London in 1842

“The metropolis of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland … extends from Woolwich and Bow to Fulham and Hammersmith, and from Highgate to Norwood, including the cities of London and Westminster, with their liberties, and the towns, parishes, &c. &c. which cover this vast area. The streets of the city, with the exception of the great thoroughfares, are for the most part narrow and irregular; but the main lines of traffic and communication are wide and noble, as are the more recently built parts of this enormous city… The public edifices are innumerable, and for magnificence may vie with those of any city in the world… The prodigious docks, with their immense bonding-warehouses… convey the notion of wealth and commerce completely stupendous… By means of the river, London ranks as the first port of the kingdom… The squares, which are usually ornamentally planted, are of great advantage to some districts, in regard to health. But the parts of the metropolis inhabited by the poorer classes, are yet the prolific sources of disease; and the retention of Smithfield market and the slaughter-houses in the very heart of London must also be noticed as a heavy drawback on the health, safety, and even morality of the city… The city of London is under the control of a corporation, of enormous wealth; whose practical inefficiency, and steadfast resistance of all reformation or change, are matters of painful notoriety. Population, London (within the walls), 54,626; (without the walls), 70,382. Total metropolitan, 1,873,676.”

(From Barclay’s Complete and Universal English Dictionary, 1842.)

City of London, County of London, ancient counties

“London City is a County in itself and is divided into Wards whose boundaries do not coincide with those of the parishes in the City. In 1889 the Administrative County of London was formed from the City of London, and parts of Middlesex, Kent and Surrey and was divided into boroughs. In 1963 this County was replaced by Greater London which also took in the rest of Middlesex and parts of Essex and Herts as well as some county boroughs. New London boroughs were then formed.”

[T.V.H. FitzHugh, The Dictionary of Genealogy, 1994.]