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History of West Ham in 1863
West Ham Index
WEST HAM UNION comprises the seven parishes of East and
West Ham, Little Ilford, Leyton, Walthamstow, Wanstead, and Woodford, which
comprise about 19,000 acres of land, and increased their population from 26,920
in 1841, to 34,395 in 1851, and to 58,590 souls in 1861; so that it has more
than doubled its inhabitants and buildings daring the last twenty years. The
chief part of this increase is near Stratford, Plaistow, and the Victoria Docks.
The UNION WORKHOUSE is at Leytonstone, and was erected in 1840-1, at the cost of
about £14,000. It has now room for about 700 paupers, and forms an extensive
range of brick buildings, with a neat chapel in the centre of the yard, and
about four acres of garden
ground. The rooms are spacious, clean, and well ventilated. Some of the able bodied are employed in teazing oakum and in pumping water into the cisterns which supply the various departments of the establishment. The Poor Rates collected in the Union, in the year ending Lady-day, 1861, amounted to about £21,000, of which £1382 was paid for maintenance
of lunatics, £1202 for county rates, and £1739 for salaries. Edwin and Mrs. Chittock are master and matron of the Workhouse. Mr. R. G. Hilleary is the union clerk and superintendent registrar; and Messrs. Hy. Brittain, Archibald McDowall, and John Miller are the relieving officers. Mr. C. W. Ashdown, of Stratford, is registrar of marriages. Messrs. J. T. Vallance, William Elphick, William H. Carey, J. D. Brown, and A. Peskett, and the Rev. R. W. B. Marsh, are registrars of births and deaths for the six districts of the Union.
WEST HAM, a large village, with, many neat houses, gives name to a populous Parish and Union, and is pleasantly situated on the east side of the river Lea, between its now very populous suburbs of Stratford and Plaistow; and near Stratford, Barking Road, and Plaistow Railway Stations. It is one of the extreme eastern suburbs of London, being within the south-western extremity of Essex, and distant about 1 1/2 mile E. of Bow Bridge, 4 1/2 miles E. of Whitechapel, and 2 miles N. of the river Thames.
WEST HAH PARISH is now the most populous parish in Essex,
having increased its inhabitants from 12,738 in 1841, to 18,817 in 1851, and to
37,639 in 1861! This great augmentation of its population has all occurred since
the opening of the Eastern Counties
Railway, (in 1843), which has extensive engineering and other workshops at Stratford, near the modern suburb, called Stratford New Town. The erection of CANNING TOWN, near Plaistow and Barking Road Station, was commenced in 1847, and since then a great increase of buildings and population has taken place in various parts of the parish, especially near the new and extensive Victoria London Docks; and in Silver Town, and other parts of Plaistow Ward, as afterwards noticed. The Parish of West Ham contains 4735A. 3R, 7p. of land, extending southward to the confluence of the river Lea, or Bow Creek, with the river Thames, and is divided into three wards, viz.: Church Street Ward, which includes the neighbouring villages of WEST HAM, UPTON, and FOREST GATE, and about 1600 acres of land; PMstow Ward, which comprises the villages of Plaistow, Canning Town, and Silver Town; the populous suburbs near the Victoria Docks, and about 2000 acres of land, extending to the Thames; and STRATFORD WARD, which has only about 700 acres of land, on the east side of the Lea, opposite Bow, but contains the populous town of Stratford and its suburbs called Stratford New Town, etc. In 1844, Stratford and Plaistow Wards were made separate ecclesiastical parishes. Since then several other district churches have been built in the parish. The now populous north-eastern suburbs of the metropolis, on the east side of the Lea Creek, and near the Victoria Docks, are popularly called "London over the Border". Near Hackney, on the west side of the river Lea, is the large and beautiful London Victoria Park. The rateable annual value of the land, buildings, etc., in West Ham parish is now upwards of £120,000, though it was not half that amount twenty years ago. The East London Water Works, on the west side of the river Lea, supply this and other parishes in Essex, and were established in 1807-8, when the West Ham Waterworks, established in the 21st of George II., were incorporated with them. It is now proposed that this populous parish and neighbourhood shall have a more copious supply of the pure beverage of nature from the South Essex Water Works, at Grays. West Ham Gas Works, which supply nearly the whole parish, as well as Woodford, Snaresbrook, etc., were established about 1845 by a company with a capital of about £10,000; but they have been greatly increased during the last ten years, and a new gasometer was built in 1861, at the cost of £8000. The works have now cost about £60,000, raised in £5 shares. WEST HAM BOARD OF HEALTH and BURIAL BOARD, established in 1856, have jurisdiction over Stratford, Plaistow, and all other parts of the parish. The Board of Health has effected great improvements in paving, draining, and lighting the streets and thoroughfares; and has much improved the sanitary condition of this populous parish, by the removal of nuisances, and by judicious regulations for the erection of new buildings.
