Whitechapel, situated in London's famous East End, was so-named after a chapel dedicated to St Mary that was destroyed during the Second World War. While sixteenth-century Whitechapel was home to numerous foundries, breweries and tanneries by the mid-eighteenth century poverty and overpopulation had struck. Perhaps best-known for the horrific 'Whitechapel Murders' between 1888 and 1891, the Whitechapel of today is a cultural melting pot. Much like Whitechapel and the rest of the East End, Stepney was largely marshland until the nineteenth century and the expansion of London's docks and railways. Today, only a few vestiges of the district's Georgian and Victorian architecture survive, having given way to brick flat towers and terraced homes.
Robert Bard is an author and historian, a former pilot for Jersey European Airways, and a long time keen yachtsman who has had a continuous contact with Alderney, Guernsey and Jersey for over thirty-five years. He has written several books for Amberley Publishing, including Elstree & Borehamwood Through Time and Tyburn, the Story of London's Gallows. He lives in Elstree.