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Middlesex Parishes

Guide to Whitefriar's, Middlesex ancestry, family history, and genealogy: Parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Type Extra-parochial
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred London, Without the Walls
County London
Poor Law Union City of London
Registration District London City
Records begin
Parish registers: For records see surrounding parishes
Bishop's Transcripts: For records see surrounding parishes
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Not Applicable
Diocese Not Applicable
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Search the courts of the surrounding parishes
Location of Archive
London Record Office

Parish History

WHITECHAPEL (St. Mary), a parish, and the head of a union, in the Tower division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex; adjoining the city of London, The church, previously to 1329, was a chapel of ease to St. Dunstan's, Stepney, the rector of which parish, in that year, made Whitechapel a rectory. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyans, and other dissenters. In Little Aylie-street is the German Lutheran church, dedicated to St. George, a neat building with a campanile turret; and in Hooper's-square is a German Calvinistic chapel.[1]

Additional information:

Whitefriar's is a district of the city [of London-proper], which extends from the western side of Water Lane, Fleet Street, to the Temple, and from Fleet Street to the [River] Thames. It derives its name from being the site of the ancient Convent of Carmelites, or Whitefriars... This convent was founded in 1241, by Sir Richard Grey, ancestor of the Lord Greys, of Codnor, Derbyshire, and was afterwards rebuilt about 1350... The conventual church was built [during the] reigns of Edward III and Richard II, and it was the burial place of many persons of distinction.

At the dissolution of the religious houses, in the reign of Henry VIII, this convent and its church were surrendered to the crown, and the king conferred different portions of the buildings to his favourites; and in 1557 Edward VI granted the church, chapter and other parts of the priory to the Bishop of Worcester and his successors.

In 1608, the inhabitants of this district obtained several liberties, privileges and exemptions, by a charter granted them by James I, which placed them out of jurisdiction of the City of London. This soon rendered the place an asylum for insolvent debtors, cheats, and gamblers, who gave it the name of Alsatia, [taken from Sir Walter Scott's...tale of the "Fortunes of Nigel"]. The inconvenience became at last so intolerable, that in 1696 an act of parliament was passed to deprive the district of privileges that were so injurious to the community.


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church records

To find the names of the neighbouring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.

Census records

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Middlesex Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Poor Law Unions

Contributor: Add information about the pertinent poor law unions in the area.

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.


Whitefriar's in Whitechapel on GENUKI


  1. Lewis, Samuel A.,A Topographical Dictionary of England, (1848), pp. 543-551. Adapted. Date accessed: 22 January 2014.