East End of London
The East End of London, known locally as the East End, is the area of
London, England, east of the medieval walled City of Londonand north of the River Thames, although it is not defined by universally accepted formal boundaries. Use of the term in a pejorative sense began in the late 19th century, ["Oxford Dictionary of London Place Names" A Mills (2000)] as the expansion of the population of London led to extreme overcrowding throughout the area and a concentration of poor people and immigrants in the East End.From 1801 to 1821, the population of Bethnal Green more than doubled, and by 1831, it had trebled (see table in population section). These incomers were principally weavers. For further details, see Andrew August "Poor Women's Lives: Gender, Work, and Poverty in Late-Victorian London" pp 35-6 (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1999) ISBN 0838638074] These problems were exacerbated with the construction of St Katharine Docks(1827) [By the early 19th century, over 11,000 people were crammed into insanitary slums in an area, which took its name from the former Hospital of St Catherine that had stood on the site since the 12th century.] and the central London railway termini (1840–1875) that caused the clearance of former slums and rookeries, with many of the displaced people moving into the East End. Over the course of a century, the East End became synonymous with poverty, overcrowding, disease and criminality."The East End" Alan Palmer, (John Murray, London 1989) ISBN 071955666X]
The East End developed rapidly during the 19th century. Originally it was an area characterised by villages clustered around the City walls or along the main roads, surrounded by farmland, with marshes and small communities by the River, serving the needs of shipping and the
Royal Navy. Until the arrival of formal docks, shipping was required to land its goods in the Pool of London, but industries related to construction, repair, and victualling of ships flourished in the area from Tudor times. The area attracted large numbers of rural people looking for employment. Successive waves of foreign immigration began with Huguenotrefugees creating a new extramural suburb in Spitalfieldsin the 17th century. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=22743 "Bethnal Green: Settlement and Building to 1836", A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 11: Stepney, Bethnal Green (1998), pp. 91–5] Date accessed: 17 April 2007] They were followed by Irish weavers,"Irish in Britain" John A. Jackson, p. 137–9, 150 (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1964)] Ashkenazi Jews[http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=22113 "The Jews", A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1: Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, The Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes to 1870, Private Education from Sixteenth Century (1969), pp. 149–51] Date accessed: 17 April 2007] and, in the 20th century, Bangladeshis. [http://www.spacesyntax.tudelft.nl/media/prcdngsabstracts/izaaftab.pdf "The Spatial Form of Bangladeshi Community in London's East End" Iza Aftab] (UCL) (particularly background of Bangladeshi immigration to the East End). Date accessed: 17 April 2007] Many of these immigrants worked in the clothing industry. The abundance of semi- and unskilled labour led to low wages and poor conditions throughout the East End. This brought the attentions of social reformers during the mid-18th century and led to the formation of unionsand workers associations at the end of the century. The radicalism of the East End contributed to the formation of the Labour Party and demands for the enfranchisement of women.
Official attempts to address the overcrowded housing began at the beginning of the 20th century under the
London County Council. World War IIdevastated much of the East End, with its docks, railways and industry forming a continual target, leading to dispersal of the population to new suburbs, and new housing being built in the 1950s. The closure of the last of the East End docks in the Port of Londonin 1980 created further challenges and led to attempts at regeneration and the formation of the London Docklands Development Corporation. The Canary Wharfdevelopment, improved infrastructure, and the Olympic Park [http://www.london2012.com/plans/olympic-park/legacy/index.php "Olympic Park: Legacy"] (London 2012) accessed 20 September 2007] mean that the East End is undergoing further change, but some of its parts continue to contain some of the worst poverty in Britain.Chris Hammett "Unequal City: London in the Global Arena" (2003) Routledge ISBN 0-415-31730-4]
Origin and scope
The term 'East End' was first applied to the districts immediately to the east of, and entirely outside, the
medievalwalled City of Londonand north of the River Thames; these included Whitechapeland Stepney. By the late 19th century, the East End roughly corresponded to the Tower divisionof Middlesex, which from 1900 formed the metropolitan boroughs of Stepney, Bethnal Green, Poplar and Shoreditch in the County of London. Today it corresponds to the London Borough of Tower Hamletsand the southern part of Hackney.
Parts of the London boroughs of Newham and Waltham Forest, formerly in an area of
Essexknown as 'London over the border', are sometimes considered to be in the East End. [ [http://apps.newham.gov.uk/history_canningtown/cdickens.htm 'Londoners Over the Border', in "Household Words" Charles Dickens 390] 12 September 1857 (Newham archives) accessed 18 September 2007] However, the River Lee is usually considered to be the eastern boundary of the East End [The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) ISBN 0-19-861-263-x - p.582 "East End the part of London east of the City as far as the River Lea, including the Docklands"] and this definition would exclude the boroughs but place them in East London. [Fishman (1998) defines the boundaries as being Tower Hamlets and the southern part of Hackney. By contrast, Palmer (2000) writing about a later period includes the dock areas of Newham.] This extension of the term further east is due to the ' diaspora' of East Enders who moved to West Ham about 1886 [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42748 "West Ham: Introduction", A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6 (1973), pp. 43-50] accessed: 23 February 2008] and East Ham about 1894 [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=42740 "Becontree hundred: East Ham", A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6 (1973), pp. 1-8] 18 September 2007] to service the new docks and industries established there. In the inter-war period, migration occurred to new estates built to alleviate conditions in the East End, in particular at Becontreeand Harold Hill, or out of London entirely.
The extent of the East End has always been difficult to define. When
Jack Londoncame to London in 1902 his Hackney carriagedriver did not know the way and he observed, "Thomas Cook and Son, path-finders and trail-clearers, living sign-posts to all the World.... knew not the way to the East End" [ Jack London, " The People of the Abyss" (1903). gutenberg|no=1688|name=The People of the Abyss]
Many East Enders are '
Cockneys', although this term has both a geographic and a linguistic connotation. A traditional definition is that to be a Cockney, one had to be born within the sound of Bow Bells, situated in Cheapside. In general, the sound pattern would cover most of the City, and parts of the near East End such as Aldgateand Whitechapel. In practice, with no maternity hospitals in the district, today few would be born in the area. The origin of the term is lost, but a plausible explanation is given by Websters. ["New Universal Unabridged Dictionary"] London was referred to by the Normansas the "Land of Sugar Cake" (Old French: "pais de cocaigne"), an imaginary land of idleness and luxury. A humorous appellation, the word "Cocaigne" referred to all of London and its suburbs, and over time had a number of spellings: "Cocagne", "Cockayne"', and in Middle English, "Cocknay" and "Cockney".
Its linguistic use is more identifiable, with lexical borrowings from
Yiddish, Romani, and costermongerslang, and a distinctive accent that features T-glottalization, a loss of dental fricatives and diphthong alterations, amongst others. The accent is said to be a remnant of early English London speech, modified by the many immigrants to the area. ["Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language" Ed. Tom McArthur (Oxford University Press, 2005)] The Cockney accent has suffered a long decline, beginning with the introduction in the 20th century of received pronunciation, and the more recent adoption of Estuary English, which itself contains many features of Cockney English. [ [http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/estuary/rosew.htm "Estuary English" David Rosewarne] " Times Educational Supplement", (19 October 1984) accessed 20 November 2007]
The East End came into being as the separate villages east of London spread and the fields between them were built upon, a process that occurred in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. From the beginning, the East End has always contained some of the poorest areas of London. The main reasons for this include the following:
medievalsystem of copyhold, which prevailed throughout the East End, into the 19th century. Essentially, there was little point in developing land that was held on short leases.
*the siting of noxious industries, such as
tanningand fullingoutside the boundaries of the City, and therefore beyond complaints and official controls.
*the low paid employment in the docks and related industries, made worse by the trade practices of outwork,
pieceworkand casual labour.
*and the concentration of the ruling court and national political epicentre in Westminster, on the opposite western side of the
City of London.
Historically, the East End is conterminous with the Manor of Stepney. This manor was held by the
Bishop of London, in compensation for his duties in maintaining and garrisoning the Tower of London. Further ecclesiastic holdings came about from the need to enclose the marshes and create flood defences along the Thames. Edward VIpassed the land to the Wentworth family, and thence to their descendants, the Earls of Cleveland. The ecclesiastic system of copyhold, whereby land was leased to tenants for terms as short as seven years, prevailed throughout the manor. This severely limited scope for improvement of the land and new building until the estate was broken up in the 19th century. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45083 "Stepney, Old and New London: Volume 2" (1878), pp. 137-142] accessed: 17 November 2007]
In medieval times, trades were carried out in workshops in and around the owners' premises, in the City. By the time of the Great Fire, these were becoming industries and some were particularly noisome for instance the processing of urine to perform tanning, or required large amounts of space, such as drying clothes after process and dying in fields known as
tentergrounds and rope making. Some were dangerous, such as the manufacture of gun powder, or the proving of guns. These activities came to be performed outside the City walls in the near suburbs of the East End. Later, when lead making, bone processing for soap and china came to established, they too located in the East End, rather than the crowded streets of the City.
