The Dual Origin of the Town of Cambridge: With Two Maps (Classic Reprint)by Arthur Gray
It is the business of this Communication to indicate the conditions under which the town of Cambridge came into being. The subject ranges over a wide ground, its treatment must of necessity be discursive, and the conclusions, in the almost complete absence of historical evidence, can be no more
Excerpt from The Dual Origin of the Town of Cambridge: With Two Maps
It is the business of this Communication to indicate the conditions under which the town of Cambridge came into being. The subject ranges over a wide ground, its treatment must of necessity be discursive, and the conclusions, in the almost complete absence of historical evidence, can be no more than probable.
It will be understood that I deal with a time so dimly remote that record hardly reaches to it. There is no question here of the corporate origin of Cambridge. Long before King John granted the town to the burgesses in farm it had been regarded as one and indivisible. Already, in Doomsday Book, Burgum de Grentebrige pro uno hundret se defendit In the eleventh century, for purposes fiscal and military, Cambridge is as clenrly a unit as any hundred in the shire.
But look at Cambridge with the eyes of a traveller who entered it by the Newmarket Road two hundred years ago and yon will see that even then the town consisted locally of two practically distinct settlements. Yon will see a few houses fringing the road near Barnwell Abbey; a few more lining it at the town end of Jesus Lane. Jesus College on the one hand, the Radegund Manor House and Sidney on the other are insulated in green closes. Nest the river verdure reaches from Stourbridge chapel to the Quay Side. Continuing westwards from the end of Jesus Lane you will see a vestige of the green in All Saints' churchyard. The grass-plots in Trinity and St John's may suggest a time when the sward was not encompassed by College buildings, and the yet fresh masonry of Trinity Library and the third court of St John's will hint that in a recent day the river Howed through empty pastures. If from Barnwell we turn southwards there are green meadows and cornfields under the walls of Christ's and Emmanuel. In Loggan's Prospect of Cambridge from the East Side the shepherd is pasturing his flock on the balks of Clayhanger field, where Park Street stands, and smart students are riding out to hunt the hare. There are no houses in the Field, for the cultivators dwell in the town streets.
And this tract of land was even more thinly peopled in 1278, when Kiog Edward I sent his commissioners to make a census of the town. Consider the figures which Professor Maitland gives in his Township und Borough (p. 102) of the houses in the several parishes. The total is 534, of which number we may omit 95 which were in Barnwell, a suburb outside the King's Ditcb, and 40 which were in parishes unspecified. Of the remaining 399 houses 11 were contained in the parishes beyond the Bridge and in St Clement's and St Sepulchre's, and 252 were in the parishes near the Market-place and bordering the High Street. The great area comprised in the four parishes of All Saints, St Radegund, Trinity and St Andrew, an area greater than either the southern or the northern house-nucleus, contained in all but 33 houses.
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