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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): LCC/PH/REG
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1851-1965
Level of description: Collection
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Extent: 4.22 linear metres
Name of creator(s): LCC | London County Council x London County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Common Lodging Houses Act 1851 required common lodging houses in London to be registered with the Metropolitan Police and contained many provisions for their regulation. In 1894, the registration powers of the police were transferred to the London County Council by a provisional order of the Local Government Board. The registers maintained by the Metropolitan Police between 1851 and 1894 were subsequently transferred to the Council. The Merchant Shipping Act 1894 gave permissive powers to local authorities to regulate seamen's lodging houses and by-laws made by the Council in 1901 prescribed general standards in this regard and certain additional requirements for houses for which a licence was granted. Licensing was, however, optional and few keepers sought a licence. In 1909 the Council obtained powers requiring the compulsory licensing of seamen's lodging houses which came into effect the following year. In 1933 the Council's functions in relation to both common lodging houses and seamen's lodging houses were transferred to the metropolitan borough councils.

In 1889, the London County Council took over from the Justices the function of licensing slaughterhouses, knackers yards and cowhouses under Section 93 of the Metropolis Management Amendment Act, 1862. In 1933, these powers were transferred to the Metropolitan Borough Councils.

The Infant Life Protection Act 1872 was an early attempt to make some provisions for the provision of neglected or 'deprived' children outside the ambit of the Poor Law or the Judiciary. It required foster-parents receiving more than one infant for maintenance in return for money payments to register their houses with the local authority (in London, the Metropolitan Board of Works). The duty of keeping a register passed to the London County Council in 1889 and the Infant Life Protection Act 1897 made it the duty of the authority to enforce the Act. Relatives and guardians of children, hospitals, convalescent homes or institutions 'established for the protection and care of infants and conducted in good faith' were exempted from the provisions of both Acts as well as persons maintaining children under any Act for the relief of the poor. So far as the Council was concerned, the Public Control Committee was responsible for the administration of the Acts and the register was kept by, and the inspectors, served in the Public Control Department. This remained the case after the passing of the Children Act 1908, which extended control to one-child foster houses but, from 1 April 1917, the work was transferred to the Public Health Committee and Department. In the early nineteen-twenties, as an experiment, the work was undertaken by the Lewisham and Greenwich Borough Councils in their areas but, after consultation with the Metropolitan Boroughs Standing Joint Committee, it was decided not to extend or continue the delegation. By the order of the Secretary of State, however, the metropolitan boroughs were later charged with these functions as from 1 April 1933 and the transfer of responsibility was confirmed by the Public Health (London) Act, 1936.

Part IV of the London County Council (General Powers) Act 1915 required lying-in homes to be registered with the Council and gave the Council powers of inspection and regulation which were extended by Part IV of the London County Council (General Powers) Act 1921. The Nursing Homes Registration Act 1927 extended control to nursing homes, as well as lying-in homes. These functions were transferred to the London Boroughs on 1st April 1965.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the London County Council Public Health Department relating to registration and licensing functions and the enforcement of legal requirements, 1851-1965, including registers of common lodging houses (some registers transferred from the Metropolitan Police); proceedings at special meetings of the Public Health Committee for the purpose of licensing common lodging houses; register of seamen's lodging houses; register of Police Court proceedings relating to common lodging houses and seamen's lodging houses; Special Licensing Meetings of Public Health Committee relating to Common Lodging Houses; notices and posters for display in lodging houses; registers of Licensed Slaughterhouses; registers of Licensed Cowhouses, registers of Cowkeepers, Dairymen and Purveyors of Milk, register of Premises approved as Dairies; street index to Dairies, Cowsheds, and so on; special meetings of Public Health Committee for licensing slaughterhouses, knackers yards and cowhouses; report by the Medical Officer of Health on the provision of public slaughterhouses; card indexes of foster parents registered under the Children Act 1908; registers of lying-in homes; registers of nursing homes; register of intimations sent to the metropolitan boroughs of infringements of the Offensive Businesses by-laws and registers of complaints of insanitary conditions and action taken thereon.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

LCC/PH/REG/01: Lodging Houses; LCC/PH/REG/02: Slaughterhouses and dairies; LCC/PH/REG/03: Foster parents; LCC/PH/REG/04: Nursing homes; LCC/PH/REG/05: Miscellaneous.

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:

Acquired with the records of its parent body, the London County Council.

Allied Materials

Related material:

See the papers of the Metropolitan Board of Works (reference MBW) for the earlier registers of cowsheds, slaughterhouses and dairies.

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the LCC please see Achievement: A Short History of the London County Council by W Eric Jackson (1965), LMA Library reference 18.0 1965, The London County Council 1938, LMA Library reference 18.7 SER 4, and The Youngest County: A description of London as a county and its public services, 1951, LMA Library reference 18.0 1951.

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

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