The lands to the east of the City had always been used as hunting grounds for bishops and royalty, with King John establishing a palace at Bow. The
Cistercian Stratford Langthorne Abbeybecame the court of Henry III in 1267, for the visitation of the Papal legates, and it was here that he made peace with the barons under the terms of the Dictum of Kenilworth. It became the fifth largest Abbey in the country, visited by monarchs and providing a popular retreat (and final resting place) for the nobility. [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=39836 "Houses of Cistercian monks: Abbey of Stratford Langthorne", A History of the County of Essex: Volume 2 (1907), pp. 129-133] accessed: 30 April 2008.] The Palace of Placentiaat Greenwich, to the south of the river, was built by the Regent to Henry V, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucesterand Henry VIIIestablished a hunting lodge at Bromley Hall. [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22734 "Stepney: Manors and Estates", A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 11: Stepney, Bethnal Green (1998), pp. 19-52] accessed: 20 November 2007] These Royal connections continued until after the Interregnum, when the Court established itself in the Palace of Whitehall, and the offices of politics congregated around them. The East End also lay on the main road to Barking Abbey, important as a religious centre since Norman times and where William the Conquerorhad first established his English court. [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42722 "The ancient parish of Barking: Introduction", A History of the County of Essex: Volume 5 (1966), pp. 184-190] accessed: 20 November 2007]
Politics and social reform
At the end of the 17th century, large numbers of
Huguenotweavers arrived in the East End, settling to service an industry that grew up around the new estate at Spitalfields, where master weavers were based. They brought with them a tradition of 'reading clubs', where books were read, often in public houses. The authorities were suspicious of immigrants meeting, and in some ways they were right, as these grew into workers' associations and political organisations. When, towards the middle of the 18th century, the silk industry fell into a decline - partly due to the introduction of printed calico cloth - riots ensued. These ' Spitalfield Riots' of 1769 were actually centred to the east, and were put down with considerable force, culminating in two men being hanged in front of the Salmon and Ball public house at Bethnal Green. One was John Doyle (an Irish weaver), the other John Valline (of Huguenot descent). [ [http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/corporation/lma_learning/schoolmate/Irish/sm_irish_stories_detail.asp?ID=246 "The Spitalfields Riots 1769"] London Metropolitan Archives accessed on 10 November 2006]
In 1844, "An Association for promoting Cleanliness among the Poor" was established, and they built a
bath-houseand laundry in Glasshouse Yard, East Smithfield. This cost a single pennyfor bathing or washing, and by June 1847 was receiving 4,284 people a year. This led to an Act of Parliamentto encourage other municipalities to build their own, and the model spread quickly throughout the East End. Timbs noted that "... so strong was the love of cleanliness thus encouraged that women often toiled to wash their own and their children's clothing, who had been compelled to "sell their hair" to purchase food to satisfy the cravings of hunger". ["Curiosities of London: Exhibiting the Most Rare and Remarkable" John Timbs, pp. 33 (London, 1855)] William Boothbegan his 'Christian Revival Society' in 1865, preaching the gospel in a tent erected in the 'Friends Burial Ground', Thomas Street, Whitechapel. Others joined his 'Christian Mission', and on 7 August 1878 the Salvation Armywas formed at a meeting held at 272 Whitechapel Road. [ [http://www1.salvationarmy.org/heritage.nsf/titles/1878_Foundation_Deed_Of_The_Salvation_Army "1878 Foundation Deed Of The Salvation Army"] (Salvation Army history) accessed 15 February 2007] A statue commemorates both his mission and his work in helping the poor. A Dubliner, Thomas John Barnardocame to the London Hospital, Whitechapel to train for medical missionary work in China. Soon after his arrival in 1866, a choleraepidemic swept the East End, killing 3,000 people. Many families were left destitute, with thousands of children orphaned and forced to beg or find work in the factories. In 1867, Barnardo set up a Ragged Schoolto provide a basic education but was shown the many children sleeping rough. His first home for boys was established at 18 Stepney Causeway in 1870. When a boy died after being turned away (the home was full), the policy was instituted that 'No Destitute Child Ever Refused Admission'. [ [http://www.barnardos.org.uk/who_we_are/history.htm "History of Barnardo's Homes"] (Barnardo's 2007) accessed 29 May 2007]
In 1884, the
Settlement movementwas founded, with settlements such as Toynbee Hall[Toynbee Hall, named for Arnold Toynbeewas founded in 1884 in Commercial Street as a centre for social reform by Samuel and Henrietta Barnettwith support from Balliol and Wadham College, Oxford; its work continues today.] and Oxford House, to encourage university students to live and work in the slums, experience the conditions and try to alleviate some of the poverty and misery in the East End. Notable residents of Toynbee Hall included R. H. Tawney, Clement Attlee, Guglielmo Marconi, and William Beveridge. The Hall continues to exert considerable influence, with the Workers Educational Association(1903), Citizens Advice Bureau(1949) and Child Poverty Action Group(1965) all being founded or influenced by it. [ [http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/EDtoynbeeH.htm "Toynbee Hall"] (Sparticus Educational) accessed 26 September 2007] In 1888, the matchgirls of Bryant and May in Bow went on strike for better working conditions. This, combined with the many dock strikes in the same era, made the East End a key element in the foundation of modern socialistand trade unionorganisations, as well as the Suffragettemovement."East End 1888" William Fishman (Duckworth 1998) ISBN 0-7156-2174-2]
Towards the end of the 19th century, a new wave of radicalism came to the East End, arriving both with
Jewish émigrés fleeing from Eastern European persecution, and Russian and German radicals avoiding arrest. A German émigré, Rudolf Rocker, began writing in Yiddishfor " Arbayter Fraynd" (Workers' Friend). By 1912 he had organised a London garment workers' strike for better conditions and an end to 'sweating'. ["East End Jewish Radicals 1875-1914" William J Fishman (Five Leaves Publications, 2004) ISBN 0 9071234 57] Amongst the Russians was Peter Kropotkin, the anarchist, who helped found the Freedom Press in Whitechapel. Afanasy Matushenko, one of the leaders of the Potemkin mutiny, fled the failure of the Russian Revolution of 1905to seek sanctuary in Stepney Green. [ [http://www.eastlondonhistory.com/battleship%20potemkin.htm "The Battleship Potemkin and Stepney Green"] (East London History Society) accessed on 10 November 2006] Leon Trotskyand Vladimir Leninattended meetings of the newspaper " Iskra" in 1903. in Whitechapel; and in 1907 Lenin and Joseph Stalin[ [http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ahr/106.5/ah0501001651.html "Stalin, Man of the Borderlands" Alfred J. Rieber] " The American Historical Review", 106.5 December 2001 (The History Cooperative)] [Lenin stayed in Bloomsbury. Stalin, then known as Joseph Djugashvili, was the delegate from Tbilisi. He did not speak at the conference, and did not refer to it in his own memoires. An account of the conference under his name appeared in the Bolshevik newspaper "Bakinskii proletarii" (but was excised from the second edition of his collected works). He stayed in Tower House, a hostel for itinerant workers near the London Hospital, for two weeks, paying sixpence a night for a cubicle. Jack Londonand George Orwell, in their respective periods, also stayed at the hostel writing on the poor conditions. Today, the hostel provides luxury housing for City workers. "(see Guardian, below)"] attended the Fifth Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Partyheld in a Hoxton church . That congress consolidated the leadership of Lenin's Bolshevikfaction and debated strategy for the communist revolution in Russia. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2004/oct/24/housingpolicy.books "Luxury beckons for East End's house of history" Mark Gould and Jo Revill] 24 October 2004 " The Guardian" accessed 25 February 2007] Trotsky noted, in his memoires, meeting Maxim Gorkyand Rosa Luxembourgat the conference. [ [http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1930/mylife/ch16.htm "Chapter 16: My Second Foreign Exite: German Socialism"] Trotsky, Leon "My Life" (Charles Schribner’s Sons, NY, 1930) Marxist Internet Archive, accessed 27 February 2008]
By the 1880s, the casual system caused Dock workers to unionise under
Ben Tillettand John Burns. [John Burns is commemorated in the name given to a current Woolwich Ferry)] This led to a demand for '6d per hour' ("The Docker's Tanner" [2.5p in modern coinage] ), and an end to casual labour in the docks. [http://www.bardaglea.org.uk/docklands/8-strikes-the.html "The Great Dock Strike of 1889"] Smith and Nash, "The Story of the Dockers' Strike" (1889) in London Docklands History for GCSE, accessed 18 September 2007] Colonel G. R. Birt, the general manager at Millwall Docks, gave evidence to a Parliamentary committee, on the physical condition of the workers:cquote|"The poor fellows are miserably clad, scarcely with a boot on their foot, in a most miserable state.... These are men who come to work in our docks who come on without having a bit of food in their stomachs, perhaps since the previous day; they have worked for an hour and have earned 5d. [2p] ; their hunger will not allow them to continue: they take the 5d. in order that they may get food, perhaps the first food they have had for twenty-four hours."|20px|20px|Col. G. R. Birt, in evidence to the Parliamentary Committee (1889) These conditions earned dockers much public sympathy, and after a bitter struggle, the London Dock Strike of 1889was settled with victory for the strikers, and established a national movement for the unionisation of casual workers, as opposed to the craft unions that already existed.
The philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts was active in the East End, alleviating poverty by founding a sewing school for ex-weavers in
Spitalfieldsand building the ornate Columbia Market in Bethnal Green. She helped to inaugurate the London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, was a keen supporter of the 'Ragged School Union', [ [http://www.nndb.com/people/257/000102948/ "Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts"] in "National Dictionary of Biography" accessed 3 February 2007] and founded institutions such as the East End Dwelling Company. This latter led to the foundation of organisations such as the '4% Dwelling Company', where investors received a financial return on their philanthropy. [ [http://fathom.lse.ac.uk/Seminars/21701744/index.html "Social Policy: From the Victorians to the Present Day" Susan Morris] (LSE seminars) accessed 10 November 2006] Between the 1890s and 1903, when the work was published, the social campaigner Charles Booth instigated an investigation into the life of London poor (based at Toynbee Hall), much of which was centred on the poverty and conditions in the East End."Life and Labour of the People in London" (London: Macmillan, 1902-1903) [http://booth.lse.ac.uk/ at] The Charles Booth on-line archive accessed 10 November 2006] Further investigations were instigated by the ' Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and Relief of Distress 1905-09', the Commission found it difficult to agree, beyond that change was necessary and produced separate minority and majority reports. The minority report was the work of Booth with the founders of the London School of EconomicsSidney and Beatrice Webb. They advocated focusing on the causes of poverty and the radical notion of poverty being involuntary, rather than the result of innate indolence. At the time their work was rejected but was gradually adopted as policy by successive governments. [ [http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/LSEHistory/webbs.htm "The Webbs: Beatrice (1858-1943) and Sidney (1859-1947)"] (The history of the LSE) accessed 15 November 2007] Sylvia Pankhurstbecame increasingly disillusioned with the suffragettemovement's inability to engage with the needs of working class women, so in 1912 she formed her own breakaway movement, the East London Federation of Suffragettes. She based it at a baker's shop at Bow emblazoned with the famous slogan, " Votes for Women," in large gold letters. The local Member of Parliament, George Lansbury, resigned his seat in House of Commons to stand for election on a platform of women's enfranchisement. Pankhurst supported him in this, and Bow Road became the campaign office, culminating in a huge rally in nearby Victoria Park. Lansbury was narrowly defeated in the election, however, and support for the project in the East End was withdrawn. Pankhurst refocused her efforts, and with the outbreak of World War I, she began a nursery, clinic and cost price canteen for the poor at the bakery. A paper, the " Women's Dreadnought", was published to bring her campaign to a wider audience. Pankhurst spent twelve years in Bow fighting for women's rights. During this time, she risked constant arrest and spent many months in Holloway Prison, often on hunger strike. She finally achieved her aim of full adult female suffragein 1928, and along the way she alleviated some of the poverty and misery, and improved social conditions for all in the East End. [Barbara Castle, "Sylvia and Christabel Pankhurst" (Penguin Books, 1987) ISBN 0-14-008761-3]
The alleviation of widespread unemployment and hunger in Poplar had to be funded from money raised by the borough itself under the
Poor Law. The poverty of the borough made this patently unfair and lead to the 1921 conflict between government and the local councillors known as the Poplar Rates Rebellion. Council meetings were for a time held in Brixton prison, and the councillors received wide support. ["Poplarism, 1919-25: George Lansbury and the Councillors' Revolt" Noreen Branson (Lawrence & Wishart, 1980) ISBN 0-85-315434-1] Ultimately, this led to the abolition of the Poor Laws through the Local Government Act 1929.
The General Strike had begun as a dispute between miners and their employers outside London in 1925. On 1 May 1926 the
Trades Union Congresscalled out workers all over the country, including the London dockers. The government had had over a year to prepare and deployed troops to break the dockers' picket lines. Armed food convoys, accompanied by armoured cars drove down the East India Dock Road. By 10 May, a meeting was brokered at Toynbee Hallto end the strike. The TUC were forced into a humiliating climbdown and the general strike ended on 11 May, with the miners holding out until November. [ [http://www.eastlondonhistory.com/breaking%20the%20general%20strike.htm "Breaking the General Strike"] (East London History Society) accessed 15 November 2007]
Industry and built environment
Industries associated with the sea developed throughout the East End, including rope making and shipbuilding. The former location of roperies can still be identified from their long straight, narrow profile in the modern streets, for instance Ropery Street near
Mile End. Shipbuilding was important from the time when Henry VIIIcaused ships to be built at Rotherhitheas a part of his expansion of the Royal Navy. On 31 January 1858, the largest ship of that time, the SS Great Eastern, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was launched from the yard of Messrs Scott Russell & Co, of Millwall. The convert|692|ft|m|sing=on vessel was too long to fit across the river, and so the ship had to be launched sideways. Due to the technical difficulties of the launch, this was the last big ship to be built on the River, and the industry fell into a long decline. [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConNarrative.61/chapterId/1225/The-Great-Eastern-as-a-passenger-liner.html "Building the Great Eastern"] Port Cities: London, accessed 17 April 2007] Smaller ships, including battleships, continued to be built at the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Companyat Blackwall until the beginning of the 20th century.
West India Dockswere established in 1803, providing berths for larger ships and a model for future London dock building. Imported produce from the West Indieswas unloaded directly into quayside warehouses. Ships were limited to 6000 tons. [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConFactFile.83/West-India-Docks.html "West India Docks (1803-1980)"] Port Cities: London, accessed 29 September 2007] The old Brunswick Dock, a shipyard at Blackwall became the basis for the East India Company's East India Docksestablished there in 1806. [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConFactFile.69/East-India-Docks.html "East India Docks (1806-1967)"] Port Cities: London, accessed 29 September 2007] The London Dockswere built in 1805, and the waste soil and rubble from the construction was carried by barge to west London, to build up the marshy area of Pimlico. These docks imported tobacco, wine, wool and other goods into guarded warehouses within high walls (some of which still remain). They were able to berth over 300 sailing vessels simultaneously, but by 1971 they closed, no longer able to accommodate modern shipping. [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConFactFile.78/London-Docks.html "London Docks (1805-1971)"] Port Cities: London, accessed 29 September 2007] The most central docks, St Katharine Docks, were built in 1828 to accommodate luxury goods, clearing the slums that lay in the area of the former Hospital of St Katharine. They were not successful commercially, as they were unable to accommodate the largest ships, and in 1864, management of the docks was amalgamated with that of the London Docks. [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConFactFile.77/St-Katharine-Docks.html "St Katharine Docks (1828-1969)"] Port Cities: London, accessed 29 September 2007] The Millwall Dockswere created in 1868, predominantly for the import of grain and timber. These docks housed the first purpose built granary for the Baltic grain market, a local landmark that remained until it was demolished to improve access for the London City Airport. [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConFactFile.79/Millwall-Docks.html "Millwall Docks (1868-1980)"] Port Cities: London, accessed 29 September 2007]
The first railway ('The Commercial Railway') to be built, in 1840, was a passenger service based on cable haulage by stationary steam engines that ran the convert|3.5|mi|km|1 from Minories to Blackwall on a pair of tracks. It required convert|14|mi|km|1 of hemp rope, and 'dropped' carriages as it arrived at stations, which were reattached to the cable for the return journey, and the train 'reassembling' itself at the terminus. ["Our Home Railways" (Volume 2) W.J. Gordon (1910, Frederick Warne & Co, London)] The line was converted to standard gauge in 1859, and steam locomotives adopted. The building of London termini at Fenchurch Street (1841), [ [http://www.basildon.com/history/railway/railway.html "Basildon's Railway Stations"] Basildon History On-line, accessed 23 October 2007] and Bishopsgate (1840) provided access to new suburbs across the River Lee, again resulting in the destruction of housing and increased overcrowding in the slums. After the opening of
Liverpool Street station(1874), Bishopsgate railway station became a goods yard, in 1881, to bring imports from Eastern ports. With the introduction of containerisation, the station declined, suffered a fire in 1964 that destroyed the station buildings, and it was finally demolished in 2004 for the extension of the East London Line. In the 19th century, the area north of Bow Road became a major railway centre for the North London Railway, with marshalling yards and a maintenance depot serving both the City and the West India docks. Nearby Bow railway stationopened in 1850 and was rebuilt in 1870 in a grand style, featuring a concert hall. The line and yards closed in 1944, after severe bomb damage, and never reopened, as goods became less significant, and cheaper facilities were concentrated in Essex. [ [http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/stations/b/bow/index.shtml "Bow"] Disused stations, site record, Subterranea Britannica, accessed 23 October 2007]
The River Lee was a smaller boundary than the
Thames, but it was a significant one. The building of the Royal Docksconsisting of the Royal Victoria Dock(1855), able to berth vessels of up to 8000 tons; [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConFactFile.73/Royal-Victoria-Dock.html "Royal Victoria Dock (1855-1981)"] Port Cities: London, accessed 29 September 2007] Royal Albert Dock(1880), up to 12,000 tons; [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConFactFile.72/Royal-Albert-Dock.html "Royal Albert Dock (1880-1980)"] Port Cities: London, accessed 29 September 2007] and King George V Dock(1921), up to 30,000 tons, [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConFactFile.71/King-George-V-Dock.html "King George V Dock (1921-1981)"] Port Cities: London, accessed 29 September 2007] on the estuarymarshes, extended the continuous development of London across the Lee into Essex for the first time. [http://www.royaldockstrust.org.uk/rdhist.htm "Royal Docks - a short History"] Royal Docks Trust (2006) accessed 18 September 2007] The railways gave access to a passenger terminal at Gallions Reachand new suburbs created in West Ham, which quickly became a major manufacturing town, with 30,000 houses built between 1871 and 1901. Soon afterwards, East Hamwas built up to serve the new Gas Light and Coke Company and Bazalgette's grand sewage works at Beckton.
