Papers 2010 to present



St Martin-le-Grand: collegiate church and den of iniquity
The Revd. Dr. Martin Dudley
28 June 2010
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.
The Houndsditch Murders: a miscarriage of justice that led to mass murder
Bob Duffield
25 October 2010
An account of the Houndsdith murders when three unarmed City of London policemen were gunned down in the street by revolutionaries who had found refuge in London from political repression in Russia, Latvia and other East European States.
Drapers’ Gardens –
their significance in both ancient and modern times

John Bennett
January 2011
A history of the Drapers’ Garden site from Roman times to the twenty first century. Of particular note is the sixteenth century ownership of the site by Thomas Cromwell, Chancellor and advisor to King Henry VIII.
Highland Chiefs at the Tower in 1745
Deputy William Fraser
27 June 2011
This paper documents the fate of the Highland Chiefs, including the Earls of Cromarty and Kilmarnock and Lord Balmarino were tried at Westminster   following the battle of Culloden Moor. A detailed description of the trial of Simon Fraser, The Lord Lovat Head of the Clan Fraser, the last man to be beheaded at the Tower in included in the account.
Ripa Regina: ‘soke’ and ‘stew’
Alderman Gordon Haines
31 October 2011
This paper reviews the social history of Queenhithe, with specific reference to prostitution along the river bank.
The Samuel Collection: materials and techniques
Nancy Wade & Judith Wetherall
18 June 2012
Guildhall Art Gallery Conservators Nancy Wade and Judith Wetherall discuss the Samuel collection of paintings which have been displayed at the Mansion House since they were bequeathed to the City Corporation in 1987. Nancy discusses artists’ studios and materials, including supports and paints while Judith speaks of the frames, referring to the styles and materials used in their preparation. This paper was presented at the Mansion House.
Education, Education, Education: the launch of the City’s academies
Catherine McGuinness
29 October 2012
This paper looks at the founding of the three City Academies in Southwark, Islington and Hackney from first discussions in 2000 to the realisation of the project with the opening of the first Academy in Southwark in 2003. The paper includes background on the government’s plans and policies on transforming Secondary Education and how the City of London responded to this challenge.
Who Killed Alderman Sir Alfred Newton?
Sir John Chalstrey
25 February 2013
The circumstances surrounding the unexplained death from strychnine poisoning in 1921 of the former Lord Mayor of London, Sir Alfred Newton, are discussed and background on his life and civic career is given.  The financial scandal around the acquisition and management of the Industrial Contract Corporation in the late 19th century is put forward as a possible motive for the poisoning of Newton although the killer has not been identified and the mystery around his death remains unsolved.
The London Stone: from myth and mystery to contemporary planning
Alderman David Graves
10 June 2013
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.
The Hanseatic Steelyard in Dowgate
Alderman Alison Gowman
18 October 2013
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 Development of the City of London as a representative body
Mark Boleat
20 January 2014
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 Campaign to save Wanstead Flats from Development
Wendy Mead
16 June  2014
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.
Too Close for Comfort: Zeppelins over the City of London
Reverend Dr Martin Dudley
13 October 2014
Bombing of Antwerp by German airships in 1914; retaliatory raids on Zeppelin sheds at Cologne & Dusseldorf by Royal Naval Air Service in September 1914; history of development of Zeppelin airships ; restrictions on street lighting & camouflaging major landmarks to safeguard against attacks on British soil; first serious raids over England in January 1915 on Yarmouth, Cromer & King’s Lynn; first Zeppelin raid on London 8 September 1915 dropping bombs in Great Ormond Street, Theobald’s Road, Farringdon Road, Bartholomew Close & Liverpool Street Station; the “Theatre Raid” of 13 October; death of Kapitanleutnant Heinrich Mathy, German airship commander, in bombing raid in October 1916 at Potters Bar; last Zeppelin raid on London in October 1917, the “silent raid.”
Magna Carta, The City of London and the ‘Special Relationship’
Sir Robert Worcester, KBE, DL
6 January 2015
Paper read by Sir Robert Worcester in his capacity as organiser of the 800th Anniversary Commemorations of the sealing of Magna Carta; personal reminiscences from Sir Robert; details on the 700th anniversary commemorations in 1915; links with America and the display of the 1215 document in the Rotunda of the United States Congress in 1976; details on forthcoming events to mark the anniversary during 2015.
Best of the Old with the Best of the New: The Guildhall Complex and its Relationship with Organisational Change
Sir Michael Snyder
19 June 2015
Changes to the built environment of the Guildhall Complex covering the period from 1884, discussing  the ‘new’ Council Chamber, the Great Hall of Guildhall, the former Art Gallery, North Office Block & West Wing offices, the construction of new Guildhall Art Gallery incorporating the remains of the Roman Amphitheatre; the Guildhall Improvement Project; changes in organisational behaviour with examples given of changes to committee meetings; changing role of Chairman of Policy Committee and that of Chief Commoner.
The Origins of The Society of Young Freemen