Since 1856 it has expended about £100,000 in drainage, paving, and other improvements, and in 1862 the Board borrowed £1200 for improvements in and near Canning Town. The drainage waters of West Ham parish will ultimately fall into the Great Metropolitan Sewer. Mr. Charles Wilson is clerk to the Board of Health. WEST HAM BURIAL GROUND has provided for the parish a large cemetery at Forestgate. These boards, and the overseers of the parish, have their offices in Rokeby House, formerly a large boarding school, at Stratford, but now the Vestry Hall. Plaistow, Stratford, and Silver Town Rifle Volunteers, form the 5th, 8th, and 9th corps of the Essex Volunteers, and to the first named is attached Plaistow Artillery Corps. The 5th and 9th corps form Plaistow Administrative Battalion, of which Chas. Capper, Esq., is lieutenant-colonel; H. A. Silver, Esq., major; and C. Davis, Esq., adjutant. West Ham parish is in the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court, and the Metropolitan Police. It has PETTY SESSIONS every Monday, at Stratford; and Mr. W. H. Clifton, of Romford, is clerk to the magistrates. The Police Station at West Ham, was built in 1851, and is attended by about nine police officers. West Ham had anciently a market, for which a charter was procured in 1253, by Richard Montfichet, but it has long been obsolete.
In the reign of Edward the Confessor, most of the parish belonged to two free Saxons, called Alestan and Leured, but at the Conquest the parish was given to Robert Gernon and Ralph Peverel, and it was then divided into seven manors. Those of West Ham, East West Ham, and Wood Grange, belonged to Robert Gernon, whose posterity took the name of Montfichet. They now form the lordship or manor of West Ham, which includes part of the parish of East Ham, and was given to Stratford Abbey, in this parish, but is now held by Edward Humphreys, Esq., the fee of it having been purchased of the Crown, in 1805, by James Humphreys and Geo. Johnstone, Esqrs. The lands in this manor descend according to the custom, of gavelkind. Sir J. H. Pelly, Bart., is lord of the manor of West Ham Burnels, with Plaiz (Plaistow), which was long held by the Burnel, Playz, and other families. Cobhams is an estate belonging to Lord Henniker; and the Gurney, Silver, Rawstorne, and other families have estates in the parish. The late Sir John Henry Pelly, of Upton, was governor of the Bank of England, and was created a baronet in 1840. He died in 1852, and his son, the present baronet, resides at Warnham Court, Sussex. HAM HOUSE is the seat of Lady Buxton. There are many other neat modern villas at Upton and FOREST GATE, the latter of which adjoins the southern extremity of Epping Forest, near Stratford, where there are still some fine old timber trees. In the parish are several hoarding schools, fertile farms, and large market gardens and nurseries.
The Eastern Counties or Great Eastern Railway, and its extensive depot and factory, at Stratford, and the more recent construction of the Victoria Docks, have been the chief causes of the vast increase of population and buildings in West Ham Parish during the last 15 years. West Ham, Stratford, Plaistow, and their new intervening suburbs, are now so closely connected that they may be considered as one continuous town, with about 38,000
inhabitants. In various parts of the parish are large chemical works, distilleries, an iron ship building establishment, a large silk printing establishment, and medical glass, patent leather cloth, India rubber, and other manufactories; and on the marshes is a large Congreve-rocket factory. The VICTORIA LONDON DOCKS are in Plaistow Marsh or Level, on the north side of the Thames, near the mouth of the Bow Creek, and they were constructed in 1855-6, by the Victoria London Dock Company, at the cost of about £800,000, raised in £100 shares. These capacious docks, and their extensive quays, wharves, yards, and stores, cover an area of about 200 acres, and are surrounded by the railway from London to North Woolwich. They receive ships of the largest burden, and have an Entrance Lock, 325 feet long, 80 feet wide, and 28 feet deep at high water. This lock opens into the Tidal Basin, which is about 800 by 1100 feet. Gates open from the latter into the Great Inner Dock, which is about 1100 feet broad and 2900 feet long, and has projecting into it four large piers or jetties, 600 feet long and 150 broad, upon which are powerful cranes, extensive warehouses, etc. On the south side is a basin for hydraulic lift, a large ship building yard, extensive graving docks, with eight repairing slips, etc. William Smith, Esq., is secretary to the Dock Company; but the docks are leased to Messrs. Peto, Brassey, and Betts. Mr. Charles Capper is the manager; Mr. G R Birt, superintendent; and Captain Cameron, dock master. Here is a. branch of the LONDON CUSTOM HOUSE establishment, and Mr. A Campbell is the landing surveyor, and J. Giles, tide surveyor.
