Walthamstow was a local government district in southwest Essex, England from 1873 to 1965, around the town of Walthamstow. It was within the London suburbs, forming part of the London postal district and Metropolitan Police District. Its former area now corresponds to the central part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest in Greater London.Background and formationThe ancient parish of Walthamstow formed part of the Becontree hundred of Essex. It was grouped into the West Ham poor law union in 1837 and included in the Metropolitan Police District in 1840.The Public Health Act 1872 would have transferred sewerage and sanitary powers from the Walthamstow Vestry to the West Ham Board of Guardians. To avoid this, the parish adopted the Local Government Act 1858 in 1873 and was constituted as a local board district, governed by a local board, replacing the vestry, and special drainage district that had been created in 1868 for the southeast of the parish. The local board became the urban sanitary authority in 1875. Under the Local Government Act 1894 it became an urban district, governed by Walthamstow Urban District Council.