Londina Illustrata. Graphic and Historical Memorials of Monasteries, Churches, Chapels, Schools, Charitable Foundations, Palaces, Halls, Courts, Processions, Places of Early Amusement, and Modern Present Theatres, in the Cities and Suburbs of London and Westminster, Volume 1

Wilkinson, Robert




The district wherein this edifice is situate, was the of those numerous hamlets, which, at various times, have been separated from the very ancient and spacious Manor of Stepney. This place formerly extended from along the river-side to Bow-creek, on the south: to the Parish of St. Leonard, , on the east; and to those of St. John, Hackney, and St. Leonard, , on the north.

So that,

says Strype,

Stepney may be esteemed rather a province than a parish, especially if we add that it contains in it both city and country: for towards the south parts, where it lies along the river for a great way by


, Poplar, and Radcliff, to


, it is furnished with every thing that may entitle it to the honour, if not of a city, yet of a great town; populousness, traffic, commerce, havens, shipping, manufactures, plenty, and wealth the crown of all. And were it not eclipsed by the lustre of the neighbouring City, it would appear


of the considerablest towns of the kingdom, and would give place to very few cities in England.—On the other side, northward, this parish hath the face of a country, affording every thing to render it pleasant; fields, pasture-grounds for cattle, and formerly woods and marshes.


The present Parish of St. Mary, White Chapel, appears by its name to have been originally only a chapel-of-ease to that of St. Dunstan, Stepney; though it also seems to have been separated from thence at an early period, since in , the year of Edward III., the Bishop of Alba, Cardinal, and Parson of Stebinhith, presented a clerk to be in the Church of the Blessed Mary, called Matfelon, without , London.[b]  The great partition of this place, however, was the work of a much later time; and the Rev. Daniel Lysons[c]  observes, that



plan for dividing the Parish of Stepney which I have met with upon record, was proposed to the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the state of Ecclesiastical Benefices, in


. It was then suggested, that it would be convenient to divide Stepney into


Parishes: Poplar and


to be


, there being a foundation already laid;


to be another; a


the whole hamlet of Ratcliffe, Shadwell, and Wapping-Wall, to

Old Gravel Lane

, taking in from thence all Ratcliffe-highway, and Mile-end to belong to the mother-church; the


to contain

Wentworth Street


Rose Lane

, part of

Petticoat Lane


Artillery Lane

, all Spitalfields, and Stepney Rents, near


. This division never took place. In the year


a petition was presented for dividing Shadwell from Stepney, which was ordered to be done, unless good cause were shewn to the contrary; but a subsequent order appointed a commission to enquire into the expediency of it: what the result of this commission was does not appear.

of the hamlets of Stepney were, however, at length made into distinct Parishes; Shadwell being separated in the year , in the East in , Spitalfields in , and Stratford-Bow in , and Bethnal-Green in . To these may be added the Parish of St. John at , separated from Whitechapel in -: and the Parish of All Saints, Poplar, separated from Stepney in .[d] 

The chief cause of the erection of of Shadwell into a separate Parish, and of building the Church represented in the annexed Engravings, was doubtless the great increase of the inhabitants of this part of the suburbs, and the incapability of the Church at Stepney to contain even half of the parishioners. It was, however, principally by the exertions of Thomas Neale, Esq. lessee of an estate which comprised -thirds of the present parish, aided by the Rev. William Sancroft, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, under whom that estate was held as Dean of ,—that an Act of Parliament was procured for making the precinct parochial. An entry on the states, that on Thursday, -, the year of Charles II., it was

ordered that leave be given to bring in a Bill for erecting and endowing a Church, near Shadwell in Middlesex.

On the day following the Bill was read a time, and committed; and, on Thursday, , it was passed under the title of

An Act for the Endowment of a Church at Shadwell, now in the Parish of Stepney in Middlesex, and making of it Parochial, distinct from Stepney.