Here are two Railway Stations, one near the Tidal Basin, and the other near the Custom House. The Docks have also a Police Station, a Post Office, and Gas Works. Extending northward from the Docks to Plaistow, a new suburb of about 6000 inhabitants has arisen on Plaistow Marsh during the last few years, including many streets, rows, and terraces of good houses and cottages; and SILVER TOWN, where Messrs. S. W. Silver £ Co. the great London clothiers and outfitters, have an extensive manufactory of India rubber articles, water-proof fabrics, portable furniture, telegraphic wires, &c. The Thames Iron, Works and Ship Building Company have extensive works at Lea Creek, as well as at Orchard Yard, in Blackwall, on the opposite of the river. These works were for many years carried on by the late eminent ship building firm of C. J. Mare & Co. WEST HAM PAKISH CHURCH (All Saints) is in the village of West Ham, and is a spacious edifice, consisting of a nave, chancel, side aisles, and a square tower, rising to the height of 74 feet, and containing ten musical bells. It was re-pewed and thoroughly repaired about 1848, and contains some fine old monuments. In the churchyard was interred Geo. Edwards, Esq., F.R.S., who was born at Stratford, and became celebrated for his acquaintance with Natural History, especially that of birds. Besides various papers in the Philosophical Transactions, he published seven quarto volumes on subjects in Natural History, upwards of 600 of which had never been previously described. He died in 1773, aged 81 years. The benefice is a vicarage, valued in KB. at £39. 8s. 4d., and in 1831 at £875. It is in the patronage of the Crown, and incumbency of the Rev A. J. Ram, M.A. The rectory is in the appropriation of Edward Humphreys, Esq., the lord of the manor. FOREST GATE CHURCH DISTRICT includes UPTON and part of East Ham parish, and extends from one to two miles N. and E. of Stratford. It is mostly in West Ham Ward, and was made a district parish in l852, but its CHURCH (Emmanuel), which stands at Upton, was not consecrated till 1862. It is a neat fabric, built at the cost of about £4000, raised by subscription. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the vicars of West and East Ham, and incumbency of the Rev. T. L. Ramsden, M.A. As afterwards noticed with Stratford and Plaistow Wards, West Ham parish is divided into seven other church districts, for five of which new churches were: consecrated by the Bishop of London, in 1861 and 1862. The parish contains many Chapels and Public Schools. There are large Independent Chapels at West Ham and Forestgate, and a Baptist Chapel in West Ham lane. Forestgate Independent Chapel was built in 1865-6, at the cost of £1550, in the Italian style, of ornamented brick-work, etc. WEST HAM PARISH CEMETERY, near Forestgate, was formed by the Burial Board in 1857, and comprises about thirteen acres of land. It cost about £8000, and about two-thirds of it and one of the chapels, were consecrated in 1858. There have now (1862) been in it more than 2000 interments. The church clergymen officiate in the consecrated portion, and the Rev. T. E. Stallibrass in the unconsecrated part. Mr. James Barnard; is the superintendent. Near it is a Jews' CEMETERY, of five acres, opened in 1858, and belonging to the Jews of London and the neighbourhood. Mr. Moritz Burnett is the superintendent.
