Shoreditch is a district in Central and North East London and located in the East End, is divided between the London boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets. A historic entertainment quarter since the 16th century, today it hosts a number of nightclubs and bars to the west, while the northern area of Hoxton is residential. In Tower Hamlets, a small part of Shoreditch is a small exclave separated by Bethnal Green from the rest of the district in East London, it is considered part of the district due to the now-closed Shoreditch tube station location; the district itself lies to the north and north east of the City of London while the exclave lies north and east of Spitalfields and south and west of Bethnal Green. Toponymists believe that the name comes from Old English "scoradīc", i.e. shore-ditch, the shore being a riverbank or prominent slope. One legend holds that the place was named "Shore's Ditch", after Jane Shore, the mistress of Edward IV, supposed to have died or been buried in a ditch in the area.
This legend is commemorated today by a large painting, at Haggerston Branch Library, of the body of Shore being retrieved from the ditch, by a design on glazed tiles in a shop in Shoreditch High Street showing her meeting Edward IV. But the area was known as "Soersditch". London County Council Survey of London attests to at least thirty deeds between 1150 and 1250 CE which refer to Shoreditch. Another suggested origin for the name is "sewer ditch", in reference to a drain or watercourse in what was once a boggy area, it may have referred to the headwaters of the Walbrook. In another theory, antiquarian John Weever claimed that the name was derived from Sir John de Soerdich, lord of the manor during the reign of Edward III. Though now part of Inner London, Shoreditch was an extramural suburb of the City of London, centred on Shoreditch Church at the old crossroads where Shoreditch High Street and Kingsland Road are crossed by Old Street and Hackney Road. Shoreditch High Street and Kingsland Road are a small sector of the Roman Ermine Street and modern A10.
Known as the Old North Road, it was a major coaching route to the north, exiting the City at Bishopsgate. The east–west course of Old Street–Hackney Road was probably a Roman Road, connecting Silchester with Colchester, bypassing the City of London to the south. Shoreditch Church is of ancient origin, it is featured in the famous line "when I grow rich say the bells of Shoreditch", from the English nursery rhyme "Oranges and Lemons". Shoreditch was the site of a house of canonesses, the Augustinian Holywell Priory, from the 12th century until its dissolution in 1539; this priory was located between Shoreditch High Street and Curtain Road to east and west, Batemans Row and Holywell Lane to north and south. Nothing remains of it today. In 1576, James Burbage built the first playhouse in England, known as "The Theatre", on the site of the Priory; some of Shakespeare's plays were performed here and at the nearby Curtain Theatre, built the following year and 200 yards to the south. It was here that Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet gained "Curtain plaudits", where Henry V was performed within "this wooden O".
Shakespeare's Company moved the timbers of "The Theatre" to Southwark at the expiration of the lease in 1599, in order to construct The Globe. The Curtain continued performing plays in Shoreditch until at least 1627; the suburb of Shoreditch was attractive as a location for these early theatres because it was outside the jurisdiction of the somewhat puritanical City fathers. So, they drew the wrath of contemporary moralists, as did the local "base tenements and houses of unlawful and disorderly resort" and the "great number of dissolute and insolent people harboured in such and the like noisome and disorderly houses, as namely poor cottages, habitations of beggars and people without trade, inns, taverns, garden-houses converted to dwellings, dicing houses, bowling alleys, brothel houses". During the 17th century, wealthy traders and French Huguenot silkweavers moved to the area, establishing a textile industry centred to the south around Spitalfields. By the 19th century, Shoreditch was the locus of the furniture industry, now commemorated in the Geffrye Museum on Kingsland Road.
These industries declined in the late 19th century. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Shoreditch was a centre of entertainment to rival the West End and boasted many theatres and music halls: The National Standard Theatre, 2/3/4 Shoreditch High Street. In the late 19th century this was one of the largest theatres in London. In 1926, it was converted into a cinema called The New Olympia Picturedrome; the building was demolished in 1940. Sims Reeves, Mrs Marriott and James Anderson all appeared here. There was considerable rivalry with the West End theatres. John Douglass wrote a letter to The Era following a Drury Lane first night, in which he commented that "seeing that a hansom cab is used in the new drama at Drury Lane, I beg to state that a hansom cab, drawn by a live horse was used in my drama... produced at the Standard Theatre... with real rain, a real flood, a real balloon." The Shoreditch Empire known as The London Music Hall, 95–99 Shoreditch High Street. The theatre was rebuilt in 1894 by Frank Matcham.
