Lambeth, London Borough Genealogy

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Guide to London Borough of Lambeth ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Lambeth Palace.jpg

History[edit | edit source]

Borough of Lambeth coat of arms
Borough of Lambeth location
Borough of Lambeth logo

Until 1889, the county of Surrey included the present-day London borough of Lambeth. When it drew the boundaries for the London boroughs, the government initially suggested that the Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth and the Metropolitan Borough of Southwark be merged into a new borough. Finally, in addition to the historic riverside area of Lambeth, Kennington, Vauxhall, Stockwell, Brixton, the western part of Herne Hill, Tulse Hill and West Norwood as well as Streatham and Clapham and parts of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth became part of the new Borough. [1]

The origins of the name of Lambeth come from its first record in 1062 as Lambehitha, meaning 'landing place for lambs', and in 1255 as Lambeth. In the Domesday Book, Lambeth is called "Lanchei", likely in error. The name refers to a harbor where lambs were either shipped from or to. It is formed from the Old English 'lamb' and 'hythe'. South Lambeth is recorded as Sutlamehethe in 1241 and North Lambeth is recorded in 1319 as North Lamhuth.

The manor of Lambeth is recorded as being under ownership of the Archbishop of Canterbury from at least 1190. The Archbishops led the development of much of the manor, with Archbishop Hubert Walter creating the residence of Lambeth Palace in 1197 (See main picture above). Lambeth and the palace were the site of two important 13th century international treaties; the Treaty of Lambeth 1217 and the Treaty of Lambeth 1212. Edward, the Black Prince lived in Lambeth in the 14th century in an estate that incorporated the land not belonging to the Archbishops, which also included Kennington (the Black Prince road in Lambeth is named after him). As such, much of the freehold land of Lambeth to this day remains under Royal ownership as part of the estate of the Duchy of Cornwall. Lambeth was also the site of the principal medieval London residence of the Dukes of Norfolk, but by 1680 the large house had been sold and ended up as a pottery manufacturer, creating some of the first examples of English delftware in the country. The road names, Norfolk Place and Norfolk Row reflect the history and legacy of the house today.

Lambeth Palace lies opposite the southern section of the Palace of Westminster on the Thames. The two were historically linked by a horse ferry across the river. Until the mid-18th century the north of Lambeth was marshland, crossed by a number of roads raised against floods. The marshland in the area, known as Lambeth Marshe, was drained in the 18th century but is remembered in the Lower Marsh street name. With the opening of Westminster Bridge in 1750, followed by the Blackfriars Bridge, Vauxhall Bridge and Lambeth Bridge itself, a number of major thoroughfares were developed through Lambeth, such as Westminster Bridge Road, Kennington Road and Camberwell New Road. Until the 18th century Lambeth was still partly rural in nature, being outside the boundaries of central London, although it had experienced growth in the form of taverns and entertainment venues, such as theaters and Bear pits (being outside inner city regulations). The subsequent growth in road and marine transport, along with the development of industry in the wake of the industrial revolution brought great change to the area.

The area grew with an ever-increasing population at this time, many of whom were considerably poor. As a result, Lambeth opened a parish workhouse in 1726. In 1777 a parliamentary report recorded a parish workhouse in operation accommodating up to 270 inmates. On 18 December 1835 the Lambeth Poor Law Parish was formed, comprising the parish of St Mary, Lambeth, "including the district attached to the new churches of St John, Waterloo, Kennington, Brixton, Norwood". Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of twenty Guardians. Following in the tradition of earlier delftware manufacturers, the Royal Doulton Pottery company had their principle manufacturing site in Lambeth for several centuries. The Lambeth factory closed in 1956 and production was transferred to Staffordshire. However the Doulton offices, located on Black Prince Road still remain as they are a listed building, which includes the original decorative tiling.

Between 1801 and 1831 the population of Lambeth trebled and in ten years alone between 1831 and 1841 it increased from 87,856 in to 105,883. The railway first came to Lambeth in the 1840s, as construction began which extended the London and South Western Railway from its original station at Nine Elms to the new terminus at Waterloo via the newly constructed Nine Elms to Waterloo Viaduct. With the massive urban development of London in the 19th century and with the opening of the large Waterloo railway station in 1848 the locality around the station and Lower Marsh became known as Waterloo, becoming an area distinct from Lambeth itself.

The Lambeth Ragged school was built in 1851 to help educate the children of destitute facilities, although the widening of the London and South Western Railway in 1904 saw the building reduced in size. Part of the school building still exists today and is occupied by the Beaconsfield Gallery.[9] The Beaufoy Institute was also built in 1907 to provide technical education for the poor of the area, although this stopped being an educational institution at the end of the 20th century.[9]

Lambeth Walk and Lambeth High Street were the two principle commercial streets of Lambeth, but today are predominantly residential in nature. Lambeth Walk was site of a market for many years, which by 1938 had 159 shops, including 11 butchers. The street and surrounding roads, like most of Lambeth were extensively damaged in the Second World War. This included the complete destruction of the Victorian Swimming Baths (themselves built in 1897) in 1945, when a V2 Rocket hit the street resulting in the deaths of 37 people. [2]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]

Lambeth Cemetery, Tooting
Blackshaw Rd
Tooting, London SW17 0BY
Phone: +44 20 7926 4221

West Norwood Cemetery
Norwood Rd
West Norwood SE27 9JU
Phone: +44 20 7926 7999

Streatham Cemetery
Garratt Ln
London SW17 0LT
Phone: +44 20 7926 4221

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parishes[edit | edit source]

