ST. GEORGE IN THE EAST.
The parish taken out of Stepney.
This place was formerly a hamlet, belonging to the parish of
Stepney, and was called Wapping Stepney. It was made a
distinct parish by an act of parliament passed in 1727, when it acquired the name of St. George. To distinguish it from other parishes
in and near London of the same name, an addition is usually made,
which denotes its situation to be in the eastern suburb of the metropolis.
Its situation, boundaries, &c.
The parish of St. George in the East lies within the hundred of
Ossulston, and is bounded by St. Mary, Whitechapel; St. John,
Wapping; and by Ratcliffe and Mile-end Old-Town, hamlets of
Stepney. The land, not occupied by buildings, is now of very
small extent, consisting of a few grass-fields on the north side. The
quota charged to the land-tax is about 2400l. which, anno 1793,
was at the rate of 1s. 10d. in the pound.
The inhabitants are employed, for the most part, in rope-making,
and the manufacture of other articles for the rigging of ships.
There is no other considerable manufacture in the place.
The parish church (dedicated to St. George) was one of the fifty
built pursuant to acts of parliament passed in 1710 and 1711. The
foundation was laid in 1715; the ceremony of consecration was
performed July 19, 1729. It is a stone building, of mixed architecture. The inside is fitted up with Dutch oak; the pillars are, for
the most part, of the Doric order. Over the altar, which stands in
a recess at the east end, is a picture of our Saviour in the garden, by
Clarkson. It was bought by a subscription of the principal inhabitants when the church was repaired and beautified in 1783.
Tablets in the vault.
There are no monumental inscriptions in the church; but underneath is a spacious light vault, supported by arches, against which are
tablets to the memory of the following persons: Mr. William Norman (1729); Thomas Trott, Esq. (1733); John Dagge, Gent.
(1735); Joseph Crowcher, Esq. (fn. 1) (1752); John Bristow (1762); and
Samuel Holman, Esq. (1793).
Tombs in the church-yard.
In the church-yard are the tombs of Thomas Evans, merchant
(1730); Capt. John Hammerton (1732); Mr. Henry Raine (1738);
Capt. Henry Allen (1740); Mr. William Thompson, surgeon (1742);
Capt. John Basnett (1744); Olive, wife of Lach Machlachlan, Esq.
of Amwell-Bury (1751); John Mewse, surgeon (1752); Robert
Sax, Esq. (1759); Mr. Joseph Ames (1759); Capt. Henry Nell
(1760); Capt. David Crichton (1761); Capt. Anthony Buskin (1764);
Capt. Samuel Newman (1764); Hugh Roberts, Esq. (1771); Capt.
Robert Oliver (1772); Capt. Thomas Evans of the royal navy (1775);
Capt. George Dobill (1776); Capt. John Bonner (1778); Robert
Sax, Esq. (1779); Capt. Charles Robinson (1781); Capt. Andrew
Glassby (1782); Mrs. Elizabeth Woolsey (1782); James Watson,
lieutenant in the navy (1783); Alexander Machlachlan, Esq. (1783);
Capt. William Tweedall (1785); John Abbot, Gent. (1787); Joseph
Lash, lieutenant in the navy (1787); William Duffin, Esq. (1793);
and Capt. Thomas Randall (1793).
Monuments of Colley Cibber's mother, &c. &c.
The Danish church in Wellclose-square, was built by C. G. Cibber in the year 1696, at the expence of Christian V. King of Denmark, as appears by the following inscription over the entrance:
"Templum Dano-Norwegicum intercessione et munisicentiâ serenissimi
Danorum Regis Christiani quinti erectum—MDCXCVI." It is a
brick structure; the form, an oblong square. At the west end is a
turret. Within the church are monuments of the following persons: Jane, wife of Caius Gabriel Cibber (fn. 2) , statuary to Frederic King
of Denmark, and afterwards to Charles II. and William III. Kings of
England; she was daughter of William Colley, Esq. of Glasson in
the county of Rutland, grand-daughter of Sir Anthony Colley, and
mother of the celebrated Colley Cibber—Ob. 1697. Her husband,
Cibber the statuary, lies buried there also; Anne Penelope, relict of
William Jackson, Esq. and wife of Herman Pohlman, merchant
(1734); Herman Pohlman (1754); Christian Wegersloff merchant,
Letitia his wife, and her sister Mary Collins (fn. 3) (no dates—the monument was put up in 1767); Anne, daughter of Magnus Teiste,
and Mary, daughter of Daniel Tindal of Croydon, two former wives
of Christian Wegersloff (fn. 4) ; Ambrosia, daughter of George Michelsen,
and wife, first, of the Rev. Philip Julius Borneman; secondly, of
John Collett (1740); John Collett, merchant (fn. 5) (1759); Elizabeth,
wife of George Wolff, Esq. (fn. 6) (1770); and Claudius Heide, merchant
In the vestry is a portrait of the Rev. Mr. Branck, first minister of
Portraits in the vestry.
