[Transcribed information from A Topographical Dictionary of England - Samuel Lewis - 1831]
(unless otherwise stated)
"BIGGLESWADE, a parish and market town in the hundred of Biggleswade, county of BEDFORD, 10 miles, (east-south-east) from Bedford, and 45 (north-north-west) from London, on the road to York, containing, with the hamlet of Holme with Stratton, 2778 inhabitants. This town is pleasantly situated on the river Ivel, which is crossed by two stone bridges, and which, by act of parliament, has been made navigable to its junction with the Ouse, whereby the neighbourhood is supplied with coal, timber, and various articles of merchandise. A considerable part of the town was destroyed by fire in 1785, to which circumstance its improved condition and handsome appearance way be attributed. The houses are uniformly built of brick, the air is pure and salubrious, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with excellent water from numerous springs. The environs, abounding with elegant villas and picturesque scenery, present a pleasing appearance. The making of white thread-lace and edging affords employment to a considerable part of the female population; but the town derives its principal support from being situated on the north road, whence the continued traffic it enjoys. The market, which is on Wednesday, is considerable for grain : fairs are held on February 13th, the Saturday in Easter week, Whit-Monday, August 2nd, and November 5th, for horses and live stock of every kind. The town is within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates, who hold a petty session for the hundreds of Biggleswade, Clifton, and Wixamtree."