RECORDS OF BATH CITY COUNCIL AND BATH AND NORTH EAST SOMERSET COUNCIL

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1 BATH & NORTH EAST SOMERSET RECORD OFFICE Reference: BC RECORDS OF BATH CITY COUNCIL AND BATH AND NORTH EAST SOMERSET COUNCIL Covering dates: Extent: present c.1755 linear metres Creators: Bath Borough/City Council, Bath & North East Somerset Council, 1996 to date Level: Fonds Administrative history Bath is unique in Britain for its thermal spa waters and its Georgian townscape surrounded by green hills. Settlements have been built around the natural hot springs for thousands of years. In Roman times, 'Aquae Sulis' was a major spa town and religious centre. In the centuries after the end of the Roman occupation the city declined, but in the late seventh century Bath became an important Christian religious centre following the building of a monastery. By the middle ages, Bath had become a regional market town and a centre for the wool trade, with thriving guilds and tradesmen living alongside the powerful and wealthy abbey. Following the dissolution of the monasteries in the sixteenth century, the property owned by Bath Abbey was acquired by the corporation, increasing its power and property-ownership. During the late sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, as the wool trade declined, Bath began to develop as a spa, with royal and aristocratic visitors attracted by the health-giving reputation of the waters. By the early eighteenth century, the city had been transformed into a nationally-important resort for fashionable nobility and gentry. As fashion and tastes changed, a gradual decline followed, and by the nineteenth century Bath had become a genteel retirement and health resort, albeit with a significant manufacturing sector - until re-inventing itself in the late twentieth century as a vibrant tourist hot-spot. The Development of the City Council The origins of the City Council lie in the trade and merchant guilds who obtained a charter from Richard I in 1189, freeing them from tolls levied by the Crown and empowering them to hold fairs and markets. Later charters confirmed and extended these powers, and gave the right to administer

2 justice within the city; the charter granted by Elizabeth I in 1590 also set out in detail how the city was to be administered, confirming what was by that date current practice. The corporation was a self-selecting body of councillors, aldermen and a mayor: twenty councillors were chosen from the freemen of the city; in addition, the councillors chose between 4 and 20 (but usually about 9) aldermen as well as a mayor, who served for a year at a time, but could serve more than once. Bath was of course only one of several hundred boroughs created by royal charters. In the early nineteenth century, growing dissatisfaction with these chartered boroughs, many of which were seen as being corrupt and inefficient, led to a Royal Commission on Municipal Government and the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act in The Act brought a number of changes to the governance of boroughs, including Bath. The most important of these were the end to self-selecting corporations, to be replaced by councils elected by ratepayers, and the removal of judicial administration from their responsibilities. Further changes were introduced by the Local Government Act of This Act made substantial alterations to local government in England and Wales, creating county councils and county borough councils. The latter were usually large cities, and were outside the county structure, responsible for all services and functions within their boundaries. Bath ceased to be a municipal borough and became one of these new county boroughs, but the change, sometimes of major significance elsewhere, seems to have had very little impact within the city. Its functions remained more or less unchanged, and its title (by now, 'City of Bath') was not altered. The next change in the structure of local government, however, had a far greater impact on Bath. In 1974, following the local Government Act of 1972, Bath ceased to be a county borough, and became a second-tier authority, a District Council under Avon County Council. Some functions such as education and social services passed to Avon, while others, such as planning and public health remained with the city. The change was short-lived, however: another re-organisation of local government in 1996 saw Bath District Council united with the adjacent Wansdyke District Council to create Bath & North East Somerset Council. Once more an all-purpose, unitary authority, the Council is responsible for all local authority functions within its (now greatly-enlarged) area. Functions of the Council Despite centuries of continuity in some of the Council's functions, its powers and responsibilities have increased dramatically over time. The main focus of the medieval corporation was the maintenance of its rights and privileges and the furtherance of trade for its members, along with the acquisition and leasing of property, and the administration of justice. By the mid-sixteenth century, some civic amenities were provided, such as piped water to a small number of streets, and occasional street cleaning and repairs; but the modern concept of a council whose principal responsibility is providing for the health and well-being of its inhabitants would not have been recognised. During the

