how do I decide whether to use Islington, Middlesex or Islington, London?

+6 votes

I just realised we have both [[Category:Islington, London]] and [[Category:Islington, Middlesex]]. Are these different names for the same thing and should be merged, or distinct (place or time) and need guidelines added to the top to decide which one to use?

Also, are Subcategories St Mary, Islington and Holy Trinity, Islington more precise localities within Islington, or churches that profiles might have been baptised, married or buried in?

in Policy and Style by Scott Davis G2G6 Mach 2 (20.9k points)
retagged by Lynda Crackett
Can't comment in the official position. London and other English categories are in the midst of change . I can tell you that St Mary Islington is the original parish church from when Islington was a village outside the city, surrounded by fields. Its still the church used for local civic services. As the area grew with more and more housing, more churches were needed for the growing population.Holy Trinity, Cloudesley Square) was one if those. (built 1820s) I suspect people use the categories to show where people were baptised, married, buried.

5 Answers

+11 votes
Best answer
Generally i go by the date. Many places in Middlesex became part of the county of London in 1889 so if a person was born in Islington Pre-1889 I categorise as Islington, Middlesex. If born post 1889 then I categorise as Islington, London.
by Michelle Wilkes G2G6 Pilot (142k points)
selected by Scott Davis
The classification of Islington as London from 1889 is correct. From 1965 it became part of Greater London, though that term is obsolete since 1986 when the GLC was abolished.

However speaking as the secretary of the Middlesex Athletics Association we still claim Islington - and most other parts of London north of the river Thames and west of the river Lea.
+5 votes
I like to think London refers specifically to the 1 square mile (I think 1 square mile is right) of the old city and Middlesex would refer to the rest of Greater London?

That's how I would use the London/Middlesex dilemma.

Can't answer to the subcategories concern, sorry.
by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
Greater London has only existed since 1965, before that it would be the counties.
Yes that's what I mean, You use Middlesex instead of London, (which most people do) because London really only refers to the 1 square mile of the old city. For any profiles dated before 1965 that is.

So Islington, Middlesex, and Notting hill, Middlesex, and Chelsea Middlesex..  Most people have used London on their profiles - even I am guilty of doing that.

As somebody who was born in Greater London and has many generations of ancestors from what is now known as Greater London, I can safely say that sadly it is not that simple.

The central area is often referred to as the City of London, or Londoners would just call it The City. Moving outwards from the centre it depends which direction you go as to which county you enter. Broadly speaking West or North would have been Middlesex, which no longer officially exists, but South or East would be Surrey, Kent or Essex.

The dates are also not as simple as just before or after 1965. Although it is true that Greater London has only existed since 1965, from 1889 to 1965 there was the County of London (see I have a number of copies of entries from marriage registers from the early 20th century where the location has been entered as the County of London.

I have not yet worked out how to categorise the profiles I manage, so if there is an official review underway of London (and England) location categories then I look forward to seeing the conclusions.

Thank you Paul.

I've never been to the UK, (but I do read a lot) so I'm clearly not an expert.

I apologise if I am leading anyone astray.
Robynne, you do need to appreciate that Greater London also covers parts of the extant counties of Surrey, Kent and Essex. it isn't just Middlesex.

In our terms, you will see if you look that City of London is now classified with the other London Boroughs at the same level as say City of Westminster.
+4 votes
Scott, broadly speaking, which category you use will depend on the time period for the profile in question.   If the relevant profile is after 1965, you should use "Islington, London", but if before, use "Islington, Middlesex".
by Leigh Murrin G2G6 Mach 3 (32.4k points)
+10 votes
The official answer is on the Middlesex page and the Greater London page for everyone to read. Over the years people have created X, London and X, Middlesex or X, Surrey seemingly at random. When I came to sort out the two categories, I decided it was quite impossible to disentangle the two at that stage. So there will be plenty of profiles where the date rules mentioned above are not correct.

To be honest I don't really think it matters. We just need to realise that profiles linked to X may be in either place.

The essential with Greater London is to keep the Boroughs clear. The only use of [London, England] as a category should be for those which cannot be assigned more precisely. But that is also stated on the GL page.

P.S. St Mary Islington and Holy trinity Islington are churches. There is some confusion over churches because of the overlapping interests of the Religious institutions Project. I am not in charge of churches although I do try to keep an eye on them from the GL perspective.
by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (258k points)
edited by anonymous
+5 votes

The structure of London just before the 1666 Fire can be made out on this Bill of Mortality.

The top block is the 97 tiny but jam-packed parishes of "London within the walls".

But as soon as there were walls, there were people living outside the gates.  So the City was always keen to extend its power, while reserving its privileges.

At an early date the City extended its power over the 16 parishes of "London outside the walls" which are the 2nd block on the Bill (with double the population of the walled area).  This includes Southwark, south of the river, which had been a borough.

Later the City took control of the 12 "out-parishes", the 3rd block, which includes Islington.  But for national government purposes, these parishes were still covered by the Sheriffs of Middlesex, not the City sheriffs.

The 4th block is the 5 parishes of the so-called "City" of Westminster, which wasn't controlled by the City but was often lumped with London for convenience.

Then in the 19th century, "London" was often defined as the territory of the Metropolitan Board of Works, which organized sewers and stuff and eventually morphed into the London County Council.  

For other purposes, "London" was the Metropolitan Police area.  (Pedants will point out here that the City doesn't run the Met, but has retained its own separate City police force)

Then there was the London Postal area, where parishes and counties were dropped from postal addresses in favour of "London SE15" etc.


by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (572k points)

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