Clare James

12 October 2015

The background to the formation of the Society including the part taken by the Policy and Parliamentary Committee to encourage young persons to become Freemen of the City of London with discussions with the Guild of Freemen; the early years of the Society from its formal establishment at the Mansion House on 7 December 1976; possible motives of the City in facilitating the establishment of the Society.
The History of the Hampstead Heath Ponds

Jeremy Simons

11 January 2016

 London’s early water supply; the London Conduit Act of 1544 empowering the City to make use of the springs on Hampstead Heath; the1692 Act of Parliament creating the Hampstead Water Company; the creation of reservoirs; the artist John Constable painted the Heath many times with ponds appearing in several of his works including  “Hampstead Heath with a Rainbow”;  an account of the history of swimming in the Ponds; major incidents of flooding in the Heath, including the most serious one in 1975 with details of the effect on the Heath; the start of the “Ponds Project” which will ensure that the risk of dam collapse in the ponds is eliminated.
The City of London’s role as the ‘Secular Arm’ in the burning of heretics”

Virginia Rounding

13 June 2016

The events in the City of London during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary I focusing on the years 1529-1558 when the largest number of burnings occurred in West Smithfield; the trials and deaths of Anne Askew, James Bainham,& Friar John Forest are described; the escape from burning of City apprentices Richard Wilmot & Thomas Fairfax; a discussion on the reasons behind the involvement of the City of London Corporation in the burning of heretics
Electoral reform, liberalism & art funded by Jamaican slave sugar – the Beckfords. Part 1 – Alderman William Beckford (1709-1770)

Sir John Stuttard

31 October 2016

The early life of William Beckford; the great accumulation of wealth from sugar plantations in Jamaica; his return to England and purchase of Fonthill Estate in Wiltshire in 1745; election as Member of Parliament firstly for Shaftesbuy then latterly as one of the the City of London’s four MPs; his election as Alderman, Sheriff and Lord Mayor; Beckford’s support for the colonies as an integral part of  Great Britain & with William Pitt the Elder championing reform and liberty; his reluctance to serve a second term as Lord Mayor; Beckford’s support for the radical journalist and politician John Wilkes; the erection of a statue to Beckford in Guildhall being the only Lord Mayor so honoured in this way.
David Hartley – Arsonist by Appointment 1723-1813
Archie Galloway
(GHA Vol. 9, read 9 January
Detailed description of obelisk erected in memory of David Hartley on Putney Heath in 1777; family origins of Hartley; education and early career including securing patent for protecting buildings from fire by use of iron plates; tests on
building known as “Fireproof House” witnessed by King George III and other members of the royal family; details of parliamentary career as MP for Kingston Division of Hull including tabling a motion for abolition of slave trade in 1776;
appointment in 1782 as plenipotentiary for peace talks in Paris to end American War of Independence; later history of  “Fireproof House” and of establishment of Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators.
Leadenhall The Market at the heart if the City
Sir David Howard
(GHA Vol. 9, read 15
September 2017)
History of market starting at the time of the original Roman settlement in AD43; archaeological discoveries made during the 1980s; recounting the accession of the Emperor Trajan and subsequent re-building programme within the provincial capital; developments under Henry de Cornhill and Sir Hugh de Neville in the 12th & 13th centuries; conveyance of site by
Richard Whittington to the Mayor and Commonalty of London in 1411 and building of the City’s granary; major building projects in 15th century and growing importance of market; reconstruction after the Great Fire of London; goods sold at the market in the 19th century including live foxes; construction of present market to the design of Sir Horace Jones in 1880 -1881.
Taking The Trains To Liverpool Street
Wendy Hyde
(GHA Vol. 9, read 13
December 2017)
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.
229. Sir Alfred Yarrow, The Shipbuilder

