The hamlet of Limehouse made a parish.
Hamlet of Ratcliffe.
In the year 1730 an act of parliament was passed (fn. 1) , by which the
hamlet of Limehouse, and part of the hamlet of Ratclisse, both
appendages to Stepney, were made a distinct parish, now known by
the name of St. Anne Limehouse, or St. Anne Middlesex; bounded
by Mile-end Old-town and Poplar (both hamlets to Stepney), and
the part of Ratclisse which remains attached to that parish. The
boundary in Ratclisse extends along" the Butcher-row and Whitehorse-street. The division of Ratclisse which is annexed to the
new parish has no farther connexion with it than relates to the payment of church rates and dues; it is still assessed separately to the
other rates, and chooses its own officers.
Extent of the parish.
The parish of St. Anne Limehouse lies within the hundred of
Ossulston; it contains about 150 acres of land not covered by buildings: of these about 10 are market-gardens; the remainder pasture,
occupied by cowkeepers, whose stock of cattle amounts to about
180 (fn. 2) . The quota paid to the land-tax is 1072l. 7s. 11d.; which
this year (1794) is at the rate of 3s. 4d. in the pound.
The principal manufactures in the place are Mrs. Turner's of sailclothes, and Mr. Hall's of pot-ashes. The late Charles Dingley, Esq.
erected a saw-mill of his own invention, which still exists, but has
not been employed for many years. There are three dock-yards in
the parish used principally for repairs. A navigable canal communicating with the river Lee at Bromley joins the Thames in this parish.
It was made about the year 1769, pursuant to an act of parliament,
and is called the Limehouse-cut.
Tombs in the church-yard.
The parish church, dedicated to St. Anne, stands in the eastern
suburb of the metropolis, nearly four miles distant from Temple-bar.
It was one of the 50 new churches built by act of parliament; the
foundation was laid in the year 1712, and it was completed in 1724,
but not consecrated till the 12th of September 1730. The building
is of Portland stone, after a design of Hawksmoor (fn. 3) , who has mixed
with the Grecian a species of architecture which it would be difficult
to describe; the turrets on the steeple resemble those which the same
artist has introduced in the new quadrangle at All-Souls College in
Oxford. The inside is fitted up in the Grecian style, and is very
handsome; the pews are of Dutch oak. There is no monumental
inscription in the church; in the church-yard are tombs in memory
of the following persons: Captain Digory Hearle, 1734; Captain
Francis Aiskell, 1734; Mr. Stephen Drayton, 1734; Captain Andrew Wootton, 1739; Joseph Woodward, surgeon, 1741; Captain
John Watkinson, 1741; Captain Samuel Ingram, 1745; Captain
Benjamin Mitchell, 1746; Mr. Richard Robinson, 1748; Robert
Godwin, Gent. 1749; Captain Edward Nicholson, 1750; Captain
William Coates, 1751; Simon Rogers, Esq. 1752; Mr. Mark
Hodgson, 1753; Captain Richard Shubrick, 1756; Sarah, relict
of Captain Thomas Stringer, 1756; Captain Cornelius Ronquest,
1762; Mary, wife of the Reverend John Saunderson, rector of
Gouldington, Bedfordshire, 1766; Captain Edward Massam, 1767;
Captain James Kemp, 1768; Mr. Thomas Simpson, 1774; Captain
Thomas Farr, 1775; John Boorer, Gent. 1781; William Fitzhugh, Esq. 1783; Thomas Wellings, Esq. 1784; Captain John
Lovelace, 1785; James Spragg, Esq. 1785; and Captain Benjamin
Endowment of the rectory.