The architect of the Hackn
Cubitt Town is a district on the Isle of Dogs in London, Greater London, England. It is on the east of the Isle. To the west is Millwall, to the southwest is North Greenwich, to the northwest Canary Wharf and to the north, across the Blue Bridge, Blackwall, it is in Cubitt Town Ward of Tower Hamlets London Borough Council. It is named after William Cubitt, Lord Mayor of London, responsible for the development of the housing and amenities of the area in the 1840s and 1850s to house the growing population of workers in the local docks, shipbuilding yards and factories; as it grew, Cubitt created many local businesses employing manual labourers as well as the streets of housing to accommodate them. For many years this area was home to a number of shipbuilders, such as Westwood, Samuda Brothers, J & W Dudgeon and Yarrow Shipbuilders. Noteworthy ships launched here included HMS Prince Albert, the first British warship designed to carry her main armament in gun turrets; the businesses included those involved in cement and brick production.
Asphalt production was another growth industry, coinciding with the growth and industrialisation of areas throughout the British Isles. In Cubitt Town, the Pyrimont Wharf was developed in 1861 by the Asphalte de Seyssel Company of Thames Embankment, with asphalt production taken over in the 1870s by Claridge's Patent Asphalte Company. Estates in the area include: New Union Wharf Estate - East Thames Housing Samuda Estate - One Housing St John's Estate - One Housing Amsterdam Road - Private Millennium Wharf - PrivateThe area is a mix of old east London working-class communities transplanted into 1960s and 1970s high-rise estates and the middle-class workers in the Canary Wharf complex attracted by low prices for riverside living, plus less recent Bangladeshi and East Asian immigrant populations. A public library was financed by Andrew Carnegie and built by C. Harrold Norton, being completed in 1905. Will Crooks, the Mayor of Poplar had attended a meeting at the Guildhall, where Carnegie had promised to fund public libraries.
Crooks was able to get a commitment form him to pay for two libraries, this one in Cubitt Town and another in Bromley by Bow. Carnegie agreed to provide £15,000 for both together; the total expense for this building was £6,805 13s 10d, which included some neighbouring land which served as a public garden before providing space for an extension to be used a meeting hall and erected in 1962. The building is owned by the Tower Hamlets London Borough Council as part of their library service. Cubitt Town School St Luke's School George Green's School Cubitt town is home to a number of recreational facilities: St John's Park Millwall Park Island Gardens Mudchute, an urban farm described by the local authority as the largest urban farm in Europe The nearest stations are Crossharbour and Island Gardens on the Docklands Light Railway, both opened on the 31 August 1987. Current135 since 2008, 277 since 2016. D6 since 1989, D7 since 1989, D8 since 1991, N550 since 2008. Previous106 from 1983 to 1989, replaced by D6, N50 from 1995 to 2008, replaced by N550 Cubitt Town is connected to the National Road Network by the north-south Manchester Road A1206.
Access across the River Thames is by the Greenwich Foot Tunnel and the National Cycle Route 1 to the west. Canary Wharf Coldharbour Millwall Blackwall
Spitalfields is a locale and former parish in London, England. It is within Central London and located in the East End and part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets; the Liberty of Norton Folgate and the neighbouring Liberty of the Old Artillery Ground were merged into Spitalfields in 1921. The area straddles the locale around Commercial Street and west of Brick Lane, is home to several markets, including Spitalfields Market, the historic Old Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane Market and Cheshire Street. Petticoat Lane Market lies on the area's south-western boundaries, it is close to Liverpool Street station. The name Spitalfields appears in the form Spittellond in 1399; the land belonged to St Mary Spital, a priory or hospital erected on the east side of the Bishopsgate thoroughfare in 1197, from which its name is thought to derive. An alternative, earlier, name for the area was Lolsworth; the area, Spitalfields was covered with fields and nursery gardens until late in the 17th century when streets were laid out for Irish and Huguenot silk weavers.
