London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:


Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Records of the London Stock Exchange dating from 1798, including transcript of the deed of settlement of the Stock Exchange; minutes of the General Purposes Committee and various sub-committees; minutes of the Trustees and Managers; minutes of the Council; minutes of the Federation of Stock Exchanges Committees; administrative records including legal papers, notices, circulars, letters and correspondence, petitions, and reports; financial records including stamp duty books, journals and cash books; applications for membership; members lists and registers; clerks registers; membership statistics; applications for listing; reports regarding applications for permission to deal; papers regarding opposition to listing of certain companies; papers of the Department for the Administration of Defaulters' Estates; specifications, plans and elevations of Exchange buildings; photographs of senior staff from 1886-1900; and a short history (in manuscript) written in 1932.


    The manuscript archives of the Exchange are immediately available for research at Guildhall Library with the exception of the "Applications for Listing" (Ms 18000 and Ms 18000A) which must be accessed by advance appointment with Guildhall Library.

    Since March 2019 the records are no longer subject to a 30 year rule which had been originally placed on records dating under 30 years.
Extent: 56810 production units.
Other Formats: Stock Exchange Membership Applications series, 1802-1924 is digitised and available on
Classification: BUSINESSES
Former Reference: MS 14600- 17, 17957-66, 17973-4, 18000-1, 19297-315, 19514-2
Site Location: Guildhall
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • To alleviate its continuous shortage of cash, the Stuart dynasty issued loan tallies and tickets for future bill settlement. Dealers and tally-brokers carried on a market in these items, whose value depended on the prospect of repayment, first at the Royal Exchange and then in the City coffee houses. Later, these dealers turned to the stocks of new commercial companies. In 1762, 150 substantial brokers attempted to take over Jonathan's Coffee House in Change Alley, Cornhill, for their exclusive use but, thwarted by a law suit, they moved, in 1773, into their own premises in Sweetings Alley, Threadneedle Street, at which time the name "Stock Exchange" was formally adopted. A further move was made in 1802 into purpose-built accommodation on the corner of Throgmorton and Old Broad Streets. Further expansion on this site occurred, the premises being rebuilt in the 1880s and 1970s.

    Until 1802, the Stock Exchange was open to anyone who paid the 6d a day subscription, but in March 1802 a deed of settlement formalised its constitution and the Exchange was closed to non-members. By its new constitution, a Board of Trustees and Managers (representing the owners) was established to regulate financial affairs and manage the building, while a General Purposes Committee was elected to regulate membership and all aspects of business. Sub-committees were appointed from amongst the members to undertake the detailed work. This arrangement lasted until 1946 when a reorganisation took place to solve the difficulties caused by the two separate bodies. The Stock Exchange became a members' society and the Council for the Stock Exchange assumed responsibility for every aspect of its government. Until 1986, the London Stock Exchange was unique amongst world exchanges in its distinction between dealing and broking. Dealers, or jobbers, offered stocks and shares for purchase or sale, and brokers acted as middlemen between them and the public, with the Settlement Department acting as a clearing house for all transactions. Rules and regulations to ensure fairness and eliminate fraud became numerous and complex. In cases of a member's financial failure, two members known as Official Assignees were appointed to administer the assets of the defaulter. In 1950, a Compensation Fund was established to provide further protection from losses caused directly by members.

    The Federation of Stock Exchanges in Great Britain and Ireland was formed in 1965 with the Federal Committee as its governing body with representatives from all the regional stock exchanges. Its objectives were to increase the efficiency of dealing arrangements in the country as a whole and to achieve a common standard for the admission of shares to the market.
Creator: London Stock Exchange
Copyright: City of London
Source of Acquisition:
  • The manuscript archives of the Stock Exchange were deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library on indefinite loan between 1972 and 1994. These records were made an outright gift to the Library in 1994. Smaller subsequent gifts of records were made in 1999 and 2005. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.
  • 1972/012
  • 1974/023
  • 1980/010
  • 1980/018
  • 1980/019
  • 1980/020
  • 1981/017
  • 1981/042
  • 1982/017
  • 1984/026
  • 1986/013
  • 1987/022
  • 1975/026
  • 1975/027
  • 1977/024
  • 1994/025
  • 1994/038
Access Restrictions: Not available for online ordering. Please see staff
Arrangement: Because the collection has been transferred over a period of years, the Ms numbers do not run in sequence. As the archive is large and complex, to assist the user the catalogue has been arranged in sections as follows:
CLC/B/004/A Constitutional records;
CLC/B/004/B Minutes and related papers;
CLC/B/004/C Correspondence and administration records;
CLC/B/004/D Financial records;
CLC/B/004/E Membership records;
CLC/B/004/F Quotation and listing of companies;
CLC/B/004/G Defaulters records;
CLC/B/004/H Staff records;
CLC/B/004/I Premises records;
CLC/B/004/J Photographs;
CLC/B/004/K Miscellaneous records.
Related Material: The printed archives of the Exchange, including the series of annual reports of quoted companies, 1880-1964/5, and company prospectuses, 1824-1964, were deposited in the Printed Books Section of Guildhall Library at the same time as the manuscript archives. These also were made an outright gift to the Library in 1994. Details of the Stock Exchange's printed archives should be sought from the Printed Books Section of Guildhall Library. See also British Library: Oral History of the Jobbing System of the Stock Exchange (Centre for Metropolitan History) (catalogue no: C463), compiled to record the lives of those ‘jobbers’ involved in the profession of trading in stocks and shares on the floor of the London Stock Exchange, now a redundant trade due to the introduction of electronic trading in 1986, known as the ‘Big Bang’. (accessed 5 March 2014)
Publication Notes:

For further information see Rules and Regulations of the Stock Exchange (1812-1938) and other reference books held in the Printed Books Section of Guildhall Library, especially "The Stock Exchange, its history and functions" by E. Victor Morgan and W.A. Thomas (London, 1969). See also 'The London Stock Exchange, 1869-1929: new statistics for old?'
By Leslie Hannah in Economic History Review, (2017), pages 1-8. The Economic History Society. Also in LSE 'Economic History Working Papers' Number: 263/2017