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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): COL/CHD/LA
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1648 -1835
Level of description: Collection
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Extent: 34.7 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 relating to loans and assessments, including accounts and other financial papers regarding loans for the City's use, 1648-1692 and 1750-1835; papers relating to the Poll Tax, 1660-1673; assessment receipts (including for Land Tax and Poll Tax), 1660-1666 and 1689- 1707; papers relating to loans, 1660-1714; papers relating to Royal aid, 1665-1668; estreats [fines] and abatements, 1696-1703; Land Tax accounts, 1703-1760; Exchequer Bills, 1697-1712; marriage assessments, lists of the inhabitants of each house in each parish, May-June 1695 and indexes to the marriage assessments.

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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