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in conjunction with a Destroyer equally powerful, "curtailed its fair proportions." In the Thirteenth Century it was visited by the Plague, the ravages of which, we are informed,* left a fourth part of the town without inhabitants, and the survivors destitute, in a great degree, of all means of subsistence. Afterwards some alteration was made in the course of the river, which impeded its navigation and cut off a source of considerable employment and emolument to the Inhabitants; and these concurring disasters, added to the silent dilapidations of Time, reduced the town to its present extent and to less than its present importance.

I have now only to offer my grateful acknowledgments to the Corporation, collectively and individually, for their invaluable

* See page 81.

+ Sir Robert Cotton as quoted by Speed. His words are: "To this Shire-Town and benefit of the neighbour Countries, this River was navigable, until the power of Grey, a minion of the time, stopt that passage, and with it all redress either by Law or Parliament."

Speed, Chap. 29, fo. 57.

assistance, enhanced by the liberal manner in which it was conferred, and without which it would have been impossible to have proceeded with the work to Samuel Wells, Esq. Solicitor, for communicating some important documents: to the Rev. Mr. Walker, for contributing drawings of the Town Hall and of the View from Nuns' Bridge, engravings of which ornament this volume: to the Incumbents of the two Churches, the Rev. Mr. Edwards, and the Rev. Mr. Panchen, and to their respective Curates, the Rev. Mr. Lee and the Rev. Mr. Fell, for permission to inspect their Registers, and for several valuable papers and useful suggestions. For the use of books I also beg to return thanks to the Earl of Carysfort, the unwearied friend and patron of literature, and to Mr. Sergeant Frere, Master of Downing College, Cambridge. This extensive enumeration, prefixed to so slight a work, may appear ostentatious, and excite expectations which a perusal of the history will fail to realize; but I would much rather submit to any imputations of this sort, than

be considered for a moment unwilling to acknowledge assistance where acknowledgments are so eminently due.

It is not without great diffidence that this little work is submitted to the public eye. I am well aware that the only qualification I brought to the task, was a love of the subject; yet I trust I shall not be accused of egotism in saying, that I cannot look back but with pleasure to an undertaking, which, though the Public tribunal may pronounce it a failure, has by my humble fireside, sweetened the toils and cares of a laborious life, and opened up many interesting sources of study and reflection.

Huntingdon, Nov. 5, 1824.

R. C.

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