The Environs of London: Volume 3, County of Middlesex. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1795.

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Daniel Lysons, 'Shadwell', in The Environs of London: Volume 3, County of Middlesex( London, 1795), British History Online [accessed 23 July 2024].

Daniel Lysons, 'Shadwell', in The Environs of London: Volume 3, County of Middlesex( London, 1795), British History Online, accessed July 23, 2024,

Daniel Lysons. "Shadwell". The Environs of London: Volume 3, County of Middlesex. (London, 1795), , British History Online. Web. 23 July 2024.


Shadwell made a parish.

Its situation, boundaries, &c..


Principal trades.

This place, which was formerly called Chadwelle, took its name, as is supposed, from a spring dedicated to St. Chad. It was a hamlet of Stepney till 1669, when it was separated from that parish by act of parliament. It lies in the hundred of Ossulston, and is bounded on the north and east by Stepney; on the west by St. George, Middlesex; and on the south by the river. Its extent is very small, being only 910 yards in length, and 760 in breadth. The only land not occupied by buildings consists of a few acres, called Sun-tavern fields, in which are several rope-walks, 400 yards in length, where cables are made from six to 23 inches in girth. The part of the parish which lies near the river (called Lower Shadwell) is chiefly inhabited by tradesmen and manufactutres connected with the shipping; such as ship-chandlers, biscuit bakers, wholesale butchers, mast-makers, sail-makers, anchor-smiths, coopers, &c. Mr. Newell Connop has a large distillery in this parish, and Mr. Philips a brewery, and there are three coal wharss. Shadwell-dock, belonging to Mr. Fletcher, and Wapping wall-dock, belonging to Mr. Hales, are in this parish.


The parish of Shadwell pays the sum of 2089l. 19s. 10d. to the land-tax, which is at the rate of 3s. in the pound.

The Church.


The church, dedicated to St. Paul, was built in the year 1656, principally at the expence and by the influence of Thomas Neale, Esq. lessee of an estate (comprising two-thirds of the parish), under the church of St. Paul's (fn. 1). By the act of parliament above mentioned, in 1669, it was made parochial, but was not consecrated till the 12th of March 1671 (fn. 2). It is a brick structure, consisting of a chancel, nave, two aisles, and a square low tower. There are spacious galleries on the south, west, and north sides. On the front of the south gallery is the following coat of arms, with the date 1719, viz. Arg. two bars G. on a canton of the second, a lion's head erased Or. In the chancel are the tombs of Mr. John Mott, 1703, and Mr. Thomas Maugheling, 1791. At the east end of the south aisle is the monument of William Martin, Esq. (fn. 3) 1757; on the south wall, a tablet in memory of Elizabeth, wife of Captain Charles Bartelot, and daughter of Samuel Clarke, 1703; Francis Clarke, yeoman of the wine-celler to King William, 1708; Elizabeth Horden, daughter in law of Samuel Clarke, 1716; Samuel Clarke, 1721, and Barbara his wife, 1728; and the monument of Mr. Richard Hinton, 1770. On the wall of the north aisle is that of Mr. Henry Dennis, 1690, and Mrs. Sarah Lockwood his daughter, 1707. On the wall, at the west end of the church, are memorials of Mr. Andrew Chelton, 1730; Elizabeth Chelton (niece of Dr. Resbury), 1747; Mr. Jonathan Sheppard (fn. 4), merchant, 1762; Mr. John Baggs, his nephew, 1777, and Mr. William Baggs, 1780. In the nave are the tombs of Mr. Issac Bovery, 1717; and Mr. William Saunders, 1775; in the north aisle those of Capt. James Halsall, son of Richard Halsall, of Lancashire, 1724; in the south aisle those of Capt. Moses Moyse (date worn); Thomas Wale, apothecary, 1695; Captain David Updicke, 1713; and John Sherwood, Esq. 1783. At the west end of the church, that of Captain John Hazlewood, an elder brother of the Trinity-house, aged 89. In the Circuit-walk annexed to Stow's Survey of London, are mentioned tombs of the following persons, the inscriptions of which are not now legible: Susan, daughter of John Dalby, Esq. wife of Capt. William Thomas, 1662; Captain Anthony Archer, 1680; Captain Isaac Woodgreen, 1689; Richard Nayler, apothecary, 1695; Thomas Bowser, surgeon, 1698; and Mr. Henry Dennis, 1703.

Tombs in the church-yard.