3 seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the provision of amenities such as paved streets, street lighting, and watching (policing) became more urgent, both for the convenience of the inhabitants and to serve the high class visitors. Not having the authority under their charters to do this work or to raise money to fund it, the corporation obtained private Acts of Parliament to enable them to carry out specific functions: Acts obtained in 1707, 1721 and 1739 gave them powers to set up a turnpike trust and to pave, clean and light city streets, and to arrange rubbish removal, for which they could charge a rate on householders. These Acts, and an Act of 1757 which sought to make parishes responsible for such services, had limited success, and the corporation turned to the solution adopted by other cities: the setting up of Commissions for specific purposes and covering specific, small areas. Such commissions were set up in Bath by Acts of Parliament in 1766, 1789, 1793 and Although the Corporation was represented on the Commissions, they were independent bodies. The Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 initially made little change to the functions of the council, which remained limited, and for the next decade and a half the Commissions continued to be responsible for what would now be seen as basic civic services. The Commissions finally came to end in 1851, when their functions were taken over by the Council under the Bath Act of Under this Act, the Council adopted the provisions of the Public Health Act of 1848 and became the Local Board of Health for the city; this gave it powers and responsibilities in relation to public health and sanitation, such as the provision of sewers, paving and cleaning of streets, and removal of rubbish. The 1851 Act repealed all the Acts relating to Commissions, and provided that all the assets of the Commissioners were to be passed to the Council. The Council appointed a committee (the '1851 Bath Act Committee') for executing the Act. This committee came to an end in 1871, when its responsibilities were passed to the Council meeting as the Urban Sanitary Authority (for policy decisions), and to the Sanitary and Surveying Committees of the Urban Sanitary Authority (for detailed work). During the second half of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries, the functions and responsibilities of the council - as of all city councils - expanded dramatically. Further public health responsibilities were added by the 1858,1872 and later Public Health Acts; the Education Act of 1902 transferred responsibility for education to the council; and responsibility for poor relief was transferred from the Board of Guardians in 1929, developing into a rather differently-focussed responsibility for social welfare in the late 1940s. Some responsibility for housing was given to the council in 1909, developing into a wider responsibility for town planning in the 1930s and particularly in the 1940s and 1950s. The council also developed municipal undertakings: it had provided a water supply to a limited part of the city since the sixteenth century, but from the mid-nineteenth century this was expanded to the whole city; and it generated and supplied electricity from the 1890s. From the second half of the twentieth century, the trend for the growth of powers and responsibilities began very gradually to be reversed. In the late

4 1940s, Bath City Council, like other local authorities, ceased to have responsibility for electricity and gas supplies; responsibility for water supply was lost in the 1970s. Towards the end of the twentieth century, significant changes took place which have left Bath and North East Somerset Council with, amongst other things, a very much reduced role in the provision of education and a totally transformed role in the provision of health and social services. The area covered by the Council The changes in structure, powers and responsibilities have been accompanied by equally dramatic changes over time in the area covered by the city. The medieval city was very small, bounded by the city walls. The 1590 Charter defined the city as a larger area, taking in land to the north-west, and a large part of the parish of Walcot, which lay outside the city walls. The 1769 local Act added a portion of Bathwick, near the river. The rest of Bathwick, along with the rest of Walcot (apart from a detached portion), and Lyncombe and Widcombe, were added to the city at the time of the Municipal Corporations Act in The 1911 Boundary Extension Act added what had been the separate villages of Twerton, Lower Weston and part of Charlcombe, while the 1951 Boundary Extension Act added further parts of Charlcombe, together with parts of Claverton, English Combe, Monkton Combe, South Stoke, and Weston. The 1967 Bath Order added the rest of Charlcombe, and parts of Batheaston, Monkton Combe and Swainswick. Bath & North East Somerset Council, the authority created in 1996, includes all the Bath City area, and extends to Keynsham in the West, and south to Midsomer Norton and Radstock, including numerous villages. This description has been compiled with reference to the following printed sources, as well as from internal evidence from the records themselves: Brian Barber, Municipal Corporations', 'Ad-Hoc Authorities' and 'Local Government ', units 7,9 and 10 of the module 'Records of Central and Local Government' in the Society of Archivists' Diploma Training Manual, London, 1996 Graham Davis and Penny Bonsall, Bath. A New History, Keele, 1996 Trevor Fawcett, Bath Administer'd, Bath, 2001 K B Smellie, A History of Local Government, London, 1968 S and B Webb, The Manor and the Borough, with a new introduction by B Keith-Lucas, London 1963 John Wroughton, Tudor Bath, Bath, 2006 The Records The records of the council, in all its guises, are large in quantity and complex in nature. The earliest record is the charter of 1189; property records date from the thirteenth century, financial records from the sixteenth, and minutes from the seventeenth century. The bulk of the records, however, date from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries, and are continuing to accrue. The records include the constitutional records of the council - the foundation documents such as charters and acts of parliament; minutes of the council

