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West Ham, Essex

Historical Description

West Ham, a parliamentary, municipal, and county borough, and a parish in Essex. The borough is situated to the W of the river Lea, having that river as its western boundary and the Thames as its southern; on the N by Layton and Wanstead, and on the E by East Ham. The G.E.R. has stations at Stratford, England Point, Canning Town, Silvertown, Forest Gate, and Stratford Market, and the borough is within the Eastern Metropolitan postal district. It was formerly a market-town, and a Cistercian abbey was founded here in 1135 by William de Montfichet. The abbey was defended by a moat, and was the place in which Henry VIII. confined the Countess of Salisbury. A chapter of incorporation was granted, June 1886, by which the local government district was created a municipal borough, divided into the four wards of Stratford, Forest Gate, Plaistow, and Canning Town, all of which are noticed separately. The corporation consists of a mayor, 10 aldermen, and 36 councillors. In 1888, under the provisions of the Local Government Act, West Ham became a county borough for certain purposes. A stipendiary magistrate was appointed for West Ham parish in 1881. The parish of West Ham is divided into three wards -Church Street ward, Stratford ward, and Plaistow ward. The parliamentary borough of West Ham, which was created under the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, returns two members in two divisions, viz., north and south. The industries of the borough include the works for the manufacture of railway plant belonging to the G.E.R., which cover an area of 52 acres and furnish employment for about 5000 persons, large chemical works, some breweries and distilleries, flour mills, smelting works, copper works, a large manufactory of patent leather cloth, and several other manufactories. The living of the mother parish of All Saints, West Ham, is a vicarage in the diocese of St Albans; net value, £673 with residence, in the gift of the Crown. The church of All Saints is a large and ancient building of brick and stone, chiefly in the Perpendicular style, comprises a nave with aisles, a chancel witli N and S chapels, S porch, and an embattled western tower, 74 feet high, containing 10 bells. The church contains an altar-tomb of 1485, and several other interesting monuments. In addition to the mother parish, the borough includes the following ecclesiastical parishes:-Holy Trinity, Barking Road, formed in 1867, the living of which is a vicarage of the net value of £220 with residence, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor; St Gabriel, Canning Town, formed in 1879, a vicarage, net value, £600 with residence, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, Emmanuel, Forest Gate, formed in 1852, a vicarage of the gross value of £100 with residence, in the gift of the Vicars of East and West Ham alternately; St James, Forest Gate, formed in 1881, a vicarage of the gross value of £600 with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of St Albans; St Saviour, Forest Gate, formed in 1884, a vicarage of the net value of £300; St Andrew, Plaistow, formed in 1871, a vicarage of the gross value of £292 with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of St Albans; St Mary, Plaistow, with St Matthias and St Peter, formed in 1846, a vicarage of the net value of £270 with residence, in the gift of the Vicar of West Ham; St John the Evangelist, Stratford, formed in 1844, a vicarage of the net value of £300 with residence, in the gift of the Vicar of West Ham; St Paul, Stratford, formed in 1864, a vicarage of the gross value of £400 with residence; Christchurch, Stratford Marsh, formed in 1852, a vicarage of the gross value of £304, in the gift of the Church Patronage Society; St Luke, Victoria Docks, formed in 1875, a vicarage of the gross value of £666, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor; and St Mark, Victoria Docks, formed in 1862, a vicarage of the gross value of £410 with residence, in the gift of the Corporation of London-all being in the diocese of St Albans. There is a mission church in the district of All Saints, and there are Baptist, Roman Catholic, Congregational, Presbyterian, Unitarian, and Wesleyan chapels. There are almshouses, with accommodation for 26 poor women, charities worth about £450 a year, and an hospital, chiefly intended for accidents, which was opened in 1890. West Ham Park, which is under the control of the Corporation of London, was opened as a public recreation ground in 1874, and comprises about 80 acres.

The parliamentary and municipal boroughs of West Ham are co-extensive, and have an area of 4706 acres, and a population of 204,903. The population of the north parliamentary division is 92,123, and of the south 112,780.

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

Administration

The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyEssex 
Ecclesiastical parishWest Ham All Saints 
HundredBecontree 
Poor Law unionWest Ham 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for West Ham from the following:


Land and Property

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

The Essex pages from the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 is online.


Maps

Online maps of West Ham are available from a number of sites:


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Essex online:

DistrictNewham
CountyGreater London
RegionLondon
CountryEngland
Postal districtE15
Post TownLondon