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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 P91/LEN
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1558-1930
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 58.15 linear metres (combined extent of LMA and former Guildhall collections).
Name of creator(s): Parish of St Leonard, Shoreditch | Church of England


Administrative/Biographical history:

The parish of Saint Leonard, Shoreditch, was in existence from at least the 12th century, and included, amongst others, the hamlets of Hoxton and Haggerston. After part of the medieval tower collapsed during a service, the church was rebuilt by George Dance the Elder in 1736-1740. Burials at Saint Leonard's include Will Sommers, Henry VIII's jester, and Richard Burbage, Shakespeare's friend.

In the 19th century new parishes were formed in response to rapid population expansion in the area; including Saint Mary Haggerston and Saint John the Baptist Hoxton. Saint John the Baptist was initially built in 1825-26 as a Chapel and consecrated in June 1826. Under a licence of the Bishop of London dated April 1828 the church of Saint Leonard Shoreditch was shut up for repair works and the Chapel of Saint John the Baptist Hoxton was used for services for Saint Leonard Shoreditch including the reading of banns and the performance of marriage ceremonies. Saint John the Baptist Hoxton began keeping its own registers in 1830.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the parish of Saint Leonard, Shoreditch, including registers of baptisms, marriages and burials; preachers' books; Churchwardens' records; land tax surveys; papers relating to church charities; Vestry minute books; Trustee minute books; correspondence; poor rate books; churchyard rate books; police rate books; highways rate books; settlement examinations; bastardy examinations; orders of removal from and to the parish; registers of apprentices; and papers relating to the workhouse including admissions.

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 are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

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:

Although the parish is outside the boundaries of the City of London, the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library has held a number of records of the parish since 1952. The main archives of the parish have been held by London Metropolitan Archives since 1953. In 2009 the two set of holdings for St Leonard were brought back together when the Manuscripts Section and London Metropolitan Archives merged.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

For a detailed history of the church and parish see 'The Church of St. Leonard, Shoreditch', Survey of London: volume 8: Shoreditch (1922), pp. 91-125.

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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