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Huntingdonshire District

Shown within Cambridgeshire
Geography
Status: Non-metropolitan district
Region: East of England
Admin. County: Cambridgeshire
Area:
- Total
Ranked
912.47 km²
Admin. HQ: Huntingdonmarker
ONS code: 12UE
Demographics
Population:
- Total ( )
- Density

Ranked

/ km²

Ethnicity: 94.6% White
1.8%S.Asian
1.3% Black
1.4% Mixed


Politics

Huntingdonshire District Council
http://www.huntsdc.gov.uk/

Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
Executive:
MPs: Jonathan Djanogly, Shailesh Vara
Huntingdonshire ( or ; abbreviated Hunts) is a local government district of Cambridgeshire, covering the area around Huntingdonmarker. Historically it was a county in its own right. It includes St Ivesmarker, Godmanchestermarker, St Neotsmarker, and Ramseymarker.

History

The earliest English settlers in the district were the Gyrwas, an East Anglian tribe, who early in the 6th century worked their way up the Ouse and the Cam as far as Huntingdon. After their conquest of East Angliamarker in the latter half of the 9th century, Huntingdon became an important seat of the Danesmarker, and the Danish origin of the shire is borne out by an entry in the Saxon Chronicle referring to Huntingdon as a military centre to which the surrounding district owed allegiance, while the shire itself is mentioned in the Historia Eliensis in connection with events which took place before or shortly after the death of Edgar.

About 915 Edward the Elder wrested the fen-country from the Danes, repairing and fortifying Huntingdon, and a few years later the district was included in the earldom of East Anglia. Religious foundations were established at Ramsey, Huntingdon and St Neots in the 10th century, and that of Ramsey accumulated vast wealth and influence, owning twenty-six manors in this county alone at the time of the Domesday Survey. In 1011 Huntingdonshire was again overrun by the Danes and in 1016 was attacked by Canute. A few years later the shire was included in the earldom of Thored (of the Middle Angles), but in 1051 it was detached from Mercia and formed part of the East Anglian earldom of Harold. Shortly before the Conquest, however, it was bestowed on Siward, as a reward for his part in Godwins overthrow, and became an outlying portion of the earldom of Northumberland, passing through Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria and Simon de St Liz, Earl of Northampton to David I of Scotland. After the separation of the earldom from the crown of Scotland during the Bruce and Balliol disputes, it was conferred in 1336 on William Clinton; in 1377 on Guichard d'Angle; in 1387 on John Floland; in 1471 on Thomas Grey, afterwards marquess of Dorsetmarker; and in 1529 on George, Baron Hastings, whose descendants hold it at the present day.

The Norman Conquest was followed by a general confiscation of estates, and only four or five thanes retained lands that they or their fathers had held in the time of Edward the Confessor. Large estates were held by the church, and the rest of the County for the most part formed outlying portions of the fiefs of William's Norman favourites, that of Count Eustace of Boulogne, the sheriff, of whose tyrannous exactions bitter complaints are recorded, being by far the most considerable. Kimbolton was fortified by Geoffrey de Mandeville and afterwards passed to the families of Bohun and Stafford.

The hundreds of Huntingdon were probably of very early origin, and that of Norman Cross is referred to in 963. The Domesday Survey, besides the four existing divisions of Norman Cross, Toseland, Hurstingstone and Leightonstone, which from their assessment appear to have been double hundreds, mentions an additional hundred of Kimbolton, since absorbed in Leightonstone, while Huntingdon was assessed separately at 50 hides. The boundaries of the county have scarcely changed since the time of the Domesday Survey, except that parts of the Bedfordshire parishes of Everton, Pertenhall and Keysoe and the Northamptonshire parish of Flargrave were then assessed under this county.

Huntingdonshire was formerly in the diocese of Lincolnmarker, but in 1837 was transferred to Elymarker. In 1291 it constituted an archdeaconry, comprising the deaneries of Huntingdon, St Ives, Yaxley and Leightonstone, and the divisions remained unchanged until the creation of the deanery of Kimbolton in 1879.

