Home > London’s Sailortown, 1600-1800. Morris, Derek, and Ken Cozens. 2014

London’s Sailortown, 1600-1800. Morris, Derek, and Ken Cozens. 2014


Morris, Derek, and Ken Cozens.  

London’s Sailortown, 1600-1800: a social history of Shadwell and Ratcliff, an early modern London riverside suburb.  

East London History Society.  


ISBN 978-0-9564779-2-7. 

207 pages. 


Derek Morris and Ken Cozens have added to their impressive catalogue of interesting and informative books on the history of inner London to the east of the Tower1 with the publication of this book.  Their coverage of that part of London associated with James Cook is now extensive and they are to be congratulated on their scholarship.


Cook content in this book is minimal, though he appears 11 times in the index.  The book’s main value for us, like its predecessors, is to provide background information about the area of London to which Cook moved, and which produced his wife, Elizabeth.  The Cooks lived in Shadwell for a short time and St. Paul’s was their local church.


While the book is most interesting, some editing and reorganisation would have helped.  For example, the authors’ methodology is included in the first chapter and then repeated in more detail as an appendix.  Then “Disputes with rectors” is covered in two separate chapters with no link given between the two—strangely the extensive and seemingly comprehensive indexes have no entry for rectors. 


These are, perhaps, small quibbles, but it seems a pity that the gloss is taken off an excellent book this way.



John Robson



  1. Morris, D. B.  Mile End Old Town, 1740 –1780: a social history of an early modern London suburb.  East London History Society. 
    First edition 2002.  Reviewed in Cook’s Log, page 18, vol. 26, no. 1 (2003). 
    Second edition 2007.  Reviewed on page 35, vol. 30, no. 3 (2007). 
    Morris, Derek, and Ken Cozens.  Wapping, 1600–1800: a social history of an early modern London maritime suburb.  East London History Society.  2009. 
    Reviewed in Cook's Log, page 45, volume 32, no. 3 (2009).
    Morris, Derek.  Whitechapel, 1600–1800: a social history of an early-modern London inner suburb.  East London History Society.  2011. 

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 33, volume 38, number 2 (2015).


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Another review of this book can be found on page 12 of issues 1055 of the newspaper "East End Life", which can be viewed online at
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