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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): COL/CC/CCF
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1787-1968
Level of description: subfonds
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Extent: 60.4 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 Coal, Corn and Finance Committee developed from numerous earlier committees concerned with the finances of the Corporation and the proceeds of the coal and corn duties. The coal duties, apart from the ancient right of metage (the duty paid for the official measuring of dry or liquid goods) were imposed in 1667 for rebuilding the City after the Great Fire, and were continued in order to repay the Corporation's debt to its orphans and other creditors. The duties were also used for various improvements and other purposes under Acts of Parliament. They were then transferred to the Metropolitan Board of Works and finally extinguished on the creation of the London County Council in 1889. The corn duties were surrendered in 1872 on consolidation that a similar duty was continued for thirty years to be applied solely for the preservation of open spaces. In consequence the Coal, Corn and Finance committee still manages certain open spaces such as Burnham Beeches. Its main responsibility, however, is to examine the income and expenditure of the City's Cash and to prepare estimates.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Coal, Corn and Finance Committee, Court of Common Council, including journals, 1833-1858; minutes, 1835-1968; committee papers, 1835-1957; rough minutes, 1787-1815; report books, 1905-1936; corn returns, 1787-1852; papers relating to the Manor of Allerds and Burnham Beeches, 1881-1943; petitions for appointments as deputy corn meters, deputy sea coal meters, labouring land coal meters, inspector of coal ships and inspector of coal traffic, 1787-1866; securities, 1886, 1901, 1918-1919 and 1943; standing orders affecting the Committee, 1835-1840; papers regarding the Coal and Line Dues continuance, 1883-1892; papers regarding the City of London Parochial Charities, 1881-1891; papers relating to various open spaces including Highgate Woods, Shiplake Island, St Paul's Churchyard, Queen's Park, Kilburn, Postmen's Park (St Botolph Aldersgate Churchyard) and Farthing Down, Croydon, 1880-1954; papers regarding the utilisation and disposal of metropolitan sewage, 1864-1865; historical notes on the Coal Exchange, 1950; income tax on Corporation funds, 1946-1954; papers on the rebuilding of St. Lawrence Jewry, 1954-1957 and Tower Hill improvements, 1934-1944.

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 finance, including taxation, see: COL/CA/FNA: Court of Aldermen Finance Committee, COL/CC/ASC: Assessment (City of London Union) Committee, COL/CC/AUC: Accounts Committee, COL/CC/CCF: Coal, Corn and Finance Committee, COL/CC/CCN: Coal and Corn Committee, COL/CC/CCR: Coal, Corn and Rates Finance Committee, COL/CC/FNC: Court of Common Council Finance Committee, COL/CC/FNS: Special Finance/Select Finance or Finance Committee, COL/CC/LGT: Local Government and Taxation Committee, COL/CC/MGC: Metage on Grain Committee, COL/CC/MIN: Court of Common Council Committees, COL/CC/PRC: Policy and Resources Committee, COL/CC/RFC: Rates Finance Committee, COL/CC/ROC: Revenue and Officers Committee, COL/CC/SFC: Special Finance Committee, COL/CC/SRC: Special Revenue Committee, COL/CC/STH: Special Tithes Committee, COL/CC/TIC: Tithe Committee, COL/CC/VAC: Valuation Committee, COL/RG: Recognizances, papers of the Comptroller (COL/CCS) and papers of the Chamberlain (COL/CHD).

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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