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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): CLA/037
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Full title: THAMES
Date(s): 1505-1994
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 8.7 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The conservancy of the River Thames was entrusted to the citizens of London by various charters from 1197 and continued to be exercised by the Corporation until 1857. The jurisdiction extended from the River Colne near Staines to Yantlett Creek, Kent. Jurisdiction over the Thames from Staines to the sea was transferred to the Thames Conservators in 1857, several of whom continued to be appointed by the Corporation. An Act of 1866 added responsibility for the Upper Thames, at the same time increasing the number of Conservators. The powers of the Conservators in respect of the lower river as far as Teddington were vested in the Port of London Authority by the Port of London Act 1908. At the same time a new Thames Conservancy Act reconstituted the Thames Conservancy Board which administered the Upper Thames until 1974 when the Thames Water Authority was created as one of a series of regional water authorities. The Thames Water Authority also has some responsibilities (e.g. for fresh-water fishing) in the lower river.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Port of London, Thames Conservancy and Thames Navigation, 1505-1994.

Port of London records include administrative papers, committee reports, accounts, annual reports, bye-laws, papers of the Committee of the House of Commons appointed to consider the best mode of increasing the accommodation of the Port of London, 1796-1799, city tonnage dues cash books and canal boat registration.

Thames Conservancy records include papers relating to the City's claim to the Thames soil, shores and bed; correspondence; reports; maps; acts and bills for the Conservancy of the River Thames; papers regarding the boundary stones marking the limits of the jurisdiction of the City of London; minutes of the Navigation Committee and Parliamentary papers.

Thames Navigation records include accounts, bye-laws, petitions and reports.

Also papers relating to fishing including conservation of fish stock and issue of licences; Parliamentary papers relating to the Thames and the Embankment; papers relating to maintenance of embankments and wharves; publications regarding various aspects of the history of the Thames.

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:

See CLA/006 Commissioners of Sewers records for papers on river pollution, CLA/036 for records of the Thames Conservancy Court, COL/CC/CTC: Consolidated Committee for the dispute with the Crown over the bed and soil of the Thames, COL/CC/JTT for Joint Bridge House Estates and Thames Navigation and Port of London Committee, COL/CC/TNC for Thames Navigation Committee and COL/PL and COL/SVD/PL for surveys and soundings of the Thames.

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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