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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): COL/CS
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Full title: CUSTUMALS
Date(s): 1274-1699
Level of description: subfonds
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Extent: 0.8 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

Custumals are collections of the customs, laws, liberties, statutes and regulations of a manor, city or province, brought together in one volume from a variety of sources. They would have been used as reference books by the City Clerks.


Scope and content/abstract:

Custumals including the Liber de Antiquis Legibus, an historical, political and domestic chronicle covering 1188-1274, compiled in 1274; the Liber Horn, made in 1311 under the direction of Andrew Horn, City Chamberlain, containing transcripts of charters, statutes, grants, customs, charters of companies and towns, precedents, oaths, writs and the "Laws of Oleron" [code of maritime regulation, written 1150]; the Liber de Assisa Panis containing the customs, regulations and punishments connected with the Assize of Bread, 1293-1438; the Liber Ordinationum, a volume of ordinances, customs, legal treatises and statutes from Magna Carta (1215) to 1330; the Liber Custumarum, a volume of City customs, laws, charters, proceedings and municipal regulations, 1324?; the Carte Antique, illuminated transcripts of charters and statutes, 1327-1498; the Statuta Antiqua Angliae, a copy of the Carte Antique covering the period 1327-1430; the Decretales Gregorii Papae, compilation of decretals [papal decrees] promulgated in 1235, with glosses upon the text; the Liber Dunthorn, containing transcripts of charters and extracts from Letter Books and other City records, compiled under the direction of William Dunthorn, Town Clerk, 1474?; the Liber Fleetwood, presented to the City by William Fleetwood, Recorder, 1576, containing information on the Courts of Law and the Mayor, Aldermen and other officers in the year 1576, as well as the liberties, franchises and customs of the City, the liberties, customs and charters of the Cinque Ports [Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich], the Queen's prerogative in the salt shores and the liberties of Saint Martin le Grand; the Liber Albus, compiled under the direction of John Carpenter, Town Clerk, 1419, containing information regarding customs, laws, social conditions, trade and the general conduct of a municipality; the Liber Legum [or Liber Legum Civitatis], extracts from the City Letter Books, 1342-1590; the Liber Lynne, transcripts of deeds of the possessions of the families of Lawneye and Wyth in Lynne, London and Southwark, 1281-1452; proceedings in the Star Chamber with extracts from charters, statutes, inquisitions and other authorities as to the preservation of the navigation of the River Lea, particularly in relation to Waltham Bridge, 1524 and a book containing proceedings against the Hanse merchants of the Steelyard [Hanse merchants traded with foreign ports] resulting in loss of their privileges, 1551-1556, with papers added in relation to the exemption of the Steelyard from assessments and taxes, 1653-1699.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English, French, Latin

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

Available only with advance notice and at the discretion of the Head Archivist.

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:

COL/AC includes calendars, indexes and copies of various charters, legal cases and customs.

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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