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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/1876
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1611-1993
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 123 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Sutton's Hospital in Charterhouse


Administrative/Biographical history:

In the late 16th century Thomas Sutton, merchant and "richest commoner in England", decided to found a charitable institution to provide shelter for elderly gentlemen in reduced circumstances and an education for poor boys. His original idea was to build this hospital on part of his own land at Hallingbury Bouchers, Essex (Little Hallingbury). In 1611, however, the year of his death, he purchased the former Carthusian monastery near Smithfield, and decided instead to found his institution there.

The monastery had, like all Carthusian houses, been named after the site of the original abbey, at Chartreuse, and this had become corrupted in English to Charterhouse. After the dissolution of the monasteries the building was used as an aristocratic mansion until Thomas Sutton's purchase.

Sutton's Hospital was granted letters patent by James I in 1611, under its full title "The Hospital of King James founded at Charterhouse in the County of Middlesex, at the humble petition and only costs and charges of Thomas Sutton Esquire".

The rules of the charity were that any single or widowed gentleman, of good character and over the age of 60 (later 50) years, could apply to one of the governors for nomination if he was no longer in a position to support himself financially. Once nominated and accepted by the hospital, the pensioners or 'Poor Brothers' as they were known, would be given a room in Charterhouse, meals and a small pension. Poor scholars were nominated in the same way at about 11 years of age and provided with a basic education. At the end of this period they were either apprenticed to a trade or given an exhibition to one of the universities.

In 1872 the school outgrew its Charterhouse site and moved to new, purpose-built premises in Godalming, Surrey. The Hospital's revenue comes largely from its extensive land holdings. On his death Thomas Sutton bequeathed to the governors most of his own lands in Essex, Wiltshire and Lincolnshire. They also owned Sutton's Cambridgeshire estates at Balsham and Castle Camps.

After Sutton's death the governors purchased further estates, to be used for the purpose of generating income for apprenticing scholars and providing exhibitions. These estates comprised the manors of Hartland, Devon; Higney, Huntingdonshire; Blacktoft, Yorkshire; Bockleton, Shropshire; Fulstow and Tetney, Lincolnshire.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Sutton's Hospital in Charterhouse. Covering dates for the bulk of the collection are 1611-1993, although Thomas Sutton's personal papers date from the late 16th century and some of the property deeds are from the 13th century onwards.

The collection is divided into sections, which include the following:

Governors' Papers (ACC/1876//G). This section includes microfilm copies of the Assembly Order Books (minutes of governors' meetings), 1613 to 1982. The original volumes are retained at Charterhouse.

The Founder's Papers (ACC/1876//F) consist of personal documents of Thomas Sutton, and administration papers of his executors. Among the former are two bonds from Robert Catesby, one of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot (ref: ACC/1876/F2/3).

Pensioners' and Scholars' Records (ACC/1876/PS) include admission registers and nominations of individuals. The register covering admission of the first scholars and pensioners is kept at Charterhouse, but a microfilm copy is available at the Greater London Record Office (see ACC/1876/PS1/5).

Personal papers of two prominent pensioners are also included in this section. Horatio Honniwill Hammick was a wine grower on the Duke of Wellington's Spanish estates, and was responsible for introducing Montilla wine to the United Kingdom. His papers (refs: ACC/1876/PS5/1-20) include some information on the wine industry. Henry Novra was a fine art lecturer and drawing teacher, who died at Charterhouse in 1917. His papers (refs: ACC/1876/PS5/21-40) contain mostly financial and testamentary documents.

Estate and Manorial Records (ACC/1876/E and ACC/1876/MR) Records of the Hospital's land holdings were originally, as now, divided into these two sections. Over time, however, the distinctions between the two have become blurred, and there is now some overlap between the sections.

Deeds (ACC/1876/D) Most of the property deeds in this section have been catalogued in their original bundles, not individually. Detailed index cards for individual deeds were compiled by the Charterhouse archivist, and these can be ordered from the strongroom (refs: ACC/1876/D/IN/1-3). Please do not order deeds straight from these cards, as they do not mention when items are unfit.

The Miscellaneous section (ACC/1876/M) includes a copy of the Charterhouse school register of old boys 1892-1910 (ref: ACC/1876/M5/2), and also some information on marriages and burials in the Charterhouse Chapel (refs: ACC/1876/M4/1-5).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

ACC/1876/G01/01-26 Foundation Charters and Ordinances;
ACC/1876/G02/01-62 Assembly Orders;
ACC/1876/G03/01-07 Standing Committee Orders;
ACC/1876/G04/01-23 Later Acts of Parliament and Reports;
ACC/1876/G05/001-105 Appointments, Petitions and Bonds;
ACC/1876/G06/01-06 Registers of Deeds and Leases;
ACC/1876/G07/01-07 Miscellaneous.

ACC/1876/F01/01-06 General and Household Accounts;
ACC/1876/F02/01-06 Bonds;
ACC/1876/F03/01-08 Correspondence;
ACC/1876/F04/01-35 Deeds and Other Papers;
ACC/1876/F05/01-39 Miscellaneous;
ACC/1876/F06/01-12 Precedents for Sutton's Hospital;
ACC/1876/F07/01-20 Cancelled Deeds for Sutton's Hallingbury Hospital;
ACC/1876/F08/01-05 Acts of Parliament Relating to Sutton's Hospital;
ACC/1876/F09/01-56 Executors' Accounts;
ACC/1876/F10/01-52 Executors' Deeds and Other Papers;
ACC/1876/F11/01-11 Executors' Wills and Related Documents.

