No. 48 Union Wapping Volunteer


Copyright © The British Library Board. Crace Collection of Maps of London > The PARISH of ST JOHNS WAPPING. The Parish of ST PAUL SHADWELL; Plan in two sections representing the parishes of St John, Wapping and St Paul’s, Shadwell from the 1720 edition of Stow’s Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster… published by John Strype. The plan features title along the top, key to streets, courts, churches etc. in both parishes at upper left and lower right, compass at lower left and scale bar at bottom right.

PRESENT [Front Rank]  (see original 1798 description below)
The “Union” appears to be the union between 3 parishes to furnish a unit of Volunteers in 1798.  (see map). The parishes were St. John’s, Wapping, St. George’s, Middlesex (St. George in the East of Wapping-Stepney) and St. Paul’s of Shadwell. It is noted that their place of meeting was Dundee Lodge, Wapping which we suspect was the Masonic Lodge of the Dundee Lodge No 18.   (See Freemasonry Matters – “The Moderns and the Antients” – 26 May 2016): “. . . The  members of Dundee Lodge, No. 18, or No. 9, as it stood on the Register of the “Moderns,”  purchased in 1763 the freehold of a Warehouse in Red Lyon  Wapping, and letting out  the ground floor and basement—at first for a school and later on as a general store—utilized  two rooms on the first floor for the purpose of Lodge meetings . . which rooms  when not required for Masonic work were often let for the purpose of public dances—to such  an extent was this the practice that they became known locally as the Wapping Assembly  Rooms. “ . . .Also: from Port Towns and Urban Cultures “Swedes, Merchants, Freemasons and East India Company Agents in 18th Century East London” by Ken Cozens January 5, 2016 “The Dundee Arms Freemasonry Lodge was an important Freemasonry Lodge based in Wapping that had many merchant members, many of whom were ship-owners who arranged transports for government at time of need. Membership of this lodge enabled members to be able to communicate with some of the most influential City men, such as Sir William Curtis, aka ‘Billy Biscuit’ one of those who were engaged in provisioning and victualling the Royal Navy. The lodge also acted as conduit for information and services that were essential for the ‘contractor state’, especially at times of War.”. The Dundee Lodge was, or became, a pub at 51 Wapping (High) Street.

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Original Description of the unit from 1798:
This Corps was formed the 27th of April, 1798, under the Presidency of Peter Mellish, Esq. not only to protect our Liberties and Properties, but also to defend our invaluable Constitution (consisting of King, Lords, and Commons) under which we live, from all the attacks of its avowed and secret enemies; and in case of Invasion, be ready to assist in protecting the following Parishes, being the Eastern Division of the Tower Hamlets; viz.  St. John’s, Wapping; St. George’s, Middlesex; and St. Paul’s, Shadwell.  This Corps is governed by a Committee chosen by ballot, to act for two months only. They consist of one Company of between 80 and 90 Privates, and their
Captain, William Mellish.  First Lieutenant, James Mangles; Second Lieutenant, R. H. Clarke.
Helmets.  Breastplate, oval; yellow for Officers, white for Privates; a Lion rising from a mural Crown, charged with the Union Flag of England, inscribed UNION VOLUNTEERS.  Buttons, Union Flag.  Cartouch, plain.  Half Gaiters.
Place of meeting, Dundee Lodge, Wapping.

Additional information

Weight 0.0121 kg
Dimensions 25.5 × 32.5 cm


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