Medford is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the United States, on the Mystic River, five 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, when Thomas Dudley referred to it as "Mistick" (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 that Cradock may have been familiar with in England: the hamlet of Mayford or Metford in Staffordshire near Caverswall, or from the parish of Maidford or Medford (now Towcester, Northamptonshire).
In 1637, the first bridge (a toll bridge) across the Mystic River was built at the site of the present-day Cradock Bridge, near Medford Square. It would be the only bridge across the Mystic until 1787, and as such became a major route for traffic coming into Boston from the north (though ferries and fords were also used).