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BEAL, James (1829-1891)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 F/BL
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Full title: BEAL, James (1829-1891)
Date(s): 1846-1889
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.01 linear metres (12 documents).
Name of creator(s): Beal | James | 1829-1891 | local government reformer and activist


Administrative/Biographical history:

James Beal was born in 1829. He was active in social and political reform from the 1850s and became a well-known figure in London radical and municipal reform circles. He frequently appears in The Times, mainly in his role as honorary secretary of the Metropolitan Municipal Association for promoting the better local government of the metropolis. He described himself as "the only man who can claim to be the author of the proposal to establish one representative municipality for all London" (The Times, 1 April 1889). In 1888 Beal was elected to the London County Council for Fulham. He was a prominent member of the Vestry of St James's Westminster.

Beal was also involved in other causes, including the reform of gas and water supply, emancipation and anti-slavery movements, women's education and rights, Jewish rights, industrial relations and reform of City livery companies. He died in 1891 aged 62.

For his obituary see The Times, Friday, Jun 12, 1891; pg. 9; Issue 33349; col F.


Scope and content/abstract:

Personal papers of James Beal, local government reformer. The collection comprises correspondence with and concerning James Beal. Except where stated to the contrary, the letters refer to governmental matters: those in F/BL/12 refer to the presentation made to James Beal for his services to Local Government. The presentation volume includes press cuttings, invitations, menus and similar printed ephemera.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

F/BL/001 to F/BL/012.

Conditions governing access:

Restricted access: please see staff.

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 October 1966.

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:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

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