5 and its committees; and records created by its officers and employees, relating to all aspects of its work. System of arrangement Many of the records have been kept in the Guildhall since their creation, some for hundreds of years; others have been stored in other council buildings, and transferred to the Record Office at various dates. Unfortunately, over at least a hundred years, numerous attempts at re-ordering and classifying the records have been made, so that the original order of much of the material has been lost. While it is fascinating to find the evidence of work carried out many years ago, this re-ordering has made the complex task of arranging and cataloguing the records to current standards even more difficult than it might otherwise have been. Organisational change and restructuring, particularly in the later twentieth century, have added to the complexity of the task. Arrangement of the records has therefore been carried out taking a number of considerations into account: - the basic archival principal of provenance and original order, where this is identifiable (Who created these records? What order were they kept in?) - the function of the records (What purpose were the records created for? Has responsibility for this function changed between different departments at different dates?) - ease of use by potential researchers (While keeping in mind the different interests of different researchers) The result has been a pragmatic arrangement, sometimes bringing together artificially-created sub-fonds and series, because this provides the easiest method of access to researchers, while at other times keeping together seemingly disparate material because it was quite clearly created by one individual or department. The reasons for most of the arrangement decisions are given at the appropriate points in the detailed catalogue. Because inevitably records of relevance to the same subject may be found in a number of different places in the catalogue, substantial cross-referencing and information on related records is also included. The collection has been divided into 22 'sub-fonds', some based on the creator of the records, and some comprising records brought together on a functional or thematic basis. The sub-fonds are as follows: BC/1 Constitutional records: Charters, Acts of Parliament, and related records of Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council BC/2 Council and Committee Minutes and related records of Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council BC/3 Records of the Town Clerks, Chief Executives, and related departments of Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council BC/4 Records of Bath Municipal Courts BC/5 Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council Financial and Accounting Records

6 BC/6 Records relating to property owned or administered by Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council BC/7 Records relating to the responsibilities of Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council for infrastructure BC/8 Planning and Development Control records of Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council BC/9 Records of the Civic Functions of the Mayors of Bath BC/10 Records relating to Bath City markets BC/11 Records relating to Bath City gaol BC/12 Records relating to the work of Bath City Watch Committee BC/13 Bath as a Spa, Cultural and Tourist centre: records of Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council's responsibilities for culture, leisure and tourism BC/14 Records of the public health responsibilities of Bath City Council BC/15 Records of Bath Education Authority BC/16 Records relating to the responsibilities of Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council for parks, allotments and cemeteries BC/17 Records relating to the responsibilities of Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council for Public Assistance, Children's Services, and Social Services BC/18 Records relating to Bath City Council's responsibilities for civil defence BC/19 Records relating to Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council officers and employees BC/20 Records relating to Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council public relations and communications activities BC/21 Records of Bath City Freemen BC/22 Records of Bath [Improvement] Commissions Note that only some of these records have been catalogued in detail. Further detailed cataloguing is continuing. Please contact the Record Office for more information. Access conditions Most of the collection is open, but access to some items is restricted in accordance with the Data Protection Act Note Cataloguing of the records was funded by a grant from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives awarded in The archivists carrying out the cataloguing were assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers, who are credited individually in the detailed catalogue.

7 Reference: BC/1 Constitutional records of Bath City Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council: Charters, Acts of Parliament, and related records Covering dates: Extent: Level: 1189-c.1996 c.13 linear metres Sub-fonds Description The records in this sub-fonds are the documents which give the Corporation or Council specific powers, rights and responsibilities and define the area within which these powers and responsibilities are to be exercised. Without these documents, the authority would not exist. Administrative History From 1189 until 1835, the borough of Bath existed by virtue of a series of charters granted and confirmed by the Crown. These charters gave citizens certain rights and privileges, exempted them from certain tolls and obligations, and allowed them to hold courts and administer justice. The charter of 1590 set out in detail how the city was to be administered by the corporation, although it formalised existing practice rather than establishing new systems. The main focus of the charters was on giving the tradesmen and merchants of the borough the power and privileges which would enable them to carry on their businesses as profitably as possible. At this period, there was no concept of a borough as responsible for the general well-being of its inhabitants. The Municipal Corporations Act abolished boroughs founded by royal charters, replacing them with boroughs established by authority of the Act. The Act set out the rights and responsibilities of the new municipal boroughs, and provided for a more democratic method of election of councillors, who were to be elected by all ratepayers. Subsequent Acts of Parliament substantially revised and extended the 1835 Act, giving the council an enormous range of responsibilities touching on all aspects of the lives of the local inhabitants. Some of these Acts were general, applying to all boroughs (such as the Local Government Act of 1888), while others, such as the Bath Act of 1925, were specific to Bath. The area covered by the council expanded enormously over the nine centuries covered by the records. The area was defined in some of the Charters, and then in the Bath-specific Acts; new Acts were required to alter the boundaries.

8 System of arrangement The records in this sub-fonds are arranged as follows: BC/1/1 Bath City charters, BC/1/2 BC/1/3 Acts of Parliament: national Acts affecting Bath, local Acts and Orders promoted by the Council, and local Bath Acts relating indirectly to the Council, 1835-c.1974 Papers relating to Acts of Parliament (including papers relating to the Municipal Corporations Act, Bath Acts of 1925 and 1937, boundary changes, 1911 and 1950, and local government reorganisations of 1970s and 1990s) The records have not yet been catalogued in detail; cataloguing is continuing. Please contact the Record Office for more information. Access Conditions No restrictions on access. Note Cataloguing of the records was funded by a grant from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives awarded in The archivists carrying out the cataloguing were assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers, who are credited individually in the detailed catalogue.

