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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/2657
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1901-1928
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.7 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Bow Common Estate Company


Administrative/Biographical history:

William Cotton, a former Governor of the Bank of England, owned a large amount of property in East London, mainly in Limehouse and Mile End. On his death his will (dated 6 Jul 1865) passed the estate to his executors and trustees (of whom his son was one) on condition it was to be further developed and held on trust for members of his family. In June 1901 the estate was turned into a private company, known as the Bow Common Estate Company, limited by shares. The company remained a family concern however, and all of the shareholders were descendants of William Cotton. From 1921 the estate was sold, and the proceeds invested in trustee securities. These were realised in January 1926 and the Company liquidated, the proceeds of the realisation being distributed amongst the shareholders on a pro rata basis.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Bow Common Estate Company, 1901-1928, including memorandum and articles of association; sales catalogues; sales books; sales completion statements; bundle of papers and correspondence regarding Company's appeal against assessment for Corporation Profits Tax; statement of facts, history of Company and argument for its status as a holding rather than a trading company and therefore not liable for tax; legal advice relating to the tax status of the company and file of papers of Clerk W.W.T. Worth, including draft title deeds to properties, mortgages and rents, and details of sales.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In 3 sections: Sale of The Cotton Estate; Liquidation of the Bow Common Estate Company Ltd; Clerk's Working Papers.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in 1987 (ACC/2657)

Allied Materials

Related material:

This collection is additional to E/COT (ACC/54/55) which documents the acquisition and running of the Cotton estate from [1714]- 1936. E/COT is mainly composed of title deeds to estate property, and its material complements that of ACC/2657, most notably E/COT/226-256 which concern the formation of the Bow Common Estate Company, and E/COT/777 onwards, which illustrate the selling off of the estate.

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:
July to October 2009

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