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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 P71/TMS
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1611-1999
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 7.29 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Parish of Saint Thomas, Southwark | Church of England


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Parish of Saint Thomas', Southwark was closely allied with Saint Thomas' Hospital and the Governors of the Hospital paid for the upkeep of the building and also appointed and paid the incumbent. The parish covered only eight acres and included the grounds of Saint Thomas' Hospital and much of Guy's Hospital and was therefore the parish church for the hospitals.

Th parish was not created until 1378 but there were certain parochial rights already in existance before then. The church was dedicated to Saint Thomas the Martyr until the reformation when the dedication was changed to Saint Thomas the Apostle. During the middle ages a substantial stone church was built and was granted to the corporation of the City of London with the hospital buildings at the refounding of Saint Thomas' hospital in 1551. This was rebuilt inbetween 1700 and 1702 with the interior work all being funded by the hospital.

In 1836 the parish was for poor law and other civil purposes united with Saint Olave's, Southwark and Saint John's, Horsleydown to form Saint Olave's Union. To this were added Saint Mary Magdelene, Bermondsey and Saint Mary, Rotherhithe in 1869. In 1898 Saint Thomas' Church was closed down and the parish incorporated into Saint Saviour's, Southwark for ecclesiastical purposes. The parish church of Saint Saviour later became Southwark Cathedral and Saint Thomas' church is now used as the Cathedral Chapter House. It also housed the Old Operating Theatre, Museum and Herb Garrett in the roof space of the church where an operating theatre was in use in 1821.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the parish of Saint Thomas, Southwark, including registers of baptisms, marriages and burials. Most of the records relate to civil functions of the parish, including Churchwardens' account books; Vestry minute books; Overseers of the Poor account books and disbursements; pension lists; papers relating to rates including rate books, correspondence and orders for the collection of monies; fire certificates; vouchers; correspondence concerning poor assistance; apprenticeship indentures; settlement certificates and removal orders to and from the parish; Constable's warrants; cholera returns; orders to pay maintenance; and petitions.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records have been sorted into categories which reflect divisions between the different functions and operations of the parish and its administration. Order within these categories reflects chronology.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to access restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright for these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records deposited or transferred in multiple accessions between 1948 and 1955.

Allied Materials

Related material:

See ACC/2230 for an overseers of the poor account book. Further papers can be found in the records of St Thomas's Hospital, see H01/ST/P.

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:
March to April 2010.

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