The boundaries of the new Parish were that of Stepney, on the north and east, Middlesex, on the west, and the River Thames, on the south; the whole extent of which is very small, being only yards in length and in breadth.[e]  The fabric of a Chapel, which had been built in , was converted into the Parish


Church, though it was not Consecrated until ; and Mr. Neale, with the consent of the inhabitants endowed the same with the soil thereto adjoining for a church-yard, and with ground sufficient for a parsonagehouse and some other tenements: to be built at the cost and charges of himself or the Dean of . The living was made a Rectory, and the Advowson was to be in Mr. Neale, during his life, and afterwards in the Dean of , London, as ground-landlord of the whole Parish; for which reason also the Church was dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle.[a]  In matters ecclesiastical the Parish was made subject to the Bishop only; and by this Act, continues Newcourt,[b]  from whom the whole of the present abstract of it is taken,

the Parson of this Parish was made liable to visitations, and all other ecclesiastical jurisdictions, in the same manner as if it had been an ancient parish; and was to pay 3s. 4d. Procurations to the Bishop of London as often as he visited. The Church and Church-yards were vested in the Parson and his successors, for ever, for the use and benefit of the inhabitants; in the same manner as is used in other Parish Churches and Churchyards. There are two Church-wardens, one chosen by the Parson, and the other by the inhabitants. The plat of ground lying all along the new wall of the said Churchyard, being 151 foot in length on the east, and 104 foot long on the west, 52 foot and a half north, and 82 foot and a half south, is by this Act vested in the said Parson and his successors for ever: whereof 80 foot from north to south, and forty foot from east to west, on the lower side adjoining the churchyard is allotted for a house, and the remainder of the said ground is for the building of other houses for the said Parson and his successors, which they are empowered to let out for 31 years, with the consent of the Patron and Ordinary, to be built upon; and after this they may, from time to time, lease out the said houses for 21 years in possession, for such reasonable rent as the Parson, with the consent of the Patron, can get or procure. The following are the receipts and disbursements of the living, as given from the Parochial Records in Maitland's History of London, Edit. by the Rev. J. Entick, Lond. 1772, fol. Vol. ii. p. 1380. Receipts on Account of the Cure. By Money from the Parish-- £ 120. By Surplice-Fees----- 25. By Glebe------ 65. By Burials------ 20. By a Parsonage House--- 20. Disbursements on Account of Cure. To the Bishop's Procuration-- 0 3 4 To the Vicar of Stepney-- 1 6 8.

And farther it is enacted, that the Parson shall have £ 120. per annum, in lieu of tythes, to be assessed by the Church-wardens within twenty days after Easter Tuesday, and be levied every year upon the inhabitants by a pound-rate, not exceeding 6d. in the pound: which rate is to be confirmed by two Justices of the Peace in Middlesex, or by the Bishop of London, under their hands and seals, to be paid at four quarterly payments, at the most usual feasts; and power given to distrain and sell for non-payment, as also to sue and recover, by action upon the case, any arrears that are unpaid for three months. If the Church-wardens refuse or neglect to make the assessment or rate within the time limited, they forfeit £ 20. to the King for every offence; and in such case the Parson himself may, before the feast of St. John Baptist (June 24th) in any year, make the assessment or rate of £ 120.; which being confirmed by two Justices of the Peace of Middlesex, or the Bishop of London, may be received, levied, and recovered in manner aforesaid; and over and above the said £ 120. the Parson is to have all oblations, and church-duties for christenings and burials as are usually paid in the Parish of Stepney; and the Parson of this Parish is to pay yearly at Easter to the Vicar of Stepney, at Stepney Church, 26s. 8d.; which, by an ancient composition, the tenants of Shadwell paid to the said Vicar in lieu of all tythes.

The Rector of Shadwell was the Rev. Robert Marriot, A.M., who was inducted to the living ; soon after which a controversy arose between him and his parishioners, on his pretending a right to collect for his own use, of every parishioner above years of age, or for Easter Offerings; which the inhabitants refused to comply with, alleging that the same were included in the . annually paid him by the Parish. But to accommodate the dispute in an amicable manner, and to obviate all contests for the future, it was agreed that an annual stipend of , should thenceforth be collected by the parishioners, and paid to the Rector and the said parishioners farther agreed to pay their said Rector for every corse buried in their churchyard. Upon this compact Marriot relinquished all pretensions to oblations, Easter-Dues, and all other offerings whatsoever; which agreement has been ratified and confirmed by all succeeding Rectors.[d] 

The original Church of Shadwell, as represented in the annexed Views of the Exterior, was an ordinary cruciform brick structure, with tiled roofs, porches and a square low tower, surmounted by a cupola, vane, and flagstaff. The side aisles were lighted by dormer casement windows in the roofs, and the different faces of the edifice terminated in gables, ornamented with wooden pedestals, and small globes. At the south side of the castern end was erected the vestry-room, in the year ; and on the tower appeared the dates of and .

