The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868


ST. MARYLEBONE, a parish and parliamentary borough in the Holborn division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county Middlesex, forming the north-western portion of the metropolis, about 2½ miles N.W. by W. of St. Paul's. It is intersected by the London and North-Western and Under-ground railways, which have several stations in the parish, and by the Regent's canal. It derives its name from the small burn, or bourne, which also gave name to Eyeburn, or Tyburn, and formerly filled reservoirs, whence London was partly supplied with water, and fell into the Thames near Vauxhall Bridge, but has its course now underground. It is bounded by Cleveland-street and the Regent's Park on the E., by the Edgware-road on the W., by Oxford-street on the S., and by Primrose-hill and the Queen's-road on the N., and includes the new suburbs of St. John's Wood, Portland Town, &c.

Though now the richest and most populous metropolitan parish, it was at no very distant period an obscure village, separated from the metropolis by open fields, the haunt of footpads, and where Queen Elizabeth used to hunt. It contains some of the finest squares, crescents, and mansions in the metropolis, including Cavendish and Portman-squares, Park-crescent and square, Manchester-square, Portland-place, the finest street in London, 100 feet wide, &c., and is inhabited by many of the first families in the empire, and likewise the Langham Hotel. Here are also the Regent's Park, laid out in 1812-18 by Morgan, after the designs of Nash, who built most of the terraces around; Botanical and Zoological Gardens, Toxophilite Society's grounds, the Polytechnic, Colosseum, Portman Market, Lord's Cricket-ground, &c. But the necessity of a more particular description of this vicinity of the metropolis is precluded by the various information already given under article LONDON. The manor originally came from the Hobson family to Henry VIII., and was given by James I. to E. Foster: it subsequently passed to the Austens, and through Holles, Duke of Newcastle, to the Harleys, earls of Oxford, then to William Bentinck, Duke of Portland, and, finally, reverted to the crown in 1813. Under the Reform Act it constitutes, with Paddington and St. Pancras parishes, a new borough, returning two members to parliament. In 1851 it contained 40,513 houses, inhabited by a population of 370,957, which in 1861 had increased to 47,896 houses, inhabited by 436,252 persons. The inhabitants are chiefly gentry and trades-people, there being scarcely any manufactures. The living is a rectory in the diocese of London, value £1,250, in the patronage of the crown. The parish church is a spacious structure on the S. side of St. Marylebone-road, directly opposite York Gate, Regent's Park, having in front a Corinthian portico, and surmounted by a tower and cupola. In addition to the parish church there are the following district churches and chapels-of-ease: viz: St. John, Parish chapel; St. James's; St. Thomas's, Portman-square; Portman chapel, Baker-street; St. Mary's and St. Luke's, Bryanston-square; Brunswick chapel, Quebec chapel, All Souls', St. Andrew's, St. Peters, St. Paul's, All Saints', Christ Church, Christ Chapel, St. John's Wood; St. Paul's, Lisson-grove; St. Mark's, Hamilton-terrace; All Saints', St. John's Wood; St. Stephen's, Portland Town; St. Matthew's; Trinity; the livings of which are rectory*, curacies, and perpetual curacies, varying in value from £985 to £44. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, Calvinistic Methodists, Baptists, and various other sects of Dissenters. At St. John's Wood are the new Tudor colleges for the education of Dissenting ministers. In the parish are above 150 daily schools, including All Souls' grammar school, founded in 1832, besides infant and Sunday schools. Some of these are devoted to particular objects, as the "Parochial Charity School," which has an income of near £2,000, and educates young girls for domestic service. The Clergy Orphan School, for the maintenance and education of 140 children, supported by subscription; the Blind School, at St. John's Wood, for the maintenance of 50; the Bentinck School, Roman Catholic School, Philological School, founded in 1792, for the free education of the sons of reduced persons, &c. The charities are extremely numerous, including the Middlesex Hospital, originally founded in 1745, and recently enlarged, with an income' of £9,000. Queen Charlotte's Lying-in Hospital, founded in 1752, and removed from Bayswater in 1810; Charlotte-street General Lying-in Dispensary, founded in 1778; Provident Dispensary; Asylum for Recovery of Health, founded in 1821; General Dispensary in Lisson-grove, founded in 1785; and the Marylebone Almshouses for 63 aged or infirm persons. The cemetery near the church is closed, but there is a cemetery in the Harrow-road, where Hugh Little-John, Sir Walter Scott's grandson, is buried; and an extensive parochial cemetery at Finchley, opened in 1860, under the Extra Mural Interment Act. Many places in this parish are connected with literature and the drama. In Great Portland-street Boswell resided when he wrote his "Life of Johnson." Gibbon wrote part of his, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" in Bentinck-street. Sheridan wrote the "Rivals" in Orchard-street; Grattan and Mrs. Siddons died in Baker-street; Von Weber in Great Portland-street; Sir' William Chambers, Opie, and Fuseli resided in Berners-street; Lady Mary Montague, Dr. Baillie, Romney and Shee, the painters, resided in Cavendish-square; besides numerous other celebrities. Marylebone is the seat of a Superintendent Registry and a new County Court, but the part of the parish lying E. of Regent's Park belongs to Bloomsbury new County Court. The hay and straw mart was removed to Portman Market, in this parish, from Piccadilly in 1830, under authority of an Act of Parliament.

[Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
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