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Wapping 1600-1800: a social history of an early modern London Maritime suburb Morris, Derek and Cozens, Ken. 2009


Carr 1983Wapping 1600-1800: a social history of an early modern London Maritime suburb
By Derek Morris and Ken Cozens, and published by The East London History Society in 2009. ISBN 978-0-9506258-9-8

If you have read CCS member Derek Morris's previous local history publication Mile End Old Town 1740-17801 then you will correctly anticipate the high quality of his new publication.

Working with his colleague Ken Cozens, he has distilled many years of research into another local history publication that is both readable as well as being an excellent reference tool.

If the author's name is not sufficient evidence of the superior standard of this work, then let me tell you what you get for your money. The 182 pages contain fifteen chapters, numerous appendices, excellent illustrations and statistical tables, and the usual comprehensive indices of people and places.

Anybody with a passing interest in England's maritime history should buy this book for the four chapters on Ship Owners, International Traders, Coastal Trade, and Victualling the Navy. The chapter on the maritime artist Francis Holman is an added benefit. As with his previous publication Derek has drawn a detailed picture of life and times in Wapping in the 17th and 18th centuries. The authors have drawn on a rich variety of original source material and the reader is given details of appropriate publications and archives, thereby providing an excellent insight for anybody undertaking historical and genealogical research in this area of East London.

Although Captain Cook does not figure as largely in this book as he does in the Mile End Old Town publication, he does appear now and again. As well as having walk-on roles in the various maritime chapters, Cook also appears in the section on instrument makers, and, of course, in the chapter on Francis Holman who painted the famous scene of Resolution and Adventure off the Downs.2

The latest publication follows the format which Derek established with his previous book, i.e. an A4 softback printed on fine art paper. This book is 20% larger than Mile End, but then it needs to be larger as it has so many historical tales to tell, as well as covering a wider chronological period.

Reviewer: Cliff Thornton


  1. Morris, Derek. Mile End Old Town 1740-1780: a social history of an early modern London suburb. East London History Society. 2007. Reviewed in Cook's Log, page 35, vol. 30, no. 3 (2007).
  2. See Cook's Log, page 1385, vol. 20, no. 2 (1997).

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 45, volume 32, number 3 (2009).

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