Poplar All Saints, Middlesex Genealogy

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England  Gotoarrow.png  Middlesex Gotoarrow.png  Middlesex Parishes Gotoarrow.png  Poplar All Saints

Parish History

POPLAR (All Saints [registers begin in 1653]), formerly a hamlet with Blackwall, but now a parish, and the head of a union, in the Tower division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex, 3 miles (E. by S.) from London; containing 20,342 inhabitants. This place, which was separated from Stepney by act of parliament, in 1817, derived its name from the number of poplar-trees with which it anciently abounded, and for the growth of which its situation near the river Thames was highly favourable. It is at the south-eastern extremity of the county, and is bounded on the east, west, and south by the river, and on the north by the parishes of Bromley and Limehouse. The parish is inhabited chiefly by persons engaged in the shipping interest, by numerous artisans occupied in the different yards for building and repairing ships, and by a multitude of labourers, who find employment in the East and West India docks. The West India docks were constructed here, in 1802; and the works of the Thames Plate-Glass Company, various iron and brass foundries, and several establishments for engineering and the manufacture of machinery, are in the parish.

It is partially paved, well lighted with gas, and supplied with water by the East London waterworks. The Poplar institution for the promotion of literature and science, is a neat building on the East India road. The town-hall, forming part of the present workhouse for the union, was erected in 1810, on the removal of an ancient edifice, which stood in the highway. The living is a rectory not in charge, in the gift of Brasenose College, Oxford; net income, £632. The church, erected by the parishioners at an expense of £37,000, is a handsome structure in the Grecian style, with a lofty steeple of the composite order; the interior is conveniently arranged and chastely ornamented. The building is situated on the south side of the East India road, in the centre of a spacious cemetery, on the west of which is a house for the rector. A chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, was built by subscription in 1654, at an expense of £2000, on a piece of ground given by the East India Company, by whom it was almost entirely rebuilt in 1776; it is a neat building, with a large burial-ground. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Company, and is attached to the hospital supported by them here. A chapel has been recently erected on the East India road at the expense of George Green, Esq., for the accommodation of the numerous persons employed in his building-yards, and of the seamen with which the neighbourhood abounds; it is a neat edifice in the Grecian style, with a handsome campanile turret, and contains 1100 sittings.

Within a few yards of it the same gentleman has built a large house called the "Sailors' Home," for the temporary lodging and accommodation of sailors while on shore. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics. The boys' school, established in 1711, affords instruction on the national system. The free school, founded in 1816, contains 300 boys and 200 girls; a schoolroom for boys, and another for girls, with houses for the master and mistress, have been erected at an expense of £3037, on a piece of ground given by the East India Company, and the institution has an income of £240, arising from bequests. A Roman Catholic school is maintained; and in the Ladies' charity school, in union with the National Society, 90 girls are taught. An infants' school is supported by Mr. Green, who has been a munificent benefactor to the parish, and a zealous promoter of the schools, to the establishment and support of which, and to other charitable uses, he has appropriated more than £10,000. There is also a school for Irish Protestants, of whom 125 are clothed and partly supported. The East India hospital was established for the maintenance of widows of officers and seamen in the company's service. It was rebuilt in 1802, and is a spacious and substantial quadrangular structure, comprising 38 tenements: the south front contains the chaplain's residence in the centre, and on each side dwellings for the hospitallers; and to the north of the chapel are 18 dwellings for the widows of superior officers.

There are various bequests for distribution among necessitous and aged parishioners. The poor-law union comprises Poplar, Blackwall, Bromley, and Stratford-leBow, and contains a population of 31,091. George Steevens, editor of Shakspeare's plays, was born here in 1736, and was buried in the chapel, where is a monument to his memory, with a fine bas-relief, in which he is represented contemplating the bust of his favourite author. In the cemetery are the tombs of Dr. Glo'ster Ridley, minister of Poplar, who died in 1774, and of his son, the Rev. James Ridley, author of the Tales of the Genii, who died in 1765. Among the literary men who occasionally resided here were, Robert Ainsworth, compiler of the Latin Dictionary, who kept a school in the neighbourhood; and Sir Richard Steele, who is said to have had a laboratory here.

