In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Whitechapel like this:
WHITECHAPEL, a parish and a district in Middlesex. The parish lies 1½ mile E of St. Paul's, London: forms all a compact portion of the metropolis; was part of Stepney parish till 1329; is bisected by the main thoroughfare of Whitechapel High-street, and Whitechapel-road; includes Goodmans-Fields, and part of Wellclose-square; enjoys ready access to several r. stations; has post-offices‡ under London E; contains a police station, county court-houses, a large theatre, extensive baths and washhouses, 4 churches, several dissenting chapels, several public schools, the sailors home, the London hospital, the boys' refuge, the Jews' orphan asylum, alms houses, a workhouse, and various other institutions; carries on brewing, distilling, sugar-refining, iron-founding, floor-cloth manufacture, dyeing, and other manufacturing or industrial employments; and is ecclesiastically divided into W.-St. ...
Mary, W.-St. Mark, W.-St. Jude, and W.-St. Paul. Acres, 174. Real property, £126,876. Pop. in 1861, 37,454. Houses, 4,395. The living of St. Mary is a rectory, those of St. Mark and St. Jude are vicarages, and that of St. Paul is a p. curacy in the diocese of London. Value of St. Mary, St. Mark, and St. Jude, each £300;* of St. Paul, £200. Patron of St. Mary, St. Mark, and St. Jude, the Bishop of London: of St. Paul, Trustees.The district contains also Spital-fields and Minories parishes, Mile-End-New-Town hamlet, Old-Artillery-Ground, Norton-Folgate, and East Smithfield liberties, and Tower-of-London, Old-Tower-Without, and St. Katharine-by-the-Tower precincts; and is divided into seven sub-districts. Acres, 406. Poor rates in 1863, £45,184. Pop. in 1851, 79,759; in 1861, 78,970. Houses, 8,664. Marriages in 1863, 764; births, 2,722,-of which 90 were illegitimate; deaths, 2,713,- of which 1,170 were at ages under 5 years, and 18 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 7,317; births, 27,753; deaths, 24,132. The places of worship, in 1851, were 11 of the Church of England, with 10,368 sittings; 5 of Independents, with 2,775 s.; 5 of Baptists, with 3,350 s.; 1 of Wesleyans, with 1,197 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 160 attendants; 1 of Lutherans, with 602 s.; 1 of German Protestants, with 200 s.; 1 undefined, with 120 s.; 1 of the Catholic and Apostolic church, with 700 s.; 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 168 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 223 s. The schools were 35 public day-schools, with 7,612 scholars; 59 private day schools, with 1,796 s.; 22 Sunday schools, with 5,420 s.; and 3 evening schools for adults, with 42 s.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Whitechapel has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Tower Hamlets. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Whitechapel and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Whitechapel, in Tower Hamlets and Middlesex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 26th January 2015
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