The Romans had a cemetery to the east of the Bishopsgate thoroughfare, which follows the line of Ermine Street: the main highway to the north from Londinium. The cemetery was noticed by the antiquarian John Stow in 1576 and was the focus of a major archaeological excavation in the 1990s, following the redevelopment of Spitalfields Market. In 2013 lead isotope analysis of tooth enamel, by Dr Janet Montgomery of Durham University, led to the identification of the first person from Rome known to have been buried in Britain, she was a 25-year-old woman, buried in a lead-lined stone sarcophagus, with unique jet and intricate glass grave goods, around the middle of the 4th century A. D. In 1197, a priory, "The New Hospital of St Mary without Bishopsgate", latterly known as St Mary Spital, founded by Walter Brunus and his wife Roisia, was built on the site of the cemetery, it was one of the biggest hospitals in medieval England and had a large medieval cemetery with a stone charnel house and mortuary chapel.
The chapel has been preserved for public viewing. The priory and hospital were dissolved in 1539 under Henry VIII. Although the chapel and monastic buildings were demolished, the area of the inner precinct of the priory maintained an autonomous administrative status as the Liberty of Norton Folgate; the adjacent outer precincts, to the south, were re-used as an artillery ground and placed under the special jurisdiction of the Tower of London as one of its Tower liberties. Other parts of the priory area were used for residential purposes by London dwellers seeking a rural retreat and by the mid-17th century further development extended eastward into the erstwhile open farmland of the Spital Field. In 1729 Spitalfields was detached from the parish of Stepney becoming as a parish with two churches Christchurch Spitalfields and St Stephen's Spitalfields; the church of St Stephen Spitalfields was built in 1860 by public subscription but was demolished in 1930. The adjacent vicarage is all. In 1911 the parish of St Mary Spital became part of the civil parish of Spitalfields.
Spitalfields as a civil parish was abolished in 1965 on the establishment of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Spitalfields' historic association with the silk industry was established by French Protestant refugees who settled in the area after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. By settling outside the bounds of the City of London, they hoped to avoid the restrictive legislation of the City Guilds; the Huguenots brought with them little, apart from their skills, an Order in Council of 16 April 1687 raised £200,000 to relieve their poverty. In December 1687, the first report of the committee set up to administer the funds reported that 13,050 French refugees were settled in London around Spitalfields, but in the nearby settlements of Bethnal Green, Shoreditch and Mile End New Town; the late 17th and 18th centuries saw an estate of well-appointed terraced houses, built to accommodate the master weavers controlling the silk industry, grand urban mansions built around the newly created Bishops Square which adjoins the short section of the main east-west street known as Spital Square.
Christ Church, Spitalfields on Fournier Street, designed by the architect Nicholas Hawksmoor, was built during the reign of Queen Anne to demonstrate the power of the established church to the dissenting Huguenots, who had built ten chapels in the area. More humble weavers dwellings were congregated in the Tenterground; the Spitalfields Mathematical Society was established in 1717. In 1846, it merged with the Royal Astronomical Society. Spitalfields Market was established in 1638 when Charles I gave a licence for flesh and roots to be sold in what was known as Spittle Fields; the market receives around 25,000 visitors every week. Huguenots of Spitalfields is a registered charity promoting public understanding of the Huguenot heritage and culture in Spitalfields, the City of London and beyond, they arrange tours, talks and schools programmes to raise the Huguenot profile in Spitalfields and to raise funds for a permanent memorial to the Huguenots. From the 1730s Irish weavers came, after a decline in the Irish linen industry, to take up work in the silk trade.
The 18th century saw periodic crises in the silk industry, brought on by imports of French silk – in a lull between the wars between the two rivals. The depression in the trade, the price
Bow is a large district in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in East London. It was a suburb of the metropolitan area of London until 1965 when it was expanded, it spans in a crescent-like shape northeast to southwest from the Mace Street to Bow Common and west-east from Mile End and Bethnal Green to Stratford with it district centre being Roman Road Market. It is a built-up and residential, 4.6 miles east of Charing Cross. The area was part of Stratford, "Bow" is an abbreviation of the medieval name Stratford-at-Bow, in which "Bow" refers to the bowed bridge built here in the early 12th century. Bow is adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and a section of the district is part of the park. Old Ford, with it Fish Island, are taken to be part of Bow, but Bromley-by-Bow to the south, is a separate district; these distinctions have their roots in historic parish boundaries. Bow underwent extensive urban regeneration including the replacement or improvement of council homes, with impetus given by the staging of the 2012 Olympic Games at nearby Stratford.