From the mid-20th century, the docks declined in use and were finally closed in 1980, leading to the setting up of the
London Docklands Development Corporationin 1981. [ [http://www.lddc-history.org.uk/index.html "The London Docklands Development Corporation 1981–1998" (2007)] LDDC accessed 18 September 2007] London's main port is now at Tilbury, further down the Thamesestuary, outside the boundary of Greater London. The dock had been established in 1886 to bring bulk goods by rail to London, but being nearer the sea and able to accommodate vessels of 50,000 tons, they were more easily converted to the needs of modern container shipsin 1968, and so they survived the closure of the inner docks. [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConFactFile.82/Tilbury-Dock.html "Tilbury Dock (1886-1981)"] Port Cities:London, accessed 29 September 2007] Various wharves along the river continue in use but on a much smaller scale.
Middle Ages, settlements had been established predominantly along the lines of the existing roads, and the principal villages were Stepney, Whitechapel and Bow. Settlements along the river began at this time to service the needs of shipping on the Thames, but the City of London retained its right to actually land the goods. The riverside became more active in Tudor times, as the Royal Navy was expanded and international trading developed. Downstream, a major fishing port developed at Barkingto provide fish to the City. Whereas royalty such as King John had had a hunting lodge at Bromley-by-Bow, and the Bishop of Londonhad a palace at Bethnal Green, later these estates began to be split up, and estates of fine houses for captains, merchants and owners of manufacturers began to be built. Samuel Pepysmoved his family and goods to Bethnal Green during the Great Fire of London, and Captain Cookmoved from Shadwellto Stepney Green, a place where a school and assembly rooms had been established (commemorated by "Assembly Passage", and a plaque on the site of Cook's house on the Mile End Road). Mile End Old Town also acquired some fine buildings, and the New Town began to be built. As the area became built up and more crowded, the wealthy sold their plots for sub-division and moved further afield. Into the 18th and 19th centuries, there were still attempts to build fine houses, for example Tredegar Square(1830), and the open fields around Mile End New Town were used for the construction of estates of workers' cottages in 1820. [http://www.eastlondonhistory.com/meotra.htm "What lies beneath ... East End of London"] East London History Society accessed 5 Oct 2007]
Globe Town was established from 1800 to provide for the expanding population of weavers around Bethnal Green, attracted by improving prospects in silk weaving. The population of Bethnal Green trebled between 1801 and 1831, operating 20,000 looms in their own homes. By 1824, with restrictions on importation of French silks relaxed, up to half these looms became idle, and prices were driven down. With many importing warehouses already established in the district, the abundance of cheap labour was turned to boot, furniture and clothing manufacture. Globe Town continued its expansion into the 1860s, long after the decline of the silk industry.
During the 19th century, building on an adhoc basis could never keep up with the needs of the expanding population.
Henry Mayhewvisited Bethnal Greenin 1850 and wrote for the " Morning Chronicle", as a part of a series forming the basis for " London Labour and the London Poor" (1851), that the trades in the area included tailors, costermongers, shoemakers, dustmen, sawyers, carpenters, cabinet makers and silkweavers. He noted that in the area:cquote|"roads were unmade, often mere alleys, houses small and without foundations, subdivided and often around unpaved courts. An almost total lack of drainage and sewerage was made worse by the ponds formed by the excavation of brickearth. Pigs and cows in back yards, noxious trades like boiling tripe, melting tallow, or preparing cat's meat, and slaughter houses, dustheaps, and 'lakes of putrefying night soil' added to the filth"|20px|20px|Henry Mayhew "London Labour and London Poor" (1851) [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=22751 'Bethnal Green: Building and Social Conditions from 1837 to 1875', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 11: Stepney, Bethnal Green (1998), pp. 120-26] accessed: 14 November 2006.]
A movement began to clear the slums – with Burdett-Coutts building Columbia Market in 1869 and with the passing of the "Artisans' and Labourers' Dwelling Act" in 1876 to provide powers to seize slums from landlords and provide access to public funds to build new housing. ["Hovels to High Rise: State Housing in Europe Since 1850" Anne Power (Routeledge, 1993} ISBN 0415089352]
Housing associations such as the Peabody Trustwere formed to provide philanthropichomes for the poor and clearing the slums generally. Expansion work by the railway companies, such as the London and Blackwall Railwayand Great Eastern Railwaycaused large areas of slum housing to be demolished. The "Working Classes Dwellings Act" in 1890 placed a new responsibility to house the displaced residents and this lead to the building of new "philanthropic housing" such as Blackwall Buildingsand Great Eastern Buildings. [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50161 "The estate of Sir Charles Wheler and the Wilkes family"] , Survey of London: volume 27: Spitalfields and Mile End New Town Great Eastern Buildings (1957), pp. 108-115. accessed 17 May 2008]
By 1890 official slum clearance programmes had begun. One was the creation of the world's first council housing, the LCC
Boundary Estate, which replaced the neglected and crowded streets of Friars Mount, better known as The Old Nichol Street Rookery. ["Walks Through History: Exploring the East End", Taylor, Rosemary (Breedon Books 2001) ISBN 1 8598327 09] Between 1918 and 1939 the LCC continued replacing East End housing with five or six storey flats, despite residents preferring houses with gardens and opposition from shopkeepers who were forced to relocate to new, more expensive premises. The Second World War brought an end to further slum clearance. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22753 "Bethnal Green: Building and Social Conditions from 1915 to 1945", A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 11: Stepney, Bethnal Green (1998), pp. 132-135] accessed: 10 October 2007]
econd World War
Initially, the German commanders were reluctant to bomb London, fearing retaliation against
Berlin. On 24 August 1940, a single aircraft, tasked to bomb Tilbury, accidentally bombed Stepney, Bethnal Green and the City. The following night the RAFretaliated by mounting a forty aircraft raid on Berlin, with a second attack three days later. The Luftwaffechanged its strategy from attacking shipping and airfields to attacking cities. The City and West End were designated 'Target Area B'; the East End and docks were 'Target Area A'. The first raid occurred at 4:30 p.m. on 7 September and consisted of 150 Dornier and Heinkel bombers and large numbers of fighters. This was followed by a second wave of 170 bombers. Silvertownand Canning Townbore the brunt of this first attack.
Between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, a sustained bombing campaign was mounted. It began with the bombing of London for 57 successive nightsThe weather closed in on the night of 2 November 1940, otherwise London would have been bombed for 76 successive nights. [http://www.museumindocklands.org.uk/English/EventsExhibitions/Themes/DocklandsWar/Docklandsatwar1.htm "Docklands at War - The Blitz"] The
Museum in Docklandsaccessed 27 February 2008] , an era known as ' the Blitz'. East London was targeted because the area was a centre for imports and storage of raw materials for the war effort, and the German military command felt that support for the war could be damaged among the mainly working class inhabitants. On the first night of the blitz, 430 civilians were killed and 1600 seriously wounded. The populace responded by evacuating children and the vulnerable to the country [An earlier planned evacuation had been met with intense distrust in the East End, families preferring to remain united and in their own homes (see Palmer, 1989).] and digging in, constructing Anderson shelters in their gardens and Morrison shelters in their houses, or going to communal shelters built in local public spaces. [The man responsible for the shelter programme was Charles KayMP, London's Joint Regional Commissioner, and a former councillor and Mayor of Poplar. Elected on a pro-war ticket within the first 30 weeks of war (see Palmer, 1989, p. 139)] Sadly, on 10 September 1940, 400 civilians, including women and children preparing for evacuation, were killed when a bomb hit the South Hallsville School in Canning Town. [ [http://www.age-exchange.org.uk/eastend/secondworldwar/index.html "Remembering the East End:The Second World War"] Age-exchange accessed 14 November 2007]
The effect of the intensive bombing worried the authorities and '
Mass-Observation' was deployed to gauge attitudes and provide policy suggestions, [ [http://www.sussex.ac.uk/library/speccoll/collection_catalogues/tclists/tc23.html "Mass-Observation Archive: Topic Collections:Air Raids 1938-45" (Box TC23/9/T)] University of Sussex, special collections accessed 15 November 2007] as before the war they had investigated local attitudes to anti-Semitism. [ [http://www.sussex.ac.uk/library/speccoll/collection_catalogues/tclists/tc62.html "Mass-Observation Archive: Topic Collections:Anti-Semitism survey 1939-51"] University of Sussex, special collections accessed 15 November 2007] The organisation noted that close family and friendship links within the East End were providing the population with a surprising resilience under fire. Propaganda was issued, reinforcing the image of the 'brave chirpy Cockney'. On the Sunday after the Blitz began, Winston Churchillhimself toured the bombed areas of Stepney and Poplar. Anti-aircraft installations were built in public parks, such as Victoria Park and the Mudchute on the Isle of Dogs, and along the line of the Thames, as this was used by the aircraft to guide them to their target.