BONNELL's CHARITY SCHOOL, at West Ham, was founded by Sarah Bonnell, who, in 1761, left several large sums in the public funds, to be applied after the death of her brother in the foundation and support of a charity school, for clothing and educating poor girls. By an article of agreement between her brother and the trustees, confirmed by a decree of the Court of Chancery, the school was established in 1769, in the building formerly used as a workhouse. Its yearly income is now £292. 12s. 6d., derived from the dividends of the following stock, viz.: £1785 Bank Stock; £18. 5s. Id. South Sea Stock; £279. 10s. Old South Sea Annuities; £1701.14s. l1d. New South Sea Annuities; £2700 three per cent. Consols; £275. 12s. 6d. three-and-a-half per cent. Reduced Annuities; and £30. 4s. 6d. three per cent. Reduced Annuities. Ninety girls are now clothed and educated as free scholars. PELLY'S MEMORIAL SCHOOL, at West Ham, was built in 1861, at the cost of £3000, raised by subscription, in memory of the late Sir J. H. Pelly, Bart., who died in. 1852. It is in lieu of West Ham Boys' National' School, which was founded in 1826. There are large National, British, and Infant Schools in various parts of the parish. Forestgate Schools were built in 1853, at the cost of about £1600. WHITEOHAPEL INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS, in Forestgate lane, were founded in 1854, for the reception of about 500 pauper children of Whitechapel Union, London. West Ham parish has the following charities: - CHARITIES.- In 1580, Nicholas Avenon, gave 6A. IH. 6p. of land, to provide for the distribution of 24 penny loaves every Sunday at the church among 24 poor people; and the surplus rent to be given to the vicar, for an annual sermon on Ash-Wednesday. In 1583, John Shipman left £6 a year for the poor of the parish of West Ham;. but it is, reduced to £4.10s, 8d. In 1584, Thomas Spaight and Henry Stone gave to the oor parishioners a yearly rent of £4,. out of 3A. of land in the High Mead. They have also the following yearly rent-charges, viz.:- £1.14s. from Rampson's Charity, (see Walthamstowe); £2 out of an estate here, belonging to Mr. Cockfield, left by Lady Margt. Throckmorton, in 1592, for poor widows; 20s. out of land belonging to Mr. Spence, left in 1592, by Thomas Staples; £5 out of an estate belonging to Mr. Gurney, left by Wm. Rooke, in 1596, for a weekly distribution of 2s. worth of bread; £2. left by Oliver Skinner, in 1609, for forty poor people, out of a house in West Ham lane; £5 left by Richard Pragell, in 1617, out of land in New Marsh and Breed Mead; 30s. left by Mary Gwilliam, in 1633, out of a house in Plaistow, for six widows ; 52s. out of a house in Church street, left in 1633, by Roger Harris, who also gave two copyhold cottages in Little lane for the residence of poor people; £5 from the Grocers' Company, London, left by Lady Middleton - £2 of it for the poor, and £3 for apprenticing a poor boy; £4 for the poor, and £1 for two sermons, left by Wm Faucett and Eliz Topesfield, in 1631 and 1660; £4 out of land at Plaistow, left by William Davis, in 1679, to provide gowns for 12 poor women; £6 left in 1680, by Clement Pragell, out of an estate at Plaistow; £63 out of a house in Leadenhall steeet, London, left by Daniel Ingoll, in 1690, for distribution in coals; £10 out of houses and land at Upton place, left by Peter Bigot, in 1771; and £2 out of the house No. 2, Great Knight Rider street, Doctors' Commons, left by Nathl. Peckover. The poor of Plaistow have a yearly rent of 40s., out of land in New Marsh, left by Richard Hale, in 1728. In 1616, PETER BLOWER gave for the poor parishioners an acre of land in Raike's lane. In 1633, ROGER HARRIS left two cottages in Gift lane, as almshouses for poor people; and a yearly rent-charge of 52s., out of a house in Church street, to be divided among 12 poor men or widows. The two almshouses were rebuilt in 1853. In 1635, Sir BIOHARD FENN left two cottages here, and directed the rents to be distributed in weekly doles of bread. Six cottages were built on the site of these, by Mr. Thos. Burn. In 1636, JOHN NEWMAN left two cottages and gardens, on. the east side of the churchyard, and their site is now occupied by ten ALMSHOUSES, of two rooms each, built by the parish, and occupied by 20 poor women, who have divided among them, yearly, £39, arising from £1300 New South Sea Annuities, derived from the will of THOMAZIN GOUGE, in 1751. They have also £21 a year from £700 three-per-cent. consols, left by JOHN SNELGRAVE, in 1807; and £8 a year from Vachell's Charity. A yearly rent of £5, left by WILLIAM TUDOR, in 1653 ; and the sum of £60, left by