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Lambeth & Southwark churches
Cope family in 1881

Streets in the City of London (Oldham and Wood families of Suffolk & London))
Lombard St takes its name from Lombardy in Italy the land being originally granted by King Edward I to goldsmiths from that region. It was also the main centre for banking and is probably where Nathaniel Oldham, William's son, worked before being sent to the bank in Sydney. (He was baptised there)
Click on the links to see photos of St Edmund the King and Martyr on the north side. Not far away is Gracechurch Street.
~St Michael's, Crooked Lane was completely destroyed in the Fire of London and rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren. Charles and John Wesley attended this new church several times around 1737-8. Eventually in the 1830s the church was removed for easier access to London Bridge.
~St Giles, Cripplegate is in the north of the City of London, an area now known as the Barbican, heavily blitzed in WW2 and rebuilt as the Arts Centre of London.
~St Botolph's is on Aldersgate St which runs northwards from St Paul's Cathedral to Clerkenwell. (The suffix 'gate' signifies a way leading from a gate in the ancient city wall.) John Wesley was converted in a meeting house here in 1738.

Churches of Southwark and Lambeth - live links to other web sites - use your back arrow to return to this page.

Christchurch, Southwark (photo) Return

St Andrew, Coin St, Lambeth. St Andrew's was destroyed during the blitz and completely re-built in 1960. Return

St George the Martyr, Southwark, (photo and historical note) built 1735. It is commonly known as 'Little Dorrit's Church.' - see note below on The Old Curiosity Shop. Return

St John the Evangelist, Lambeth, (photo and details) is on Waterloo Road opposite the modern terminus.The site of this church on Waterloo Road caused all the local churches to be referred to as "the Waterloo churches". St John's was one of four London churches of that name built to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Begun in 1822, it was built in the Greek style with colonnaded portico,being completed and consecrated in 1824. In 1885 it was renovated and then altered internally in 1924. In 1940 it was bombed, most of the interior being destroyed. In 1950 it was largely re-modelled and was re-dedicated in 1951 as the Festival of Britain church. At last in 1998 it celebrated its restoration. It is designated as a Grade II listed building.

In 1851 less than 18 percent of the people of Lambeth were attending church on Sundays, far less than the national average. Return

St Saviour's, Lambeth, now in Southwark. A fine church, in 1905 it was renamed as the Cathedral Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie for the newly formed Anglican diocese of Southwark..There has been a church here for over a thousand years, with some of the surviving stonework being Norman. Return

The Old Vic, formerly the Coburg, had a chequered history in its early days. There was also the Surrey Theatre and Astley's Amphitheatre, whose founder performed horse-riding stunts in a ring and whose proprietor from 1871 was "Lord" George Sanger. William (Bill) Holland, who took over the Canterbury Arms, the "mother of music-hall" - the tickets were free because the bar was so profitable - later turned Covent Garden Opera House into a circus!

River Thames
London River, The Thames Story, was an LWT television series. A book both entertaining and highly informative, was written by Gavin Weightman and published in 1990 by Guild Publishing. The book is based on the programs and details life along the river, every page having photographs, old prints or maps, mostly in full colour. Chapter 5, The Thames on Tap, tells the story of that most basic need and how it was met - or not, as was frequently the case. Return

The tide on the River Thames reaches a considerable distance up river. It was navigable up-river as far as Cricklade for many centuries. Over the centuries the banks have risen higher and river is far deeper now than in Roman times. At London Bridge the high water levels were less than 14 ft in 1791 but rose to nearly 16 ft by 1881. The embankments have risen higher to keep the floods out and there is still constant risk in spite of the building of the Thames flood barrier, begun in 1974.

Lightermen. The barge or lighter was used for moving goods, cargoes not passengers, which they conveyed from the docks to the wharves or from the shore to the ships. Although some distance down river from Lambeth, the goods still had to be brought up past London Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge. Timber in particular came in through the Surrey docks famous for its 'deal porters', men who carried impossibly heavy loads of deal on their shoulders.

