Keyword Search

The boxes below allow you to search the whole of the London Lives website for any text string or phrase (including names and other tagged information). You can also construct more complex phrase searches using Boolean operators, and limit your search to individual archives and document types, and by date. For searches on names, go to the Person Name Search page.

Keyword Help

Keyword Search Help

An old-fashioned pair of glasses, over the word London

Each word included on the London Lives website has been separately indexed, and the Keyword Search function allows you to query this index to locate specific words and phrases. Keyword searching works best for whole words precisely rendered. Searching on vagrant will produce a large number of texts in which the single word vagrant appears. This type of search is not case sensitive, and the search terms can be entered in lower or upper case, or both.

In order to speed up searches all one and two letter words have been excluded from the index, as have some common three letters words. These stopwords include:

and, any, are, but, can, did, etc, far, few, for, get, got, had, has, her, him, his, how, inc, its, let, ltd, may, nor, not, one, our, out, own, per, saw, say, see, she, sub, sup, the, too, try, two, use, via, viz, was, way, who, why, yes, yet, you

Multiple Keywords

Entering more than one word in the keyword search box will result in a search for any of the words specified. Entering Mooregate Moorgate Moregate, will result in a combined search on all three spelling variants. In this context it is important to note that hyphens are treated as spaces. A search for coffee-house will produce the same results as a search for coffee and house, and will locate all text in which either word, coffee or house, can be found. This search will not, however, locate the single word coffeehouse. To find all instances of the words coffee and house next to one another (with or without a hyphen), place the term coffee house within double quotation marks (").

By including a plus sign (+) before each word being searched you can restrict your search to texts in which ALL words in the query are present. So, +coffee +house will produce texts in which both coffee and house appear.

A query phrase such as +coffee newspaper argument will return texts in which coffee is present, together with either newspaper or argument (or both).

A minus sign (-) can also be used to specify words to be specifically excluded from the search. +coffee +house -newspaper will return texts in which coffee and house are both present, but will exclude all texts in which the word newspaper appears.

Keyword Phrases

Multi-word phrases can be located by enclosing the constituent words in double quotation marks ("). "blue coat" will return entries where the phrase blue coat is used. More complex phrases such as "Care to secure the Navell String" can also be located in this way. Hyphens are treated as spaces, so results for searches on phrases such as "tea pot" will contain the expression tea-pot, but not teapot. Two letter and stop words can be used in this mode.

Plus + and Minus - signs can be used in combination with keyword phrases. A search on "St Giles" -Cripplegate, will produce results in which the phrase St Giles, as in St Giles in the Fields, appears, but in which the word Cripplegate does not. This is particularly useful for eliminating irrelevant results.

Wild Card

A limited Wild Card function can be applied by using an asterisk (*). The asterisk stands for zero or more letters and can only be used at the end of a word. Mcla* will return entries including McLaren and McLachlan etc.


Search in Help

Search In Document Type

An old-fashioned pair of glasses, over the word London

This allows you to specify which Document Type you wish to search. By narrowing your search in this way, you can significantly increase the relevance of the results. The default setting is Any. This will allow you to search the full text of every document and dataset included in the London Lives site.

Document Types

The following choices are available. Follow the two letter code link to the right for a detailed description of each Document Type or Additional Dataset. The parish records are listed first, followed by criminal records, Coroners' Inquests, and documents from the Carpenter's Company and St Thomas's Hospital. The Additional Datasets are listed last.

