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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): CLA/031
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1608-1842
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 2.1 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The office of Sheriff predates the Norman Conquest and refers to a high officer and representative of royal authority in a shire, who was responsible for the administration of the law. London had two sheriffs who were elected in September of each year. In the City of London each Sheriff was responsible for a Compter, a city prison for debtors and other civil prisoners.

The Southwark Compter was also known as the Borough Compter.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Southwark Compter, also known as Borough Compter, 1608-1842, including lists of prisoners, charge books, warrants for arrest, accounts of deliveries of bread and meat and various administrative papers. Also papers relating to the revived magistracy in Southwark, 1814, when it was decided that one of the Aldermen who had passed the chair would sit daily for justiciary business, receiving an annual salary and assisted by a clerk, until c 1840.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Corporation of London Records Office.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For Corporation of London records relating to prisons see: CLA/003: Holloway Prison, CLA/028: Wood Street Compter, CLA/029: Giltspur Street Compter, CLA/030: Poultry Compter, CLA/031: Southwark Compter, CLA/032: Prisons and Compters, CLA/033: Ludgate Prison, CLA/034: Whitecross Street Prison, CLA/035: Newgate Prison, COL/CA/PCA: Court of Aldermen Prisons Committee, COL/CC/FNG: Court of Common Council Gaol Expenses and Finance Committee, COL/CC/MIN: Court of Common Council Committees includes material relating to gaols and compters, COL/CC/NGC: Court of Common Council Newgate Gaol Committee, COL/CC/PCC: Court of Common Council Prisons Committee, COL/CC/SPO: Court of Common Council Special Prisons Committee, COL/PL: Plans, including plans of prisons and compters.

Publication note:

Description Notes

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:
February 2009

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