Mark Whitechapel (Goodman’s Fields) 1839-1925
also known as St Mark, Tenter
baptism & wedding statistics
THE CHURCH & ITS PARISH….
For the earlier history of Goodman's Fields see here.
The 1755 map [left], from an edition of John Stow's Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster,
shows the area as the southern part of the parish of St Mary Matfelon,
the original 'White Chapel' which gave the district its name. (That
church was rebuilt several times, blitzed in the war and its site is
now Altab Ali Park; much has been written about its history). By the
mid-19th century houses had been built around the edge of Tenter
North, South, East and West Tenter Streets (a few of which remain) and
it was bisected by what became Scarborough and St Mark's Streets. It had become a poor and populous district, and the decision was made to create a new parish. The 1868 map right, shows the location of the church; further south, the school hemmed in by the railway, and to
the east, on Backchurch Lane, the mission chapel mentioned below.
church was built in 1838 by the
Churches Fund, at a cost of £5,265 11s 1d to
Henry Wyatt and his collaborator David Brandon
(their first London church) and
consecrated on 30 May 1839. By Order in Council of 1 April 1841 a
parish area was carved out of St Mary's parish, but the incumbent
remained a 'Perpetual Curate' until 1863. The Dowager Queen Adelaide
building of a Sunday and infant school. National
Schools were established that year
Street and Royal Mint Street,
where a parish hall was also built. A vicarage, in neo-Tudor style, was
provided in St Mark's Street, near to the Jews' Orphan Asylum described
1851 census lists the population of the parish as 15,790, in 1,757
'households' - an average of 9.09% per household, the highest
East London, and with the highest percentage of Irish and foreign-born
residents (primarily from Germany, Holland, Poland and Prussia). Those
who were not in 'seasonal employment' worked in tailoring and
dressmaking - especially women and Jewish men who were increasingly
settling in the area. They worked from home, on a piecework basis, so
needed to live near their suppliers. In 1858 the parish was described,
at a committee of the House of Lords, as ‘utterly
Under a faculty of 23 September 1874 William Alexander
Longmore of Aldgate removed the
north and south galleries to throw open the roof, rebuilt the east wall six feet further east to allow a chancel to
be formed, partially reseated the church and did various repairs; the Incorporated Church Building Society made a grant (see their plan 07698, drawn by another architect, G.H. Simmons). In 1879 the organ,
a 17-stop 2 manual instrument by Gray and Davison,
ordered in 1839 and installed in 1846, was moved from the west gallery
and rebuilt in the old vestry at the north-east by T.R. Willis. (It was
further rebuilt by Robert Slater & Son of Forest Gate in 1904 or
1906, with 20 speaking stops. The organist in the 1920s was Charles F.
Willson. When the church
closed, the organ was moved to St James Alperton, but was later replaced by
another instrument). Two years later the
interior was brightened by some wall paintings.The exterior is pictured right in the 1920s.
An 1863 Guide to the Church Services in London and its suburbs lists the pattern of worship (though it is probably incomplete) as:
11am & 6.30pm; weekdays (except Saturday) and holy days 11am, plus
Wednesdays at 1pm; HC first Sunday and greater festivals
Other institutions within the parish
For a few years In the 1850s the Working Tailors' Association had a small co-operative factory in Tenter Street, one of a dozen such experiments copying the French self-governing workshops (les associations ouveriers)
launched by Christian Socialists under the leadership of J.M.
Ludlow and largely financed by Edward Vansittart Neale. (F.D. Maurice,
on whom see below, was the titular head of the Society for Promoting
Working Men's Associations but was curiously lukewarm about practical
projects, perhaps fearing that they would become movements of protest
rather than change.) Much has been written about this movement, and the reasons
for the projects' failures.
By the end of the 19th century, there were various hostels and clubs in the parish, including
- Friend in Need, a night refuge for 140 men housed in a former 3-storey gun factory: according to the Church Weekly
of 1899, it charged 2d a night for a hammock, pillow and leather
coverlets - below the
normal range of anything up to 6d, though the Sisters of the Church
managed to provide facilities for
1d. It is mentioned in 1891 in a story in the Monthly Packet of Evening Readings for Younger Members of the English Church edited by Charlotte M. Yonge [see below] - perhaps one of the earliest teenage magazines!
- in addition to the Jewish orphan asylum mentioned above, Rosaline House
at 2 North Tenter Street was established in 1888 (renamed Sarah Pyke House
in 1893) as the second home run by the Jewish
Ladies' Association for Preventative and Rescue Work, founded three
years earlier with Lady Rothschild as president. This was specifically
to provide a transit house
(with a resident matron) and informal employment agency for domestic
work for Jewish girls who had fallen into prostitution, or had been
denied divorce by their husbands, or had in some other way fallen
outside the family networks, and were therefore at risk from the
scheming of white slave trade traffickers; see here for more details.
- Gertrude House
was a girls' club run by the branch of the Catholic Social Union based
at the nearby English Martyrs church, described in a little more detail here.
intriguing mix of clergy served this
church during its near-century of existence, some drawn by commitment
to the urban poor, some to the possibilities of mission among those of
other faiths, particularly the Jews who came to make up the majority
of its population, several distinguished scholars and national figures,
hit the headlines in other ways. After an initial 'protestant phase',
of them were broad church and liberal, though there were a few
high-church ritualists. Here are details of the incumbents ('Perpetual
Curates' until 1863, then Vicars); see here for the many curates.
first incumbent, from 1839, was Neville Jones (formerly of
the Episcopal Floating Church),
of St Catharine's College Cambridge, ordained by the Bishop of Lincoln
in 1832. In his time the parish received a grant from the 'Metropolitan
Society', whose full name was 'The Association
for Promoting the Relief of Destitution in the Metropolis, and for
Improving the Condition of the Poor, by means of Parochial and District
Visiting, under the superintendence of the Bishop and Clergy, through
the agency of Unpaid Visitors [later
and without reference to religious persuasion]'. It was founded in 1845
and was one of a network of agencies which believed that charitable
relief must be accompanied by a systematic programme of district
visiting to address the social and moral causes of poverty. (It was also active at Trinity Episcopal Chapel.) Neville Jones wrote to them:
held a meeting of influential
inhabitants yesterday, and formed a committee of ten gentlemen, with
hope of adding to their number. Sixteen other persons volunteered to
act as visitors, and I doubt not, in a little while, considerably to
increase the number, as we all were encouraged by your kind promise of
pecuniary aid to relieve the vast amount of distress which naturally
prevails in such localities as mine; and I now find that a want of
means to relieve the misery to be encountered was the circumstance
which kept many of my people from the work of district visiting, That
objection will now be obviated by the assistance of your society.
