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Pre-1835 City of Norwich records

Many of the records in this summary are available on microfilm and microfiche.

Copies of these may be purchased from the Norfolk Record Office (NRO).

Document references to the main series are given. Please consult our online catalogue for precise references to individual documents. 

  • Royal charters and letters patent, c1158-1974 (NCR 26a)
  • City Court rolls (enrolled deeds and wills), 1285-1854 (NCR 1)
  • Assembly rolls, 1365-1426 (NCR 8d)
  • Assembly minute books, 1492-1835 (NCR 16c)
  • Assembly folio books of proceedings, 1434-1835 (NCR 16d)
  • Committee minute books 1716-1835 (NCR 19 c-d)
  • Freemen’s rolls, 1317-1837 (NCR 17c)
  • Freemen’s rolls, 1837-1981 (available on microfiche only - originals in City Hall)
  • Freemen’s admission books (giving more detail than Freemen’s rolls), 1841-1934 (NCR 17c, N/TC 72)
  • Apprenticeship registers, 1510-1749 (NCR 17d and elsewhere)
  • Original apprenticeship indentures, 1515-1734, 1759, 1826-38, 1867 (NCR 10a, 15g)
  • City treasurers’ account rolls, 1375-1436 (NCR 7a)
  • Chamberlains’ account rolls, 1411-13, 1457-64, 1489-1524 (NCR 7a)
  • Chamberlains’ account books, 1384-1835 (NCR 18 a-b)
  • Chamberlains’ bills and vouchers, 1618-1839 (NCR 21a-c)
  • Coroners’ inquests, 1263-85, 1669-1835 (NCR 8a, 6a)
  • Sheriffs’ tourns, 1541-1720 (NCR 5d)
  • Mayor’s court books, 1424-49, 1510-1835 (NB: The Mayor’s Court met several times a week, and was at once the executive arm of the Assembly, a petty sessional court and a court of equity, hearing transferred causes from the Sheriff’s Court) (NCR 16a)
  • Quarter sessions minute books, 1511-50, 1553-56, 1561-1618, 1629-1846 (NCR 20a - later records are listed at N/S 2-4)
  • Quarter sessions files (indictments and recognizances) temp. Henry VIII-1619 (odd documents only), 1620-1838 (NCR 11a-g - later records are listed at N/S 1)
  • Quarter sessions files (interrogations and depositions), 1549-1600, 1684-1790 (NCR 12a-b - later records are listed at N/S 1, 5)
  • Oaths of allegiance and similar documents, 1591, 1644-1844, including sacrament certificates, 1713-1827 (NCR 13c-f)
  • Alehousekeepers’ recognizances, 1596-1604, 1760-1807 (NCR 14e)
  • Friendly Societies rules and orders, deposited with the City’s quarter sessions, 1794-1838. (NCR 21e)
  • Deposited plans (navigations, railways, tramways, etc) and other documents deposited with quarter sessions, 1818-1937 (N/S 17)
  • Guildhall Court: (NCR 8b - other records as yet unlisted):
    • Rolls, 1556-1771
    • Files of pleadings, c1588-1794
    • Proceedings books, 1595-1720
  • Papers regarding litigation between City and various parties, principally Prior and Convent (later Dean and Chapter) of Norwich Cathedral, 1273-1840 (NCR 9a-n)
  • Books of evidence (‘Domesday Book’, Liber Albus, Book of Pleas, Mayor’s Book, City Revenues and Letters Book, Town Close Evidence Book and Book of Customs), compiled 1396-1886 (NCR 17b)
  • St George’s Guild records, 1421-1731, including rules, regulations and lists of members, 1441-1729 (NCR 8e-g, 17b)
  • Leet rolls, tithing roll and views of arms, 1287-1391, 1552, 1554 (NCR 5b-c)
  • Militia and military records with lists of all able-bodied men aged 16-60 (including Dutchmen and Walloons), 1511-1734, 1789, 1795 (NCR 13a-b)
