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Hoxton Hall Collection

History of Hoxton Hall

Hoxton Hall logo Hoxton Hall was built as a music hall in 1863, by James Mortimer. It is an unrestored example of a saloon-style theatre, and is now a Grade II* listed building. In 1866 the Hall was purchased by James McDonald, manager at Collins’s Music Hall in Islington, and Thomas Clark. The Hall subsequently became known as MacDonald's Music Hall. McDonald’s Music Hall lost its performance licence in 1871, and McDonald unsuccessfully re-applied for a licence in 1872. The building seems to have been empty during the period 1872 to 1877.

William Isaac Palmer (1824-1893), a wealthy Quaker biscuit manufacturer, purchased the Hall on behalf of the Blue Ribbon Gospel Temperance Mission in 1879. Regular meetings, services and social events were subsequently held at Hoxton Hall by the Mission. Palmer died in 1893, leaving instructions in his will that the Hall be given to the Bedford Institute Association. The Association, now known as Quaker Social Action, is a Quaker organisation which focuses upon alleviating poverty in East London. The Hall became the eighth branch of the Association, and in 1910 a new mission centre was built next door to the Hall to accommodate the expanding work of the Association.

After the Second World War, the Hall focused upon providing educational and recreational activities for the local community. During the 1960s and 1970s Hoxton Hall became focused on informal learning through the arts and creativity and Hoxton Hall as charitable entity took over the leasehold of the building. Today, Hoxton Hall uses it’s creative history to inspire a new generation of young Londoners through our participatory Youth Arts programme, whilst fundraising to restore, preserve and update the 145 year old Music Hall.

For more information, please contact:
130 Hoxton Street
London N1 6SH

t: 020 7684 0060
f: 020 7729 3815
e: hayley@hoxtonhall.co.uk
w: www.hoxtonhall.co.uk

The history is based on the following source:

‘Hoxton Hall-a short history’, Hoxton Hall in association with the London Borough of Hackney, London (1977) http://www.hoxtonhall.co.uk/?cmsId=93 [accessed 20 May 2008]

Scope and Content of the collection

The digitised items are sourced from archives held by Hoxton Hall at its base in Hoxton, East London.

Copyright holders

Hoxton Hall; Quaker Social Action (formerly known as The Bedford Institute Association).

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East London Theatre Archive

East London Theatre Archive