9 Reference: BC/2 Records of Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council: Council and Committee minutes and related records Covering dates: Extent: Level: present c.170 linear metres Sub-fonds Description and Administrative History The Council minutes and related records form the official record of the actions and transactions of the Council, and show how the Council was carrying out its responsibilities. They include minutes of meetings of the full council and of committees, both signed and printed; agendas and summons for meetings; and accounts presented to the council and committees for approval. They also include records relating directly to Council members (councillors and aldermen) such as declarations of acceptance of office, and declarations of interest, and the papers of individual councillors. The minutes fall into three sections: 1. Minutes of Bath City Council Bath was a chartered borough up to 1835, a municipal borough , and a county borough These changes reflect changes to the structure of local government, but they had little effect at a practical level; on the contrary, there is evidence of an enormous amount of continuity in the conduct of the council over this period. The transition from chartered borough with a corporation to a municipal borough under an elected council appears to have been seamless. The first meeting of the new council took place on 31 December 1835, with the minutes written up in the same volume as the last meeting of the old council, which took place on 24 December. The minutes are headed 'meeting in pursuance of an Act for the Regulation of Municipal Corporations'; and the councillors are listed against the names of the wards for which they were elected, but the business dealt with by the council remained completely unchanged. The change to county borough status seems to have taken place with no formality and indeed to have passed almost completely unnoticed. Not only do the minutes of the council and its committees continue in the same volumes, the first meeting of what was technically now the county borough, which took place on 2 April 1889 (the Local Government Act came into force on 1 April 1889) makes no mention whatsoever of the change. For these reasons, the minutes for the whole of the period are dealt with as a whole. 2. Bath City Council,

10 In 1974, local government reorganisation brought a major change to Bath City Council. Although its name stayed the same, the Council became a District Council, a second-tier authority, under the County of Avon, with reduced functions and responsibilities. The minutes for this period form a separate entity. 3. Bath & North East Somerset Council, from 1996: Reorganisation in 1996 produced another major change, as the County of Avon was abolished and Bath joined with the neighbouring Wansdyke District Council to form Bath and North East Somerset Council. This is a unitary authority, responsible for all services, covering Bath and the surrounding area. Again, the minutes from 1996 form a separate entity. System of Arrangement While it is possible to divide the minutes themselves into the three different Council entities, some of the related records (for example, declarations of councillors and books of precedents) relate to the Council across two different time periods. These have therefore been catalogued separately. The records are arranged as follows: BC/2/1 Minutes and related records of Bath Borough/City Council (up to 1974) BC/2/2 Minutes and related records of Bath City Council (Bath as a District Council, ) BC/2/3 Minutes and related records, Bath & North East Somerset Council (from 1996, continuing to accrue) BC/2/4 Notices of Motion, Record of Precedents, Bath City Council (up to 1974) and Bath City Council ( ) BC/2/5 Records relating to members of the Council (e.g. Declarations of Acceptance of Office) BC/2/6 Papers of individual councillors The records in this sub-fonds have not yet been catalogued in detail. Cataloguing is continuing; please contact the Record office for more information. Access Conditions Most of the collection is open, but access to a small number of items is restricted in accordance with the Data Protection Act Note Cataloguing of the records was funded by a grant from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives awarded in The archivists carrying out the cataloguing were assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers, who are credited individually in the detailed catalogue.

11 Reference: BC/3 Records of the Town Clerks, Chief Executives, and related departments of Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council Covering dates: Extent: Level: c.1570-c.2005 c.185 linear metres Sub-fonds Administrative History The town clerk was the most important officer of the council. Until the midnineteenth century he was elected by the councillors: a local lawyer, he was paid only a small honorarium, and continued his private practice alongside his work for the council. He did however claim fees for specific work, which enabled him to appoint a paid deputy and office clerks to carry out the wide range of duties required by the role: he was the official solicitor to the council, attended meetings of the council and of quarter and petty sessions, witnessed oath-taking, kept records, assisted the mayor sitting as coroner, and made journeys on council business, as well as a range of other duties. The Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 provided that a salaried town clerk had to be appointed, ending the practice of fee-based payments, and also increased the responsibilities of the clerk. As the functions and responsibilities of the Council increased from the mid-nineteenth century, so the role of the clerk expanded, and more staff were employed in what became a 'clerk's department' to carry out the work. In the twentieth century, the prominence of the town clerk within the Council declined gradually, as the numbers of administrative staff increased and other officials were appointed to head departments which became semi-independent, with budgets agreed directly with the treasurer. The title 'Town Clerk' was superseded by 'Town Clerk and Chief Executive Officer' in 1967 and by 'Chief Executive' in This description has been compiled with reference to the following printed sources, as well as from internal evidence from the records themselves: Trevor Fawcett, Bath Administer'd, Bath, 2001 K B Smellie, A History of Local Government, London, 1968 Content of the the Records Since the town clerk dealt with an extremely wide range of matters, the records in this sub-fonds are extensive and diverse. They include legal documents such as sealed orders, contracts and agreements; the papers of individual town clerks and chief executives; series of letter-books; legal cases in which the Council was involved; records relating to the clerk's regulatory duties; records relating to elections; and maps and plans held by the town