In Prince's-square is a church, nearly similar in form, for the
Swedes, who, as well as the Danes, are very numerous in this parish.
It was built about the year 1729. This church has no monumental
inscriptions. In the vestry are several portraits, among which is that
of Jacob Serenius, D. D. Bishop of Strengnes, the first minister of
the Swedish church, a man of considerable learning, and author of a
dictionary of his own language.
At the bottom of Old Gravel-lane is a meeting-house of the Independents, on the outward wall of which is a monument with the
following inscription: "Sacred to the memory of the Reverend David Jennings, D. D. upwards of 44 years pastor of this church,
and 18 years tutor of a considerable academy for the education of
young persons for the ministry among the Protestant diffenters.
His learning, application, and confirmed health enabled him to
adorn his station till ripe for heaven; and, his work finished, he
fell asleep in Jesus Sept. 16, 1762, in the 72d year of his age, expecting the rewards of a celestial crown; leaving to his family, his
pupils, and his flock, a deep sense of their loss, and a grateful remembrance of his virtues. He was born at Lancton in the county
of Leicester, May 18, 1692; his father, the Reverend Mr. John
Jennings, having been ejected from the rectory of Hartley Wasphell in Hampshire, for non-conformity, in the year 1662."
Dr. Jennings was a man of general science, and well known in the
literary world; besides various sermons, and theological works, he
published an introduction to the use of the globes and the orrery;
a book on medals; and two volumes on Jewish antiquities, with a
dissertation on the Hebrew language. In conjunction with Dr. Doddridge, he was editor of Dr. Watts's works.
There is another meeting-house of the Independents in the new
road; there are also in the parish, a Roman Catholic chapel, a
meeting-house for the Scotch Presbyterians, and three for the people
When this parish was separated from Stepney by act of parliament, as before-mentioned, the benefice was made a rectory, and the
sum of 3000l. out of the money appointed by act of parliament
(1715) for making a provision for the ministers of the new churches,
was directed to be laid out in the purchase of lands, tenements, or other
hereditaments in see-simple, for the maintenance of the rector of St.
George and his successors. As a farther provision, the sum of 100l.
per annum, clear of all deductions, was directed to be paid to the
rector by the church-wardens out of the burial fees, of which they
were appointed the receivers; any deficiency to be made up out
of the parish stock. The great tithes were reserved to Brazen-nosecollege in Oxford. The sum of 50l. per annum to each of the two
portionists of Stepney, at that time being, and 13l. to the parish
clerk, was to be paid by the rector and parish clerk of the new
church, as a compensation for the loss which the above parties might
The first rector of St. George in the East was William Simpson,
D. D. who, in the year 1764, was succeeded by Herbert Mayo,
D. D. the present rector.
The parish register commences anno 1729, the year in which the
church was consecrated.
Comparative state of population.
||Average of Baptisms.
||Average of Burials.
The increase of population in this parish, since the year 1780,
has been very considerable; the present number of houses is about
3700. The decrease of burials is to be accounted for from the more
frequent interments in private cemeteries.
Extracts from the Register.
Instances of three children at a birth.
"Mary, Christian, and Elinor, daughters of John Matthew Geydon, china-man, by Elizabeth his wife, baptized March 21,
1730–1. Edward, William, and Mary, children of Henry Watwood, labourer, by Amy his wife, baptized Sept. 12, 1732."
All these children died a few days after their birth.
"Joseph Ames, Wapping-street, buried Oct. 14, 1759." Mr.
Ames was a native of Great Yarmouth; he served his apprenticeship to a plane-maker, but settled in business as a ship-chandler and
ironmonger. He discovered an early taste for the study of English
history and antiquities, and being a man of an inquisitive turn of
mind and assiduous application, made such a progress in his favourite
pursuit, as enabled him to contribute much to the service of literature. Mr. Ames was chosen secretary to the Society of Antiquaries
in 1741. He died suddenly, after a violent fit of coughing, Oct. 7,
1759. His principal work was a History of Printing, in one volume 4to. (since improved and enlarged by Herbert,) besides which he
published a catalogue of English engraved portraits, and "Parentalia,"
or Memoirs of the Family of Wren (fn. 8) . On his tomb, in the churchyard of this parish, is the following inscription: "Here lie interred the mortal remains of Mr. Joseph Ames, F. R. S. likewise fellow and secretary to the A. S. of London, author of the History
of Printing in Great Britain, who died Oct. 7, 1759, aged 71."
