Campton (All Saints)
CAMPTON (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Biggleswade, hundred of Clifton, county of Bedford, 6 miles (S. W.) from Biggleswade; containing 1390 inhabitants, of whom 889 are in the town of Shefford. The manor in which the small village of Campton, formerly called Camelton, is situated was anciently possessed by the noble family of Lisle: the manor-house is now occupied as a school. The parish is watered by the river Ivel, and comprises 1350 acres, about three-fourths of which are arable, and the rest pasture and wood; the surface is in general flat, and the soil runs through the several varieties of sand, gravel, and clay. Many females are engaged in making straw-plat, which is sold at Shefford market on Fridays, for the manufacturers of bonnets at Luton and Dunstable; a few hands are also engaged in making pillowlace. Fairs for cattle, pigs, sheep, &c., are held on Jan. 23rd, March 25th, and May 19th; and a pleasure-fair on October 11th. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 9. 7.; net income, £374; patron, Sir J. Osborne, Bart. The tithes were commuted for land and corn-rents in 1797; the glebe contains 65 acres, with a glebe-house. The church is in the later English style. The chapel of ease at Shefford, dedicated to St. Michael, was enlarged about twenty years ago; the late rector, the Rev. Edmond Williamson, contributing £600, the Incorporated Society £200, and the Duke of Bedford £50: there are 600 sittings, all free. The Roman Catholics have a chapel, and there is a place of worship for Wesleyans. A national and infant school was erected in 1840, by the Misses Williamson, the Rev. Dr. Williamson, master of Westminster school, and the Rev. W. Williamson, tutor of Clare Hall, Cambridge; by whom also it is entirely supported. Robert Bloomfield, author of the Farmer's Boy, died at Shefford, in August 1823, and was buried at Campton, where a neat stone was erected to his memory by Archdeacon Bonney.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.