Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

Books on London

London's Guildhall

Politics & Government



Among the books included in the London collection that deal with the city's political life and government are a number of significant seventeenth and eighteenth-century works, several having to do with the city's charter, municipal rights and election proceedings. As revealed in the Crime, Court Cases & the Law category, the political atmosphere in seventeenth-century London was constantly changing and politics were tightly intertwined with religion, conditions again reflected in the works included here.

Title page, Hunt's Defence of the Charter and Municipal Rights of the City of LondonThe earliest work is London's Liberties of 1651, which records a debate at the Guildhall the year prior, concerning the "freedom of the citizens of London in their elections," as well as "the most ancient charters and records of the city examined, and the principles of just government cleared & vindicated." As Keeper of the Records of the Tower of London, where government records were archived, William Prynne, lawyer and Puritan pamphleteer, revised, rectified and added notes and a preface to the collected parliamentary records in An Exact Abridgement of the Records in the Tower of London (1679). Thomas Hunt's Defence of the Charter and Municipal Rights of the City of London of 1683, is not merely a discussion of the city's charter, but alludes to the Popish Plot of 1678 and, more specifically, attacks John Dryden's play, The Duke of Guise, which reflected the constitutional crisis of the 1670s.

London's political volatility continued into the eighteenth century, as seen in Bryn Mawr's copy of What Has Been, May Be Again, dealing ostensibly with politics and government of the 1640s, but written in 1710 and addressed to the modern Whigs; The Conduct of the Livery-Men at the Late Election of a Lord-Mayor, and Their Proceedings in the Common-Hall Justified (1739); and Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, and on the Proceedings in Certain Societies in London Relative to that Event (1790). Particular characters in London's government at the end of the century are described in City Biography: Containing Anecdotes and Memoirs of the Rise, Progress, Situation & Character of the Aldermen and Other Conspicuous Personages of the Corporation and City of London (1800).

The political climate in the nineteenth century was hardly any calmer, yet the focus had shifted from religious and royal intrigue to parliamentary reform and social and economic issues, a change revealed in the collection's late eighteenth and nineteenth-century works. The First Report of the Committee of Secrecy of the House of Commons (1794) records the investigation of the Society for Constitutional Information and the London Corresponding Society, both founded in the late 1700s to campaign for parliamentary reform, the working class vote and the rights of ordinary Londoners. Proceedings of a General Meeting of the London Corresponding Society (1795) is also held at Bryn Mawr. Reports from Committees of the House of Commons (1803-1806), covering the late eighteenth to the early nineteenth century, include matters such as the Port of London and provisions for the poor. Further emphasizing local government and the rights of average citizens are Sir William Mildmay's Method and Rule of Proceeding upon all Elections, Polls and Scrutinies at Common-Halls and Wardmotes within the City of London (1819), several works published by the Corporation of the City of London, and Sir John Baddeley's Aldermen of Cripplegate Ward (1900). Lastly, bringing this focus into the twentieth century is Women's Suffrage and the Social Evil, a speech delivered by Rev. R. J. Campbell at Queen's Hall in London in December, 1907.


Baddeley, John James, Sir, 1842-1926
The aldermen of Cripplegate Ward from A.D. 1276 to A.D. 1900 : together with some account of the office of alderman, alderman's deputy and common councilman of the city of London / compiled by John James Baddeley
London : J. J. Baddeley, 1900

Burke, Edmund, 1729-1797
Reflections on the revolution in France, and on the proceedings in certain societies in London relative to that event : In a letter intended to have been sent to a gentleman in Paris / By the Right Honourable Edmund Burke
London : J. Dodsley, 1790
944.04 B91r

Campbell, R. J. (Reginald John), 1867-1956
Women's suffrage and the social evil. By the Rev. R. J. Campbell. Speech delivered on December 17th, 1907, at the Queen's Hall, London, under the auspices of the Men's league for women's suffrage
London, The Women's freedom league [1908?]
JN981 .C37 1908

Care, Henry, 1646-1688
A vindication of the proceedings of His Majesties ecclesiastical commissioners, against the Bishop of London, and the fellows of Magdalen-college
London : Printed by Tho. Milbourn and published by Richard Janeway, in Queens-Head-Alley in Pater-Noster-Row, 1688
942.067 P22

City of London (England). Corporation
Calendar of letters from the mayor and Corporation of the City of London, circa A.D. 1350-1370, enrolled and preserved among the archives of the Corporation at the Guildhall. Ed. (with an introduction) by Reginald R. Sharpe. Printed by order of the Corporation of the City of London, under the direction of the Library Committee
London, Printed by J.C. Francis, 1885

City of London (England). Court of Common Council. Local Government and Taxation Committee
Report on the city day-census, 1881 / by the Local Government and Taxation Committee of the Corporation of London
London : Longmans, Green, 1881
HA1139 .L86 1881

City of London (England). Court of Common Council. Local Government and Taxation Committee
Ten years' growth in the city of London : report, local government and taxation committee of the corporation ... / by James Salmon ..
London : Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., 1891
Uncat 12,146

Cokayne, George E. (George Edward), 1825-1911
Some account of the Lord Mayors and Sheriffs of the city of London, during the first quarter of the seventeenth century, 1601-1625. Comp. by G. E. Cokayne
London, Phillimore and Co., 1897

Diprose, John, 1814-1879
Some account of the parish of Saint Clement Danes (Westminster) past and present. Comp. from various sources by John Diprose
London, Diprose and Bateman, 1868-76
Uncat 13,220

