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Romford 1886 Kelly's Directory

History of Romford

Part 2 of the 1886 Romford Kelly Directory

Romford is an ancient market town and railway station, head of a union and of a county court district, and a polling place for the Southern division of the county, in the petty sessional division of Havering atte Bower, seated on the little river Rom, whence it derives its name, on the high road from London to Colchester, 12 miles from Whitechapel, 17 south west from Chelmsford, 7 north east from Barking, and 6 south west from Brentwood: the town originally consisted chiefly of two streets, crossing each other at right angles; the principal street, and that in which the cattle market is held, is a wide thoroughfare, of considerable length, running from west to east and in recent years several new streets have been added on the southern side of the town. The Great Eastern railway passes on a lofty embankment at the bottom of South street and has separate stations for goods and passengers. The town is governed by a Local Board of Health of 12 members and the parish is divided into four wards viz,: Romford Town, Collier Row, Harold’s Wood and Noak Hill. Romford is the capital of the liberty of Havering ate Bower and lies within it; this liberty, comprising the three parishes of Hornchurch, Romford and Havering: has an ancient, peculiar, and separate jurisdiction, granted by various charters from the time of Edward the Confessor, whose original grant has since received many additions and confirmations: it is independent of the county, appoints its own magistrates, has a clerk of the peace, coroner, quarter and petty sessions, courts of record and ancient demesne, and a county court and is governed by a high steward and two justices: all business relative to the liberty is transacted in the town of Romford. The Liberty quarter sessions are held on the Thursday succeeding the county quarter sessions, and petty sessions every Thursday for the purposes of the Summary Jurisdiction Act. The church of St Edward the Confessor, erected in 1850 on the site of the old parish church, is a building of Kentish rag with Bath stone dressings in the Later Decorated style and consists of chancel, nave with clerestory, aisles, with chapels and an embattled tower with a spire 162 feet in height and containing a clock and 8 bells dated respectively 1850, 1756, 1704, 1651 and three others 1636, one being undated: the east window was given by Col Graves in memory of his wife: there is also a stained window in the south aisle to the memory of Edward Ind esq: in the north aisle of the church is a stately monument, with alabaster effigies, of himself and his lady in kneeling attitudes to Sir Anthony Cooke (preceptor to King Edward VI); who died June 11, 1576: the Latin inscription on this monument enumerating the various members of his family is supposed to have been furnished by his daughters, who were among the learned females of that age: against the south wall of the chancel formerly stood the fine monument, now in the porch, of Sir Nicholas Harvey of Marks; he had previously been sheriff of Essex, 38 Eliz and was at the time of his death, 10th August 1605, lieutenant of the Tower of London, where he died: but was buried here on the south side of the chancel with heraldic honours: there is a long inscription in gilt letters on a slab of black marble, to himself, his wife and various members of his family: previously placed on the south wall of the chancel, immediately west of the Hervey monument, but now in the porch, is the stately tomb, with her recumbent effigy, of Anne Carew, raised by her famous son, George, first and only Baron Carew and eventually Earl of Totnes; she was the daughter of Sir Nicholas Hervey knt, and sister of Sir George Hervey knt, and married George, third son of Edmund Carew knt, dean of Windsor; he dies 15th June, 1583 and his wife, 27th August, 1605, at 76: the church will seat 830 persons. The register dates from the year 1561 and is in very good condition. The living is nominally a vicarage, but is rather in the nature of a chaplaincy exempt from ecclesiastical jurisdiction, net yearly value £700, with 1 ½ acres of glebe and residence,  in the gift of New College, Oxford, who grant the vicar what is termed “a lease”, and held since 1881 by the Rev William Maunder Hitchcock, MA, of Wadham College, Oxford and hon canon of Durham Cathedral and surrogate. St Andrew’s  is an ecclesiastical parish formed in 1862 from the mother parish; the church, erected in 1863 is a plain building of stone in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, south aisle and south porch and a western belfry, with spire, containing 1 bell: there is one stained window in the chancel. The register dates from the year 1863. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £275, in the gift of New College, Oxford, and held since 1886 by the Rev Fairfax Alfred Alban Wyld. The Congregational church in South Street opened on July 19th, 1877, in the Gothic style, with a tower and spire, 66 feet in height and was built at a cost; including site, of about £5,000: there are 470 sittings: the building was considerably damaged by fire on Easter Sunday, 1883, and re-opened in November of the same year; new Sunday schools to hold 350 children have been built, at a cost of £1,400, at the rear of the church. The old Congregational church is closed. The Baptist chapel was erected in 1847;and a Wesleyan chapel in 1827; a Catholic chapel dedicated to St Edward the Confessor in 1853, has a stained east window, inserted in October, 1885, as a memorial to the late Mr C I Macarthy; the Primitive Methodist chapel was built in 1875: each of these chapels has a Sunday school attached to it. The old cemetery is near the market place. Charities: Roger Reed of Havering, by will dated 14th February, 1482, left his “new built place in Jay’s Mead, otherwise called Hoo Croft”, for five poor men: there are now six almshouses for men and two for widows: one almsman who keeps the accounts and preserves order, is called “the ruler”, and receives £35 yearly, the other men £26, the widows £20: all being supplied with clothes, coals and medical aid: clothes are distributed from the surplus to the poor of Romford, Hornchurch and Dagenham. Robert Ballard in 1660 devised two houses in Romford to the churchwardens for the repair of the highways. William Armstead, of Hornchurch, gave to the poor of Romford £2, arising from a farm at Hay Green, and distributed in bread and money; and Andrew Reynolds, by will dated October 7th, 1626, £3 also as a rent charge. Lewis Botts, by will dated 18th January, 1669, left 20s, to repair a causeway leading to the church, £4 for apprenticing and £2 to eight of the necessitous poor on New Years Day. Hannah Richardson left in 1811, £100 Navy Five per cent Annuities, upon trust to distribute the interest to the necessitous poor at Christmas; this sum is at present invested in New £3 per cents, and produces £3 3s yearly. On Webster by his will gave his housing and appurtenances called the “Tile Kilns”, in Harold Wood ward, upon trust to pay one moiety of the rents to the church wardens of Romford and Hornchurch respectively. Lady Burleigh’s charity, originally £120, is now only £100 and is lent to various poor tradesmen, free of interest, in sums of £20 each; Palmer’s charity amounts to £7 annually, derived from land in the London road, and is distributed in cash to the poor of the parish at Christmas; the proceeds of £100, bequeathed by the will of Thomas Bourne, and now invested in Government stocks, is also distributed to the poor at Christmas in cash. Here are two branch banks, a Mechanics’ Institute and Young Men’s Christian Association rooms. There are also gas works and the extensive brewing establishment of Messrs Ind, Coope and Co. The corn exchange, situated in the High Street, is private property and is let for public meetings, concerts etc. The lecture hall of the Congregational schools is also so let for similar purposes. A market for cattle and corn, one of the largest around London, is held every Wednesday. Here are the headquarters of the No 8 battery of the 1st Essex Artillery Volunteers, and of the A and B companies of the 1st Volunteer battalion of the Essex regiment. A Drill hall of corrugated iron was erected in 1885 in Laurie Square, by Captain Henry Holmes, at a cost of £300, and presented by him to the battery; it is also used as a gymnasium and school of arms. There are almshouses, founded by Roger Reeds in 1784, for ten persons and several other charities. Francis Quarles, the celebrated  author of the “Book of Emblems”, was born in 1592 in  the old manor house, called “Stewards”, which manor became the property of that family in 1588; he was educated at Christ’s College, Cambridge and became cup bearer to the Queen of Bohemia and afterwards secretary to Archbishop Usher, whom he accompanied to Ireland: this resolute adherence to the royal cause during the civil war occasioned him much loss, both of the property, books and MSS, and is thought to have hastened his death, which took place 8th September, 1644.  A drinking fountain was erected in the Market place in June, 1885, as a testimony of esteem to the late C I Macarthy from his fellow townsmen. Gidea Hall, half a mile east of Romford, is the joint residence of J Ramsey esq and Henry Hollebone esq: Marshalls, on the north of the town, is the property of Mrs MacIntosh and is at present occupied by Ralph G Price esq JP. Priests, the seat of Thomas Mashiter esq, is on the Havering Road, 1 mile north. Market gardening, grazing, and agriculture form the chief occupations of the people. The area is 7,191 acres of land and 33 water; rateable value £45,609; the population of the parish in 1871 was 8,239 and in 1881, 9,050, including 310 officers and inmates in the workhouse; and of the Local Board District in 1881, 7,176.