1. Samuel Lewis, ed. A Topographical Dictionary of England 593-596. (London: S. Lewis and Co., 1848), Online here, (accessed: 03 May 2010). Adapted

Churches and Chapels of Ease in Poplar All Saints Civil Parish

Here is a list of additional district churches and chapels within the civil parish of All Saints Poplar. The ancient parish of Poplar All Saints, Newby Place, East India Dock Road was consecrated in 1653 as a chapel-of-ease built by the East India Company in the High Street. It became a separate parish out of Stepney 1821, with new parish church on new site to which registers were transferred from the old chapel, now named St.Matthias [see below]. All Saints' is still open [by 1958 described as being w.St.Nicholas Blackwall and S.Frideswide East India Dock Road]; 1971 united with St. Michael & All Angels Bromley and Poplar St. Saviour w.S.Gabriel & S.Stephen to form Parish of Poplar. Youngs "The Parishes of England", gives 1817 as the date of the new parish, but the building was complete and the registers begin June 1821.

The district churches and chapels found within the borders of All Saints were as follows:

  • All Hallows. Bromley by Bow (Devons Rd) - 1874
  • All Hallows. East India Dock Road - 1879
  • Poplar, Christ Church, Manchester Road, Isle of Dogs [1857] - still open
  • St Andrew Bromley by Bow - 1901
  • Poplar, St Frideswide East India Dock Road/Lodore Street (1904) bombed WW2, closed 1947, not re-built, parish united to All Saints 1952.
  • St Gabriel South Bromley Chrisp Street - 1869
  • St John, Isle of Dogs - 1872
  • Poplar, St John, Manchester Road, Cubitt Town [1873] now gone?? -1952 parish united with Christ Church
  • Poplar, St. Luke, Strafford Street, Milwall [1857] bombed and demolished, worship in new hall-church, 1952 parish united with Christ Church St Michael & All Angels. Bromley by Bow - 1864
  • St Mark. Victoria Park - 1872
  • St Mary Stratford atte Bow - 1719
  • St Mary the Virgin Bromley-St Leonard 12th century
  • Poplar, St. Matthias, High Street [1867] enclosed East India Company Chapel of 1776 replacing chapel of 1654; a chapel of ease to Stepney until 1817, in Poplar All Saints until 1867, when gained separate parish and registers re-commence: when in 1823 All Saints became the parish church the registers had gone to All Saints. As chapel, licensed for baptisms and burials from opening in 1653, but marriages ceased from 1754 (Hardwicke's Act) until became a parish church in 1867. Marriages take place in Stepney 1754-1821, and in All Saints 1821-1967. Still open 1966. Derelict by 1976, renovated 1991 as a community centre - there is a long description of this church in the "London Docklands" edition (1998) in Pevsner's "The Buildings of England"
  • Poplar, St Nicholas, Blackwall Stairs (Yabsley Street) (1900) bombed 1940 and closed 1941, not rebuilt. Mission Church in All Saints East India Dock Road. United with All Hallows, Abbott Road 1955 to form All Hallows, Aberfeldy Street.
  • St Paul. Old Ford - 1878
  • St Peter. Garford St .Limehouse - 1885
  • St Stephen, North Bow. (Tredegar Rd) - 1827
  • Poplar, St. Saviour, Northumberland Street [later Northumbria Street] [1875] 1952 united with Bromley St. Gabriel & Poplar St. Stephen. 1971 united parish united to All Saints, Poplar. 1975 church closed?
  • Poplar, St. Stephen, East India Road [1867] 1952 united to Poplar S.Saviour and Bromley St. Gabriel


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.

Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, nonconformist and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection.

Census records

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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

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Maps and Gazetteers

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Web sites

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