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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): COL/CHD/RN
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1662-1972
Level of description: Collection
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Extent: 17 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Chamber of a city is the place where the funds of the corporation are kept and where moneys due are received - a kind of treasury. The Chamber is run by the Chamberlain, an officer who receives the rents and revenues owed to the corporation. The origin of the Chamber of London is obscure, but as soon as the citizens were sufficiently united to hold lands and tenements in common an officer must have been appointed to collect rents and disburse income for public welfare. The Chamber is first mentioned in 1275 and in the following year Stephen de Mundene is named as City Chamberlain. At first the Chamberlain was chosen by the Mayor and Aldermen, but by 1319 elections were introduced and the officer was chosen by the liverymen in Common Hall.

The Chamberlain's duties combined municipal finance with public banking. His main duty was as treasurer or banker of the City of London with custody of the monies of the Corporation, called the City's Cash, and other funds. Former Chamberlains were able to keep for themselves profits derived from interest on the cash! The Chamberlain also collects the rents of all Corporation properties and makes payments on behalf of the Corporation including salaries and pensions. He also invests money, is responsible for insurance, the preparation of tax returns and production of reports and statistics.

Additionally, the Chamberlain was the Accountant General of the Court of Orphans (see CLA/002) and held all money belonging to the orphans on which he allowed interest. For this purpose the Chamberlain held a Common Seal, first mentioned in 1396. He was also the occasional collector of taxes for the London area, particularly those granted to the City by the monarchy in return for loans. The Coal Duty for reconstruction of public buildings after the Great Fire was paid into the Chamber, as was any money borrowed by the City. The Chamberlain was also treasurer of any charitable funds organised by the City.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Chamberlain's Department regarding rents and rentals, including rent cashier's cash books, 1857-1967; cash books of money received from tenants, 1669-1763; rent cash books (counties), 1833-1863; general rent cash books, 1833-1858; City rents cash books, 1945-1962; country rents cash books, 1943-1961; Bridge House rents cash books, 1942-1957; sundry rents cash book, 1950-1958; market rents cash books, 1938-1962; Epping Forest wayleave [a right of way granted by the owner of land to a particular body and for a particular purpose, e.g. laying of telephone cables or water pipes across land, often in return for payment] rents cash books, 1941-1953; City and Liberties rent ledgers, 1837-1972; Conduit Mead rent ledgers, 1817-1964; rent ledgers (counties, including open spaces and West Ham Park), 1837-1972; markets rent ledgers, 1925-1972; rent ledgers (rates), 1958-1972; miscellaneous rentals book, 1662-1697; rental ledgers of the Chamber, 1692-1710; general rent ledgers, 1728-1751 and 1785- 1836; general rent alphabets, 1785-1836; rent farm ledgers, 1711-1729 and 1785-1937; rent ledgers for Epping Forest wayleaves, 1937-1972; daily collection books (surveyor's rents), 1936-1961; surveyor's collection books (City Lands), 1940-1966; extracts from the City Lands Committee Minutes regarding the City Quickener, whose duty it was to ensure prompt collection of all rents, 1733-1843; quit rents [rent paid by a freeholder or copyholder in lieu of services which might otherwise be required] and tithes, 1670-1759 and lessees' insurance books, 1940s.

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 Bridge House and City Lands Estates see: CLA/007: Bridge House Estates, CLA/008: City Lands Estates, COL/CC/BHC: Court of Common Council Bridge House Committee, COL/CC/BHT: Court of Common Council Bridge House Trust 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/CC/JTB: Court of Common Council Joint Bridge House Estates and Improvement Committee, COL/CC/JTS: Joint Bridge House and Special Committee, COL/CC/JTT: Joint Bridge House Estates and Thames Navigation and Port of London Committee, COL/CHD/BH: Chamberlain's Department: Bridge House Estates, COL/CHD/IM: Chamberlain's Department: Improvements, COL/CHD/RN: Chamberlain's Department: Rents and Rentals, COL/PL: Plans, COL/PLD/PL: Planning Department Plans, 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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