Place:Shoreditch, London, England

Watchers
NameShoreditch
Alt namesSt. Leonard-Shoreditchsource: Family History Library Catalog
Shoreditch St Leonardsource: Vision of Britain
TypeParish, Borough (metropolitan)
Coordinates51.527°N 0.077°W
Located inLondon, England     (1889 - 1965)
Also located inMiddlesex, England     ( - 1889)
See alsoHackney (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon borough of which it has been part since 1965
source: Family History Library Catalog

Shoreditch, or Shoreditch St. Leonard, was one of the ancient parishes of Middlesex, England. In 1889 it was transferred to the newly-created County of London and in 1900 became Shoreditch Metropolitan Borough. The Borough was abolished in 1965, becoming part of the London Borough of Hackney.

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

The Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch was a metropolitan borough of the County of London between 1899 and 1965, when it was merged with the Metropolitan Borough of Stoke Newington and the Metropolitan Borough of Hackney to form the London Borough of Hackney.

Shoreditch is an Inner London area in the historic East End of London and modern Central London, lying immediately to the north of the City of London. The borough was made up of three main neighbourhoods: Shoreditch, Hoxton and Haggerston.

It also could be said to comprise the area of the ancient parish of Shoreditch (St Leonard's) plus part of the ancient liberty of Norton Folgate to the south. The parish vestry had charge of local administration from the 17th century onwards.

History

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

Etymology

Toponymists believe that the name comes from Old English "scoradīc", i.e. shore-ditch, the shore being a riverbank or prominent slope.

One legend holds that the place was originally named "Shore's Ditch", after Jane Shore, the mistress of Edward IV, who is supposed to have died or been buried in a ditch in the area. This legend is commemorated today by a large painting, at Haggerston Branch Library, of the body of Shore being retrieved from the ditch, and by a design on glazed tiles in a shop in Shoreditch High Street showing her meeting Edward IV.

But the area was known as "Soersditch" long before Jane Shore lived. London County Council Survey of London (v. 8) attests to at least thirty deeds between 1150 and 1250 CE which refer to Shoreditch. Another suggested origin for the name is "sewer ditch", in reference to a drain or watercourse in what was once a boggy area. It may have referred to the headwaters of the Walbrook, which rose in the Curtain Road area.

In another theory, antiquarian John Weever claimed that the name was derived from Sir John de Soerdich, who was lord of the manor during the reign of Edward III (132777).

Origins

Though now part of Inner London, Shoreditch was previously an extramural suburb of the City of London, centred on Shoreditch Church at the old crossroads where Shoreditch High Street and Kingsland Road are crossed by Old Street and Hackney Road.

Shoreditch High Street and Kingsland Road are a small sector of the Roman Ermine Street and modern A10. Known also as the Old North Road, it was a major coaching route to the north, exiting the City at Bishopsgate. The east–west course of Old Street–Hackney Road was also probably originally a Roman Road, connecting Silchester with Colchester, bypassing the City of London to the south.

Shoreditch Church (dedicated to St Leonard) is of ancient origin. It is featured in the famous line "when I grow rich say the bells of Shoreditch", from the English nursery rhyme "Oranges and Lemons".

Shoreditch was the site of a house of canonesses, the Augustinian Holywell Priory (named after a Holy Well on the site), from the 12th century until its dissolution in 1539. This priory was located between Shoreditch High Street and Curtain Road to east and west, and Batemans Row and Holywell Lane to north and south. Nothing remains of it today.

Elizabethan theatre

In 1576, James Burbage built the first playhouse in England, known as "The Theatre", on the site of the Priory (commemorated today by a plaque on Curtain Road, and excavated in 2008, by MoLAS). Some of Shakespeare's plays were performed here and at the nearby Curtain Theatre, built the following year and to the south (marked by a commemorative plaque in Hewett Street off Curtain Road). It was here that Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet gained "Curtain plaudits", and where Henry V was performed within "this wooden O". Shakespeare's Company moved the timbers of "The Theatre" to Southwark at the expiration of the lease in 1599, in order to construct The Globe. The Curtain continued performing plays in Shoreditch until at least 1627.

The suburb of Shoreditch was attractive as a location for these early theatres because it was outside the jurisdiction of the somewhat puritanical City fathers. Even so, they drew the wrath of contemporary moralists, as did the local "base tenements and houses of unlawful and disorderly resort" and the "great number of dissolute, loose, and insolent people harboured in such and the like noisome and disorderly houses, as namely poor cottages, and habitations of beggars and people without trade, stables, inns, alehouses, taverns, garden-houses converted to dwellings, ordinaries, dicing houses, bowling alleys, and brothel houses".

During the 17th century, wealthy traders and French Huguenot silkweavers moved to the area, establishing a textile industry centred to the south around Spitalfields. By the 19th century, Shoreditch was also the locus of the furniture industry, now commemorated in the Geffrye Museum on Kingsland Road. The area declined in conditions, as did both textile and furniture industries with competition elsewhere and, by the end of the 19th century, Shoreditch was a byword for crime, prostitution and poverty.[1] This situation was exacerbated by the extensive devastation of the housing stock in the Blitz during the Second World War, and by insensitive redevelopment in the post-war period.

