Stepney & Mile End

Stepney appeared in the Domesday Book in the 11th Century as ‘Stibenhede’, and by 1300 was called ‘Stybenhithe’.

The name probably means ‘hithe’ (landing place) of Stybba, a Saxon leader. Mile End marked the point one mile east of the City of London from Aldgate.

Two Stepney notables and contemporaries of Barnardo were:

William Booth (1829-1912) was a committed Christian who began holding public services in a tent on Mile End Waste (now Mile End Road) in 1865. After moving into New Street, Whitechapel, his organisation – the East London Christian Mission – provided cheap food for anyone who needed it. Soon it expanded to include accommodation, a Labour Exchange and a missing person’s bureau. In 1878 he changed its name to The Salvation Army, which still continues the work Booth started.

Miriam Moses (1886-1965) was born in Stepney. She constantly worked to improve the lives of young people in the East End and helped to form the Brady Girls’ Club in 1925. In 1931 she became the first woman Mayor of Stepney and the first Jewish woman Mayor in Britain.