Stratforde was first recorded as a settlement in 1177, the name derived from its Old English meaning of paved way to a ford. The ford lay on a pre-Roman trackway at Old Ford about 600 metres to the north, but when the Romans decided on Colchester as the initial capital for their occupation, the road was upgraded to run from the area of London Bridge, as one of the first paved Roman roads in Britain. The'paved way' is to refer to the presence of a stone causeway across the marshes, which formed a part of the crossing. In 1110 Matilda, wife of Henry I, reputedly took a tumble at the ford on her way to Barking Abbey, ordered a distinctively bow-shaped, three-arched bridge to be built over the River Lea, The like of which had not been seen before. Land and Abbey Mill were given to Barking Abbey for maintenance of the bridge, who maintained a chapel on the bridge dedicated to St Katherine, occupied until the 15th century by a hermit; this endowment was administered by Stratford Langthorne Abbey.
By 1549, this route had become known as The Kings Way. Responsibility for maintenance of the bridge was always in dispute, no more so than with the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when local landowners who had taken over the Abbey lands were found responsible; the bridge was widened in 1741 and tolls were levied to defray the expense, but litigation over maintenance lasted until 1834, when the bridge needed to be rebuilt and landowners agreed to pay half of the cost, with Essex and Middlesex sharing the other. The bridge was again replaced in 1834, by the Middlesex and Essex Turnpike Trust, in 1866 West Ham took responsibility for its upkeep and that of the causeway and smaller bridges that continued the route across the Lea. In 1967 this bridge was replaced by a new modern bridge by the Greater London Council who installed a two-lane flyover above it spanning the Blackwall Tunnel approach road, the traffic interchange, the River Lea and some of the Bow Back Rivers; this has since been expanded to a four-lane road.
There was a nearby Benedictine nunnery from the Norman era onwards, known as St Leonard's Priory and immortalized in Chaucer's description of the Nun Prioress in the General Prologue to his Canterbury Tales. However, Bow itself was still an isolated village by the early 14th century cut off from its parish church of St Dunstan's, Stepney by flood. In 1311 permission was granted to build St Mary's Church, Bow as a chapel of ease to allow the residents a local place of worship; the land was granted by Edward III, on the King's highway, thus beginning a tradition of island church building. Bow was made an Anglican parish of its own with St Mary's as its parish church; the new parish included the Old Ford area, known as North Bow. The Anglican parish churches of St Barnabas Bethnal Green and St Paul's, Old Ford are in the Bow West and Bow East wards respectively; the late 19th century and early 20th century saw three Roman Catholic churches built for the area - Church of Our Lady and St Catherine of Siena, Church of the Holy Name and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and The Guardian Angels Church.
Fairfield Road commemorates the Green Goose fair, held there on the Thursday after Pentecost. A Green Goose was a young or mid-summer goose, a slang term for a cuckold or a'low' woman. In 1630, John Taylor, a poet wrote At Bow, the Thursday after Pentecost, There is a fair of green geese ready rost, Where, as a goose is dog cheap there, The sauce is over somewhat sharp and deare. taking advantage of the double entendre and continuing with other verses describing the drunken rowdy behaviour of the crowds. By the mid-19th century, the authorities had had enough and the fair was suppressed. During the 17th century Bow and the Essex bank became a centre for the slaughter and butchery of cattle for the City market. Additionally the piggery which used the mash residue produced by the gin mills at Three Mills meant a ready supply of animal bones, local entrepreneurs Thomas Frye and Edward Heylyn developed a means to mix this with clay and create a form of fine porcelain, said to rival the best from abroad, known as Bow Porcelain.
In November 1753, in Aris's Birmingham Gazette, the following advertisement appeared: This is to give notice to all painters in the blue and
Limehouse is a district in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in East London. Located 3.9 miles east of Charing Cross, it is on the northern bank of the River Thames opposite Rotherhithe and between Stepney to the west and north, Mile End and Bow to the northwest and Poplar to the east, the Isle of Dogs to the south. A part of the Canary Wharf commercial estate is in Limehouse. Limehouse stretches from the end of Cable Street and Butcher Row in the west with Stepney to Stainsby Road near Bartlett Park in the east with Poplar; the area gives its name to Limehouse Reach, a section of the Thames which runs south to Millwall after making a right-angled bend at Cuckold's Point, Rotherhithe. The west-to-east section upstream of Cuckold's Point is properly called the Lower Pool; the name relates to the local lime kilns or, more lime oasts, by the river and operated by the large potteries that served shipping in the London Docks. The name is from Old English līm-āst "lime-oast"; the earliest reference is to Les Lymhostes, in 1356.
