Creator_NameStepney Meeting House
John Knox Church
TitleRecords of Stepney Meeting House and John Knox Presbyterian Church
Date1644 - 1986
DescriptionScope and content
W/SMH/A/1 Church Books
W/SMH/A/2 Registers of Baptisms
W/SMH/A/3 Registers of Marriages
W/SMH/A/4 Registers of Burials
W/SMH/A/5 Registers of Graves
W/SMH/A/6 Registers of Members and Related Records
W/SMH/A/7 Records of Church Meetings
W/SMH/A/8 Records of Deacons' meetings
W/SMH/A/9 Records of Committees for Managing Vacancies in the Pastorate
W/SMH/A/10 Records of the Committee for Rebuilding Stepney Meeting
W/SMH/A/11 Records of the Organ and Renovation Committee
W/SMH/A/12 Trustees' Records [see also W/SMH/A/13]
W/SMH/A/13 Evidences of Title and other Records re Property
W/SMH/A/14 Records re Schools
W/SMH/A/15 Records of the Women's Sunday Union
W/SMH/A/16 Records of the Compassionate Society
W/SMH/A/17 General Bills and Receipts
W/SMH/A/18 Bills and Receipts re Mapp's Charity
W/SMH/A/19 Account Books
W/SMH/A/20 Miscellaneous Records re Finances
W/SMH/A/21 Manuscript Sermons
W/SMH/A/22 Printed Sermons and Lectures
W/SMH/A/23 Plans
W/SMH/A/24 Magazines
W/SMH/A/25 Histories
W/SMH/A/26 Miscellaneous Records
W/SMH/B/1 Registers of Baptisms
W/SMH/B/2 Registers of Marriages
W/SMH/B/3 Communicant Rolls
W/SMH/B/4 Minutes of Sessions
W/SMH/B/5 Other Sessions Records
W/SMH/B/6 Minutes of Deacons' Meetings
W/SMH/B/7 Financial Records
W/SMH/B/8 Miscellaneous Records
W/SMH/B/9 Records of the Presbyterian Dockland Council

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Extent28 files, 76 volumes and 104 items
AdminHistoryAdministrative History
The congregation was formed in 1644 and in 1674 a Meeting House was built on a piece of ground to the west of St.Dunstan's Church, south of Stepney Green and near what is now the corner of Stepney Way and Garden Street. This building, which later became known as the Old Meeting House, was demolished in 1863 and a new Meeting House was built close by on the same piece of ground. Badly bombed during World War II, the remains of this were demolished in 1950. A third Meeting House was then built, opening in 1960; this was on the south side of Stepney Way (corner with Copley Street), a short distance away. When the Congregational Church of England and Wales, and the Presbyterian Church of England, decided to amalgamate to form the new United Reformed Church in 1972, Stepney Meeting joined up with the John Knox Presbyterian Church some 400 yards further west along Stepney Way. For a short while both buildings continued to be used for worship, but in 1976 the building on the corner with Copley Street was sold to the John Cass Foundation for use as a school chapel. The United Church, now worshipping in what had been the John Knox Church, decided to use the name Stepney Meeting.
For a more detailed account of the history of Stepney Meeting House, see Revd. L.G.Ward's pamphlet Stepney Meeting House:A History, 1644 to 1978 [a copy is held in the Local History Library, LP 4207, class 222.4], which includes a chronological list of the Ministers. Revd.D.Lysons' The Environs of London (1795), vol.3, p.445 [Local History Library, L.18, class 010] refers to the small burial ground belonging to Stepney Meeting, and lists 8 tombs there [Daniel Agace, 'the first person there interred', 1781; Capt.James Bruce jun., 1781; Capt.James Bruce sen., 1794; Charles Mapp, 1785; Mrs.Anne Hurd, 1786; Henrietta Walker, 1787; Mrs.Jane Edmeston, 1787; and Mrs.Mary Angus, 1789].
In common with most other nonconformist chapels, Stepney Meeting [also known as the Bull Lane Independent Chapel] sent its records of births and baptisms (1644 - 1837), marriages (1646-1677) and burials (1780-1837) to the Registrar-General; a note in TH/8337/1, from which the pages recording these were taken, states that the volume was re-bound in January 1837. These registers are now held by the Public Record Office in Chancery Lane, ref.R.G.4/4414 and R.G.8/70 (U.A.17). Microfilm copies now available in the Local History Library. For an index to the marriages, 1646-1677, see pamphlet LP 4531, class 120.1, in the Local History Library.
Access StatusOpen
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