Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Boston metropolitan area. Situated directly north of the city of Boston, across the Charles River, it was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders.
The site for what would become Cambridge was chosen in December 1630, because it was located safely upriver fromBoston Harbor, which made it easily defensible from attacks by enemy ships. Thomas Dudley, his daughter Anne Bradstreet, and her husband Simon, were among the first settlers of the town. The first houses were built in the spring of 1631. The settlement was initially referred to as "the newe towne". Official Massachusetts records show the name capitalized as Newe Towne by 1632 and a single word Newtowne by 1638.