1847 he swapped posts with John Lyons at
St George Bolton (a curious iron-framed church). This pleased neither
the congregation at Bolton nor Mr Jones - he had been assured that the
benefice was worth over £330 a year, but he could only manage to scrape
together £97. He wrote I am
sorry to find, I have been so sadly misinformed by Mr. Lyons in this
matter....all the affairs of St George's seem to be in a sad state of
Confusion. Nevertheless, he remained there for 44 years,
retiring after 58 years in ministry (when he was presented with a
portrait and a purse of gold), having seen his populous parish divided by the creation of St James Little Bolton in 1862, and St Matthew
Bolton in 1874 when he 'lost' 8,000 of his 20,000 parishioners. (St George's has long been redundant - for a time it
craft centre - and the central Bolton parishes are now grouped
In 1859 he aroused the wrath of the legal profession by announcing, in
despite the creation of the new Court of Probate he was still entitled
to grant probate and letters of administration without recourse to
John Lyons (1847-52), was born in Ireland in 1804 and ordained there. Briefly minister of Long Acre Chapel
in London (where he was active in the Irish Society of London) and from
1833-38 of All Saints Chapel, Grosvenor Street in Liverpool (created
from a former tennis court in 1798, licensed by the Bishop of Chester
in 1832 - and sold to the Roman Catholics in 1845), he was involved in
various Protestant associations, and debates with Roman
Catholics, including this
marathon six day session, harmoniously conducted, on 'The Rule of
Faith' and 'The Sacrifice of the Mass' at Downside College, Bath in
1834 [title page right]. After his time in Bolton, and his exchange with Neville
Jones, he became vicar of Tillingham in Essex (eliciting a pious ode on his departure - right - published in John Osborne A Poetic Miscellany 1866), then in 1859 of
St Bartholomew Wednesbury, where there is a memorial marking his death in 1883.
A 'Rev J. Lyons' wrote this poem [left] in The Ladies' Repository of
1849; if it was not him, it's worth including anyway as a pious
response to new technology! [Compare the famous example of bathos by
the Poet Laureate Alfred Austin, fifty years later on the illness of
the Prince of Wales: Across the wires the electric message came: 'He is no better. He is much the same.']
services in 1851 were listed as at 11am and 6.30pm, and Wednesdays at
7pm, with the Lord's Supper on the first Sunday of the month: Seats to be had at the School-house,
Rosemary Lane, or after service, Wednesday evenings.
came John Llewellyn Davies
Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge, who came to St Mark's after a
year's unpaid curacy at St Anne Limehouse. He was a Broad Churchman and lifelong friend and disciple
Maurice (as were several of his successors), working with him on the establishment of the foundation of the Working Men's College in 1854. A frequent letter-writer to The Times and The Guardian he corresponded with many
leading liberal figures of the day - you can read some of their
replies, edited by his son as A Victorian Postbag. This appeal [right] from The Evangelical Magazine vol 32 (154) shows his willingness to work ecumenically. (See here for his friend and unpaid curate Robert Hebert Quick.)
The first of his many scholarly publications was his joint translation with D.J. Vaughan [see below] of Plato's Republic (1852), followed by Saint
Paul and Modern Thought, a response to Jowett's commentary (1856). In that year he became Rector of Christ Church Marylebone, remaining there until 1889. There were two collections of sermons -The
Work of Christ, or the World reconciled to God, with a Preface on the
Atonement Controversy (1860) and Sermons on the Manifestation of the Son of God, with a Preface
addressed to Laymen on the present position of the Clergy of the Church
of England, and an Appendix on the Testimony of Scripture and the
Church as to the Possibility of Pardon in the Future State (1864). He
wrote or co-wrote three of the Tracts for Priests and People, produced
by a range of Broad Churchmen in the wake of Essays and Reviews (vol 1 1861, vol 2 1862). In 1866 came The Epistles of St. Paul to the Ephesians, the Colossians, and Philemon, with an Introduction and Notes, and an Essay on the Traces of
Foreign Elements in the Theology of these Epistles; and in the same year The Poor Law and Charity,
a paper published in Macmillan's
Magazine which foreshadows the approach to
was to characterise the work of the Charity Organisation Society. Other works included Morality according to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, Three
Discourses on the Names Eucharist, Sacrifice, and Communion (1867), The Church of England and the Church of Rome (1870),Theology & Morality (1873), and The Gospel and Modern Life, Sermons on some of the Difficulties of the
Day, with a Preface on a recent Phase of Deism (1875).
Leaving London with a 700-name testimonial to his influence, he became
Vicar of Kirkby Lonsdale from 1889-1908 (where in 1891 he produced Baptism, Confirmation, and the Lord's Supper, as interpreted by their
outward Signs, three Expository Addresses for Parochial use), retiring to Hampstead at the
age of 82. He was a Chaplain to the Queen (and then the King) from
1876. An original member of the Alpine Club, he was one of the first to
climb some of the Swiss peaks. He was a strong advocate
of women's rights, and his sister Emily was
one of the founders of Girton College. He had one daughter and six sons; his son Arthur's
five boys were the inspiration of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan.
He died in 1916, aged 90; here is his obituary in The Times.
(1856-60) was Davies' exact contemporary (and joint Bell's Scholar) at
in 1852 they produced together a translation with scholarly
Plato's Republic, the most widely-used version until eclipsed by that of Benjam Jowett, and still well-regarded.
Influenced by Maurice, Ludlow and Campbell
(who dedicated his Evidences to
he had moved from Tractarianism to a liberal, broad church position
which embraced the emerging Christian Socialism. He joined the Society
for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce in 1853. At
Rugby School and
Cambridge he had become 'surrogate brother' to T.H. Green, the
philosopher of social justice. After his time at St Mark's, he became the third of his High Tory father
Edward Thomas Vaughan's (1777-1829) six
sons - there were also eight daughters - to succeed him as vicar of St
Martin Leicester (now the Cathedral), following Charles John (1841-44) and Edward Thomas Jnr
(1845-59). He spent the whole of his
ministry there - turning down the living of Battersea although it was worth
£1200 a year, as against his Leicester stipend of
£140. The Vaughan porch to the cathedral's south door (designed by J.L.
Pearson) was a memorial to the brothers and their father, and especially to David's
adult education work.
In The Health of
he advocated vaccination, better housing and fewer premature marriages.
