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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): COL/CC/CLC
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1666-1968
Level of description: subfonds
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Extent: 57.1 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The concept of the Court of Common Council grew from the ancient custom of the Folkmoot, when the assent of the citizens to important acts was obtained. This custom was continued by the Mayor who consulted the Commons several times during the 13th century. From 1376 the assembly began to meet regularly and was referred to as the Common Council. It was decided that the Council should be made up of persons elected from each Ward. By 1384 a permanent Common Council chosen by the citizens was established for all time. The Council assumed legislative functions and adopted financial powers, confirmed by Charters of 1377 and 1383. The Council has often used these powers to amend the civic constitution, regulate the election of Lord Mayor and other officials, and amend the functions of the City courts. The Council was judged so successful in the conduct of its duties that it was the only Corporation unreformed by Parliament following the Municipal Corporations Commission report of 1837, while the Corporation Inquiry Commission of 1854 suggested only minor reforms. The work of the Council is conducted by a number of committees, while the whole Council has the right to approve policy, confirm major decisions and sanction expenditure. The committees handle many aspects of the running of the City including land and estates, finance and valuation, open spaces, street improvement and town planning, public health, police, Port of London, civil defence, airports, libraries, markets, education, and law. The Town Clerk has held responsibility for recording the minutes of the Council and its committees since 1274.

The City Lands Committee was first appointed in 1592. It was responsible for the management of the corporate estates of the City, for maintenance of the properties, granting leases and enforcing covenants. Before the advent of separate Markets Committees the City Lands Committee was concerned with market lettings and tolls. Estates outside the City, called County Rents, such as those in Finsbury, Ratcliffe and Conduit Mead, were also controlled by this Committee. The Bridge House Estates were run by the same personnel until 1818 when it became a distinct committee. In 1968 the City Lands Committee took over the investments part of the Bridge House Committee, while the responsibility for control and maintenance of bridges was transferred at the same time to the new Planning and Communications Committee. The City Lands Committee was therefore re-designated the City and Bridge House Estates Committee. In 1969 this was changed to "The City Lands and Bridge House Estates Committee".


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the City Lands Committee, Court of Common Council, including journals, 1699-1870; minutes, 1703-1968; rough minutes, 1668-1698; committee papers, including reports, petitions and other documents presented to the committee, 1666-1957; City Lands and Bridge House Committees letter books, 1898-1913; report books, 1941-1965; order books, 1667-1816; warrants for payments to be made to workmen, 1873-1887; standing orders, 1793 and 1837-1909; City rentals, 1937-1950; papers of the City and Bridge House Accounts Committee, 1838-1845; papers regarding liability under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1897; powers vested in the committee by the Court of Common Council, 1668-1673 and 1796-1846 and papers regarding collection of rents and enforcement of payments, 1873-1893.

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 City Lands Estates see: CLA/007: Bridge House Estates, COL/AC: Archives, COL/BR: Brokers, COL/CC/BHC: Court of Common Council Bridge House Committee, COL/CC/CLBH: Court of Common Council City Lands and Bridge House Estate Committee, COL/CC/CLC: Court of Common Council City Lands Committee, COL/CCS/CO: Comptroller and City Solicitor: Comptroller, COL/CCS/PL: Comptroller and City Solicitor: Plans, COL/CHD/CM: Chamberlain's Department: Chamber Accounts, COL/CHD/DM: Chamberlain's Department: Duties and Metage, COL/OF: Officers, COL/PL: Plans, COL/PLD/PL: Planning Department Plans, COL/RMD/CE: Remembrancer's Department: Ceremonial, COL/SJ: Subject Series: Subjects, COL/SP: Subject Series: Places, COL/SVD/PL: Surveyor's Department Plans, COL/TSD/PL: Technical Services Department Plans.

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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