Place:East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa

NameEast London
Alt namesOos-Londensource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 263; Encyclopædia Britannica (1985) IV, 330; Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 353
Port Rexsource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 263; Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 353
TypeInhabited place
Coordinates33°S 27.9°E
Located inEastern Cape, South Africa     (1847 - )
Also located inCape, South Africa    
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

East London refers to the part of London, England, east of the ancient City of London and north of the River Thames. It consists of areas in the historic counties of Essex and Middlesex.

The East End of London is the historic core of east London, traditionally consisting of areas close to the City of London on the western, Middlesex side of the River Lea (in the former Tower Division), although the term "East End" is often used more loosely. Neither east London or the East End of London have precise, formal definitions. The Eastern (E) Postal District is a different subset of East London; and there is also an "East" sub-region used by the Greater London Authority for planning policy reporting purposes.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia


The East End, the old core of modern East London, began with the medieval growth of London beyond the city walls, along the Roman roads leading from Bishopsgate and Aldgate, and also along the river.

Growth was much slower in the east, and the modest extensions there were separated from the much larger suburbs in the west by the marshy open area of Moorfields adjacent to the wall on the north side, which discouraged development in that direction. Urbanisation accelerated in the 16th century and the area that would later become known as the East End began to take shape.

The first known written record of the East End as a distinct entity, as opposed to its component parts, comes from John Strype's 1720 'Survey of London', where he describes London as consisting of four parts: the City of London, Westminster, Southwark, and That Part beyond the Tower.

The relevance of Strype's reference to the Tower was more than geographical. The East End was the urbanised part of an area called the Tower Division, which had owed military service to the Tower of London since time immemorial. Later, as London grew further, the fully urbanised Tower Division became a byword for wider East London, before East London grew further still, east of the Lea and into Essex.

The westernmost component of the Tower Division was the ancient parish of Shoreditch, which would become fully urbanised as part of the East End/East London. Shoreditch's boundary with the parish of St Luke's (which, like its predecessor St Giles-without-Cripplegate served the Finsbury area) ran through the Moorfields countryside. These boundaries remained consistent after urbanisation and so might be said to delineate east and north London. The boundary line, with very slight modifications, has also become the boundary between the modern London Boroughs of Hackney and Islington.

Moorfields remained largely open until 1812, and the longstanding presence of that open space separating the emerging East End from the western urban expansion of London must have helped shape the varying economic character of the two parts and perceptions of their distinct identity (see map below).


Until about 1700, London did not extend far beyond the walled boundaries of the City of London. However, the population in the parishes to the east of the City was rising and this led to a need to break up the large ancient parish of Stepney into smaller units to provide adequate religious and civil administration. It was the industries associated with the River Thames, such as shipbuilding and the docks, that encouraged growth in the east, and by 1650, Shadwell was a developed maritime settlement. The docks in Tower Hamlets started to reach capacity in the early 19th century, and in 1855 the Royal Victoria Dock was opened in Newham. By 1882, Walter Besant and others, were able to describe East London as a city in its own right, on account of its large size and social disengagement from the rest of London.

These industries declined in the later part of the 20th century (and earlier), but East London is now an area of regeneration. In the London Docklands, this has reached an advanced stage, but in the sections of East London that are within the Thames Gateway it is continuing, such as the redevelopment in Stratford associated with the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Areas further east developed in the Victorian and Edwardian eras after the expansion of the railways in the 19th century. Development of suburban houses for private sale was later matched by the provision of large-scale social housing at Becontree in the 1920s and Harold Hill after the Second World War. However, the urban footprint was constrained in 1878 by the protection of Epping Forest and later the implementation of the Metropolitan Green Belt. The density of development increased during the interwar period, and new industries developed, such as Ford at Dagenham. In Tower Hamlets, the population peaked in 1891 and growth was restricted to the outer boroughs. By 1971, the population had peaked in every borough and the population was declining throughout the entire area. By the time of the 2011 UK Census, this had reversed and every borough had undergone some growth in population.

The population change between 1801 and 2001 was as follows:

Borough Barking and Dagenham Hackney Havering Newham Redbridge Tower Hamlets Waltham Forest
Population (2001) 165,700 207,200 224,700 249,500 241,900 201,100 222,000
Population (1901) 25,080 374,132 24,853 338,506 77,621 578,143 154,146
Population (1801) 1,937 14,609 6,370 8,875 4,909 130,871 6,500
Population peak 168,724 (1951) 379,120 (1911) 248,107 (1971) 454,096 (1931) 270,876 (1951) 584,936 (1891) 280,094 (1931)


The etymology of London is uncertain, but is known to be an ancient name. The concept of East London as a distinct area is a relatively recent innovation. John Strype's map of 1720 describes London as consisting of four parts: The City of London, Westminster, Southwark and "That Part Beyond the Tower".[1] From the late 19th century the term East End of London was used to describe areas immediately adjacent to the City[2] in the Tower division of Middlesex. Charles Booth in 1889 defined East London as the County of London between the City and the River Lea. In 1902 he now considered this area to be the "true East End", and his attention had been drawn eastward over the Lea into the Borough of West Ham, which was then outside London, and geographically in Essex, but under the authority of neither; in 1857 Charles Dickens termed it "London-over-the-Border". Walter Besant described East London as an area north of the Thames and east of the City that stretched as far as Chingford and Epping Forest, which was similar to the definition used by Robert Sinclair in 1950 that stretched east to include Barking and Dagenham. This broadly matched the Metropolitan Police District east of the city and north of the Thames at that time, and now corresponds to the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest in Greater London.

The area adjacent to the City of London is known as the East End of London. It does not have clearly defined boundaries, but is usually taken to be north of the River Thames, east of the City and west of the River Lea.

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