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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): CLA/067
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1535-1971
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.6 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

Greyfriars Franciscan monastery was situated in Farringdon near Newgate. It was suppressed during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538 and given to the Lord Mayor and citizens of London in December 1547. It was decided to convert the monastery into an orphanage and school for poor children. By November 1552 the building was ready and 340 fatherless children were admitted (at this date a child was considered orphaned if the father had died, even if the mother was still alive). The school became known as the 'Blue Coat School' because the children were required to wear a uniform of blue gown, red belt and yellow stockings. In 1553 a Charter was signed to confirm the transformation of Greyfriars into Christ's Hospital (a hospital in the older sense of 'a charitable institution for the housing and maintenance of the needy; an asylum for the destitute, infirm, or aged' O.E.D.)

Branches of the school existed at Hertford from at least 1653, at Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, from 1666 to c.1690, and at Ware, Hertfordshire, from about the same period until 1760. From 1778 the Hertford premises were used as the girls' school and as a preparatory school for boys. The Royal Mathematical School, founded in 1673, was an integral part of Christ's Hospital, from which its pupils, all boys, were chosen at the age of 11 or 12. They were educated in mathematics and navigation, and were intended for service in the Royal Navy. Christ's Hospital moved from the City of London to Horsham in 1902, and at the same time the boys' preparatory school also moved from Hertford to Horsham. The girls' school remained at Hertford until 1985, when it also moved to Horsham.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Christ's Hospital, 1535-1971, including constitution of Christ's Hospital with orders made by Governors, 1557; copy of the first patent of Charles II for founding the Mathematical School in Christ's Hospital, 1673-1676; report by Samuel Pepys to the President and Governors of Christ's Hospital upon the state of the Hospital with an appendix of accounts relating to the Mathematical Foundation, 23 March 1697/8; papers relating to a scheme by the Charity Commissioners for the administration of Christ's Hospital, 1880-1885; newspaper cuttings of the laying of the foundation stone of the new school at Horsham, 1897; papers regarding legacies; rules, orders and regulations; staff appointments; petitions; financial accounts and papers relating to management of the estate.

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:

The Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library holds the older records of the original Christ's Hospital. These include minute and account books; estate papers; and a single series of admission and discharge registers for children admitted between 1563 and 1911 (boys only from 1891), and to the Royal Mathematical School between 1673 and 1911. Admissions for the period between the foundation and the first register are recorded in the earliest court minute book, 1556-62. These have been published in 'Christ's Hospital Admissions', vol.1, 1554-1599 (1937) available in the Printed Books Section of the Library. The Manuscripts Section also has an incomplete series of presentation papers, containing petitions submitted by parents, guardians etc., which provide some personal and financial details of children's families, up to 1911 for boys and up to 1890 for girls. Records of boys admitted after 1911, and of girls after 1890, remain at Christ's Hospital. Write for further information to the Clerk of Christ's Hospital (The Counting House, Christ's Hospital, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 7YP, telephone 01403-252547, fax 01403-211580, access by arrangement only).

For Corporation of London records relating to hospitals, almshouses and workhouses, see CLA/064: Almshouses and Hospitals, CLA/065: Bethlem Hospital, CLA/066: Bridewell Hospital, CLA/067: Christ's Hospital, CLA/068: Royal Hospitals, CLA/069: Saint Thomas' Hospital, CLA/070: Saint Bartholomew's Hospital, CLA/071: Emanuel Hospital, CLA/075: London Workhouse, COL/CC/EHC: Court of Common Council Emanuel Hospital Committee, COL/CC/LUC: Court of Common Council Lunatic Asylum Committee, COL/CC/RHC: Court of Common Council Royal Hospitals Committee, COL/CHD/IC: Chamberlain's Department: Institutions and Courts, COL/CT: Charities, and COL/PL, COL/PLD/PL, COL/SVD/PL and COL/TSD/AD for building plans. There are also various papers in the Corporation of London collection relating to public health. See the Hospital Records Database on The National Archives website for the locations of hospital records held in other repositories.

Publication note:

Christ's Hospital by G.A.T. Allan, revised by J.E. Morpurgo (1984) and Christ's Hospital of London, 1552-1598 by Carol Kazmierczak Manzione (1995).

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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