History of Barking in 1839, Pigots Directory
Barking, with the villages of Great and Little Ilford, East Ham and neighbourhoods
Barking, once a market town, is in the parish of its name and hundred of Becontree, seven miles from London; situated upon the banks of the river Roding, which, after flowing in two branches, unites with the Thames about two miles below the town. There is a convenient wharf and basin at Barking Creek, which is navigable to Ilford for vessels of eighty tons burthen, and the neighbourhood is thus supplied with coal and timber; there is also a toll free quay for the accommodation of craft. The welfare of the place mainly depends upon its fishery, which employs upwards of twelve hundred men and boys, on board vessels of from forty to sixty tons, constructed with wells for preserving the fish alive until their arrival at the London market; turbot, sole and cod, taken off the coats of Scotland and Holland, form the chief part of the cargoes: the fishery is the nursery of a hardy industrious race, who seldom fail to become excellent sailors. A considerable number of the inhabitants are also engaged in the cultivation of potatoes and other vegetables for the supply of the metropolis.
An abbey, of which scarcely any remains are in existence, was founded here in 670, and for several centuries imparted a degree of consequence to Barking. Constables, and other officers of the town, are appointed at a court leet; and there is a court held under the lord of the manor every third Saturday, for the recovery of debts under 40 shillings. The parish church is dedicated to St Margaret: the benefice is a vicarage, in the presentation of the college of All Souls, Oxford; the Hon and Rev Robert Liddell is the present incumbent. There are two chapels for dissenters; a school upon the system of Dr Bell, in which between four and five hundred children are instructed, and another for infants. A market house, erected by order of Queen Elizabeth, was, with the market place, bestowed upon Samuel and John Jones by Charles I: the market was chartered to be holden on Saturday, but it has long been extinct; an annual fair is held, however, on the 22nd of October, chiefly for pedlery and pleasure.
The parish of Barking is extensive, and divided into four
wards, denominated ‘Town’, ‘Chadwell’. ‘Ilford’. And ‘Ripple’; these
collectively, in 1831, contained a population of 8,036.
Two miles N W from Barking, and in that parish, is the village, chapelry and ward of Ilford (or Great Ilford), situated on the high road to Chelmsford, and on the banks of the Roding, which separates this village from that of Little Ilford. A number of handsome houses and some good inns (the latter well supported by the great thoroughfare), evince the respectability of this place; and a handsome church, opened in 1831, embellishes its general appearance. There is likewise a chapel of ease for the establishment; the minister of the new church is the Rev F Knyvell Leighton, and the Rev Ranson Hammond officiates in the chapel of ease. The Baptists and Wesleyan Methodists have their respective places of worship. An hospital, originally founded in the reign of Stephen for a prior, warden, master, two priests and thirteen lepers, is now appropriated to the use of six poor persons. The petty sessions for the division are held every Saturday. Population of Ilford ward, 3,512.
At Little Ilford is the house of correction for the county. The church of this parish is dedicated to St Mary. The population of Little Ilford is 115.
In the same hundred as Barking, not quite a mile from that town, and situated near to the Thames, is the village and parish of East Ham, the residence of many opulent families. From this neighbourhood the views over the opposite shore of Kent are exceedingly picturesque. The parish church, dedicated to St Mary Magdalene, is an ancient plain structure – its interior, however, contains some curious old monuments: the benefice is a vicarage, in the patronage of the bishop of London and incumbency of the Rev Wm Streatfeild. There is a school for boys and girls, conducted upon the national plan; and six alms houses, endowed by Giles Breame, Esq in 1621, are still maintained. Population of the entire parish, 1,543.
Post, Barking, Receiving House at William White’s, Broadway – Letters from London arrive (from Ilford) every morning at eight, noon at one, afternoon at half past two and evening at seven, and are despatched every morning at eight, noon at one, afternoon at three and evening at seven.
Post, Great Ilford, receiving House at John Gattey’s – Letters from London arrive every morning at half past seven, forenoon at eleven and afternoon at half past two and half past five, and are despatched every morning at nine, afternoon at one and four and evening at eight.
To London, William White's Coach, from the George, every morning (sun excepted) at a quarter before nine, on Sunday at a quarter before eight
- Adam Kerr's Coach, from the same Inn, every morning (sun excepted) at half past nine
To Grays Thurrock, Adam Kerr's Coach, from the George, every evening (Sunday excepted) at five
To London, Joseph Leftley (through East Ham and Plaistow), and Edward Maynard jun and James Maynard (through Ilford), from their own houses, daily,