The authorities were initially wary of opening the
London Undergroundfor shelter, fearing the effect on morale elsewhere in London and hampering normal operations. On 12 September, having suffered five days of heavy bombing, the people of the East End took the matter into their own hands and invaded tube stations with pillows and blankets. The government relented and opened the partially completed Central lineas a shelter. Many deep tube stations remained in use as shelters until the end of the war. Aerial mines were deployed on 19 September 1940. These exploded at roof top height, causing severe damage to buildings over a wider radius than the impact bombs. By now, the Port of Londonhad sustained heavy damage with a third of its warehouses destroyed, and the West India and St Katherine Docks had been badly hit and put out of action. Bizarre events occurred when the River Lee burned with an eerie blue flame, caused by a hit on a gin factory at Three Mills, and the Thames itself burnt fiercely when Tate & Lyle's Silvertown sugar refinery was hit.
On 3 March 1943 at 8:27 p.m., the unopened
Bethnal Green tube stationwas the site of a wartime disaster. Families had crowded into the underground station due to an air raid siren at 8:17, one of 10 that day. There was a panic at 8:27 coinciding with the sound of an anti-aircraft battery (possibly the recently installed Z battery) being fired at nearby Victoria Park. In the wet, dark conditions, a woman slipped on the entrance stairs and 173 people died in the resulting crush. The truth was suppressed, and a report appeared that there had been a direct hit by a German bomb. The results of the official investigation were not released until 1946. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/homeground/archive/2003/bethnal-green-tube-disaster.shtml "Bethnal Green tube disaster"] (BBC Homeground) accessed 15 February 2007] There is now a plaque at the entrance to the tube station, which commemorates the event as the "worst civilian disaster of World War II". The first V-1 flying bombstruck in Grove Road, Mile End, on 13 June 1944, killing six, injuring 30, and making 200 people homeless. The area remained derelict for many years until it was cleared to extend Mile End Park. Before demolition, local artist Rachel Whitereadmade a cast of the inside of 193 Grove Road. Despite attracting controversy, the exhibit won her the Turner Prizefor 1993. [ [http://www.libraryofmu.org/display-resource.php?id=375 "Best and worst of art bites the dust"] Roberts, Alison " The Times", London, 12 January 1994 accessed 5 October 2007]
By the end of the war, it is estimated that 80 tons of bombs fell on the
Metropolitan Borough of Bethnal Greenalone, affecting 21,700 houses, destroying 2,233 and making a further 893 uninhabitable. In Bethnal Green, 555 people were killed, and 400 were seriously injured. For the whole of Tower Hamlets, a total of 2,221 civilians were killed, and 7,472 were injured, with 46,482 houses destroyed and 47,574 damaged. ["The East End at War" Rosemary Taylor and Christopher Lloyd (Sutton Publishing, 2007) ISBN 0750949139] So badly battered was the East End that when Buckingham Palace was hit during the height of the bombing, Queen Elizabeth observed that "It makes me feel I can look the East End in the face." [cite web |url=http://www.britainexpress.com/royals/queen-mother.htm |title= Biography of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother|publisher=BritainExpress |accessdate=2007-02-13 ] [cite web |url=http://www.onwar.com/articles/0205.htm |author=Jennifer Wilding |title=The Will to Fight|publisher= On War |accessdate=2007-02-13 ] By the end of the war, the East End was a scene of devastation, with large areas derelict and depopulated. War production was changed quickly to making prefabricated housing, [Pre-fabricated housing was constructed under the auspices of the Burt Committeeand the Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act 1944.] and many were installed in the bombed areas and remained common into the 1970s. Today, 1950s and 1960s architecture dominates the housing estates of the area such as the Lansbury Estatein Poplar, much of which was built as a show-piece of the 1951 Festival of Britain. [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=46490 "The Lansbury Estate: Introduction and the Festival of Britain exhibition", Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs (1994), pp. 212-23] accessed: 18 September 2007]
Throughout history, the area has absorbed waves of
immigrantswho have each added a new dimension to the culture and history of the area, most notably the French Protestant Huguenots in the 17th century, the Irish in the 18th century, Ashkenazi Jewsfleeing pogromsin Eastern Europetowards the end of the 19th century, and the Bangladeshicommunity settling in the East End from the 1960s.
Communities also developed in the riverside settlements. From the Tudor era until the 20th century, ships crew were employed on a casual basis. New and replacement crew would be found wherever they were available, local sailors being particularly prized for their knowledge of currents and hazards in foreign ports. Crews would be paid off at the end of their voyage. Inevitably, permanent communities became established, including colonies of
Lascars and Africansfrom the Guinea Coast. Large Chinatowns at both Shadwelland Limehousedeveloped, associated with the crews of merchantmen in the opium and teatrades. It was only after the devastation of World War IIthat this predominantly Han Chinesecommunity relocated to Soho. [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConNarrative.127/chapterId/2614/Chinese-in-the-Port-of-London.html "London's First Chinatown"] Port Cities: London, accessed 29 May 2007]
In 1786, the
Committee for the Relief of the Black Poorwas formed, by citizens concerned at the size of London's indigent Black population, many of whom had been expelled from North America as Black Loyalists, former slaves who had fought on the side of the British, in the War of Independence. Others were discharged sailors, and some a legacy of British involvement in the slave trade, The committee distributed food, clothing, medical aid and found work for the (predominantly) men from the White Raven tavern in Mile End. [Further relief was distributed at the Yorkshire Stingo, on the south side of Marylebone Road, with other centres of Black poor being the rookery of Seven Dialsand Marylebone.] They also helped the men to go abroad, some to Canada. In October 1786, the Committee funded an ill-fated expedition of 280 Black men, 40 Black women and 70 White women (mainly wives and girlfriends) to settle in Sierra Leone. [Braidwood, Stephen "Black Poor and White Philanthropists: London's Blacks and the Foundation of the Sierra Leone Settlement 1786 - 1791" (Liverpool University Press, 1994)] From the late 19th century, a large African mariner community was established in Canning Townas a result of new shipping links to the Caribbeanand West Africa. [Geoffrey Bell, "The other Eastenders : Kamal Chunchie and West Ham's early black community" (Stratford: Eastside Community Heritage, 2002)]
Immigrants have not always been readily accepted and, in 1517, the
Evil May Dayriots, where foreign owned property was attacked, resulted in the deaths of 135 Flemingsin Stepney. The Gordon Riotsof 1780 began with burnings of the houses of Catholics and their chapels in Poplar and Spitalfields. [http://www.eastlondonhistory.com/london%20from%20the%20air.htm "London from the Air"] East London History Society accessed 5 July 2007]
In the 1870 and 80s, so many Jewish émigrés were arriving that over 150 synagogues were built. Today, there are only four active synagogues remaining in Tower Hamlets, the Congregation of Jacob Synagogue (1903 – Kehillas Ya’akov), the East London Central Synagogue (1922), the
Fieldgate Street Great Synagogue(1899) and Sandy’s Row Synagogue (1766). [http://www.visiteastlondon.co.uk/downloads/Leaflets/Jewish%20History%20walk%20pdf.pdf "Exploring the vanishing Jewish East End"] London Borough of Tower Hamletsaccessed 26 Sep 2007] Jewish immigration to the East End peaked in the 1890s, leading to anti-foreigner agitation by the British Brothers League, formed in 1902 by Captain William Stanley Shaw and the Conservative MP for Stepney, Major Evans-Gordon, who had overturned a Liberal majority in the 1900 General Election on a platform of limiting immigration. In Parliament, in 1902, Evans-Gordon claimed that "not a day passes but English families are ruthlessly turned out to make room for foreign invaders. The rates are burdened with the education of thousands of foreign children". [ [http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=8365 "Dispersing the Myths about Asylum" Helen Shooter, March 2003] (Socialist Review) accessed 1 October 2007] Jewish immigration only slowed with the passing of the Aliens Act 1905, that gave the Home Secretarypowers to regulate and control immigration. ["Aliens Act 1905 (5 Edward VIIc.13)" (UK Government Acts) available online at [http://www.movinghere.org.uk/search/catalogue.asp?RecordID=77093&ResourceTypeID=2&sequence=6 Moving Here] ]
Community tensions were again raised by an anti-semitic Fascist march that took place in 1936 and was blocked by residents and activists at the
Battle of Cable Street. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/farright/story/0,,1884440,00.html "Day the East End said 'No pasaran' to Blackshirts"] by Audrey Gillan, " The Guardian", 30 September 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2007] From the 1970s, anti-Asian violence and more recently anti-white violence occurred, and in 1993, there was a council seat win for the British National Party(since lost). [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/september/17/newsid_2520000/2520085.stm "On this day" report] BBCaccessed: 17 April 2007] A 1999 bombing in Brick Lanewas part of a series that targeted ethnic minorities, gays and "multiculturalists". [ [http://www.met.police.uk/news/stories/copeland/job/1.htm "Life sentence for London nailbomber"] , "The Job", published by the London Metropolitan Police, 30 June 2000; accessed: 17 April 2007]
The population of the East End increased inexorably throughout the 19th century. House building could not keep pace, and overcrowding was rife. It was not until the
interwar periodthat there was a decline caused by migration to new Essex suburbs, like the Becontree estate, built by the London County Councilbetween 1921 and 1932, and to areas outside London. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42708 "Metropolitan Essex since 1919: Suburban growth", A History of the County of Essex: Volume 5 (1966), pp. 63-74] accessed: 18 October 2007] This depopulation accelerated after World War II and has only recently begun to reverse.