The sum of 3500l. (fn. 4) was granted by the act of parliament abovementioned, for purchasing lands of inheritance as an endowment of
the rectory: with this money, Goshalme-farm in the parish of East
Tilbury, and a farm at Orsett in Essex, were bought and settled
upon the rector and his successors; who (by virtue of the act)
were to receive also 601. per annum from the churchwardens in
lieu of burial-fees, none being demandable by the rector unless
when the service is read in the church. The above endowment,
with the rent of the parsonage-house and garden, makes the value
of the rectory 334l. (fn. 5) per annum, over and above surplice-fees for
marriages, &c. By a provision in the act the rector of the new
church was obliged to pay the sum of 25 l. each to the two portionists of Stepney then being, during their respective incumbencies,
as a compensation for their loss of dues. The parish clerk was to
pay 5l to the clerk of Stepney on the same account. The rectory
of St. Anne Limehouse cannot be held with any other benefice. The
principal and fellows of Brazen-Nose College in Oxford are patrons.
The present rector is William Hunter, M. A. who was instituted in
Comparative state of population.
||Average of Baptisms.
||Average of Burials.
The parish appears to have varied but little in its population
since it was separated from Stepney; during the last ten years it
seems to have decreased in a small degree. The present number
of houses is about 910, of which about 250 are in the hamlet
The following entries occur in the parish register:
Three children at a birth.
"John, Thomas, and Eleanor, sons and daughter (at the same
birth) of Thomas Carnell, fisherman, and Susanna his wife, baptized Nov. 21, 1739." They were all buried on the 7th of December.
Instances of Longevity.
"John Vaines, lighterman, 90, June 26, 1761.
"Elizabeth Brown, 90, Dec. 17, 1763.
"Alice Edwards, 95, Oct. 26, 1764.
"Mary Harris, 90, Dec. 30, 1766.
"William Hamilton, 90, Nov. 27, 1767.
"Joseph Short, 94, Jan. 18, 1770.
"Anne Hone, 95, May 11, 1770.
"Mary Elbert, 90, Sep. 22, 1771.
"John Chase (workhouse), 93, Dec. 20, 1772.
"William Chapman, 100, Ap. 10, 1774.
"Elizabeth Berry, from Stepney, 97, Sep. 25, 1778.
"Mary Bowles (workhouse), 95, Oct. 14, 1779.
"Sarah Oliver (workhouse), 90, Aug. 5, 1781.
"John Howard, 90, Feb. 20, 1782.
"John Boyd, ropemaker, 96, Feb. 1, 1791.
"Catherine Dixy (workhouse), 98, Ap. 10, 1791."
A former school, instituted in the hamlet of Poplar, having been
dropped some years, Dr. Gloster Ridley, in the year 1737 (being
then minister of the chapel there, and lecturer at Limehouse), set
on foot a subscription for an united charity-school, in which poor
children of both places should receive the advantages of education.
This school still continutes. Its only endowment consists of a few
legacies (fn. 6) . An ample annual subscription, with collections at charity
sermons, raise an income sufficient for clothing and educating 50
Another charity-school for boys and girls, of this parish only,
was instituted in 1779. In this school 35 girls and 15 boys are
clothed and educated. It depends principally (fn. 7) for its support, as
the other does, on annual subscriptions and collections at charity
William Geer, anno 1632, gave 5l. per annum to poor seamen
in this place. William Curtis, anno 1669, gave 6l. per annum to
apprentice two poor children, and another 6l. once in two years, to
be divided among 12 paupers of this place, on the alternate years to
be appropriated to the redemption of poor captives. Captain Edward
Johnson, anno 1671, gave a house, now let at 20l. per annum, to
the poor of Ratcliffe and Limehouse, in equal portions. This parish
receives, pursuant to a decree in Chancery, bearing date 1733, 12s.
in the pound out of one moiety of Priscilla Cobourne's estates, left
to the parish of Stepney. The poor of this parish are entitled also
to one tenement in Mr. John Pennell's alms-houses for poor women
at Mile-end, two in Judge Fuller's for old men at the same place,
and one in Captain James Cook's; the latter has no endowment. The pensioners in the others receive 4l. per annum
each, a gown, and fuel. Elizabeth Colbert, anno 1631, gave
the sum of 50l. to the corporation of the Trinity-house, on consideration of their paying 2l. 5s. per annum to the poor of