Introduction to this Edition

In 1869 the Cambridge Antiquarian Society published a book entitled “A History of the Parish of Milton in the County of Cambridgeshire”. It was largely written by William Keatinge Clay B.D who was vicar of Waterbeach and was completed by the Rev WG Searle after Clay’s death.

A History of the Parish of Milton in the County of Cambridgeshire – Back Cover
A History of the Parish of Milton in the County of Cambridgeshire – Front Cover

We are fortunate enough to possess an original copy of this book and it’s from that that these pages have been created by scanning the pages and then using optical character recognition software. We’ve then worked our way through correcting errors from that process. If you find anything that looks like it may be wrong do let us know: it was a lot of pages to check and we may have missed some things.

Some notes:

  1. As part of the process we’ve tidied up the text, mainly in minor ways like using more modern version of some punctuation and spacing (although we’ve retaining Clay’s habit of putting commas and full stops before closing quotes). We’ve also inset any paragraphs of quoted text with a bar down the side so you can more clearly see when he’s quoting another document.
  2. Some Errata are listed on page 103 of the original book. We have made those corrections in the text.
  3. The book is littered with ae ligatures and, we think, some oe ligatures, but they’re difficult to tell apart given the typeface used and not having the Latin we have had to guess in some cases so there may be some errors.
  4. We have re-numbered the footnotes, which are now hyperlinks so you can click them to quickly read the relevant footnote.
  5. We have added some additional footnotes of our own. These are in grey to distinguish them from Clay’s.
  6. Clay has an annoying habit (not unsurprising given he’s a clergyman writing to other educated men in the 1860s) of assuming his readers can read Latin. We can’t and we suspect you can’t either. However if you can you could help us a lot by providing us with a translation of the sections which are in Latin.
  7. Roman numerals are commonly used in the text, both by Clay, who uses the modern form using capital letters, and in texts he quotes like the Rotuli Hundredorum which use lower case and “j” rather than “i” for the last “i” of a group. So three is “iij” and not “iii” as you might expect.
    Wikipedia has more on roman numerals.

  8. Monetary values are expressed in pounds, shillings and pence. For those born after 1960 there were twenty shillings to a pound and twelve pence to a shilling. A penny could also sub-divided, into a halfpenny (which the Rotuli Hundredorum refers to as a “halfpeny”) and farthing (a quarter of a penny).
    When written down an old penny was followed with a “d” not a “p” so you will see values in the text such as “xiijs vjd which is 13 shillings and 6 pence (or 67.5p). Similarly a pound is indicated not by a £ sign but by “lib” or “li” so £7 is be written as vijlib or vijli.

  9. Some dates are shown with a choice of year e.g. “19th February 1652-3” in
    The Parish. We think this is Clay trying to indicate the confusion over dates in the English calendar. Until 1752 the year started on 25th March so “19th February 1652-3” would have been called 19th February 1652 by people at the time but we would now call it 19th February 1653.

  10. Land areas are expressed in acres (1 acre is about 0.4 hectare) and in sub units of rood and perches so you will find areas expressed as “1 a. 0 r. 9 p”. There are 40 perches to a rood and 4 rood to an acre.

Finally we know this edition is no real substitute for reading the book in its original format. You may be able to find a second hand copy via an online book search from someone like
Alibris. Failing that the book is available as a PDF of scanned images on CD-ROM from
Bibliopolis Books or one of their retailers.50