1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bethnal Green

BETHNAL GREEN, an eastern metropolitan borough of London, England, bounded N. by Hackney, E. by Poplar, S. by Stepney and W. by Shoreditch. Pop. (1901) 129,680. It is a district of poor houses, forming part of the area commonly known as the “East End.” The working population is employed in the making of match-boxes, boot-making, cabinet-making and other industries; but was formerly largely devoted to silk-weaving, which spread over the district from its centre in Spitalfields (see Stepney). This industry is still maintained. The Bethnal Green museum was opened in 1872. It contains exhibits of food and animal products, formerly at South Kensington, entomological collections, &c.; and various loan exhibitions are held from time to time. The Museum also housed the Wallace collection until the opening of Hertford House, and the pictures now in the National Portrait Gallery. It stands in public gardens; there are several other small open spaces; and some 70 out of the 217 acres of Victoria Park are within the borough. Close by the park there stood, until the 19th century, a house believed to have belonged to the notorious Bishop Bonner, the persecutor of Protestants in the reign of Mary; his name is still attached to a street here. Among institutions are the missionary settlement of the Oxford House, founded in 1884, with its women’s branch, St Margaret’s House; the North-Eastern hospital for children, the Craft school und the Leather Trade school. The parliamentary borough of Bethnal Green has two divisions, each returning one member. The borough council consists of a mayor, 5 aldermen and 30 councillors. Area, 759·3 acres.