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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/230
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1678-1945
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 7 production units
Name of creator(s): Christs Hospital | Corporation of London x Greyfriars
Tower Ward School
City of London School | Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

Tower Ward School was founded by voluntary subscription in 1707 for girls and in 1709 for boys. In 1808 the school bought a house in Great Tower Street; 9 Black Raven Court was purchased in 1846 for use as a school house. In 1874 the school was united with the Billingsgate Ward School and both properties were subsequently sold. The united school merged with the combined Bridge, Candlewick and Dowgate Wards School in 1891 and this school combined with St Botolph Parochial School in 1905 to form the Sir John Cass Junior School.

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. 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.

In 1442 John Carpenter, Town Clerk of London, bequeathed land to the Corporation of London intended to fund the maintenance and education of four boys born within the City, who would be called 'Carpenter's children'. Carpenter directed that that the boys should be schooled and clothed at the direction of the Chamberlain. The precise terms of the will were adhered to for about 2 centuries, after which time payments were made to friends of the children for them to provide the benefits. Prior to the foundation of the City of London School the Carpenter's Scholars were educated at Tonbridge School. Following an Act of Parliament of 1834 it was decided to charge the Carpenter Estates for the building and maintenance of a school, and the City of London School was opened in 1837. It was first built on the site of Honey Lane Market, Milk Street, Cheapside, but moved to Victoria Embankment in 1882. During the Second World War the school was temporarily moved to Marlborough. It moved again in 1986, when a new purpose-built building was opened in Queen Victoria Street, still within the City of London.


Scope and content/abstract:

Collection of documents relating to schools in the City of London, including:

- account of the Society who founded the charity school in Red Cross Street, 1690-1742;
- copy of an examinations paper on Dickens' "Pickwick Papers", 1857;
- collection of letters relating to the City of London School, 1843-1851;
- orders for Christ's Hospital school, 1678;
- papers relating to legal proceedings brought against the Tower Ward School, 1881-1884;
- address to the Drapers' Company from William Boreman's Charity School, 17--.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Records arranged by MS numbers assigned as part of cataloguing at the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

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:

Deposited in the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section, which merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For Tower Ward School see CLC/227; for City of London School see CLC/218 and for Christ's Hospital see CLC/210.

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:
August to October 2010.

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