Southwark St Olave, Surrey Genealogy, England

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Parish History

SOUTHWARK, a metropolitan borough, five parishes, and three districts, in Surrey. The borough lies on the Thames, opposite London city; communicates with the city by London, Southwark, and Blackfriars bridges; contains, adjacent to London bridge, the central termini of the Greenwich, the Brighton, the Southeastern, the Croydon, and the Crystal Palace railways; was known to the Saxons as Suthwerc, from an ancient earthwork or fort, erected at it for defence of a ferry across the river; was set on fire, in 1066, by William the Conqueror, on his approach from the S; was given, in 1327, by Edward III., to the city of London; became a municipal section of the city, in 1551, under the name of Southwark borough or Bridge-Withont-ward, under government of one of the senior aldermen; was occupied in 1554 by Wyatt, in his rebellion prior to his retreat to Kingston; sent two members to parliament from the time of Edward I.; measures, within its old borough limits, about 1¾ mile from E to W, and about 1 mile from N to S; underwent much extension of its borough limits, by the reform act of 1832; consisted, prior to that act, of the five Southwark parishes and the parish of Horsleydown; includes now also the parishes of Bermondsey and Rotherhithe; is compactly edificed within all its old limits, and within a considerable portion of its new ones; has already, as to its topography, its structure, its trade, and a number of its public buildings, been sufficiently noticed in our article on London; and contains the head post-office‡ of London, SE, numerous receiving post-offices‡ and postal pillar-boxes under London, SE, the police court of the metropolitan M division, a town hall built in 1794, the Surrey theatre burnt and rebuilt in 1865, the Queen's prison, Guy's hospital, Bethlehem hospital, the Magdalen hospital, King Edward's school, the school for the indigent blind, the asylum for the deaf and dumb, the Yorkshire school, the British and foreign training school. Queen Elizabeth's grammar-school, Newcomen's endowed school, two convents, numerous suites of alms houses, and a large aggregate amount of endowed charities. Southwark bridge was erected in 1815-9, after designs by Rennie, at a cost of £800,000; is an iron structure, 700 feet long; and has three arches, the central one 240 feet in span. Southwark park is in Rotherhithe parish; was begun to be formed in 1865, but was far from complete at the end of 1867; and comprises 45 acres within its proper limits, together with a cincture of 20 additional acres, partly disposed in road, partly in building plots, and all purchased for £58,000. Electors in 1833, 4,775; in 1863, 12,027. Amount of property and income tax charged in 1863, £122,458. Pop. in 1851, 172,863; in 1861, 193,593. Houses, 25,659.

The five parishes of S[outhwark] are Christchurch, St. Saviour, St. Olave, St. Thomas, and St. George-the-Martyr. Acres of C[hristchurch], 95; of which 21 are water. Real property, £70,826. Pop. in 1851, 16,022; in 1861,17,069. Houses, 1,891. Acres of St. S. 155; of which 29 are water. Real property, £37,119. Pop. in 1851, 19,709; in 1861, 19,101. Houses, 2,580. Acres of St. O[lave], 66; of which 19 are water. Real property, £1,035,404; of which £986,666 are in railways. Pop. in 1851, 6,460; in 1861, 6,197. Houses, 670. Acres of St. T[homas], 9. Real property, £5,036. Pop. in 1851, 1,555; in 1861, 1,466. Houses, 94. Acres of St. G[eorge the Martry], 282. Real property, £190,102. Pop. in 1851, 51,824; in 1861, 55,510. Houses, 7,238. The ecclesiastical arrangement recognises also the chapelries of St. Peter, St. Jude, St. Mary Magdalen, St. Michae1, St. Stephen, and St. Paul-Westminster-road. The livings of Chrsitchurch], St. O[lave], and St. G[eorge] are rectories, and the other livings are p. curacies, in the diocese of Winchester. Value of C., £600;* of St. O., £628; of St. G., £730;* of St. S., £800; of St. T., £215;* of St. M., £200; of each of the others, £300. Patrons of C., the Trustees of Marshall's Charities; of St. O., the Crown; of St. G., the Lord Chancellor; of St. S., the Parishioners; of St. T., the Governors of St. Thomas' Hospital; of St. Peter, Hyndman's Trustees; of St. J., St. S., and St. Paul, Trustees; of St. Mary and St. Michael, the Rector of St. George.-The places of worship within the new borough, inclusive of Horsley-down, Bermondsey, and Rotherhithe parishes, at the census of 1851, were 32 of the Church of England, with 23,588 sittings; 1 of the English Presbyterian Church, with 900 s.; 10 of Independents, with 7,155 s.; 15 of Baptists, with 7,592 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 500 s.; 1 of Unitarians, with 400 s.; 7 of Wesleyans, with 3,663 s.; 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 100 s.; 3 of the Wesleyan Association, with 702 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 170 s.; 1 of Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, with 100 s.; 4 of isolated congregations, with 220 s.; 3 of Roman Catholics, with 1,570 s.; and 2 of Jews, with 200 s. Christchurch was rebuilt in 1737; St. Olave's, in 1845; St. Thomas, in 1702; St. George's, in 1736; and the last is in the Ionic style, with a tower and spire. St. Saviour's church dates from 1208; was restored, and partly rebuilt in 1832; is cruciform, and nearly 300 feet long; and has a tower with tall pinnacles.