He was an assiduous visitor at the Infectious Diseases Hospital,
despite the personal risks. In The Church and Socialism (1889)
he raised the issue of poor employment prospects for men over 40: when brain
and strength are at their best a man is liable to be regarded as past
1894 he supported an international move to limit conscription to a
single year, in the cause of peace. But he opposed non-sectarian
teaching in Board Schools, as weakening morality. He is most remembered
for founding - after Maurice's example - the Leicester Working Man's
College, now Vaughan College (Leicester University's Adult Education
Centre). He died in 1905.
[His brother Charles John Vaughan,
also a product of Thomas Arnold's Rugby School, was appointed
Headmaster of Harrow in 1845 where he sought to achieve a similar
programme of public school reform, and pointed several hundred young
men (his 'doves') towards ordination - eighteen of them became bishops,
and two archbishops. Highly regarded as a preacher, and by such as
Benson, Davidson, Westcott and Jowett, he left Harrow after firteen
years (as he claimed had always been his plan), returning to Leicester
before becoming Vicar of Doncaster, and then (in plurality) Master of
the Temple and Dean of Llandaff, and also Deputy Clerk of the Closet to
maintain his connections with Queen Victoria. Why he did not
himself become a bishop remains a matter of some pseculation. In 1964
Phyllis Grosskurth claimed it was because of a well-concealed sexual scandal:
misconduct with a pupil, Alfred Pretor, who revealed this in a letter
to fellow-pupil John Addington Symonds.
Symonds, though by then part of the Oxford homosexual 'network' (he
later married and had children. but remained a writer and commentator
on 'male love', as well as an enthusiast for Italian travel - see here
for a tribute after his
death by the local county court judge A.R. Cluer) was encouraged to
tell his father, who is it said prevented Vaughan's appointment as
Bishop of Rochester. (Pretor never spoke to Symonds again.) But Canon
Trevor Park, who has published Vaughan's 300 surviving letters (out of
an estimated total of 300,000 - the rest were burnt at his request)
claims, in Nolo Episcopari: A Life of C.J. Vaughan
(St Bega Press 2014) that, although there were certainly 'romantic
friendships' with pupils past and present (Vaughan was married, but
childless), there is no clear evidence of misconduct, and that he
declined episcopal offers because of his understanding of vocation
rather than because of the threat of exposure.]
(1860-66 - Vicar from 1863) was a student at Rugby under Dr Arnold, and
at Balliol, then Trinity College Oxford where he became Fellow and
Tutor prior to his
appointment here. (He had been President of the Oxford Union, and years
later commented on a debate in which W.E. Gladstone, future Prime
Minister, had spoken for a particular motion but then voted against
it.) The family home was at Rainsford Lodge, in the centre
of Chelmsford; while still a student, he was involved in the
development of the Chelmer & Blackwall Navigation Company [see this 1852 deed, left]. Throughout
his life he corresponded with leading figures of the liberal world -
among them E.A. Freeman, a Trinity contemporary who became Regius
Professor of Modern History - see examples here.
Three children were born at the parsonage in Goodman's Fields -
William, who became a priest, Frank who became a civil servant in
Ceylon, and Grace (one of the first women to study at Oxford). See here
for the evidence he gave in 1862 to the Select Committee on the
Ecclesiastical Commission, on the funding of poor parishes.
then became Vicar of Pershore, in Worcester diocese. See here
for the text of the paper he gave at a Social Science Congress in 1869,
arguing for non-denominational, undogmatic religious education in
schools. The choice, he said, was between
ignoring religion and ignoring religious difficulties. A really good
secular system would be better than none at all, and it would at, least
remove the great obstacle to all improvement - dense stupidity.
In 1873 he became Vicar of Great Waltham, north of Chelmsford but then
diocese, where be became a council member of the Essex Field Club
(incidentally, along with the Revd W.S. Lach-Szyrma from Barkingside,
who had led a mission at Christ Church Watney Street).
Bartlett was the Bampton Lecturer
in 1888: his eight philosophical lectures on St Paul were published
as The Letter and the Spirit [right]. In 1893 he was one of ten contributors to a series of lecture-sermons Christus Imperator, on
the 'Universal Empire of Christianity', edited by Charles Stubbs,
Dean-designate of Ely (Macmillan 1984), his topic being 'Christ in the
Realm of Philosophy'. (Fellow-contributors included Llewelyn Davies [above] on 'Christ in the Realm of Ethics', Brooke Lambert [below] on 'Christ in the Realm of Science', Samuel Barnett
- by then Warden of Toynbee Hall - on 'Christ in the Realm of
Sociology' and Canon Rawnsley, founder of the National Trust, on
'Christ in the Realm of Art'.) There were other publications, including
an article on 'The Limits of Ritual in the Church of England'
(Contemporary Review 1890), and chapters on 'The Holy Catholic Church' in
ed. Henry Wace and F.W. Farrar Church and Faith (Blackwood 1899) and on 'The Relations of the Church of England with Modern Nonconformity' from the 1899 Christian Conference
of the Church Congress (A & C Black 1900) - a body established in
1881 which included fellow-liberals such as Brooke Lambert and Harry Jones.
died aged 75 of 'cardiac exhaustion' in 1904 at Rainsford Lodge, which was sold in 1918 (and later became the
site of Essex County Council staff car park until it was redeveloped for
housing). Grace became a leading light of the Chelmsford Girls' Aid Society, to help young women and girls who are
unsteady or in dangerous surroundings
- a shelter was named Bartletts in her memory. She was also one of the
first probation officers appointed when the Probation
of Offenders Act 1907 created this new profession.
Lambert [right], from
a titled, originally Huguenot, family, came
from Brasenose College
Bartlett’s curate and then became Vicar (1866-71). Along with
Barnett at St Jude Whitechapel, he was described as one of the
'squires of the slums'. (See Nigel Scotland Squires in the Slums
(I.B. Tauris 2007) which traces the impact of Lambert, Barnett and
others through to the establishment of university settlements and
missions in the latter years of the century.) Influenced by F.D.
Maurice, he was heavily
involved in social action, serving
on many committees and researching poor law administration, producing
statistics that anticipate the work of Charles Booth. Seven
Sermons on Pauperism, preached
at St Mark's in 1870, were published. He founded a soup kitchen, a
mutual improvement society and a working men's club, and campaigned for
a public mortuary in the area, in the light of cases such as that
reported in The Lancet (30
October 1860) of a child who had died of scarlet fever lying for seven
days in a single underground room where his parents and three other
children lived and slept, in a house in Tenter Street shared by several
families. He became a member
of the Guild
of St Matthew, and one of his lectures on their behalf was 'The Republic of Plato and the
Republic of Christ'.
