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MARKET TOWNS OF SURREY (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Rotherhithe in 1842

Of the villages and parishes which adjoin the metropolis (London) on the south, we first notice Rotherhithe. This parish lies in an angle of the river Thames, at the north-east corner of the county, and has an area of 690 acres. It has one long narrow street winding along the bank of the river, and a number of smaller streets or lanes. A considerable part of the lower road to Deptford is in it. The houses are generally of the poorer sort, and a large part of the inhabitants consists of seamen, watermen, or persons connected with shipping, and with the trades which supply shipping. The church was built early in the last century : it is a plain brick building with stone quoins, with a square tower, surmounted by a stone spire, at the west end. Among the monuments in the churchyard is that of Prince Lee Boo. The population of the parish in 1831 was 12,875. The Grand Surrey Canal and the basins connected with it are wholly in this parish, also the Commercial Docks and ponds, and the East Country Docks. There are several ship-building yards, timber-yards, and other establishments connected with the ship-building business. There are also iron-works, corn-mills, and extensive granaries and warehouses for goods. The Thames Tunnel, now almost completed, has one of its entrances near Rotherhithe church.

The living is a rectory, of the clear yearly value of £772. Three new churches, or epsicopal chapels have been erected, and there are several places of worship for Dissenters.

There were in 1833 twenty-eight day-schools of all descriptions, with 852 children, namely 493 boys end 359 girls ; and five Sunday schools, with 750 children, namely 338 boys and 412 girls. Among the day-schools were the 'Free Charity and Amicable Society' Schools with 150 boys and 50 girls ; the 'United Society School' supported by subscription, with 51 boys ; and a charity-school with 50 girls, 20 of whom were clothed by the institution. Rotherhithe and Bermondsey are, for parliamentary purposes, included in the borough of Southwark.