of the
Medieval Genealogy website.)
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