Sources and Abbreviations
This page records, in alphabetical order and in bolded text, the sources and abbreviations used by the Medieval Londoners project. Italicized parts of the abbreviation indicate variable information depending on the volumes used; sample formats are noted in square brackets. These abbreviations are employed in two places: in the Source field of the Medieval Londoners Database (MLD) and in Tables in the Resources section of the site. Next to each abbreviation is a full bibliographic citation and notes on how the MLD team handled this specific source, along with links to the source if it is online. Note that the aim of MLD is to reproduce data as they appear in the original source, so users need to consult the original source to find the abbreviations recorded in the Activity field of MLD. On the rare occasion that we make an editorial comment, it is enclosed in curly brackets in the Activity field. When data from a source are used less than five times in MLD, the full bibliographic reference is noted in the Activity field enclosed in round brackets and preceded by ‘See [the source],’ while ‘See Activity field’ is placed in the Source field.
Barron, London: Caroline M. Barron, London in the Later Middle Ages: Government and People 1200-1500 (Oxford, 2004). MLD includes the data in “Appendix 1: The Mayors and Sheriffs of London 1190-1558,” pp. 311-58, but sourced from MASL (see below) and “Appendix 2: Civic Officeholders c. 1300-c. 1500,” pp. 356-74.
Barron thesis: Caroline M. Barron, “The Government of London and its Relations with the Crown 1400-1450 (PhD thesis, University of London, 1970). MLD includes the names of civic officeholders listed in her Appendices, pp. 544-69.
Beaven, I or II refers to material about aldermen taken from Alfred P. Beaven, The Aldermen of The City of London, 2 vols. (London, 1908–13). Beaven records the elections of aldermen in each of the 24 (later 25) wards London from c. 1230 onwards, as well as further information in a chronologically ordered list of the aldermen. Although his lists are complex and confusing (in part because he records corrigenda and addenda in several different sections), they have served as the chief source of information on London aldermen for over a century. Thanks to BHO, we were permitted full access to their digitized version of Beaven, but during our error-checking process, we found and corrected a significant number of errors—those typical of text run through OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software. For an explanation of how we re-coded the BHO html to import into the MLD structure, see here [link forthcoming].
Beaven’s lists of aldermen are far from perfect and far from complete, as the author himself acknowledged. Fortunately, some of his pre-1300 data have recently been revised by John McEwan in “The Aldermen of London, c. 1200-80: Alfred Beaven Revisited,” LAMAS 62 (2011): 177-204. Because Beaven’s data have been so influential in scholarship on medieval Londoners, we have incorporated his data without passing judgement as to its validity in light of more recent scholarship. Consequently, users will need to compare more recent sources for later corrections to Beaven (particularly MASL for mayors, sheriffs, and wardens, and McEwan for the early aldermen). As of 9 February 2020, MLD entries include the names and accompanying information for all aldermen in Beaven volumes I and II elected before 1550, as well as the names of London MPs before 1386. In the future, MLD plans to add records for individuals associated with the court of alderman, such as nominees, who are also listed in Beaven.
BHO: British History Online, Institute of Historical Research, University of London.
CLB volume letter: [e.g., CLBA:52]. 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). Letter Books A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L.
CCR date range of volume: [e.g., CCR 1341-43: 624] Calendar of the Close Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, Henry III-Henry VII (London, H.M.S.O., 1892-1963), 66 vols. For links to free online versions of the CCR, see https://sites.google.com/site/cochoit/home/close-rolls. Also available with a BHO subscription.
Coote, Ordinances: H. C. Coote, Ordinances of Some Secular Guilds of London, from 1354 to 1496. Reprinted from the Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society [vol. 4, pt. 1, 1871] To which are added, ordinances of St. Margaret Lothbury, 1456, and orders by Richard, Bishop of London for Ecclesiastical Officers, 1597. Edited by John Robert Daniel-Tyssen (London, 1871).
CPMR: volume number: [e.g., CPMR: 2, 206]. Calendar of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London: Volume 1, 1323-1364, ed. A. H. Thomas (London,1 926); Volume 2, 1364-1381 (1929); vol. 3, 1381-1412 (1932); vol. 4: 1413-1437 (1943); vol. 5: 1437-1457 (1954); vol. 6: 1458-1482 (1961). Vols. 5-6 were edited by Philip E. Jones and published in Cambridge. Vol. 1-3 are on BHO.
