Caxton (St. Andrew)

CAXTON (St. Andrew), a market-town and parish, in the union of Caxton and Arrington, hundred of Longstow, county of Cambridge, 10½ miles (W. by S.) from Cambridge, and 49 (N. N. W.) from London; containing 558 inhabitants. This place, which is one of the oldest post-towns in the county, is situated on the Roman Ermin-street: the buildings are in general irregular and of mean appearance, consisting principally of poor cottages and decayed inns, though there are a few good houses. The market, granted to Baldwin Freville in 1247, is on Tuesday; and fairs, principally for pedlery, are held on May 5th, and October 18th. The parish comprises about 2300 acres. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 12. 4.; net income, £80; patrons, the Dean and Canons of Windsor, to whom an allotment of land and a money payment were assigned, in lieu of tithes, by an inclosure act, in 1830: the glebe contains about 9 acres. The living was a rectory previously to 1353, at which time it was appropriated to the chapel royal of Windsor. The church has a piscina in tolerable preservation. There is a place of worship for dissenters. Robert Langwith, in 1581, bequeathed £31. 10. per annum for the benefit of poor housekeepers, and for sermons to be preached quarterly in the church. The union comprises 26 parishes or places, and contains a population of 10,080. Matthew Paris, a Benedictine monk, who flourished in the reign of Henry III., and wrote a history of the world from the creation to the year of his death, which happened in 1259, was a native of the place. It has been stated, also, that Caxton, who introduced the art of printing into England, was born in the parish; but his own memoirs refer his birth and education to the county of Kent.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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