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London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/2058

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1572-1973

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 24.6 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Borough Market Trustees


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Borough Market is one of the oldest markets in London. It was originally held on London Bridge, but in 1276 it moved away from the Bridge to the King's Highway, then the main thoroughfare in and out of London, and now known as Borough High Street. In 1550 Edward VI granted the City of London a Royal Charter to hold a market in the borough of Southwark. At that date the market was still held in Borough High Street. However, by 1754 the volume of traffic using the Borough High Street had considerably increased and the market stalls hindered the traffic, By an Act of Parliament of 1755 the churchwardens, overseers of the poor and inhabitants of the parish of Saint Saviour, Southwark were charged with finding a new site for the market, empowered to buy the land and became Trustees of the Market. The site they chose was called The Triangle, which still forms the heart of the Market site. The act also decreed that the profits of the Market were to be used to alleviate parochial rates, a purpose for which they are still used today. The 1755 Act also established one hundred and twenty Commissioners and gave the churchwardens, overseers and inhabitants of the parish, as Trustees, the right to hold a market and levy tolls. The powers of the Trustees (whose numbers were limited to twenty-one in 1907) were modified by subsequent Acts of Parliament which gave them the authority to issue bye-laws, and prohibited any other market within one thousand yards of the Borough Market, and also further defined the site of the market. This was enlarged when the South Eastern Railway extension to Cannon Street and Charing Cross was built in 1862, and in 1932 when Three Crown Square was closed. The Market now covers four acres. Although the market originally sold all kinds of produce, by later Acts of Parliament its trade was restricted, as it is today, to fruit, flowers, vegetables, roots and herbs.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Borough Market Trustees, including a complete sets of minutes and financial records dating from the Market's reconstitution by Act of Parliament in 1755. There are many items concerning the market's property, including deeds and plans, and a good series of twentieth century correspondence illustrating many aspects of the administration of the Market. Much of the material comes from the office of the Clerk to the Trustees of the Market.

The records include: Acts relating to the Borough Market; Histories; Byelaws, instructions to officials and standing orders; register of seals; agendas, minutes and reports; correspondence; newspaper cuttings; agreements, bonds, contracts; Acts of Parliament, legal cases; evidences and reports of Commissions; war-time regulations, insurance, air raid damage.

Financial records including balance sheets, statements of account and statements of receipts and expenditure; ledgers; cash books; day books; banking records; income; expenditure; correspondence and share prospectus.

Property records including the Market site, maintenance of the premises, plans and maps, proposals for new building and extensions, the Market offices, correspondence, other sites and buildings owned by the Trustees, tenants records, and insurance.

Staff records including wages books; Health and Safety at work, including accidents, medical insurance and sick certificates; Income Tax, National Insurance and Superannuation and uniform and clothing.

Records of other bodies relating to the Market including Metropolitan Borough of Southwark; London County Council; other markets. Also printed notices and advertisements; statistics; Benevolent Fund Records and Borough Market Sports Records.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Corporate records ACC/2058/1; Financial records ACC/2058/2 ; Property records ACC/2058/3; Tenants' records ACC/2058/4; Staff records ACC/2058/5. Many of the papers in the Trustees' strongroom had been originally arranged in bundles or tin boxes. These have been broken up to allow the records to be listed by subject, but the original Borough Market Trustees bundle number and box number have been included in the description of the item. File and plan titles and numbers included in the description of each item have been taken from the items themselves.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the depositor.

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

The records of the Borough Market Trustees were kept in a strongroom or 'safe' room at the offices of the Trustees at 8 Southwark Street, and were generally in good condition.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited by the Trustees in 1984 (ACC/2058).


Related material:

There are additional records of the Market received earlier, catalogued with the records of the Corporation of Wardens of Saint Saviour's Southwark. Also records of the Corporation of Wardens of Saint Saviour's Southwark, the Rectory Trustees, and John Collett Educational Foundation and the Wholesale Fruit and Potato Trades Benevolent Society which were received with the records of the Borough Market Trustees.

DESCRIPTION NOTES 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: July to October 2009

Agricultural markets | Agricultural economics
Corporate minutes | Business records | Documents | Information sources
Financial records | Documents | Information sources
Personnel | People by occupation | People
Property ownership | Civil law | Legal systems | Law
Street trading | Retail trade | Trade (practice)
Trustees | People by roles | People
Property law x Right to property
Company archives

Personal names

Corporate names
Borough Market Trustees
Borough Market | Southwark