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Paddington

PADDINGTON, a suburban parish, in the union of Kensington, Holborn division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex; containing 25,173 inhabitants. The manor was given by King Edgar to Westminster Abbey, and at the Dissolution was appropriated to the endowment of the then newly-founded bishopric of Westminster, since the abolition of which, in the reign of Edward VI., it has belonged to the see of London. A chapel existed here at an early period, which before the 16th century was a chapel of ease to St. Margaret's, Westminster. The district consists principally of numerous modern streets and detached houses, and its population has, within the last ten years, been nearly doubled; it is partially paved, and lighted with gas, under a local act. Besides much other building, numerous fine streets, terraces, and squares have been lately completed in the neighbourhood of St. John's church, and towards Hyde Park: to the north of Bayswater, is the handsome line of houses called Westbourne Terrace. The inhabitants are supplied with water from the West Middlesex water-works: the reservoir originally constructed for the supply of Kensington Palace, and now belonging to the Grand Junction water-works, is situated in the parish. Paddington is within the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan police. A customary market is held on Friday, for poultry, butter, eggs, &c. The Paddington canal, which communicates with all the principal canals in the kingdom, and on the banks of which are extensive wharfs and warehouses, was constructed under an act of parliament passed in 1795; it is joined by the Regent's canal, which unites it with the Thames at Limehouse. The Great Western railway to Bristol, one of the most stupendous works of the kind in the world, which is 117½ miles long, and was opened in August, 1840, has its commencement at this place, where is a commodious station.

The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £930; patron, the Bishop of London. The present parish church was completed in 1843, and is a handsome building in the pointed style, with a tower and spire, containing 1616 sittings, of which 616 are free: it is dedicated to St. James. The late parish church, called St. Mary's, was begun in 1788, and consecrated April 27th, 1791; it stands on a piece of ground adjoining the old churchyard, and is a neat building, with a Doric portico on the south side, and a handsome cupola. In the church and adjacent cemetery lie the remains of John Bushnell, an eminent statuary, who died in 1701; Sir John Elliot, M. D., a popular writer, in 1787; Dr. Alexander Geddes, a learned Roman Catholic divine, interred in 1802; Thomas Banks, an ingenious sculptor; Lewis Schiavonetti, engraver; and John Henry Petty, late Marquess of Lansdowne. The living of St. Mary's is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Bishop; income, £500. Before the erection of this church, the inhabitants assembled in a church dedicated to St. James, founded by Sir Joseph Sheldon, lessee of the manor, about the year 1700. A district church dedicated to St. John, in the later English style, with a campanile turret, was erected in 1831, at an expense of £8778: the living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £560; patron, the Incumbent of Paddington. Holy Trinity church, Bishop's-road, contiguous to the terminus of the Great Western railway, was consecrated in July 1846; it is an elegant structure of the period of Henry VI., with a steeple 214 feet high, and cost £18,000, of which the Rev. John Miles contributed upwards of £5000. The living is in the gift of the Bishop; income, £1000. Another church, dedicated to St. Stephen, and to which a district has been assigned, was consecrated in November 1847: it is a neat and convenient edifice in the pointed style, capable of accommodating 1200 persons; two-thirds of the sittings are free. There is an episcopal chapel at Bayswater. At Westbourne-Green are the Lock Hospital, Asylum, and chapel, lately erected at a cost of about £15,000. St. Mary's Hospital, in Cambridge-place, for Mary-le-Bone and Paddington, was commenced under the auspices of Prince Albert, by whom the first stone was laid in June 1845: the site, which consists of more than an acre, was partly granted by the trustees of the Paddington estate. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans. The poor have funds amounting to about £250 per annum, arising from lands and tenements.


Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.