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Great Staughton and its people by Anthony Withers, Chapter 20

2000 Years of English History.


This book is about the remarkable people from this modest Huntingdonshire village who, over the past two millennia of England’s history, exercised power and influence both locally and on the national stage. The book gives a detailed biography of each of these characters, setting their lives in the wider context of English history from the time of the Romans to the present day.


An introduction to Chapter 20: Unravelled: a 200-year-old village mystery


I did most of the research for this book at the Huntingdon Records Office, a vast resource for anyone interested in local and family history. On one occasion the archivist brought out a handsome, 600-page hand written volume. I had no idea what it was except that it came from Great Staughton. The man who originally discovered it, Rev. Collingwood McNeil Rushforth, vicar of St Andrew’s 1909 -1917, had no idea what it was either. So began a detective story quest to find out the story behind this wonderful book, a quest which took me on a literary tour of the eighteenth century European literary world. It took some time but my task was greatly facilitated both by the staff at HRO and by the internet and particularly Wikipedia which directed me to the actual source material. Much of this is held in university libraries or archives but it is often available in digitised form which makes research much easier. Time will tell whether my investigation is correct.


Feedback is welcome: aw.staughton@gmail.com

NEXT WEEK: Chapter 21: The Enclosure Acts 1804–1812

The next chapter of the book will be uploaded to the website on Monday February 6 2023


Click the PDF below to read Chapter 20.

Chapter 20
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Commonplace Book Title Page


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