On the outside of the south porch is the monument of Mary, daughter of Walter Berry, Esq. and wife of John Wright, 1746. In the church-yard are the tombs of Robert Dobson, Esq. 1713; Captain Thomas Cole, 1716; Elizabeth, his daughter, wife of Captain Richard Vavasor; Elizabeth Lillewhite, daughter of Captain Michael Cole; Captain Richard Merry, 1717; Anne, wife of John Kirby, Esq. 1718; Robert Kirby, Esq. 1725; Captain Thomas Lemon, 1720; Captain John Painter, 1728; Captain Samuel Vincent, 1729; Susanna, wife of Captain John Caston, 1732; Capt. Mads Thorson, 1738; Mathew Newman, Esq. one of the deputy-lieutenants of the Tower-hamlets, 1755; Captain Thomas Johnson, 1759; Captain Stephen Calense, 1760; Captain Robert Manley, 1763; Captain Joseph Carteret, an elder brother of the Trinity-house, 1765; Capt. Edward Carlen, 1768; Anne, wife of Captain Christopher Nockells, and daughter of Captain Andrew Cande, 1781; Captain John Sanderson, 1783; Captain Charles Harsord, 1783; Captain Andrew Cande, 1784; Mr. Samuel Mellish, 1784; Charlotte, wife of Captain William Paxton, 1785; Rebecca, wife of Captain Andrew Hewson, 1785; Susanna, wife of Mr. George Brodrick, 1786; Rebecca, wife of George Hastings, 1788; Captain Francis Swinbourn, 1790; Christopher Stephenson, 1791; Captain Sylvester Masson, 1792; Elizabeth, wife of Joseph Fell, Esq. 1792; and Jael, wife of Captain Joseph Boumels, 1792. In the Circuit-walk are mentioned the tombs of Elizabeth, widow of Captain Abraham Terry, 1696; Mary, wife of Captain Samuel Vincent, 1697; Captain Richard Young, 1699; Captain Roger Grassington, 1701; and Elizabeth, widow of Captain Richard Merry, 1704.

Rectory and advowson.


Nathaniel Resbury.

The greater part of the precinct of Shadwell being vested in the dean of St. Paul's, when it was made a parish, and a rectory constituated by the act before mentioned, the first right of presentation was given to Thomas Neale, Esq. the lessee, and the advowson for the time to come vested in Dr. Sancrost, dean of St. Paul's, and his successors. A parsonage house was allotted to the rector and his successors, together with a piece of ground adjoining, the limits of which are described in the act, to be let at first on building-leases for the term of 31 years, and afterwards the leases to be renewable from time to time for 21 years, for the use and benefit of the rectors, who are allowed by the act the sum of 120l. per annum, in lieu of tithes, besides all oblations and fees for christenings, &c. as received by the vicar of Stepney. The sum of 1l. 6s. 8d., anciently paid by the tenants of Shadwell to the vicar of Stepney, as a compensation for tithes, is now by the said act charged upon the rector, who pays it annually at Easter (fn. 5). The first rector was Robert Marriot. His successor, Nathaniel Resbury, instituted in 1689, was author of several single discourses, preached before the Queen and upon public occasions. The present rector is Joseph Butler, M. A. instituted in the year 1741.


There is a meeting-house belonging to the Presbyterian dissenters in Shakespear's-walk, supplied by the ministers in and about London by rotation. The Calvinists have a small chapel also in this parish, and the Methodists in Mr. Wesley's connection.

Matthew Mead, an eminent dissenting divine (of whom a farther account is given in Stepney), was appointed minister of Shadwell, Jan. 22, 1658 (fn. 6). He was ejected for non-conformity in 1662.

Parish register.

An account of births and burials was kept at Shadwell as early as the year 1660, but they were not entered in a fair register till the year 1670, after the precinct had been made parochial.

Comparative state of population.

Average of Baptisms. Average of Burials.
1685–1694 3084/5
1671–1678 389
1735–1739 3113/5 471
1785–1794 264 1/10 372½

This parish appears to have decreased considerably in population during the last 50 years. The present number of houses is about 1300.

Plague year.

In the month of September 1665, there were 115 burials at Shadwell; in October, 299; in November, 80; and in December, 10 only.

"Dame Alice Row, buried from St. Dunstan's Stepney, Jan. 25, 1701–2."


A charity-school was instituted in this parish in the year 1712, when Queen Anne endowed it with 20l. per annum, as a salary for the master. Mr. John Juar, in 1717, gave to this school a rentcharge of 3l. per annum, issuing out of a farm in Essex; Mr. William Cosin, the same year, 5l. per annum, out of an estate in Shadwell. Mr. Jonathan Raven, in 1790, gave 1l. per annum. Mrs. Mary Bowes, 61. 10s. per annum. Benefactions in money have been given to the amount of about 900l (fn. 7). At present 45 boys and 35 girls are clothed and educated in this school.

Dissenters' school.

There is a school also in this parish for the children of Dissenters, in which 50 boys and 20 girls are clothed and educated.