These population figures reflect the area that now forms the London Borough of Tower Hamlets only:
By comparison, in 1801 the population of England and Wales was 9 million; by 1851 it had more than doubled to 18 million, and by the end of the century had reached 40 million.
The high levels of poverty in the East End have, throughout history, resulted in a corresponding incidence of crime. From earliest times, crime depended, as did labour, on the importing of goods to London, and their interception in transit. Theft occurred in the river, on the quayside and in transit to the City warehouses. This was why, in the 17th century, the East India Company built high-walled, guarded docks at Blackwall to minimise the vulnerability of their cargoes. Armed convoys would then take the goods to the company's secure compound in the City. The practise led to the creation of ever larger docks throughout the area, and for large roads to be driven through the crowded 19th century slums to carry goods from the docks.
No police force operated in London before the 1750s. Crime and disorder were dealt with by a system of magistrates and volunteer parish constables, with strictly limited jurisdiction. Salaried constables were introduced by 1792, although they were few in number and their power and jurisdiction continued to derive from local magistrates, who "in extremis" could be backed by militias. In 1798, England's first
Marine Police Forcewas formed by magistrate Patrick Colquhoun and a Master Mariner, John Harriott to tackle theft and looting from ships anchored in the Pool of Londonand the lower reaches of the river. Its base was (and remains) in WappingHigh Street. It is now known as the Marine Support Unit. [ [http://www.met.police.uk/msu/history.htm "History of the Marine Support Unit"] (Metropolitan Police) accessed 24 January 2007] In 1829, the Metropolitan Police Forcewere formed, with a remit to patrol within convert|7|mi|km|0 of Charing Cross, with a force of 1,000 men in 17 divisions, including 'H' division, based in Stepney. Each division was controlled by a superintendent, under whom were four inspectors and sixteen sergeants. The regulations demanded that recruits should be under thirty-five years of age, well built, at least convert|5|ft|7|in|m|sing=on in height, literate and of good character. [http://www.met.police.uk/history/records.htm "Records of Service"] (Metropolitan Police) accessed 23 Oct 2007] Unlike the former constables, the police were recruited widely and so were initially disliked. The force took until the mid-19th century to be established in the East End. Unusually, Joseph Sadler Thomas, a Metropolitan Police superintendent of 'F' ( Covent Garden) Division appears to have mounted the first local investigation (in Bethnal Green), in November 1830 of the London Burkers. [ [http://www.historybytheyard.co.uk/early_murder_investigations.htm "Early Murder Investigations"] The Official Encyclopaedia of Scotland Yard, accessed 23 October 2007] In 1841, a specific Dockyard division of the Metropolitan force was formed to assume responsibility for shore patrols within the docks, [ [http://www.met.police.uk/history/timeline1829-1849.htm "History of the Metropolitan Police: Time Line 1829 - 1849"] (Metropolitan Police) accessed 23 October 2007] a detective department was formed in 1842, and in 1865, 'J' division was established in Bethnal Green.
One of the East End industries that serviced ships moored off the Pool of London was
prostitution, and in the 17th century, this was centred on the Ratcliffe Highway, a long street lying on the high ground above the riverside settlements. In 1600, it was described by the antiquarian John Stowas 'a continual street, or filthy straight passage, with alleys of small tenements or cottages builded, inhabited by sailors and victuallers.' Crews were 'paid off' at the end of a long voyage, and would spend their earnings on drink in the local taverns. One madame described as 'the great bawd of the seamen' by Samuel Pepyswas Damaris Page. Born in Stepney in 1620, she had moved from prostitution to running brothels, including one on the Highway that catered for ordinary seaman and a further establishment nearby that catered for the more expensive tastes amongst the officers and gentry. She died wealthy, in 1669, in a house on the Highway, despite charges being brought against her and time spent in Newgate prison. [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConNarrative.111/chapterId/2339/Prostitution-in-maritime-London.html "Prostitution in maritime London"] Port Cities: London, accessed 29 September 2007]
By the 19th century, an attitude of toleration had changed, and the social reformer
William Actondescribed the riverside prostitutes as a 'horde of human tigresses who swarm the pestilent dens by the riverside at Ratcliffe and Shadwell'. The 'Society for the Suppression of Vice' estimated that between the Houndsditch, Whitechapel and Ratcliffe area there were 1803 prostitutes; and between Mile End, Shadwell and Blackwall 963 women in the trade. They were often victims of circumstance, there being no welfare stateand a high mortality rate amongst the inhabitants that left wives and daughters destitute, with no other means of income. [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConNarrative.111/chapterId/2347/Prostitution-in-maritime-London.html "19th century responses to prostitution"] Port Cities: London, accessed 29 September 2007] At the same time, religious reformers began to introduce 'Seamans' Missions' throughout the dock areas that both sought to provide for seafarer's physical needs and to keep them away from the temptations of drink and women. Eventually, the passage of the 'Contagious Diseases Act' in 1864 allowed policemen to arrest prostitutes and detain them in hospital. The act was repealed in 1886, after agitation by early feminists, such as Josephine Butlerand Elizabeth Wolstenholme led to the formation of the Ladies National Association for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts. [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConNarrative.111/chapterId/2349/Prostitution-in-maritime-London.html "Prostitution in maritime London"] Port Cities: London, accessed 29 September 2007]
Notable crimes in the area include the
Ratcliff Highway murders(1813); [http://www.thamespolicemuseum.org.uk/h_ratcliffehighwaymurders_1.html "Ratcliffe Highway Murders"] (Thames Police Museum) accessed 15 Feb 2007] the killings committed by the London Burkers(apparently inspired by Burke and Hare) in Bethnal Green(1831); ["Sarah Wise - The Italian Boy: A Tale of Murder and Body Snatching in 1830s London" (Metropolitan Books, 2004) ISBN 0805075372] the notorious serial killings of prostitutes by Jack the Ripper(1888); and the Sidney Street Siege(1911) (in which anarchists, inspired by the legendary Peter the Painter, took on Home Secretary Winston Churchill, and the army). ["The Houndsditch Murders and the Siege of Sidney Street", Donald Rumbelow, ISBN 0-491-03178-5] In the 1960s the East End was the area most associated with gangsteractivity, most notably that of the Kray twins. ["Inside the Firm: The Untold Story of the Krays' Reign of Terror" Tony Lambrianou (Pan Books 2002) ISBN 0-330-49014-1] The 1996 Docklands bombingcaused significant damage around South Quay Station, to the south of the main Canary Wharfdevelopment. Two people were killed and thirty-nine injured in one of Mainland Britain's biggest bomb attacks by the Provisional Irish Republican Army. [ [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199596/ldhansrd/vo960212/text/60212-07.htm "Statement in Lord's Northern Ireland debate" The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne)] 12 February 1996 ("Lord's Hansard", UK Parliament) accessed 26 September 2007] This led to the introduction of Police checkpoints controlling access to the Isle of Dogs, reminiscent of the City's ' Ring of steel'.
Many disasters have befallen the residents of the East End, both in war and in peace. In particular, as a maritime port, plague and pestilence have disproportionately fallen on the residents of the East End. The area most afflicted by the Great Plague (1665) was in Spitalfields, [Plague deaths measured at more than 3000 deaths per 478 sq yards in Spitalfields in 1665 (source: "London from the Air")] and cholera epidemics broke out in Limehouse in 1832 and struck again in 1848 and 1854.
