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    Romford 1855 Post Office Directory

    History of Romford

    Romford is an ancient market and post town, and Union town and a railway station, seated on the little river Rom, on the high road from London to Colchester, 12 miles east of Whitechapel, 17 south west of Chelmsford, 8 north east of Barking, and 6 south west of Brentwood. It consists mostly of two streets, crossing each other at right angles; the principal one. In which the cattle market is held, runs from west to east; is of considerable length, good width, and contains many capital houses and capacious shops, beside the church, Corn Exchange, Gaol, Town Hall, and County Court House. The Eastern Counties railway (London to Colchester) passes close to the town, on a lofty embankment at the bottom of the South street; there are separate stations for goods and passengers: also a station of the Electric Telegraph Company. Romford is one of the polling places for th southern division of Essex. The paving, lighting and improving the town is managed by a Local Board of Health, appointed under the Health of Towns’ Act. A County Court of Essex is held here once a month, the Sessions on the Friday succeeding the County Quarter Sessions, and Petty Sessions verey Wednesday. The fair, chiefly for horses and pleasure, is held on Midsummer Day. Here are gas works; the extensive brewing and malting establishments of Messrs Ind, Coope and Co; agricultural implement works and foundries. Brick making is carried on to some extent. Several new streets are laid out, and many new houses are rising up in the vicinity of the railway station. There is an endowed National school, an infant school on the National plan, also a British school, and a school for Roman Catholics; an Independent chapel, erected 1812, endowed with £95 a year, and originally founded, 1794, at Havering Well, where there is still a  cemetery belonging to the congregation; a Baptist chapel, erected 1847; a Wesleyan chapel, 1827; and a Roman Catholic chapel, 1853; each of these chapels have Sunday schools in connection; a Savings bank, a branch of the London and County bank, and a Mechanics’ Institute. Romford is the capital of and within the Liberty of Haverin ate Bower, which comprises the three parishes of Hornchurch, Romford and Havering. This liberty has an ancient, peculiar and separate jurisdiction; and is governed by various charters. The original, granted by Edward the Confessor, has since received many additions and confirmations. It is independent of the county, appoints its own magistrates, has a clerk of the peace, coroner, gaol, quarter and petty sessions, courts of record and ancient demesne, and a prerogative court of wills. It is governed by a high steward and two justices; all business relative to the Liberty is transacted in the town of Romford. The parish contains about 6,120 acres. In 1851 the population was 5,868, and that of the town 3,791. Market gardening, grazing and agriculture form the chief occupations of the people. Romford Union comprises the ten parishes of Barking, Cranham, Dagenham, Great Warley, Havering, Hornchurch, Rainham, Romford, Upminster and Wennington; the population of the whole 24, 607.

    The Union workhouse, close to the town, was built a838, and will accommodate 500 inmates; it cost £9, 500. In 1850 the old parish church was pulled down and a new one erected on the site. The new church, dedicated to St Edward the Confessor, is a handsome erection in the later decorated style, built of Kentish ragstone with Bath stone dressings; it has a nave, chancel, north and south aisles, with chapels; the tower stands on the south; it has an embattled parapet, and is crowned with a spire, the whole rising 162 feet from the ground; there is a peal of 8 bells and a clock; the living is a vicarage, with Noak Hill curacy, value £700, in the gift of New College, Oxford, the diocese of Rochester, archdeaconry of Essex, and deanery of Epping; the Venerable Anthony Grant, BCL, archdeacon of St Alban’s, is the incumbent. Francis Quarles, author of the “Book of Emblems”, was born in the old manor house called Stewards; he was an adherent of King Charles the First. Henry Repton, the celebrated gardener, resided at Repton cottage, in the hamlet of Hare Street. Gidea Hall is half a mile east of Romford. Here, in the old mansion, Sir Anthony Cooke entertained Queen Elizabeth, 1568. “Marshalls”, on the north of the town, is the seat of John Laurie,  Esq. “Priests”, the seat of Octavius Mashiter, Esq, is on the Havering Road, 1 mile north. At Dagnam Park, at the extremity of the parish, 4 miles north east, is the mansion of Sir Digby Neave, bart. Collier Row, 2 miles north; hare Street, 1 mile east; Noak Hill, 4 miles north east; Prospect Place, 1 mile north – are hamlets in the parish of Romford. At Noak Hill is a small church or chapel of ease to Romford; the Rev John Harrison bell MA, is the curate. There is a National school and Post Office.

    Post Office – Mrs William henry Attwell, postmaster, Market place. Money orders granted & paid. Letters arrive from Yarmouth ¼ past 4 am; London 10 am, 6 pm & 9 pm; Grays ¼ to 7 pm; Horndon on the Hill ¼ to 7 pm; Ongar ¼ to 8 pm. Letters dispatched to Grays 6 am; Ongar ½ past 5 am; Horndon on the Hill 6 am; London 1 am, 4 pm & ½ past 3 am; Yarmouth 8 pm. Letter box closes at 10 pm. Letters delivered in Romford ½ past 7 am, ½ pas 6 pm & ½ past 10 am. Messengers leave Romford to deliver letters at Rainham ½ past 10 am; Dagenham ½ past 10 am; Collier Row ½ past 10 am.



