AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): MCC
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Date(s): 1712-1975
Level of description: Collection
View subfonds/series records
Extent: 1383.03 linear metres
Name of creator(s): MCC | Middlesex County Council x Middlesex County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

The name 'Middlesex' is first recorded in a charter of AD 704 in the Latin form of 'Middelseaxan'. In the Domesday survey of 1086 the county is divided into six Hundreds (Edmonton, Elthorne, Gore, Hounslow, Ossulstone and Spelthorne) which remained as administrative units until the 19th century. Government in the County was in the hands of the justices of the peace, whose administrative duties steadily increased from the 16th century. In the 19th century boards of guardians became responsible for the care of poor persons; highway boards and boards of health were created and the Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW) was set up in 1855 as the central administrative and coordinating body for the area which later became the Administrative County of London.

The Local Government Act of 1888 transferred the bulk of Middlesex wealth and population into the new County of London. Those areas which became part of London included Hammersmith, Chelsea, Kensington, Paddington, Fulham, Saint Marylebone, Saint Pancras, Westminster, Islington, Hackney, Bow, Bromley, Poplar, Mile End, Bethnal Green and Shoreditch. Remaining in Middlesex were Twickenham, Sunbury-on-Thames, Staines, Feltham, Heston, Isleworth, Brentford, Chiswick, Yiewsley, West Drayton, Hayes, Harlington, Southall, Acton, Ealing, Uxbridge, Ruislip, Northwood, Harrow, Wembley, Willesden, Hendon, Finchley, Hornsey, Wood Green, Tottenham, Edmonton, Southgate, Friern Barnet, Enfield and Potters Bar. The ancient Middlesex Guildhall was situated in Westminster, which was now part of the County of London. Nevertheless, the Guildhall buildings in Westminster remained the headquarters of Middlesex County Council.

The newly formed Middlesex County Council (MCC) first met in February 1889, with Mr Ralph Littler in the Chair. The principal functions of the County Council in 1889 were:
* matters relating to the levying of rates for county purposes
* control of the accounts of the County and of the County Treasurer
* ownership of county halls, courts and premises used for the administration of justice
* licensing of premises for public performances of stage plays, music and dancing and licensing of race courses
* provision and maintenance of asylums for pauper lunatics
* provision and maintenance of reformatory and industrial schools
* maintenance of County bridges
* matters affecting the County Surveyor, County Treasurer and all other County officers paid from the county rate
* matters relating to coroners and their districts
* division of the County into polling districts for Parliamentary elections and the appointment of polling places
* execution of acts of Parliament relating to diseases of animals, protection of wild birds, supervision of weights and measures, explosives and gas meters
* maintenance of all roads
* purchase of land for County purposes and sale of surplus land
* appointing of medical officers of health and other such officers as necessary
* power to make byelaws.

Further powers were conferred on the Council by later Acts of Parliament, including:
* responsibility for education and the administration of primary, secondary and technical schools (Education Act 1902)
* supervision of midwives and maternity services (Midwives Act 1902, Local Government Act 1929)
* supervision of employment agencies and ice cream vendors (1906)
* child welfare (Children's Act 1908 and Children and Young Persons Act 1932)
* regulation of cinemas and the storage of celluloid (Cinematograph Act 1909)
* public health and housing responsibilities (1909 and 1930)
* care of the mentally deficient; care of those suffering from tuberculosis (1913)
* welfare of the blind (1920)
* library services (1922)
* administration of hospitals and institutions after the abolition of the Boards of Guardians (1929)
* registration of births, marriages and deaths (1929)
* provision of sports, recreation and physical training facilities (1937)
* civil defence responsibilities (Air Raid Precautions Act 1938 and Civil Defence Act 1939)
* town and county planning (1947)
* fire and ambulance services (1947)

The Council also lobbied Parliament for powers it felt it required through the passing of the Middlesex County Council Acts, 1930, 1931, 1934, 1938 and 1950. Powers conferred by these acts included bridge construction, authority over mains drainage, authority over parks and open spaces, further controls over highways and licensing of wrestling and boxing entertainments.

Middlesex prospered until its growth from an area of small towns and villages to almost total urbanisation, which gradually eliminated all visible boundaries between London and Middlesex. This resulted in the merging of the two counties into a Greater London area in 1965, run by the Greater London Council (GLC).


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Middlesex County Council, 1712-1975, including the Architect's Department, Civil Defence Department, Children's Department, Clerk's Department, Clerk's Legal Department, Education Officer's Department, Engineer and Surveyor's Department, Estates and Valuation Department, Fire Brigade Department, County Treasurer's Department, Health Department, Local Taxation Department, and Public Assistance and Welfare Department.

The type of records held include committee minutes and papers, administrative records, reports, plans and maps, photographs, log books, registers and samples of case files, examinations, application forms, licences, publicity material, pamphlets, leaflets and publications. The records deal with various aspects of Middlesex governance including the management of schools, hospitals, health centres, libraries, residential care homes and other insitutions; the overseeing and regulation of construction work, roads and highways, sewers, drains and bridges; tax assessments; the construction and maintenance of housing estates; the maintenance of parks and open spaces; the care of children, the elderly and the disabled; the monitoring of legal requirements; licensing and monitoring of establishments including theatres and cinemas; licensing of vehicles and drivers; traffic congestion and transport issues; town planning; financial accounts, estimates and budgets, and civil defence and emergency measures during the First and Second World Wars.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Records are arranged by department; from MCC/AR (Architect's Department) to MCC/WE (Welfare Department).

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records acquired alongside the records of the MCC's successor, the GLC. Further accessions were received between 1974 and 2008 (ACC/1256, ACC/3511, B98/148, B03/043, B04/096, B04/110, B08/144).

Allied Materials

Related material:

Related records on the government of London held at LMA:
Metropolitan Board of Works: reference MBW
London County Council: reference LCC
City of London: references COL and CLA
London School Board: reference SBL
Boards of Guardians: various references e.g. BBG for Bermondsey Board of Guardians
Metropolitan Asylums Board: reference MAB
Central Unemployed Body: reference CUB
Inner London Education Authority: reference ILEA
Greater London Council: reference GLC

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the Middlesex County Council please see Middlesex by Sir Clifford Radcliffe (2 editions, 1939 and 1953), LMA Library reference 97.09 MID; and The County Council of the Administrative County of Middlesex: 76 years of local government, 1 April 1889 to 31 March 1965, by Middlesex County Council (1965), LMA library reference S97.09 MID.

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:
April to June 2009

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Placename Search

* To search for other records with similar placenames, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"