Typhusand tuberculosiswere also common in the crowded 19th century tenements. The SS|Princess Alice|1865|2 was a passenger steamer crowded with day trippers returning from Gravesend to Woolwichand London Bridge. On the evening of 3 September 1878, she collided with the steam collier "Bywell Castle" (named for Bywell Castle) and sank into the Thamesin under four minutes. Of the approximately 700 passengers, over 600 were lost. [ [http://www.thamespolicemuseum.org.uk/h_alice_1.html "Princess Alice Disaster"] Thames Police Museum accessed 19 September 2007]
World War I, on 19 January 1917 73 people died, including 14 workers, and more than 400 were injured, in a TNT explosion in the Brunner-Mond munitions factory in Silvertown. Much of the area was flattened, and the shock wave was felt throughout the city and much of Essex. This was the largest explosion in London history, and was heard in Southamptonand Norwich. Andreas Angel, chief chemist at the plant, was posthumously awarded the Edward Medalfor trying to extinguish the fire that caused the blast. ["The Silvertown Explosion: London 1917" Graham Hill and Howard Bloch (Stroud: Tempus Publishing 2003). ISBN 0-7524-3053-X.] The same year, on 13 June, a bomb from a German Gotha bomber killed 18 children in their primary school in Upper North Street, Poplar. This event is commemorated by the local war memorial erected in Poplar Recreation Ground, [The "Poplar War Memorial" is an exclusively civilian memorial, reflecting the pacifism of the Mayor Will Crooksand local MP George Lansbury.] [ [http://www.ppu.org.uk/memorial/children/index.html "East London in Mourning"] (Peace Pledge Union) accessed 2 April 2007] but during the war a total of 120 children and 104 adults were killed in the East End by aerial bombing, with many more injured. [ [http://www.eastlondonhistory.com/east%20end%20at%20war.htm "The East End at War"] East London History Society accessed 14 November 2007]
Another tragedy occurred on the morning of 16 May 1968 when
Ronan Point, a 23-storey tower blockin Newham, suffered a structural collapse due to a natural gasexplosion. Four people were killed in the disaster and seventeen were injured, as an entire corner of the building slid away. The collapse caused major changes in UK building regulations and led to the decline of further building of high rise council flatsthat had characterised 1960s public architecture. ["Collapse: Why Buildings Fall Down" Phil Wearne (Channel 4 books) ISBN 0-7522-1817-4]
Inn-yard theatres were first established in the Tudor period, with the Boar's Head Inn (1557) in Whitechapel, the George in Stepney and a purpose built, but short lived, John Brayne's Red Lion Theatre (1567), nearby. [http://billdocuments.crossrail.co.uk/files/Home/Home3/04.STRs/STR02_Archaeology/Part%202%20Central%20Route%20Section/03_Appendix%203%20Red%20Lion%20Theatre,%20Whitechapel,%20Documentary%20Researc/0004_R_%20RedLionTheatre.pdf "Red Lion Theatre, Whitechapel" Christopher Phillpotts (CrossRail Documentary Report, prepare by MoLAS] accessed 17 Nov 2007] The first permanent theatres with resident companies were constructed in Shoreditch, with James Burbage's The Theatre(1576) and Henry Lanman's Curtain Theatre(1577) standing close together. On the night of 28 December 1598 Burbage's sons dismantled The Theatre, and moved it piece by piece across the Thames to construct the Globe Theatre. ["William Shakespeare: A Compact Documentary Life" Samuel Schoenbaum(Oxford University Press, 1987) ISBN 0195051610]
Goodman's Fields Theatrewas established in 1727, and it was here that David Garrickmade his successful début as "Richard III", in 1741. In the 19th century the theatres of the East End rivalled in their grandiosity and seating capacity those of the West End. The first of this era was the ill-fated Brunswick Theatre (1828), which collapsed three days after opening, killing 15 people. This was followed by the opening of the Pavilion (1828) in Whitechapel, the Garrick (1831) in Leman Street, the Effingham (1834) in Whitechapel, the Standard (1835) in Shoreditch, the City of London (1837) in Norton Folgate, then the Grecian and the Britannia Theatrein Hoxton(1840). [Haycroft, Jack Adams and the troupe moved to Hoxton from premises in Shoreditch, that had operated from the early 1830s, [http://www.craxford-family.co.uk/crauart1.php "The Making of the Britannia Theatre" Alan D. Craxford and Reg Moore, from "Sam and Sallie: A novel of the theatre" Alfred L. Crauford, (London: Cranley and Day 1933)] accessed 22 September 2007] Though very popular for a time, from the 1860s onwards these theatres, one by one, began to close, the buildings were demolished and their very memory began to fade. ["Theatre in the Victorian Age" Michael Booth (CUP 1991) pp. 4-6 ] There were also many Yiddish theatres, particularly around Whitechapel. These developed into professional companies, after the arrival of Jacob Adlerin 1884 and the formation of his 'Russian Jewish Operatic Company' that first performed in Beaumont Hall, [ [http://www.jewishmuseum.org.uk/whatson/exhibitions/y3.asp "Yiddish Theatre and music hall in London: 1880 - 1905"] The Jewish Museum (2004) accessed on 31 March 2007] Stepney, and then found homes both in the Prescott Street Club, Stepney, and in Princelet Street in Spitalfields. ["A Life on the Stage: A Memoir" Jacob Adler translated and with commentary by Lulla Rosenfeld, (Knopf NY 1999) ISBN 0-679-41351-0] The Pavilion became an exclusively Yiddish theatre in 1906, finally closing in 1936 and being demolished in 1960. Other important Jewish theatres were Feinmans, The Jewish National Theatre and the Grand Palais. Performances were in Yiddish, and predominantly melodrama. These declined, as audience and actors left for New York and the more prosperous parts of London. [ [http://www.eastlondonhistory.com/yiddish%20theatre.htm "The end of Yiddish theatre"] East London History Society accessed on 29 April 2007]
The once popular
music halls of the East End have mostly met the same fate as the theatres. Prominent examples included the London Music Hall (1856-1935), 95-99 Shoreditch High Street, and the Royal Cambridge Music Hall (1864-1936), 136 Commercial Street. An example of a 'giant pub hall', Wilton's Music Hall(1858), remains in Grace's Alley, off Cable Streetand the early 'saloon style' Hoxton Hall(1863) survives in Hoxton Street, Hoxton. ["The Last Empires: A Music Hall Companion" ed. Benny Green (London, Pavilion Books Ltd. in association with Michael Joseph Ltd., 1986)] Many popular music hall stars came from the East End, including Marie Lloyd.The music hall tradition of live entertainment lingers on in East End public houses, with music and singing. This is complemented by less respectable amusements such as striptease, which, since the 1950s has become a fixture of certain East End pubs, particularly in the area of Shoreditch, despite being a target of local authority harassment. [Lara Clifton "Baby Oil and Ice: Striptease in East London" (DoNotPress, 2002) ISBN 1 899 344 85 3]
Novelist and social commentator
Walter Besantproposed a 'Palace of Delight' [In Walter Besant"All Sorts and Conditions of Men" (1882)] with concert halls, reading rooms, picture galleries, an art school and various classes, social rooms and frequent fêtes and dances. This coincided with a project by the philanthropist businessman, Edmund Hay Currie to use the money from the winding up of the 'Beaumont Trust', [In 1840, John Barber Beaumont died and left property in Beaumont Square, Stepney to provide for the 'education and entertainment' of people from the neighbourhood. The charity - and its property - was becoming moribund by the 1870s, and in 1878 it was wound up by the Charity Commissioners, providing its new chair, Sir Edmund Hay Currie, with £120,000 to invest in a similar project. He raised a further £50,000 and secured continued funding from the Draper's Company for ten years (The Whitechapel Society, below)] together with subscriptions to build a 'People's Palace' in the East End. Five acres of land were secured on the Mile End Road, and the "Queen's Hall" was opened by Queen Victoriaon 14 May 1887. The complex was completed with a library, swimming pool, gymnasium and winter garden, by 1892, providing an eclectic mix of populist entertainment and education. A peak of 8000 'tickets' were sold for classes in 1892, and by 1900, a Bachelor of Sciencedegree awarded by the University of Londonwas introduced. ["From Palace to College - An illustrated account of Queen Mary College" G. P. Moss and M. V. Saville pp. 39-48 (University of London 1985) ISBN 0-902238-06-X] In 1931, the building was destroyed by fire, but the Draper's Company, major donors to the original scheme, invested more to rebuild the technical college and create Queen Mary's College in December 1934. [ [http://www.whitechapelsociety.com/London/life_leisure/peoples_palace.htm "The People's Palace"] The Whitechapel Society (2006), accessed 5 July 2007] A new 'People's Palace' was constructed, in 1937, by the Metropolitan Borough of Stepney, in St Helen's Terrace. This finally closed in 1954. [ [http://www.qmul.ac.uk/alumni/alumninetwork/qmandw/qm_origins_history.pdf "Origins and History"] Queen Mary, University of LondonAlumni Booklet (2005) accessed 5 July 2007]
Professional theatre returned briefly to the East End in 1972, with the formation of the
Half Moon Theatrein a rented former synagogue in Aldgate. In 1979, they moved to a former Methodistchapel, near Stepney Greenand built a new theatre on the site, opening in May 1985, with a production of " Sweeney Todd". The theatre enjoyed success, with premières by Dario Fo, Edward Bondand Steven Berkoff, but by the mid-1980s, the theatre suffered a financial crisis and closed. After years of disuse, it has been converted to a public house. [http://www.aim25.ac.uk/cgi-bin/search2?coll_id=7092&inst_id=11 Royal Holloway "Half Moon Theatre archive"] Archives in M25, accessed 23 October 2007] The theatre spawned two further arts projects: the "Half Moon Photography Workshop", exhibiting in the theatre and locally, and from 1976 publishing "Camerwork", [ [http://photography.about.com/library/weekly/aa112000d.htm British Photography 1945-80: Part 4: Britain in the 70s] " The New York Times" online, accessed 23 May 2007] and the 'Half Moon Young People's Theatre', which remains active in Tower Hamlets. [ [http://www.halfmoon.org.uk/aboutus.html "About Us"] Half Moon Young People's Theatre accessed 23 October 2007]
Historically, the East End has suffered from under-investment in both housing stock and infrastructure. From the 1950s, the East End represented the structural and social changes affecting the
UK economyin a microcosm. The area had one of the highest concentrations of council housing, the legacy both of slum clearance and war time destruction. ["Poverty, Housing Tenure and Social Exclusion" Peter Lee and Alan Murie, (The Policy Press in association with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1997) ISBN 1 86134 063 X] The progressive closure of docks, cutbacks in railways and the closure and relocation of industry contributed to a long term decline, removing many of the traditional sources of low- and semi-skilled jobs. However, beginning with the LDDC, in the 1980s, there have been a number of urban regeneration projects, most notably Canary Wharf, a huge commercial and housing development on the Isle of Dogs. Many of the 1960s tower blocks have been demolished or renovated, replaced by low rise housing, often in private ownership, or owned by housing associations. [Housing associations, also known as "registered social landlords", active in the East End, include: BGVPHA (Bethnal Green and Victoria Park Housing Association, Tower Hamlets Community Housing, Poplar HARCA and EastendHomes.]