12 clerk for reference purposes. However, some of the records which were created by or which were ultimately the responsibility of the town clerk have not been included in this sub-fonds. This has been done for a number of reasons: for major series, such as Council minutes, because it was felt more appropriate to separate them into a distinct sub-fonds; for certain series, because it was felt that it would be easier for potential users - for example some civil defence records created by the clerk, which have been catalogued with other civil defence records in sub-fonds 19; because responsibility for a particular function later passed to a different officer or department - for example leases and other property records, originally drawn up and kept by the clerk, but later dealt with by a separate department which are catalogued in sub-fonds 6 (records relating to property owned or administered by the Council). System of arrangement The records are arranged as follows: BC/3/1 Byelaws, sealing registers, sealed orders, contracts, agreements and related registers, matrixes BC/3/2 Papers of early Town Clerks (up to about 1835). Early town clerks made no distinction between the records created in the course of their work for the council, and those created by their own legal practice. The records we hold reflect this, and include both council and private-practice material. BC/3/3 Papers of nineteenth and twentieth century town clerks and chief executives (personal and departmental). Includes Town Clerks' papers on special subjects, papers relating to city records, Policy Committee filing 1870s-1980s. BC/3/4 Clerks' letter books BC/3/5 Legal cases BC/3/6 Town Clerk's regulatory duties - registration / licensing. BC/3/7 Elections BC/3/8 Town Clerk's map collection The records in this sub-fonds have not yet been catalogued in detail, and cataloguing is continuing. Please contact the Record office for more information. Access Conditions Most of the records are open, but access to some items may be restricted in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988 Note Cataloguing of the records was funded by a grant from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives awarded in The archivists carrying out the cataloguing were assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers, who are credited individually in the detailed catalogue.

13 Bath City Council: Records of Bath Municipal Courts Reference: BC/4 Covering dates: Extent: Level: c.1767-c.1855 c. 2 linear metres Sub-fonds Administrative History Bath Corporation, like other chartered boroughs, had important judicial functions until the Municipal Corporations Act of Two courts, the Court of Request and the Court of Record, dealt with the recovery of debts; the Assize of Bread set the price of bread according to the price of wheat; and the Coroners' court, at which the mayor was coroner ex officio, inquired into cases of sudden death. System of Arrangement BC/4/1 Records of the Coroner's Court BC/4/2 Records of the Court of Record BC/4/3 Records of the Court of Requests BC/4/4 Records of the Assize of Bread Some of the records in this sub-fonds have not yet been catalogued in detail. Cataloguing is continuing. Please contact the Record Office for more information. Related Records The records of the Court of Quarter Sessions have been catalogued separately from the Bath City records. Quarter Sessions was a municipal court, responsible for trying misdemeanours (minor crimes), until the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 which ended the automatic right of corporations to hold their own courts of Quarter Sessions. Bath Borough Council successfully applied to hold its own Quarter Sessions courts, which could now try more serious cases, but with magistrates appointed by the Crown instead of by the Council. The 1888 Local Government Act completely separated judicial and local government functions, and Bath City Council was no longer responsible for Quarter Sessions. The records we hold are a continuous series from 1672 to 1971 and it was therefore decided to catalogue them as one series, separate from Bath City records, in spite of the fact that the pre-1835 records are very closely linked to the City records. The reference for these records is QS.

14 Access Conditions All of the records are open. Note Cataloguing of the records was funded by a grant from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives awarded in The archivists carrying out the cataloguing were assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers, who are credited individually in the detailed catalogue.

