The Spa Fields complete record collection comprises 113,800 burials for the period 1778 to 1849, featuring all the registers from The National Archives RG4 are now available at the Deceased Online website:
“Spa Fields Burial Ground (formerly located in the area around Exmouth Market and the current Spa Fields Park bordered by Farringdon Rd and Skinner Rd), London EC1.
Spa Fields no longer exists as a burial ground but was originally a small area which is now Spa Fields Park and managed by the London Borough of Islington. Keen genealogists and family historians will know that today’s park is just across the road from the London Metropolitan Archives.
The burial ground was originally privately owned and was then attached to a chapel used originally by the vicar of St James, Clerkenwell (the main St James Church is also nearby). Subsequently, the chapel was taken over in 1777 by by Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon who founded ‘The Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion’, a Calvinistic movement within the Methodist church.
The Spa Fields area, just to the north of the City of London, has a fascinating and at times turbulent history having associations originally with Lady Huntingdon and her non-conformist chapel and Pantheon team room. Spa Fields was one of 64 chapels that she established across the country in the latter half of the 18th century. The Countess herself is buried at the nonconformist and nearby burial ground of Bunhill Fields, all records also on Deceased Online.
In the early 19th century a different movement arrived with the Owenite “Utopian Socialist” Community establishing itself with over 200 families living and working in the area. A little later, the area was linked with political upheaval and the eponymous Spa Hill riots which threatened revolution and seizure of Parliament.
According to various accounts, the old burial ground was small and, as with many London burial sites of the 18th and 19th centuries, horribly over-crowded with burials. Some accounts talk of even recent burials being disinterred and the unfortunate deceased being burnt or ‘limed’ to make way for the new arrivals.
Records for Spa Fields on Deceased Online are The National Archives (TNA) Collection RG4 volumes 4316 to 4322, 4366 and 4367 from 1778 to 1849 and comprise nearly 114,000 burials. They feature scans of all the registers held by TNA and as with all records on Deceased Online, access via ‘Advanced Search’ is free, users only pay to download register scans and other records.
In the advanced search, users of the website can also search by a specific cemetery, burial ground or other location enabling much more definitive checking of source data for the searched for subjects.
The history, people and events associated with Spa Fields are fascinating from non-conformism to socialist revolution.“