The three districts are St. Saviour, St. Olave, and St. George. St. S[aviour] district comprises the parishes of St. S[aviour] and Acres, 250. Poor rates in 1863, £21,641. Pop. in 1861, 36,170. Houses, 4,471. Marriages in 1863, 243; births, 1,119,-of which 52 were illegitimate; deaths, 813,-of which 389 were at ages under 5 years, and 11 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 2,915; births, 13,173; deaths, 10,948.-St. O[lave] district comprises the parishes of St. O[lave], St. T[homas], and [St John] Horsleydown. Acres, 169. Poor rates in 1863, £12,613. Pop. in 1861, 19,056. Houses, 2,209. Marriages in 1863, 145; births, 602,-of which 19 were illegitimate; deaths, 913,-of which 224 were at ages under 5 years, and 3 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,394; births, 5,830; deaths, 11,289.-St. George district is conterminate with St. George the Martyr parish; and is divided into the sub-districts of Kent-road, Borough-road, and London-road. Poor rates in 1863, £28,531. Marriages in 1863, 627; births, 2,124,-of which 147 were illegitimate; deaths, 1,584,-of which 771 were at ages under 5 years, and 13 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 6,169; births, 19,204; deaths, 13,862.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)

In the year 1733, the parish of St John Horsleydown was created from this parish (St Olave, Southwark) and commences from that year.

In 1844, St  Mark chapel or district church was built in St John Horsleydown to accomodate the area's growing populations.


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

Online Southwark St Olave Parish Register Images and Indexes
1582-1812 Ancestry baptisms, marriages, and burials[1]
1813-1906 Ancestry[2] 1772-1918 Ancestry[3] 1813-1919 Ancestry[4]

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, non conformist 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

Non Conformist Churches

Census records

1541 Subsidy

1547 Subsidy

  • Southwark St Olave, Bridge Ward, London (The National Archives, Ref: E179/145/151); copy: FHL Film 2228700.

1621 Subsidy

  • Southwark St Olave, Bridge Ward, London (The National Archives, Ref: E179/147/484); copy: FHL Film 2228702.

1628 Subsidy

  • Southwark St Olave, Bridge Ward, London (The National Archives, Ref: E179/147/562); copy: FHL Film 2228704.

Contributor: Include an overview if there is any unique information, such as the census for X year was destroyed. Add a link to online sites for indexes and/or images. Also add a link to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection.

Probate records

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

Maps and Gazetteers

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

Web sites

Contributor: add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.
  1. London, England, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1538-1812, courtesy: Ancestry ($). Described as St Olave, Bermondsey in Southwark Borough. Marriages from 1754 to 1812 are not included in this database. Partially indexed.
  2. London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906, courtesy: Ancestry ($). Described as St Olave in Southwark Borough and Bermondsey St Olave in Southwark Borough. Partially indexed.
  3. London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921, courtesy: Ancestry ($). Described as Bermondsey St Olave in Southwark Borough. Partially indexed.
  4. London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980, courtesy: Ancestry ($). Described as Bermondsey St Olave in Southwark Borough and St Olave in Southwark Borough. Partially indexed.