GODMANCHESTER


This extract is from "Samuel Lewis Topographical Gazeetter - 1831"


GODMANCHESTER, a corporate town and parish in the hundred of TOSELAND, county of HUNTINGDON, ¾ of a mile (S.E. by S.) from Huntingdon, containing 1953 inhabitants. The town, situated on the banks of the Ouse, over which there is a bridge, is supposed to occupy the site of the Roman station Durolipons, and Roman coins have frequently been dug up in the neighbourhood. Under the dominion of the Danes, the name was changed to Gormanchester, from Gormund, or Guthrum, a Danish chief, who is said to have founded a castle here in the reign of Alfred the Great. A fair is held annually on Easter Tuesday, chiefly for horses. In 1605, a charter of incorporation was granted, incorporating the inhabitants under the government of two bailiffs, twelve assistants, with a recorder, high steward, and town clerk: the bailiffs are chosen annually; and the bailiffs for the preceding years act as coroners. A commission of the peace was granted to the borough in 1637, under which the bailiffs acted as justices till September 8th, 1702, since which they have not exercised any magisterial authority. A court of pleas, for the recovery of debts under 40s., is held every three weeks. The living is a vicarage in the archdeaconry of Huntingdon, and diocese of Lincoln, rated in the king's books at 17.0.5., and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, has some portions in the later English style, particularly some windows and an entrance porch, which are tolerably well executed. A free grammar school was founded by charter of Elizabeth, in 1561, and endowed with landed property at Godmanchester, by Richard Robins, in 1576, but the only funds at present belonging to it are 20 per annum, from Emanuel College, Cambridge. There we several charitable benefactions for apprenticing poor children.


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