East End Churches

DURING the 19th century, west London always had an uneasy relationship with the East End. For the MPs who sat in the House of Lords, the areas east of the city were a hotbed of disease, crime, prostitution – an embarrassment to a grand city. To the nobles who sat in the House of Lords,…

Other Streets in Whitechapel

Aldgate East Station: This station was opened on 6 October 1884, and was on the District Railway extension from Mansion House to New Cross Gate. The present station is not on the original site, having been moved several hundred metres further east when the triangular junction at Aldgate was being enlarged. The new, and present,…

Murder Sites

Bucks Row Bucks Row, the site of the murder of Mary Ann ‘Polly’ Nichols, now generally accepted as the first of the Ripper‘s victims, lay parallel to the Whitechapel Road just behind Whitechapel Underground Station (opened on 6th October 1884, a mere four years before Polly’s death) and led from Brady Street (whose name had…

Streets of Whitechapel

The proliferation of streets carrying the same name in the Whitechapel area of the last century is quite extraordinary (though several had changed their names by 1888) – two White’s Rows, two North Streets, two John Streets, two Montague Streets, three Church Streets, three Devonshire Streets, three George Streets, and others, all within a very…

Match Girls

The Match Box Manufacturers

The poor widow confessed that the match-box manufacture was not a paying trade. The poor people who work at it were rewarded for their labour at the rate of twopence-farthing for each complete gross. That was the gross price, if I may venture so to term it; but the net amount received was actually less.…

Public Houses

The Commercial Tavern: An attractive example of Victorian architecture, this pub is smaller inside than it appears from the outside. Its rounded facade stands on the corner of a small side street called Wheller Street (the same name today, though there’s not much left of it!) A pub never, to my knowledge, connected to the…

Markets

  A History of Petticoat Lane No, this is not a walking-tour.  It is the history of one of the most famous streets in London known to all of us as Petticoat Lane.  In its time the Lane has had four principal names.  About 1218 it was known as Bereward’sLane.  In 1500 it became Hog…

Theatres

Today, London theatre is synonymous with the West End, Shaftsbury Avenue and Drury Lane. But back in the 1800s, the East End had a theatre to more than rival the West End – and one with its own distinct audience.Despite being ignored by the middle classes and the critics, east London in the 1850s actually…

From Dublin Castle to Scotland Yard: Robert Anderson and the Secret Irish Department

Despite the disruption to the centre of London life caused by the 7th July bombings, the committee were half expecting a thin turnout for tonight’s meetings. We were to be proven gloriously wrong. In fact, this would appear to be one of the most well attended meetings ever. New faces were seen – especially Matt (Guildford) and Gary who commandeered a table stage right. Also, Jack the Ripper Forum’s, Tyler Hebblewhite also made a welcome reappearance, as did Alan Hayday. There were many others there too. As the time approached I, yes, I took to the microphone – Andy Aliffe had a sore throat. This gave me the chance to announce our speaker; Alan Sharp and also claim his book; London Correspondence: Jack the Ripper and the Irish Press as one of the top ten books written on the Whitechapel murders. Committee member, Liza Hopkinson would say the same later on as she conducted the question and answers. A blushing Alan did thus take to the stage.