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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 E/PHI
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1587-1895
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 2.59 linear metres (456 documents).
Name of creator(s): Various.


Administrative/Biographical history:

The manor of Stepney, also known as Stebunheath, was recorded in the Domesday Book as owned by the Bishop of London, and was probably part of the lands included in the foundation grant of the see of London circa 604. At this date the manor included Stepney, Hackney, and parts of Shoreditch, Islington, Hornsey and Clerkenwell; although parcels of land were later granted to other institutions and people, such as lands in Clerkenwell given to the priory of St Mary, Clerkenwell, and the Knights Hospitallers.

In 1550 the manors of Stepney and Hackney were surrendered to the King, who granted them to Lord Chamberlain Sir Thomas Wentworth. The manor stayed in the Wentworth family until Thomas, Lord Wentworth, the earl of Cleveland. He incurred large debts and was forced to mortgage the manors. The family eventually lost Hackney manor but retained Stepney until 1695 when it was sold to William Herbert, Lord Montgomery. In 1710 he sold it to Windsor Sandys. By 1754 it belonged to the Colebrooke family who held it until 1939. In 1926 all remaining copyholds were converted into freeholds.

The manor house at Stepney was used as a residence of the bishops of London and the Stepney meadows provided hay for his household's horses. The house later became known as Bishopswood or Bishops Hall, and later Bonner Hall.

Information from: 'Stepney: Manors and Estates', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 11: Stepney, Bethnal Green (1998), pp. 19-52 (available online).


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Spencer-Philip family; primarily papers relating to property transactions, including extracts from court rolls, abstracts of title, leases, plans and rents, for premises in the Manor of Stepney (Whitechapel, Stepney and Mile End) and in Essex. Also building leases and agreements relating to the King David's Fort Estate, St George's in the East, and papers and plans concerning construction of London and Blackwall railway through that estate; an Act of Parliament relating to roads in St Leonard Shoreditch; and family certificates (baptisms, marriages, burials). The collection includes a manorial custumal for the Manor of Stepney, 1587.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

E/PHI/001 to E/PHI/456.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records deposited in 1949.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

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