Victorian entertainments

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Shoreditch was a centre of entertainment to rival the West End and boasted many theatres and music halls:

  • The National Standard Theatre, 2/3/4 Shoreditch High Street (1837–1940). In the late 19th century this was one of the largest theatres in London. In 1926, it was converted into a cinema called The New Olympia Picturedrome. The building was demolished in 1940. Sims Reeves, Mrs Marriott and James Anderson all appeared here; also performed were programmes of classical opera and even Shakespeare, with such luminaries as Henry Irving. There was considerable rivalry with the West End theatres. John Douglass (the owner, from 1845) wrote a letter to The Era following a Drury Lane first night, in which he commented that "seeing that a hansom cab is used in the new drama at Drury Lane, I beg to state that a hansom cab, drawn by a live horse was used in my drama ... produced at the Standard Theatre ... with real rain, a real flood, and a real balloon."
  • The Shoreditch Empire, also known as The London Music Hall, 95–99 Shoreditch High Street (1856–1935). The theatre was rebuilt in 1894 by Frank Matcham. the architect of the Hackney Empire. Charlie Chaplin is recorded as performing here, in his early days, before he achieved fame in America.
  • The Royal Cambridge Music Hall, 136 Commercial Street (1864–1936), was destroyed by fire in 1896, then rebuilt in 1897 by Finch Hill, architect of the Britannia Theatre, in nearby Hoxton. The Builder of 4 December 1897 said "The New Cambridge Music Hall in Commercial Street, Bishopsgate, is now nearing completion. The stage will be wide by deep. The premises will be heated throughout by hot water coils, and provision has been made for lighting the house by electric light."

None of these places of entertainment survives today. Music hall was revived for a brief time in Curtain Road by the temporary home of the Brick Lane Music Hall. This too has now moved on.

A number of playbills and posters from these music halls survive in the collections of both the Bishopsgate Institute and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Contemporary culture

Shoreditch has, since around 1996, become a popular and fashionable part of London. Often conflated with neighbouring Hoxton, the area has been subject to considerable gentrification in the past twenty years, with accompanying rises in land and property prices.

More recently, during the second 'dot-com' boom, both the area and Old Street have become popular with London-based web technology companies who base their head offices around the new tech district East London Tech City. These include Last.fm, Dopplr, Songkick, SocialGO and 7digital. These companies have tended to gravitate towards Old Street Roundabout, giving rise to the term "Silicon Roundabout" to describe the area, as used by Prime Minister David Cameron in a speech in November 2010.

Formerly a predominantly working-class area, Shoreditch and Hoxton have, in recent years, been gentrified by the creative industries and those who work in them. Former industrial buildings have been converted to offices and flats, while Curtain Road and Old Street are notable for their clubs and pubs which offer a variety of venues to rival those of the West End. Art galleries, bars, restaurants, media businesses and the building of the Hackney Community College campus are further features of this transformation.

In fact, the word Shoreditch is now synonymous with the concept of contemporary 'hipsterfication' of regenerated urban areas. As a pioneer among similar transformations across the UK, various phrases have been coined, from "Shoreditchification" to "Very Shoreditch".

In September 2015, a demonstration against gentrification in London took the form of a protest at Cereal Killer Cafe, a hipster café on Brick Lane which serves cereal.

Ecclesiastical parish

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

These brief notes may help in establishing references to churches in registration documents. St Leonard's parish, Shoreditch, was within the Diocese of London. As the population increased the parish was divided:

  • In 1830 the areas of Haggerston and Hoxton were constituted as separate parishes.
  • In 1841 a new parish of "St James, Curtain Road" was created.
  • In 1848 part of Saint Leonard's parish helped to form the parish of "St Mark, Old Street".
  • In 1862 St Leonard's parish was again divided to create the parish of "Shoreditch, St Michael".
  • In 1866 a new parish of "Shoreditch, Holy Trinity" was formed from part of Saint Leonard's and part of neighbouring Bethnal Green.
  • In 1872 the parish of "Shoreditch, St Agatha" was created from part of Saint James, Curtain Road.

Later decreases in population led to a number of these parishes being combined in the 20th century. For instance, in 1915 Saint Agatha's parish was absorbed by St James, and in 1972 a merged parish of "Shoreditch, St Leonard with St Michael" was formed.

The names of some of the ecclesiastical parishes were used to give names to wards of the Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch.


Greater London Research Tips

A reminder that Greater London was formed in 1965 and covers a much greater territory than the County of London formed in 1900. The City of London is only a part of the County of London. A map of the boroughs of Greater London is reproduced on all Greater London borough pages. A map of the boroughs of the County of London is reproduced on all County of London borough pages.

Researching ancestors in London will probably be more successful than researching ancestors in the rest of England, particularly for the period before 1837 and the advent of civil registration. Baptisms, marriages and burials are available online for County of London parishes, and possibly for parishes throughout Greater London as well.

  • Anglican Parishes in London is a wiki here on WeRelate listing the places of worship of the established church throughout London. The churches are grouped within the post-1965 boroughs and for each is the street address, a link to the Booth Map (inner boroughs only), the time span for which the database AIM25 holds records, the FamilySearch Wiki link (see below), the Wikipedia link, and further notes. This is a work-in-progress and not all churches are listed as yet, but it is a guide to a great deal more information on those for which information has been gathered.
  • 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. Many of these lists start in 1813 and stretch into the 20th century; some start even earlier.

Maps

  • 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. The map was originally drawn over a street map at a scale of 1 inch to the mile and can be blown up to inspect a single borough.
  • 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 western part of Kent had been transferred into London.

Registration Districts

  • 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. The names of the individual registration districts are "places" within WeRelate and can be used where the only information has been obtained from UKBMD.

Cemeteries

  • 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. (Deceased Online and Ancestry may have increased their provision since this was written in 2016.)

Other online sources

  • See the FamilySearch Wiki 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.
  • 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 and GENUKI has not picked it up.)
  • 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.
  • St. Leonard Shoreditch BMD's 1558-1640, indexed transcriptions:approx. 11,000 baptisms, 4,500 marriages, 17,000 burials. Free website courtesy of Alan H Nelson, Professor Emeritus in the Department of English at the University of California, Berkeley.


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Shoreditch. 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.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch. 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.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Shoreditch (parish). 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.