History of West Ham in 1833
STRATFORD is a populous hamlet and ward, in the parish of West Ham, and hundred of Becontree; about three miles from Whitechapel church, London. It is the first place you come to after leaving Middlesex, from which county is it divided by the river Lea, crossed by means of Bow-bridge; on this stream are situated extensive flour-mills, and many manufacturing establishments, print-works, distilleries, chemical works, &c., some of which are upon a very large scale. Stratford itself is greatly improving in appearance, which will be heightened when the projected new church (which will occupy an eligible site in the Broadway) is completed. In the parish of West Ham are several schools for gratuitous education; one of these, for the parish generally, has a revenue derived from benefactions, amounting to above £3,000; and another, founded by Mrs. Bonnell in 1761, is also well endowed. There are also some almshouses, and two chapels for dissenters. The land around here is very fertile, well wooded, and the scenery pleasing; great numbers of the inhabitants are employed in agriculture, which the vicinity of Stratford, to the metropolis renders a profitable pursuit. By the parliamentary returns for 1831, the hamlet of Stratford contained 6,686 inhabitants.
WEST HAM (once a market town) is in the populous parish of its name, and which is divided into four wards, denominated respectively 'All Saints', 'Church Street,' 'Plaistow' and 'Stratford.' It is about four miles from London, and is favoured by being the residence of numerous opulent and respectable families. The charter for a market here was obtained by Richard de Montfitchett, in the year 1253; and the resumption of the right of market would be of great advantage to the parish and neighbourhood. William de Montfitchett, ancestor of Richard, was the founder of an abbey at Stratford Langthorne, in this parish, in 1135, for monks of the Cistercian order, and richly endowed the same; at the dissolution, in 1307, its estates were valued at £652 3s 1 ¾ d.
All Saints, the parochial church, is a spacious edifice, with a tower at its west-end 74 feet high; and its general appearance indicates great antiquity. In the church-yard are interred the remains of George Edwards, Esq., celebrated for his intimate acquaintance with natural history. There are some fine monuments in the church, to the memory of several literary and civil characters; and a singular Gothic tomb in the wall. The celebrated and unfortunate Dr. Dodd was a resident and lecturer of this parish. The living of West Ham is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Crown; the Rev. Archdeacon Jones is the incumbent, and his present curate is the Rev. H. Eley. There are two or three residences in the vicinity deserving attention, viz., the park and mansion of S. Gurney, Esq., at 'Upton;' the grounds of 'Stratford House,' late the residence of Lord Henniker; and the park of W. Manbey, Esq., at 'Maryland Point.' - The population of the entire parish, by the government returns for 1831, is stated to be 11,580; being an increase in the number of inhabitants, during the 30 preceding years, of 5,095 inhabitants. The same document gives to the village of West Ham alone (in 1831) 3,181 inhabitants.
The village of PLAISTOW is four miles and a half from London, and is so intimately connected with the places before described as to need but brief mention. Here is a very handsome chapel of ease, in the Gothic style of architecture, dedicated to St. Mary; and two chapels for dissenters: also a well endowed school, called 'Oliver's school,' named after the liberal benefactor. The population amounts to 1,711 souls.
POST, STRATFORD, Receiving House at John Gibson's - Letters from LONDON arrive every morning at nine, and every afternoon at four.
COACHES, To LONDON, William Henry Neale's, John Winch's, and William Nickol's coaches from all the principal inns in STRATFORD, every quarter of an hour, & also two FLYS, five or six times daily - coaches, from WEST HAM, every half hour - and Philip Mayhew's coaches, from PLAISTOW, every morning at half-past eight and half-past nine, and after-noon at half-past two and half-past six.
CARRIERS. To LONDON, John Good, from Stratford, and Joseph Good, William Layman, Noah Shipman and John Osborn, from Stratford and West Ham, every morning (Sunday excepted) - and John Barling, from Plaistow, every morning (Wednesday and Sunday excepted).
Transcribed by Chris Goddard