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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): COL/CC/ACC
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1784-1785
Level of description: subfonds
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Extent: 0.1 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


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 Affairs of the Corporation committee was appointed to enquire into assertions circulated by writer Josiah Dornford, a member of the Court of Common Council and the author of several pamphlets on the corporation's affairs and the reform of debtors' prisons. The Committee was formed to consider Dornford's allegations and to give their opinion as to whether any regulations ought to be introduced for the better management of the City and Bridgehouse estates and their revenues.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Affairs of the Corporation Committee, Common Council, 1784-1785, comprising minutes, rough minutes and documents presented to the committee, the second report of the 'Committee to enquire about the assertions of Fidelio [Mr Josiah Dornford] regarding the affairs of the corporation', and correspondence published by Dornford.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In sections: minutes, rough minutes and committee papers.

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 other papers relating to the reform of the Corporation of London, see COL/CA/WCA: Court of Aldermen Whole Committee, COL/CC/CPR: Enquiries into the Constitution 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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