He was also an
ardent vegetarian, writing
about the local slaughterhouses:
|If any one wishes to know
nuisance be real, let him turn out of the Whitechapel Road at the
entrance to the London and North-Western goods station, and pass down
the streets leading thence to Mansell Street. He will then know what
the smell of blood is. And yet he will probably often boldly encounter
the smell of blood in preference to the worse sights he will risk in
Whitechapel Road. The carts laden with fresh skins, the pails full of
blood and brains, are sights to which a long experience does not harden
Anna Bonus Kingsford The
Perfect Way in Diet, chapter 8 – a Vegetarian
Society publication that went through several editions.
left because of poor health; after a year in Rainhill, Lancashire in
1872 he became Vicar of Tamworth, and then
from 1880 until his death in 1901 Vicar of Greenwich, where he worked
schools, founded the Greenwich Provident Dispensary, and chaired the
Metropolitan Association for Befriending Young Servants. He published widely, and his papers
were bought by the University of Iowa libraries.
In 1866 the curate W.R. Scott established a mission chapel, named St Clement, at 69 Backchurch Lane. It is shown on this 1868 map, but was short-lived; more detail here.
Davenport was Lambert's successor as Vicar (1871-99), and also
Lecturer at St George-in-the-East from 1871-75, and
he continued these
Booth archives contain an interview (B222,
pages 78-89). He
trained at Queen's College Birmingham (founded in 1828) and served a
brief curacy at Tamworth (see previous paragraph) in 1857, followed by
five others in various parts of the country, the last at St Mary
Whitechapel. He was also 'some time' domestic chaplain to the Marquis
of Lansdowne. His brother-in-law, George Frederick Carlson, was a
missionary in Zululand for 35 years. In his latter years curates conducted most of the occasional offices.
Work among the
Jews, and beyond
the parish population became overwhelmingly Jewish, St Mark's attempted
for a time to offer a Christian witness to the diverse
diaspora which had settled here (many living in extreme
but with a rich cultural life). Four clergy who were Jewish converts*
served here - as did two others at Christ Church Watney Street, and one
at St John the Evangelist Grove Street; their
stories are told in more detail here.
* Hermann Hirsch was curate from
1868-70, and Alexander William
Schapira from 1887-90 (and later at Christ
Church). A decade later, Albert
was curate (1896-1900), and Secretary of the Hebrew Christian
Message to Israel.
from 1899-1907 (curiously, he only became a trustee of the parish's
National School in 1904 - incumbents are normally ex officio). He was given a dispensation to preach in
Hebrew. In 1885 Charlotte
sometimes described as 'the novelist of the Oxford movement', wrote to
her cousin Mary about a meeting with Rosenthal at which he explained
Jewish customs to her. The Booth Archive contains an interview
him [B222 pages 108-125]. His memorial tablet (in dark
which was moved to St Paul Dock Street when St Mark's closed, says formerly
a Jewish rabbi, he was converted in early manhood to the Christian
religion, and enduring much persecution thenceforth laboured
unceasingly to bring to his Jewish brethren the knowledge of Jesus
More on his later ministry here. (His son David became the vicar of St Agatha Sparkbrook, an inner-city
anglo-catholic parish in Birmingham, until his sudden death in 1938.
Descendants remain active in the Church in Wales, and we are grateful
for information that they have provided.)
this focus petered out. Rosenthal's
successor from 1907-21 was Lionel Smithett Lewis. Ordained
in 1891 from Queens' College Cambridge, he had been a curate in
Cheltenham, Pimlico, Clifton (Bristol) and Mile End New Town before
coming here. He
was a keen member of the Church
Anti-Vivisection League (founded in 1889), whose first annual
report stated the torture of God's
sentient creatures is a sin.
This was one of many of societies campaigning against animal
experimentation; others were the Society for United Prayer against
Cruelty, the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, the
Electoral Anti-Vivisection League, the London Anti-Vivisection Society,
the National Anti-Vivisection Society, the Society for the Abolition of
Vivisection, the Victoria Street Society, and the Working
Association for the Suppression of Vivisection. (See Wilkie Collins'
anti-vivisectionist novel Heart & Science
1883.) A crabby comment in the British Medical Journal of 14 July 1906 says of his sermon at the League's annual service at Christ Church Endell Street:
|....The general dreariness and banality... seems to have been only
relieved by his concluding statement of a belief that animals not less
than man are included in the scope of the Redemption. It is a doctrine
which may be commended to the study of theologists; when they have
settled it, possibly those who share Mr. Lewis's prejudices might
observe with some advantage the general scheme of Nature, note the
general preying of animal upon animal, of insect upon insect, and ask
themselves whether, apart from physical suffering, the standpoint of
nearly all Christian sects is not that we are all here in pursuance of
a vast experiment, being sent into the world with free wills, and
inoculated at birth with the toxins of good and evil. Unfortunately,
however, there are no controls, and the result can never be known to
any of us in mundane life.
Vivisection became a local issue in Lewis' time with demonstrations
in 1909 at the London Hospital against animal experimentation
undertaken to improve the practice of anaesthesia; other less
progressive hospitals in
poor areas, such as Battersea and the Old Kent Road, were established
which opposed both vivisection and vaccination. At the 1908 AGM of the
Metropolitan Hospital Sunday Fund (which had raised £80,000 that year,
half of it from churches) Lewis protested, unsuccessfully, at the
exclusion of the Battersea Anti-Vivisection Hospital from the list of
recipients. The hospital collection at St Mark's that year had raised
3s 3d (British Medical Journal 26 December 1908).
passion of his 86 years was the Holy Grail. When he left Whitechapel he
of Glastonbury, and wrote St
Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury: or the Apostolic Church of Britain
(first published in 1922, and much-reprinted
- described as queer
but carefully-documented); Glastonbury,
the Mother of Saints: Her Saints AD 37 - AD 1539;
many other books and pamphlets, based on his belief that the Grail
legend had a factual basis. He died there in 1953, having devoted much
of his energies to the annual
(from which, sadly, women priests remain excluded). He also acquired
for the parish, after an impassioned plea at its auction, one of two
medieval priests' chairs (the other, at the Bishop's Palace in Wells,
is pictured right): the pattern of the so-called Glastonbury chair has been widely copied by church furnishers over the last century.
for some comments on the baptism registers from this period: Rosenthal
(in relation to Jewish converts) and Lewis (including an exchange
across the years on the subject of 'private baptism').
the early part of the 20th century, extreme deprivation and poverty
the church struggled to survive. The congregation continued to dwindle,
and missionary work among the Jews came to nothing. After the
World War the decision was made to close the
church. The school, however, despite various difficulties, and a petition for closure in 1921, remained open until the Second World War.
