Someone in the Tower Hamlets Local History Library, at some time, cut up 18th and 19th century journals - the Gentleman's Magazine and the Illustrated London News conspicuous among them - and stuck any references to the Tower Hamlets area onto cards. These are now in the cuttings collection, mostly under the parish subject numbers. I am working my way through these short items and will be gradually building them into a series of Miscellanies.

Annoyingly, whoever did it rarely made a note of where the cutting came from; usually there's just the year. So, in most cases, that is all the information you will find here.

Went away from his Master Yesterday Morning at 4 a Clock, an East-Indian Boy nam'd Cæsar, about the Age of 16, wearing his own short Hair, a sad-colour'd Fustian Frock over a black Wastecoat, a Fustian pair of Breeches, and grey Stockings. He has a handsome Face, and is tall for his Age. Whoever takes him up, and brings him to Mr. John Waterhouse's, in Aylif-street Goodman's-Fields, shall have 10 s. Reward.
Last Sunday Night a Ship Carver was taken up and confined in Ratcliff Watch-house for the Robbery and Murder of Charles Omstron, in Stepney Fields near St. George's Church in the East, last Summer, as he was going home late at Night: Several People have formerly been taken up on Suspicion, but were discharged, and about the time the Murder was committed, it was reported a Chimney-Sweeper was concerned, which now appears to be a negro, who belonged to a great Gang of Robbers that hover about Rag Fair, and the said negro has impeached them, and being carried before a Magistrate was, after a long Examination, committed to Newgate.
December 12th
The sessions ended at the Old Bailey, when six convicts received sentence of death, viz. John Brannon for a highway robbery; John Edenburgh, a Black, for horse stealing; Joseph Jervis for burglareously breaking a house; Ch. Riley, Mary Robinson, and Mary Williams, for robbing a young sailor of his prize-money; the two women first pulled him to a house at Salt-petre-bank, but not being strong enough to rob him, they call'd in Riley, who with a naked knife, threatened to cut out his liver if he did not deliver the money.
(Gentleman's Magazine)
Yesterday a foreigner bathing in a pond behind Lady Fitz-Hugh's house in Mile-End road, was drowned; a black, after several ineffectual attempts, dived down and brought his body to shore.
Shadwell Church, demolished in 1817Aged about 39, at his country-house at Hallowall-down, Essex, Jn. Anthony, esq. for whom a Bill of Naturalization passed into a law in March last. His body was removed to his residence in Shadwell, to be attended to that church by all the Chinese in town. He was the first instance of a Chinese having been naturalized in this country, where he had accumulated a great fortune, and bore a most excellent character, having for several years past been entrusted, by the Directors of the East India Company, with the care of the Chinese and Lascars [1] employed in navigating their shipping to and from China. About six years ago he abjured Paganism, and embraced Christianity. Before his death he gave directions where he would be buried, which was in Shadwell church, where he was baptised. He was carried to the grave in a hearse draw by six horses, preceded by four natives of China dressed in white, being the mourning of their country, with four lighted wax-tapers in their hands. Two mourning-coaches followed, with the friends of the deceased, and above 2000 of the neighbouring poor and other persons.
(Gentleman's Magazine, p. 779)
October 13th
SHADWELL.- An investigation at the above office into the late dangerous riots among the Chinese Lascars, in which three men were killed, and about 17 wounded, terminated on Tuesday, with the commitment of six of the ringleaders. The following is an abstract of the most material evidence:-
A. Gola, Superintendent of natives of India stated, that in a place called King David's Fort, there were about 500 Chinese in the barracks belonging to the East India Company. Of there there are two sects, one called the Chenies, the other the Chin-Choo. On visiting their barracks about eight o'clock on the morning of the 18th ult. he found them in a state of entire hostility; one sect fighting the other with knives and implements of every description. He immediately directed the gates to be shut to prevent the offenders from escaping. He then sent for and procured the assistance of several of the police officers, on seeing whom approach, the contest in a great measure subsided. The officers immediately proceeded to disarm them of their weapons, which, by this time, they attempted to conceal. On searching their chests and hammocks, all their knives, &c. were taken away. One man was found dead, with his bowels ripped open. Seven were carried to the London Hospital, severely wounded, two of whom are since dead. The Chenies overcame the Chin-Choo by superiority of numbers. The witness was informed that a cutler, on Tower Hill, was employed to make instruments for the Chenies. He found his name was Cramer: he acknowledged that he had recently sold two sets of large knives to them, and had been commissioned to make them a further supply, which his workmen were then executing. These the witness saw: they were large knives, with wooden handles, the blade about the size of a common cutlass. Cramer being apprised of their intended use, promised they should not be delivered. Several of the Lascars were afterwards stopped at the Barrack-gate, in the act of bringing such instruments with them, which they delivered up, not without some struggle, and an attempt to use them against the officers for making the seizure.
The origin of this affair appears to be thus, by the evidence of the parties:-A Chines being at play with a Chin-Choo, they quarrelled about 1s. 6d. which one had lost and refused to pay: they came to blows, and on a subsequent day they renewed the combat with knives. Too Sugar, a Chin-Choo, now in the hospital, is alleged to have begun the contest, by calling to his sect to come and fight the Chenies. Hence it appears each sect caught the contagion of quarrel from these two, when the rencounter became general.
Of those in custody, three have been discharged for want of evidence. The following are to take their trial, viz. Appui, Appong, Chong, and Pen.
Wednesday, a dreadful circumstance occurred at a house in Stepney:- A Captain of a West Indiaman lodged there, who had a black girl, about 14 or 15 years of age, living with him as a servant, whom he had lately occasion to punish for gross misconduct, since which she has been extremely sullen and perverse. Wednesday she was in a room occupied by her master, in which were several fire-arms, and had a little boy, the son of the landlord of the house, with her. After they had been there some time, the family were alarmed by the discharge of fire-arms, and on entering the room, the little boy was discovered to be shot in the most shocking manner, by the black girl, with a musket. A surgeon was sent for, who ascertained that one side of his head was dreadfully injured, nearly all his teeth and nose on that side being carried away.
Monday morning Octr 14th 1822 - 9 o'clock
Mr James Gordon gave charge to Wm Hinks Headboro of a Chinaman viz Setrah for attempting to murder Atshart his countryman.
(Watch-house charge book of All Saints, Poplar) [2]
Decr 30th 1822 Fire
An alarm of fire was made this Monday Evening about 8 o'clock with a chimney being on fire at Mr Robbinsons (house for the Lascars) by their putting on too much fewell (no further damage)
(Watch-house charge book of All Saints, Poplar) [2]


[1] An Oriental (originally Indian) sailor.
[2] Held in the Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, POP. 740a.