  • Assessment rolls (subsidies, hearth tax, royal aid, poll tax) c1350-1702 (NCR 7i-k, 13a/48)
  • Window tax assessments 1708-67 and land tax assessments 1712-1832 (NCR 23)
  • Trade and merchandise documents, including by-laws of various trades, 1286, 1449-1799 (NCR 10a-b, 17d)
  • Books of aliens, 1492-1686, including orders for Dutch and Walloon Strangers, 1564-1643 (NCR 17d)
  • Debtors’ papers, 1614-1781, including schedules of individuals’ property, 1678-1781 (NCR 15d-e)
  • Weekly register bills or certificates of births and burials, returned to the Mayor’s Court. (NCR 21d)
  • Guardians of Poor court books, 1712-14/15, 1723-1804, 1813-33 (NCR Case 20e - later records are listed at N/TC 3.)
  • Maintenance of poor records, 1570-80, including 1570 census of poor (NCR 20c)
  • Removal orders and parish overseer's accounts, 1572-1832 and Magistrates' orders to pass vagrants, 1740-1764 (NCR 15b-c) 
  • Registers listing paupers and vagrants examined regarding settlement, 1754-1811 (NCR 20e)
  • Register of settlement examinations, 1828 (N/S 15/1)
  • Overseers of Poor accounts, 1633-1718 (NCR 15b, 20c)
  • Poor rate assessments, 1718-1824 (N/T 33)
  • Poor rate books, 1825-44 (N/T 33)
  • Repairs of City bridges papers (with gaps), 1621-1700 and 1785-1844 (with gaps) (NCR 22a)
  • New Mills and Waterworks papers, 1490-1732 (many gaps), 1786-1803 (NCR 22a)
  • Corporation maps and plans, 1743-1845, 1904, 1909 (NCR 16e)
  • City lease books (relating to Corporation properties), 1537-1828 (NCR 22d)
  • Title deeds to Corporation estates (including those of the Great Hospital) in various city parishes, medieval period to 20th century (NCR 4a, 22b-c, 26d-e, N/TC/D)
  • Private title deeds (ie, title deeds to privately-owned properties deposited with Corporation for safe-keeping) arranged by parish, medieval (NCR 4a)
  • Great Hospital (founded as the Hospital of St Giles, c1250 by Walter de Suffield Bishop of Norwich) records, c1250-1985 (NCR 4a, 20d, 24a-c, 25a, N/MC), including:
    • Accounts, 1294-1985
    • Manorial records, c1300-1943
    • Title deeds, c1245-1951
    • Lease books, 1530-1845
    • Trustees’ minutes, 1708-1947
    • Records of inmates, 1794-1953
  • Boys’ Hospital (founded 1620 under will of Thomas Anguish dated 1617) records, 1192-1967 (NCR 25e-f, N/MC 1-2, N/CCH), including:
    • Accounts, 1620/1-1668, 1712-1951
    • Title deeds, 1192-1935
    • Trustees’ minutes, 1708-1938
    • Foundationers and exhibitioners registers, 1904-1967
  • Girls’ Hospital (founded 1652 under will of Robert Baron dated 1649) records, 1584-1951, (NCR 25f, N/MC 1-2, N/CCH) including:
    • Accounts, 1652/3-1722, 1726-1951
    • Title deeds, 1584-1796
    • Trustees’ minutes, 1708-1938
    • Admission registers, 1849-1940
  • Doughty’s Hospital (founded under will of William Doughty dated 1687) records, 1461-1957, (NCR 20f, 25g, N/MC 1- 2, N/CCH) including:
    • Accounts, 1726-1910
    • Title deeds, 1461-1936
    • Trustees’ minutes, 1708-1957
  • Records of various charitable donations (including Barnham Brook Estate and Swordbearer’s alias Preachers’ Charity), medieval-20th century (NCR 20f, 25f-i, N/MC, N/CCH, N/ED 2)
  • John Kirkpatrick’s antiquarian notes, compiled early 18th century (NCR 21f)