Ratcliffe St James Middlesex Family History Guide

Ratcliffe St James is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Middlesex, created in 1840 from part of Stepney St Dunstan Ancient Parish and part of Limehouse St Anne Ecclesiastical Parish. 

Alternative names: Ratcliff

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1840
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: None

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational and Society of Friends/Quaker.

Adjacent Parishes

  • Shadwell St Paul
  • St George in the East St Mary
  • Rotherhithe St Mary
  • Stepney St Thomas
  • Stepney St Dunstan
  • Rotherhithe Holy Trinity
  • Limehouse St Anne

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

RATCLIFF, a hamlet, a chapelry, and a sub-district, in Stepney and Limehouse parishes, Stepney district, Middlesex. The hamlet lies on the river Thames, opposite the Pool, and on the Blackwall railway, 2¼ miles E by S of St. Paul's, London; was anciently called Red-clyve or Redcliff; took that name from a quondam cliffybank of the Thames; was a mere village, inhabited chiefly by seafaring men, in the time of Camden; suffered devastation by fire in 1794; is now a compact-suburb of the metropolis; has a main street, formerly called Ratcliff Highway, and formerly planted on each side with elm-trees; contains Albert-square, York-square, and Regent's canal basin; and has a post-office under London E, a church, several dissenting chapels, a literary institution, several public schools, and a workhouse. The church was built in 1838, at a cost of £4,000; is in the early English style; and contains 1,022 sittings. The literary institution was established in 1839, and belongs to a body of shareholders. The hamlet comprises 78 acres of land and 11 of water in Stepney, and 35 acres of land and 8 of water in Limehouse. Real property, £52,578; of which £1,084 are in the railway . Pop. in 1851, 15,212; in 1861, 16,874. Houses, 2,246. The chapelry is less extensive than the hamlet, and was constituted in 1839. Pop. in 1861, of the Stepney portion, 6,518; of the Limehouse portion, 1,927. Houses, 881, and 191. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of London. Value, £300. Patron, the Bishop of London. The sub-district is conterminate with the hamlet.

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: Stepney
Probate Court: Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (London Division)
Diocese: London
Rural Deanery: Not created until 1858
Poor Law Union: Stepney
Hundred: Ossulstone (Tower Division)
Province: Canterbury