Place:Eltham, London, England

Watchers
NameEltham
Alt namesElthamsource: from redirect
Eltham St. John the Baptistsource: ecclesiastical parish
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish, Suburb
Coordinates51.451°N 0.052°E
Located inLondon, England     (1998 - 1965)
Also located inKent, England     ( - 1889)
See alsoBlackheath Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Woolwich, London, Englandmetropolitan borough of which it was part 1900-1965
Greenwich (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon borough covering the area since 1965
Contained Places
Castle
Eltham Palace
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Eltham is an area of southeast London, England, in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It is centred 8.7 miles (14.0 km) east southeast of Charing Cross (a point considered to be the centre of London from which distances are measured). Eltham was a civil parish of Kent until 1889 when it became part of the County of London and from 1900 formed part of the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich. When the metropolitan borough was abolished in 1965 Eltham became part of the then London Borough of Greenwich.

In the 19th century Eltham was a civil parish in the Lee Sanitary District and the Plumstead Sanitary District until it was absorbed into the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich. The parish included the hamlet of Mottingham. Eltham ceased to be a civil parish in 1930. As an ecclesiastical parish it was known as Eltham St. John the Baptist.

Eltham today is one of the largest suburban developments in the borough with a population of almost 88,000 people. (Wikipedia does not provide a date for this estimate.)

Early development

Eltham lies on a high, sandy plateau which gave it a strategic significance. That, and the fact of its position close to the main route to the English Channel ports in Kent, led to the creation of the moated Plantagenet Eltham Palace, still its most notable landmark.

"The Kings of England had a palace at Eltham at a very early period ... Henry the Third, in the year 1270, kept a public Christmas at his palace of Eltham, being accompanied by the Queen, and all the great men of the realm . Anthony Bec, Bishop of Durham, and Patriarch of Jerusalem, bestowed great cost, we are told, on the buildings at this place, and died there on the 28th of March 1311, having, as it is said, some time before given Eltham-house to Edward the Second, or, as some say, to Queen Isabel.... Edward frequently resided here. In 1315, his Queen was brought to bed of a son in this palace, called, from that circumstance, John of Eltham. Edward the Third held a Parliament at Eltham in 1329, and again in 1375." (Source: Daniel Lysons. (1796) The Environs of London. Vol 4. Pages 394-421.)

The nearby manor of Well Hall was home to Sir John Pulteney, four times Lord Mayor of the City of London, and later to wealthy Catholic William Roper (1496-1578) and his wife Margaret (daughter of Sir Thomas More, known to Catholics as Saint Thomas More, Chancellor to King Henry VIII). In 1733 Sir Gregory Page bought this estate for £19,000 and demolished Roper House, building Page House – later known as Well Hall House – on the site. Until its demolition in 1931, Well Hall House variously served as a home to watchmaker John Arnold, and later to socialist Hubert Bland and author Edith Nesbit.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Eltham.


Kent Research Tips

  • Kent County Council Archive, Local Studies and Museums Service. James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ. This incorporates the Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone and the East Kent Archives Centre near Dover.
  • Canterbury Cathedral Archives see the Archives web pages on the Canterbury Catherdral site.
  • For information on the area around the Medway Towns, have a look at Medway Council's CityArk site.
  • Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Kent illustrates the parish boundaries of Kent when rural districts were still in existence and before Greater London came into being. The map publication year is 1931. An earlier map of 1900 may also be useful. The maps blow up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. Maps in this series are now downloadable for personal use.
  • Census records for Kent are available on FamilySearch, Ancestry and FindMyPast. The first site is free; the other two are pay sites but have access to microfilmed images. Steve Archer produced a very useful round-up of the available sources, but this information may not be up to date.
  • Registration Districts in Kent 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.
  • England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911 The full database from Kent Archives Office, Maidstone, has been available online from FamilySearch since June 2016.
  • Kent had five family history societies (now only four):
  • Volume 2 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1926) is available online through the auspices of British History Online. It includes accounts of the early history of Canterbury and Rochester cathedrals, and of several sites now within the conurbation of London.
  • Volume 3 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1932) This includes the text of, and the index to, the Kent Domesday survey. It has been provided by the Kent Archaeological Society.
  • In place of the other volumes of the Victoria County History, British History Online has transcriptions of the numerous volumes of The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent by Edward Hasted (originally published 1797)
  • English Jurisdictions 1851, a parish finding aid provided by FamilySearch, is particularly helpful in locating parishes in large ancient towns and cities like Canterbury.
  • Kent Probate Records Numerous links provided by Maureen Rawson
  • GENUKI lists other possible sources, however, it does not serve Kent so well as it does some other counties.

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. 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.
  • A street-by-street map of London (both sides of the Thames, and stretching from Limehouse and Stepney in the east to Hyde Park and Kensington in the west) drawn by Edward Mogg in 1806. Blows up to a very readable level.
  • Ordnance Survey map of London 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing London parishes just after the reorganization of 1899.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Middlesex 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Middlesex parishes just after the reorganization of 1899 when much of the former area of Middlesex had been transferred into London.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Surrey 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Surrey parishes (chiefly Southwark) just after the reorganization of 1899 when the most urban parts of Surrey were transferred into London.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Kent 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Kent parishes just after the reorganization of 1899 when the most urban part of Surrey had been transferred into London.
  • 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.
  • Deceased Online includes four of the "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries (Brompton, Highgate, Kensal Green, and Nunhead) in its inventory of 65 London cemeteries. Transcripts for Abney Park are free with registration online at www.devsys.co.uk/ap/. Ancestry (international subscription necessary) has "London, England, City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery Registers, 1841-1966". That leaves West Norwood without comprehensive online access to burial records.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Eltham, London. 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.