WOBURN, a market town in the northern parliamentary division of Bedfordshire, England, with a station (Woburn Sands), on a branch of the London & North-Western railway, 2 m. from the town and 51 m. N.W. by N. from London. Pop. (1901) 1129. It lies in a hollow of a northern spur of the Chiltern Hills, in a finely wooded locality. There is some agricultural trade, and a little straw-plaiting and lace-making are carried on. To the west of the town lies Woburn Park, the demesne of Woburn Abbey,. the seat of the dukes of Bedford. The abbey was a Cistercian foundation of 1145, but only scanty remains of the buildings are seen in the mansion which rose on its site. This, with most of the abbey lands, was granted by Henry VIII. to John, Lord Russell, in 1547, who was created earl Of Bedford in 1550 (the dukedom dating from 1694). The mansion was begun in 1744; it contains a magnificent collection of paintings and other objects of art.
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