CMH news
The Newsletter of the Centre for Metropolitan History

Number 10 September 2000

The site is still very much at a developmental stage, but when time permits we intend to improve its visual apeal and navigability. Some further additions have been made recently, and Olwen Myhill is in the process of making our Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs to 1516 available there. At present this covers the counties of Derbyshire, Rutland, Somerset, Worcestershire and Yorkshire, indexed by place, and in the near future, by person. Olwen hopes it will go 'live' very soon.

Markets and Fairs in Thirteenth-Century England
A successful application to the ESRC has brought funding for 'Markets and Fairs in Thirteenth-Century England', a three-year study, with Samantha Letters as its research officer. England's already highly-developed marketing network was supplemented during the thirteenth century by a great increase in the number of grants of markets and fairs. The study will examine the reasons for this increase, taking account of political and institutional factors as well as the economic ones that have dominated discussion in the past. Why these rights were granted, whether the markets were successful, and how they were managed as part of a portfolio of lordly resources, will be central topics. The work is made possible by the Centre's newly-created Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516. Samantha will start work on the new venture in November. On a personal note, congratulations are due to Samantha and Mark on their wedding in May.

Metropolitan Market Networks c.1300-1600
With the ending of this ESRC-funded project in July, the CMH lost two of its long-standing and much-valued staff - Margaret Murphy and Jim Galloway. Margaret's time on the project ended in December, and Jim left at the end of July. Unfortunately, Jim's funding application for an ESRC Fellowship to investigate the economic interaction of London, England and Scotland, 1150-1750, based at the Centre, was unsuccessful. Jim and Margaret joined the CMH in 1988 to work on the 'Feeding the City' projects, and stayed with us for 'Market Networks c.1400' and its extension 'Metropolitan Market Networks 1300-1600'. Their wedding in 1991 and the birth of their sons Paddy and Ewan gave us all great pleasure. Such good colleagues are rare and irreplaceable, and we already miss them badly.
    The researchers have a contract with CUP to write London and the Transformation of the English Economy 1300-1600, based on the results of this project. We are trying to arrange some financial assistance to help with the completion of the book.

Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1540
Samantha Letters's work on this project, also funded by the ESRC, came to an official end in May, but the study yielded such a wealth of data that further work on it is needed to complete the editing. We hope to raise funds to continue this work, which the List and Index Society is considering publishing. Meanwhile, data from the project is available on our web pages, as mentioned above.

St Paul's Cathedral History
Work is progressing very well on this collaborative project, which is sponsored by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's. Chris Faunch, the research officer, has now completed substantial reports on the uncatalogued archives at St Paul's, on the Surveyor's archive, and on graphic sources for the history. Chris was originally appointed for one year, but we are delighted that the Dean and Chapter have decided to extend her funding for another twelve months to continue the search for source material. Over forty authors are working on sections of the book, which is scheduled for publication in 2004, to celebrate the cathedral's fourteen-hundredth anniversary.

London Diaries
Heather Creaton's database of unpublished London diaries continues to expand, and has now reached over nine hundred. She is busy finalising the checklist and writing an introduction to go with it. The checklist will be published in the London Record Society Publications series, but the publication date has not yet been fixed. Among her recent 'finds' has been a most enjoyable diary covering a visit to London in 1824. The writer was Betsy Barrett, wife of a Leeds tobacco merchant. She stayed with relations in Wigmore Street from May to June 1824, and the reader is left gasping at her energy. She and her sister walked all over London - 'got to Wigmore St at 12 o'clock completely finished, having walked ten miles during the day', she wrote on 17 May, after a walk right round Regent's Park, then a walk to Covent Garden, on to Somerset House, back to Wigmore Street for tea and then out again to Astley's Theatre in the Westminster Bridge Road and home on foot afterwards. No wonder her brief entry for the following day reads only 'Was so unwell cound not go out'. But she rapidly recovered to continue a daunting sightseeing programme, interspersed with much window-shopping, theatre-going and visits to Yorkshire firends in London. The full text of the diary will appear in an article on London diarists Heather has written for a forthcoming issue of the London Topographical Record.
     Perhaps Heather's sympathy for the footsore has been heightened by her recent involvement in the Queen Mother's 100th Birthday Parade. Alongside fellow honorary officers and staff of the British Records Association and thousands of other people, she spent a hot day on 19 July on and off the parade ground at Horse Guards, waving a placard proclaiming 'Archives are the Nation's Membory'. It was an interesting experience, but extremely tiring!
     Heather's anthology, Victorian Diaries - not all London ones - is to be published by Mitchell Beazley in March 2001.


