Place:Croydon, Surrey, England

NameCroydon
TypeTown, Borough (county)
Coordinates51.376°N 0.098°W
Located inSurrey, England     ( - 1965)
See alsoCroydon (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon Borough into which the municipal borough was transferred in 1965
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Croydon is a large town in South London, England, which has been since 1965 the principal settlement of the London Borough of Croydon. It is located 9.5 miles (15.3 km) south of Charing Cross (a point considered to be the centre of London from which distances are measured) and had a population of 52,104 in the 2011 census.

Historically Croydon was a part of Surrey. At the time of the Norman conquest of England, Croydon had a church, a mill, and around 365 inhabitants, as recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Croydon expanded during the Middle Ages as a market town and a centre for charcoal production, leather tanning and brewing. The Surrey Iron Railway from Croydon to Wandsworth opened in 1803 and was the world's first public railway. Later nineteenth century railway building facilitated Croydon's growth as a commuter town for London (including the City of London). By the early 20th century, Croydon was an important industrial area, known for car manufacture, metal working and its airport. In the mid 20th century these sectors were replaced by retailing and the service economy, brought about by massive redevelopment which saw the rise of office blocks and the Whitgift shopping centre. Croydon was amalgamated into Greater London in 1965.

Croydon is situated on a transport corridor between central London and the south coast of England, to the north of two gaps in the North Downs, one followed by the A23 Brighton Road through Purley and Merstham and the main railway line and the other by the A22 from Purley to the M25 Godstone interchange. Road traffic is now diverted away from a largely pedestrianised town centre, and its main railway station, East Croydon, is a major hub of the national railway transport system, with frequent fast services to central London among other destinations. The town is unique in Greater London for its Tramlink light rail transport system.

History

Wikipedia traces the history of Croydon with articles headed

  • "Toponymy",
  • "Early history",
  • "Industrial Revolution and the railway",
  • "A growing town" and
  • "Modern Croydon".

Government

For centuries the area lay within the Wallington hundred, an ancient Anglo-Saxon administrative division of the county of Surrey. In the later Middle Ages – probably from the late 13th century onwards – residents of the town of Croydon, as defined by boundary markers known as the "four crosses", enjoyed a degree of self-government through a town court or portmote, and a form of free tenure of property. These privileges set the area of the town apart from its rural hinterland, where the more usual restrictive rules of manorial tenure applied. However, Croydon did not hold any kind of formal borough status.

In 1690, the leading inhabitants petitioned William III and Mary for Croydon to be incorporated as a borough. The application was initially approved, the King authorising the drafting of a charter, but the process was then abruptly halted, apparently through the intervention of Archbishop John Tillotson, who probably feared a threat to his own authority over the town. The application was revived the following year, when Queen Mary again authorised a charter, but once again it was abandoned. A second petition in 1707 was effectively ignored.

Croydon's growth in the 19th century brought the issue of incorporation back on to the political agenda, and in 1883 the ancient parish of Croydon, apart from its exclave of Croydon Crook or Selsdon, was created a municipal borough within Surrey. In 1889, because the population was high enough, it was made a county borough, exempt from county administration.

In 1965 the County Borough of Croydon was abolished and the area was transferred to Greater London and combined with the Coulsdon and Purley Urban District to form the London Borough of Croydon. In 1969 some parts (particularly the village of Farleigh) were removed from the London Borough and returned to Banstead Urban District and Godstone Rural District.

In recent decades, the borough has on several occasions sought city status. (This would be a purely honorific change of title, making no practical difference to the borough's governance.) A draft petition was submitted by the County Borough to the Home Office in 1951, a more formal petition in 1954, and two more applications in 1955 and 1958. When the London Borough was created in 1965, the Council endeavoured to have it styled a City, as was the City of Westminster. Further bids for city status were made in 1977, 1992, 2000, 2002, and 2012. All have failed. The borough's predominant argument has always been its size: in 2000 it pointed out that it was "the largest town which does not have the title of City in the whole of Western Europe". The grounds on which it has been turned down have invariably been that it is (as was stated in 1992) merely "part of the London conurbation, rather than a place with a character and identity of its own". Undeterred, council representatives have more than once described Croydon as "a city in all but name".

Greater London Research Tips

  • See wiki.familysearch.org 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.
  • GENUKI has a long list of websites and archive holders in addition to London Metropolitan Archives above. (This list 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.

Surrey Research Tips

Part of a list taken from GENUKI

Archives and Libraries

Cemeteries

Surrey Cemeteries & Crematoriums

Church Records

Civil Registration

  • Registration Districts in Surrey for the period 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.

Government

Administrative boundaries of the county of Surrey (Surrey History Centre)

History

List of topographical articles in the Surrey volumes of the Victoria County History. Transcriptions of the text are available on British History Online

Maps

Societies

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Croydon. 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.