Hobson's Conduit

Hobson's Conduit

Author(s): W. D. Bushell, Preface by Edward Jackson, J. A. Venn
Publication Date: 19-01-2012

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It is a peculiarity of Cambridge that in one of the principal streets, Trumpington Street, there is a runnel of fresh water, called Hobson's Conduit, on either side of the road (a similar stream in St Andrew's Street was covered over in the 1990s.) These streams form part of a system of water supply named after Thomas Hobson (1545–1631), the Cambridge carrier, from whom we get the expression 'Hobson's Choice', and for who the young John Milton wrote two verse epitaphs, reproduced in this work. For 250 years, Hobson's Conduit provided the principal supply of drinking water for the centre of the city, after Andrew Perne (1519–89), Vice-Chancellor of the University, persuaded a number of patrons, including Hobson, to subscribe towards the project. First published in 1938, this history of Cambridge's ancient urban watercourse was written by W. D. Bushell, one of the trustees of the Hobson's Conduit Trust.


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