15 BC/4/1 Bath City Coroners' Inquests Until 1835, the Mayor was also Coroner ex officio. He or his deputy presided at inquests, with a jury. The volumes of inquests include details of each inquest, with statements of witnesses, names of jurors, and their verdict. 4 volumes Related records: Apart from a small number of lists of inquests for the period , found in Quarter Sessions register QS/2/3/5, no records of inquests are held for the period As far as we are aware these records have not survived. However, newspaper reports of inquests at this period can be very detailed. We also hold a limited amount of coroners records from 1900 but these are not yet catalogued, and access to these records may be restricted under the Data Protection Act, BC/4/1/1 BC/4/1/2 BC/4/1/3 BC/4/1/4 Bath City Coroners' Inquests 1 vol Bath City Coroners' Inquests Includes index 1 vol Bath City Coroners' Inquests Includes index 1 vol Bath City Coroners' Inquests Includes index 1 vol 16 Dec Jun Jun Jun Dec Nov Dec Dec 1835 BC/4/2 Records of Bath Court of Record The Court of Record dealt with the recovery of debts of 2 or more. These records have not yet been catalogued in detail. Cataloguing is

16 continuing; please contact the Record Office for more information. 9 vols. and 3 boxes BC/4/3 Records of Bath Court of Requests The Court of Requests, established in 1766, dealt with the recovery of debts under 2. These records have not yet been catalogued in detail. Cataloguing is continuing; please contact the Record Office for more information. 1 vol BC/4/4 Records of Bath Assize of Bread The 1590 charter gave the Mayor the right to hold an Assize of Bread as and when it was necessary. Although in Bath the price of each type of loaf remained constant, the Assize of Bread enabled the mayor to adjust its weight according to the prevailing price of wheat in local markets. The revised authorised weight of each type of bread was announced to the bakers and spot checks were undertaken. These records have not yet been catalogued in detail. Cataloguing is continuing; please contact the Record Office for more information. 1 vol. and 3 bundles 1767-c.1810

17 Reference: BC/5 Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council: financial and accounting records Covering dates: Extent: Level: 1598-c.2000 c. 120 linear metres Sub-fonds Description: The records in this sub-fonds record the financial transactions of the Council over five centuries. Administrative History The early records were created by the Chamberlain, who was the chief financial officer of the Corporation; he received monies due from rents, rates and property renewals, and handled loans, bequests, interest charges, bills, salaries, and freedom fees (payments made by individuals to buy the privileged status of freeman of the city). Until 1794, the Chamberlain was elected from among the Councillors, and the post was unpaid. After this date, a salaried chamberlain was appointed, from outside the Council; the post, like that of the clerk at this time, was part-time. The term 'Treasurer' was used instead of Chamberlain from 1835, when the Municipal Corporations Act required councils to appoint a salaried treasurer. The responsibilities of the treasurer increased substantially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as the functions of the Council grew. Content of the the Records The records include: Accounting records (account rolls, records of receipts and payments, cash books, journals and ledgers) of the Chamberlains and Treasurers, from 1598 to the late twentieth century rating records from 1766 valuation records from about 1930 filing of the Treasurers' department, twentieth century investments and mortgages (both mortgages loaned and mortgages taken out by the Council), nineteenth and twentieth centuries Note that annual Abstracts of Accounts and monthly or quarterly lists of payments made, which were presented by the treasurer to the Council and/or Committees, are catalogued with the Council and Committee minutes in subfonds BC/2. Similarly, records of salaries paid, although technically

18 treasurers' records, are catalogued with personnel records in sub-fonds BC/20. The records are not yet catalogued in detail. Cataloguing is continuing; please contact the Record Office for more information. Access Conditions Most of the records are open, but access to some items may be restricted in accordance with the Data Protection Act Note Cataloguing of the records was funded by a grant from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives awarded in The archivists carrying out the cataloguing were assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers, who are credited individually in the detailed catalogue.

19 Reference: BC/6 Records of Bath City Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council relating to property owned or administered by the Council Covering dates: Extent: Level: Thirteenth to twenty-first centuries c.254 linear metres Sub-fonds Administrative History Bath City Council has been the major owner of property in the city for many centuries. The records in this sub-fonds relate to the acquisition, ownership and management of this property by the Council, although a small number of the earliest records relate to the property of individuals who lodged their records with the Council for safe-keeping. The records include excellent collections of surveys, deeds, rentals, plans and correspondence relating to about 80% of the property within the city walls as well as some outside the walls and further afield. Bath Corporation deliberately developed a property portfolio from a very early date and by 1600 it held property in its own right and as a charity trustee. Over the next four centuries it consolidated and expanded its property holdings, and remains a major property owner today. From the 1279 Statute of Mortmain until powers were granted to it in the 1590 Charter of Elizabeth I, the Corporation was prevented from purchasing property itself. However, it was able to lease many properties from the city's priory, affording it control over their sub-letting and development. It retained these holdings after the Reformation, leasing them from the Crown estate. Despite the limitations on its ownership of property, the Council put great effort into finding ways to hold and control city property during the 16th century, up to and beyond what was legal. For example, it arranged for property to be purchased by two men (William Sherston and John Sachfield) who were in reality buying it not as private individuals but on behalf of the Council. By the end of the 16th century the Council was responsible for about four-fifths of the property in Bath, including the hot baths, either as the owner of the freehold or as a charity trustee, for example of King Edward's School. In its role as trustee of the lands owned by St John's Hospital, the corporation controlled much of the coal mining operation in Timsbury, Littleton, Paulton and Hallatrow. Over the succeeding centuries, the pace of development of the corporation's property portfolio was uneven. At times the Corporation adopted a passive approach, as in the first half of the eighteenth century, when it resisted development within the city walls; at other times it was active in developing