  • St Botolph Aldgate > Account Books (AC)
  • St Botolph Aldgate > Apprenticeship Records (IA)
  • St Botolph Aldgate > Lists of Paupers (LP)
  • St Botolph Aldgate > Miscellaneous Account Books (AO)
  • St Botolph Aldgate > Misc. Parish Minute Books (MO)
  • St Botolph Aldgate > Pauper Examinations (EP)
  • St Botolph Aldgate > Payments to Paupers (AP)
  • St Botolph Aldgate > Registers of Pauper Apprentices (RA)
  • St Botolph Aldgate > Registers of Poor Children (RC)
  • St Botolph Aldgate > Vestry Minutes (MV)
  • St Botolph Aldgate > Workhouse Admissions Registers (RW)
  • St Clement Danes > Clothing and Nursing Books (BN)
  • St Clement Danes > Clothing Books (BC)
  • St Clement Danes > Enfield Books (BE)
  • St Clement Danes > Lists of Paupers (LP)
  • St Clement Danes > Lists of Persons in the Workhouse (LW)
  • St Clement Danes > Miscellaneous Account Books (AO)
  • St Clement Danes > Miscellaneous Papers (PM)
  • St Clement Danes > Misc. Parish Minute Books (MO)
  • St Clement Danes > Overseers Orders Book (OO)
  • St Clement Danes > Parish Apprenticeship Records (PA)
  • St Clement Danes > Pauper Examinations (EP)
  • St Clement Danes > Pauper Removal Orders (RV)
  • St Clement Danes > Payments to Paupers (AP)
  • St Clement Danes > Registers of Bastard Children (RR)
  • St Clement Danes > Registers of Exams (RD)
  • St Clement Danes > Registers of Poor Children (RC)
  • St Clement Danes > Registers of the Poor (RP)
  • St Clement Danes > Vestry Minutes (MV)
  • St Dionis Backchurch > Account Books (AC)
  • St Dionis Backchurch > Bastardy Bonds (WB)
  • St Dionis Backchurch > Churchwardens' Voucher/Receipts (PP)
  • St Dionis Backchurch > Clothing Books (BC)
  • St Dionis Backchurch > Letters Seeking Pauper Relief (PR)
  • St Dionis Backchurch > Miscellaneous Papers (PM)
  • St Dionis Backchurch > Miscellaneous Parish Minute Books (MO)
  • St Dionis Backchurch > Register of Poor Infants (RI)
  • St Dionis Backchurch > Vestry Minutes (MV)
  • St Dionis Backchurch > Workhouse Inquest Minute Books (IW)
  • Bridewell Royal Hospital > Apprentice Records (IA)
  • Bridewell Royal Hospital > Prison Committee Minute Books (MB)
  • Bridewell Royal Hospital > Minutes of the Court of Governors (MG)
  • Bridewell Royal Hospital > Miscellaneous Papers (PM)
  • Bridewell Royal Hospital > Registers of Pauper Apprentices (RA)
  • Home Office > Criminal Registers (CR)
  • Old Bailey Proceedings > Accounts of Criminal Trials (OBP)
  • Old Bailey Sessions > Sessions Papers (PS)
  • Ordinary's Accounts > Biographies of Executed Convicts (OA)
  • City of London Sessions > Sessions Papers (PS)
  • Middlesex Sessions > Orders of the Court (GO)
  • Middlesex Sessions > Sessions Papers (PS)
  • Westminster Sessions > Sessions Papers (PS)
  • City of London Coroners > Coroners' Inquests (IC)
  • Middlesex Coroners > Coroners' Inquests (IC)
  • City of Westminster Coroners > Coroners' Inquests (IC)
  • Carpenters' Company > Court/Committee Minute Books (MC)
  • St Thomas's Hospital > Court/Committee Minute Books (MC)
  • St Thomas's Hospital > Hospital Admissions Registers (RH)
  • St Thomas's Hospital > Lists of Governor Takers-In (LT)
  • St Thomas's Hospital > Minutes of the Court of Governors (MG)
  • St Thomas's Hospital > Out Letter Books (LB)
  • Additional Datasets > 4 Shillings in the £ Tax, 1693-94 (FSP)
  • Additional Datasets > Aldgate Marriage Duty Tax, 1695 (MDA)
  • Additional Datasets > Aldgate Parish Registers, 1681-1709 (PAR)
  • Additional Datasets > Aldgate Poll Tax, 1690-98 (POL)
  • Additional Datasets > Fire Insurance Registers, 1777-86 (FIR)
  • Additional Datasets > Income Tax Payments 1799-1802 (ITP)
  • Additional Datasets > London/Westminster Directory, 1774 (DIR)
  • Additional Datasets > Marine Society Boys, 1770-1804 (MAR)
  • Additional Datasets > Old Bailey Associated Records (ASS)
  • Additional Datasets > PCC Abstracts of Wills (PCC)
  • Additional Datasets > St Luke's Workhouse Registers (WHR)
  • Additional Datasets > St Martin's Settlement Exams, 1725-93 (SET)
  • Additional Datasets > St Martins Workhouse Registers, 1725-1819 (SWR)
  • Additional Datasets > Salaries Paid to East India Clerks, 1760-1820 (EIC)
  • Additional Datasets > Westminster Pollbooks, 1749-1820 (WHD)
  • Additional Datasets > Westminster Ratebooks, 1749-1820 (WHD)

See About this Project for a description of the rationale for the choice of sources, and the methodology used in developing London Lives.



Date Help

Date (From Month/Year; To Month/Year)

An old-fashioned pair of glasses, over the word London

By filling in the From and To date boxes you can specify the period you wish to search. A date has been assigned to each manuscript page or other data division (in the case of most Additional Datasets, a single record). For manuscripts these dates have been derived from the first date to appear on any given page, or else, if no date is given, the closest date available in the text preceding the page displayed. Since some documents are undated, in some cases this date can refer to the document that precedes it. These details should therefore be checked against a close reading of the document itself. Where no date can be found, the earliest date given in the metadata for the document has been used. In the case of the Old Bailey Proceedings, the dates of all trials are recorded as the first day of the Sessions in which the trial took place, although most meetings of the court lasted several days.

Please note that until September 1752 England and Wales still used the old style, Julian calendar. As a result, the documents produced prior to that date, and reproduced here, were between 10 and 11 days out of kilter with the Gregorian calendar used on the continent and adopted in England and Wales at mid century. Under the Julian Calendar the start of the year was also 25 March rather than 1 January. For many documents, such as the Old Bailey Proceedings (OBP) and the Ordinary's Accounts (OA), dates effected have been consistently transformed to reflect a 1 January start of the year throughout. But different practices were adopted by the various projects contributing to the Additional Datasets. Different tagging levels have also been applied to the main run of transcribed manuscripts, resulting in some variability in the application of a consistent recording of dates from January, February and March, prior to 1752. Early eighteenth-century practice was also variable, with many clerks adopting a 1 January start to the year prior to 1752. When using materials from the first half of the century, users should check carefully whether the dates they are recording have been transposed to start the year on 1 January.

If you enter start and end years only, or the same year in both boxes, this will be taken to mean from January to December inclusive.


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