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BROMLEY ST. LEONARD
Description and History from 1868 Gazetteer

BROMLEY ST. LEONARD, a parish and suburban district in the Tower division of the hundred of Ossulstone, in the county of Middlesex, 3 miles to the E. of St. Paul's, London. It lies on the W. side of the river Lea, near the Regent's canal, and contains Bromley Newtown. The ancient name was Brambeley.

A cut connects the river and the canal. A nunnery of the Benedictine order was founded here about the close of the 11th century, by William, Bishop of London, which flourished till the Dissolution, when it had a revenue of 122. Its site was given to Sir Ralph Sadler in 1540. Part of the parish consists of grass lands and market gardens, but the greater part is now built over, and contains, according to the census of 1861, a population of 24,072. The streets are paved and lighted with gas. There are some print-works, extensive distilleries, maltings, a manufactory of starch, and a brewery. The Tower Hamlets cemetery is partly in this parish. The living is a vicarage * in the diocese of London, and in the patronage of J. Walter, Esq., M.P. The tithes are in the hands of a layman, but the income arising from pew-rents and surplice fees average 300 a year. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a neat brick building, having been entirely rebuilt in 1843. A missionary church for 700 people was erected in 1861 in the south part of the parish, and is used in the week days for a boys' school. The missionary curate appointed by the vicar receives 100 a year from the London Diocesan Church Building Society. There is a school for boys on Bow Common, also used for divine service on Sundays. The Wesleyans have a chapel here, and there are National and infant schools for 400 children, built in 1851. This parish participates in the benefit of the free school founded at Bow by Sir John Jolles in 1617. Here are situated the almshouses founded by Jolles, but rebuilt and managed by the Drapers' Company; also those founded by John Edmonson, and placed under the same management. The charitable endowments of the parish amount to about 150 per annum. The custom of gavelkind prevails in the manor of Bromley. In 1850 a union workhouse for the City of London was erected in this parish, at a cost of 70,000, designed to accommodate 800 inmates, and in 1862 another union workhouse for the parish of Stepney. The Merchant Seamen's orphan asylum has recently been pulled down, and, removed to Snaresbrook.

[Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson 2003]
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[Last updated 4 Nov 2003 by David Hawgood. 2003]