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CHAMBERLAIN'S DEPARTMENT: INSTITUTIONS AND COURTS

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): COL/CHD/IC
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/london-metropolitan-archives/Pages/ ›
Full title: CHAMBERLAIN'S DEPARTMENT: INSTITUTIONS AND COURTS
Date(s): 1847-1978
Level of description: Collection
View parent record
Extent: 3.2 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London

Context

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.

Content

Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Chamberlain's Department relating to the financial accounts of various institutions and courts, including City of London Lunatic Asylum accounts ledgers, 1866-1906; City of London Lunatic Asylum cash books, 1881-1915; City of London School ledger, 1965-1974; City of London Freemen's School ledgers, 1933-1974; City of London School for Girls ledgers, 1925-1965; Guildhall School of Music and Drama ledgers, 1880-1972; Guildhall Stationery Store account ledgers, 1948-1978; Mayor's and City of London Courts accounts, 1855-1968 and Sheriff's and City of London Court accounts, 1847-1909. Please note some records are closed.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at: http://search.lma.gov.uk/opac_lma/index.htm

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Corporation of London Records Office.

Allied Materials

Related material:

See also CLA/001: City of London Mental Hospital, CLA/053: City of London School, CLA/054: City of London School for Girls, CLA/055: City of London Freemen's School, CLA/056: Guildhall School of Music and Drama, CLA/024: Mayor's Court, City of London, CLA/025: Sheriff's Court, City of London, CLA/026: City of London Court and CLA/027: Mayor's and City of London Court.


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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