The name'Limehouse' is sometimes mistakenly thought to be derived from the nickname for the seamen that disembarked there, who had earned the name Lime-juicers or limeys after the obligatory ration of lime juice the Royal Navy gave their sailors to ward off scurvy. The name is found used in 1417:Inquisicio capta sup' litus Thomisie apud Lymhosteys pro morte Thome Frank. 17 Aug, 5 Henry V. inquest held before "les Lymehostes" within the liberty and franchise of the City, before Henry Bartone, the Mayor, the King's Escheator, as to the cause of the death of Thomas Franke, of Herewich, late steersman or "lodysman" of a ship called "la Mary Knyght" of Danzsk in Prussia. A jury sworn, viz. John Baille, Matthew Holme, Robert Marle, Henry Mark, Alexander Bryan, John Goby, Richard Hervy, Walter Steel, Peter West, Richard Stowell, John Dyse, Walter Broun, they find that the said Thomas Franke was killed by falling on the sharp end of an anchor From its foundation, like neighbouring Wapping, has enjoyed better links with the river than the land, the land route being across a marsh.
Limehouse became a significant port in late medieval times, with extensive docks and wharves. Although most cargoes were discharged in the Pool of London before the establishment of the docks, industries such as shipbuilding, ship chandlering and rope making were established in Limehouse. Limehouse Basin opened in 1820 as the Regent's Canal Dock; this was an important connection between the Thames and the canal system, where cargoes could be transferred from larger ships to the shallow-draught canal boats. This mix of vessels can still be seen in the Basin: canal narrowboats rubbing shoulders with seagoing yachts. From the Tudor era until the 20th century, ships crews were employed on a casual basis. New and replacement crews would be found wherever they were available - foreign sailors in their own waters being prized for their knowledge of currents and hazards in ports around the world. Crews would be paid off at the end of their voyages and permanent communities of foreign sailors became established, including colonies of Lascars and Africans from the Guinea Coast.
Large Chinese communities at both Limehouse and Shadwell developed, established by the crews of merchantmen in the opium and tea trades Han Chinese. The area achieved notoriety for opium dens in the late 19th century featured in pulp fiction works by Sax Rohmer and others. Like much of the East End it remained a focus for immigration, but after the devastation of the Second World War many of the Chinese community relocated to Soho. On 12 February 1832, the first case of cholera was reported in London at Limehouse. First described in India in 1817, it had spread here via Hamburg. Although 800 people died during this epidemic, it was fewer than had died of tuberculosis in the same year. Cholera visited again in 1848 and 1858; the use of Limehouse Basin as a major distribution hub declined with the growth of the railways, although the revival of canal traffic during World War I and World War II gave it a brief swansong. Today, Stepney Historical Trust works to advance the public's education in the history of the area.
Limehouse Basin was amongst the first docks to close in the late 1960s. By 1981, Limehouse shared the docklands-wide physical and economic decline which led to the setting up of the London Docklands Development Corporation. In November 1982, the LDDC published its Limehouse Area Development Strategy; this built on existing plans for Limehouse Basin, offered a discussion framework for future development, housing refurbishment and environmental improvements across the whole of Limehouse. It was based on four major projects: Limehouse Basin, Free Trade Wharf, what was known as the Light Rapid Transit Route and the Docklands Northern Relief Road, a road corridor between The Highway and East India Dock across the north of the Isle of Dogs. However, it was not until the mid-1980s with the abolition of the Greater London Council that the impetus for improvements to the infrastructure was provided; the key to development in Limehouse lay next door in the Isle of Dogs. Initial development plans on the island had been modest: light industrial development and a low rise business park.
