Economic history


Victoria County History



A F Wareham, A P M Wright

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'Burwell: Economic history', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10: Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (north-eastern Cambridgeshire) (2002), pp. 347-356. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18905 Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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In 1086 the Ramsey abbey manor comprised 10¼ hides, of which a third was in demesne, out of the 15¼ hides assessed in the vill; it included 16 of the 24 ploughlands, and had 8 of the 10 servi. Its demesne had four ploughteams, while its villani, who numbered c. 43 out of 50 then reported, had another twelve teams out of the 24 in Burwell. On the other manors all but three teams were demesne ones. (fn. 48)

Manorial demesnes later probably covered over a quarter of the arable. The Ramsey demesne, comprising nominally 6¾ hides c. 1230, (fn. 49) probably included over 500 a. of arable in 1399. (fn. 50) In the late 13th century the Tiptofts demesne had covered c. 200 a., (fn. 51) and that of Dullinghams 180 a. The 1,080 a. of freehold recorded in 1279, (fn. 52) however, included many substantial long-established freeholdings. In the early 12th century, when the Ramsey manor was at farm, Guy of Burwell, its lessee, to whom Abbot Reynold (1118-33) granted a hide to hold in fee farm, and his son John, his successor by 1134, (fn. 53) had before 1135 annexed 1½ more yardlands of tenanted land that had once owed works. They assigned other such land, in holdings of two or three yardlands, at rent to the occupants. Abbot Walter (1133-60) also granted three yardlands of demesne to kinsmen and clients. Thus by 1150 over 18 yardlands were effectively held freely, (fn. 54) some by knight service; (fn. 55) by the early 13th century, however, up to five of them may have been recovered for a time by the abbey, but thirteen were still occupied by freeholders. (fn. 56) In 1279 one man held freely of the abbey the hide once Guy's, two others had 90 a. and three 80 a. each at low rents; three of them also had their own smallholding villein tenants, five each. Other Ramsey freeholders then had 57 a., while on Tiptofts manor there was c. 230 a. of freehold, including one 150-a. holding and two yardlands, and on Dullinghams c. 107 a., mostly smallholdings. Only nine of the freeholders in Burwell had more than 24 a. (fn. 57) Several of the large freeholds survived as units into the early 15th century. (fn. 58)

Of the villein land, in all c. 980 a. in 1279, c. 765 a. were on the Ramsey manor; Tiptofts had only 6 or 7 customary half yardlands, besides nine cottagers' holdings, and Dullinghams barely 23 a. (fn. 59) In the 13th century 8-10 Ramsey villein tenants held 24 a. each and six 20 a. each, while up to 24 held half yardlands, all the yardlands being broken up by 1279; 8-11 other tenants had 8 a. each. (fn. 60) The labour services c. 1230, derived from those owed c. 1150 by yardlanders, (fn. 61) were heavy. All tenants with 15 a. or more had to work one day a week in winter, rising to two in summer and three during harvest, besides three boonworks, haymaking, and carrying corn to the barn and mill, to fairs, and to Ramsey itself. Those holding 8 a. or less were excused weekwork and carting, while c. 30 cottagers owed mainly rents and bedrips. (fn. 62) Besides substantial assize rents the tenants' cash renders (fn. 63) included 'fulstingpunt', (fn. 64) landgavel, wardpennies, turfsilver, maltsilver, probably commuting the making of malt required c. 1150, (fn. 65) and winesilver; that payment replaced a duty of hedging the vineyard which still gave a name to a meadow c. 1275. (fn. 66) Holmsilver remained formally due in 1650 for the use of the Holm common meadow. 'Hall straw', the finest sheaves of sedge cut in the fen, representing over 8,000 sheaves of rushes due from customary tenants in 1399, was still officially owed by copyholders in 1650. (fn. 67) In 1279, however, even Ramsey's larger customary tenants were said to owe only one work a week. By 1300 possibly only c. 20 of them were actually liable to do works, others rendering cash instead. On the other two main manors villeins had in 1279 and 1298 to plough 8 a. yearly and owed a few days' works, which included hoeing, haymaking, reaping, cutting turf, and carting. (fn. 68)

The Ramsey demesne, still let to a farmer c. 1150 and c. 1210, (fn. 69) was probably in hand by the 1230s (fn. 70) as throughout the 14th century. (fn. 71) In 1307 up to 22 tenants turned out to plough 61 a. over three days, and 146 in 1325 to perform two harvest boons, 78 attending a third. Most of the demesne work was done by a permanent staff including four ploughmen, a carter, and a swineherd. A cowman cared for 15-25 milking cattle, producing mainly cheese, and two shepherds managed a flock including c. 170 wethers in 1325, but c. 500 in 1399. In the early 14th century rent at c. £35 yearly brought in half or more of that manor's cash income, while sales of corn and livestock yielded between £12 and £24. Ramsey's main gain from its Burwell demesne farming came, however, from the loads of wheat, up to 80 qr. yearly, over half the available crop, and of malted barley and dredge, up to 45 qr., despatched to the abbey; c. 1314 as later they went by boat. After that demesne had been leased, perhaps by 1410, to a farmer, (fn. 72) he was still expected as late as 1447 to devote most of his own and the tenants' rents paid through him to buying locally c. 185 qr. of wheat to be sent to Ramsey by water from Reach. (fn. 73) By 1417 the demesne lease was held by John Benet, whose family retained it for several generations. (fn. 74) The last John Benet, with £100 Burwell's wealthiest inhabitant in 1524, (fn. 75) had inherited his father John's lease of 1471. About 1527 he objected when the abbot sought to restore direct collection by his bailiff of the copyholders' rents. (fn. 76) Though the Benets were apparently deprived of their lease c. 1529, (fn. 77) they survived at Burwell as minor gentry into the 1570s. (fn. 78)

Failure to perform labour services was occasionally reported on Ramseys manor in the early 14th century. (fn. 79) Of those tenants still subject to them, 6-7 often refused to come and work c. 1400. (fn. 80) Until the 1440s seven Ramsey villein families remained bondmen by blood, still expected after 1400, when some fled, to pay for licences to marry. (fn. 81) By 1399, largely since 1394, the abbey had commuted most customary works owed from 15 of its holdings of 20-24 a., and from 21 of the half yardlands, but only for seven of the smaller tenements, besides 18 crofts. Almost half of those smaller holdings were held for cash. The rents set, averaging 1s. an acre, also covered most of the old cash renders, but not the assize rents. Two thirds of the holdings had been granted for terms of up to 20 years, others for 30-40 years. In the 1390s Ramsey was moreover leasing 122½ a. of its demesne to 35 villagers, mostly in blocks of 4 a. or less. (fn. 82)

Until the 1410s most grants of customary land by the abbey continued to be for 20 years or fewer. Thereafter such shorter grants were equalled by others made for 30-60 years, which came to predominate after c. 1435. Hereditary or life grants remained rare into the 1450s. In the early 15th century the traditional Ramsey customary holdings of 8-24 a., and their fractions, were still mostly granted as single units. (fn. 83) Only from c. 1430 did a few tenants begin to hold two or more of them together. (fn. 84) Until the late 1420s several grants reserved ploughing and reaping boons for the benefit of the demesne farmer, (fn. 85) who c. 1450 was still using such works due from ten larger holdings and six cotlands. (fn. 86) Moreover labour services were not formally abolished on Ramseys manor: in 1611 those owing them were allowed to pay lower entry fines. (fn. 87) Even in 1650 the 17 copyholders still formally subject to them owed enough to reap 13 a. of corn, c. 1 a. each, besides 16 days' haymaking, and some ploughing and carting, all valued, and presumably rendered, in cash. (fn. 88)

By the mid 16th century copyholds on Ramseys manor were again heritable, (fn. 89) as were those on the other manors. (fn. 90) In the 15th century Ramseys tenants' entry fines had been almost nominal, even for large holdings. (fn. 91) By 1600 they were being raised to allegedly unreasonable levels: the tenants, who claimed that they should be certain at two years' quitrent, secured, after a lawsuit in 1610-11, an Exchequer decree setting fines at 3s. for each arable, and 6s. 8d. for each grass acre, with £1 for each ancient commonable messuage, which was half the rate for new-built cottages without common rights. In 1627 a new Crown lessee of the royalties challenged those rates, applied since 1611. The Exchequer set them aside in 1628, ruling that entry fines, though they should be reasonable, were 'arbitrable' at the lord's will, (fn. 92) as they remained thereafter. (fn. 93) About 1800 235 a. of arable were reported as copyhold of Tiptofts manor, besides 14 messuages and the fen allotted for them, but only 9 a. was so held of Dullinghams. (fn. 94) At inclosure in 1817 at least 464 a. were claimed and 558 a. allotted as copyhold of Ramseys, at least 155 a. and 213 a. respectively as copyhold of Tiptofts, only 18 a. for Dullinghams. (fn. 95) Enfranchisement began on those manors by the 1870s. (fn. 96)

