London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:

1845 - 1972

Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Records of the National Pawnbrokers' Association, comprising: minutes and agendas, 1900-72 (Ms 22306-11); and correspondence, reports and related papers, 1937-60 (Ms 22312-15); photographs, 1898-[1950?] (Ms 22316-17); papers relating to the National Benevolent Fund, 1913-65 (Ms 22318-19); and Pawnbroker's Charitable Institution papers, 1845-1933 (Ms 22320).
Extent: 27 production units.
Classification: ASSOCIATIONS
Former Reference: MS 22306- 20
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • The National Pawnbrokers' Association was established in Derby in 1892 in response to a growing need, widely recognised among pawnbrokers, for a national body to represent their interests. Alfred Hardaker, a leading campaigner on behalf of pawnbrokers, was appointed the first president. However, the original financial arrangements and rules were not thought satisfactory and the NPA was therefore reconstituted in London in 1895, with Henry Attenborough as chairman. The Association attempted to persuade increasing numbers of pawnbrokers to insure their premises and stock; to defend its members in legal actions; and to secure revisions of the Parliamentary legislation regulating pawnbroking. The Pawnbroking Acts of 1922 and 1960 were passed as a direct result of NPA pressure.

    In 1925, the Association acquired Lombard House, Little Britain, as its headquarters, where it remained until 1973, when the building was sold as part of a development scheme. It was subsequently administered from the home of the general secretary in Southend-on-Sea, and now operates from offices at 6 Wimpole Street.
Creator: National Pawnbrokers' Association
Copyright: Depositor
Source of Acquisition:
  • The archive was deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library in 1987. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.
  • 1987/025
Access Restrictions: These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to access restrictions
Arrangement: The records have been arranged in order reflecting the record function, e.g. administration, financial and so on.
Related Material: Records of the following distinct, but related, organisations were deposited in the Library with the records of the Association (they have been catalogued separately): Bouverie Society, Eastern Society of Master Pawnbrokers, Metropolitan Pawnbrokers' Protection Society, Pawnbroking Parliamentary Reform Association.
Publication Notes:

Issues of the "Pawnbrokers' Gazette", 1872 and 1895-1958, and the "NPA Journal", 1959-86, which were deposited with the archive, are available in the Printed Books Section of Guildhall Library.