PETER WARD, in 1667, were given in 1699, for the purchase of 5A. 13P. of marsh land, at the bottom of Green lane, Plaistow, now let for about £20 a year. Tudor's charity is for the poor of Stratford, and Ward's is for those of the three wards of the parish. Sir JACOB GARRARD'S CHARITY, left in 1649, consists of 12 acres of meadow land, called Ox's Leas, in High Mead, Stratford, now let to the East London Waterworks Company, at the yearly rent of £70, on a 99 years' lease, dated, 1830. From Foot's Charity the poor of Plaistow ward have £1.10s. 5d. yearly. In 1686, Sir Wm. Humble left £60, to be invested in land, for a weekly distribution of bread among the poor parishioners of West Ham, and it was laid out in the purchase of one acre of marsh land, near Pelly Wall. In 1701, MARY BATTAILHEY, alias Sherley, left, out of a house and land in Plaistow, a yearly rent-charge of £10, to be applied as follows :- 30s. for a sermon on Good Friday; 20s. for repairing her vault; 40s. for the master of Plaistow Sunday school; 40s. to the master of West Ham Charity School, where 160 children are educated; 20s. for the poor attending Plaistow chapel, in bread; and £2. 10s. to eight widows in Plaistow, and eight in West Ham, on Good Friday. In 1719, JOHN HIETT left £5 a year, out of Cobham farm, for apprenticing the son of a poor protestant dissenter of Stratford ward. The minister of Brickfield chapel is the trustee. In 1733, SAMUEL SHEPHERD left £50 reduced three-per-cents., in trust, to distribute the dividends in coals among the poor parishioners of West Ham. He also left the dividends of £200 Old South Sea Annuities, to be distributed among the sick poor by the vicar. In 1754, SARAH BONNEL left £200 three-per-cent. annuities, and the dividends are applied yearly as follows:- £2.10s. in gowns to five poor widows of Church street, on the 25th January; 10s. 6d. for schooling a poor child; and £2. 19s. 6d. in coals, among the poor of Church street ward. In 1777, JEREMIAH ATKINSON left the dividends of £300 three-per-cent. reduced annuities, for distribution in coal among the poor of Plaistow ward. In 1778, Margaretta Hodshon left £200, to be vested for apprenticing sons of honest and industrious parishioners. This legacy was invested in the purchase of £339 three-per-cent. reduced annuities. In 1807, John Snelgrave, who left £700 to the 20 almswomen, also bequeathed £200 to provide for a yearly distribution of clothing, coals, or bread, among the poor parishioners. The latter was laid out in the purchase of £164. 7s. lOd. new three-and-a-half per cents. In 1831, Samuel Jonas Vachell left £200 for the poor parishioners, and it was vested in the purchase of £228.11s. 6d. three-and-a-half per cent, reduced annuities. The dividends are given to the poor women in the almshouses. The poor parishioners have the dividends of £50 three-and-a-half per cent, reduced annuities, purchased with £20 given by Penelope Colchester, £10 by Wm. Winn, and £20 by the inhabitants. JAMB COOPER, by will of an unknown date, left £600 South Sea Annuities, and directed the dividends to be applied yearly as follows:- £7.10s. to 30 poor house-keepers of Plaistow; £7.10s. in coals, for the 20 almswomen and the poor of Plaistow; £1. 2s. 6d, in bread for the Plaistow poor ; 16s. for the poor of Church street; 15s. to the vicar, for a sermon on New Year's Day; and 3s. 9d. each to the clerk and sexton. The Vicar, Churchwardens, and Overseers are trustees, or have the distribution of all the before-named charities, except Hiett's. The above account of these charities is abridged from the Parliamentary Commissioners Reports, published about 1833, and since then the following benefactions have been left for the poor parishioners, viz.:- The dividends of £1000 three-per-cent. consols, left by Mrs. Isabella Wilson; and of £450 of the same stock, left by Mr. Joseph Watts. Exclusive of schools and almshouses,
the charity property belonging to the parish yields about £485 per annum.
WEST HAM SAVINGS' BANK, in High street, Stratford, had in Nov. 1861, deposits amounting to £29,288, belonging to 1274 depositors, and 7 Charitable and 11 Friendly Societies. In 1862, Post Office Savings' Banks were opened at Stratford, Newtown, Plaistow, Canning Town, and the Victoria Docks. The London Pawnbrokers have nine almshouses at Forestgate, for poor decayed members, and their widows and children. There are in the parish of West Ham several Building and Investment Societies, Friendly Societies, and Lodges of Oddfellows, and other secret orders; as well as several Charitable Societies for relieving the poor.
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