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Maryland is a neighbourhood in Stratford in east London, England. It is in the London Borough of Newham. The community centres around Maryland Station and borders Leytonstone to the north, Stratford New Town to the west and Forest Gate to the east, with Stratford town centre to the south-west.
Maryland's earliest known recorded appearance is on a map of Essex published by J. Oliver in 1696, where it is marked as 'Maryland Point'. The origin of the name is uncertain. One popular theory is that it originated with a rich local merchant who bought land and built in the area having returned from the American colony of Maryland (itself named for Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I). If true, then London's Maryland would be unusual example of a place in Britain named after an American location, rather than vice versa.
Various attempts have been made to identify the merchant. The most likely candidate seems to be Richard Lee (1617-1664, great-great-grandfather of Confederate General Robert E. Lee), who emigrated to Virginia around 1640. He became a tobacco planter, trader, an owner and trader of slaves, and an employer and importer of English indentured servants. His estate there included land on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, near a place known as Maryland Point (later to be the site of the Maryland Point Light). On returning to England in 1658, Lee bought land in Stratford, and in 1662 was recorded as owning a large house there.
However, retired history professor Ged Martin has questioned the American name-origin theory, finding limited documentary support for the story. Professor Martin put forward an explanation that the name derives from Old English words for a boundary, cognate to the Anglo-Saxon words maere and mearc.
With the growth of Stratford in the mid-19th century the vicinity was built up as Stratford New Town and Maryland gained a prosperous shopping thoroughfare. Maryland station opened in 1874.
- 'The Birthplace of Iron Maiden', Cart & Horses, 1 Maryland Point
- Charles Edmund Clutterbuck, stained glass artist
- Charles Hitchcock, grandfather to Alfred Hitchcock, fishmongery business at 20 Leytonstone Road
- Dorothy Kilner (1755–1836), children's writer
- Anna Kingsford, anti-vivisectionist, theosophist, suffragette and campaigner for women's rights, née Bonus, born Maryland Point 1846
- Maryland Station is served by trains operated by TfL Rail, with a frequency of 10 minutes in each direction. Trains towards central London stop at Stratford before terminating at Liverpool Street station, with a journey time of 10 minutes. To the East, trains run a stopping service terminating at Shenfield. Maryland Station will be served by Crossrail / Elizabeth line in 2022, when fully complete.
- Maryland is served by bus routes 69 (24hr), 257, 308, and night bus N8.
- For details of education in Maryland see the List of schools in the London Borough of Newham, with the following local Primary Schools:
- Powell, W. R., ed. (1973). "'West Ham: Introduction', in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6". www.british-history.ac.uk. University of London. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
- "The Lees of Virginia: An American Legacy". archive.is. Lee Family Digital Archive. Archived from the original on 23 August 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
- Jones, Lindsay (25 May 2020). "Is Stratford's Maryland an American plant on the Newham map?". Newham Recorder. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
- Martin, Ged (2020). "Maryland: an American place-name in east London?". GedMartin.net. Retrieved 10 June 2020.