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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): COL/CHD/MN
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1640-1916
Level of description: Collection
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Extent: 1.4 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.

The Lieutenancy of the City of London in its modern form was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1662. Its antecedents include a Commission of Lieutenancy of 1617 (which was issued to the Lord Mayor, eight Aldermen and the Recorder), and the Committee for Martial Causes which was a committee of the Common Council. Under the Act of 1662 the Lieutenants for the City of London were commissioned to levy the trained bands and to raise a Trophy Tax for defraying the necessary charges and incidental expenses of the Commission. The Lieutenancy had multifarious responsibilities in connection with the trained bands and the auxiliaries (later the London militia) including the appointment of officers, conduct and discipline, training and exercise, pay, equipment and recruitment. The militia was of consequence not only during periods when invasion was feared, but also had an important public order role. Since 1872 the Lieutenancy has ceased to commission officers in the auxiliary forces; instead commissions have been issued by the Sovereign. The Commissioners' responsibility for the militia ended in 1907 when the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act of that year converted the various battalions of the militia into units of the Army Reserve, and the Royal London Militia became thereafter the 7th Battalion Royal Fusiliers.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Chamberlain's Department regarding the armed forces, including papers relating to payments to servicemen in the Army and Navy (including wages, pensions, bounties and relief for the poor and maimed), 1661-1793; papers of the 'Committee for supplying the British troops now serving on the Continent with comfortable clothing, etc.', 1793-1794; accounts of money received for poor relief, 1789-1795; certificates for payment of bounty money, 1795; lists of men and money raised in the City for the Army and Navy, 1794-1807; account of men raised for the Army Reserve, 1804-1806; Army deserters expenses book containing the names and regiments of deserters and absentees apprehended by the City police, 1904-1916; proposal to establish a fund to equip privateers with carriage guns, 1757; money paid for recruit warrants, 1709-1711; order for the 'speedy raising of the money for the Advancing of the Scotch Army', 7 Oct 1643; extracts and notes including on the security of the City of London during the Civil War, 1643-1690; financial papers relating to the City of London Militia, including expenses incurred during the Civil War and the relief of widows, 1640-1813.

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 the military, defence and wars, see CLA/050: City of London Lieutenancy, CLA/051 City Imperial Volunteers, COL/CC/CDC: Court of Common Council Civil Defence Committee, COL/CC/CDE: Court of Common Council Civil Defence (Emergency) Committee, COL/CC/MTC: Court of Common Council Militia Committee, COL/CC/SEC: Court of Common Council Special (Emergency) Committee, COL/CHD/MN: Chamberlain's Department: Military and Naval, COL/CHD/PR: Chamberlain's Department: Poor and other Relief, COL/CHD/CM: Chamberlain's Department: Chamber accounts, COL/CT: Charities, COL/MH/AD: Mansion House Administration, COL/SJ/05: Subject Series: Subjects - War and COL/SJ/10: Subject Series: Subjects - Honourable Artillery Company, COL/TCD/CD: Town Clerk's Department: Civil Defence, COL/PL: Plans for maps of the City produced during and after World War Two showing air raid damage, defences and jurisdictions.

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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