The area around
Old Spitalfields marketand Brick Lanehas been extensively regenerated and is famous, amongst other things, as "London's curry capital", and has been dubbed as "Bangla Town". [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1190643,00.html "The taste of Banglatown" Paul Barker 13 April 2004] " The Guardian" accessed 18 September 2007] as well as being the home of a number of London's art galleries, including the notable Whitechapel Gallery. The artists Gilbert and Georgehave long made their home and workshop in Spitalfields, ["Gilbert & George: The Complete Pictures", Rudi Fuchs (Tate Publishing, 2007) ISBN 9781854376817] and the neighbourhood around Hoxton Squarehas become a centre for modern British art, including the White Cubegallery, with many artists from the Young British Artistsmovement living and working in the area. This has made the area around Hoxton and Shoreditchfashionable, with many former residents and artists now driven out by higher property prices, and a busy nightlife has developed, with over 80 licensed premises around Shoreditch. ["Draft Statement of Licensing Policy" (s5.2) - London Borough of Hackney (2007)]
By the mid-1980s, both the
District Line(extended to the East End in 1884 and 1902) [ [http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/corporate/modesoftransport/tube/linefacts/?line=district "District line facts"] TfLaccessed 23 October 2007] and Central Line(1946) [ [http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/corporate/modesoftransport/tube/linefacts/?line=central#history "An extended history of the Central line"] TfLaccessed 23 October 2007] were running beyond their capacity, and the Docklands Light Railway(1987) and Jubilee Line(1999) were constructed to improve rail communications through the riverside district. There was a long standing plan to provide London with an inner motorway box, the East Cross Route. Apart from a short section, this was never built, [ [http://www.cbrd.co.uk/histories/ringways/ringway1.shtml#ecr "East Cross Route"] (Chris's British Road Directory) accessed 23 Oct 2007] but road communications were improved by the completion of the Limehouse Link tunnelunder Limehouse Basinin 1993 and the extension of the A12 connecting to the Blackwall tunnelwith an upgraded carriageway in the 1990s. The extension of the East London lineto the north, on the border between Islington and Hackney, is scheduled to provide further travel links in 2010. From 2017, Crossrailline 1 is expected to create a fast railway service across London, from east to west, with a major interchange at Whitechapel. New river crossings are planned at Beckton, (the Thames Gateway Bridge) [ [http://www.alwaystouchout.com/project/41 "Thames Gateway Bridge" Transport Projects in London] (alwaystouchout) accessed 20 July 2007] and the proposed Silvertown Linkroad tunnel, to supplement the existing Blackwall Tunnel. [ [http://www.alwaystouchout.com/project/41 "Silvertown Link" Transport Projects in London] (alwaystouchout) accessed 20 July 2007]
2012 Summer Olympicswill be held in an Olympic Park created on former industrial land around the River Lee. It is intended that this should leave a legacy of new sports facilities, housing, and industrial and technical infrastructure that will further help regenerate the area. This is linked to a new Stratford International stationin Newham, and the future Stratford Citydevelopment. [cite news
first = Ben |last = Webster |author = Ben Webster |coauthors = |url = http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2144275,00.html |title = Ghost train station that cost £210 m |work =
The Times|date = 2006-04-21|accessdate = 2007-07-24 |language = en-GB] Also in Newham is London City Airport, built in 1986 in the former King George V Dock, a small airport serving short-haul domestic and European destinations. In the same area, the University of East Londonhas developed a new campus, and the Queen Mary campus has expanded into new accommodation both adjacent to its existing site at Mile End, and with specialist medical campuses at the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel and at Charterhouse Squarein the City. Whitechapel is the base for the London Air Ambulance, and the hospital's clinical facilities are undergoing a £1 billion refurbishment and expansion. [ [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmhansrd/cm070903/text/70903w0070.htm#0709051009754 Ben Bradshaw, written Parliamentary answer] , " Hansard" 3 September 2007 accessed 18 September 2007]
Much of the area remains, however, one of the poorest in Britain and contains some of the capital's worst deprivation. This is in spite of rising property prices and the extensive building of luxury apartments centred largely around the former dock areas and alongside the Thames. With rising costs elsewhere in the capital and the availability of
brownfield land, the East End has become a desirable place for business.
In popular culture
The East End has been the subject of parliamentary commissions and other examinations of social conditions since the 19th century, as seen in
Henry Mayhew's " London Labour and the London Poor" (1851) [Henry Mayhew, "London Labour and the London Poor" (London: Griffin, Bohn, and Company, Stationers' Hall Court) in [http://nils.lib.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A4000.01.0140 Volume 1 (1861)] , [http://nils.lib.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A4000.01.0141 Volume 2] , [http://nils.lib.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A4000.01.0142 Volume 3] , and an [http://nils.lib.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A4000.01.0143 additional Volume (1862)] all accessed 14 November 2007] and Charles Booth's " Life and Labour of the People in London" (third, expanded edition 1902-3, in 17 volumes). Narrative accounts of experiences amongst the East End poor were also written by Jack Londonin " The People of the Abyss" (1903), by George Orwellin parts of his novel " Down and Out in Paris and London", recounting his own experiences in the 1930s, as well as the Jewish writer Emanuel Litvinoffin his autobiographical novel Journey Through A Small Planetset in the 1930s. A further detailed study of Bethnal Green was carried out in the 1950s by sociologists Michael Young and Peter Willmott, in " Family and Kinship in East London"."Family and Kinship in East London" Michael Young and Peter Willmott (1957) ISBN 978-0140205954]
Themes from these social investigations have been drawn out in fiction. Crime, poverty, vice, sexual transgression, drugs, class-conflict and multi-cultural encounters and fantasies involving Jewish, Chinese and Indian immigrants are major themes. Though the area has been productive of local writing talent, from the time of Oscar Wilde's "
The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1891) the idea of 'slumming it' in the 'forbidden' East End has held a fascination for a coterie of the literati. William Taylor (2001) "This Bright Field: A Travel Book in One Place"]
The image of the East Ender changed dramatically between the 19th century and the 20th. From the 1870s they were characterised in culture as often shiftless, untrustworthy and responsible for their own poverty. However, many East Enders worked in lowly but respectable occupations such as
carters, porters and costermongers. This later group particularly became the subject of music hall songs at the turn of the century, with performers such as Marie Lloyd, Gus Elenand Albert Chevalierestablishing the image of the humorous East End Cockney and highlighting the conditions of ordinary workers. [http://books.google.com/books?id=XFnfnKg6BcAC&pg=PA351&lpg=PA351&dq=%22gus+elen%22&source=web&ots=5svEnNz8A-&sig=N1coxv6YYj5jafbpSFvtDhbaFLQ#PPA352,M1 "Vaudeville, Old and New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America" pp 351-2, Frank Cullen, Florence Hackman, Donald P. McNeilly (Routledge 2006)] ISBN 0415938538 accessed 22 October 2007] This image, buoyed by close family and social links, and the community's fortitude in the war, came to be represented in literature and film. However, with the rise of the Kray Twins, in the 1960s, the dark side of East End character returned, with a new emphasis on criminality and gangsterism.
* Compare to
West End of London
Cockney, both a dialect and the people who speak it, prevalent in the East End
Historical immigration to Great Britain
Arrival of black immigrants in London
* History of Bangladeshi immigrants in London
;Museums of local history
Island History Trust
Museum in Docklands
Ragged School Museum
V&A Museum of Childhood
* Geoffrey Bell, "The other Eastenders : Kamal Chunchie and West Ham's early black community" (Stratford: Eastside Community Heritage, 2002)
Walter Besant. "All Sorts and Conditions of Men" (1882)
* Gerry Black "Jewish London: An Illustrated History" (Breedon) ISBN 1-85983-363-2
William J. Fishman, "East End 1888: Life in a London Borough Among the Laboring Poor" (1989)
* William J. Fishman, "Streets of East London" (1992) (with photographs by
* William J. Fishman, "East End Jewish Radicals 1875-1914" (2004)
* Gretchen Gerzina, "Black London: Life Before Emancipation" (New Jersey, 1995)
* Tony Lambrianou, "Inside the Firm: The Untold Story of the Krays' Reign of Terror" - (2002)
*Nigel Glendinning, Joan Griffiths, Jim Hardiman, Christopher Lloyd and Victoria Poland, "Changing Places: a short history of the Mile End Old Town RA area (Mile End Old Town Residents’ Association, 2001)
*Derek Morris, "Mile End Old Town 1740-1780: A social history of an early modern London Suburb" (East London History Society, 2007) ISBN 978-0-9506258-6-7
* Alan Palmer, "The East End" (John Murray, London 1989)
* [http://www.eastendfilmsociety.co.uk/ East End Film Society]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/h2g2/guide/A513596 The East End of London] on h2g2
* [http://www.eastlondonhistory.com/ East London History Society]
* [http://www.jewisheastend.com/london.html Jewish East End of London]
* [http://www.vads.ahds.ac.uk/collections/EEP.html London Metropolitan University Eastend Archive: The Paul Trevor Collection]
* [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/source.asp?pubid=92 "Stepney and Bethnal Green" Victoria County History of Middlesex Vol 11]
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