The succeeding Plates represent the Interior of the building looking towards the east, and the disposition of the whole in a general Ground-plan; which latter also exhibits the sites of several of the grave-stones and monuments erected within the Church, and the names of some of the tombs in the Church-yard. It will be farther seen




by these Engravings, that the edifice consisted of a chancel, nave, and side aisles; with spacious galleries on the south, west, and north, sides; that the roof was arched, camerated, strengthened with timber ribs, and braced together by ornamented iron ties; and that it was supported by octangular wooden columns, painted to imitate marble, cased in the lower parts with oak for about feet in height. About half the Church itself on the east, was wainscoated with the same, and the pews beneath were also of oak; but the galleries were of deal, painted white, veined and ornamented, and at period rather gaudily gilded. They were supported upon pillars of the Tuscan Order, and were erected at different times: namely, that on the south at the charge of the inhabitants, in , and that on the north chiefly at the expense of Capt. Thomas Bryant, of , in ; in which year also the west porch was built, and the whole Church repaired at the cost of the Parish.[a]  The frontispiece of the altar was wainscot, ornamented with the Decalogue, Creed, and Lord's Prayer, in handsome moulded frames, in golden letters upon a black ground, attended by the effigies of Moses and Aaron, and enclosed by Ionic columns, supporting a compass-pediment, decorated with roses, the Royal arms, painted cherubim, and the Holy Dove in glory. In front of the altar was a scroll iron-work screen with capping; and the communion-table was of fine veined marble, with a carved frame beneath, standing on a pavement of black and white marble, with steps of the latter. The south portico was adorned with pilasters, and an entablature of the Tuscan order, enriched with festoons, &c., and the west and north doors were also decorated with handsome columns: on the former was the date , and on the latter that of . The interior dimensions of this Church were feet in length, in breadth, and about in height: the altitude of the tower being about feet. In the latter were contained bells, to ring in peal, and a clock, for which they chimed at the hours of and .

spacious tables affixed to the wall on the north and south sides of the altar, contained the following parochial


[a] Stow's Survey of London, by the Rev. J. Strype. Lond. 1720. fol. Vol. II. book iv. chap. ii. p. 47.—The great extent, variety, and value, of the Manor of Stepney are also shewn by the following description of it entered in the Domesday Book; the survey of which was finished in A.D. 1086. At the very lowest estimate of the ancient landmeasures, the quantity set down cannot be less than 2500 acres; and according to other calculations may amount to 3840 acres, or six square miles.—Stibenhede: taxed at 32 hides. The land is 25 carucates: 14 hides are in demesne, on which there are three ploughs. The villains have 22 ploughs. There are 44 villains who hold a virgate each, and 7 who hold half a hide jointly: 9 villains who have each half a virgate, and 45 cottars who have a hide between them, rendering 30 shillings per annum. There are 4 mills, valued at 4 pounds, wanting 16 shillings and 4 pence; a meadow, sufficient for 25 plough-lands; pasturage for the cattle of the town, and 15 shillings rent; wood for 500 swine, and 40 shillings rents. In the whole it is valued at 48l. per annum; in the time of King Edward at 50l. The chief proprietor was the Bishop of London.— Domesday Book, by Abr. Farley and J. Nichols, Lond. 1783. fol. vol. i. fol. 127, col. 2.

[b] Strype's Stow's Survey of London, Vol. II. book iv. chap. ii. p. 44.

[c] Environs of London, (Middlesex,) vol iii. Lond. 1795, 4to. p. 448.

[d] This Act of Parliament received the Royal Assent June 16th, 1817. The new Church of All Saints, Poplar was Consecrated July 23d, 1823, by Dr. William Howley, Bishop of London; the Rev. Samuel Hoole, A.M., son of the Translator of Tasso and Ariosto, being the first and present Rector. The edifice is erected in a field on the south side of the East India Road, near the grand entrance to the East India Docks, and was designed by Mr. Charles Hollis. A View and description of it are inserted in the Gentleman's Magazine for June 1831, Vol. ci, part i. p. 489, plate 1.