James Crosby became
Curate-in-charge from 1922-26 (when the church closed), and Curate of the united parish (with St
Paul Dock Street) from 1926-28 - no doubt a depressing 'closure' ministry. He had
previously served in Norfolk, Kent and Cornwall and as a chaplain in
the First World War. He went on to become
Rector of Prieska in the northern Cape Province - then a remote farming
area (its name means 'place of the lost goat') at a ford crossing the
Orange River, which had featured in the
Boer War - the fort, decorated with locally-mined semi-precious stones
including tiger's-eye, survives [pictured].
More recently copper, zinc and
asbestos were mined there.
Order in Council of 30
April 1926 united the parish to St
Paul Dock Street, and the building was eventually demolished in 1937.
site was sold for £6,000 and the money given to help the
of St Francis, Dollis Hill. The bell, pulpit and two fonts were given
to St Alphege, Hendon, and the wall paintings to Wragby
Church in Lincolnshire. A warehouse, by Moore-Smith and Colbeck, incorporating the former parsonage
as offices, was built on the site; it is now flats.
memorial to 29 men from St Mark's parish who were killed in the First
World War - a ceramic crucifixion, with wooden shutters listing the
transferred to St George-in-the-East (via St Paul Dock Street) but was
stolen a few years later in 1991; it has not been recovered [better picture needed].
See here for statistics of baptisms and weddings during the lifetime of the parish.
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Goodman's Fields (2) Prescot
Street ~ Leman Street ~ Rupert & Lambeth Streets ~ Chamber Street
for background to the whole area see Goodman's Fields (1); for Mansell Street see Goodman's Fields (3); see also Magdalen Hospital.
Prescot Street (originally Great Prescot(t) Street)
runs between Mansell Street to the west to Leman Street to the east. It is named for Rebecca Prescott, wife of William Leman.
north side of Prescot Street was the site of an
archaeological evaluation in 2006 and a dig in 2008, prior to the building of a hotel [left, towards South Tenter Street] - see here for details,
including video diaries and material about the significance of the
site. It formed part of what is known as the East London Roman cemetery. In 1678 numerous Roman funeral urns
and lachrymatories, with bars and
silver money had been found here. It
may have been linked with the sixth legion of the Roman army, for in
1787 a stone 15" x 12" x3" was found with the inscription [right]:
Ditches, three burials and a range of pits were uncovered, together with some glass (described in vol.12 of the London Archaeologist).
Several 15th century pits were recorded, including a rubbish pit 10m
across with leather and other organic remains, inlucing 'poulaine'
shoes and leatherworking waste. Later remains dated from the 18th
century housing development.
FL AGICoLA. MIL.
LEG. VI. VICT. V. AN.
XLII. VI. D. X. ALBIA.
As it was developed for good-quality housing, it became
one of the earliest
London streets to have numbered buildings, rather than signs (from
1708) - perhaps copying the practice of the staircases of the Inns of
Court. An early resident, before he moved to Soho Square, was the
'rough old admiral' Sir Cloudesley Shovel. The current Pevsner characterises the street today [left, looking west] as ragged with insignificant commercial permises and flashy offices muscling in on older fabric. As noted below, a number of buildings (including some since demolished) were listed at Grade 2 in 1973. Also left are two distinctive bollards from the street (see here for a comprehensive website on London street bollards); right are Victorian watercolours of the front and rear of no.43.
From around 1870-90 there was a synagogue in
the street, and from 1857-80 the Jewish Widows' Home Asylum was at no.67 before
moving to Hackney. In the early 20th century the Association for the
Protection of Women and Girls ran a refuge for young girls arriving in
London and at risk from pimps and procurers. See above and here for more details of Jewish welfare agencies in the area. Bonn's Kosher Hotel was at no.12 - left is a lavish wedding menu of 1892. Bonn's Matzos was taken over by Rakusens in the 1970s (more details here). Right is Prescot Street in 1935, looking eastwards.
South side today
Nos.1 & 9 were developed in Art Deco [Pevnser specifies 'Amsterdam School'] style in the 1930-33 by L.G. Ekins, architect of the
Co-operative Wholesale Society [on which see below], and used by the
Co-op Bank; they are
Grade 2 listed buildings. J.C. Blair's carving over the doorway of
symbolises CWS principles - two individuals shaking hands beneath a
hive of bees where the bees gain benefits from mutual co-operation [see below on the wheatsheaf, another Co-op symbol]. Formerly offices, in
1999 no.1 was converted into 150 luxury flats (winning awards).
In July 2008 some corporate directorates of Barts and the London moved
into no.9 (103,500 sq ft) - bringing them full circle. Other CWS headquarters in Leman Street are described below.
No.15 [right] is the neat and narrow [Pevsner] Princess of Prussia public house, built around 1880. Princess Anna Amalia (1723-87) was a gifted musician, whose sister married the Crown Prince of Sweden.
Next door, at no.16,
Whitechapel County Court, a 4-storey Italianate building, modelled on a Florentine or Pisan town house or small palace, with arched windows, detached columns and a heavy dentil cornice, designed in
by Charles Reeves & Lewis G. Butcher (showing an early
Ruskin influence): Reeves was the surveyor of county courts, and some
of his drawings are at the National Archives. It combines features of
19th century police stations
with those of commercial and industrial Victorian buildings; it was
listed in 1973. (See here for the history of magistrates' courts in the area.) After the court moved, it was used as government
offices, and is now the acclaimed Café Spice Namasté with a noted Parsi chef from Goa, Cyrus Todiwala OBE, who makes regular tv appearances. [Building left in 1938 and today, plus interior].
No.21 (and adjacent properties) was the site of the 24-bed London
for sick and diseased manufacturers, seamen in the merchant service
and their wives and families from 1741. The house was rented from Sir
William Leman at 24 guineas a year; it expanded to five houses, and
included a mortuary, a herb garret (for drying and storing medicinal
herbs) and a cold bath (since its first physician was a devotee of
therapeutic bathing). In 1757 it moved to its present site at Mount
Field, Whitechapel Road as the London Hospital. (The excellent Barts
and The London
website provides much more detail about this and other hospital sites, and there is
an fascinating museum at the former St Philip's Church, Newark Street
behind the main hospital buildings.) The
Prescot Street site was then let in 1758 to the Magdalen Hospital
on a 7-year lease. (Magdalen Passage, running through its former site - right - is a reminder.)