By the 1610s the lessee of Ramseys demesne farm had also sublet much of it to 13 or more fellow villagers, (fn. 97) whose shares were probably represented by the 282 a. occupied in 1650 by 18 men, including five with 30-40 a. each, so reducing the Hall farm's arable to 221 a. (fn. 98) At inclosure such lesser Crown leaseholdings still comprised 104 a. (76 a. statute measure) of arable. (fn. 99)

Burwell's open-field arable was reckoned to cover c. 3,420 a. (local measure) in 1809 and c. 3,100 a. in 1840. (fn. 1) It was still then distinguished into 'white' land, probably on the south-eastern chalk soils, and 'red' land, probably north-east of the village. (fn. 2) By the 1230s the arable had been divided into four fields, then called North, South, East, and Ditch fields. (fn. 3) North field (840 a.), north-east of the village, (fn. 4) extended towards the Ness at the parish's north-eastern corner. Part of that field, c. 100 a. already in 1232 distinguished as the Breach, presumably because brought under cultivation later, (fn. 5) lay beyond the Holms, common meadow in 1308, (fn. 6) south-east of that field's more northerly furlongs. The Holms separated 45 a., probably several meadow, called by 1650 Hay Croft, (fn. 7) and Burnt fen, so named by 1300, on the north. (fn. 8) By 1809 c. 100 a. out of 160 a. in the Holms and Burnt fen had been ploughed up. (fn. 9) To the south-east East field (960 a.), called by the 1530s (fn. 10) Mill field from the windmills at its north-west end, curved south-east besides Exning from the east side of High Town. Ditch field (1,130 a.), which lay beside the Devil's Ditch, beginning beside Reach croft, mentioned by 1500, (fn. 11) by 1654 called Reach corner, (fn. 12) near Reach hamlet, likewise extended south-eastward towards Burwell heath. The long narrow South field (250 a.), cultivated with North field in crop rotations, stretched between them in a discontinuous line of furlongs. Burwell heath, mentioned in 1279, (fn. 13) traditionally 725 a., measured in 1841 at c. 640 a., (fn. 14) occupied the far south-east of the parish.

Burwell fen, which stretched for three miles, narrowing gradually, westward from the village and fields, (fn. 15) was believed c. 1840 to cover altogether 3,100 a. (fn. 16) North of North field lay the Broads. The Turf fen further west along the northern boundary was distinguished by the mid 16th century from the Straw or Sedge fen, (fn. 17) also called c. 1570-1610 the Playn fen. (fn. 18) Part of the Sedge fen lay in the west of the modern Hallard fen, (fn. 19) the extensive fenland west of the village; by 1573, and regularly from the 1670s, it was called Hall(h)ed fen, (fn. 20) possibly from the Hawlode mentioned in 1419. (fn. 21)

By 1300 the arable was subject to a triennial rotation. In 1307 the Ramsey demesne's winter crops yielded over 160 qr. of winter wheat, but only 10 qr. of rye, while the spring ones produced 50 qr. of barley, but 125 qr. of dredge; oats were largely bought in. That demesne was cropped in similar proportions into the 1320s. (fn. 22) In 1398-9, of the 277 a. sown on the Ramsey demesne arable then in hand, 128 a. in Ditch field were under wheat, 130 a. in East field under barley, with no mixed crops, and only 19 a. under oats and peas. (fn. 23) Barley was probably the predominant peasant crop by the early 16th century. (fn. 24) Saffron was grown in the early 17th century. (fn. 25) The standard Cambridgeshire rotation including a triennial fallow was still in use in the 1790s. Then and into the 1850s Burwell was noted for the high quality of its wheat seed, never changed by local farmers, who produced it by a light threshing of the top of the crop. (fn. 26)

The heath was perhaps by 1580, certainly by 1700, divided into five sheepwalks, (fn. 27) belonging to larger holdings, not all manorial. The largest right of sheepwalk, for 480 sheep, was attached in 1650 to Ramseys manor, whose share of heath in 1806 comprised 171 a. in the far south of the parish. (fn. 28) Tiptofts manor had, until a sale in 1681, sheepwalk over Newmarket Heath for '300' sheep, probably in long hundreds, represented in 1764 by 400. (fn. 29) Dullinghams and St. Omers manors and one other freehold also each had in 1678 sheepwalk for '300', probably also in long hundreds; another holding's half sheepwalk then covered 160 beasts, while in 1815 Salisbury Dunn (II) claimed sheepwalk for 360 beasts for his 413-a. estate; two small owners claimed it for 480 and 270, and three others, one of whom had bought such rights from Lord Aylesford, for 180 sheep each. (fn. 30) Despite objections by the six occupiers of sheepwalk, common rights to graze the fallow fields were allowed in 1814-15 to c. 80 owners of commonable messuages, out of c. 120 for which claims were made. Those owners were still entitled in the late 18th century, as probably in the 15th, to feed cattle on the wheat, then the barley stubble, before the sheepflocks entered to graze the fallow until March. (fn. 31) In the 16th and 17th centuries, when sheep went in after Holy Cross day (14 Sept.), the time agreed for putting herds, including the common Town herd mentioned in 1582, into the shack had been publicly announced in church. (fn. 32) In 1585 tenants were restricted to keeping six horses for each plough, (fn. 33) while in 1647 byherds were forbidden on greens near the village. (fn. 34) In the 16th and 17th centuries some villagers had kept a few milking cattle. (fn. 35) About 1795 1,700 Norfolk sheep were kept, individual farmers having 100-200 each in the 1810s. (fn. 36)

The fens, including the lodes, were fished; the size of nets in use there was controlled in the 14th and the 16th centuries, (fn. 37) Fishing continued into the 20th century. (fn. 38) The fens' main use from the Middle Ages was as common to provide pasture for livestock (fn. 39) and sedge to cut for fodder and turf for fuel. The fen commons had sometimes to be protected against interlopers from other villages, including c. 1400 Wicken. (fn. 40) Their exploitation was controlled by stints and otherwise. In 1573 mowing 'fenstraw' was allowed in Playn fen only once it had been 'broken', apparently just after Easter. The sedge fen was normally closed to commoning beasts in January and February, and the part selected for mowing also between Midsummer and Michaelmas. In the 16th century villagers might not employ more than one workman using one scythe to mow in the fodder fen. Residents who left the village should only in 1612 remove 5,000 of the turfs stacked at their farmsteads. (fn. 41) The sale of turf and sedge outside the parish was occasionally forbidden from the early 14th century (fn. 42) to the early 17th, (fn. 43) but in the 1570s selling straw was tacitly allowed once men's stints of it had been stacked. (fn. 44) About 1604, however, Burwell men, having 'good corn grounds' and 'abounding' with livestock, were said to gather and sell all the sedge from their fens. Some then wintered cattle there to manure their land, selling them in spring. (fn. 45)

Common rights in Burwell's fens were ended following the 17th-century drainage of the Bedford Level. In the late 1630s c. 712 a. of fen in the parish's north-western corner were appropriated to the Drainers in three blocks of 'Adventurers' Lands', nominally of 293 a., 247 a., and 160 a., subdivided into lots ranging from 40 a. upwards. (fn. 46) In the late 1670s most of the remaining fens were formally allotted in individual holdings among common-right owners. In 1677 Ramseys and Tiptofts manors each received 84 a. in the Broads, 100 a. in the western Sedge fen, and respectively 100 a. and 92 a. in the Turf fen; (fn. 47) another 155 a. of that fen was divided into 22-a. lots among seven men in 1678, all but one combined in one ownership by 1794. (fn. 48) In 1678, too, the remaining fens were shared out among the other lords and c. 112 commoners for their 145 commonable messuages, of which 65 were owner-occupied. Each obtained on average lots of 10½ a. for each such house, a few less, but 1¼ a. each were assigned for the fifteen '30 foot' cottages. Those lots, laid out separately in standard blocks of 3½ a. grouped into almost thirty 'dolvers', included another 270 a. in the Broads, 660 a. in Halled fen, and 165 a. in Little fen, also 76 a. in the Spong south-east of the new Adventurers' dyke. Another 82 a., 75 a., and 37 a. were allotted in the Holms, Burnt fen, and North Fen green, recorded since 1500, at the village north end. Altogether 2,350 a. were thus divided, (fn. 49) excluding both the Adventurers' lands and the Poors' fen comprising 188 a. of the Turf fen left for the poor to dig. (fn. 50) The agrarian bylaws occasionally issued thereafter were concerned solely, apart from enforcing drainage work, with openfield management. (fn. 51)