The Limehouse Studios were an early development on the island: this was, technically, a misnomer, however, as the studios were located in South Quay, not, as the name suggests, Limehouse. By 1984
Whitechapel is a district in Central and East London and the future administrative centre of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, is a part of the East End, is 3.4 miles east of Charing Cross. Because the area is close to the London Docklands and east of the City of London, it has been a popular place for immigrants and the working class; the area was the centre of the London Jewish community in the 19th and early 20th century, the location of the infamous Whitechapel Murders of Jack the Ripper in the late 1880s. In the latter half of the 20th century, Whitechapel became a significant settlement for the British Bangladeshi community and today Brick Lane is an ethnic enclave known as Banglatown, as well as to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel Gallery, East London Mosque and the Royal Mint Court. Whitechapel's heart is Whitechapel High Street, extending further east as Whitechapel Road, named after a small chapel of ease dedicated to St Mary; the church's earliest known rector was Hugh de Fulbourne in 1329.
Around 1338, it became the parish church of Whitechapel, for unknown reasons, St Mary Matfelon. The church was damaged during the Blitz and demolished in 1952, its location and graveyard is now a public garden on the south side of the road. Whitechapel High Street and Whitechapel Road are now part of the A11 road, anciently the initial part of the Roman road between the City of London and Colchester, exiting the city at Aldgate. In times, travellers to and from London on this route were accommodated at the many coaching inns which lined Whitechapel High Street. By the late 16th century, the suburb of Whitechapel and the surrounding area had started becoming'the other half' of London. Located east of Aldgate, outside the City Walls and beyond official controls, it attracted the less fragrant activities of the city tanneries, breweries and slaughterhouses. In 1680, the Rector of Whitechapel, the Rev. Ralph Davenant, of the parish of St. Mary Matfellon, bequeathed a legacy for the education of forty boys and thirty girls of the parish – the Davenant Centre is still in existence although the Davenant Foundation School moved from Whitechapel to Loughton in 1966.
Population shifts from rural areas to London from the 17th century to the mid-19th century resulted in great numbers of more or less destitute people taking up residence amidst the industries and mercantile interests that had attracted them. In 1797, the body of the sailor Richard Parker, hanged for his leading role in the Nore mutiny, was given a Christian burial at Whitechapel after his wife exhumed it from the unconsecrated burial ground to which it was consigned. Crowds gathered to see the body. By the 1840s, along with the enclaves of Wapping, Bethnal Green, Mile End, Bow, Bromley-by-Bow, Poplar and Stepney, had evolved, or devolved, into classic "Dickensian" London, with problems of poverty and overcrowding. Whitechapel Road itself was not squalid through most of this period—it was the warrens of small dark streets branching from it that contained the greatest suffering and danger, such as Dorset Street, Thrawl Street, Berners Street, Wentworth Street, others. William Booth began his Christian Revival Society, preaching the gospel in a tent, erected in the Friends Burial Ground, Thomas Street, Whitechapel, in 1865.
Others joined his Christian Mission, on 7 August 1878 the Salvation Army was formed at a meeting held at 272 Whitechapel Road. A statue commemorates both his work in helping the poor. In the Victorian era the basal population of poor English country stock was swelled by immigrants from all over Irish and Jewish. Writing of the period 1883–1884, Yiddish theatre actor Jacob Adler wrote, "The further we penetrated into this Whitechapel, the more our hearts sank. Was this London? Never in Russia, never in the worst slums of New York, were we to see such poverty as in the London of the 1880s."This endemic poverty drove many women to prostitution. In October 1888 the Metropolitan Police estimated that there were 1,200 prostitutes "of low class" resident in Whitechapel and about 62 brothels. Reference is made to them in Charles Booth's Life and Labour of the People in London, specially to dwellings called Blackwall Buildings belonging to Blackwall Railway; such prostitutes were numbered amongst the 11 Whitechapel murders, some of which were committed by the legendary serial killer known as'Jack the Ripper'.
These attacks caused widespread terror in the district and throughout the country and drew the attention of social reformers to the squalor and vice of the area though these crimes remain unsolved today. The "Elephant Man" Joseph Merrick became well known in Whitechapel — he was exhibited in a shop on the Whitechapel Road before being helped by Dr Frederick Treves at the Royal London Hospital, opposite the actual shop. There is a museum in the hospital about his life. In 1902, American author Jack London, looking to write a counterpart to Jacob Riis's seminal book How the Other Half Lives, donned ragged clothes and boarded in Whitechapel, detailing his experiences in The People of the Abyss. Riis had documented the astoundingly bad conditions in large swaths of the leading city of the United States; the Siege of Sidney Street in January 1911 was a gunfight between police and military forces and Latvian revolutionaries. Home Secretary Winston Churchill took over
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo