Godmanchester - Encyclopedia




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GODMANCHESTER, a municipal borough in the southern parliamentary division of Huntingdonshire, England, on the right bank of the Ouse, 1 m. S.S.E. of Huntingdon, on a branch of the Great Eastern railway. Pop. (1901) 2017. It has a beautiful Perpendicular church (St Mary's) and an agricultural trade, with flour mills. The town is governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen and 12 councillors. Area, 4907 acres.

A Romano-British village occupied the site of Godmanchester.

The town (Gumencestre, Gomecestre) belonged to the king before the Conquest and at the time of the Domesday survey. In 1213 King John granted the manor to the men of the town at a feefarm of £120 yearly, and confirmation charters were granted by several succeeding kings, Richard II. in 1391-1392 adding exemption from toll, pannage, &c. James I. granted an incorporation charter in 1605 under the title of bailiffs, assistants and commonalty, but under the Municipal Reform Act of 1835 the corporation was changed to a mayor, 4 aldermen and 12 councillors. Godmanchester was formerly included for parliamentary purposes in the borough of Huntingdon, which has ceased to be separately represented since 1885. The incorporation charter of 1605 recites that the burgesses are chiefly engaged in agriculture, and grants them a fair, which still continues every year on Tuesday in Easter week.

See Victoria County History, Huntingdon; Robert Fox, The History of Godmanchester (1831).

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