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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 P69/MRY7
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1538-1992
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 3.53 linear metres (255 production units).
Name of creator(s): Parish of St Mary le Bow, City of London | Church of England


Administrative/Biographical history:

The church of Saint Mary le Bow is famed for housing the 'Bow Bells'; if a person is born within the sound of Bow Bells they are a true Cockney. The first mention of the church is in 1091. It was a 'peculiar', owned by the Archbishop of Canterbury and exempt from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. The Court of Arches (named after the arches in the Norman crypt) sat here until 1847. The church was burned down during the Great Fire of London, 1666, and rebuilt to designs by Wren, completed in 1673. Damage occurred during the Second World War and restorations took place in 1956-1962.

The parish of St Mary le Bow was united to the parishes of All Hallows Honey Lane and Saint Pancras Soper Lane in 1670. The united parishes of Saint John the Evangelist Friday Street and All Hallows Bread Street were joined with the united parishes of Saint Mary, Saint Pancras and All Hallows Honey Lane in 1876. The church of Saint Mary remains a parish church.

Information from The London Encyclopaedia, eds. Weinreb and Hibbert (LMA Library Reference 67.2 WEI).


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the parish of Saint Mary le Bow, Cheapside, Church of England, including registers of baptisms, marriages, banns and burials; registers of preachers; Vestry minutes and notices; administrative papers; Churchwarden's papers including accounts; papers relating to the maintenance of the church building; poor rate assessments; and tithe rate assessments.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

To assist the user, the catalogue has been arranged in sections representing sub-groups each with a code as follows: A Parish registers; B Vestry and parish officers; C Rate assessments and inhabitants lists; D Charities and estates; E Parish schools.

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 to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The archives of all five parishes, including those of united parishes, have been deposited in Guildhall Library at various dates since the 1920s. The most recent deposit was in 1997. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

In 1891, administration of the charitable gifts and bequests of St Mary le Bow, St Pancras Soper Lane and All Hallows Honey Lane was transferred to the City Parochial Foundation. Deeds relating to these gifts and bequests (St Mary le Bow, 1668-1799); St Pancras Soper Lane, 1671-1778; All Hallows Honey Lane, 1669) have been deposited amongst the records of the City Parochial Foundation [Ms 23737/5, 78-79, 125].

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:
April to June 2010.

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