Place:Bromley-by-Bow, London, England

Alt namesBromley by Bowsource: Family History Library Catalog
Bromley-St. Leonardsource: Family History Library Catalog
St. Leonard-Bromleysource: Family History Library Catalog
Coordinates51.5285°N 0.0131°W
Located inLondon, England     (1889 - 1965)
Also located inMiddlesex, England     ( - 1889)
See alsoTower Hamlets (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon borough covering the area since 1965
Poplar, London, Englandmetropolitan borough of which it was part 1900-1965
source: Family History Library Catalog

NOTE: There can be confusion between Bromley-by-Bow, often shortened to "Bromley", and the London Borough of Bromley--London's largest borough--located some 8 miles (12.9 km) to the south which was until 1965 in Kent and known as Bromley, Kent. References should always be checked to ascertain which Bromley was being described in documents and registers from earlier centuries.

The map is based on one in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 11, Stepney, Bethnal Green from the Victoria County History Series provided by British History Online.

Bromley-by-Bow or Bromley-St. Leonard, is one of the ancient parishes of Middlesex. In 1889 it was transferred from Middlesex to the newly-created County of London and in 1900 became part of Poplar Metropolitan Borough. The Metropolitan Borough was abolished in 1965, and became part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Bromley-by-Bow, historically and officially Bromley, is a district in East London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is an inner-city district situated 4.8 miles (7.7 km) east north-east of Charing Cross (a point in central London from which distances are commonly measured).

Bow itself was originally known as "Stratforde", becoming Stratford-at-Bow when a medieval bridge was built, in the shape of a bow.

The area was split from the parish of Stepney to form the parish of Bromley St. Leonard in 1536. From 1855, the civil duties of the Parish were taken over by the Poplar Board of Works. Between 1899 and 1965 the area formed the Metropolitan Borough of Poplar, within the County of London. Bromley-by-Bow has been, since 1965, a part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in the eastern part of London.

Poplar Metropolitan Borough had three parts: Bow, or Stratford-at-Bow, in the north, Poplar itself in the south and Bromley, or Bromley-by-Bow, in the middle. The eastern boundary is the River Lea which forms the boundary with West Ham in the London Borough of Newham. The former Bow Common now forms Tower Hamlets Cemetery and Mile End Park.


In 2001, according to the UK national census data, there were 11,581 people living in the ward in 2,188 households, giving an average of 2.8 people per household. Of these 51% were female, 30% were under the age of 16 and 40% were of Bangladeshi origin.

Greater London Research Tips

  • See under "London" and also under "Middlesex", "Surrey" and "Kent" for key information about Greater London's jurisdictions and records, plus links to indexes, reference aids and Family History Library holdings.
  • The London Metropolitan Archives (40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB) holds records relating to the whole of Greater London. Ancestry (subscription necessary) has produced transcriptions and provides images of lists of baptisms, marriages, and burials in churches across Greater London. These lists start in 1813 and stretch into the 20th century.
  • GENUKI has a long list of websites and archive holders in addition to London Metropolitan Archives above. (The list from GENUKI is not maintained so well that there is never a dead link in it. However, it is often worth googling the title given on the page just in case the contributor has reorganized their website.)
  • GENUKI also has a list of the Archives and Local Studies Libraries for each of the boroughs of Greater London.
  • The London Encyclopaedia by Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert. An e-book available online through Google, originally published by Pan Macmillan. There is a search box in the left-hand pane.
  • London Lives. A very useful free website for anyone researching their London ancestors between the years 1690-1800. This is a fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names.
  • London Ancestor, a website belonging to one of the London family history societies, has a list of transcriptions of directories from the 18th century, listing in one case "all the squares, streets, lanes, courts, yards, alleys, &C. in and about Five Miles of the Metropolis..." In other parts of the same website are maps of various parts of 19th century London and Middlesex.
  • The proceedings of the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court, 1674-1913. A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court. This website is free to use.
  • Registration Districts in London, Registration Districts in Middlesex, Registration Districts in Surrey, Registration Districts in Kent, are lists of the registration districts used for civil registration (births, marriages and deaths, as well as the censuses). There are linked supporting lists of the parishes which made up each registration district, the dates of formation and abolition of the districts, the General Register Office numbers, and the local archive-holding place. This work has been carried out by Brett Langston under the agency of GENUKI (Genealogy United Kingdom and Ireland) and UKBMD - Births, Marriages, Deaths & Censuses on the Internet.
  • A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 11, Stepney, Bethnal Green from the Victoria County History Series provided by British History Online. The histories of Stepney and Bethnal Green boroughs are given in depth in this volume, but the parishes of Poplar receive little mention.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Bromley-by-Bow. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.