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West Ham

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"HAM (WEST), a parish in the hundred of BECONTREE, county of ESSEX, 4 miles (E. by N.) from London, comprising the wards of All Saints, Church-street, Plaistow, and Stratford-Langthorne, and containing 9753 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Essex, and diocese of London, rated in the king's books at £39 8. 4., and in the patronage of the Crown. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is a spacious structure with a lofty tower at the west end, and contains some handsome monuments. A charity school was founded in 1723, for ten boys; the endowment having been afterwards greatly increased by various bequests, forty boys and twenty girls are now clothed, educated, and apprenticed. A school for clothing and educating forty poor girls has also been established, in pursuance of the will, dated in 1761, of Mrs. Sarah Bonnel, who left £3000 in the funds for that purpose. The West Ham water-works, on the river Lea, supply Stratford-Langthorne, Bromley, Bow, Stepney, Bethnal-Green, and the lower part of Whitechapel. At Stratford-Langthorne an abbey was founded by William de Montfichet, in 1135, for Cistercian monks, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary and All Saints. In the year 1307, the abbot was summoned to parliament, and, at the time of the dissolution of the greater religious houses, the revenue of the abbey was estimated at upwards of £650. Margaret, the unfortunate Countess of Salisbury, beheaded on a charge of high treason in the reign of Henry VIII., resided within the precincts of the abbey about the period of its dissolution. The principal remains are a brick gateway and an ornamented arch, about three furlongs south-west of the church. George Edwards, the natural historian, who died in 1773, was born at Stratford-Langthorne." [From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831) - copyright Mel Lockie 2016]

Places within this parish - Canning Town, Forest GateUpton



  • Census returns are available from the usual sources for 1841-1911, which includes most copies held at the ERO, Wharf Rd, Chelmsford. More information on other ways to view these census returns on the Essex

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

  • West Ham was a member of the Becontree Hundred

You can see the administrative areas in which West Ham has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



'West Ham: Introduction', in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6, ed. W R Powell (London, 1973), pp. 43-50. [British History Online]


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • West Ham was a member of the West Ham Poor Law Union