England and Wales. Sovereign (1660-1685 : Charles II)
At the Court at Whitehall, the twenty eighth of November, 1677, present, the Kings Most Excellent Majesty ... whereas His Excellency the Heer Van Beuninghen ambassador extraordinary from the States General of the United Netherlands ..
London : Printed by John Bill, Christopher Barker, Thomas Newcomb, and Henry Hills ..., 1677
ffDA448 .E53 1677

Fairholt, F. W. (Frederick William), 1814-1866
Gog and Magog. The giants in Guildhall; their real and legendary history. With an account of other civic giants, at home and abroad. By F. W. Fairholt ... With illustrations by the author
London, J.C. Hotten, 1859
DA687.G9 F1 1859

Fitz-Thedmar, Arnold, 1201-1274? supposed author
Chronicles of the mayors and sheriffs of London, A.D. 1188 to A.D. 1274. Translated from the original Latin and Anglo-Norman of the Liber de antiquis legibus, in the possession of the corporation of the city of London: attributed to Arnald Fitz-Thedmar. The French chronicle of London, A.D. 1259 to A.D. 1343. Translated from the original Anglo-Norman of the Croniques de London, preserved in the Cottonian collection (Cleopatra A. vi.) in the British museum. Translated with notes and illustrations, by Henry Thomas Riley
London, Trubner, 1863

Great Britain. Parliament
An exact abridgement of the records in the Tower of London, from the reign of King Edward the Second, unto King Richard the Third, of all the parliaments holden in each kings reign, and the several acts in every parliament : together with the names and titles of all the dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts, and barons, summoned to every of the said parliaments / Collected by Sir Robert Cotton, knight and baronet. Rev., rectified in sundry mistakes, and supplied with a preface, marginal notes, several omissions, and exact tables, both of the special matters, great officers, speakers, nobles and other persons herein conteined. By William Prynne, esquire, late bencher of Lincolns Inne
London : Printed for William Leake & J. Leake at the Crown in Fleetstreet, between the two Temple gates, 1679
q942.037 G791

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons
Reports from committees of the House of Commons which have been printed by order of the House, and are not inserted in the Journals / reprinted by oder of the House. [London, 1773]
[London, 1773] 1803-1806
f328.42 G79r

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Committee of Secrecy
The first report of the Committee of Secrecy of the House of Commons, on the papers belonging to the Society for Constitutional Information and London Corresponding Society
London : T. Chapman, 1794
Uncat 10,657

Hunt, Thomas, 1627?-1688
A defence of the charter and municipal rights of the city of London, and the rights of other municipal cities and towns of England; directed to the citizens of London, by Thomas Hunt
London, Printed and are to be sold by R. Baldwin [1683]
DA681 .H95 1683

London Corresponding Society
Proceedings of a general meeting of the London corresponding society, held on Monday October the 26th, 1795, in a field adjacent to Copenhage-house in the county of Middlesex
[n.p.], 1795
942.073 L84

Mildmay, William, Sir, 1705-1771
The method and rule of proceeding upon all elections, polls, and scrutinies at common-halls and wardmotes within the city of London / by William Mildmay
London : Printed by J.D. Dewick : sold by T. Hamilton and T. Lester, 1819
JS3695 .M5 1819

Monypenny, William Flavelle, 1866-1912
The life of Benjamin Disraeli, earl of Beaconsfield. By William Flavelle Monypenny
London, J. Murray, 1910-20
PR4809.H15 Z997534 1910

Rush, Richard, 1780-1859
Memoranda of a residence at the court of London. By Richard Rush, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary from the United States of America, from 1817 to 1825
Philadelphia, Carey, Lea & Blanchard, 1833
E374 .R85 1833

Stout, George Dumas
The political history of Leigh Hunt's Examiner, together with an account of The book.
St. Louis, [Washington University], 1949
PN5130.E8 S8 1949

An Account of the visit of His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent, with Their Imperial and Royal Majesties, the Emperor of all the Russias and the King of Prussia, to the Corporation of London, in June 1814
London : printed by order of, and for, the Corporation of the City of London, by Nichols, Son, and Bentley, 1815
Uncat f985

City biography : containing anecdotes and memoirs of the rise, progress, situation & character of the aldermen and other conspicuous personages of the corporation and city of London
London : Printed for the author by J. W. Myers and sold by J. Parsons, 1800
DA676.8.A1 C5 1800

London's liberties, or, A learned argument of law & reason, upon Saturday, December 14, 1650, before the Lord Major, Court of Aldermen, and Common-Councell at Guild Hall, London : between Mr. Maynard, Mr. Hales, & Mr. Wilde, of the Councell for the Companies of London, and Major John Wildman and Mr. John Price of the Councell for the Freemen of London : wherein the freedom of the citizens of London in their elections of their chief officers, is fully debated, the most ancient charters and records of the city examined, and the principles of just government cleared & vindicated / the discourse is exactly taken in short-hand by severall that were present at the argument, who have compared their notes, and published them for publique use
London : Printed by Ja. Cottrel for Gyles Calvert ..., 1651

The conduct of the Livery-men at the late election of a Lord-Mayor, and their proceedings in the Common-hall justified ..
London : for T. Gardner, 1739
Uncat 10,095

What has been, may be again, or, An instance of London's loyalty, in 1640, &c. : being the substance of a traiterous play, acted in the guild-hall of that city, by some of the aldermen and chief leaders of the party, in the year 1642 : together with the pulpit-doctrine of those times, which brought on that unnatural rebellion ... : address'd to the modern Whigs
London : Printed by Edm. Powell ... : and sold by J. Morphew ..., 1710
PR3757.W8 Q8 1712

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