Although the fens were thus formally held in severalty, they were not then cultivated or even converted to regular pasture, even though some drainage ditches ran besides the droveways and surrounded the dolvers. As late as 1800 they were 'constantly inundated', partly through poor maintenance of the drainage channels. They still yielded mainly turf and sedge, cut every 4-5 years by the poor, partly for fodder, partly sold into the uplands to dry malt. (fn. 52) Burwell men apparently preferred to leave the fens in that state. In 1767 Burwell fen's landowners refused to join a parliamentary scheme for draining Swaffham and neigbouring fens, (fn. 53) while 53 villagers agreed in 1817 to oppose new plans to drain the fen. (fn. 54) The fen produce helped to maintain many smallholders, condemned by would-be improvers as given to poaching and 'all sorts of idleness'. (fn. 55) Ownership of fenland was still widely distributed in 1828, when, out of c. 2,545 a. of fenland reported, c. 1,060 a. belonged to eighty people with 40 a. or less, of whom fifty had under 12 a., equivalent to the old commonright allotments. Most exploited their own plots. Ten other holdings ranged between 40 a. and 70 a. and one covered 170 a., while 715 a. were attached to the manorial estates. (fn. 56)

Much of the upland arable also still belonged to smaller owners when inclosure was effected in the 1810s. Excluding the manorial, church, and charity estates, there were only three holdings of 100 a. or more, altogether c. 750 a., including Salisbury Dunn (II)'s 414 a., over half (225 a.) of which derived from recent purchases. Twelve other owners, each with 50-75 a., had between them c. 500 a., and 25 others with 20-45 a. c. 700 a. Almost ninety others claimed some property, including sixty owning merely one or two messuages each. (fn. 57) Of c. 160 owners asked to consent to inclosure, over 100 dwelt at Burwell. (fn. 58) Proposals for inclosure, first considered in 1808, (fn. 59) were revived, following John Harwood's purchase of three of the manors, (fn. 60) in 1813. An Act was obtained in 1814, even though owners of 1,047 a. out of the 3,570 a, involved, including Cambridge university and its rectory lessee, Salisbury Dunn, were neutral or opposed, two thirds of the resident smallholders apparently supporting it. (fn. 61) The Act deliberately excluded both the heath, of which c. 75 a. had been ploughed up by 1809, and the fens. It only involved the old inclosures, c. 330 a., of which 216 a. was said in 1809 to be arable, through exchanges. (fn. 62) The award, which effectively covered only 2,752 a. of open-field arable, (fn. 63) whose division had been completed at the harvest of 1815, was executed in 1817. (fn. 64) Of the land allotted, 794 a. was assigned to the manorial estates, 265 a. for church, charity, and collegiate property, 510 a. for two farms of over 100 a., including Dunn's, but only 250 a. in other holdings of over 50 a. Another 750 a. went to forty people allotted between 10 and 45 a. and 140 a. more to 27 lesser owners; another 31 owners of houses received separately ½ a. each for residual rights of open-field common. (fn. 65) One substantial farm was growing mostly wheat and barley in 1821. (fn. 66) By 1840 the upland arable was mostly subject to a four-course rotation. (fn. 67)

Meanwhile the fens were beginning to be cultivated. By the 1830s 536 a. of 'skirtland', including 311 a. in the Broads and 235 a of Halled fen, stretching south-westwards in a narrow band along the western side of the Weirs, was effectively exploited, mostly as pasture. (fn. 68) Of the remaining fenland, including in 1827 c. 575 a. of 'high' and c. 1,250 a. of 'low' lands, c. 480 a. were then fed and 250 a. mown, presumably for hay, another 860 a. being still only mown for sedge. (fn. 69) By 1841 the Broads and Halled fen included 225 a. of grass, and even 27 a. of arable. On the upland there were only c. 375 a. of grass, north of the heath, compared with c. 2,690 a. of arable, of which 265 a. was said to lie within closes and 70 a. upon the former Burnt fen and sheepwalk. (fn. 70)

In 1819 the vicar bought back the Poors' fen, lately auctioned to meet unpaid drainage rates, in trust for its poor. All not chargeable to the poor rate continued to be allowed to cut turf and sedge there for their households' use. (fn. 71) Turf digging, in late summer, persisted under regulations agreed by the poor, which in 1844 barred outsiders and those occupying over 10 a., and forbade sales out of the parish. (fn. 72) About 1849, when the turf had been mostly dug out, Chancery ordered the conversion of the land for letting as a farm. Burwell's labourers, receiving much sympathy locally, objected to losing their traditional rights. Early in 1851 c. 500 people occupied the land, undeterred by police sent from Scotland Yard, to obstruct the contractor preparing it for cultivation. They only gave way when confronted in March with troops, including hussars. The ringleaders were imprisoned. (fn. 73)

During the 19th century Burwell's farmland continued to be divided between large leasehold farmers, partly upon the manorial estates and mostly based at and near High Town, and smaller farmers, often owner-occupiers, who were concentrated at North Street. In 1841 the twelve farms comprising c. 1,150 a. worked from High Town included three of over 200 a., with 830 a. between them; of the eighteen farmers on North Street, altogether working 330 a., only three occupied over 30 a. (fn. 74) From the 1860s to the 1880s, besides some relatively large farms on the former open fields to the south-east, such as Ditch farm (140 a.), Gravelpit farm (158 a.), and Warbraham farm (286 a.), (fn. 75) whose farmsteads were often occupied by labourers, there were usually 10-12 farmers at High Town, but often 25-30 at North Street, drawn from well established local families, such as the Bridgemans, Casbornes, and Peacheys. The five or six men usually farming over 100 a. from there occupied 655 a. between them in 1871. Of 715 a. then worked by North Street smallholders, 310 a. was occupied by 13 men with 40 a. or less. Meanwhile seven farmers at High Town working over 100 a., occupied 2,270 a. out of the 2,530 a. farmed from there. Among them was Robert Stephenson who after 1875 built up around the Hall farm a holding enlarged from 895 a. to 1,410 a. by 1881 (fn. 76) and 1,800 a. by the 1890s. (fn. 77)

In the 1890s most farmers were just surviving by drawing on their capital, not letting their land deteriorate, although some tenants had succumbed to the depression. (fn. 78) Stephenson was still farming 875 a. in 1910, when ownership of farmland remained widely spread: c. 1,070 a. in the uplands and 950 a. in the fen then belonged to men with under 50 a. in each, including 60 owning under 10 a. each in the fen. Occupation of the farmed land was scarcely more concentrated after 1900. Of the larger farmers in 1910, nine based at High Town, 21 at North Street, the twelve, apart from Stephenson, who occupied 125-355 a., were farming altogether 2,580 a., while there were fourteen men with 50-90 a. each, sharing 908 a. and 34 with 10-45 a., working another 832 a. The 44 smallholders with under 10 a., 24 working land in the fen, had c. 250 a. between them. (fn. 79) Until the 1950s there were still c. 130 people farming at Burwell, including many smallholders on the county council land: 90-100 of them worked 50 a. or less, only 8-10 over 100 a., and as late as 1970 c. 50 out of 60 people reported farming occupied under 50 a., though two had over 700 a. each. (fn. 80)

About 1830 most of Burwell's 222 adult labourers were regularly employed. (fn. 81) A fire which in 1843 destroyed the Burwell Hall farmstead was ascribed to arson, two labourers being later convicted, as was another fire in 1851. (fn. 82) In the mid and late 19th century there were usually between 160 and 175 adult labourers available in the parish. After 1850 more of them, up to 80 in 1861 and 1881, lived at High Town than at North Street, where from the 1860s many younger men were drawn off to turf and coprolite digging. Newnham and various new cottages in the fen each housed 20-25 labourers. In 1871 the farmers at High Town and to its south had work for 74 men and 37 boys, those farming from North Street for only 49 men and 17 boys. (fn. 83) By 1900, following emigration by young people, there was a shortage of labourers. (fn. 84) In 1930 and 1950 170-180 men were still working full-time, and 60 or more part-time, on the farms, but by 1970 there were only 23 full-time labourers, compared with 46 men from farming families, engaged in farming. (fn. 85)

