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Southwark historian Stephen Humphrey has died

Stephen Humphrey - Southwark's foremost local historian and archivist - has died.

Southwark historian Stephen Humphrey has died
Stephen Humphrey pictured in 2011 speaking alongside Simon Hughes MP at the Royal Oak pub

Born near the Elephant & Castle in 1952, Stephen Humphrey read history at Cambridge and studied archives at University College London.

Until 2010 he was the long-serving archivist at Southwark Local History Library, where he was much respected for his encyclopedic knowledge of the borough.

After leaving the employment of Southwark Council he continued to write and lecture on the borough's history.

In 2012 he received the freedom of the borough of Southwark in a ceremony at St George's Cathedral.

Cllr Peter John, leader of Southwark Council, said: "Stephen was an esteemed, prolific and influential local historian who was very much respected and loved by his colleagues and the local communities he worked with.

"It was an honour to award his service to the council with the freedom of the borough in 2012 and I know he will be very much missed."

His many books included Elephant & Castle: A History, Southwark, Bermondsey & Rotherhithe in Old Photographs and Bermondsey & Rotherhithe Remembered.

He will also be well-known to readers of the South London Press as a regular columnist on the local history pages.

He was president of Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Local History Society and had in recent times arranged the lecture programme and compiled the newsletter of the Southwark & Lambeth Archaeological Society.

Other societies in which he held office included the Ecclesiological Society and the Surrey Record Society.

Stephen Humphrey also participated in the steering group that worked on the project to erect the Dog & Pot sign at the corner of Blackfriars Road and Union Street during the bicentenary of Dickens' birth.

His recent projects included researching the history of the Southwark Charities, the historic funds linked to the parishes of Christ Church Southwark and St Mary Newington. He had also been preparing a text on the history of Tooley Street and its neighbouring lanes and alleys.

UPDATE Friday 2 December: A book of condolence has been opened at Southwark Local History Library

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