English Merchant Culture, 1660-1720
Perry Gauci has a contract with OUP to publish his book The Politics of Trade: The Overseas Merchant in State and Society, 1660-1720, arising from this project. It is due for publication in early 2001.

We held another productive workshop, this time on 'The Practice of History', for postgraduate students from other disciplines within the School of Advanced Study, in November.

A very successful conference on 'Governing London: lessons from 1000 years' was held in April in association with the Corporation of London and the Museum of London. Papers from the conference will appear soon in the London Journal. Also held in April, the 'Revisiting the London Livery Companies' conference organised by Ian Gadd (Cambridge University) and Patrick Wallis (Oxford University) attracted a large audience of historians and livery company members. The papers are to be published in the near future.

Last season's seminar theme was 'Marginality in the Metropolis', featuring some stimulating papers on topics as wide-ranging as quack doctors, black identity, and homosexual meeting places in London at varying periods. Our seminars start again on 11 October (click for full 2000-1 programme), with the theme 'The representation of the metropolis'.
     At the last meeting of our autumn programme, held jointly with the 'Earlier Middle Ages' seminar, Professo rAdriaan Verhulst of the University of Ghent gave a paper on the Rise of Cities in north-West Europe. After the paper there was a reception to celebrate the publication of his book of the same title, sponsored by CUP.

Trade, Urban Hinterlands and Market Integration c.1300-1600, edited by Jim Galloway, was published in the Spring, and is selling very well. It is available from the Institute of Historical Research Bookshop, priced £10 (including postage).
 &nsbp; &nsbp;Our long-awaited London in the 1690s: A Social Atlas, by Craig Spence, is scheduled for publication this autumn. So are the 'Revisitng the London Livery Companies' conference papers in a volume entitled Guilds, Society and Economy in London 1450-1800, edited by Patrick Wallis and Ian Gadd. Also on the stocks is Dr Virginia Davis's Register of Clergy Ordained in the Diocese of London, based on episcopal ordination lists, 1361-1539.

As well as participating in the Centre's research and other activities, Derek keene completed some long-standing writing commitments and embarked on several more. He lectured in Bordeaux, Ghent, Venice and Rome, and in London. One of the Italian journeys was accompanied by strikes of air traffic controllers and railways, and could only be completed by resorting to traditional methods...hitching a lift!

The mid sixteenth- to early seventeenth-century records of Bridewell Hospital provide an important insight into London life for historians and also for linguists, because they record direct speech. The CMH hopes to open them up for further study through a project to make them available electronically. other ideas in the pipeline are a redrafting of our plans for a study of suburbanisation from the 1880s; and exploring ways of making some existing data more accessible, particularly that relating to the Social and Economic Study of Medieval London, the 1690s tax databases, and other research produced by the Centre in the past.

Craig Bailey, who is jointly supervised for his PhD by Derek Keene and David Freen of King's College London, hopes to have the final draft of his thesis on 'Irish professionals in London, 1790-1840' ready this autumn.

Andrea Tanner, formerly of the 'Mortality' project, is now working part-time as an archivist at Great ormond Street Children's Hospital. Her history of the Kensington Housing Trust is to be published soon, and she is also writing a history of Fortnumb & Mason, the luxury grocers and department store.
    David Mitchell, of the 'Skilled Workforce in London' project has been awarded a PhD for his thesis on 'Fine Table Linen in England, 1450-1750', and is now an IHR Visiting Research Fellow.

CMHnews Edited by Heather Creaton
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