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    History of Barking in 1855, Post Office Directory

    History of Barking
    Barking and Rippleside 1855

    Barking is a market and fishing town, and station on the London, Tilbury, and Southend Railway; 7 miles from Whitechapel church, and 2 south from Ilford, on the river Roding, which is navigable for barges from the Thames to Great Ilford. It is a large town, with several streets lighted with gas. The market is on Saturdays, and there is a yearly fair on the 22nd October. Barking derived its importance from the great and rich abbey of Benedictine nuns, built in 677 by St Erkenwald, Bishop of London, and of which St Ethelburga was first abbess. The abbess was a baroness, and kept great state; and at the Dissolution the income was £1,074. Now the great support is from fishing, this being the chief fishing town near London, and employing above 1,200 persons, and a large number of boats or smacks, some of which are from 40 to 60 tons burthen, and have wells to keep the fish alive for the London market. Some smacks are built here, and there are sail lofts and rope yards. There is a parish church, also chapels for Independents and Wesleyans, National and Wesleyan schools, savings bank, police station etc. In a field about a quarter of a mile north of Barking are some considerable entrenchments, considered to be remains of  a Roman camp. Eastbury House, about 1 mile from Barking, is an old brick building, in which, according to tradition, some of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators held meetings. At the mouth of the Roding creek, on the Thames, are magazines. The church is an ancient structure in the Gothic style, having a nave, aisles, chancel, and tower containing 8 bells. The living is a vicarage value £767, in the gift of All Souls’ College, Oxford. The incumbent is the Rev Henry Fortescue Seymour BA.
    Barking parish, in Becontree Hundred, Romford Union, the metropolitan police jurisdiction, South Essex and London bishopric, contains 12,516 acres of land and 225 of water; separated from West and East Ham and Little Ilford by the river Roding, from Dagenham by the Rom, and having the Thames on the south. There is some market gardening. It is divided into four wards : Barking in the south west; Ilford or Great Ilford, in the north west; Chadwell in the north east and Ripple in the south east. Westbury House is near barking; Maysbridge, 1 mile east; Loxford, half a mile north, and Upney, 1 ½ east. The population of Barking ward and town was, in 1851, 4,930, besides 1,213 absent in the deep sea fishery.

    Rippleside is a straggling village in Barking parish, 2 miles east of Barking, and 9 from London, near the Thames bank. The population in 1851 was 435. To the north west are Porters and Parsloes.

    Post Office – William Henry Stephens, Broadway, postmaster. Letters arrive ½ past 7, 11 am, ¼ to 2 & ½ past 6 pm; dispatched ½ past 7 am, 12, ½ past 3, & 7 pm
    Money Orders granted & paid between 9 am & 6 pm. Letters delivered as soon as sorted after each of the arrivals.

    Insurance agents:-
    Accidental Death, Charles Thomas Dawson, Hart Street
    Alliance, Charles Dawson, Broadway
    Defender Fire & Life, William Budd, High Street
    Essex Economic, William George Beadle, North Street
    General Fire & Life, W H Stephens, Broadway
    Monarch Fire & Life, Henry Hark, North Street
    Royal exchange, Henry Wellington Taylor, East Street
    Sun, George law, North Street

    Public Establishments:-

    Savings Bank; High Street; Charles Coxhead, actuary; open every Tuesday evening
    Police Station, Henry Milsted, sergeant
    Gas Works, Fisher Street, Charles Dawson, secretary
    Stamp Office, William henry Stephens, Broadway
    Public Officers:-
    Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages, William George Beadle, North Street
    Deputy Registrar of Births & Deaths, Charles Thomas dawson, Heath Street

    Places of Worship:-
    Parish Church, Rev Henry F Seymour, BA, vicar; Rev Henry G Henderson, BA, curate
    Independent Chapel, Broadway, Rev G Corney, minister
    Wesleyan Chapel, East Street, ministers various

    Public Schools:-
    Wesleyan, Richard Windatt, master
    National (for boys & girls), North Street, Richard Wilding, master; Mrs Wilding, mistress

    Omnibuses to London, from george Inn, at 9 morn & 5 aft; returns from London at ½ past 11 morn & ½ past 6 even
    Carriers to London – A van from Aveley calls at the George Inn morning daily; & returns sam evening for goods & passengers: Joseph Leftley & Edward Maynard (by cart) from their own houses morning, return same evening.
    Railway – London, Tilbury & Southend. Frequent trains during the day to Fenchurch Street, Bishopsgate & all the stations on the line.

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