Curtis: ‘The London Lay Subsidy of 1332,” ed. M. Curtis, in Finance and Trade Under Edward III the London Lay Subsidy of 1332, ed. George Unwin (Manchester, 1918), pp. 35-92; the names and tax paid by 1636 individuals (pp. 61-92) were entered into MLD. Data was scraped from the BHO version, but corrected against the print version.
Davies, Minutes: Matthew P. Davies, ed., The Merchant Taylors’ Company of London: Court Minutes 1486-1493 (Richard III and Yorkist History Trust in association with Paul Watkins, 2000). MLD includes the names of clerks (which supplements with more specific dates the data offered in Davies and Saunders, Merchant Taylors), chaplains, rent collectors, and beadles on pp. 283-284.
Davies and Saunders, Merchant Taylors: Matthew P. Davies and Ann Saunders, The History of the Merchant Taylors’ Company (Leeds: Maney, 2004). MLD includes the names of guild masters and clerks, 1300-1520, on pp. 269-72.
Drimmer: Sonja Dimmer, “The Painters of Late Medieval London and Westminster,” Burlington Magazine 156 (2017): 445-49. All data on painters entered in MLD.
Ekwall. Two Early London Subsidy Rolls, ed. Eilert Ekwall (Lund, 1951). MLD draws on the BHO’s digitization of this source, which includes a transcription of the lay subsidy tax assessed on movable (personal) property in London in 1292 (801 taxpayer in 14 wards) and 1319 (almost 1900 taxpayers in all wards except for Vintry). Especially valuable are the notes that Ekwall adds about the offices, occupations, properties, and family connections of each taxpayer, which are reproduced in MLD using the abbreviations and sources employed by Ekwall, who is especially interested in names. For further context, see Ekwall’s introduction and E. Ekwall, Studies on the Population of Medieval London (Lund, 1956) for analyses of the dialect and origin of medieval Londoners based on the surnames in these and other medieval taxes.
Fenwick: The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381, ed. C. C. Fenwick, 3 vols (Oxford, 1998). Vol II, pp. 558-64 contains the 1381 poll tax for Southwark (TNA E179/184/30). The tax was levied on all those over age 15 at the flat rate of 12d per person, three times the amount charged in the 1377 poll tax, so there was considerable evasion. Wealthier residents in a community were encouraged to pay more so that the poor could pay as low as 4d. In Southwark lower rates were usually assessed on sons and daughters, who probably resided with their family. Servants listed immediately after their employers likely resided in their employer’s household.
Getz: Faye Getz, “Archives and Sources: Medical Practitioners in Medieval England,” Social History of Medicine 3 (1990): 245-283. A supplement and corrections to the work of Talbot and Hammond; only Londoners in her list were included in MLD.
Hopkinson, Ancient Records: H. L. Hopkinson, Report on the Ancient Records in the Possession of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John Baptist in the City of London (London: Waterlow, 1915). MLD includes the names of wardens, 1351-1520, on pp. 108-119
HPO, 1386-1422: History of Parliament Online, 1386-1422: The History of Parliament The House of Commons, 1386–1422, ed. J. S. Roskell, Linda Clark and Carole Rawcliffe (4 vols., Stroud, 1992). MLD reproduces selected information from the MP biographies: data for the Craft, Occupation, Craft Office, and Civic Office fields, and data from the Offices Held section of the biographies in the Activity field. For other information in the HPO biographies, click on the link in the Source_URI field. We are in the process of including records for all the MPs’ wives and other Londoners mentioned in the HPO biographies.
HPO, 1509-1558: History of Parliament Online, 1509-1558: The History of Parliament: The House of Commons, 1509-1558, ed. S. T. Bindoff [3 vols, Haynes Publishing, 2006). MLD reproduces selected information from the MP biographies: data for the Craft, Occupation, Craft Office, and Civic Office fields, and data from the Offices Held section of the biographies in the Activity field. For other information in the HPO biographies, click on the link in the Source_URI field. We are in the process of including records for all the MPs’ wives and other Londoners mentioned in the HPO biographies.
Kingdon, Grocers’ Archives: Facsimile of First Volume of Manuscript Archives of the Worshipful Company of Grocers of the City of London, A.D. 1345-1463. Transcribed and translated with extracts from the records of the city of London and archives of St. Paul’s Cathedral, ed. John Abernethy Kingdon. London: Richard Clay, 1886. 2 parts. Ongoing entry of guild officeholders.
Kingdon, Wardens: List of Wardens of the Grocers’ Company from 1345 to 1907, ed. John Abernethy Kingdon and W. W. Grantham (London, 1907).
