The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 2

Allen, Thomas


The Court of Orphans.

This court was formerly held by the lord mayor and aldermen, who were guardians to children that were under the age of years, at the decease of their fathers; and who took upon them not only the care and management of their goods and chattels, but likewise that of their persons, by committing them to careful and faithful tutors, to prevent disposing of themselves during their minority, without their approbation.

The common serjeant was authorized by the said court to take exact accounts and inventories of all deceased freemen's estates; and the youngest attorney of the mayor's court, being clerk to that of the orphans, was appointed to take securities for their several portions, in the name of the chamberlain of London, who is a sole corporation of himself, for the service of the said orphans; and to whom a recognizance or bond, made upon the account of an orphan, shall, by the custom of London, descend to his successor; which is hardly known elsewhere.

When a freeman of London dies, and leaves children in their minority, the clerks of the several parishes were to give in their names to the common crier, who was thereupon immediately to


summon the widow, or executor, to appear before the court of lord mayor and aldermen, to bring in an inventory of, and give security for the testator's estate; for which, months time was commonly allowed; and in case of non-appearance, or refusal of security, the lord mayor might commit the contumacious executor to Newgate.


[] This court has become obsolete.

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 Title Page
 CHAPTER I: History of London, from the Accession of William and Mary, to the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER II: History of London during the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER III: History of London from the Accession of George the Third, to the year 1780
 CHAPTER IV: History of London continued to the Union
 CHAPTER V: History of London from the Union to the Jubilee, 1809
 CHAPTER VI: History of London from the Jubilee to the Peace of 1814
 CHAPTER VII: History of London continued to the accession of George the Fourth
 CHAPTER VIII: Account of the Civil Government of the City by Portreves, Bailiffs, and Mayors, with a list of the latter...
 CHAPTER IX: An account of the Aldermen and Sheriffs, with a list of the latter
CHAPTER X: Lists and brief Accounts of the various Officers and Courts within the City
CHAPTER XI: Some account of the Ecclesiastical Government of the city of London, with a List and Biographical Notices of the Bishops of the see
CHAPTER XII: Some Account of the Military Government of London, and the Artillery Company
CHAPTER XIII: An Account of the twelve principal Companies of the City of London
CHAPTER XIV: An Account of the Companies of the City of London, alphabetically arranged
 CHAPTER XV: An Account of the River Thames
CHAPTER XVI: Historical and topographical account of London Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Southwark Bridge, and the Thames Tunnel
CHAPTER XVII: Topographical and Historical Account of the Tower of London