In the 1840s and mid 1850s the remaining fen marshland had still been often flooded. (fn. 86) The fen drainage temporarily effected under an Act of 1841 (fn. 87) eventually proved inadequate: the artificial drainage systems already created in neighbouring parishes, especially the Swaffhams, hindered the easy movement of upland water through Burwell fen. High prices demanded by hostile owners of lots in Burwell fen for dyke and pumping station sites in the early 1840s depleted the Drainage Commission's funds available for making and maintaining drainage channels, and the fen ground level increasingly fell below that of those channels. (fn. 88) Initially, however, about a quarter of the fen was brought under the plough by the late 1860s. Fertilized by clay dug from the subsoil, it produced good crops of oats, and later wheat, roots, and mustard, while small farmers bred foals on fen grassland. (fn. 89) Other exposed ground could be profitably dug for turf, coprolites, and brick clay. (fn. 90) By 1861 three or four farmsteads stood in the fen, (fn. 91) where by the early 20th century the scattered 3 1/2-a. lots were sometimes combined into larger holdings. (fn. 92) Renewed flooding due to imperfect drainage, however, reduced productivity there from the late 1870s, falling profits in turn cutting the yield of fen taxes needed to maintain the Commission's communal drainage system. Farmers, especially in the far northwest, had to erect at least eight windpumps, four before 1886, to supplement the work ineffectively done by the Commissioners' steam pumps. (fn. 93) By the 1930s much of Adventurers' fen, its northern part owned by the National Trust as an appendage to Wicken Fen, had become a reed-covered wilderness. During the Second World War that area, c. 400 a., with the adjoining Priory farm (100 a.), was in 1941 thoroughly drained by recut channels, the reeds fired, and the land compulsorily ploughed up, but after 1945 the Trust again let their share revert to typical fenland. (fn. 94)

Meanwhile, on an arable cropped area usually covering c. 4,000 a. between 1870 and 1910 before falling to c. 2,600 a. in 1930, the proportion under wheat, over half the corn crop in 1870, gradually declined until the 1930s in comparison to that under barley which slightly exceeded it by 1970. By then, up to 4,800 a. cropped included 650-750 a. of sugar beet, recorded since 1930, besides potatoes (300-400 a.) and mustard (c. 90 a.). (fn. 95) By the 1890s some small farmers had found a market for carrots and straw at the Newmarket stables. (fn. 96) Grassland increased from 1,800 a. in 1870, two thirds permanent and for pasture, to c. 2,950 a., half mown for hay, by 1890, and still covered 2,000 a. in 1910. Later reductions, to 1,630 a. by 1930 and 350 a. in 1970, were balanced by an increase in rough grazing, extending over up to 700 a. in 1930 and by 1970 to almost 1,100 a., presumably on the heath. Milking cattle usually numbered c. 200 until after 1950, but the number of grown sheep kept, c. 2,500 in 1870, fell sharply thereafter to 700 or fewer. In 1989 one flock of ewes was kept for milking. (fn. 97) Robert Stephenson, though c. 1890 he ceased keeping his flock of Suffolks, still sold milk to Cambridge and butter to Newmarket. In 1933 he had planted with apples 50 a. of his 205-a. Hundred Acres farm by the New River, (fn. 98) on which 93 a. of orchards, mostly apples and plums, stood in 1930. Much of Little fen to the south was then also planted with orchards, considerably reduced by 1950. (fn. 99)

In 1086 the Ramsey and Richmond manors each had two water mills. (fn. 1) A Ramsey mill near the Holms ceased working, 1130 X 1150, for lack of water. (fn. 2) By the early 13th century that manor's surviving water mill, at the Ness at Burwell's north-eastern end, was held freely with 24 a. by the Ness family for grinding the abbey's corn free of toll. (fn. 3) In 1259 the freeholder sold his mill and its millstrean, running from Exning, to the abbey. (fn. 4) By 1300 it was letting that mill, whose miller usually rendered his rent in 'tollcorn', 25 qr. or more, yearly into the 1320s. (fn. 5) The mill still ground in the 1340s. (fn. 6) Although its millpond's fishing was still let in the early 15th century, (fn. 7) it had probably been abandoned by 1500. (fn. 8) Tiptofts manor, besides a water mill recorded in 1314 and still leased from it in 1627, (fn. 9) had by 1298 a windmill, (fn. 10) probably the Tibotots mill which in 1308 stood near a 'milnway' running through the later Mill field. (fn. 11) One windmill was held as copyhold of Tiptofts manor in the 1580s and 1640s. (fn. 12)

In modern times several windmills stood on the brow of the rise east of the village, one by 1596 close to the high street. (fn. 13) By the 1820s (fn. 14) there were four, one new built in 1776; two of them stood east of North Street, two, one put up by 1812, near High Town. Of the northern pair one was probably taken down 1930 X 1935, the other, a smock mill, succumbed to housing development after 1950. One of the southern two was removed by 1903. (fn. 15) Three windmillers were working in the parish in 1851, two later, one off North Street into the mid 1930s. (fn. 16) A miller whose tower mill was sold in 1884 (fn. 17) was perhaps working the surviving early 19thcentury tower mill, the other southern one, of three storeys in tarred clunch, which stands off Mill Lane. Last worked in 1955, that mill had its cap and sails renewed and surviving original machinery restored after 1975. (fn. 18)

The weekly market on Wednesdays and annual two-week fair at Whitsun granted in 1277 to Robert Tybotot on his manor (fn. 19) apparently came to nothing. Butchers and bakers were sometimes reported from the 14th century. (fn. 20) In 1637 one villager, who wished his son to be apprenticed to a mercer, left him a shop with shelves and scales. (fn. 21) Besides the smiths, carpenters, thatchers, wheelwrights, harnessmakers, shoemakers, and tailors, typical of a large village, the population c. 1730 included a barber, a bricklayer, a basketmaker, and a woolcomber. (fn. 22) In 1797 a fellmonger's business was said to be a century old. (fn. 23) In the 1820s c. 50 households were supported by trades and crafts, compared with over 200 engaged in farming; (fn. 24) most of the craftsmen were still then probably engaged in such traditional trades, many of which were still practised in the 1910s. (fn. 25) In the 1920s and 1930s one of two blacksmiths still occupied the village forge rebuilt in 1710 at the northern end of the Causeway. Closed in 1953, it was briefly reopened c. 1980 to make ornamental ironwork. (fn. 26) Also c. 1930 there were still 2-3 shoemakers, a wheelwright, a saddler, later a cycle shop, and a plumber. A watchmaker had worked at Burwell in the 1890s. There were usually two or three small builders, one, formerly wheelwrights, being still in business in 1993.

One villager was a grocer in 1751. (fn. 27) Later, the numerous shops, one well established in 1777, (fn. 28) included, besides grocers and 2-4 butchers and bakers, from the 1890s a local branch of the Co-operative Society, (fn. 29) for which a large new shop was built at the Causeway's north end c. 1990. More specialized shops suited to the village's growth included from c. 1900 a fishmonger, chemists, and hairdressers, and from the 1920s a furniture dealer, also by 1905 a photographer. His successors, the Graingers, practising 1923-52, produced many illustrations of local life. (fn. 30) By the 1980s Burwell's numerous shops, almost thirty by 1993, (fn. 31) were mostly scattered along the main street, fewer on North Street, with slight concentrations at each end of the Causeway. In 1986 a small commercial art gallery transferred from Cambridge was opened on North Street, (fn. 32) where a large motor business originally started c. 1910 was expanding beyond its original premises. (fn. 33) Another large firm, Mitchams, probably started after the 1930s by a local farming family, which dealt in tractors and harvesters, was in the late 1960s based at Berkeley House, formerly Pits Farm, off the north end of High Town. (fn. 34)

