Caine is governed by a mayor, four aldermen and twelve councillors.
In the 10th century Caine (Canna, Kalne) was the site of a palace of the West-Saxon kings.
Caine was the scene of the synod of 978 when, during the discussion of the question of celibacy, the floor suddenly gave way beneath the councillors, leaving Archbishop Dunstan alone standing upon a beam.
In the Domesday Survey Caine appears as a royal borough; it comprised forty-seven burgesses and was not assessed in hides.
Caine claimed to have received a charter from Stephen and a confirmation of the same from Henry III., but no record of these is extant, and the charter actually issued to the borough by James II.
In 1303 Lodovicus de Bello Monte, prebendary of Salisbury, obtained a grant of a Saturday market at the manor of Caine, and a three days' fair at the feast of St Mary Magdalene; the latter was only abandoned in the 19th century.
Caine was formerly one of the chief centres of cloth manufacture in the west of England, but the industry is extinct.