- source: Family History Library Catalog
- the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia
The Tower Division was a liberty, a historical form of local government, in the ancient county of Middlesex, England. It was also known as the Tower Hamlets, and took its name from being under the special jurisdiction of the Constable of the Tower of London. The name "Tower Hamlets" was subsequently used for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets created in 1965.
It is doubtful if the Liberty of Tower Hamlets would be quoted as a place of birth, death or marriage although it might be found in other types of historical documents. In the list below, the name of the metropolitan borough of 1900-1965 is given for each of the sections of the Division.
The Tower Division was one of four divisions of the Hundred of Ossulstone. The other divisions were named Finsbury, Holborn and Kensington. Unlike the other divisions, the Tower Division was outside the jurisdiction of the Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex, with the Constable of the Tower exercising lieutenancy powers ex-officio. The area's special status ceased in 1889 with the creation of the County of London, and the creation of a Lord Lieutenant for the new county.
In 1829 the Tower Division contained the following "parishes, townships, precincts and places":
- The parish of St. Mary, Whitechapel (in Stepney)
- The parish of Christchurch, Spitalfields (in Poplar)
- The parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch (in Shoreditch)
- The liberty of Norton Folgate (in Stepney)
- The parish of St. John, Hackney (in Hackney)
- The parish of St. Matthew, Bethnal Green
- The hamlet of Mile End Old Town (in Stepney)
- The hamlet of Mile End New Town (in Stepney)
- The parish of St. Mary, Stratford Bow (in Poplar)
- The parish of Bromley St. Leonard (in Poplar)
- The parish of All Saints, Poplar (in Poplar)
- The parish of St. Anne, Limehouse (in Stepney)
- The hamlet of Ratcliff (in Stepney)
- The parish of St. Paul, Shadwell (in Stepney)
- The parish of St. John, Wapping (in Stepney)
- The liberty of East Smithfield
- The precinct of St. Catherine (or St. Katharine or St. Katherine) (in Stepney)
- The liberty of His Majesty's Tower of London consisting of:
Middlesex Research Tips
Parts of Middlesex were absorbed into London in 1889 (Inner London), and some in 1965 (Outer London). Depending on the specific location and the year being investigated it may be necessary to check London records as well as those of Middlesex.
- See wiki.familysearch.org under "Middlesex" for key information about the jurisdictions and records of Middlesex, 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.
- The Victoria History of the County of Middlesex is a series of volumes available online through British History Online. The volumes were written over the past hundred or so years by a number of authors and cover various sections of Middlesex. A list of the volumes and what each contains can be found under the source Victoria History of the County of Middlesex
- 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 has a separate page for Middlesex references.
- GENUKI also has a list of the Archives and Local Studies Libraries for each of the boroughs of Greater London.
- Registration Districts in Middlesex and Registration Districts in London, 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.