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Mile-End

MILE-END, a district, in the parish of Stepney, unions of Stepney and Whitechapel, Tower division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex, 1 mile (E.) from London; comprising the Old Town, with 45,308 inhabitants, and the New Town, with 8325. In the rebellion under Jack Cade, in the reign of Henry VI., the insurgents who attacked the metropolis encamped for some time at Mile-End; and in 1642, at the commencement of the civil war, fortifications were raised here by order of the parliament, for the defence of the city. The Old and the New Town form one of the most extensive suburbs of London, stretching in a line from west to east along the principal road to Essex, and comprising many handsome ranges of buildings. The streets are partially paved, and lighted with gas, and the inhabitants are supplied with water chiefly from the West Ham water-works, the reservoir belonging to which is situated to the north of the high road. There are some extensive breweries, a large distillery, floorcloth manufactories, and a tobacco-pipe manufactory; also a considerable nursery-ground. The Regent's canal passes under the turnpike-road here, and on its banks are several coal and timber wharfs.

Behind the London Hospital is an elegant church dedicated to St. Philip, erected in 1822, by grant of the Parliamentary Commissioners; it is in the later English style, with minarets at the angles: net income, £330. Trinity church, near Tredegar-square, in the early and decorated English styles, was completed some years since, but was only consecrated in November, 1839. St. Peter's, in the Old Town, a handsome building of brick, in the early Norman style, with a campanile turret on the south side, was erected in 1838 from the Metropolis Church-Building Fund, and is adapted for a congregation of 1450 persons: net income, £400. The livings of these three churches are in the gift of Brasenose College, Oxford. The church dedicated to All Saints, in the New Town, is adapted for 1200 persons, and contains about 500 free sittings: net income, £180; patron, the Bishop of London. The principal dissenters' places of worship are those for Wesleyans, Independents, and the Connexion of the Countess of Huntingdon. The Protestant dissenters' charity school at the New Town was founded in 1785: in 1822, Mr. Michael Pantin bequeathed £1000 three per cent. consols. for the support of this school; and a new meeting-house, two schoolrooms, and six almshouses were erected from funds left by him.

There are almshouses supported by a bequest of £2250 from Benjamin Kenton, and consisting of apartments for twelve widows of freemen of the Vintners' Company, who receive about £36 per annum each; a chaplain has a salary of £52. 10. per annum. The houses erected by the Brethren of the Trinity-house comprise twelve sets of apartments, with a handsome chapel in the centre. Francis Bancroft gave by will in 1727, in trust to the Drapers' Company, property then valued at £28,000, to found and endow twenty-four almshouses, and a school for 100 boys: the buildings, which were completed in 1736, consist of two parallel rows of houses, with a central range containing a chapel, a schoolroom, and other apartments; and the income is more than £4000 per annum. Twelve houses were established in 1592, by John Fuller, with an endowment of £50 per annum, for single men; and there are also houses for four women, founded in 1698, by John Pemel; and eight houses founded by Thomas Baker, Esq., for widows. At Mile-End Old Town is the Jews' hospital for aged poor, and the education and employment of youth, established in 1806, and enlarged in 1818; and nearly opposite to it is the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' hospital, instituted in 1747, for sick poor, lying-in women, and as an asylum for the aged. On the north side of the high road are two large cemeteries belonging to the Portuguese Jews, and a third belonging to the German or Dutch Jews, in which are interred several of the Rabbins and other distinguished Jews.


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