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The Cambridge Independent Press was first published at the beginning of the 19th century by Alfred Isaac Tillyard of Norwich. As well as owner and editer, Tillyard was also a former Mayor of Cambridge and a Classics master at the Leys School. Its interesting to note that much of the reporting in the early editions deal with the Church Rate. This compulsory tax was levied on any occupier of land or house within the Parish. The rates were decided by the church wardens, together with parishioners but were obviously opposed by non-Conformists who saw no reason why they should support the Parish Church of All Saints’. Every week the paper had letters that would fill a page of the newspaper some for and some against the ‘Tax’.

The reason for the extensive coverage may lie with the fact that Tillyard came from a staunch non-Conformist family. The Church Rate was abolished on 31st July 1868. In 1934 the paper was incorporated with the Cambridge Chronicle and was then called the ‘Cambridge Independent Press and Chronicle’ and ran until 1981 since then it has continued as the Cambridge Weekly News.