Leach: Doreen Sylvia Leach, “Carpenters in Medieval London c. 1240 – c. 1540” (Ph.D. thesis, University of London, 2017). MLD includes the wardens and minor officials in 1437-1519 listed on pp. 273-74, 277.
MASL: “Mayors and Sheriffs of London,” comp. Anne Lancashire (University of Toronto). A print version is in Caroline M. Barron, London in the Later Middle Ages (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) “Appendix I: The Mayors and Sheriffs of London 1190—1558.” MLD has used this source as the definitive list of mayors and sheriffs. For information on the base list and sources used by Lancashire see “Names/Sources.” Lancashire’s sources are noted with her abbreviations in the Activity field.
McEwan, Aldermen: John McEwan, ‘The Aldermen of London, c. 1200-80: Alfred Beaven Revisited,’ Transactions of the London & Middlesex Archaeological Society 62 (2011): 177-204. McEwan corrects data from Beaven with respect to dates, wards, and civic offices of London aldermen active in the thirteenth century, and incudes aldermen found in parish and other local sources not accessible to Beaven.
Megson, Pinners: The Pinners’ and Wiresellers’ Book, 1462-1511, ed. Barbara Megson, London Record Society 44 (London, 2009).
Memorials: Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries, ed. H T Riley (London, 1868).
Nightingale, Grocers: Pamela Nightingale, A Medieval Mercantile Community: The Grocers’ Company and the Politics and Trade of London 1000-1485 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995).
PCC: Prerogative Court of Canterbury. An important church court that dealt with wills of wealthy individuals who owned property in more than one ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the province of Canterbury, which covered the southern half of England and most of Wales.
PROB 2: Prerogative Court of Canterbury and Other Probate Jurisdictions: Inventories, at TNA. References to the names and occupations of testators of London, Southwark, and Westminster for whom a probate inventory survives, up to 1540. Very few survive before the late 16th century; the earliest here is dated 1468. The inventories vary widely in detail, but can include debts owed to the deceased and lists of the contents of the deceased’s home and place of business.
PROB 11: Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers, at TNA. References to all wills of residents of London, Southwark, and Westminster to 1540 were entered into MLD.
Sutton’s Bios: Anne F. Sutton, “Biographies of the London Mercers,” Typescript. MLD has electronically harvested from a Microsoft Word document c. 3500 ‘biographies’ of members of the Mercers Company in medieval London, compiled by Dr Sutton as chronological lists of references. The biographies are placed in the Activity field of MLD, although relevant data are also placed in such MLD fields as Identifier (distinguishing apprentices and masters), Citizen, Craft, Year (the year of the first reference to the individual) and Year_Range. Each line in the Activity field starts with a date, followed by the event (primarily the payment of fines and fees as apprentices, members, and liverymen), and ends with an abbreviation indicating the source of the information.
For her source abbreviations, see pp. 9-10 of A. F. Sutton, The Mercery of London: Trade, Goods and People, 1130-1578 (2009); other author names may be found in her bibliography. But note the following: AC = Acts of Courts of the Mercers; see Acts of Court of the Mercers’ Company 1453-1527, introduced by Laetitia Lyell and Frank D. Watney (1936); MC = Mercers’ Company archival material; Register = John Coke, “The Names of the Brethren of the Mercery,” (1528); Rep. = Repertories (proceedings of the Court of Aldermen, in manuscript at the LMA); Thrupp = S. Thrupp, The Merchant Class of Medieval London, c. 1300-c. 1500 (1948); WA = Wardens’ Accounts—now printed as The Medieval Account Books of the Mercers of London: An Edition and Translation, ed. Lisa Jefferson, 2 vols. (2009). Click here to see more about Sutton bios editorial practice.
Talbot & Hammond: Medical Practitioners in Medieval England: A Biographical Register, eds. Charles H. Talbot and E.A. Hammond, Wellcome Historical Medical Library, New Series VIII (1965). All practitioners residing in London were entered in MLD.
Thrupp: Sylvia L. Thrupp, The Merchant Class of Medieval London (Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1948). MLD includes the names and tax paid by London landowners in 1436, on pp. 378-88. For more information on this tax, see the description on the TNA website.
Thrupp, Bakers: Sylvia Thrupp, A Short History of the Worshipful Company of Bakers of London (Croydon: Geo. B. Cotton at the Galleon Press, 1933). MLD includes data from Appendix III on the masters and clerks of the company, 1481-1547 (pp. 177, 183).
TNA: The National Archives in Kew.
Unwin, Gilds: George Unwin, The Gilds and Companies of London (London: George Allen & Unwin, 3rd edn, 1938; first published 1908).