Lectures and Events

Lectures and Events

The London Record Society has a regular programme of events and lectures, generally held in connection with launch our volumes and our annual general meeting.

Mercers’ Hall Visit for the London Record Society

3.00 pm, Wednesday 13th July 2022

The Mercers’ Company has very kindly agreed to a visit for up to 30 members of the London Record Society on Wednesday 13th July.   The visit will be led by our Mercer Council member, Mike Dudgeon, and will include all the ceremonial rooms of the Hall, concluding with a cup of tea or coffee.  Joining us for tea will be the Company Archivist with samples from the archives.

If you are interested in attending, please contact for further details and/or to book a place.  This is on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis and the list will close on 30 June:

Dr Penny Tucker,
Hon. Membership Secretary,
Hewton Farmhouse, Bere Alston,
Yelverton PL20 7BW
01822 840035
memberseclrs@aol.com

London Record Society 56th AGM & Book Launches 2021

The 56th AGM of the Society was held on 29 November 2021 and attended by 28 members.  The Mercers’ Company very kindly made their hall available for both the meeting and the launch of two of the Society’s volumes and provided wine for the party following the AGM.

Publication of both these volumes had been delayed by the pandemic, which has, among other things, interrupted travel arrangements and the editors’ ability to access the archives.  Nevertheless, Professor Jerry White, one of the Honorary General Editors, was able to announce that the next volume (for 2021), The Records of the Jesus Guild, c.1450-1550 (An edition of Bodleian Ms Tanner 221 and Associated Records), edited and with an introduction by Elizabeth New, would appear in March 2022. It presents the records (mainly accounts, but with a variety of other statutes, deeds and miscellanea) that relate to the Guild of the Holy Name of Jesus that met in the crypt of Old St Paul’s before the dissolution of the fraternities in the late 1540s. This guild represented the corporate expression of a ‘cutting edge’ orthodox devotion that not only attracted members from the upper ranks of London society but also contrived to derive support from men and women of all degrees across the whole country. As well as shedding valuable light on aspects of the devotional life shared by some of London’s most influential citizens, the guild’s records also illuminate many aspects of the City’s economy and on the personal relations between London citizens, as well as yielding a valuable impression of how a fraternity with a national appeal was in fact organised.

The next volume of medieval material will be the first part of Caroline Metcalfe’s two-volume edition of the Brewers’ Book, publishing the materials compiled by William Porlond, the clerk of the Brewers’ company, and reflective of the company’s affairs between 1418-25.  The second volume will present the materials surviving until c.1440. These volumes will contain the statutes of the company along with a miscellany of accounts and memoranda as drafted by Porlond, before the materials would have been copied into a (now lost) ‘fair copy’.  The surviving material reveals much concerning both the management of the craft and the conduct of its members. If London’s crafts constituted the bedrock both of the City’s economy and of its political life, to have such a book revealing how such an association was managed, how its members behaved (or misbehaved) and how they conceived of themselves within the various competing elements of the contemporary townscape will be of immense interest and value.

The Society has a number of Modern Records in the prospective publishing programme. Professor Anna Vaninskaya of Edinburgh University is editing a collection of Russian journal articles describing life in the East End among Russian (mainly Jewish) migrants in the early years of the twentieth century; these are journalistic pieces never published in English before. Subsequent projects include:

  • a new edition organised by Sarah Clarke of The Giulianiad with the Guitarist’s Companion and Musical Herald, originally edited by the guitar virtuoso and teacher Ferdinand Pelzer, who made a major contribution to domestic music life in London in the 1840s;
  • documents from the nightly watch of St James’s Piccadilly from the end of the eighteenth century into the post-Napoleonic period, to be edited by Elaine Reynolds, offering insights into frontline policing in the late-Georgian ‘West End of the Town’;
  • and the diary of the Ordinary of Newgate in the 1820s and 1830s offering insights into life (and death) in London’s most important prison, to be edited by Simon Devereaux.

The AGM was followed by the launch of volume 54 (for 2019) and 55 (for 2020), Thomas Kytson’s ‘Boke of Remembraunce’, 1529 to 1540, ed. Colin J. Brett and The London Jubilee Book, 1376-1387, ed. Caroline M. Barron and Laura Wright.

Dr Hannes Kleineke, until his recent resignation the Honorary General Editor responsible for Medieval Records, introduced volume 54.  It contains much more than just the records produced by the mercer Thomas Kytson for the years 1529 to 1540; not only lists written by Kytson’s clerks of goods shipped to the markets in the Low Countries between 1512 and 1529, but also the account written by Kytson’s nephew covering the Sinxten Mart in 1536.

Professor Caroline Barron introduced the Jubilee Book. This is the transcript of a copy of this London custumal, probably before it reached its final form. The official copy of the Jubilee Book was publicly burnt in 1387, only nine years after it was compiled. The recently discovered surviving copy has considerable value for understanding the politics of London and the aspirations of at least some Londoners in the later fourteenth century. Dr Laura Wright then explained how the language of the fifteenth-century copy illuminates its origins.

New Trustees

Professor David Hancock, Professor Katherine French, Wing Commander Mike Dudgeon, and Professor Rohan McWilliam

New Publications

volume 55   The London Jubilee Book: An edition of Trinity College Cambridge MS O.3.11,             folios 133-157, Caroline M. Barron and Laura Wright’

Online Publications

Volumes 1 to 45 are also available to view online at British History Online.

AGM Papers

2021 AGM Agenda

2021 Hon Secretary’s and Hon Membership Secretary’s Report

2021 Hon General Editors’ Report 

2020 AGM Draft Minutes 2020

Past Events

Past Events are documented here.