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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/203
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1823-1993
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 56 production units.
Name of creator(s): Society of Public Notaries of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Society of Public Notaries of London was formed in 1823 as a society to represent the profession of notaries public within London. The Society is now known as the Society of Scrivener Notaries (a term first used in 1978), in recognition of the sole entitlement ot its members, until 1998, by virtue of their being members of the Scriveners' Company, to practise within London and a three mile radius thereof. A notary public is a member of the legal profession who can administer oaths and statutory declarations, and witness and authenticate documents and legal instruments. In London, as the majority of these instruments were of an international nature, and were usually required for international exchanges, notaries public (now scrivener notaries) were also the translators of such documents. All notaries public in London had to be members of the Scriveners' Company, having served an apprenticeship, and then undergo additional examinations set by the Company (in conjunction with the Society and the Faculty Office). Notary appointments are then made by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. There are currently only four City firms who are members of the Society of Scrivener Notaries.

The Society's affairs are managed by a Committee of no less than 9 members, including a Secretary and Treasurer. Meetings were held at offices of members, usually the Secretary (and, occasionally in the early 1880s in the London Tavern). But from 1885 they were often held in the Society's library, variously sited at Martin's Bank, 68 Lombard Street (1885-1901); 96 Bishopsgate St (1901-28), the Institute of Chartered Secretaries, 6 London Wall (1928-36), 8 Whittington Avenue (1936-40), 9 Bishopsgate (1940-60), 120 Moorgate (1960-75) and Stone House, Bishopsgate (1975-7).


Scope and content/abstract:

Society of Public Notaries of London records comprise rules of the Society, minutes, some accounts, and extensive correspondence, especially on laws affecting the profession, qualifications required, attempts by solicitors and other professions to encroach on notaries' area of expertise.


Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Records arranged by MS number, assigned during 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:

They were deposited at Guildhal Library by the Society of Scrivener Notaries in 2002. They were catalogued by a member of Guildhall Library staff. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

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:
January to May 2011.

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