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[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013

"CAXTON, a parish in the hundred of Longstow, in the county of Cambridge, 12 miles west of Cambridge, and 11 north of Royston railway station. It was formerly a consider-able town on Ermine Street, belonging to the families of Frevile, Burgoyne, D'Eschallers, and others, but is now a small agricultural village. Up to the middle of the last century it had a market, which was granted about the year 1247. It is still the head of a Poor-law Union, and of a registration district, but is included in the New County Court district of Cambridge. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely, value £80, in the patronage of the Dean and Canons of Windsor, to whom the church was given in 1351, having belonged previously to the priory of Lewes; it is dedicated to St. Andrew, and possesses some old tombs. The Baptists have here a chapel, and there are National schools for both sexes. Matthew Paris, the historian, was born here. George Gaps, Esq., is lord of the manor. In this parish stands the workhouse of the Arrington and Caxton Union. Fairs are held on 5th March and 18th October."

[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]





  • St. Andrew's Church, Caxton.


Church History

  • "The church of St. Andrew is a building; of stone and flint, chiefly Early English, but with portions in the Perpendicular style, and consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, south porch and a low embattled western tower containing 6 bells, restored and a new treble bell added in 1879, at a cost of about £400: the chancel retains a piscina with Geometric tracery in the head, and a plain sedile: the nave is curiously placed, being askew and on a higher level than the chancel, and is separated from the aisle by an arcade of four very lofty arches, carried on clustered piers: there are several memorials of the Barnard family, who had a seat at Caxton, and a memorial window to John Augustus Wright, surgeon, of this parish, d. 1869: there were formerly brasses to Sir John Myton, vicar, with effigy, 1479; John Cretyng, 1500, and Walter Cretyng, 1483: the church was restored in 1874 and 1929: there are over 200 sittings. The church of Caxton, which had belonged to the priory of Lewes, was in 1351 given to the Dean and Canons of Windsor. Dowsing, the Puritan iconoclast, on coming here removed "a cross on ye steeple and one on ye church, and 20 superstitious pictures." The register dates from the year 1741."
  • "There is a Baptist chapel, erected in 1842, with 250 sittings." [Kelly's Directory- Cambridgeshire - 1929]

Church Records

  • Church of England
    • Caxton, St. Andrew: Records of baptisms 1741-1874, marriages 1741-1836, burials 1741-1961 and banns for 1754-1812, 1831-77, 1887-1907, 1928-77 reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives. The Bishop's Transcripts for the years 1599-1680, 1690-1852 can be found in the Cambridge University Library. Indexed transcriptions of baptisms, marriages and burials for the years 1599-1681, 1692-1851 reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives and these transcripts, 1599-1851, are available in full transcript form, on microfiche, from the Cambridgeshire Family History Society Publications list (search)
    • Wesleyan Methodist Church: Records exist for the St. Neots Wesleyan Circuit of which Caxton is part.
    • Primitive Methodist Church: Records exist for the St. Neots Primitive Circuit of which Caxton is part.

Description and Travel

  • "Matthew Paris, the historian, probably connected with the Parish family of Hildersham and born about 1195, is said to have been a native of this place. The Caxton Moats, which originally formed a Roman fortification, are still of great interest. The kennels of the Cambridgeshire Hounds are in this parish; the pack comprises 50 couples of hounds, and hunts on Mondays. Tuesdays and Fridays, and occasionally on Saturdays; Douglas Crossman esq. J.P. and George Ralph Cunliffe Foster esq. J.P. are joint masters; Cambridge, Kimbolton, St. Neots, Huntingdon and Royston are convenient places for visitors; Old North Road is the nearest railway station to the kennels. The town formerly had a market, which was originally granted to Sir Baldwin de Freville in the year 1247; it was then held on Monday, but the day was afterwards changed to Tuesday, on which day it was held until the early part of the last century, since which time it has become obsolete. William Nugent Walter Gape esq. who is lord of the manor, William Arthur Briscos esq. J.P. Frank W. Hobson esq. and Job Wells Pentelow esq. are the principal landowners." [Kelly's Directory- Cambridgeshire - 1929]





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Military History


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Records exist at the Cambridgeshire Archives for Caxton & Arrington Union Workhouse, later the Public Assistance Institution, for births 1838-47, 1866-1928 and deaths 1914-30. The Caxton & Arrington Union Workhouse for the 1881 Census is listed here.


  • Land Tax: records were compiled afresh each year and contain the names of owners and occupiers in each parish, but usually there is no address or place name. These records reside in the Cambridgeshire Archives for the years 1798 (on microfilm), 1829-32 and 1946-48.