The lighter was quite large but had no sail, being steered by very long oars and was moved about only by the force of the tide. The lighterman had to know the tides intimately, especially the way the water bounces from bank to bank  It was essential to serve an 'apprenticeship.' The elite of the docks, they were employed by master-lightermen and were very proud of their skills and their knowledge of the river. They had their own jargon - rowing was called 'driving', the oars were 'sweeps'.   Mayhew, in Mayhew's London, published in 1851, distinguishes between lighters and barges, claiming that the latter were larger and heavier and used mainly for carrying coal. He considered the lightermen rather superior to bargemen and other river workers, being mostly able to read and write, more often than not being proprietors, that is, running their own business, and being a "sober class of men." He adds, "A drunken lighterman, I was told, would hardly be trusted twice." 

In the second half of the nineteenth century  steamtugs were beginning to pull strings of barges. They were much more difficult to manoeuvre than the single barges, giving rise to Charles Dickens' complaint that they got in the way of pleasure steamers. As far as the barges went, even beyond Waterloo Bridge the mudlarks, often young children, scavenged coal spilled from the coal barges, especially where they were lying aground. A common sight all along the river bank they usually spent most of the day up to their waists in the mud feeling for odd scraps of coal or chips of wood which they could sell for a few pence. Return

A relevant website, the London Sampler, sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, with information, statistics and map of various such outbreaks of deadly diseases, can be found at cholera or typhus..Use your back arrow to return

An excellent description of the traditional work of a sawyer, copiously illustrated with photographs can be found in Don Steel's Discovering your Family History published by the BBC. Use your back arrow to return to this page. Return

For details of domestic service in London visit the London Sampler (see above) (Use your back arrow to return to this page.) A tax was imposed on male servants in 1877 which inevitably made their cost greater and ensured that more women were employed in domestic service than men. By 1851 nine out of ten servants were women. Return

The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens had been published in 1841 having appeared as a serial over the previous year. The central characters are a young girl called Nell and her aged father who have to wander the streets together. The book was well-established as a 'classic' but Ada may also have confused the story somewhat with that of Little Dorrit in the novel of that name. Little Dorrit, whose father was quite improvident, was born in the Marshalsea Debtor's Prison in Southwark and christened at St George's. There is even a representation of her - a fictional character of course - in a modern stained glass window in the church. The 'real' Marshalsea, opposite St George the Martyr's church, was actually closed in 1842 but a high wall still remains. Return

St Thomas's Hospital had been moved from its ancient home and rebuilt on its present site opposite the Houses of Parliament. Mrs Wardroper was still matron, and the Nightingale Training Schools for nurses and midwives, founded by Florence Nightingale, was still based there. (See Florence Nightingale by Cecil W.Smith)) Return

George V

Garibaldi had visited London to the acclaim of huge crowds in 1862, so this picture had probably been hanging there since the 1860s and as so often happens, everyone had ceased to notice it till now. Garibaldi was essentially a republican, a fiery character involved in many places, even as far away as South America, as a leader of rebellion. He was largely responsible for the unification of Italy which had till then been a set of small independent states constantly warring with each other through the centuries. Return

1881 Census for 34 and 35 Commercial Road

It's important to note the relationships to the head of the household:-

At no.34 was John Brown, head, his wife Elizabeth, and their two children, Rhoda and Abraham Elisha, the latter name being rendered Absalom in the printed version!

At no.35 was

relation to
head of house
where born
William Cope
Henry Geo
Francis Wm P
Ada Beat
Wm Samuel
retired sawyer
Coffee H Keeper
Southwark, London
Oxfordshire, Beddington
Middlesex, London

The Census gives the total of houses on the page as three when it should be four. There is a single stroke "\" between the two, which should have been "\\", so the second dwelling has no Head of Household. Even so Sophia appears to be 'head'. William cannot be the 'grandfather' of the head of household but father-in-law. In any case these relationships are nonsense if applied to John Brown! One further error is the name 'Beddington' there being only one and in Surrey, but none in Oxfordshire. It is possible that the enumerator misheard it and it could be Bledington or Deddington in Oxfordshire. There is one further column for infirmities. A number 2 would indicate blindness but this column is blank so either his blindness was concealed by the enumerator or he went blind later as he lived till 1883. Return



West Surrey

Bellfield, Slyfield (Slyford Green) Green, Stoughton and Merrow are now suburbs of Guildford. The first 3 of these are north of Guildford centre, now a rather 'industrial' group of what must have once been very small hamlets. Merrow is about 2m NE of the centre.
Bramley History Society
Blackheath Wonersh