[e] Lysons' Environs of London, Vol. iii. pp. 383, 384.—The bounds of this Parish, says Hatton, in his New View of London, 1708, 8vo. Vol. ii. p. 484, are thus: Beginning at the Church it extends through Upper Shadwell to Cock-hill, the west side of Love-lane; then down Cock-hill and Lower Shadwell; thence to Wapping-Wall; thence to New Crain, and to New Gravel-lane; and into West Garden: and so to Blue-gate Field, and the east side thereof, and King David's-lane and Back-lane. The most remarkable features of the Parish, as stated by Maitland in his History of London, edit. 1756, Vol. ii. p. 1380, are the Church; a Presbyterian Meeting House; two Church, and one Presbyterian Charity Schools; a Market, a Medicinal Spring; two Engines, for supplying the neighbourhood with river-water; two Wells, which flow plentifully, and supply the inhabitants with spring-water; a Dock, for ship-building; five places, denominated Stairs, for people to go upon or return from off the River; and a Workhouse for the reception of the poor. Shadwelle is mentioned as a town in the Abbreviato Placitorum, of the 18th of Edward II, 1325. Rot. 174.

[a] On account of the ancient and intimate connection between Shadwell Church and the Deanery of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, the armorial ensigns of the latter are represented beneath the annexed Engravings. They are also the arms of the See of London, with a distinction; and are blazoned Gules, two swords in saltire proper, between them in chief the letter D Argent.

[b] Repertorium Ecclesiasticum Parochiale Londinense: by Rich. Newcourt, Lond. 1708. fol. Vol. i. p. 708.

[d] Cited from the Parish Records, in Maitland's History of London, Vol. ii. p. 1379.

[a] Strype's Stow's Survey of London, Vol. II. The Circuit Walk, p. 105.—On the front of the south gallery appeared the date of 1719, with a shield of arms, Argent, two bars Gules, on a canton two lions' heads erased Or.—Lysons' Environs of London, Vol. iii. p. 384.

View all images in this book
 Title Page
 Howell's View of London
 View of the Fire of London
 City Wall
 The Conduits of Cheapside and Cornhill
 Plan of the Fire in Bishopsgate Street, Cornhill, and Leadenhall Street: November 7th, 1765
Frost Fair on the River Thames
 Part of the Strand: St. Clement's Danes
 Ancient Structure in Ship Yard: Temple Bar
 St. Paul's Cross and Cathedral: With King James I and his Court at a Sermon
 Ancient Cathedral Church of St. Paul, London
 Paul's Cross (and Preaching There)
Elsinge Spital, Sion College, and the Church of St. Alphage, London Wall
 Elsinge's Hospital; or, as it is otherwise denominated, Elsynge Spittle
 Sion College
 The Priory and Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield
 The Church of St. Bartholomew the Less: Giltspure Street, West Smithfield, in the Ward of Farringdon Without
Crosby Hall, Bishopsgate Street
The Priory and Church of St. Helen, Bishopsgate Street
 Monument of Sir Andrew Judde, Knight: In the Church of St. Helen, Bishopsgate Within
St. Michael's Church: Cornhill
The Parish Church of St. Paul, Shadwell: In the County of Middlesex
 The Parish Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill: In Cornhill Ward
Extracts from the Vestry Books of the Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill
 St. Saviour's Church
 St. Saviour's Church, Southwark
 Winchester Palace, Southwark
 Chapels at the Eastern End of the Church of St. Saviour, Southwark
 Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem
 An Account of Bermondsey, its Manor, Priory, and Abbey
 Priory of the Holy Trinity: In the Ward of Aldgate
 St. Martin-le-Grand College, and St. Vedast, Foster Lane
 Guildhall Chapel
 A short Account of Lazar Houses in and near London
 Knightsbridge Chapel
 Lambe's Chapel and Alms-Houses: Monkwell Street, Cripplegate
 The late Mr. Skelton's Meeting House, Erected Near the Site of the Globe Theatre, Maid Lane, Southwark
 Zoar Street, Gravel Lane, Meeting House and School
 Oratory, Under the Antient Mansion, or Inn, of the Priors of Lewes in Sussex
 Whitehall: Plate I
 Whitehall: Plate II
 Whitehall: Plate III
 St. James's Palace
 Fawkeshall, or Copped Hall, Surrey
 Toten-Hall, Tottenham Court Road
 King John's Palace
 Clarendon House, called also Albemarle House
 Somerset House
 Suffolk House
 York House
 Durham, Salisbury, and Worcester Houses
 Sir Paul Pindar's House
 Montagu House: Great Russel Street, Bloomsbury
 The British Museum
 Bedford House, Bloomsbury Square
 Peterborough House, afterward Grosvenor House, Millbank, Westminster
 Craven House, Drury Lane
 Ancient Mansion called Monteagle House: Montague Close, Southwark
 Oldbourne Hall, Shoe Lane: In the Parish of St. Andrew, Holborn