London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:

1882 - 1972

Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Records of the London Chamber of Commerce including records of constitution, membership, administration, finances and so on; records of sections and committees relating to places, arranged alphabetically by place; records of sections and committees relating to subjects, arranged alphabetically by subject of substance. Included in this category are 'General' and 'Special' minute books which contain minutes of sections and committees relating to both places and subjects. Ask a member of staff for an index of the sections and committees whose minutes are contained in the 'General' and 'Special' minute books.
Extent: 678 production units.
Classification: BUSINESSES
Former Reference: MS 16454- 16789, 18312- 18313 MS 16680- 1
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • The London Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1882. There had been various previous attempts in 1823-4 and in the 1860s-1870s to establish a similar body which had met with hostility from the City. An organising committee was set up by the Lord Mayor in January 1881. It applied for incorporation under the Companies Act and had its first general meeting on 25 January 1882. From its foundation, the Chamber published the "Chamber of Commerce Journal" (copies are held by Guildhall Library Printed Books Section 1882-1961) which became accepted as a mouthpiece for the British business community. Within two years of its formation, the London Chamber was the largest in the UK and had been given prominence in the Association of British Chambers of Commerce. By 1892 it had a membership of over 3000. The Chamber's role was to develop international trade and represent the interests of the London trading community, a community which was intended to encompass all of the metropolis of London, not just the City of London. It also assisted members in resolving more day to day trading concerns.

    The Chamber's name changed in 1971 to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to reflect the growing industrial membership. The records have been catalogued as records of the London Chamber of Commerce as this was the name used for most of the organisation's existence. The Printed Books Section holds many printed items under the present name.

    According to Steven R B Smith's article on the early years of the Chamber, "The Centenary of the London Chamber of Commerce: its origins and early policy" in "London Journal" 8 (2) Winter 1982, pp.156-70, the London Chamber of Commerce advocated the consolidation of colonial markets and the expansion of the British empire with the active help of the British government. The early years of the Chamber are also covered by Charles E Musgrave "The London Chamber of Commerce from 1881 to 1914", published in 1914.

    The London Chamber of Commerce's offices were at 26 Nicholas Lane 1881-2; King William Street 1882-6; Botolph House, 10 and 12 Eastcheap 1887-1903; 1-3 Oxford Court, Cannon Street 1903-34; 69-75 Cannon Street 1935-92 and 33 Queen Street 1992 to date (all City of London).
Creator: London Chamber of Commerce x London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Copyright: Depositor
Source of Acquisition:
  • The records were deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library on 27 and 29 April 1976 (with a couple of additional volumes on 10 December 1982. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.
  • 1976/021
  • 1982/042
  • 1993/051
Access Restrictions: These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 2018
Arrangement: CLC/B/150-01: London Chamber of Commerce;
CLC/B/150-02: Leather Goods and Saddlery Benevolent Society.