20 the property it owned. In the second half of the eighteenth century, for example, the North and South gates of the city were demolished, residential houses were developed at Bladud's Buildings, the new Guildhall was built, and modernisation of the decayed city centre began. The Corporation also released parcels of land for development immediately outside the city. From the mid nineteenth century, legislation allowed the Council to raise loans and buy property for a range of civic purposes, and - from late nineteenth century - the power to compulsorily purchase property and build houses for the working classes. The Art Gallery and Reference Library were built in 1897; at the same time the Council began to take more active responsibility for the housing of its inhabitants, becoming a pioneer in the provision of council housing. The Dolemeads area was one of the first to be redeveloped, together with Avon Street and Lampards buildings. The interwar period of the twentieth-century saw the Council building major housing developments. Towards the end of the century it created fewer of its own developments, instead selling or leasing property to the commercial sector, or, as was the case with the creation of the new Thermae Bath Spa, it worked in partnership with the private sector. At the same time, almost all the council housing estate was transferred either to private ownership or to housing associations. This description has been compiled using the following sources: Graham Davis and Penny Bonsall, A History of Bath - Image and Reality, Lancaster, 2006 Trevor Fawcett, Bath Administer'd, Bath, 2001 R S Neale, Bath, A Social History, , London, 1981 John Wroughton, Stuart Bath, Bath, 2004 John Wroughton, Tudor Bath, Bath, 2006 Content of the the Records The records in the sub-fonds form a very significant collection. There are static snapshots of the Council's entire holdings in the form of surveys, dating from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Lease registers provide detailed records of the arrangements it made with its lessees as a landlord, whilst rentals record the money paid to the council in rent. Title deeds, mainly eighteenth to twentieth centuries but with some from earlier centuries, record the Council's acquisition and disposal of land, from short-term to permanent. There are many plans, which were often created as appendices to leases, to define accurately the property conveyed by the lease. In the twentieth century, more detailed records of the management of individual properties began to be created, with one of more files per property recording transactions with lessees and the management of the fabric of properties. System of arrangement The records in this sub-fonds are arranged as follows:

21 BC/6/1 BC/6/2 BC/6/3 BC/6/4 BC/6/5 BC/6/6 BC/6/7 BC/6/8 BC/6/9 BC/6/10 Surveys, terriers and lease registers of property owned or administered by Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council Title deeds to properties owned by Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council, to the properties of charities administered by them, and to some other properties in Bath Bath City Council claims to the Central Land Board for loss in the value of property due to the local land development plan, w ith responses from the Central Land Board Drawings and plans of property owned by Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council Rentals (records of rent paid) of property owned by Bath City Council Files relating to the management of property owned by Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council Records relating to the maintenance of property owned by Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council Files relating to the management and maintenance of former Avon County Council property owned by Bath & North East Somerset Council Miscellaneous records relating to property owned by Bath City Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council Records relating to the maintenance and management of Council Housing owned by Bath City Council The records in this sub-fonds have not yet been catalogued in detail, and cataloguing is continuing. Please contact the Record office for more information. Related Records Important information on the Council's property can also be found in other sub-fonds. BC/8 contains Planning and Development Control records, which will, in particular, have information on major projects. BC/2 contains Council and Committee Minutes and related records of Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council, including the Corporate Property and Planning Committees. Access Conditions Most of the records are open, but access to some items may be restricted in accordance with the Data Protection Act Note Cataloguing of the records was funded by a grant from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives awarded in The archivists carrying out the cataloguing were assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers, who are credited individually in the detailed catalogue.

22 BC/6/1 Surveys, terriers and lease registers of property owned or administered by Bath City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council These records were created as part of the administrative systems of the Council, to provide a complete overview of the property owned or administered by the Council. The records are arranged as follows: BC/6/1/1 Surveys of property owned by the Council BC/6/1/2 Lease registers BC/6/1/3 Records of the acquisition of property by the Council under various powers BC/6/1/4 Schedule of council houses BC/6/1/5 Register of easements - record of additional rights granted to lessees. BC/6/1/6 Terriers and terrier indexes Only series BC/6/1/1 has been catalogued in detail. Cataloguing is continuing; please contact the Record office for more information c.2000 BC/6/1/1 BC/6/1/1/1 BC/6/1/1/2 Surveys of property owned or administered by the council Written 'snapshots' of the Council's property portfolio at various dates, including names of lessees, location of property, amount of rent, period of lease and lease conditions. 12 volumes Survey of council-owned property Volume entitled, ''Survey book No. 11 taken in 1641'' - no earlier surveys have survived. Includes name of lessee, location of property, amount of rent, period of lease and lease conditoins. With later amendments. 1 large volume Survey of council-owned property ''Survey Book. A note of counterpart leases granted by this Corporation and now in being this 18th day of February Anno Dom[ini] 1685''. Includes: names of lessees; location of property; amount of rent; period s /6

