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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/050
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1600-1875
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 222 production units.
Name of creator(s): Clayton and Morris | scriveners, merchant bankers and estate agents


Administrative/Biographical history:

In c 1638 Robert Abbott (c 1610-1658) set up as a scrivener in Cornhill. During the 1640s he took on two apprentices, his nephew Robert Clayton (1629- 1707), and an adoptive nephew of a baker in Abingdon, John Morris (c 1627-1682). When Abbott died in 1658 the business was taken over by Clayton and Morris, whose partnership lasted until Morris's death in 1682.

The business of the partnership spanned the development of the brokerage business from the money-scrivening of Abbott's original business to the early form of deposit banking which the Clayton and Morris partnership practised in the later 17th century. The other activities of the partnership included conveyancing, land valuation and estate management.

Clayton became a citizen and scrivener (afterwards draper) and was alderman successively of Cordwainer and Cheap wards from 1670, sheriff 1671-1672 and Lord Mayor 1679-1680. He was knighted in 1671. Morris became a scrivener and was alderman of Cheap ward in 1669 and MP for Bletchingley 1679-1682.


Scope and content/abstract:

The papers of Abbott, Clayton and Morris consist of the business and family records of two generations and form one of the earliest and largest extant collections of Stuart-era financial records. There are also related records of Sir George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys of Wem (1648-1689), a close personal friend of Robert Clayton. (Clayton was appointed by Jeffreys as a trustee of his family settlement drawn up in 1689.) Jeffreys was Common Serjeant (1671-1678) and Recorder of London (1678-1680).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The archive is arranged as follows:
CLC/B/050/A Clayton and Morris;
CLC/B/050/B Abbott, Robert;
CLC/B/050/C Clayton, Robert;
CLC/B/050/D Jeffreys, George Jeffreys;
CLC/B/050/E Wyse, John;
CLC/B/050/F Cornhill Ward;
CLC/B/050/G Buckinghamshire Record Office.

Conditions governing access:

Access only to holders of a History Card. Please see staff if you require a card.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

The Clayton papers underwent several dispersals between 1928 and 1953, and as a result they are now widely scattered. For details of their dispersal see "The Clayton Papers" by F. T. Melton, in the Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research vol. III, no. 125 (May, 1979), pp. 91-99.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The Clayton papers held by London Metropolitan Archives have been acquired by Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section from a variety of sources and by various means (chiefly purchase). The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

For further reading, see F. T. Melton, Sir Robert Clayton and the Origins of English Deposit Banking, 1658-85 (CUP, 1986), and F. T. Melton, "Sir Robert Clayton's building projects in London, 1666-72", in Guildhall Studies in London History, vol. III, no. 1 (Oct 1977).

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:
November 2010 to January 2011.

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