AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/210
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Date(s): [1171]-1982
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 2317 production units.
Name of creator(s): Christs Hospital | Corporation of London x Greyfriars


Administrative/Biographical history:

Greyfriars Franciscan monastery was situated in Farringdon on Newgate Street. It was suppressed during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538 and given to the Lord Mayor and citizens of London in December 1547. It was decided by Edward VI to convert the monastery into an orphanage and school for poor children. By November 1552 the building was ready and 340 fatherless children were admitted (at this date a child was considered orphaned if the father had died, even if the mother was still alive). In the early years of the school, those too young to receive full-time education were "put out to nurse" in the country, usually in Essex or Hertfordshire, or else remained with their parents, who received a weekly allowance.

The school became known as the 'Blue Coat School' because the children were required to wear a uniform of blue gown, red belt and yellow stockings. In 1553 a Charter was signed to confirm the transformation of Greyfriars into Christ's Hospital; a hospital in the older sense of 'a charitable institution for the housing and maintenance of the needy' (Oxford English Dictionary).

Branches of the school existed at Hertford from at least 1653, at Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, from 1666 to circa 1690, and at Ware, Hertfordshire, from about the same period until 1760. From 1778 the Hertford premises were used as the girls' school and as a preparatory school for boys.

The Royal Mathematical School, founded in 1673, was an integral part of Christ's Hospital, from which its pupils, all boys, were chosen at the age of 11 or 12. They were educated in mathematics and navigation, and were intended for service in the Royal Navy.

Christ's Hospital moved from the City of London to Horsham in 1902, and at the same time the boys' preparatory school also moved from Hertford to Horsham. The girls' school remained at Hertford until 1985, when it also moved to Horsham.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Christ's Hospital, the Blue Coat School. IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING ACCESS: These records are stored at the Guildhall Library site rather than the LMA Clerkenwell site. Researchers wishing to access these records should do so at the Guildhall Library Rare Books table. The Library is open Monday to Saturday, 9:30 to 16:45. Researchers will need to have an Archives History Card or a Library Readers Card. An archivist will be available at Guildhall Library on Thursday mornings to answer any queries.

Records include: constitutional records, 17th-19th centuries; court records, 1552-1915; financial records, 1552-1960; administrative records, 1546-1930; records relating to carmen, 1582-1837; children, 1563-1980; general records of charities and endowments, 1546-1957; the original endowment and sites of Christ's Hospital, 1342-1964; maps and plans, 1597-1934; records of individual charities, late 12th century-1982; properties purchased, 1537-1971, and deeds and other papers relating to properties of unknown status, 13th century-1958.

PLEASE NOTE: Permission to photocopy or photograph items, or for access to CLC/210/F/MS22551, should be sought from Christ's Hospital (contact details may be obtained from staff).

The maps and plans are arranged as follows: plans of City of London properties, 17th century-1846; plans of City of Westminster properties, 17th century-[1913?]; plans of properties within Greater London, 17th century-1881; maps and plans of Christ's Hospital site in London, [1650]-1883; maps and plans relating to the exchange of properties between Christ's Hospital and St Bartholomew's Hospital, 1796-1818; maps and plans relating to properties outside London, including the school sites at Hertford, Ware and Horsham, 1597-1934.

Records of Embroiderers' Almshouses, 1587 - 1890: David Smith, an embroiderer of London, bequeathed money to Christ's Hospital for the building of six almshouses for six poor widows. After the almshouses were sold in 1863-5 it appears that the widows continued to receive financial support. These records comprise: contemporary copy will of David Smith, [1587]; ordinances and rules, [1587]; correspondence and other papers relating to arrears in payments, boundary disputes etc, [1678]-1687, 1711-12, 1718; correspondence and other papers concerning the sale of the almshouses and investment of money, 1863-5, 1887; letter concerning payment of rates, 1857; and register of people receiving pensions, 1825-1908. Further references may also be found in other Christs' Hospital records such as minutes and accounts.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English, Latin and French.

System of arrangement:

CLC/210/A: Constitutional Records;
CLC/210/B: Court Records;
CLC/210/C: Financial Records;
CLC/210/D: Administrative Records;
CLC/210/E: Carmen;
CLC/210/F: Children;
CLC/210/G: Charities and Estates;
CLC/210/H: Maps and Plans.

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 this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Ms 12805-13997 and Ms 22510-794 were deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library by Christ's Hospital at various dates from 1968. Ms 35934 was given to Guildhall Library by Postal Heritage Trust in 2005. The records were catalogued by members of Guildhall Library staff between 1968 and 2007. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For further records of Christ's Hospital see references CLA/067 and ACC/0746. For examples of 'Elements of Navigation' performed at Royal Mathematical School see MS01226 and CLC/317/01/001.

Many maps and plans are held in the Prints and Maps Section. Here are all the Ms numbers of those maps and plans held in the Prints and Maps Section: Ms 22634/1-3, 5, 7-8, 10-12; Ms 22635/1-5, 7, 9-20, 22-23; Ms 22636/1-7, 10-20; Ms 22637/1-8; Ms 22638/1-5; Ms 22639/1-3, 6, 10-18, 21-32, 33-60, 61-78, 81-86, 88-92, 94-118.

Publication note:

Guildhall Library holds many published works about Christ's Hospital, including Christ's Hospital, by G.A.T. Allen, revised by J.E. Morpurgo (1984). See 32nd Report of Charity Commissioners, part 6 (City of London), 1840, pp. 74-384, for detailed information concerning the benefactions and estates of the Hospital.

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:
August to October 2010. Updated May 2019.

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Placename Search

* To search for other records with similar placenames, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"