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London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/227-123

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1764-1790

Level of description: Collection

Extent: One production unit.

Name of creator(s): The Coal Exchange and Market | Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Corporation of London had exercised the right to charge duties on coal entering the City since medieval times. Coal duties were charged to raise money for particular projects, such as the rebuilding of the City after the Great Fire in 1666. A new Coal Exchange and Market was constructed on Lower Thames Street, close to Billingsgate Market. The building was opened by Prince Albert in 1849. A Roman hypocaust was found during construction and preserved in the basement of the building. The market was designed by James Bunning, City Architect, in the form of a rotunda, with interior galleries and an iron framework. The decoration of the market was well-known, including murals showing some of the flowers and fossils found in coal formations.

The building included offices for coal factors and others connected with the trade including the Corporation of London officers, who entered all ships bringing coal into the port of London, and collected the City dues on all coal brought within certain limits. The money collected by this tax was usually employed for metropolitan improvements. The Exchange was the property of the Corporation of London, and an open market was held there three days a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.


Scope and content/abstract:

Account book of the clerk of the Coal Exchange. The book includes receipts include money for shares, with names of subscribers; market dues paid by non-proprietors; interest on capital; rents of parts of the premises; and rents of offices in the Exchange, with names of tenants.

Payments include the purchase of the site; building and maintenance work; wages and salaries; cleaning, lighting, watching, and winding the clock; rates, taxes and insurance; half-yearly dinners; newspapers; dividends, with recipients' names.

From 1781 there are receipts and payments towards a 'New Room', funded by subscription.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

One volume.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

This volume was discovered in 1981 at Lloyds Bank, High Street, Old Portsmouth, Hampshire.


Related material:

For records relating to the Coal Exchange see CLA/073. For the Coal Factors Society see CLC/B/051 and for the Coal Meters Committee see CLC/B/052.

Publication note:

For an account of the Coal Exchange see Raymond Smith, Sea Coal for London (1961), pp 79-91.


Archivist's 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: January to May 2011.

Business records | Documents | Information sources
Coal industry | Industry
Commodity exchanges | Exchanges | Financial markets | Investment | Finance
Financial records | Documents | Information sources
Extractive industry

Personal names

Corporate names
London Coal Exchange
The Coal Exchange and Market | Corporation of London

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe