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restoration of their Charter to the burgesses by Henry VIII. with abridged privileges, by which they were rendered more subordinate to the University than they had formerly been.
In 1630, this town was infected by a dreadful plague, which occasioned the business of the University to be suspended, and all the students had liberty to retire to their respective homes. The number of persons who fell victims to its ravages amounted to between 300 and 400. During the continuance of the malady, the assizes were removed to Royston.
In 1643, Cromwell, who had twice represented the borough, took possession of the town for the Parliament, and put in it a garrison of 1000 men. In August 1645, Charles I. appeared with an army before Cambridge, but departed without attacking it. In March 1647, Sir Thomas Fairfax, then General of the Parliamentary army, visited the town, and was received with all the honours of royalty at Trinity College, both by that Society and the Corporation; and on the 11th of June, in the same year, he kept a public fast here.
Cambridge has repeatedly been honoured with royal visits. Edward I. was here in 1294; Richard II. in 1388; Henry VII. in 1505; Queen Catherine, of Arragon, in 1520; Henry VIII. in 1522; Queen Elizabeth in 1564; James I. in 1615 and 1624 ; Charles I. and his Queen in 1632; Charles II. in 1671 and 1681 ; William III. in 1689; Queen Anne and Prince George of Denmark in 1705; George I. in 1717; and George II. in 1728. On most of these occasions, the royal guests were splendidly entertained by the University, in the hall of Trinity College, and it was customary for the Corporation to present them with fifty broad pieces of gold.
Modern Cambridge is situated nearly on a level; its extent is one mile and a half north and south, and somewhat more west and east. It is divided by the river into two parts; though far the greater part of the town is on the east of the river. The entrance from London is by Trumpington-street, followed by Trinity-street, the north end of which is called St. John's-street, where it joins Bridgestreet; this latter street, with Sidney and St. Andrew's streets at the south end, and Magdalene and Castle streets at the north, extends, in nearly a straight line, the whole length of the town, crossing the river by a neat cast-iron bridge of one arch, erected in 1823, by subscription. These leading streets are intersected by several streets and lanes; some of which, in the centre of the town, lead to the market-place. (See the Plan at the beginning of the GUIDE.)
Within the last few years the town has been rendered a considerable thoroughfare, particularly since the draining of the fens, and the raising of excellent roads, on the northern coast, over places before deemed impassable. The chief of the business
of the place is immediately or remotely connected with the University; but being the county town, and owing to its advantageous situation, as the head of the inland navigation from Lynn, it happily secures, in addition, a respectable trade in coals and corn, particularly oats and barley. A considerable portion of the oil, pressed by the numerous mills in the Isle of Ely, from flax, hemp, and coleseed, is also brought up the Cam. A great quantity of butter is likewise conveyed every week from Norfolk and the Isle of Ely, through Cambridge to London, where it obtains the name of Cambridge butter. A railroad from London to Cambridge may also be mentioned as in progress.
Cambridge being situated on a plain, and the surrounding country being also flat, a distant prospect from it is not very favourable, as a picturesque view. Many fine views, however, of detached parts disclose themselves in different situations. Lofty trees embosom most of the eminent buildings; and the rich turrets of King's College Chapel are always conspicuous.
The general appearance of the town of Cambridge (independently of the University) is certainly below what might be expected. The streets in the interior are narrow, and the houses (with too few exceptions) áre old, and crowded closely together. A general spirit of improvement has, however, lately displayed itself in the outskirts of the town, where houses of a better and more genteel description are rapidly increasing. The town was first paved in the reign of Henry VIII. who caused it to be enacted by Parliament, that all persons who had any houses, lands, &c. in Cambridge, bordering on the highways, should pave them to the middle of the said ways, “ in length as their grounds do extend,” and also keep them in repair, under the penalty of sixpence for every square yard. This regulation being but little observed, after the lapse of two centuries a new act was passed, in the year 1787, for “the better paving, cleansing, and lighting of the town, and widening the streets, lanes, &c.” Many improvements, in each of these respects, have since been effected; and greater neatness and convenience are manifest than heretofore. The want of elegance in the town is, however, amply made up by the fine and interesting appearance of the University; most of the nobler buildings of which skirt nearly the whole of the western part of it.
The population of Cambridge is considerable. The town consists of fourteen parishes, which are as follow; the number of inhabitants being annexed to each from the census of 1831. The increase since then may probably be estimated at 1500
Males. Females. Total.
All Saints ......
783 St. Andrew the Great........ 751 St. Andrew the Less .......... 3235 St. Benedict.......
448 St. Botolph
394 St. Clement.....
425 St. Edward.....
369 St. Giles.........
897 St. Mary the Great... 440 St. Mary- the Less...... 354 St. Michael......
480 St. Peter...
377 St. Sepulchre.....
302 Holy Trinity...
639 981 3416 516 365 465 356 1020 504 456 231 325 372 1139
1422 1732 6651 964 759 890 725 1917 944 810 711 702 674 2104
10,220 10,785 *21,005
The Corporation consists of a Mayor, High Steward, Recorder, ten Aldermen, thirty Councillors, four Bailiffs, a Town-Clerk, and other officers. The Mayor, on his election, takes an oath to observe and maintain the privileges of the University. The day of his election is the 9th of November in each year. The Police of the Town is formed by the officers of both the University and Town. The Town is divided into five Wards.
* In 1748, the population was about 6000.