Place:Bromley by Bow, London, England

NameBromley by Bow
Alt namesBromley-by-Bowsource: Family History Library Catalog
Bromley St. Leonardsource: Family History Library Catalog
St. Leonard Bromleysource: Family History Library Catalog
St. Leonard-Bromleysource: name variation
Bromley-St. Leonardsource: name variation
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.

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.

Image:Tower Hamlet parishes.png

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.

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 or Bromley St. Leonards, 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.