Shipwrights were recorded in 1322 and 1361, and a Shipwright family c. 1400. One villager was a shipman in 1444. (fn. 35) In the early 19th century, as probably earlier, several men worked lighters from Burwell. There was a master waterman c. 1815-34 at North Street, (fn. 36) where other watermen were recorded into the 1860s. The Hobbs family, watermen in the 1810s, were building boats there by 1841 and carried on thatzbusiness until c. 1890; (fn. 37) it was possibly continued by a coal merchant until c. 1920. Burwell's industrial firms also built barges for their own use, and until 1910 sometimes for sale. (fn. 38) Traffic along the Lode was by then in rapid decline: tolls paid on it for fen drainage fell from c. £200 c. 1900 to barely £20 in the 1920s. (fn. 39)

Burwell's main non-agricultural exports before 1800 were the clunch cut in its quarries and lime made from it. Stone from Burwell was used in 1295 at Cambridge castle, later at several Cambridge colleges. (fn. 40) Masons named from Burwell were working c. 1350 at Ely cathedral and Windsor castle. (fn. 41) One quarry belonged by 1399 to Ramsey abbey. (fn. 42) In 1628 a Burwell bricklayer bought a 3/4-a. meadow called, perhaps by 1584, the Quarry. (fn. 43) In the early 19th century the Arber family, also bricklayers, were working the High Town clunchpits, probably covering 3¾ a. in 1804, and limekilns; (fn. 44) then, as probably earlier, they were sited on the high ground just east of the high street. By the most northerly pit stood the Victoria limeworks, in business 1885-1905. (fn. 45) Lime burning continued in the 1940s and the clunchpits, the last worked until 1962 by the Carters, were briefly reopened c. 1972 to obtain stone for work at Anglesey Abbey and Woburn Abbey (Beds.). (fn. 46) About 1900 Robert Stephenson started in the east of Breach farm to the north-east a cement works, employing 40 men, which remained in production until c. 1926. (fn. 47)

Burwell's most important 19th-century industries, based in the fen, were built up by a trading family. A business dealing in corn, coal, timber, salt, and Baltic iron, was established in 1806 by a partnership of local men at North Street, which also built its own windmill, but went bankrupt in 1812. (fn. 48) Edward Ball who had taken it over by 1820, (fn. 49) had by the 1830s a large trade at Burwell. He also made bricks and by 1837 owned and worked the surviving High Town windmill. (fn. 50) Even after retiring from commerce Ball ran a 450-a. farm in 1861. (fn. 51) His sons moved into industry to exploit the opportunities created in the late 1850s (fn. 52) for digging turf and coprolites in the recently drained fens: by 1861 38 men were digging turf, and still c. 20 in the 1870s, from North Street, where several small turf dealers traded and carted it. There were also 28 'fossil diggers' there in 1861, c. 50 in 1871. (fn. 53) By then Salisbury Ball was employing 36 men to dig coprolites, while 36 others dug them for two other farmers. Ball also worked over 300 a. from Parsonage Farm and ran the family's windmill into the 1890s. (fn. 54) His brother Richard was by 1861 employing 108 men (fn. 55) to convert the coprolites into fertilizer, using a process developed by a local man. Control of his chemical manure works, erected 1864-5, standing on Burwell Lode, was from 1862 shared by the third brother, T. T. Ball. Richard (d. 1875 × 1880) also opened, supposedly to give the diggers work in winter, a brickworks a little to the north beyond the old lode, eventually renamed Factory lode. In 1881 T. T. Ball employed 33 men, at least ten from the village, at the chemical works, in partnership from the 1880s with W. and G. H. Colchester, of a Suffolk fertilizer firm. By 1900 those works were linked by a private line to the Cambridge-Mildenhall railway running through Soham. (fn. 56) Their firm, Colchester & Ball, continued to produce both fertilizer, by 1900 using imported phosphates, and the Burwell White bricks, of which many late 19th-and 20thcentury houses in the village are constructed, until G. H. Colchester retired. It was taken over in 1919 by another East Anglian fertilizer company, Prentices, (fn. 57) which also then briefly acquired the Droford Mineral Water works on the high street, started c. 1809. Its former manager then continued a rival mineral water business until 1974. (fn. 58)

Prentices was in turn merged in 1929 into Fisons, which manufactured fertilizer at Burwell until after 1962, when only 19 people were employed, and later used that factory for storage. (fn. 59) In 1993 the building was occupied by a packaging firm. By 1926 a new and larger brickworks was built, with steadily growing brickpits to its north, on Little Fen drove just south-west of the earlier one. (fn. 60) It remained in use in the 1960s, employing c. 45 people and producing up to 10,000,000 bricks a year. In 1966 Fisons sold it to a Leicestershire brick manufacturer. (fn. 61) Following the loss in popularity of white bricks, it was closed in 1971. (fn. 62) The buildings, save for some workers' cottages, were demolished in 1972, their two 180-ft. high chimneys being blown up. (fn. 63)

Thereafter Burwell's largest employer was the corrugated packaging business originally run by A. R. Paske in the late 1940s from the former Methodist chapel on North Street. It was taken over in 1956 by Tillotsons Corrugated Cases, which shortly built a large factory on a new site south of Scotred Lane, where it employed half the business's 300 workers by 1962, shortly overrunning the former railway station site. (fn. 64) By 1973, when a third of the inhabitants still worked at Burwell, Tillotsons employed 500 people. Called St. Regis Packaging from 1984, it was still in business in the 1990s. (fn. 65) Meanwhile a cold store, of 18,000 sq. ft., had been built in 1977-8 by a drove in the fen to the north-west. (fn. 66) In the 1980s two industrial estates were established, one off the Reach road north-west of the packaging factory, the other, smaller one c. 1989 on 8 a. beside the road running north-east towards the Ness from North Street. (fn. 67) They housed several out of almost twenty small firms active at Burwell in 1989; some, one of them started in 1974, were engaged in light engineering, electronics, and computer designing, others in window manufacture and complex woodworking. (fn. 68) In 1991 Burwell had altogether c. 2,350 working adults, an increase of 300 since 1981; only a fifth were not in employment. (fn. 69)