Collier Row is a village 2 miles north west. The chapel of the Ascension is an edifice of brick, erected at a cost of £2,000, defrayed by subscriptions, and consists of chancel, nave, south porch and a central bell-cot containing 1 bell. Here is also a news and reading room, built at the sole cost of E Conder Esq, but now supported by, and under the management of the members.

Hare Street is a village 1 mile north east on the highway to Brentwood.

Noak Hill, 4 miles north east, is a village and is situated 1 mile north by field path from Harold Wood station. The church of St Thomas is a building of brick with stone dressings, in the Early English style, and was erected at the earnest desire of Frances Caroline, wife of Sir Thomas Neave bart, with the aid of the Church Building Society: it consists of chancel, nave and a tower on the south side containing 1 bell, and was consecrated Oct 29th, 1842, by Charles james, Lord Bishop of London.

Post Office, Noak Hill – George Clark, receiver. Letters arrive from Romford at 8 am; depart at 6 pm. Havering is nearest money order & telegraph office.

Romford Common is a hamlet of scattered houses commencing 2 miles north east and extending along the high road adjoining Harold Wood station. Here is a Baptist chapel.

Rush Green is a hamlet 1 mile south west. A cemetery, situated about one mile from the town, was opened in October, 1871; it contains 5 ½ acres of inclosed and 3 ½ of unenclosed ground, two mortuary chapels and a porter’s lodge, and is under the control of a Burial Board of nine members, who also keep the old cemetery in repair.

Squirrels Heath is a village 1 mile east. The chapel of All Saints is a wooden building on a brick foundation, erected on land given by Mr Alfred Savile at a cost of £504, defrayed by subscriptions: it consists of chancel, nave and a bell cot containing 1 bell, and was consecrated Aug 3rd, 1884, by the Lord Bishop of Colchester; it will seat 240 persons. The Great Eastern Railway Co have a factory here employing 100 people in the making of sheets, horse cloths, sacks etc, and in the preparation of forage and horse provender. 


And Last updated on: Sunday, 22-Nov-2020 14:14:50 GMT