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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): MDR
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives - click here to see details of the physical location of collection
Date(s): 1709-1938
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1022.1 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Middlesex Deeds Registry


Administrative/Biographical history:

By an Act of Parliament of 1708 a registry was established for the registration of all deeds, conveyances, wills, encumbrances and so on affecting freehold land and land held by a lease for over 21 years within in the ancient County of Middlesex. The City of London was not included.

In 1862 a national land registry was established on a voluntary basis. Any land registered there was exempt from registration in the local registry. Only a few Middlesex registrations took place there (approximately 200 - 300 titles).

The Local Government Act of 1888 transferred parts of Middlesex into the new County of London. Those areas which became part of London included Hammersmith, Chelsea, Kensington, Paddington, Fulham, Saint Marylebone, Saint Pancras, Westminster, Islington, Hackney, Bow, Bromley, Poplar, Mile End, Bethnal Green and Shoreditch. In 1899 compulsory registration in the national Land Registry was introduced in those parts of the new County of London which were formerly in Middlesex. This considerably reduced the number of registrations made in the Middlesex registry but some deeds, mainly mortgages and leases for little more than 21 years, for land in that part of the County of London continued to be registered there.

In the remaining part of Middlesex, including Twickenham, Sunbury-on-Thames, Staines, Feltham, Heston, Isleworth, Brentford, Chiswick, Yiewsley, West Drayton, Hayes, Harlington, Southall, Acton, Ealing, Uxbridge, Ruislip, Northwood, Harrow, Wembley, Willesden, Hendon, Finchley, Hornsey, Wood Green, Tottenham, Edmonton, Southgate, Friern Barnet, Enfield and Potters Bar, registration at the local registry continued normally until 1 January 1937 when registration of all Middlesex land transactions at the national Land Registry was made compulsory. The last deed was registered in the Middlesex registry on 31 December 1938.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Middlesex Deeds Registry, 1709-1938. Deeds and documents brought into the Registry for registration were initially copied onto pieces of parchment called memorials, and then into large volumes or registers. The registers exist for 1709-1938. Information held in the memorials and registers includes the date of the transaction, the names of the parties and a description of the property. Plans were frequently included in the entries and from 1892 a separate series of plan tracings of larger map and plans was made.

The indexes cover 1709-1919, and consist of large volumes with entries arranged under the surname of the vendor or first party in alpha-chronological order. Against each entry is a note of the other parties and the location of the property. Indexes for 1920-1938 take the form of an alphabetised card index to the names of the vendors or first parties. Information is given on the location of the property, varying in detail from a parish to a street name and number.

The indexes 1709-1919 and registers of memorials have been microfilmed.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

MDR: Registers of Memorials; MDR/MB: Memorials; MDR/IR: Indexes to Registers; MDR/IND: Post 1919 Indexes; MDR/TR: Registers of Tracings; MDR/SUP: Supplementary Plans; MDR/TOP/IND: Topographical Indexes.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired with the records of other Middlesex local administration bodies, such as Middlesex County Council.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Papers of John Ansell, Chief Clerk of the Middlesex Deeds Registry, 1889-1921, including a report on the operation of the Registry in 1891 (reference F/ANS).

Publication note:

London Metropolitan Archives Information Leaflet Number 7 discusses the Middlesex Deeds Registry and explains how to search the Registry (available online at

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
April to June 2009

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