48 V.C.H. Cambs. i. 371-2, 378, 384, 401.
49 Ramsey Cart. (Rolls Ser.), ii. 28.
50 P.R.O., SC 6/765/10. Dated '22-3' (regnal name missing); here dated to 1398-9 (22-3 Ric. II), as P.R.O. Lists & Indexes, v. 106; not 1348-9 (22-3 Edw. III), as supposed, V.C.H. Cambs. ii. 62; partly by comparing tenants' names with those recorded in Liber Gersumarum of Ramsey Abbey, ed. B.F. DeWindt (Toronto, 1976), for relevant period.
51 P.R.O., C 133/16, no. 9; C 133/85, no. 3.
52 Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 499.
53 Ramsey Chron. (Rolls Ser.), 261-2, 271-2, 319.
54 Ramsey Cart. (Rolls Ser.), ii. 270-1; iii. 308.
55 e.g. Cur. Reg. R. xii, pp. 116-7; cf. P.R.O., CP 25/1/23/12, no. 9.
56 Ramsey Cart. ii. 27-8.
57 Rot. Hund. ii. 499.
58 e.g. P.R.O., CP 25/1/25/35, no. 18; CP 25/1/26/43, no. 1; CP 25/1/27/57, no. 14; CP 25/1/28/75, no. 20; CP 25/1/30/92, no. 17.
59 Rot. Hund. ii. 499; cf. P.R.O., C 133/85, no. 3.
60 Ramsey Cart. ii. 27-35; Rot. Hund. ii. 499.
61 Ramsey Cart. iii. 309-10.
62 Ibid. ii. 27-35.
63 Listed, ibid. ii. 27-8; P.R.O., SC 6/765/6, and later accts. cited below.
64 Cf. N. Neilson, Customary Rents (1910), 178-9.
65 Ramsey Cart. iii. 309.
66 Ibid. ii. 27; B.L. Add. Ch. 7503.
67 P.R.O., E 317/Cambs./1, mm. 1, 9; cf. ibid. SC 2/179/15, m. 9.; SC 6/765/10.
68 Rot. Hund. ii. 499; P.R.O., SC 6/765/6; ibid. C 133/85, no. 3.
69 Ramsey Cart. iii. 309-10; Pipe R. 1207 (P.R.S.N.S. xxii), 110.
70 Cf. Ramsey Cart. ii. 25-35.
71 Acct. of 14th-cent. demesne farming from P.R.O., SC 6/765/6-10 (bailiffs' accts. 35 Edw. I-1 Edw. II, 7-8, 18-19 Edw. II, [19 Edw. III], 22-3 [Ric. II].
72 Ramsey Liber Gersumarum, ed. DeWindt, pp. 104, 256, 271.
73 P.R.O., SC 6/765/11; cf. ibid. E 310/9/13, m. 12.
74 Ramsey Liber Gersumarum, pp. 138, 314; cf. P.R.O., SC 6/765/11-12.
75 L. & P. Hen. VIII, iii (2), p. 1116.
76 P.R.O., C 1/386, nos. 32-3.
77 Cf. ibid. E 310/9/13, no. 12.
78 e.g. ibid. LR 3/8/2: 5, 15 Eliz. I.
79 e.g. P.R.O., SC 2/179/15, m. 8; SC 2/179/16, m. 8d.
80 Ibid. SC 2/179/45, m. 6; cf. ibid. SC 2/179/56, m. 1.
81 e.g. ibid. SC 2/179/10, m. 1; SC 2/179/15, m. 8; SC 2/179/52, m. 2d.; ibid. C 44/10, m. 8; Ramsey Liber Gersumarum, pp. 24, 26, 41, 48, 124, 149, 300.
82 P.R.O., SC 6/765/10.
83 Ramsey Liber Gersumarum, passim, by index, s.v. Burwell.
84 e.g. ibid. pp. 199, 265, 300, 321.
85 Ibid. pp. 65, 104, 115, 149, 189, 208; cf. P.R.O., SC 6/765/10.
86 P.R.O., SC 6/765/11-12.
87 Ibid. E 126/3, f. 271v.
88 Ibid. E 317/Cambs./1, m. 7.
89 Ibid. LR 3/8/2, passim.
90 e.g. C.R.O., R 55/7/81; R 56/6/3-10, passim.
91 e.g. Ramsey Liber Gersumarum, ed. Dewindt, pp. 108, 144, 209, 321, 334.
92 P.R.O., E 126/3, ff. 270v.-272; E 134/3 Chas. I/East. 14; E 159/440, rot. 312; cf. ibid. PROB 11/57, f. 402v.
93 e.g. ibid. E 317/Cambs./1, m. 1; ibid. LR 3/9-10, passim.
94 C.R.O., R 51/25/17A.
95 Ibid. Q/RDz 9, pp. 13-73.
96 Ibid. R 51/25/6H, pp. 48 sqq.
97 P.R.O., C 5/395/84; cf. ibid. PROB 11/125, f. 440v.
98 Ibid. E 317/Cambs./1, mm. 4-6.
99 Ibid. Maps, MR 509; C.U.L., Doc. 625, nos. 72, 149, 151; cf. C.R.O., Q/RDz 9, pp. 52-3.
1 Arable acreages: C.U.A., CUR32/3, nos. 74 (1809, incl. each field), 69 (1840), 77 (1904); CUR32/1, no. 64 (p. 103) (1827); partly given in local measure, 3 roods per statute acre, as c. 1625: P.R.O., E 134/3 Chas. I/East. 14, deposns. to interr. 7 for def.; cf. P.R.O., MR 509.
2 C.U.A., CUR32/3, no. 69; cf. Vancouver, Agric. in Cambs. 35-6.
3 P.R.O., CP 25/1/24/14, no. 20; cf. ibid. SC 2/179/ 15, m. 9d.
4 Names and layout of fields and furlongs (shown on map 22), in 16th-18th cent.: C.U.L., Queens' Coll. Mun., 19: terriers c. 1535, 1595, 1657; C.U.A., D.XVI. 13A, 75, 119 (terriers 1602, 1675, 1780); C.R.O., L 4/14-15; ibid. Q/RDc 62 (incl. map 1817); P.R.O., MR 509 (Crown estate map 1806); C.U.L., E.D.R., G, tithe award and map 1841, incl. areas (statute measure) of several land and heath.
5 P.R.O., CP 25/1/24/14, no. 20; cf. P.N. Cambs. (E.P.N.S), 188. Possibly the 120 a. of 'highland arable' mentioned in 1809: C.U.A., CUR32/3, no. 74.
6 P.R.O., SC 2/179/15, mm. 8-9.
7 C.R.O., L 62/2.
8 P.N. Cambs. (E.P.N.S.), 368; cf. B.L. Add. Roll 39597; P.R.O., LR 3/8/2: 27 Eliz. I.
9 Cf. C.U.A., CUR32/3, no. 74.
10 East field so named to 1520s: C.U.L., Queens' Coll. Mun., 35: 39/24-5, 28, 37.
11 P.R.O., SC 2/179/86, m. 7.
12 C.R.O., R 56/6/6: 1654.
13 Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 498.
14 C.U.L., E.D.R., G, tithe award 1841, pp. [8, 22, 30].
15 Fen layout and names by 17th-cent. deduced from P.R.O., C 229/6, nos. 13, 17-19; C.U.A., D.XVI. 174-5; cf. B.L. Harl. MS. 5011, f. 39v.; cf. map 22.
16 Cf. C.U.A., CUR32/1, no. 64 (p. 103).
17 e.g. P.R.O., LR 3/8/2: [5], 24 Eliz. I; C.R.O., R 55/7/81: 26 Eliz. I.
18 P.R.O., LR 3/8/2: 15, 26 Eliz. I; LR 3/8/3: 7, 10 Jas. I; cf. C.R.O., R 55/7/81: 23, 26 Eliz. I.
19 For their positions, compare P.R.O., C 229/6, no. 13; ibid. MR 509.
20 P.R.O., LR 3/8/2: 15, 27 Eliz. I; LR 3/9B, p. 37; cf. 'Halfod' fen: ibid. SC 2/179/86, m. 7; 'Hallhed': cf. Halled dam and gate: ibid. LR 3/8/3: 7 Jas. I; C.R.O., R 55/7/81: 27 Eliz. I.
21 P.R.O., SC 2/179/56, m. 1; cf. H(e)avelode causeway: ibid. SC 2/179/74, m. 4d.
22 Ibid. SC 6/765/6-8.
23 Ibid. SC 6/765/10.
24 e.g. ibid. PROB 11/11, f. 64v.; PROB 11/51, f. 65; PROB 11/57, f. 402v.
25 C.U.A., D.XVI. 13A; P.R.O., PROB 11/130, ff. 13, 123.
26 Vancouver, Agric. in Cambs. 36; Gooch, Agric. of Cambs. 122; cf. Camb. Chron. (BC), 22 Mar. 1788, p. 3; 16 Oct. 1803, p. 4; 27 July 1805, p. 3; H.R. Haggard, Rural Eng. (1906), ii. 19.
27 C.R.O., R 55/7/81: 25 Eliz. I; C.U.A., CUR32/3, nos. 69, 74; cf. C.R.O., R 56/6/9, ct. roll 1690; B.L. Add. MS. 19315, f. 92; C.U.L., Doc. 625, nos. 13, 98, 149, 191.
28 P.R.O., E 317/Cambs./1, m. 4; ibid. MR 509; C.U.L., Doc. 625, no. 151.
29 C.U.L., Doc. 395; C.R.O., L 21/3; cf. P.R.O., C 229/6, no. 13.
