1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Romford
ROMFORD, a market town in the Romford parliamentary division of Essex, England; on the small river Rom, which flows into the Thames; 121 m. E.N.E. from London by the Great Eastern railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 13,656. The ancient church of St Edward the Confessor was replaced in 18 50 by a structure in Decorated style. There is a large brewery in the town, and extensive market gardens in the neighbourhood. A grant of a market was obtained in 1247, and this is still of importance as regards both cattle and corn. Romford was included in the liberty of Havering-atte-Bower, which until 1892 had a jurisdiction of its own distinct from that of the county, with a high steward, magistrates, clerk of the peace, coroner and quarter sessions. The name of Bower was derived from a queen’s residence attached to the ancient royal hunting-lodge in the vicinity.
The fact that Romford (Rumford, Rompford) lies on the high road between Colchester and London has determined its history. Bronze implements have been found here, but no notice of Romford occurs till the 12th century. It was included in the liberty of Havering, and the chief business of the liberty was conducted there. But the corporation which is mentioned in medieval records is not that of the town of Romford, but of the liberty of Havering. Romford has only had a separate constitution since a local board of health was formed in 1894, under the act of 1875, after the abolition of the liberty in 1892. In the middle ages Romford was rather a meeting place for merchants than an industrial centre. Brewing, however, is mentioned in 1331, and one tanner at least carried on business in Hare Street in 1467.