Bethnal Green St Matthew is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Middlesex, created in 1743 from part of Stepney St Dunstan Ancient Parish; located on St Matthew’s Row.

Other places in the parish include: Town, Hackney Road, Green, and Church.

Alternative names:

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1746
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1802

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Independent/Congregational, Primitive Methodist, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

Bethnal Green

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BETHNAL GREEN, a part of Tower-Hamlets borough, London; on the Eastern Counties railway, 2 miles NE by E of St. Paul’s. It was formerly a hamlet in the parish of Stepney; but was constituted a separate parish in 1743; and is now also a registration district. It lies within the postal town delivery; and has receiving-houses in Green-street and in Bethnal-Green-road. Acres, 760. Real property, £166,220. Pop. in 1841, 74,088; in 1861, 105,101. Houses, 14,731. Part is densely edificed; part consists of airy streets; and part is variously brick-land, market-garden, open field, and a portion of Victoria Park. The whole, as a parish, is cut into four divisions, and as a district into four subdistricts, called Town, Church, Green, and Hackney-Road. The inhabitants are chiefly journeymen-silkweavers, who work in their own houses for the master-weavers in Spitalfields. The Columbia Buildings are a fine group of industrial dwellings and grand quadrangular market, with a massive tower, erected in 1864-9 by Miss Coutts. Bonner’s-Fields, in the E, were one of the assembling-places of the Chartist rioters of 1848; took their name from an old mansion removed in 1851, said to have been the palace of Bishop Bonner. Pepys, in his diary, 26th June 1663, records going to Sir W. Rider’s house, at Bethnal-Green, and says that the house “was built by the Blind Beggar so much talked of and sung in ballads;” and this “beggar” is said to have been the son of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, in the time of Henry III. Sir T. Gresham resided in Bethnal-Green; and Ainsworth, the lexicographer, kept a school in it. The parish church is a plain brick structure, built in 1746. Another church, a handsome Grecian edifice, with a tower, was built in 1828, at a cost of £17,639; another, with traceried window and a good tower, was built in 1864; and ten others were built in 1840-50. The parochial living is a rectory, and each of the others is a vicarage in the diocese of London. The patron of all is the Bishop. Value of the rectory, £500; of St. James the Great, £400; of St. Paul, £200; of each of the others, £300 or £300. The Jews’ Episcopal chapel, attached to the London society for promoting Christianity among the Jews, also is a separate charge. Value, £300. Patrons, Trustees. An Independent chapel was built in 1866, at a cost of £8,000. The total places of worship in 1851 were 13 of the Church of England, with 14,851 sittings; 14 of Independents, with 4,085 s.; 6 of Baptists, with 1,637 s.; 1 of Unitarians, with 250 s.; 3 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 1,060 s.; 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 250 s.; 1 of Lady Huntingdon’s Connexion, with 200 s.; and 2 mixed and undefined, with 280 s. The schools were 35 public day schools, with 8,237 scholars; 92 private day schools, with 2,277 s.: 39 Sunday schools, with 9,786 s.; and 3 evening schools for adults, with 48 s. One public school, together with an almshouse, has an endowed income of £308; and another has £157. There are four almshouses and a lunatic asylum, the latter founded before 1570; and the charities altogether have a yearly value of £560. The workhouse stood formerly in the Town subdistrict, but is now in the Green subdistrict. Poor-rates in 1866, £33,464. Marriages in 1866, 2,099; births, 4,881, of which 119 were illegitimate; deaths 3,840, of which 1,900 were at ages under 5 years, and 36 at ages above 85 years. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 14,671; births, 37,729: deaths, 21,733.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

TOWN, a division of Bethnal-Green parish, Middlesex. Acres, 96. Pop. in 1851, 20,941; in 1861, 21,486; Houses, 2,671.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


Vision of Britain historical maps


  • County: Middlesex
  • Civil Registration District: Bethnal Green
  • Probate Court: Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (London Division)
  • Diocese: London
  • Rural Deanery: Not created until 1858
  • Poor Law Union: Bethnal Green
  • Hundred: Ossulstone (Tower Division)
  • Province: Canterbury

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