30 P.R.O., C 229/6, no. 17; cf. C.U.L., Doc. 625, nos. 6, 130, 143-4, 146, 183, 296, 301.
31 C.U.L., Doc. 625, nos. 149, 158, 161, 183-4; cf. P.R.O., SC 2/179/56, m. 1.
32 P.R.O., LR 3/8/2: 15, 24, 27 Eliz. I; LR 3/8/3: 7 Jas. I; B.L. Add. Roll 58885; cf. C.R.O., R 56/6/8, ct. roll 1682; R 56/6/10: 1693.
33 C.R.O., R 55/7/81: 27 Eliz. I.
34 Ibid. R 56/6/3: 23 Chas. I; cf. B.L. Add. Roll 58885.
35 e.g. P.R.O., PROB 11/92, f. 29,; PROB 11/97, f. 170; PROB 11/124, f. 425v.
36 Vancouver, Agric. in Cambs. 39; Camb. Chron. (BC), 20 Sept. 1811, p. 2; 21 Oct. 1814, p. 2.
37 e.g. P.R.O., SC 2/179/10, m. 1; SC 2/179/11, m. 7d.; ibid. LR 3/8/2: 26 Eliz. I: cf. ibid. JUST 1/83, rott. 31, 72A.
38 e.g. C.R.O., R 59/31/10/22, f. 9; R 59/31/10/26, ff. 74, 86v.; Lucas, Fenman's World, 38-41; Camb. Evening News, 16 June 1971.
39 e.g. P.R.O., SC 2/179/16, m. 9; ibid. LR 3/8/2: 25 Eliz. I.
40 e.g. ibid. SC 2/179/11, m. 7d.; SC 2/179/45, m. 6; SC 2/179/52, m. 2; SC 2/179/56, m. 1; cf. ibid. LR 3/8/2: [3] Eliz. I.
41 Ibid. LR 3/8/2: 15, 27 Eliz. I; LR 3/8/3: 10 Jas. I; C.R.O., R 55/7/81: 23-4 Eliz. I.
42 e.g. P.R.O., SC 2/179/15, m. 9d.; SC 2/179/16, m. 9; SC 2/179/22, m. 7d.; LR 3/8/3: 7, 10 Jas. I.
43 Ibid. LR 3/8/2: 4 Eliz. I; LR 3/8/3: 10 Jas. I.
44 Ibid. LR 3/8/2: 15, 27 Eliz. I.
45 B.L. Harl. MS. 5011, f. 39v.
46 e.g. Wells, Bedf. Level, ii. 264; Schedule of Lands (copy, C.R.O., R 59/31/17*/2), 133; C.R.O., R 59/31/10/30, f. 36v.; C.U.L., Doc. 394; Proc. C.A.S. xxxiii: map facing p. 114; cf. C.C. Taylor, 'Drainage of Burwell Fen, 1840- 1959', in Evolution of Marshland Landscapes (Oxf. 1981), 160-2; cf. map 22.
47 C.U.A., D.XVI. 174; P.R.O., C 229/6, no. 13; cf. ibid. MR 509.
48 P.R.O., C 229/6, no. 18; C.R.O., R 52/9/5/43.
49 P.R.O., C 229/6, nos. 11, 17, 19; C 229/7, no. 27; C 229/8, no. 35; cf. C.U.L., Queens' Coll. Mun., 35: 39/ 26, 37.
50 31st Rep. Com. Char. 154.
51 e.g. C.R.O., R 56/6/10: 1690-3: P.R.O., LR 3/10, pp. 16-17, 45; LR 3/11c, pp. 17-18.
52 C.U.A., D.XVI. 168, 180; Vancouver, Agric. in Cambs. 36; cf. C.R.O., R 59/3/9/10, pp. [12, 15]; R 59/31/10/26, ff. 11v., 70v.
53 C.R.O., R 59/31/11/29, f. 30; R 59/31/10/34, f. 66v.
54 Camb. Chron. (BC), 24 Jan. 1817, p. 2.
55 C.U.A., D.XVI. 180.
56 Ibid. D.XVI. 172.
57 C.U.L., Doc. 625, nos. 6-7, 21-151, 287-304.
58 Ibid. no. 310.
59 Ibid. no. 2; C.U.A., D.XVI. 180.
60 Cf. above, manors (Tiptofts, Dullinghams, St. Omers).
61 C.U.L., Doc. 625, nos. 5, 163; C.J. lxix. 41, 164, 299, 308, 370, 393.
62 Burwell Incl. Act, 54 Geo. III (Private, not printed), p. 12; C.U.L., Doc. 625, no. 191; C.U.A., CUR 32/3, no. 74.
63 C.R.O., Q/RDz 9, p. 4.
64 Ibid. pp. 73-4; C.U.L., Doc. 625, nos. 197-8.
65 C.R.O., Q/RDz 9, pp. 13-72.
66 W. Suff. R.O., HB 510/2/11/1 (inventory).
67 Cf. C.U.A., CUR 32/3, no. 69.
68 Ibid. D.XVI.180, 182; cf. C.U.L., E.D.R., G, tithe award and map 1841.
69 C.U.A., CUR 32/1, no. 64.
70 C.U.L., E.D.R., G, tithe award 1841.
71 31st Rep. Com. Char. 188-9.
72 C.R.O., P 18/28/31.
73 Camb. Chron. (BC), 1 Feb. 1851, p. 4; 8 Feb. 1851, p. 4; 8 Mar. 1851, pp. 4, 8; 15 Mar. 1851, p. 4; 22 Mar. 1851, p. 4; 14 June 1851, p. 8; 21 June 1851, pp. 4, 8; 18 Apr. 1869, p. 8. Local tradition: Richardson, Burwell, 160-1. For the sequel, below, char.
74 C.U.L., E.D.R., G, tithe award 1841.
75 e.g. ibid. Maps, PSQ 18/256, 342; 19/271.
76 P.R.O., RG 10/1597, ff. 5-54; cf. ibid. RG 9/1032, ff. 4-49v.; RG 11/1676, ff. 4-46v.; also owners named in abutments in terriers cited above; also P.R.O., E 179/84/437, rott. 89v.-91.
77 Haggard, Rural Eng. (1906), ii. 17.
78 Rep. Com. Agric. Depression, Cambs. [C. 7871], p. 226 [= 74], H.C. (1895), xvii; cf. small turnover in farmers: Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1875-1900).
79 C.R.O., 470/O 19; cf. P.R.O., MAF 68/2398.
80 P.R.O., MAF 68/3502, 4304, 5161; cf. above, manors.
81 Rep. H.L. Cttee. on Poor Laws, 330-1.
82 Camb. Chron. (BC), 28 Jan. 1843, p. 2; 8 July 1843, p. 2; 19 Apr. 1851, p. 5.
83 P.R.O., RG 9/1032, ff. 4-49v.; RG 10/1597, ff. 5-54; RG 11/1676, ff. 4-46v.
84 Haggard, Rural Eng. (1906), ii. 18; cf. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/36. For early 20th-cent. farmwork, Camb. News, 22 Oct. 1968.
85 P.R.O., MAF 68/3502, 4384, 5161.
86 Lucas, Fenman's World, 6.
87 Burwell Fen Drainage Act, 4-5 Vic. c. lviii (Local and Personal).
88 C.C. Taylor, 'Drainage of Burwell Fen', 163-7.
89 Lucas, Fenman's World, 21-3, 47-8.
90 Cf. below.
91 P.R.O., RG 9/1032, ff. 47-49.
92 e.g. C.R.O., 297/SP 92; C.U.L., Maps, PSQ 19/110.
93 Taylor, 'Burwell Fen', 167-73; cf. R.C.H.M. Cambs. ii. 45-7.
94 Taylor, 'Burwell Fen', 172-7; A. Bloom, Prelude to Bressingham (1971), 46-57; cf. C.R.O., 1026/SP 302; O.S. Maps 6", Cambs. XXXV. NW., NE. (1903 and later edns.); ibid. 1/10,000, TL 56 NW., NE. (1958 and later edns.); also Ely Standard, 5 Mar. 1992.
95 P.R.O., MAF 68/232, 1258, 2398, 3502, 4304, 5161; cf. Richardson, Burwell, 90.
96 Rep. Com. Agric. Depression, Cambs. 43.
97 P.R.O., MAF 68/232, 1258, 2398, 3502, 4304, 5161; Camb. Evening News, 26 July 1989.
98 Haggard, Rural Eng. (1906), ii. 19-20.
99 C.U.L., Maps, PSQ 19/442; O.S. Map 6", Cambs. XXXV. NE. (1927, 1950 edns.); cf. P.R.O., MAF 68/2398; Camb. Ind. Press, 2 Feb. 1962.
1 V.C.H. Cambs. i. 401.
2 Ramsey Cart. (Rolls Ser.), iii. 310.
3 Ibid. ii. 27; cf. Lucas, Fenman's World, 13-14.
4 Ramsey Cart. ii. 373-5; cf. P.R.O., SC 2/179/16, mm. 8d.-9.
5 e.g. P.R.O., SC 6/765/6-8.
6 e.g. ibid. SC 2/179/22, m. 7; SC 2/179/33.
7 e.g. Ramsey Liber Gersumarum, ed. DeWindt, pp. 24, 137-8, 324, 364. Mill rent not mentioned from 1390s: P.R.O., SC 6/765/10-12.
8 Not mentioned, e.g. P.R.O., E 310/9/13, mm. 12-15; E 317/Cambs./1, mm. 1-10. Site possibly mentioned, 1732: ibid. LR 3/11c, p. 81.
9 Ibid. C 134/37, no. 2; ibid. PROB 11/151, f. 75.
10 Ibid. C 133/85, no. 3 (6).
