The Fire Court: A gripping historical thriller from the bestselling author of The Ashes of London (James Marwood & Cat Lovett, Book 2)

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The Fire Court: A gripping historical thriller from the bestselling author of The Ashes of London (James Marwood & Cat Lovett, Book 2)

The Fire Court: A gripping historical thriller from the bestselling author of The Ashes of London (James Marwood & Cat Lovett, Book 2)

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Husting Books contain brief details of cases heard week by week and include both Pleas of Land and Common Pleas 1448-1484; 1506-1723; 1838-1978 - CLA/023/CT/01/001-017. Early material relating to orphans can be found in the Letter Books, Repertories and Journals. In the 16th century, the Common Serjeant, who presided over the Court of Orphans, developed his own series of records. Wood Street Compter: Lists of prisoners handed over by the Sheriffs to their successors on 28 Sept. annually (Indexed) 1741-1815 - CLA/028/01/001-042

the Fire: An Exclusive Interview with Andrew Taylor After the Fire: An Exclusive Interview with Andrew Taylor

Marwood is soon caught by the fall-out of these and other murders and swept into the dark goings-on surrounding the Dragon Yard case, being tried at the Fire Court in Clifford’s Inn, in which two men with rival claims to a plot of land just north of Cheapside in the devastated City of London compete for the lucrative contract to redevelop it. The assize of nuisance originally concerned the making or removal of ditches, pools, hedges, the diversion of watercourses and the obstruction of ways. After a series of major fires, the City authorities drew up regulations known as the Assize of Building for settling disputes between neighbours concerning boundaries and other matters, and for encouraging the use of stone in building. This was the basis for the medieval London assize of nuisance which mainly heard disputes between neighbours. It sometimes sought to correct public nuisances, but these were normally dealt with by wardmotes. An action was initiated in full Husting, or, if the Husting was not sitting, at a congregation of the mayor and aldermen. The Assize provided for the election of twelve aldermen in full Husting; the greater part of those so elected was to be present with the Mayor in holding assizes. The Mayor nearly always presided.

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Andrew Taylor grew up in East Anglia. He read English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and has an MA in Library, Archive and Information Science from University College London. Charles II, 1666: An Act for erecting a Judicature for Determination of Differences touching Houses burned or demolished by reason of the late Fire which happened in London.', Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80 (1819), pp. 601–03. URL: Date accessed: 7 March 2007. I am also encouraging the use of the rich Fire-related evidence to recreate London in 1666: see my contribution to the London Topographical Society’s Newsletter in June 2014.

Wikipedia Andrew Taylor (author) - Wikipedia

From the 13th century, the Court of Aldermen assumed custody of orphans (fatherless children) of freemen and supervised the administration of the personal estate of the deceased. Through their wardship the Mayor and Aldermen were responsible for ensuring that a child was properly fed, housed, clothed and educated and that the guardian paid the inheritance on coming of age. Executors of deceased freemen leaving orphans were bound over to produce an inventory of the estate, which were entered on parchment and rolled. The inventories cover personal estate, such as domestic wares, merchandise, ready money and debts, rather than real estate, such as property. Two copies were drawn up, one for the court and one for the executor, by four freemen appointed by the Common Crier. They are an invaluable source for historians interested in domestic life and trade in the City.The Assize of Buildings prescribed a view by the Mayor and 12 elected men of land and tenements for which the assize of nuisance had been demanded; and, more specifically, to deal with party and boundary walls, gutters, windows overlooking a neighbour's land, and cess-pits about which complaint had been made. The 12 elected men were originally aldermen, but sworn masons and carpenters, seem to have been associated with the assize of nuisance from at least the beginning of the 14th century and, joined by tilers in the 16th century, acted as viewers for the City. By the 16th century the court in which the certificates were presented, and any further action taken may have been the Mayor's Court. Alternatively the certificates may have been presented in the Court of Aldermen.

The Fire Court; Painter to the King; Mercury Book reviews: The Fire Court; Painter to the King; Mercury

From 1444 the Mayor and Aldermen served as Justices of the Peace responsible for criminal trials in the City. From 1327 the Justices of Gaol Delivery for Newgate included the Lord Mayor. Petty Sessions were held before the Lord Mayor, originally at Guildhall but from the mid 18th century in the Justice Room at the new Mansion House. In 1737 a second Justice Room was set up at Guildhall where regular sittings were held before one of the other Aldermen. For more details see Information Leaflet 40 'Sessions Records for the City of London and Southwark'. Before working on the Fire Court decrees as part of my analysis of the 17th century property market, I studied the various aspects of the City of London, especially in the 18th century. My thesis was on ‘The Government of the City of London, 1694-1767’ (Oxford D.Phil. 1980). This looked at a range of financial and administrative problems faced by the City Corporation as it tried to recover from the bankruptcy caused by a disastrous orphans scheme (as well as the long term effect of Crown ‘loans’ and then the Fire). I published a number of articles based on the thesis, including ones on the City Elections Act (1725), the Sheriffs controversy and (a new approach to) City politics from Shaftesbury to Wilkes: see my Published work for details.

Previous work

Ledgers recording amounts to be paid into court in each suit, indexed 1698-1700, 1755-1786 (many gaps) – CLA/038/02/001-010 Calendars of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls, 1323-1484, 7 vols; ed. A H Thomas and P E Jones (1924-1961) 60.12 CIT on open access in Information Area. The first 3 volumes 1323-1412 are available on®ion=1 The Viewers' Reports for 1508-1558 have been published as London viewers and their certificates, 1508-1558: Certificates of the sworn viewers of the City of London ed. Janet Senderowitz Loengard (London Record Society, 1989) 60.9 LRS on open access in Information Area, available online at

Sources: Corporation of London | British History Online

Once English Heritage took over Witley Court, they repaired the damage and stopped it getting any worse (to see what it was like before, Procol Harum’s shot the video for A Whiter Shade of Pale at Witley not long before it was taken over). But it hasn’t been rebuilt – the house is still a shell, but a walk around the ruins and gardens makes a great day trip. There are some 1600 decrees of the Court established by Parliament to settle disputes between landlords and tenants after the Fire. Four of a total of eight (and a bit) volumes were calendared by Philip Jones and published in 1966 and 1970. . Jones left a further volume calendared but unpublished and I have just published that, with the next volume in the series. That leaves the two odd volumes and I have started work on these.In 1478 the City gained the right to appoint the Coroner for the City of London and in 1550 the Coroner for the Borough of Southwark. See Information Leaflet 41 'Coroners' Records for London and Middlesex'.

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