ACC/1876/AR01/001-358 Annual Accounts and Papers;
ACC/1876/AR02/01-30 Tenants' Ledgers and Cash Books (to 1835);
ACC/1876/AR03/001-302 Quarterly Rent and Payment Books;
ACC/1876/AR04/01-71 Cash Books, Journals and Ledgers (from 1835);
ACC/1876/AR05/001-112 Rentals and Surveys;
ACC/1876/AR06/01-14 Miscellaneous;
ACC/1876/AR07/01-76 Bills, Receipts and Vouchers;
ACC/1876/AR08/01 Registrar's Disbursements.

ACC/1876/AM01/001-193 Weekly Accounts;
ACC/1876/AM02/01-49 Menu Books;
ACC/1876/AM03/01-69 Diet Books;
ACC/1876/AM04/01-11 Cash Books and Ledgers;
ACC/1876/AM05/01-76 General Accounts and Correspondence.

ACC/1876/AG01/01-25 Ledgers and Cash Books;
ACC/1876/AG02/01-05 Wages Books;
ACC/1876/AG03/01-15 Other Account Books;
ACC/1876/AG04/01-17 Miscellaneous.

ACC/1876/L01/01-10 London Cases;
ACC/1876/L02/01-03 Middlesex Cases: Simon Baxter versus Sutton's Executors;
ACC/1876/L03/01-04 Middlesex Cases: Sir Francis Popham versus Sutton's Executors;
ACC/1876/L04/01-05 Other Middlesex Cases;
ACC/1876/L05/01-04 Cambridgeshire Cases: Castle Camps;
ACC/1876/L06/01-03 Essex Cases;
ACC/1876/L07/01-05 Lancashire Cases: Tarbocke;
ACC/1876/L08/01 Wiltshire Case: Elcombe.

ACC/1876/PS01/01-16 Registers;
ACC/1876/PS02/01-70 Miscellaneous;
ACC/1876/PS03/01-39 Pensioners' Records;
ACC/1876/PS04/01-38 Scholars' Records;
ACC/1876/PS05/01-41 Pensioners' Private Papers.

ACC/1876/E01/01-75 London (Clerkenwell and Hackney);
ACC/1876/E02/01-28 Cambridgeshire;
ACC/1876/E03/01-39 Essex;
ACC/1876/E04/01-02 Essex and Cambridgeshire;
ACC/1876/E05/01-44 Lincolnshire;
ACC/1876/E06/01-32 Wiltshire;
ACC/1876/E07/01-09 Huntingdonshire;
ACC/1876/E08/01-09 Tithes;
ACC/1876/E09/01-14 Sales Particulars;
ACC/1876/E10/01-22 General.

ACC/1876/MR01/01 Middlesex (Tottenham);
ACC/1876/MR02/001-589 Cambridgeshire;
ACC/1876/MR03/0001-1098 Essex;
ACC/1876/MR04/01-61 Lincolnshire;
ACC/1876/MR05/001-210 Wiltshire;
ACC/1876/MR06/001-178 Various Manors;
ACC/1876/MR07/01-05 Miscellaneous fragments.

ACC/1876/M01/01-38 Administration and Finance;
ACC/1876/M02/01-15 Staff and Establishment;
ACC/1876/M03/01-38 Trusteeships;
ACC/1876/M04/01-10 Chapel and Memorials;
ACC/1876/M05/01-03 Charterhouse School;
ACC/1876/M06/01-05 Appeals;
ACC/1876/M07/01-06 Printed Material;
ACC/1876/M08/01-07 Lists and Catalogues;
ACC/1876/M09/01-15 Items unconnected with Sutton's Hospital.

ACC/1876/MP01/001-228 Charterhouse, Clerkenwell and Hackney 429 - 460;
ACC/1876/MP02/01-45 Cambridgeshire 460 - 467;
ACC/1876/MP03/001-120 Essex 467 - 485;
ACC/1876/MP04/01-33 Lincolnshire 485 - 490;
ACC/1876/MP05/01-35 Wiltshire 490 - 495;
ACC/1876/MP06/01-39 "Purchased Lands" in Devon, Huntingdonshire, Surrey (Godalming) and Shropshire 495 - 501;
ACC/1876/MP07/01-58 Miscellaneous 501-508.

ACC/1876/D/IN/01-03 Detailed Index Cards A1;
ACC/1876/D01/A01-A05, 001-998 London and Middlesex A2 - A20;
ACC/1876/D02/001-278 Cambridgeshire A21 - A23;
ACC/1876/D03/001-668 Essex A24 - A33;
ACC/1876/D04/001-640 Lincolnshire A34 - A40;
ACC/1876/D05/001 - 419 Wiltshire A41 - A46;
ACC/1876/D06/001-476 "Purchased Estates" in Devon, Huntingdonshire, Oxfordshire, Yorkshire and Shropshire A47 - A50.

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 Sutton's Hospital, Charterhouse were transferred to the Greater London Record Office in August 1983 under accession number ACC/1876. Further deposits were received in October 1984, June 1987 and January 1996 (ACC/2024, ACC/2447 and ACC/3659 respectively).

Allied Materials

Related material:

Further records of Sutton's Hospital in Charterhouse held at LMA can be found at reference CLC/131.

Records Retained at Charterhouse: Assembly Order Books, 1613-1982 (microfilm copies available); Admission register of the first pensioners and scholars (microfilm copy available); Charterhouse Chapel Registers: Baptisms, 1696-1812; Marriages, 1695-1741; Burials, 1671-1754. For a list of records held at Charterhouse School, Godalming, see ACC/1876/M05/03. See Acc/0446/25/1-16 for estate and household receipts and expenses, 1575-1576.

Publication note:

The LMA Library holds a selection of reference books relating to the history of Charterhouse as a monastery, hospital and public school (refs: 22.13(CHA) and 74.7(CHA)).

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:
June to August 2010.

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