The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames in East London.
The name “Tower Hamlets” historically applied to the Tower division of the county of Middlesex, covering not only the present borough, but also part of the present-day London Borough of Hackney.
The Constable of the Tower of London had special jurisdiction over the area from the 16th century until 1889. Inhabitants of Tower Hamlets were originally required to provide yeomen for the Tower of London. Later the Constable became Lord Lieutenant of the area, raising and organising the local militia.
Under the Reform Act 1832 the area became a parliamentary borough. The name continued to be used for constituencies until 1918.
The borough itself was formed in 1965 out of the former area of the metropolitan boroughs of Bethnal Green, Poplar and Stepney which formed the classic East End.