On the under side of the stone is this inscription, written by Mr.
William Massey (fn. 9) : "Hic conditæ jacent reliquiæ mortales Josephi
Ames, Regiæ Societatis Londinensis sodalis et Societatis ibidem
antiquariorum secretarii qui antiquitatibus exquirendis studiosissime
deditus, indefesso labore parique diligentiâ historiam apud Britannos typographicam per annos viginti quinque concinnavit, annoque
"Domini 1749, in vulgum edidit. Modestiâ, probitate et benevolentiâ per totum vitæ curriculum sese gessit. Tussi tandem violentâ correptus, quâ tamen paulo post sedatâ, subitó sed placidé
mortem obiit Nonis Octobris, A. D. 1759, suæque ætatis 71."
This parish furnishes another instance of the union of literary
pursuits with those of trade, in the person of Mr. Joseph Reed,
an eminent rope-maker, whose father had followed the same
business in the county of Durham. In a paper, which Mr. Reed
contributed to a periodical publication (fn. 10) , he gives a very whimsical, and entertaining account of his parentage and education. He
removed into the neighbourhood of the metropolis in the year
1757, and settled in Suntavern-fields in this parish, where he remained till his death, which happened in 1787. About the time
of his coming to town, he commenced his literary career by publishing some poems, which had no great merit; but he afterwards
acquired considerable reputation as a dramatic writer. In 1758, he
brought out his first performance of that kind, being a mock tragedy, called "Madrigal and Trulleetta," which engaged him in a
controversy with Dr. Smollet. The Register-Office, and Tom
Jones, were the most successful of his pieces. The latter was productive of much profit. His tragedy of Dido was received with
great applause, but acted only three nights, in consequence of a
quarrel with Garrick, who had at first refused it, and was with
difficulty persuaded to bring it on the stage. It is much to Reed's
credit, that he became afterwards, unknown to the manager, (although they had never been reconciled) his champion against Kenrick. These various publications were all the produce of his leisure hours; for he never suffered his literary pursuits to interfere
with his attention to a lucrative business. It should be added, that
he sometimes employed his pen upon commercial topics, having
published a very useful book called the Tradesman's Companion;
and a treatise on the monopoly of hemp. Mr. Reed lies buried in
the cemetery at Bunhill-fields.
Instances of Iongevity.
During the incumbency of the present rector (who has kept the
parish register with great accuracy, and has made all the entries in
such a manner as is well calculated to identify the persons recorded,) the ages of the deceased have been regularly inserted in the
register of burials, whence I have selected the following instances of
|Nov. 27, 1764,
|Nov. 29, 1764,
|Jan. 23, 1765,
|Jan. 30, 1765,
|March 6, 1765,
|June 13, 1765,
|June 16, 1765,
|July 11, 1765,
|Nov. 10, 1765,
||St. John Wapping,
|April 19, 1768,
|April 26, 1770,
||Joseph Beale, from
|May 2, 1770,
|Feb. 9, 1771,
|Sept. 4, 1771,
|Mar. 26, 1772,
|Nov. 29, 1772,
|Feb. 21, 1773,
|Mar. 3, 1773,
|Mar. 6, 1773,
|Aug. 9, 1774,
|Mar. 29, 1776,
|Oct. 8, 1776,
|Nov. 5, 1777,
|Nov. 26, 1777,
|Dec. 3, 1777,
|Feb. 4, 1778,
|June 10, 1778,
|Dec. 27, 1778,
|July 22, 1779,
|Dec. 15, 1780,
|Mar. 30, 1781,
|Feb. 3, 1782,
|Dec. 29, 1782,
|Feb. 2, 1783,
|Aug. 22, 1783,
|Jan. 24, 1787,
|Apr. 18, 1787,
|Dec. 27, 1787,
|Mar. 18, 1789,
|Apr. 14, 1792,
Raine's charity schools.
