Hackney, inner borough (1991 pop. 164,200) of Greater London, SE England, on the Lea River. Clothing manufacture (in Hackney) and printing and furniture making (in Shoreditch) are the borough's chief industries. London's first theater was built in Shoreditch (c.1575). The parish church of St. Mary, in Stoke Newington, is one of the few remaining Elizabethan churches. The writer Daniel Defoe lived there. The London College of Furniture, the Shoreditch College for the Clothing Industry, and Cordwainer's Technical College are in the borough. Hackney Marshes, a large sports and recreation area intersected by the Lea, lies just outside the borough.