    London & County, High Street, Richard Roberts esq, manager

    Savings bank, open Wednesday (North Surridge esq, secretary & cashier; Oswald Adams, actuary), Market place

    Hill & Sons (of Smithfield), open Wednesday, Market place


    Insurance agents:-

    Accidental Death, Christopher Innis Macarthy, Market place

    Atlas Fire & Life, James R Whitehead

    Beacon Fire & Life, Robert Preston Bain, Market place

    British Commercial Life, Thomas Bourne, North Street

    British Empire Fire & Life, Wm Bentall Lake, High Street

    British Provident Fire & Life, John Looker, High Street

    Cattle Insurance, Christopher George, High Street

    County Fire & Provident Life, William Ellis, South Street

    County Hailstorm, Richard Roberts, High Street

    Eagle Life, A H Hunt

    Essex Economic, Wm Henry Attwell, Market place

    Essex Provident Society, John Rootsey ward, Market place

    English Widows’ Fund, Chas Joseph Rawlings

    Globe Fire & Life, William day, High Street

    Guardian, Alexander Frederick Merrett, High Street

    Law Fire, Charles Joseph Rawlings, Market place

    London & Liverpool Fire & Life, Mabbett & Pink, High Street

    Monarch Fire & Life, Robert Bartlett, High Street

    Mutual Insurance, George Thomas Staines, Market place

    North of England, Thomas Martin, High Street

    Norwich Union, James McCarthy, Market place

    Phoenix Fire, Richard Roberts, High Street

    Property Assurance Society, Chas J Rawlings, Market place

    Royal Exchange, Stephen Collier, High Street

    Scottish Equitable, Richard Roberts, High Street

    Standard Life, Christopher George, High Street

    Sun Fire, North Surridge, High Street


    Public establishments:-

    Romford Union Workhouse, rev Wm Taylor Jones, MA, chaplain; Tunnard Sellars, master; Mrs Elizh Sellars, mistress

    Corn Exchange, High Street

    County Court office, North Street

    County Court, Market place, William Gurdon esq, judge

    Gas Works, South Street

    Romford & Hornchurch Gas Consumers Company

    Inland Revenue Office, White Hart Hotel, High Street

    Literary & Scientific Institution & reading Rooms, Rev W T Jones, MA, president; Alexander F Merrett esq, hon secretary

    Romford & South Essex Building Society, Alexander Frederic Merrett, manager

    Stamp Office, James McCarthy, Market place

    Electric telegraph Office, at the Railway station


    Public Officers:-

    Coroner for the Liberty of Havering Atte Bower, Clerk to the Magistrates & to the Commissioners of Land & Assessed Taxes, Clerk to the Petty Sessions for the District of the half Hundred of Becontree, Clerk to the Guardians of the Romford Union &  Clerk to the Commissioners of Sewers of Havering & other levels, William Henry Clifton

    Solicitor, Commissioner for Affidavits, Solicitor to the South Essex Reform Association, also in Bankruptcy & the County Courts, Charles Joseph Rawlings

    Clerk to the Orsett Poor Law Union, Secretary & Cashier to Romford Savings Bank, Perpetual Commissioner for taking Acknowledgements of Married Women, North Surridge

    Commissioners to Administer Oaths in Chancery in England, Surridge & Francis

    Commissioners for taking Affidavits in Queens Bench & Common Pleas, Clerk to Grays Pier Company, Clerk to Grays Gas Company. Clerk to the Trustees of Palmer’s Charity at Grays, Frederick Francis

    Registrar of the Exempt Jurisdiction of Hornchurch, registrar for Proving Wills, Samuel James Wadeson


    Clerk of the Peace, Clerk of the Courts of Ancient Demesne, Keeper of the Records of the Liberty & Commissioner for Affidavits in the Queens Bench & Common Pleas & Exchequer, William Henry Clifton

    Clerk to the County Court Office, William Henry Clifton

    Assistant Clerk to the Commissioners of Land, Assessed & Property Tax for the half Hundred of Becontree & Havering Liberty, Thomas Bourne

    Clerk to the Local Board of Health, Thomas Bourne

    Superintendent Registrar of Romford Union, Edmund Griffin, Great Ilford

    Registrar of Births & Deaths, Robert Arnold Bowers

    Inspector of Corn reforms, Edward Tolbutt

    Inspector of Weights & Measures, James May

    Relieving Officers for the Romford Union, Richard parker, North Street; John Miller, Great Ilford


    Places of Worship:-

    Church of England (St Edward’s), Ven Anthony Grant, DCL, vicar; Rev William James Skilton, MA, curate

    Baptist Chapel, Rev Standen Pearce, minister, London Road

    Independent Chapel, Rev Charles Latham, minister, London Road

    Wesleyan Chapel, High Street, ministers various

    Noak Hill Chapel of Ease, Rev John H Bell, MA


    Public Schools:-

    National, Mr John Moore Smith, master; Miss Elizabeth G Irwin, mistress, Market place

    National, Mrs Staines, mistress, Noak Hill

    Infant national, Miss Mary Ann Tomlin, mistress, London Road

    British, Mr Alfred Farrar, master; Mrs harriet Farrar, mistress, barrack Ground

    Catholic, Mrs Eliza Barker, mistress, London Road


    Carrier to London – Henry Luxford, from his own house, North Street, on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, at 6 morn; returns same days

    Posting Houses:-

    White Hart Hotel, Mrs Mary Baker, High Street

    White Hart tap, Henry P Cook, mail contractor & postmaster, High Street

    Conveyances from White Hart tap:-

    Mail cart to Grays, 6 morn; returns ½ past 4 aft

    Mail cart to Horndon on the Hill, 6 morn, returns ½ past 4 aft

    Mail cart to Ongar, ½ past 5 morn; returns 6 even

    Omnibus to London, at 9 morn & 4 aft; returns at 11 morn & 6 even


    Omnibus to Hornchurch & Corbet’s tey, daily at 6 even from Golden Lion, High Street

    Railway – Eastern Counties (Colchester line), trains leave the station 9 times for Colchester & 9 for London




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  • And Last updated on: Thursday, 02-Mar-2017 23:22:24 GMT