Mr. Henry Raine, of this parish, brewer, having acquired a very
ample fortune in business, formed the noble resolution of appropriating a considerable part of it, in his life-time, to charitable uses; in
pursuance of which resolution, in the year 1719, he built schoolhouses for fifty boys, and fifty girls, with habitations for a master
and mistress; and by his indenture, bearing date June 22, 1736,
conveyed the said buildings to trustees, endowing them at the same
time with lands and tenements of considerable value, and appointing
a salary of 40l. per annum for the master, 20l. for the mistress; the remainder of the profits to be applied to the maintenance of the schools,
and clothing the children (fn. 10) . By the same indenture he gave the sum of
4000l. New South Sea annuities, one moiety of which was to be employed in building a second school-house, or hospital, for girls; the
other moiety to be laid out in the purchase of lands for its maintenance and support (fn. 11) . The last-mentioned school was, by a schedule
annexed, appointed for the education of forty girls, to be chosen out
of the most deserving in the old school, in order to their being better instructed for service. In this school the children are provided
with clothes, lodging, boarding, &c. The salary of the mistress,
and the cook's wages, were allotted to be paid out of the girls' earnings, which have been found more than sufficient for that purpose.
The donor's relations are to be admitted into either of the schools in
preference to all others, if any should offer. The boys, to be nine
years of age; the girls, eight, at the time of their admission; the
boys to be taught reading, writing, and arithmetick; the girls reading, sewing, &c. and all to be brought up in the principles of the
church of England: the boys, at leaving the school, to have 3l. as
an apprentice fee, which the donor intended, at a future time, to be
increased to 20l. This augmentation will take place when the leases
Mr. Raine, by his will, dated October 17, 1736, desired that a
patent, or charter might, if possible, be obtained for the regulation
of the schools which he had founded in his life-time; and he directed his executors to establish a fund (fn. 12) for the purpose of continuing a most excellent charity, which he had planned and executed
for some years before he died, viz. the payment of two annual
prizes, of 100l. each, as a marriage portion, to be drawn for in
Christmas week, and on the 1st of May, by six of the most deserving young women (being of the age of 22 or upwards,) who
shall have been educated at his charity-schools; and the farther sum
of 5l. for a dinner in the great room at the school-house, for the
new married couple, the trustees, visitors, &c. The losing girls, if
they should continue unmarried, and maintain a good character, are
always to draw for the next prize till each has been successful.
By the act of parliament, which was obtained anno 1780, for incorporating the trustees of Raine's charities, it is provided, that
if there should not be six young women properly qualified, a smaller
number may draw for the prize; if one only should offer, she (if of
a good character) is to receive the marriage portion; if none should
offer, the money is to go to the general stock. By Mr. Raine's appointment the husbands must be of the church of England, and inhabitants of the parishes of St. George in the East; St. Paul, Shadwell; or St. John, Wapping.
The poor of this place have an interest in Mrs. Cobourne's, and
various other charities, left to the parish of Stepney previously to the
year 1727. One of the pensioners in the Drapers', Judge Fuller's,
and Capt. Cook's alms-houses, is always chosen out of this parish,
which has the same interest also in that founded at Stratford-Bow,
(anno 1721) by Mrs. Bowry, for sailors who have been in the East
India Company's service, or their widows. The poor in Mrs. Bowry's alms-houses receive 13s. 6d. each, per month.
Mr. Henderson, anno 1701, left lands at Eastham to decayed
house-keepers of the hamlets of Ratcliffe and Wapping-Stepney
(now St. George). This benefaction produces at present 3l. 9s. to
each place, clear of all deductions. Mr. Whatman, anno 1739,
left the interest of 200l. South Sea stock, to be distributed in bread
and meat on the 18th of December. Mr. Printon, anno 1765, gave
100l. to be distributed in bread on the 1st of January. Mr. Kirkman, anno 1765, gave the interest of 400l. 3 per cent. to be distributed in bread, meat, and coals, the same day. Jens Pederson, Esq.
anno 1782, gave 200l. 3 per cent. for bread and meat on the 1st of
Universal medical institution.
A charity, called the Universal Medical Institution, was established
within this parish anno 1792, being intended to afford medical relief
to the poor, in various ways. All patients, from whatever place they
may come, if duly recommended, and attending at the proper hours,
(viz. from nine till one in the morning, and from three till five in
the afternoon,) have advice and medicines gratis, and, if necessary,
the use of cold, warm, and vapour baths; inoculation also is performed gratis,—patients within the Tower hamlets are visited at their
own habitations. The house belonging to this Institution is situated
in Old Gravel-Lane. There are already near four hundred and fifty
subscribers. The Earl of Fife is president.