St John the Baptist's Church, Leytonstone

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St John's Church

Although there was great opposition from the Lord of Leyton Grange Manor, David Gansell; owner of most of the tithes in the district, and the vicar of Leyton, Rev. John Dubordieu, saw no point in it, a small Chapel was built in the High Road, Leytonstone 1748-49. The vicar and his curate refused to assist with services , so they were held by a Mr Carter for sixteen months. A citation was issued against him atteh instigation of David Gansell, for officiating in an unlicenced chapel. There was an appeal to the Bishop and it appears that a compromise was reached where a person appointed and licenced by the Bishop might officiate, but services were not resumed until 1754.
In 1816 a movement was started to provide a resident clergyman, and in 1819 it was agreed to enlarge the chapel so that pew rents would provide a stipend of not less than £120. After thi the chapel was licenced for administration of teh Sacrement, but being leasehold, could not be consecrated. The Rev. Dr. Sampson became the first curate in charge.
By 1829 the chapel was too small for the needs of the area, and subscriptions were invited for the building of a proper church. It was well supported and building started in 1832. The site was purchased and given by William Cotton, of Walwood House, who was one of the prime movers in the project.
The new chapel of St John the Baptist and the burial ground were consecrated on 31st October 1833.

Kelly's Directory of 1922 says: the church, erected in 1833, is an edifice of white brick with stone dressings, in the Gothic style, consisting of  a small chancel, nave, north and south porches, and a light and graceful western tower with four crocketed pinnacles and containing a clock and 6 bells: the east window is stained and there are memorial windows, one in each side, to the Rev. Henry Herbert Evans M.A. 19 years vicar, and to the late Mr. William Davis: there are 950 sittings. The register dates from the year 1833.

Churchyard & Monumental Inscriptions
The churchyard has has been surveyed twice, once under the auspices of the Passmore Edwards Museum in 1985, who created a Record of Grave Inscriptions & Memorials in Church, and once in 2016 by members of the society. Although there have been many burials in the churchyard, a World War II bomb landing nearby damaged many grave stones and there are relatively few remaining readable.
The churchyard was closed to new burials in 1884, except for the re-opening of family graves that had space, thus burials fall off rapidly sfter this time.
This monumental inscription dataset makes use of both surveys,presenting information from the 1985 survey alongside the 2016 survey. Where the grave number assigned in the Passmore Edwards survey is known, this is given in the notes, and information from that survey is given a PE number.
The surveys are split into two areas, the churchyard (CY) and inside the church (CH). Maps of the two areas have been drawn:

The historical baptism, banns, marriage, and burial registers are held by Waltham Forest Archives and images are available to view on-line via Essex Ancestors. A couple of registers have been transcribed and are available to search on this site. They have only been single-keyed and the transcription error rate has not been tested.
Marriages 1848 - 1928
Burials 1834 - 1979

On-line sources
The following original sources available on-line may be of use:

Church web site


St John's Leytonstone

Search for someone listed in the burial register for St John's:


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