This list covers the records of the hamlet, later parish, of Hammersmith until 1885. Although the hamlet of Hammersmith remained part of the parish of Fulham until 1834, the Hammersmith vestry had, since the early 17th century, been responsible for the administration of the Hammersmith 'side' of the parish. In 1855 most of the responsibilities of the vestries of Fulham and of Hammersmith passed to the Fulham District Board of Works, although parish officials continued to collect rates. In 1885 the district board was dissolved and all its powers devolved upon the two reconstituted vestries. These powers were wider than those which the earlier vestries had enjoyed, and for this reason the lists of parish records have been divided at 1885. A few of the series of Hammersmith records, however, were not affected by the change: the then current vestry minute book itself (PAH/1/8) was continued, but recorded only details of the elections of vestrymen. The minute book of the board of overseers and of vestry committees (PAH/1/17) was also continued, but no further committees appeared after the separation committee. The board of overseers continued until the formation of the metropolitan boroughs in 1900. The burial board remained responsible to the parish, and also continued until 1900. Volumes begun before 1885 but ending after that date are included in the list, but later volumes in the same series are excluded, and will be listed with the other records of the reconstituted vestry.
Minutes of the vestry, the select vestry for the poor, the board of overseers, the burial board, the highways board and the lighting inspectors, 1730 - 1893
Rates and accounts of churchwardens, overseers of the poor and surveyors of highways, 1795 - 1892
Rates for the poor and other rates, 1629-30, 1820 - 1885
Surveys and valuations, 1793 - 1885
Vestry elections, 1821 - 1832
Poor law records, including workhouse register, 1730 - 1871
Papers concerning rating, 1781 - 1868
Registers and papers of burial board, 1869 - 1895
Records of charities, 1651 - 1922
Census returns, 1821, 1831
Voters' papers, 1834 - 1845
Returns of infant deaths, 1871 - 1886
Jurors' papers, 1835, 1848
This list replaces a previous list of the records of Hammersmith issued by the Metropolitan Borough of Hammersmith Public Libraries. The main series of Hammersmith parish records came into the custody of the Libraries' archivist in 1960. Smaller groups of records were also deposited with the archivist but were listed separately from the main series. In the present list these series have been amalgamated.
The oldest records of Hammersmith vestry have vanished: the earliest surviving vestry minute book (PAH/1/1) makes it plain that earlier minute books were then in existence. Some later records passed with the records of the Board of Guardians to the London County Council and are now in the London Metropolitan Archives. They include the first minute book of the select vestry (1822-3), minutes of the workhouse committee, records of overseers' disbursements, removal orders, and minutes of the association for the prosecution of thieves and felons. (See ND/2/9 for a detailed list).
Information concerning the workhouse has been obtained from "An account of the endowed charities and benefactions of the parish of Hammersmith", 1890.
|Administrative / biographical background:
The workhouse was built in 1729 on land in King Street belonging to the Trustees of the Crispe and Latymer Charities. It was governed by a master who was appointed and supervised by the overseers with the help of a committee appointed by the vestry. There were frequent complaints that the committee did not fulfil its role, and it was periodically re-appointed. In 1782 the vestry decided to farm the management of the workhouse, and a governor was appointed. In 1791 a committee was appointed to investigate the affairs of the workhouse, and in 1792 the workhouse was brought back under parish control; a new master and workhouse committee were then appointed.
When Hammersmith became part of the Kensington Union in 1837 the boys of the union were located in the Hammersmith workhouse. In 1845 Fulham and Hammersmith formed the Fulham Union. A new union workhouse was opened in Fulham in 1849, replacing the earlier workhouses in both parishes. The building at Hammersmith was pulled down in 1853.
The earliest surviving rating list (PAH/1/41) is headed 'Hammersmith' and broken by the heading 'Waterside'. The list is incomplete. Hammersmith lists in Fulham records of the period are not divided into districts. The next surviving volume containing rating lists (PAH/1/27) covers the years 1795 - 1800. The divisions are 'North side, the great road beginning at Counters Bridge; South side; From Chiswick; Angel Lane; Queen Street, west wide; Queen Street, east side; Fulham and Back Lane; Brook Green; Shepherds Bush; Starch Green; Gaggle Goose Green; Pallingswick Green; Paradise Row, and Out Dwellers.' The tendency to divide by streets rather than by districts had been carried further by the time of the next surviving list, for 1820 (PAH/1/42). The list begins with 'King Street north, beginning at Counters Bridge' and moves northwards, ending with 'Wormholt Wood Lane'.
In June 1856 (PAH/1/97), following the Metropolis Management Act, the parish was divided into three collecting districts, east, west and north, the boundaries being Dalling Road and Goldhawk Road. The previous street order was thus unaffected.
In September 1869 (PAH/1/126) the parish was re-divided into five numbered districts. No.1 covered the area south of King Street, No.2 King Street to Goldhawk Road east of Hammersmith Grove, No.3 King Street to Goldhawk Road west of Hammersmith Grove, No.4 Goldhawk Road to Uxbridge Road, and No.5 north of Uxbridge Road. These districts remained unaltered.
Under the Metropolis Management Act of 1855, lighting in the parish was provided under the terms of an adoptive Act of 1833. The Act was not adopted by the parish as a whole but three small lighting districts were established. In December 1843 the Western district was formed; it comprised 'The High Road commonly called the Great Western Road [now King Street] from Ravenscourt Park Lodge to the corner of the New Road [Goldhawk Road] at Turnham Green, and on the north side...including Marlboro' Cottages, James's Cottages, Rusina Villas, and also the Park Cottages, and on the south side...St. Peter's Square, George Street, St. Peter's Place, St. Peter's Terrace, Black Lion Lane, Beavor Lane, the Upper Mall and Hammersmith Terrace' (PAH/1/25).
In December 1844 the Town district was created, comprising 'The Main Road from the Bell and Anchor eastward to Queen's Place westward..., The Broadway, and as much of Queen Street as lies between the Fulham Road and the main road or Great Western Road [King Street]...' (PAH/1/26/1).
A third district was formed in February 1854 comprising 'The Grove, extending northward to the Goldhawk Road and southward to King Street, the Dartmouth Road, the Ravenscourt Road, the Goldhawk Road extending from the corner of Albion Road westward to the White horse brewery eastward, together with the streets, lands, houses, and other rateable properties abutting on the said roads' (PAH/1/26/2). Although the existence of the district is mentioned in the earliest volume of minutes of the Fulham Board of Works, its records have not survived. North End and Walham Green Lighting district (Fulham) of which no records survive, is also mentioned in this volume.