When this in turn moved, the premises were used for various purposes, eventually becoming the offices of the National Cigar & Tobacco Workers Union - reflecting a local trade: see, for example, here and here. The Friendly Society of Operative Tobacconists was established as a
craft union in 1834, becoming the United Tobacconists' Society in 1836
and the United Kingdom Operative Tobacconists' Society in 1881;
membership was widened in 1925, as a result of a 1918 conference, to
include all tobacco workers - including women, who by World War II
formed the majority of membership; it disaffilated from the TUC in 1926
over poaching allegations, but rejoined in 1941. In 1946 it merged with
the National Cigar and Tobacco Workers' Union, and in 1986 became part
of TASS - the Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Section - and
two years later of MSF - the Management, Science & Finance Union.
Damaged in the Blitz, the buildings stood derelict until the 1970s,
when they were demolished to make way for the present structure, built
in 1988 with 50,000 ft² of office space on six floors for Abbey
National Bank, later Santander - it became a call centre for 600 staff.
Their lease expired on 24 December 2012, and the freehold was acquired
by the Royal College of Psychiatrists
which, having outgrown 17 Belgrave Square in the West End and already
running some of its activities in East London (including Standon House, 21 Mansell Street), needed premises to bring all
its work together on one site. They moved onto the site in the autumn of 2013 - details here - and we welcome them and wish them well in their new home!
The houses at nos. 23, 24, 25 and 30 were listed Grade II in 1973. No.23,
a 4-storey plus basement yellow brick house with a handsome doorcase, railings and steps, is the only
survivor of the 1770s redevelopment of the Leman estate; no.30
is from the early 19th century (staircase left).
No.24 was a Victorian Tudor house, and
had been the Convent of Mary Immaculate (shown in 1969, next to no.23); no.25, with rounded doorframe, was next door (stairwell right). Both were demolished, and
replaced by a block built as Juno Court, 24-26 (far right - brashly unpleasant, says Pevsner), which is now London City Premier Inn.The sisters remain active in the area.
English Martyrs Roman Catholic Church was built in 1875 to designs by Pugin on the site of a former sawmill; it was listed in 1982.
North side today
No.46 is the 5-star Grange Tower Bridge Hotel [left].
No.66, on the corner of Leman Street, is Kingsfield House, with 113,000 ft² of office space on eight floors [right]; the current Pevsner describes it as gargantuan Postmodern offices in the Stirling vein with pink and beige striped cladding and a curved corner tower.
Little Prescot Street
continuation of Mansell Street, running from the western end of Great
Prescot Street to Rosemary Lane/Royal Mint Street; its original name
was Rosemary Branch Alley. From 1730 to 1855 it was the home of an
old-established Baptist congregation, described in detail here.
Crime was rife, including against children. In 1755
Elizabeth Souther, a beggar, took a 7-year-old girl into a 'house of
office' [outdoor privy] on Rosemary Branch Alley and stole her stays, which she pawned
for one shilling. Souther professed she was stupefied in liquor and
knew nothing of it. Rictor Norton in ch.10 of The Georgian Underworld quotes from The Triumph of Wit, a 'canting dictionary' whose classification of beggars includes paillards or clapperdogeons
who, from infancy, counterfeit lameness, making their legs, arms and
hands appear to be sore, and very nauseous, with cream and blood,
butter and soap, ointment and corrosives, and sometimes by putting on
counterfeit lame legs, and false wither’d arms, making horrible wry
faces, and setting off their story of being shot, burnt, scalded,
perished with the evil, and the like, with a lamentable voice ... mumpers - genteel beggars, who begged alms from travellers at inns and street corners, or by knocking at doors; and baudy baskets,
women who wandered the streets with a basket under
their arm and a child, pretending to sell toys and trifles, and so beg
or steal, as they see occasion, and find opportunity.
The National Archives hold wills from residents of the street - John Stockley in 1753, Solomon Solomon (or Solomons), fine drawer, in 1814, and John McLern or McLean, mariner, in 1837; and Sun Alliance records include the insurance of Timothy Adshead of 4 Rosemary Branch Alley, tailor & salesman. in 1813. There were Jewish residents - for example, Betsy (Beilah) Isaacs, born 1790 - and also Germans: in 1796 James Riggs was
acquitted at the Old Bailey of violent theft from Maria
Dummert, whose husband was a journeyman farrier working with her German
father in Little Prescot Street. He was accused of stealing her money box (which bore the inscription I love too well to kiss and
- at a cheesemonger's shop between her house in Gowers Walk and
father's in Little Prescot Street. Seven good character references,
including an elder of the India warehouses, were called.
Dodsley's Annual Register for 1803 recorded
|March 10 - A terrible fire broke out
in the night at a cooperage, in Rosemary-branch-alley, Rosemary-lane,
which consumed the whole of the premises, and also Branch's cloaths
exchange, consisting of about 12 houses, chiefly built of wood, and
inhabited by piece-brokers. The fire raged with great furyfor more than
one hours, through the want of water. Happily no lives were lost.
Piece brokers were dealers in cloth, especially remnants. The
elegantly-inscribed registers of St Botolph Aldgate record children and
young people (some from workhouses) for whom they arranged apprenticeships,
including Mary Ann
Evans, aged 14, placed in 1805 with Elizabeth Dishington, widow of 4
Rosemary Branch Alley, as a piece broker till 21 or day of Marriage, for a
fee of £2 plus a further £2 2s at the Expiration of Six Weeks from the date of the Indenture.
Hillatt & Martin, printers at no.13, were publishers of broadside ballads in the first half of the 19th century, and some examples are shown here: nautical songs, such as The Arethusa, The Minute Gun at Sea, Then farewell, my trim-built wherry and Phoebe and her dark-eyed sailor; bawdy songs about Queen Victoria's coronation - The Maiden Queen and Rigs & Sprees of the Coronation (1837); tragi-comic ditties, some in 'Cockney dialect' replacing 'v' with 'w' and adding/subtracting the letter 'h', such as All round my hat (to the tune 'Poor little Fisherman's Boy'), Poll and my partner Joe, Pleasures of Matrimony, and the curious Sarah Gale's Lament (to the tune 'Death of Parker'), concerned with James Greenacre in the Murder of Hannah Brown (December 1856).
In 1855 they distributed a skit (song plus text) on The New General Sunday Trading Bill, with Sir A. A....'s resolutions. (This bill, to restrict Sunday trading, was introduced by Lord Grosvenor, and occasioned riots in Hyde Park; 'Sir A.A' was Sir Andrew Agnew, a Sabbatarian with whom Charles Dickens crossed swords.)
