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Southwark, Surrey

Historical Description

Southwark, a metropolitan borough, which includes five parishes, in Surrey. It lies on the Thames, opposite London city, and communicates with the city by the Tower, London, Southwark, and Blackfriars bridges. The land occupied by the borough is low and flat, and originally formed a large marsh, which was often overflowed by the river. The Romans had a settlement here, and seem to have erected an embankment to secure the land from the inroads of the tide; but the earliest mention of Southwark by name in history is in 1023, when the Saxon Chronicle asserts that Knut and Egelnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury, with some other persons, carried by ship the body of Alphege, saint and martyr, across the Thames to Suthgeweorke, on its way to Canterbury. Southwark was set on fire in 1066 by William the Conqueror on his approach from the south, and in Domesday book the name appears under the form of Sudwerche. During the period between the Norman Conquest and the beginning of the 14th century, it was a distinct corporation governed by its own bailiff, but in 1327 it was given by Edward III. to the city of London, whose mayor was thenceforth to be its bailiff and to govern it by his deputy. It became a municipal section of the city in 1551, under the name of Southwark borough or Bridge-Without-Ward, under government of one of the senior aldermen. It has been a parliamentary borough from the time of Edward. I. to the present day. Most of the public buildings, the chief industries, churches, &c., are noticed in the article London, and there also will be found the statistics of the parliamentary borough, and civil and ecclesiastical parishes.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Church Records, in association with Surrey History Centre, have images of the Parish Registers for Surrey online.

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Surrey is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Surrey papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Surrey, 1662-1668 is available on the Heraldry page.

CountyGreater London
Postal districtSE1
Post TownLondon