Whitechapel (St. Mary)
The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £31. 17. 3½.; net income, £700; patrons, the Principal and Fellows of Brasenose College, Oxford. The church, previously to 1329, was a chapel of ease to St. Dunstan's, Stepney, the rector of which parish, in that year, made Whitechapel a rectory; the ancient building was taken down, and the present church erected of brick, in 1673, by private subscription. It has a small tower at the west end with an illuminated dial, surmounted by a cupola; the interior is handsomely arranged, and the roof, which is partly arched, is supported on Corinthian columns. Near the altar is a mural monument by Banks, erected by the parishioners to the Rev. R. Markham, D.D., formerly rector; and in various parts of the church and in the burial-ground are other monuments. St. Mark's district church, on the Tenter Ground, was erected by the Metropolitan Church-building Society, and consecrated in May, 1839; it is a neat edifice of brick in the early English style, with a square tower surmounted by an octagonal spire, and contains 1200 sittings, of which 500 are free. The living is in the gift of Brasenose College; income, £150. An additional church, of which the first stone was laid at Michaelmas 1845, was erected partly by Her Majesty's Commissioners; it is in the early English style, with a tower at the south-west angle, was completed in 1847, and cost £8000. This is a free church, for mariners, and dedicated to St. Paul. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyans, and other dissenters. In Little Aylie-street is the German Lutheran church, dedicated to St. George, a neat building with a campanile turret; and in Hooper's-square is a German Calvinistic chapel.
The parochial school, originally founded and endowed by the Rev. R. Davenant, rector of the parish in 1680, and which was handsomely rebuilt in 1818, has an income of £700, arising from benefactions and annual subscriptions. The free school in Gower's-walk was established in 1806, under the immediate superintendence of the late Dr. Bell, by Mr. William Davis, who erected the building at his own cost, and endowed the institution with £2400 three per cents.: the income, including the profits of a printing-office instituted by the founder for the use of the boys, is about £1200. The Whitechapel Society's Institution in Whitechapel-road was commenced in 1814, in union with the National Society, and is a spacious brick building with a cupola at the west end; the schoolroom is consecrated, and two regular services are performed every Sunday by the chaplain and superintendent of the institution. Almshouses were founded and endowed in Whitechapel-road, in 1658, by William Meggs, for twelve aged widows; the endowment, including subsequent benefactions, is £149 per annum. Eight almshouses founded by Thomas Baker, Esq., for widows, form a neat range in the Elizabethan style.
The London Hospital here owes its origin to Mr. John Harrison, surgeon, who, having conducted a small establishment of the kind near Upper Moorfields, removed it to Prescot-street, Goodman's Fields, in the year 1740, under the designation of the London Infirmary. An appropriate building upon a larger scale having been subsequently erected in the Whitechapel-road, the institution was removed to that place in 1758, and the conductors incorporated by the name of the Governors of the London Hospital. The buildings have been progressively enlarged, and are now adapted to the reception of 370 patients; the average number of in-patients is about 320, and of out-patients 7000 annually. The income, including contributions from public bodies and private subscriptions, is about £9000. The Sailors' Home, or Brunswick Maritime Establishment, is intended for the benefit of unemployed sailors belonging to the port of London; to provide them with board and lodging at a moderate charge, and with religious and moral instruction, while on shore; to procure for them employment in the navy or merchants' service, and to furnish such as are needy with the necessary outfits for the voyage. The building occupies the site of the late Brunswick theatre, in Well-street, London Docks, and has accommodation for 500 men; the first stone was laid in June, 1830. A model establishment of Baths and Wash-houses has been formed in Goulstone-square, the building covering about 13,500 square feet, and containing about 100 baths, each in a separate apartment, and 100 pairs of wash-tubs, each with a separate dryingcloset; the whole so arranged as to insure almost entire privacy to every person. The poor-law union of Whitechapel contains a population of 71,758; there are workhouses in Whitechapel and Spitalfields.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.