- source: Family History Library Catalog
- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia
The area covered by the Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth (1900-1965) was part of the large ancient parish of Lambeth St Mary in the Brixton hundred of Surrey. This article covers both the parish and the borough.
The parish was elongated north-south with a two mile River Thames frontage to the west. In the north it lay opposite the cities of London and Westminster and extended southwards to cover the contemporary districts of Brixton, Kennington, Stockwell, West Dulwich and West Norwood, almost reaching Crystal Palace. Lambeth became part of the Metropolitan Police District in 1829. It continued as a single parish for Poor Law purposes after the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 and a single parish governed by a vestry after the introduction of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855. In 1889 it became part of the County of London and the parish and vestry were reformed in 1900 to become the Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth, governed by Lambeth Borough Council.
In the reform of local government in 1965 the Streatham and Clapham areas that had formed part of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth were combined with Lambeth to form the London Borough of Lambeth.
Lambeth opened a parish workhouse in 1726. In 1777 a parliamentary report recorded a parish workhouse in operation accommodating up to 270 inmates. On 18 December 1835 the Lambeth Poor Law Parish was formed, comprising the parish of St Mary, Lambeth, "including the district attached to the new churches of St John, Waterloo, Kennington, Brixton, Norwood". Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of twenty Guardians. (Source: "Lambeth (Parish of St Mary), Surrey, London")
The ancient parish was divided into the six divisions of Bishop's Liberty, Prince's Liberty, Vauxhall Liberty, Marsh and Wall Liberty, Lambeth Dean and Stockwell Liberty. It covered and area more than 7 miles (11.3 km) north to south, but only 2.75 miles (4.4 km) at its widest east to west. In addition to the historic riverside area of Lambeth, this included Kennington, Vauxhall, Stockwell, Brixton, the western part of Herne Hill, Tulse Hill and West Norwood. After Waterloo Station was opened in 1848 another neighbourhood named "Waterloo" covering the area around the station was also formed.
In 1965 the borough was amalgamated with the Streatham and Clapham parts of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth to form the new London Borough of Lambeth.
Lambeth St Mary was the ecclesiastical parish in Brixton Hundred that was foremost among the various churches in Lambeth. It became a civil parish early [no date given in A Vision of Britain through Time], and was also considered to be a vestry (a type of civil parish administration with members appointed rather than elected).
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description for Lambeth from John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles of 1887:
- "Lambeth, parl. bor. and par., Surrey, on [river] Thames, in SW. of London, 3942 acres, population: 253,699. Lambeth Palace (1197) has for centuries been the official residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury; the library contains records of the see dating from the 13th century. St Thomas' Hospital is situated on the Thames, opposite the Houses of Parliament. Lambeth Bridge is 1040 ft. long, with 3 spans of 280 ft. each. The bor. returns 4 members to Parliament (4 divisions--viz., North, Kennington, Brixton, and Norwood, 1 member for each division); the old parl. bor. of Lambeth (which included parts of Camberwell and Lambeth pars. and the whole of Newington par.) returned 2 members until 1885."
This description was published on the brink of Lambeth becoming a Metropolitan Borough of the County of London (1889). Attempts have been made to find an earlier one on the web. The "London Encyclopaedia" (link below) describes Lambeth on page 470.
The ancient parish, dedicated to St Mary, was in the Diocese of Winchester until 1877, then the Diocese of Rochester until 1905, and then finally in the Diocese of Southwark. From 1824, as the population of Lambeth increased, a number of new ecclesiastical parishes were formed:
- Lambeth Emmanuel in 1869
- Lambeth Holy Trinity in 1841
- Lambeth St. Mary the Less in 1842
- Lambeth St. Philip in 1864
- South Lambeth All Saints in 1874
- South Lambeth St. Anne in 1869
- South Lambeth St. Stephen in 1861
- Brixton St. Jude in 1869
- Brixton St. Matthew in 1824
- Brixton Angell Town St. John the Evangelist in 1853
- Brixton Hill St. Saviour in 1876
- Brixton Loughborough Park St. Catherine in 1877
- North Brixton Christ Church in 1856
- Kennington St. Mark in 1824
- Kennington St. John in 1872
- Kennington St. James in 1875
- Kennington South St. Barnabas in 1851
- Kennington Cross St. Anselm in 1901
- Stockwell St. Michael in 1845
- Stockwell Green St. Andrew in 1868
- Stockwell Ferndale Road St. Paul in 1882
- Herne Hill Road St. Saviour in 1868
- Tulse Hill Holy Trinity in 1856
- Upper Tulse Hill St. Matthias in 1900
- Vauxhall St. Peter in 1861
- Waterloo St. John the Evangelist in 1824
- Waterloo St. Andrew in 1846
- Waterloo St. Thomas in 1846
- Waterloo All Saints in 1847
- West Norwood St. Luke in 1824
In addition, as the population of neighbouring areas increased, parts of Lambeth parish were included in new parishes:
- Herne Hill St Paul in 1845 with parts of Camberwell St Giles
- Kennington Park St Agnes in 1874 with parts of Newington St Mary
The "London Encyclopaedia" (link below) describes Lambeth on page 470.
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.
- Lambeth St. Mary was one of many ecclesiastical parishes in Lambeth. For a list of all of them with locations on a map, see England & Wales Jurisdictions 1851. For Lambeth St. Mary, parish records began in 1539 and bishops transcripts in 1800. Separate registers exist for Lambeth Workshouse from 1803.
- Also from England & Wales Jurisdictions 1851: "The following non-Church of England denominations were located somewhere in Lambeth, but the exact parish has not been identified: Baptist, Bible Christian, Bible Christian Methodist, Christians, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Countess of Huntingdon Methodist, Independent/Congregational, Plymouth Brethren, Presbyterian, Primitive Methodist, Protestant Dissenters, Society of Friends/Quaker, Unitarian, Wesleyan Methodist, Wesleyan Methodist Association, and Wesleyan Methodist Reform."
- A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4, chapter on Lambeth first published 1912 and available online through British History Online.