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COURT OF COMMON COUNCIL: ENQUIRIES INTO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CORPORATION

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): COL/CC/CPR
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Full title: COURT OF COMMON COUNCIL: ENQUIRIES INTO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CORPORATION
Date(s): 1837-1861
Level of description: subfonds
View parent record
Extent: 0.3 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London

Context

Administrative/Biographical history:

The concept of the Court of Common Council grew from the ancient custom of the Folkmoot, when the assent of the citizens to important acts was obtained. This custom was continued by the Mayor who consulted the Commons several times during the 13th century. From 1376 the assembly began to meet regularly and was referred to as the Common Council. It was decided that the Council should be made up of persons elected from each Ward. By 1384 a permanent Common Council chosen by the citizens was established for all time. The Council assumed legislative functions and adopted financial powers, confirmed by Charters of 1377 and 1383. The Council has often used these powers to amend the civic constitution, regulate the election of Lord Mayor and other officials, and amend the functions of the City courts. The Council was judged so successful in the conduct of its duties that it was the only Corporation unreformed by Parliament following the Municipal Corporations Commission report of 1837, while the Corporation Inquiry Commission of 1854 suggested only minor reforms. The work of the Council is conducted by a number of committees, while the whole Council has the right to approve policy, confirm major decisions and sanction expenditure. The committees handle many aspects of the running of the City including land and estates, finance and valuation, open spaces, street improvement and town planning, public health, police, Port of London, civil defence, airports, libraries, markets, education, and law. The Town Clerk has held responsibility for recording the minutes of the Council and its committees since 1274.

The Enquiries into the Constitution of the Corporation Committee was established to consider the reform of the Corporation of London, particularly in light of government reports such as the Report of the Municipal Corporation Commissioners in relation to the Corporate Institutions of the City, 1837, and the London Corporation Bill 1856.

Content

Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Enquiries into the Constitution of the Corporation Committee, Court of Common Council, including minute books and papers, 1837-1840; minute book and papers, including Police Rate Assessments and returns of wards with lists of municipal election voters, 1852-1853 and minute books and papers, 1856-1861.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English

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: 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:

For other papers relating to the reform of the Corporation of London, see COL/CA/WCA: Court of Aldermen Whole Committee, COL/CC/ACC: Affairs of the Corporation Committee, COL/CC/CTC: Consolidated Committee, COL/CC/LGT: Local Government and Taxation Committee and COL/CC/SPC: Special Committee.


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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