At the time of the Domesday Survey Huntingdonshire had an independent shrievalty, but from 1154 it was united with Cambridgeshire under one sheriff, until in 1637 the two Counties were separated for six years, after which they were reunited and have remained so to the present day. The shire court was held at Huntingdon.

In 1174 Henry II captured and destroyed Huntingdon Castle. After signing the Great Charter John sent an army to ravage this county under William, earl of Salisbury, and Falkes de Breauté.

Status

Map of Huntingdonshire, 1824


In 1889, under the Local Government Act 1888 Huntingdonshire became an administrative county, with the new County Council taking over administrative functions from the Quarter Sessions. The area in the north of the county forming part of the municipal borough of Peterboroughmarker became instead part of the Soke of Peterborough administrative county, in Northamptonshiremarker.

In 1965, under a recommendation of the Local Government Commission for England, it was merged with the Soke of Peterborough to form Huntingdon and Peterborough - the Lieutenancy county was also merged. Also at this time St Neotsmarker expanded westward over the river into Eaton Fordmarker and Eaton Soconmarker in Bedfordshire.

In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, Huntingdon and Peterborough merged with Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely to form the new non-metropolitan county of Cambridgeshire. A Huntingdon district was created based closely on the former administrative county borders, with the exclusion of the Old Flettonmarker urban district became part of the Peterborough district, as did that part of Norman Cross Rural Districtmarker in Peterborough New Town.

The district was renamed Huntingdonshire on 1 October 1984, by resolution of the district council.

Original historical documents relating to Huntingdonshire are held by Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies at the County Record Office in Huntingdonmarker.

Revival of county

The Local Government Commission considered in the 1990s the case for making a Huntingdonshire unitary authority as part of a general structural review of English local government, that led to unitary authorities in two other English counties that had been wiped from the map: Rutlandmarker and Herefordshiremarker.

The Draft Recommendations envisaged three possible scenarios for structural change in Cambridgeshire: the preferred option and the third option had a unitary Huntingdonshire, whilst the second option would have seen Huntingdonshire combine with Peterboroughmarker and Fenlandmarker to form a "Peterborough and Huntingdonshire" unitary authority. The Final Recommendations of the Commission for Cambridgeshire recommended no change in the status quo in Cambridgeshire. The districts of Peterborough and Huntingdonshire were referred back to the commission for a reconsideration in 1995. The commission recommended the creation of a Peterborough unitary authority, but proposed that Huntingdonshire remain part of the shire county of Cambridgeshire, noting that "there was no exceptional county allegiance to Huntingdonshire, as had been perceived in Rutland and Herefordshire".

David McKie writing in the Guardian noted that "Writers-in demanded an independent Huntingdon; but Mori's more broadly-based poll showed that most Huntingdonians - that is, most of John Major's electors - were content to stay part of Cambridgeshire."

After the failure of Huntingdonshire to become a unitary authority, a Huntingdonshire Society was set up to promote awareness of Huntingdonshire as a historic county, and to campaign for its reinstatement as an administrative and ceremonial entity. In 2002 it established an annual "Huntingdonshire Day" on 25 April, the birthday of Oliver Cromwell.

Towns and villages

Major Towns

Smaller towns and villages



Famous people associated with Huntingdonshire



See also



Notes

  1. Check Browser Settings
  2. Name change. The Times. April 27, 1984
  3. Local Government Commission for England. Final Recommendations on the Future Local Government of: Basildon & Thurrock, Blackburn & Blackpool, Broxtowe, Gedling & Rushcliffe, Dartford & Gravesham, Gillingham & Rochester Upon Medway, Exeter, Gloucester, Halton & Warrington, Huntingdonshire & Peterborough, Northampton, Norwich, Spelthorne and the Wrekin. December 1995.
  4. Commentary:Hatred of Harlow and bad thoughts about Basildon : David McKie - October 31, 1994. The Guardian
  5. And you're from where? The Times. 20 April, 2002.
  6. Cromwell's own county. The Daily Telegraph. 19 June 2004.


External links




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