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Anglican Churches in Stepney, Middlesex in 1890

Information on this page was provided by John Henley, who regularly answers questions on mailing lists about Middlesex parishes and churches. This page has his information for the whole of the original parish of Stepney. We now have lists for Stepney, Bethnal Green and Poplar, combining the information from this page with links to outline maps showing locations of parishes.

Here is a list of all the Anglican churches of Stepney in 1890/1905, with the dates of the parish formation if known. Original registers if not still with church are mostly deposited in the London Metropolitan Archives. See the London Generations database, and enter appropriate key word (it is a fussy search-engine - for best results enter in last line one word from district name or one word from church dedication).

C of E Churches in Stepney in 1890: . with date founded where known. Stepney is the original parent parish of all, and the first-named in each group, parent parish to those within it.

Additional note: Parishes soon became a convenient unit for the Crown to use for civil administration, but after about 1840 division of parishes was not followed automatically by the division of the coterminous civil parish. In the case of Stepney, nine hamlets (whence the name of the modern London Borough, Tower Hamlets) are listed in Hatton's New View of London (1708) - Spitalfields, Bethnal Green, Mile End New Town, Mile End Old Town, Stratford-le-Bow, Ratcliff, Limehouse, Poplar, & Blackwall. By 1708 some of these were already separate parishes. Stepney's history, with its proximity to the City, is especially convoluted. The original four hamlets were Ratcliff, Poplar, Limehouse (separate parish 1720) , and Mile End (+Stratford-le-Bow (church 1311, parish 1719) by the 16th century), Whitechapel having been created as a parish out of Stepney as early as 1329; Bromley St. Leonard c.1536, and out of Whitechapel came the hamlet of Wapping-on-the-Wose, later Wapping (chapel of ease 1617, parish 1694). Then out of Ratcliff (not a parish until 1838) came the hamlets of Shadwell (1645, parish 1670), Wapping-Stepney (or St. George's in the East) (1670,parish 1728); out of Poplar (separate parish 1817) came Blackwall and the Isle of Dogs (never separate civil parishes); out of Mile End came Bethnal Green (1597, parish 1746), Sipitalfields (1662, parish 1729); and Mile End New Town (1691, parish 1838); leaving Mile End Old Town (parish, 1840). By 1890, there were some 67 parishes. Now there are only 23. For civil administration most of the parishes founded before 1837 also became civil parishes. The county was Middlesex until 1890, then the new County of London. The parishes and vestries became part of Metropolitan
Boroughs in 1900 - Bethnal Green - Bethnal Green group, Stepney - Stepney group, + Limehouse, Mile End New Town, Ratcliff, Shadwell, Spitalfields, St. George-in-the-East , Wapping, Whitechapel; Poplar - Poplar, Bromley St. Leonard, St. Mary Bow. In 1965 all these M.B.s became part of the new London Borough of Tower Hamlets, almost if not entirely co-terminous with the original parish of Stepney!.

A good site for more info on this area is the East of London Family History Society.

I've tried to comment about their IGI status, but if you go to FamilySearch and Browse > Browse Library Catalogue > Placename Search [enter Poplar or St George in the East or Stepney or Bromley or Bethnal Green etc. and select the one in Middlesex - it can be picky about the spelling of the placename , if no luck first time try all possible variations] ] > Church Records and Church Records-Indexes, you will see a list of all the LDS film holdings. Batch numbers were at this site but now see IGI Batch Numbers, Middlesex and London, places A to M and
IGI Batch Numbers, Middlesex and London, places N to Z provided by Hugh Wallis. Some churches may appear on the British Vital Records Index (BVRI - an index on CDROM available for sale from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) rather than the IGI. If on the IGI or BVRI then the LDS has a film of the registers.[which may not be complete].

BETHNAL GREEN, St. Matthew, Church Row [out of Stepney 1746] bombed in WW2 and restored. still open

BROMLEY ST.LEONARD (St. Mary's) (High Street) [c.1100, out of Stepney c.1536]. The lady chapel of Benedictine convent of St. Leonard, became the parish church 1536, destroyed by bombing and construction of Blackwall Tunnel northern approach road. Porch and part of a wall remain. 1963 Parish united to St. Mary Bow, St. Mary.

LIMEHOUSE, St. Anne, Commercial Road [out of Stepney 1720] still open

MILE END NEW TOWN, All Saints, Buxton Street [1838] Closed 1951 and - demolished -when?? 1951 united parish united to Spitalfields Christ Church.

MILE END OLD TOWN - see under Stepney.

POPLAR, All Saints, East India Dock Road [with the church at St. Matthias, chapel of ease in Stepney 1653, separate parish out of Stepney 1817, this became the parish church on completion 1823.] -still open. 1952 parish united with St. Frideswide [by 1958 described as being w.St. Nicholas Blackwall and S.Frideswide East India Dock Road ]; 1971 united with St. Michael & AA.Bromley and Poplar St. Saviour w.S.Gabriel & S.Stephen to form Parish of Poplar.

ST.GEORGE'S-IN-THE-EAST, St. George in the East, Cannon Street Road [out of Stepney 1729] bombed 1941, smaller church built in shell of old, opened 1954. - still open

SHADWELL, St. Paul, High Street [1656, out of Stepney 1669] still open

SPITALFIELDS, Christ Church, Commercial Street [out of Stepney 1729] still open

STEPNEY, St. Dunstan, (St. Dunstan & All Saints)White Horse Street [the mediŠval parish church of Stepney] - still open

WAPPING, St. John, Church Street [1617, out of Stepney 1694] gutted in WW2, tower remains,small church built in ruins, parish united to St. Peter, London Docks.

WHITECHAPEL, St. Mary, (St. Mary Matfelon)Whitechapel Road [out of Stepney in 1323] bombed, WW2, not rebuilt. 1951 parish divided between Spitalfields Christ Church with All Saints and Stepney St. Augustine w.S.Philip.


The link from each parent parish leads to a GENUKI page with an 1868 Gazetteer description of the area, and link to a modern map for that location. For old maps, on-line or printed, see street and map sites list


On our page of Middlesex maps there is a section for maps recommended by John Henley for use with his lists of churches

Report problems, or contribute information.
[Created 2003 by David Hawgood from information supplied by John Henley. Last updated 31 Aug 2013 by Andrew Millard.]

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