23 BC/6/1/1/3 BC/6/1/1/4 BC/6/1/1/5 BC/6/1/1/6 BC/6/1/1/7 of lease. With later amendments. 1 volume Survey of council-owned property Printed ''Schedule of the property of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of Bath''. Includes: the date of the lease; the name of the original lessee; name of the persons who hold the premises or pay the rates; the name of the premises; the rent; the term of the lease with the names and ages of the lives if applicable. 1 volume Survey of council-owned property Printed ''Schedule of the property of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of Bath''. Includes: the date of the lease; the name of the original lessee; name of the persons who hold the premises or pay the rates; the name of the premises; the rent; the term of the lease with the names and ages of the lives if applicable. 1 volume Survey of council-owned property Printed ''Schedule of the property of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of Bath''. Includes: the date of the lease; the name of the original lessee; name of the persons who hold the premises or pay the rents; the name of the premises; the rent; the term of the lease with the names and ages of the lives if applicable. 1 volume Survey of council-owned property Printed ''Schedule of the property of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of Bath''. Includes: the date of the lease; the name of the original lessee; name of the persons who hold the premises or pay the rents; the name of the premises; the rent; the term of the lease with the names and ages of the lives if applicable. 1 volume Survey of council-owned property Printed ''Schedule of the property of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of Bath''

24 BC/6/1/1/8 BC/6/1/1/9 BC/6/1/1/10 BC/6/1/1/11 Includes: the date of the lease; the name of the original lessee; name of the persons who hold the premises or pay the rents; the name of the premises; the rent; the term of the lease with the names and ages of the lives if applicable. 1 volume Survey of council-owned property Printed ''Schedule of the property of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of Bath''. Includes: the date of the lease; the name of the original lessee; name of the persons who hold the premises or pay the rents; the name of the premises; the rent; the term of the lease with the names and ages of the lives if applicable. 1 volume Survey of council-owned property Includes: the date of the lease; the name of the original lessee; name of the persons who hold the premises or pay the rents; the name of the premises; the rent; the term of the lease with the names and ages of the lives if applicable; covenants. With later amendments. 1 volume Survey of council-owned property ''Ancient Property administered by the corporate property committee and let for various terms''. Printed with extensive manuscript additions. Includes: the date of the lease; the name of the original lessee; the name of the persons who hold the premises or pay the rents; the name of the premises; the rent; the term of the lease with the names and ages of the lives if applicable; covenants; remarks. 1 large volume Survey of council-owned property ''Ancient Property administered by the corporate property committee and let for various terms''. Printed with extensive manuscript additions. Includes: the date of the lease; the name of the original lessee; the name of the persons who hold the premises or pay the rents; the name of the s-1960s 1940s-1960s

25 BC/6/1/1/12 premises; the rent; the term of the lease with the names and ages of the lives if applicable; covenants; remarks. 1 large volume Survey of properties belonging to St John's Hospital Description of property; name of the original lessees, names of the persons who hold the premises or pay the rents, the names and ages of the lives, or term of lease, rent, covenants, insurance details. 1 volume

26 BC/6/3 Bath City Council claims to the Central Land Board for loss in the value of property due to the local land development plan. Complete with responses from the Central Land Board The 1947 Town and Country Planning Act required planning authorities to undertake a survey and devise a local development plan to include industrial sites, residential areas, public services and transport. Land owners lost their automatic right to develop, and now had to apply for permission.. If an application was successful, land owners would pay a development charge equal to the resulting increase in property value. If landowners lost development rights, they would be compensated, and a fund of 300 million was created by the Act to pay this compensation. A newly-established Central Land Board assessed development charges and compensation, although it is not clear that any substantial amount of compensation was ever paid out. Arrangements for the payment of compensation were changed by the 1953 Town and Country Planning Act and the Central Land Board ceased to exist in The Council itself owned a substantial amount of property, and put in claims to the Central Land Board for loss of value on some of this property. These forms record the claims: they include the square footage of the property, the length and date of the lease, if any, the outcome of the claim, the rent paid, the names of the lessees and the use of the property on 11 July The forms are arranged alphabetically by address of property. Catalogued by Patsy Monard, Angela Trenchard and Roz Jones, archival volunteers, as part of the 'Bath, Water and World Heritage: the city records from the 12th to the 21st centuries' project, 2015, funded by the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives

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