11 Ibid. SC 2/179/15, m. 9; cf. C.U.A., D.XVI. 13A, 119.
12 C.R.O., R 55/7/81: 26 Eliz. I; R 56/6/1: 19, 20 Chas. I.
13 P.R.O., PROB 11/92, f. 28.
14 Cf. R.G. Baker, Map of Cambs. (1821).
15 C.U.L., E.D.R., G, tithe map 1841; O.S. Map 6", Cambs. XXXV. SE. (1890, 1926, 1950 edns.); cf. C.U.L., Doc. 625, no. 76; Camb. Chron. (BC), 7 Sept. 1776, p. 3; 12 June 1812, p. 2; 25 Mar. 1831, p. 2; Proc. C.A.S. xxxi. 24, 26.
16 Gardner's Dir. Cambs. (1851); Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1858-1937).
17 W. Suff. R.O., HE 500/4/13.
18 R.C.H.M. Cambs. i. 40; Newmarket Jnl. 18 Sept. 1975; Camb. Evening News, 1 May 1981; 5 Nov. 1992. Probably that sold, 1884: cf. above, intro.
19 Cal. Chart. R. 1257-1300, 206.
20 e.g. P.R.O., SC 2/179/20, m. 2d.; SC 2/179/52, m. 2; SC 2/179/63, m. 7d.; ibid. LR 3/8/2: 23 Eliz. I.
21 Ibid. PROB 11/174, f. 173 and v.
22 C.R.O., par. reg. transcripts, burials, s.a. 1726-43, occupations of deceased.
23 Camb. Chron. (BC), 20 May 1797, p. 3.
24 Census, 1821-31.
25 For trades and crafts, 1850-1940, Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1858-1937); cf. Ennion, Adventurers' Fen, 16, 21; Richardson, Burwell, 28-9.
26 Richardson, Burwell, 141-2; Camb. Evening News, 24 Feb. 1981; Newmarket Jnl. 24 Feb. 1983.
27 C.R.O., P 18/5/1, s.a. 1751; cf. ibid. s.a. 1792.
28 Camb. Chron. (BC), 21 June 1777, p. 2.
29 C.R.O., R 54/36/2A, p. 20.
30 Richardson, Burwell, 13, 18-20, 24-9. Colln. of photos. deposited in Cambs. Colln.
31 Listed, e.g. Camb. News, 5 Apr. 1967; Newmarket Jnl. 2 Oct. 1975; 29 Sept. 1977; Burwell Village Inf. Bulletins, 1987, 1993: copies, Cambs. Colln.
32 Camb. Weekly News, 10 Apr. 1986; Town Crier, 2 May 1987.
33 Camb. Evening News, 20 Apr. 1989; Soham Jnl. 19 Nov. 1992; Camb. Evening News, 14 July 1993.
34 County Dir. Cambs. (1965, 1970); cf. Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1922-37).
35 P.R.O., JUST 2/18, rot. 58; ibid. SC 2/179/21, m. 2; SC 2/179/45, m. 6; Ramsey Liber Gersumarum, ed. DeWindt, pp. 36, 300.
36 Camb. Chron. (BC), 26 Dec. 1817, p. 2; 25 Dec. 1825, p. 3; 13 June 1834, p. 3; 12 Sept. 1834, p. 2; cf. C.R.O., P 101/14/1/10.
37 e.g. P.R.O., HO 107/73 (2), ff. 5v.-7, 10 and v., 13; ibid. RG 9/1032, ff. 29, 30v.; RG 11/1676, f. 37; Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1858-88).
38 Cambs. Local Hist. Soc. Bull. xxxvi. 15; cf. Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1892-1908).
39 Taylor, 'Burwell Fen', 172.
40 Proc. C.A.S. xxxvi. 85; V.C.H. Cambs. ii. 365-6.
41 J. Harvey, Eng. Med. Architects (rev. edn., 1984), 47; cf. ibid. 132.
42 P.R.O., SC 6/765/10.
43 C.U.A., D.XVI. 42-3, 55; cf. P.R.O., LR 3/8/2: 26 Eliz. I.
44 Camb. Chron. (BC), 5 May 1830, p. 3; 17 May 1845, p. 1; C.U.A., CUR32/3, no. 77; Gardner's Dir. Cambs. (1851).
45 O.S. Map 6", Cambs. XXXV. SE. (1890 and later edns.); Proc. C.A.S. xxvii. 72; Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1900-4).
46 Ennion, Adventurers' Fen, 20; A.E. Gathercole, 'Fenland Village', in Fisons Jnl. (1959) (copy, Cambs. Colln.), 26-7; Gathercole, Burwell and its Church (1978), 3; Camb. Evening News, 19 May 1972; Cambs. Local Hist. Soc. Bull. xxxvi. 12; Richardson, Burwell, 10-11.
47 Haggard, Rural Eng. (1906), ii. 21; Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1904-25); Gathercole, 'Fenland Village', 26; Richardson, Burwell, 107; cf. O.S. Maps 6", Cambs. XXXV. SE. (1903, 1950 edns.); ibid. 1/50,000, 2nd ser., sheet 154 (1980 edn.).
48 Camb. Chron. (BC), 22 Mar. 1806, p. 3; 20 Mar. 1812, p. 2; 17 Apr. 1812, p. 2; 12 June 1812, p. 2.
49 Cf. ibid. 23 Dec. 1825, p. 1.
50 C.R.O., P 18/25/125, deposns. by vicar and Edw. Ball; C.U.L., E.D.R., G, tithe award 1841, p. [8]; Camb. Chron. (BC), 8 Mar. 1851, p. 4; 16 Nov. 1861, p. 5.
51 P.R.O., RG 9/1032, f. 29v.
52 e.g. Camb. Chron. (BC), 8 May 1858, p. 5; 4 Sept. 1858, p. 4; C.R.O., P 18/25/101 (s.a. 1861), 130.
53 P.R.O., RG 9/1032, ff. 24-43; RG 10/1597, ff. 26-46v.; RG 11/1676, ff. 35-42; Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1869-92); C.R.O., 773/B 12.
54 P.R.O., RG 10/1597, ff. 7, 18v., 19; RG 11/1676, f. 20.
55 For employment by the Balls, P.R.O., RG 9/1032, ff. 15, 27v.; RG 10/1597, ff. 28 and v., 33, 37, 53; RG 11/1676, ff. 33v., 34v.
56 C.R.O., 773/B 3, pp. 42-6; Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1875-83); Gathercole, 'Fenland Village', 29; Lucas, Fenman's World, 31-2; Camb. Evening News, 6 July 1971; Cambs. Local Hist. Soc. Bull. xxxvi. 10-11; O.S. Map 6", Cambs. XXXV. SE. (1890, 1903 edns.).
57 Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1883-1925); Haggard, Rural Eng. (1906), ii. 19; cf. C.U.L., Maps, PSQ 19/271.
58 Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1892-1937); Richardson, Burwell, 89-90.
59 W.G. Packard, 'Early Fertilizer Years, 1843-1929', in Fisons Jnl. (1963): copy, Cambs. Colln.; Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1929-37); Camb. Ind. Press, 2 Feb. 1962; Cambs. Local Hist. Soc. Bull. xxxvi. 12.
60 O.S. Map 6", Cambs. XXXV. SE. (1927, 1950 edns.); cf. Richardson, Burwell. 171-2. See plate 47.
61 Camb. Ind. Press, 2 Feb. 1962; Camb. News, 31 Mar. 1966.
62 Camb. Evening News, 3, 6 July 1971; cf. Cambs. Local Hist. Soc. Bull. xxxvi. 12.
63 Camb. Evening News, 6 Mar., 12 May 1972.
64 Camb. Ind. Press, 2 Feb. 1962; 11, 14 Nov. 1965; Richardson, Burwell, 8; cf. above, intro.
65 Draft village plan, 1973: copy, Cambs. Colln.; cf. Camb. Evening News, 25 Apr. 1979; Newmarket Weekly News, 1 Mar. 1984.
66 Camb. Evening News, 21 Feb. 1977; cf. Newmarket Jnl. 24 Mar. 1975.
67 Newmarket Jnl. 5 Nov. 1987; 20 Apr. 1989; 27 July, 4 Oct. 1989; Ely Standard, 4, 28 Aug. 1988.
68 List of business: inf. from Cambs. Cty. Council, Policy and Planning, 1990; cf. Camb. Evening News, 24 Aug, 1978.
69 Parish Profile, 1991 (1993).