St John the Evangelist
Church address:
Wiltshire Road
Brixton, London SW9 7NE

St Paul
Church address:
184 Ferndale Road
Brixton, London SW9 8AH

Christ Church
Church address:
90 Brixton Road
London, SW9 6BE
Phone: 020 7587 0375

Christ Church and St John
Church address:
39 Union Grove
London SW8 2QJ
Phone: 020-7622 3552

St John the Evangelist
Church address:
Clapham Road
London SW9 9AR
Phone: 020-7498 4625

The Holy Spirit
Church address:
Narbonne Avenue
Clapham, London, SW4 9JS
Phone: 020 8675 8094

Holy Trinity and St Peter
Church address:
25 The Chase
London SW4 0NP
Phone: 020-7498 6879

St Paul
Church address:
Rectory Grove
Clapham SW4 0DX
Phone: 020 7622 2128

St John the Divine with St James the Apostle
Church address:
92 Vassall Road
London SW9 6JA
Phone: 020 7735 9340

St Mark
Church address:
337 Kennington Park Rd
London SE11 4PW
Phone: 020 7582 7029

St Mary

St Thomas

St Mary the Less

St Anne and All Saints
Church address:
Miles Street
South Lambeth Road
London SW8 1SA
Phone: 020 7735 3191

St Stephen
Church address:
St Stephen's Terrace
London SW8 1DH
Phone: 020-7564 1930

St Andrew
Church address:
Landor Road
London SW9 9JE

St Michael
Church address:
Stockwell Park Road
London SW9 0DA

Non Conformists[edit | edit source]

  • The Apostolic Church
  • Baptist
  • Christ Church
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Evangelical
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Lutheran
  • Methodist
  • Plymouth Brethren
  • Roman Catholic
  • Salvation Army
  • Seventh Day Adventist

There are a number of communities of non Christian religions including the following:

  • Baha'i
  • Buddhist
  • Scientology
  • Confucian
  • Jews
  • Muslim
  • Sikh

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the UK government from July 1837 to the present day. Prior to that, the only available records were those kept by the ecclesiastical bodies.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Occupations[edit | edit source]

While most of Lambeth's population work outside the Borough, Lambeth is a reasonably affluent area of London. The following Labor statistics for 2017 indicates the areas of employment actually practiced.

Employment by occupation (Jan 2017-Dec 2017) Lambeth

(Numbers) Lambeth(%) London(%) Great Britain(%)

Soc 2010 Major Group 1-3 130,000 63.4 55.5 45.7

  • 1 Mgrs, Dirs And Sen Offic 23,400 11.4 12.3 10.9
  • 2 Professional Occupations 65,400 31.8 25.6 20.3
  • 3 Assoc Profess & Tech 41,300 20.1 17.5 14.4

Soc 2010 Major Group 4-5 33,100 16.1 17.3 20.8

  • 4 Administrative & Secr 23,900 11.6 9.8 10.3
  • 5 Skilled Trades Occup 9,200 4.5 7.5 10.3

Soc 2010 Major Group 6-7 25,300 12.3 14.0 16.7

  • 6 Care, Leisure & Other Serv 17,200 8.4 7.1 9.1
  • 7 Sales And Customer Serv 8,100 3.9 6.8 7.5

Soc 2010 Major Group 8-9 16,700 8.2 13.2 16.9

  • 8 Process & Machine Oper # # 4.4 6.3
  • 9 Elementary Occupations 13,500 6.6 8.8 10.5[3]

Lambeth’s major business sectors include the creative and digital industries, professional and financial services, life sciences and healthcare and hospitality and tourism with major employers such as IBM, ITV, National Theatre, The South Bank Centre and Shell UK all established here.

Creative and Digital Industries Underpinned by a world class cultural offer, Lambeth is positioning itself as London’s next creative and digital industries hub. Already home to creative and tech giants ITV, IBM and soon to be HQ for Apple in neighbouring Battersea, we believe Lambeth offers the right environment for the fusion of these two industries.

Healthcare and life sciences Anchored by two of London’s leading hospitals, Guy’s St Thomas’s and King’s College, Lambeth is the focus for a cluster of healthcare and life services companies who range from traditional to highly innovative with incubators like the Health Foundry encouraging collaboration with new digital technologies.

Tourism, Hospitality, and Night Time Economy With top ten London visitor attractions such as the London Eye and Southbank Centre, along with the iconic town centre of Brixton, Lambeth is a hotspot for tourism. Hotels located on the South Bank have some of the highest occupancy rates in the country and cater equally for the tourist and corporate markets.

Our night time economy is thriving. Supporting 8,000 jobs, Lambeth’s clubs, bars, restaurants and theatres attract an in international audience. Brixton, Clapham, the South Bank and all have famed nightlife.

Lambeth’s food and hospitality offer certainly registers an impressive and varied footprint. We know that with an ever competitive market to attract the right talent, the hospitality and culture of an area is crucial to your choice of location. Extending from one of London’s busiest restaurant strips on the South Bank to new high end restaurants such as Mark Hix’s latest venture Pharmacy 2 and the long established and equally innovative indoor food markets of Brixton, Lambeth has the variety to cater to even the most niche requirements.

Professional and Financial Services Lambeth is increasingly a location of choice for professional and financial services who are attracted by central London floor space at competitive rates and central location position.[4]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "London Borough of Lambeth," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https:// Borough of Lambeth, accessed 19 May, 2018.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Lambeth," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://, accessed 19 May, 2018.
  3. Labour Market Profile, Lambeth," in,, accessed 27 May, 2018.
  4. Lambeth major business opportunities in Lambeth,, accessed 27 May, 2018.