London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:

1709 - 1938

Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Records of the Middlesex Deeds Registry, 1709-1938. Deeds and documents brought into the Registry for registration were initially copied onto pieces of parchment called memorials, and then into large volumes or registers. The registers exist for 1709-1938. Information held in the memorials and registers includes the date of the transaction, the names of the parties and a description of the property. Plans were frequently included in the entries and from 1892 a separate series of plan tracings of larger map and plans was made.

    The indexes cover 1709-1919, and consist of large volumes with entries arranged under the surname of the vendor or first party in alpha-chronological order. Against each entry is a note of the other parties and the location of the property. Indexes for 1920-1938 take the form of an alphabetised card index to the names of the vendors or first parties. Information is given on the location of the property, varying in detail from a parish to a street name and number.

    The indexes 1709-1919 and some 19th century registers of memorials have been microfilmed.
Extent: 1022.1 linear metres
Other Formats: Microfilm available
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • By an Act of Parliament of 1708 a registry was established for the registration of all deeds, conveyances, wills, encumbrances and so on affecting freehold land and land held by a lease for over 21 years within in the ancient County of Middlesex. The City of London was not included.

    In 1862 a national land registry was established on a voluntary basis. Any land registered there was exempt from registration in the local registry. Only a few Middlesex registrations took place there (approximately 200 - 300 titles).

    The Local Government Act of 1888 transferred parts of Middlesex into the new County of London. Those areas which became part of London included Hammersmith, Chelsea, Kensington, Paddington, Fulham, Saint Marylebone, Saint Pancras, Westminster, Islington, Hackney, Bow, Bromley, Poplar, Mile End, Bethnal Green and Shoreditch. In 1899 compulsory registration in the national Land Registry was introduced in those parts of the new County of London which were formerly in Middlesex. This considerably reduced the number of registrations made in the Middlesex registry but some deeds, mainly mortgages and leases for little more than 21 years, for land in that part of the County of London continued to be registered there.

    In the remaining part of Middlesex, including Twickenham, Sunbury-on-Thames, Staines, Feltham, Heston, Isleworth, Brentford, Chiswick, Yiewsley, West Drayton, Hayes, Harlington, Southall, Acton, Ealing, Uxbridge, Ruislip, Northwood, Harrow, Wembley, Willesden, Hendon, Finchley, Hornsey, Wood Green, Tottenham, Edmonton, Southgate, Friern Barnet, Enfield and Potters Bar, registration at the local registry continued normally until 1 January 1937 when registration of all Middlesex land transactions at the national Land Registry was made compulsory. The last deed was registered in the Middlesex registry on 31 December 1938.
Creator: Middlesex Deeds Registry
Custodial History: The Land Registrar had complete control of the records of his office and in 1931 when he wished to make more room for current records he decided to destroy those of the 18th century. The departure of lorries loaded with registers destined for a waste paper depot was witnessed by an officer of the London County Council who had used the records for historical purposes. A letter from the County Council persuaded the Land Registrar to halt the destruction pending further investigation, and the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records subsequently arranged that the rolls of original memorials for the period 1709 to 1837, together with the index books for that period, should be taken over by Middlesex County Council while the Clerk of the London County Council was informed that he could have the register books if he would collect them from the waste paper depot. 837 volumes were accordingly conveyed to County Hall, most had their covers already stripped ready for destruction. The council later paid for them to be rebound. [Extract from Society of Local Archivists Bulletin April 1953 written by Ida Darlington (the officer who had spotted the registers leaving for destruction in 1931)]
Copyright: City of London
Source of Acquisition:
  • Acquired with the records of other Middlesex local administration bodies, such as Middlesex County Council.
  • ACC/0009
  • AC/59/032
  • ACC/0944
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
Physical Condition: Fit
Arrangement: MDR: Registers of Memorials; MDR/MB: Memorials; MDR/IR: Indexes to Registers; MDR/IND: Post 1919 Indexes; MDR/TR: Registers of Tracings; MDR/SUP: Supplementary Plans; MDR/TOP/IND: Topographical Indexes.
Related Material: Papers of John Ansell, Chief Clerk of the Middlesex Deeds Registry, 1889-1921, including a report on the operation of the Registry in 1891 (reference F/ANS).
Publication Notes:

London Metropolitan Archives Information Leaflet Number 38 discusses the Middlesex Deeds Registry and explains how to search the Registry (available online at