The surviving court rolls for medieval London record the names of hundreds of thousands of medieval Londoners, and often provide details on their family connections, household, commercial activities, property, status, and personal networks. Medieval London had a complicated system of courts that can take some time to grasp. The two best introductions are: C. M. Barron, London in the Later Middle Ages: Government and People 1200-1500 (Oxford, 2004), pp. 121-46, and Penny Tucker, Law Courts and Lawyers in the City of London 1300-1550 (Cambridge, 2007).
Calendar of Early Mayor’s Court Rolls Calendar of Early Mayor’s Court Rolls Preserved among the Archives of the Corporation of the City of London at the Guildhall A.D. 1298-1307, ed. A. H. Thomas. Cambridge, 1924. The only surviving rolls of the Mayor’s court, though some later proceedings are recorded in the Letter Books and the Plea and Memoranda Rolls. Originating in the thirteenth century, it became the city’s most important court for personal actions, especially debt. It did not deal with deal with cases involving property ownership. On BHO.
Calendar of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls Calendar of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London, 6 vols. Vols. 1-4 were edited by A. H. Thomas and published in London: Vol. 1: 1323-1364 (1926); Vol. 2: 1364-1381 (1929); Vol. 3, 1381-1412 (1932). Vol. 4: 1413-1437 (1943). Vols. 5-6 were edited by Philip E. Jones and published in Cambridge: Vol. 5: 1437-1457 (1954); Vol. 6: 1458-1482 (1961). Detailed abstracts of actions in the Mayor’s court that medieval clerks chose as legal precedents or as examples of the city’s rights. Latin entries translated into English, but entries are increasingly in Middle English. Vol. 3 is titled Calendar of Select Pleas and Memoranda of the City of London because it excludes smaller debt actions and some formal entries. Vol. 4 contains presentments of the Wardmotes in 1422 and 1423. The volumes contain valuable introductions on specific issues. Vols. 1-2 are on BHO.
Calendar of Coroners Rolls of the City of LondonCalendar of Coroners Rolls of the City of London A.D. 1300-1378, ed. Reginald R. Sharpe (London, 1913). Offers English abstracts of inquisitions into sudden and unnatural deaths in London, including murders, suicides, and accidents. The jurors were local men, who answered questions about the location, time, and circumstances of the death, as well as identifying who was involved as a perpetrator, witness, or first finder. The rolls are preserved at the Guildhall and cover eight years: 1300-01, 1321-22, 1323-24, 1324-25, 1325-26, 1336-37, 1338-39, and 1339-40. A transcript of a coroners’ roll for 1315-16 is at the LMA. On achive.org. See also the Medieval Murder Map of the 142 murders recorded in these rolls.
London Assize of Nuisance London Assize of Nuisance 1301-1431: A Calendar, ed. Helena M. Chew and William Kellaway. London Record Society, vol. 10, 1973. English abstracts of complaints regarding offenses against the city’s assize of nuisance, held before the mayor and aldermen. The complaints offer vivid details on the difficulties that could arise in the densely inhabited neighborhoods of medieval London, as well as information on buildings and other structures. On BHO.
The Portsoken presentments ‘The Portsoken presentments: an analysis of a London ward in the 15th century’, by Christine Winter. Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, 56 (2005), 97–161. English translation of mainly nuisance indictments made by the jurors of a London suburban wardmote for fourteen years, 1465-83. The jurors’ presentments focus in particular on fire hazards and prostitutes and their maintainers.
Courts of Common Council and Aldermen Calendar of Letter-Books Preserved Among the Archives of the Corporation of the City of London at the Guildhall. Ed. R. R. Sharpe, 11 vols (A-L) (London, 1899-1912). English calendar of the entries in the eleven extant medieval Letter Books, which contain much miscellaneous business of the city of London, including parts of the pre fifteenth-century proceedings in the Court of Common Council (later recorded in the Journals, which are only in manuscript) and the Court of Aldermen (later recorded in the Repertories, which are also in manuscript). The memoranda are often recorded out of chronological order by a variety of clerks, but each volume largely relates to a specific period, as follows (links go to archive.org) : A: 1275-1298; B: 1275-1313; C: 1291-1309; D: 1309-1314; E: 1314-1337; F: 1337-1352; G: 1352-1375; H: 1375-1399; I: 1400-1422; K: 1422-1461; L: 1461-97. Letter Book J was lost by c. 1541, and there is no Letter Book J. Digital editions are available on BHO and Google Books and electronic pds on the subscription-based MEMSO.