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London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): COL/OF

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1298-1991

Level of description: sub-fonds

Extent: 16.4 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The City of London employs various Officers to conduct its business and oversee its administrative and legal functions. The Officers report to the relevant Committee or Department, while the Officers and Clerks Committee (later the Establishment Committee) is responsible for all questions relating to the duties, appointments, salaries and rewards of all Corporation staff, apart from manual workers.

Officers of the City of London include Attorneys; Bailiffs; the Chamberlain; the City Marshal and Under Marshal; the Clerk of the Peace; the Clerk of the Works; the Clerk Sitter; the Commissioner of Peace; the Common Cryer; the Common Pleader; the Common Serjeant; the Comptroller; the Coroner; the Hallkeeper; Coal Meters; Tackle-House and Ticket Porters; Registrars; the Recorder; the Remembrancer; the Secondary; the Solicitor; the Superintendent of Isle of Dogs; the Sword Bearer; the Town Clerk; the Water bailiff; the City Architect and Surveyor; the Clerk of Auditors' Accounts; the Clerk of the Common Council; the Clerks and Collectors of the Markets; Collectors of rents and duties; Judges; Librarians and Prothonotaries.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records relating to Officers of the Corporation of London, including Act of Common Council that 'no office within the city be granted in possession on reversion unless to freemen', 1572; receipts for gifts given to Officers of the Crown and Government Officers, 1664-1744; order of the Court of Aldermen that the Head Officers shall perform their duty in walking before the Lord Mayor and Aldermen when they ride through the Streets on days of solemnity, 1680; papers relating to fees and gratuities claimed by Officers, 1666-1803; certificates of the admission and swearing in of City Officers in the Court of Aldermen, 1699-1782; papers relating to the sale and alienation [transferral of ownership] of Offices, 1700-1829; lists of the names of Officers, 1777-1947 (with gaps); papers relating to life insurance offered by the Corporation to Officers, with records of payment, 1760-1818; papers regarding the ceremonial precedence of Officers, particularly in processions, 1788-1948; reports presented to the Common Council regarding the roles of various Officers, and reports by Officers, 1762-1862; payments to City Officers, 1713-1729; papers relating to the applications and appointments of Officers, 1852-1991 (these papers are closed from 1932 onwards); ballot books for the election of Officers by the Common Council, 1833-1880; papers of the Officer's Guarantee Fund, 1903-1938; report of Town Clerk on organisational policy, 1957 and papers relating to the Local Government Training Board Grants Scheme, 1968-1976.

Also records relating to individual Offices including memoranda relating to the Accountant-Auditor, 1943-1973; certificate of the Attorney of the Sheriff's Court, 1752; lists of the City Auditors, 1409-1431 and 1603-1756; names and duties of the various Bridge House Officers, 1824-1877; papers relating to the Bridge House Comptroller, 1755-1839; papers relating to the Bridgemasters, 1596-1942; notes regarding prison and compter Chaplains, 1816-1825; appointment of Chronologer, 1660; papers relating to Officers' Clerks, 1673-1679, the Clerk of the Common Council, 1772-1838, the Clerk of the Works, 1658-1852, the Clerk of the Peace, 1801-1881; bills relating to the Common Cryer, 1677-1790; correspondence regarding the Common Cryer and Serjeant-at-Arms, 1907-1938; papers relating to the Common Pleader, 1673-1763; extracts and reports relating to the Common Serjeant, 1319-1850; applications for office of Executioner, 1883; papers regarding the office of Garbler [an official who 'garbled' spices, removing refuse from them], 1525-1708; papers relating to Law Officers, 1671-1741; papers relating to Marshals, 1589-1876; applications for the post of Medical Officer of the Port of London, 1873; reports relating to the office of Outroper [auctioneer], 1674-1710; papers relating to Polemen, 1689-1707, including warrant to arrest unlicensed Nightmen, Polemen and Carters carrying night-soil, 1689; extracts and papers relating to the Recorder, 1298-1922; papers relating to the office of Secondary, 1497-1937; extracts and notes regarding Serjeants, including Serjeants-at-Mace and Serjeants of the Chamber, 1475-1850; papers relating to the Swordbearer, 1665-1874; papers relating to the City Waits, 1689-1968 [watchmen, particularly those armed with wind-instruments to sound alarms, later musicians who accompanied the Mayor on ceremonial and festive occasions]; papers relating to the Water Bailiff, 1663-1847 and papers relating to Yeomen, 1493-1766.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright City of London

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Corporation of London Records Office.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

For Corporation of London records relating to staffing, see COL/CC/ESC: Establishment Committee, COL/CC/JTA: Joint Advisory Committee, COL/CC/JTC: Joint Committee, COL/CC/OCC: Officers and Clerks Committee, COL/CC/OCL: Officers and Clerks Committee (1815-1834), COL/CC/MIN: Committees, COL/CC/PVC: Privileges Committee, COL/CC/ROC: Revenue and Officers Committee, COL/CC/SGP: Select General Purposes (Porters) Committee, COL/CC/SLC: Special (Labour) Committee, COL/CC/STF: Staff Committee, COL/CHD/PN: Chamberlain's Department: Pensions and COL/OF: Officers.

Publication note:



Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2009

Borough officers | Local government personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People
Carters | People by occupation | People
Executioners | People by roles | People
Serjeants at Arms | Legal profession personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People
Town clerks | Local government personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People
Yeomen | People by roles | People

Personal names

Corporate names
Corporation of London
Court of Aldermen | Corporation of London
Court of Common Council | Corporation of London
Town Clerk | Corporation of London

City of London | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Hertfordshire | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe