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

SOMERSHAM, a parish (formerly a market town) in the hundred of HURSTINGSTONE, county of HUNTINGDON, 8¾ miles (E.N.E.) from Huntingdon, and 64¼ (N.) from London, containing 1166 inhabitants. This town, formerly called Summersum, is supposed to have derived its name from an adjacent hill, which was the site of a summer camp of the Romans: it is situated in a fertile country, abounding with springs of remarkable purity, some of which were considered to possess medicinal qualities, but are now disused. Several of the inhabitants are employed in preparing wicks for rushlights, which are extensively transmitted hence to various parts of the kingdom. The market, long since discontinued, was on Friday: fairs are held on June 23rd and November 12th, but they are very inconsiderable, The living is a rectory, with the perpetual curacies of Colne and Pidley annexed, in the archdeaconry of Huntingdon, and diocese of Lincoln, rated in the king's books at 40.4.7., and annexed to the Regius Professorship of Divinity in the University of Cambridge. The church, standing in the centre of the town, is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. There is a place of worship for Baptists. A free school is endowed with the proceeds of 200, the bequest of Thomas Hammond, in 1730, and with some land assigned by the commissioners in 1765. The Bishops Ely had formerly a palace here.

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