Ham, West (All Saints)

HAM, WEST (All Saints), a parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Becontree, S. division of Essex, 4 miles (E. by N.) from London; containing 12,738 inhabitants. The parish is bounded on the west by the river Lea, and on the south by the Thames, and contains 4518a. 3r. 23p., of which about two-thirds are pasture, and the remainder arable land in good cultivation; the soil of the latter is generally gravelly, and near Epping Forest are some tracts of heavy loam. The village is large, and pleasantly situated on the London road, near the Eastern Counties railway; it had formerly a weekly market, under a charter granted by Richard de Montfitchet, in 1253. The West Ham waterworks, on the Lea, supply Stratford-Langthorne, Bromley, Bow, Stepney, Bethnal-Green, and the lower part of Whitechapel. Many of the inhabitants are employed as operative chemists, and there are several distilleries, some printing-works, and numerous flour-mills. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £39. 8. 4., and in the patronage of the Crown, with a net income of £875: the impropriation belongs to the Countess St. Antonio, and the representatives of the late J. Humphreys, Esq. The church is spacious, with a lofty tower at the west end, and contains some fine monuments. At Plaistow and Stratford-Langthorne are other churches. There are places of worship for Independents and Unitarians; also a school for girls established in pursuance of the will, dated 1761, of Mrs Sarah Bonnel, who left £3000 in the funds for that purpose. The poor-law union of West Ham comprises seven parishes or places, and contains a total population of 26,919.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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