Right is a drawing, c1880, by John Philipps Emslie, of 7, 6 and 5
Little Prescot Street, backing onto Royal Mint Street, showing that a
few wooden houses remained, as well as grander properties.
Leman Street (formerly Red Lion Street) - see also 1921 Street Directory
is an old term for a mistress or lover, which may be the
reason why some local people
pronounce it 'Lemon', and it is so spelt on some old maps, although as explained here the name comes from Sir John Leman. In
1831 the Garrick Theatre was built in the street - see here for details of earlier local theatres - which was demolished in 1891, and the police station (previously a few doors away) was rebuilt on the site. Right is a 'fireproof' sugar refinery of 1850 - see here for
the background to this. The
continued German presence in the vicinity - with churches in Alie Street and Hooper Square - is shown by the two
early 20th century postcards, the first of a 'Christian Home for German
88-90 (later a German YMCA), the second of a private hotel at 114. The
mix of domestic and industrial premises continued apace, and is
explored in more detail here (in relation to the 1921 street directory).
to 1892,13 Hooper Square, off Leman Street, was the base of a firm of
bookbinders, Flude & Skelt,
until 1878 a partnership between James
William Flude, Joseph Birch and George Skelt in Great Prescot Street.
The Skelt family, originally local shoemakers, were prominent in the
printing of toy theatre sheets - left.
was set up in Great Alie Street in 1782 by a group of doctors (including the Quaker physician
and anti-slavery campaigner Thomas Knowles, who died in 1786 from a
fever caught from a patient), with the
Wellington as President. It moved to new
in Leman Street [now 19A] in 1858 [right]. It
closed in 1940 because of wartime
difficulties, and in 1944 the building was leased to the Jewish
Hospital Committee; the Charity Commission refused transfer to the
London Hospital, so assets were transferred to the Marie Celeste
Samaritan Society in 1952. Since 1998 the building has been a pub and
dining room. A 1787 booklet about the Dispensary sold a few years ago for
There are several listed buildings in the street. Left are five images of no.66,
a brown brick 4-storey house of about 1760, with attic added later, at
various periods of its existence:
 &  exterior and interior in 1910, when
it was Manor House Working Men's Home (it may have served a similar
function for some years previously: in 1888 John Wood, of this address,
a chemist and widower, died at Whitechapel workhouse of contusions);
 in dereliction in 1964 - it was listed Grade 2 in 1973, forming a group with nos.60-70 (noting its wood
doorcase with plain Ionic columns, pulvinated frieze and bracketed
cornice with pediment, semi-circular fanlight, archivolt with key and
moulded impost blocks);
 today (with attic removed), now the premises of New Holbud Ship Management Ltd; and
 its doorway.
Two other Grade 2 listed buildings [right] are no.137 with a late 18th/early 19th century façade [at one time the manager's office of the London,Tilbury & Southend Railway's nearby goods depot, and now the Red Chilli curry club], and no.141 with vestiges of an early 18th century façade [which was a mosque for a time, and is now an Indian restaurant]; the Brown Bear was in between at no.139.
1887 the Co-operative Wholesale Society opened the grand headquarters
of its London operations on
the corner of Leman Street and Hooper Street [three views left], a seven-storey structure
in brick, granite and Portland stone incorporating a sugar warehouse
and a prominent clock tower, designed by J.F. Goodey of Colchester, a
CWS committee member about whom little is known. Right is the CWS wheatsheaf logo, Labor and wait, carved on the building. The wheatsheaf [like the bee, above] was a symbol of co-operation - one stalk cannot stand alone - and
is found in various forms on Co-op buildings up and down the land; the
American spelling 'labor' was deliberately used to show solidarity with those
fighting slavery in America, drawing on the final words of the poem 'A
Psalm of Life' by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82): Let us, then, be up and doing, / With a heart for any fate; / Still achieving, still pursuing, / Learn to labor and wait. (The words also provided the chorus of a contemporary temperance song.)
An earlier building on the site, including a tea warehouse and the
delegates' meeting room, was seriously damaged by fire on 30 December
1885 (reported to the authorities by an unemployed man's wife, which
earned her a sovereign). £28,000 was recovered in insurance, and
quarterly meetings were held at Toynbee Hall,
by permission of the Revd Samuel Barnett, until the new premises were
constructed. More details about the building can be found in the 1913 Jubilee History of the CWS. A short 16mm CWS information film, shot in 1931, Rose of the Orient, shows the growing and picking of tea in Sri Lanka, the Leman Street warehouse, and how to make a perfect cuppa! Now a Grade 2 listed building, known as the Sugar House, 99 Leman Street, it has been converted into luxury
large red-brick complex on the corner of Leman and Alie Streets was
developed in the 1970s as a computer, interbank cheque clearing and IT
development centre for National Westminster Bank,
with an extension added in the 1990s. The 'campus' also included
buildings at 75 [first right] and 135 Leman Street (Eastgate House, second right),
linked by a bridge; for a time it had its own pub, The Long Bar
(originally signed as 'Management Services Division'). NatWest was
taken over by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2000 and the computer
mainframes went elsewhere.
Demolition and re-development of the site
began in 2006 to create Berkeley Homes' City Quarter, and is ongoing: here are visualisations of the project. The painting of the demolition [above] is © Joanna Moore, 'The Town Mouse'. The site is one of Tower Hamlet's strategic allocations - left is the draft development plan (under the Local Development Framework) - CAB 051/112. Right
is Leman Street in the 1930s (looking south); in 1963, from the top by
Aldgate East station; the junction of Leman and Cable Streets some
years later; and, at the other end of the street, a Roman Catholic procession in the 1960s; see here for a link to a site with many other historical pictures of Roman Catholic events in the area.
Rupert & Lambeth Streets
lay to the east of Leman Street, both running from Hooper Square to Alie Street - right are Roque's map of 1746 and Weller's of 1868 before the construction of the goods yard between Lambeth Street and Backchurch Lane, resulting in the relocation of Gower's Walk Free School to Rupert Street. In the 18th century Rupert Street had
housed a number of sugar refineries - see here
for details. The Whitechapel 'public office' (police station and magistrates' court) was in Lambeth Street.
