City of London School Digital Archives

Guildhall Chapel
Milk Street School (Bunning)
Milk Street - Lord Mayor's Entrance
John Carpenter statue 1844
Prize giving 1844
Foundation stone for the Embankment school 1880
Masters 1887
Embankment school on completion 1882 (Davis & Emanuel)
Embankment front 1920s (Appleby)
Architect's sketch of the current CLS (Meddings)
CLS from the Millennium Bridge
Jubilee River Pageant

Welcome to the City of London School Digital Archive.

The City of London School’s records start with the 1442 bequest of John Carpenter to provide for the education of four boys attached to the Guildhall Chapel. This continued until the dissolution of chantries in 1547, after which the Carpenter bequest was used to support and educate boys at other City schools. By the early 19th century the income from the Carpenter estate greatly exceeded what was being spent. Attention was drawn to this by the newly established Charity Commissioners, and after lengthy debate an Act of Parliament (1834) enabled the Corporation of the City of London to absorb the Carpenter bequest and in return to establish and maintain for ever a school for the ‘religious and virtuous education of boys’. A School Committee of Aldermen and Common Councilmen was empowered to carry out the Act, and the school opened with 440 pupils in its purpose-built premises in Milk Street, Cheapside, in 1837.

The early records of the school are housed in the London Metropolitan Archives (, as are official Corporation records such as the minutes of the School Committee.

The City of London School archive houses material from 1834 onward, including a complete record of all who have attended the school. The Digital Archive currently holds searchable scanned copies of (i) all the City of London School Magazines (later called Chronicles), starting in 1864, (ii) all the Old Citizens Gazettes, starting in 1898 (these are the journals of the John Carpenter Club, the alumni association, founded 1851), and (iii) nearly all the Prize Lists starting in 1837. The early manuscript prize lists are not searchable, but the rest are. A few prize lists are missing – any information about these will be very welcome.

The material in the digital archive is all in the public domain, and may be accessed and reproduced free of charge. We hope you will enjoy using the archive. Please send any comments or further archive enquiries to

Please click here to start your investigation.