Sir Alan Yarrow

(GHA Vol. 10, read 26 March 2018)

Details of Alfred Yarrow’s early life, education and apprenticeship with the marine engineering firm of Ravenhill; the foundation of the Civil and Mechanical Engineers’ Society; designs patented for a steam plough & steam carriage; his career in charge of the London office of Messrs Coleman, agricultural engineers; establishment of firm of Yarrow in the Isle of Dogs; early setbacks and bankruptcy but turning point in the firm’s career with the building of small steam launches; special crafts for particular services, including “Ilala” for plying on Lake Nyasa, a vessel to explore the Congo and vessels for use by General Gordon in Khartoum; construction of high speed vessels and supply of torpedo-boats and destroyers to the Argentine, Austrian, British, Chilean, Dutch, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish Governments; closure of works on the Thames and transfer to the Clyde; supply of vessels to the Admiralty during the Great War; works of philanthropy including the foundation of the Convalescent Home for Children at Broadstairs, donations to the London Hospital, the Nurses’ Training Home at Govan, Girton College, Cambridge, and the Royal Society; death in 1932.
230. The Night That Shakespeare Stole a Theatre

Hugh Morris

(GHA Vol. 10, read 18 June 2018)

The invention of the modern theatre during the reign of Elizabeth I; ‘The Red Lion,’ the first permanent theatre built in London in 1567 followed by a further 16 theatres built by 1602 putting on a combination of plays, animal baiting and prize fighting; the building of “The Theatre” in Shoreditch by James Burbage and John Brayne on leased land from the dissolved Holywell Priory with spiralling costs leading to financial assistance from John Hyde; non-payment of loans & disputes over lease leading to the Theatre going dark; the Lord Chamberlain’s men, including William Shakespeare, approached to become part owners of a new theatre on land in Southwark near the Rose theatre; the dismantling of “The Theatre” over Christmas 1598 with the timbers removed offsite and stored until the Spring of 1599 when the wood could be taken over the Thames to be used in a new theatre “The Globe.”
231. The War Lord Mayors: the Mayoralty and the Great War 1914-1918

Alistair MacLellan

(GHA Vol. 10, read 8 October 2018)

The War Lord Mayors being Sir Vansittart Bowater, Sir Charles Johnston, Sir Charles Wakefield, Sir William Dunn, Sir Charles Hanson & Sir Horace Brooks Marshall; the role of the Lord Mayor in wartime recruitment, Sir Vansittart Bowater reading the oath of allegiance to 10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers – the Stockbrokers’ Battalion – one of the first ‘pals’ battalion at the Tower of London in August 1914; Sir John Knill’s role in the formation of the ‘Bankers’ Battalion’, 26th Battalion Royal Fusiliers in August 1915; the opening of the Mansion House as a registration centre for the ‘Derby Scheme’; the adoption of a military ethos for Lord Mayor’s Show to encourage recruitment to the armed forces; visits to the Western Front and Italy to inspect recruits by Sir Charles Wakefield, Sir William Dunn & Sir Charles Hanson; the awarding of the Freedom of the City of London to the Premiers of Australia & New Zealand and to the Special Constables of the City of London Police and all the sons of Common Councilmen who had served in the armed forces; a delegation of French women munitions workers entertained to lunch at the Mansion House with other guests including Emmeline Pankhurst and Annie Kenney; support for the Prince of Wales’s National Relief Fund & for free insurance and compensation for war damage to be extended to all; Lord Mayor as President of the national Committee for the Relief of Belgium, fundraising for the Comforts of Mesopotamia Fund & for the Queen Mary Auxiliary Hospitals at Roehampton; sponsorship of the National Guard and the Army Cadets.