Papers

St Martin-le-Grand: collegiate church and den of iniquity

This paper investigates the evolving relationship between St Martin-le-Grand, a distinct liberty subject to the city of Westminster and the City of London. St Martin-le-Grand claimed exemption from the jurisdiction of the City up to 1548 but by the fifteenth century, the City had become more conscious of itself as a corporate body, and less accommodating of those who, within the City claimed, exemption. Concerns focussed on the abuse of the right of sanctuary within the precinct and on fraudulent goldsmith’s work produced in St Martin-le-Grand in the form of chains, brooches, rings, cups and spoons, made of inferior metal gilded or silvered and intended to be sold as the real article.

Taking the trains to Liverpool Street

The boom of proposals for new railway schemes in the 1860s and the City of London’s reactions to these proposals including the work of the City’s Railway Committee; the proposal to build a terminus at Liverpool Street for the Great
Eastern Railway and the building of suburban lines; financial problems arising from the lack of investors; parliamentary authority obtained in 1867 to allow for further funds to be raised to allow the company to emerge from receivership; new station opened in 1875; displacement of tenants from properties; establishment of workmen’s trains leading to complaints and revealing social divisions; early arrivals into London leading to All Hallows on the Wall providing space and refreshments for commuters; huge expansion of travellers using trains into Liverpool Street and further expansion of capacity of station.

The Campaign to save Wanstead Flats from Development

Victorian attempts to develop the Flats leading to a huge demonstration requiring police intervention in 1871; leisure activities in the early 20th century; the Flats requisitioned for military purposes in the Second World War including temporary housing for bombed-out families; West Ham Corporation’s attempts to build permanent housing on the Flats defeated by legal judgement in 1947; subsequent major restoration programme undertaken by the City of London Corporation.

The Development of the City of London as a representative body

The nature of the City Corporation’s current representative role with regard to the UK’s financial services industry; the reasons behind the development of this role including changes in local government in London with the abolition of the Greater London Council and the changing role of the Bank of England; the establishment of the City Research Project and the Economic Development Office with representative offices in Brussels, Beijing, Shanghai and Mumbai; the creation of “TheCityUK”; review of governance leading to the formal recognition of the City Corporation’s role in the terms of reference of the Policy and Resources Committee.

The Hanseatic Steelyard in Dowgate

13th century references to the Hanse merchants; the derivation of the word “Steelyard”; the location of foreign merchants in Dowgate Ward since the late 10th century; special privileges granted by King Henry II & King John; the strict regime observed by the Hanse merchants; trading connections of the merchants; disputes with the City authorities concerning the upkeep of Bishopsgate & other grievances caused by the preferential treatment of the Hanse merchants; the demise of the Steelyard & the sale of the site for building Cannon Street Station.

The London Stone: from myth and mystery to contemporary planning

Mythological origins of the Stone moving through to Roman times & later references in Stow’s Survey of London, 1603; 17th & 18th century attempts to have it removed due to persistent complaints to the City authorities about its inconvenience; the survival of the Stone despite widespread bombing in the Second World War and its removal from the ruins of the Church of St Swithin to its current location at 111 Cannon Street.