Dame Alice Row, who died in 1702, left all her household goods to the parishes of Shadwell and Stepney, for the purpose of building alms-houses, and as an endowment for them the bequeathed the sum of 200l. after the death of one of her sisters, and 500l. after the death of her other sister. She bequeathed also the sum of 1000l. to her third husband, Mr. Carant, on these conditions, that if he should marry again, have a son, and give him the name of Cook (fn. 8). the said son should, at the age of 21, enjoy this sum of 1000l. otherwife to go as an augmentation to the alms-houses (fn. 9). This benefaction never took effect as intended. The houses were built, and still remain in Spring-street, but the reversionary bequests were never received. Mrs. Sarah Ray, in 1781, bequeathed the sum of 400l. the reversion of a piece of leasehold ground in West's gardens, and all her residuary property, after the payment of certain legacies, to the pensioners in Cook's alms-houses. No benefit has as yet accrued from this bequest, which has been the subject of litigation. There is another alms-house for poor widows in Cow-lane, but it has no endowment.

Benefactions for bread.

Mr. George Wilkinson, in 1684, gave the interest of 30l. to buy bread for the poor; Mr. James Cook, in 1699, gave 50l.; Captain Thomas Lemon, in 1720, 100l.; and Mrs. Martha Hornsby, in 1793, 100l. 3 per cent. for the same purpose.

Capt. James Cook gave the sum of 50l. to this parish, the interest of which has been employed in apprentidcing poor children.

Shadwell water-works.

The Shadwell water-works were first established in 1669, by Thomas Neale, Esq. lessee of the dean of St. Paul's estates in this parish. At first only one four-horse engine was employed. The works were rebuilt upon a larger scale in 1679, when two engines were erected. In 1687, for the purpose of securing his property, Mr. Neale applied for a character; when, meeting with difficulties in his suit, he strengthened his interest, and at the same time raised a considerable sum of money by dividing the undertaking into 36 shares. After three years the proprietors were made a body corporate, by letters patent, bearing date 1691; from which time till 1750, they continued to raise the water with horses. A steam-engine was then constructed on the original principle, which was found so inadequate to the purpose, that the company suffered considerable loss. In 1774, the improved steam-engine, as constructed by Messrs. Bolton and Watt, having been adopted, it was found, that with a great increase of powers (fn. 10), the consumption of coals was reduced two-thirds. The district served by the Shadwell water-works contains nearly 8000 houses, besides public buildings, extending from the Tower of London to Limehouse-bridge, and from Whitechapel to the river Thames.

Shadwell Spa-waters.

About fifty years ago, a mineral water of a very powerful nature (now called Shadwell Spa) was discovered by Walter Berry, Esq. in sinking a well in Sun-tavern fields. It is said to be impregnated with sulphur, vitriol, steel, and antimony. A pamphlet, published by D. W. Linden, M. D. in 1749, written as a puss for the water, extols it as an approved cure for almost every disorder incident to the human frame, either by drinking or bathing. I understand that it has been found very serviceable as an antiscorbutic, and in all cutaneous disorders. Of late, the water has been principally used for the purpose of extracting salts, for which the proprietors have had a great demand, and for preparing a liquor with which the calicoprinters fix their colours. The present proprietor intends to use it solely for medicinal purposes.

There is another mineral spring in the parish, of a quality resembling that of the postern waters on Tower-hill.


  • 1. From the information of the Rev. Mr. Griffiths, to whom I am indebted for several facts also relating to the present state of this parish.
  • 2. Parish Register.
  • 3. Arms—Three talbots on a chevron, impaling, a chevron between three talbots, on a chief three leopards' faces.
  • 4. Arms—On a chevron between three fleurs de lis, as many etoiles.
  • 5. Newcourt's Repertorium, vol. i.
  • 6. Proceedings of the Committees, Lamb. MS. Lib. vol. xxxiv. p. 175.
  • 7. The principal benefactors were: 1712, Dr. Nathaniel Resbury, rector, 50l. Mrs. Baynton, 50l. Capt. Thomas Lemon. 100l. 1712, Mr. Samuel Clarke, 50l. 1717, Mr. Andrew Chelton, 100l. Mr. Peter Russell, 50l. Mr. Cooper, 50l. 1790, Mr. John Flemming, 100l.
  • 8. Capt. James Cook was Lady Row's first husband.
  • 9. Circuit-walk annexed to Stow's Survey of London.
  • 10. The present engine's power of raising water is at the rate of 903 gallons in a minute; which is 52, 110 gallons in an hour, and 730, 520 gallons (or 2853 tons, 152 gallons) in a day of 14 hours, the usual time of working it. This account of the Shadwell water-works was obligingly communicated by William Frazer, Esq. clerk to the Company.