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Description and History from 1868 Gazetteer

WAPPING, a parish and metropolitan district in the Tower division of Ossulstone hundred, county Middlesex, 2 miles S.E. of St. Paul's, London. It is a suburb of East London, situated on the river Thames, by which it was overflowed till Elizabeth's reign, when a river wall was constructed. The land subsequently became meadow ground, called Wapping Wash, and formed part of Stepney parish till about 1695. The parish comprises about 38 acres, inclusive of the main entrance to the London Docks, constructed between the years 1802 and 1805.

The population in 1861 amounted to 4,038. At this place Judge Jeffries was apprehended in 1688 in a sailor's disguise; and here lived Day, the block-maker, who first established Fairlop Fair by dining with his friends under the oak. The station of the 'K' division of the Metropolitan police is situated here, as also the Thames police vessel for the Thames D division. A portion of the parish is within the precincts of Wellclose, in the liberty of the Tower. It consists of several streets paved and lighted with gas, and the main street has been widened in several places during the present reign. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of London, value 258, in the patronage of Brazenose College, Oxford. The church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. In the interior is a monument by Roubiliac. The parochial charities produce about 634 per annum. There are a Free school, of which Thomas Dillworth, the author of the "Spelling Book," was once master. There are Roman Catholic schools, and a school maintained by the British and Foreign Sailors' Society. There are chapels for Roman Catholics and Dissenters.

[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]