The Medical & Physical Journal 1804 (Letter II, 'Of Quacks and Empiricism'), tells this curious tale of a one-time resident of Rupert Street:
Mayersbach, near Schweinfurth, in Germany ... came to London in
November, 1773; and from his subsequent success, he must have possessed
strong radical powers. Every other scheme that was suggested to his
inventive mind having failed, he offered himself to Angelo, who then
kept a riding school, but was not accepted, as his diminutive size
rendered him unsuitable for an equestrian posture-master. About this
period (1773) he became acquainted by an introductory letter from Mr.
Bresener, his brother-in-law, with his countryman, Dr. Griffenberg,
before his reputation was totally blasted by his voluptuous services to
Lord Baltimore; and it was agreed between them, that Griffenberg should
initiate Mayersbach into his urinary deceptions, for which a share of
the profits should be given given to the tutor, and which the great
success of that pupil was enabled amply to confer; but which was
probably withdrawn when Mayersbach became himself a professed adept; at
least, so I was informed by Griffenberg and his wife: part of the
engagement, indeed, extended to the latter, provided she should survive
her husband, which really happened. The agreement, so far as it
respected the widow, is literally translated from the original:
|Whereas Dr. J.T. Griffenberg has, with extraordinary kindness, shewn
me the secrets of his profession, and thereby put me in a situation to
earn my bread as a doctor, and to succeed in his practice, if I should
survive him; I shall ever consider myself hound by duty aud gratitude
to respect the said Dr. Griffenberg as my parent, and always most
punctually to fulfil his will. I swear before Almighty God, by my soul
and salvation, that if in the providence of the Most High, I should
survive the said Dr. Griffenberg, that I will always respect his widow;
and, as a testimony of my gratitude, give unto her during, her life,
six shilliugs a week out of my earnings; in confirmation of which, I hereunto subscribe my name,
THEODOR VAN MAYERS OF MAYERBSBACH, London, November 1773
At the time that Dr Mayersbach first came under the tuition of Dr
Griffenberg, he did not know one article of medicine, nor the treatment
of one disease, when he published the following quack bill:
Doctor Van Mayersbach is arrived from Prague, and intends to remain
here some time; he begs leave to recommend himself to the respectable
public, to be honoured with their confidence, by which he will prove
that he understands the use of medicine, and cures all inward and
outward diseases. He tells every person, by his uncommon knowledge of
urine, not only their diseases, but likewise how to cure them.
The two first patients he had were, one with the itch, and the other
with a cough, and he was obliged to place them in another room, till he
could receive a message from his master how to proceed. It would have
hence been a remuneration which gratitude demanded, independently of
written documents, to have relieved the widow; which, however, he
absolutely refused, at a time when it was said that his income was at
least five thousand pounds a year.
Let it however be recorded to Dr. Mayersbach's honour, that in 1773,
when lie lived in Rupert-street, Goodman's Fields, his wife, after a
tedious illness, which proved fatal, had been attended by Johan
Toennius, apothecary in Mansell-street; and on application to
Mayersbach in 1776, he faithfully discharged the expence of attendance
which her illness had occasioned.
As Mayersbach was totally ignorant of medicines, certain pills,
powders, and drops, with directions to give them, under certain
circumstances, were sent to him; and these he administered
discretionally. As he got a little more fledged, he attempted a loftier
flight, and even ventured to handle edged tools; but in consequence of
their indiscriminate use, many serious effects succeeded, which were
formally communicated to a board of the Royal College of Physicians,
when it was archly observed by one of the board, that the charges
merited investigation in the criminal courts of law; and thus the
business ended with a laugh at the gentleman who presented these
charges, for his ignorance in imagining that the College of Physicians
ever did a wise act; or, in any instance, ever promoted medical science
Mayersbach's reputation continued for some months in the most elevated
degree. As a water doctor in the metropolis must be supposed to know
more than the water doctors in the country, the devotees to deception
flocked to town, or sent up their vials by the stages, and the urinary
traffic of the country was transferred to London; and thus the German
impostor, who, a few months before could not cure the itch, monopolized
the most lucrative professional business in Europe. Among his patients
he could claim a Harrington, a Hawke, and even a Garrick ....
In 1777 the Monthly Review, or Literary Journal
(vol 55) told Dr Toennius' side of the story - how Mayerbach was
lodging with a shoemaker, pleading poverty, claiming to be seeking
employment with a starch-maker, and declaring himself to be totally unacquainted with medicine - so he took no fee until he learnt of his reputation. The report - right - also claims that he treated animals, declaring in one case, after inspecting a cow's urine, that the party had been too free with the ladies of the town. Mayersbach quit London after exposure, but returned within a year and was again successful; he died soon afterwards.
John's Court joined Rupert and Lambeth Streets, and a school maked Little Alie Street Secondary School' was show n here for a time. Christopher Court ran off Lambeth Street. There was a public house, The Crown, at 14 Rupert Street (renamed Goodman Street in the 20th century, prior to the 1970s redevelopment of the whole area into the National Westminster Bank's Goodman's
south of Prescot Street, running alongside and underneath the railway
from Leman Street to Goodman's Yard; it was included in Charles Booth's 1888 survey. Today at its western end is a Travelodge, and Barneys
Seafood, the last remaining fish wholesaler with roots near
Billingsgate Market, whose factory shop sells jellied eels and other
traditional East End fare (lots of good recipes on their site). The former Swallows Gardens (a 'Ripper site') runs through their premises [right].
At the eastern end of the street is
contemporary housing development - example far right. It is hoped that development proposals for the Royal Mint Street site will include community facilities in the railway arches and basements, accessed from Chamber Street.
the corner of Leman and Chamber Streets were the Imperial Warehouses [left in 1970, with its contemporary replacement, an office block at no.120],
base for various businesses over the years. In the latter years of the 19th century it housed the
duty-paid stores of the United Kingdom Tea Company, whose head office
was at 21 Mincing Lane. Their imaginative advertisements of the 1890s have
much-studied for their semiotic significance: they include Samuel Pepys
(who wrote in 1660 I did send for a cup of Tea [a China drink]),
Britannia, and [right] Dr
Livingstone, and a ponytailed Mandarin, all drinking tea, showing it
both as a patriotically English and an exotic activity. A teapot
bearing the company logo, and a model railway wagon, are also shown. In 1889 a clerk, who had a key to the warehouse, was convicted of
stealing 110lb. of tea over a 3-week period, to which he claimed he was
entitled in lieu of unpaid wages. in 1898 William Dunham Ltd, operating from these premises, went bust. In the 20th century, British American Belts Ltd occupied 8-12 Imperial Warehouses; latterly described as plastic goods manufacturers, the company was dissolved in 1969. (The freehold of nos.2,4 and 6 was registered by D. and A. Marks, of 60 Leman
Street, in 1952.)
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