1501 – 1600

Edited by Andrew Roberts

Trumpington’s history in the 16th century, including the Reformation. One of a series of pages with Trumpington’s timeline .

1530s-40s
The Reformation: the Great Bible was placed in each parish from 1539; the Book of Common Prayer was published in 1549.
1547
The date of origin of the Ram’s Head public house is unknown, but it was recorded as being owned by Edward Pychard in 1547 and was also noted in 1657. It probably stood on the High Street.
Sources of information: The Victoria History of the Counties of England (1982). A History of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, Volume VIII. Armingford and Thriplow Hundreds . Trumpington , page 250.
Local History Group web page: The Ram’s Head Public House
1539
The Trumpington Bible : on Thought for the Day (BBC Radio 4), Tuesday 18 May 2010, Bishop Tom Butler talked about the use and misuse of bibles and gave ‘what is called the Trumpington Bible’ as his example. His story was that Thomas Cromwell ordered in 1539 that Henry VIII’s Great English Bible must be used in each parish and that inspectors would come to check that it was being read. There was panic in the small Cambridgeshire village of Trumpington as there was no bible, but the resourceful priest rode to Ely and borrowed a bible. Once installed in Trumpington, the priest read the entry about the cry of Jesus from the Cross, where Jesus says ‘My God, My God, why have you foresaken me’, or in the transliterated Hebrew as the priest read as ‘Ely, Ely, Lama Sabachthani’ (rather than ‘Eli, Eli …’). Believing that his loan would be discovered, the priest amended the words to read ‘Trumpington, Trumpington …’. The Bishop did not explain what happened when the bible was returned to Ely or how it ended up at Lambeth Palace!
Variation of story from Edith Carr: “But the parish priest on the spot was seldom the rector or vicar, but an underpaid chaplain or clerk, often as ignorant of the Latin words he mumbled as were his congregation. In a book published in 1559 on the life of Bishop Aylmer of London there is the apocryphal story of a vicar of Trumpington which bears this out. As related by Cole this appears -…. the comical story about the vicar of Trumpington who, reading ye Passion of Palm Sunday, when he came to ye exclamation of our Saviour, Eli, Eli, Lama Sabathari, stop short and calling to the churchwardens said, ‘Neighbours, this gear must be amended. Here is Eli twice in the Book. I assure you, if my lord of Ely comes this way, he will have the Book. Therefore, by mine advice, we shall scrape it out and put our town’s name viz. Trumpington, Trumpington, Lama Sabathari.”
Sources of information: Thought for the Day (search for Tom Butler, 18 May 2010); Carr, Edith (1968), The Story of Trumpington Church .
1563
Introduction of a Parish Register: in 1538, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s Chief Minister, ordered each parish to maintain a register of weddings, christenings and burials. In 1598, the registers were ordered to be copied in a book. The Trumpington register survives from 1563: baptisms 1563-2003, marriages 1599-2003, banns 1754-1953, burials 1600-2003.
Sources of information: The County Record Office has a transcript of the Parish Register, based on the registers themselves and the Bishop’s Transcripts held at Cambridge University Library.
Local History Group web page: Archival resources
1552
The Corporation of Cambridge funded the repair of Trumpington Ford.
Sources of information: Cooper, Charles Henry (1842-52). Annals of Cambridge. Vol II . Page 47. The Victoria History of the Counties of England (1948). The History of the County of Cambridge & the Isle of Ely. Volume II . Page 86.
Local History Group web page: Chaucer Road and Latham Road
1546
Henry VIII gave the village rectory and the right to appoint the vicar of the Parish Church to Trinity College at the foundation of the college in 1546.
Sources of information: The Victoria History of the Counties of England (1982). A History of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, Volume VIII. Armingford and Thriplow Hundreds . Trumpington , page 263.

The south side of the parish church from the churchyard, with the tower topped by an embattled parapet dating from the 15th or 16th century. Photo: Andrew Roberts, December 2009.

The south side of the parish church from the churchyard, 18 December 2009
The south side of the parish church from the churchyard, 18 December 2009
15th-16th century
Further changes to the structure of the Parish Church, including the embattled parapet on the tower dating from the 15th or 16th century.
Sources of information: Ambrose, Tom (2006). St Mary & St Michael Trumpington . Page 14.
1502
The Vicar’s Brook was the boundary between Trumpington and Cambridge. The road through Trumpington from London to Cambridge crossed the brook at Trumpington Ford (later the Stone Bridge, still known as such in the early 20th century), with the inhabitants of Trumpington and Cambridge sharing liability for its maintenance. In 1502, both communities were fined for neglecting the ford.
Sources of information: Cooper, Charles Henry (1842-52). Annals of Cambridge. Vol I . Page 158. The Victoria History of the Counties of England (1948). The History of the County of Cambridge & the Isle of Ely. Volume II . Page 86.
Local History Group web page: Chaucer Road and Latham Road
c. 1600
The north-south road through Trumpington from Great Shelford to Grantchester was known as the ‘Moorway’ (now the line of Shelford Road).
Sources of information: The Victoria History of the Counties of England (1982). A History of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, Volume VIII. Armingford and Thriplow Hundreds . Trumpington , page 249.
Local History Group web page: Early History of Shelford Road
1574
On the earliest surviving complete map of Cambridge, produced by Richard Lyne in 1574, the road past Pembroke Hall and Peterhouse to the south of the town was named ‘Trumpington Street”.
Sources of information: Baggs, Tony and Bryan, Peter (2002). Cambridge 1574-1904 . A Potrtfolio of Maps … : Cambridgeshire Records Society.
16th century
The Cambridge area had relatively few gentry and a high proportion of wage earners (over 50%) when compared with other counties. There was a relatively high population density and a high incidence of seasonal labour supporting the corn growing economy.
Sources of information: Spufford, Margaret (2000). Contrasting Communities. English Villagers in the Sixteenth and Seventeeth Centuries . Stroud: Sutton Publishing. Pages 28-33.