Medford is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the United States, on the Mystic River, 3.2 miles northwest of downtown Boston. In the 2010 U.S. Census, Medford's population was 56,173. It is the home of Tufts University.
Medford was settled in 1630 as part of Charlestown. The area was originally called "Mistick" by Thomas Dudley (a name which persisted for many decades), which his party renamed "Meadford". In 1634, the land north of the Mystic River became the private plantation of former Governor Matthew Cradock; across the river was Ten Hills Farm, which belonged to John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony. The name may have come from a description of the "meadow by the ford" in the Mystic River, or from two locations in England that Cradock may have known: the hamlet of Mayford or Metford in Staffordshirenear Caverswall, or from the parish of Maidford or Medford (now Towcester, Northamptonshire).