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subjects, on whose attachment rested his principal security, the greater part of the Normans being friendly to the claims of Robert, eldest son of the Conqueror. In 1102 the Queen was delivered of a son here, and Henry, in his joy at this event, granted various additional privileges to the inhabitants. The same year the Royal Palace, and a number of other buildings, were destroyed by fire. During the reigo of this prince, Winchester attained the greatest height of its prosperity; it was the chief seat of government, the residence of the monarch and his principal nobility, was graced with a noble and venerable Cathedral, a Royal and an Episcopal Palace, a Castle, three splendid Monasteries, and a great number of Churches, and other public buildings; its suburbs extended at least a mile, in every direction, further than at present; it possessed the first free charter granted to any city in the kingdom; had a considerable woollen manufactory, and an extensive commerce with the continent; while its great fairs made it the general resort of persons from all parts of England.
On the death of Henry the crown was seized by Stephen, and during the wars that ensued, Winchester suffered considerably from both parties. Henry of Blois, brother to the King, after changing from one side to the other with more facility than honour, was at length besieged in the castle of Wolvesey, by the brother of the Empress, Robert of Gloucester; and as the military operations were carried on, during seven weeks, in the heart of the city, it may easily be imagined that it sustained infinite damage. The party of the Empress had possession of the north side of the High Street, with the royal Palace, or Castle; while the Bishop's adherents occupied the south side of the street, the Cathedral, the episcopal Castle, &c. By the barbarous measure of throwing fire-balls, resorted to by the latter, the greater part of the city was destroyed, including the Abbey of St. Mary, the royal Palace, the Monastery of St. Grimbald, upwards of twenty churches, &c. The Empress at length effected her escape, only by causing a report of her death to be circulated, in consequence of which the besiegers granted a truce, and allowed her supposed corpse to be carried out of the city in a coffin, for interment; when at a safe distance, she was freed
from her melancholy confinement, and rode to Gloucester; her brother, with a part of his forces, suddenly issued from the castle, but being pursued, was defeated and taken prisoner, at Stockbridge; and Stephen being also a prisoner, it was agreed that an exchange should take place, by which the illustrious captives were restored to their friends. A pacification was shortly afterwards concluded, when it was agreed that Stephen should enjoy the crown during the remainder of his life, but should be succeeded by Henry, son of the Empress.
That prince granted several privileges to this city', particularly, in 1181, that of being governed by a Mayor. Another fire, during this reign, destroyed the greater part of the city. Richard I possessed himself of a vast treasure collected here by his father, which he lavished in the wild expedition by which he is principally distinguished; after his return from captivity he was crowned here with great splendour, although he had, in the beginning of his reign, gone through the same ceremony in London. King John frequently resided here; and here, in 1207, his Queen gave birth to a son, thence called Henry of Winchester. From this monarch, in 1208, the citizens obtained a charter, confirming their ancient, and granting some new, privileges. During the reign of Henry III this city suffered very much from the contentions of the King and the Barons, who alternately obtained possession, and plundered and devastated it by turns.
Several Parliaments were held here under Edward I, but the increasing importance of London began to deprive Winchester, in a great measure, of the advantages derived from the royal residence. This decline became more evident in the following reign; and in that of Edward III, the removal of the wool staple to Calais, the check given to its commerce by the destruction of Portsmouth and Southampton by the French, and a great plague, about 1350, gave a fatal blow to Winchester, from which it never recovered. Richard II held a Parliament here in 1392; Henry IV solemnized his marriage with Joanna of Bretagne in the Cathedral; and Henry VI held a Parliament in 1419; but even at this time we find, by a petition of the inhabitants to the King, that 997
houses were upinhabited, and seventeen parish churches shut up.
Henry VII brought his Queen to this city when pregnant; and here she was delivered of a son, whom the King, either to flatter his countrymen, or in compliance with his own prejudices, named Arthur, after the British hero of that name, from whom Henry affected to be descended, and who was supposed to have built the Castle in which the young prince first drew breath. Henry VIII entertained the Emperor Charles V in this city during a week, in 1522, on which occasion the celebrated Round Table* was newly decorated. The Dissolution of the ecclesiastical foundations, in this monarch's reign, completed the ruin of Winchester, and left it little more than a shadow of its ancient magnificence. The nuptials of Philip of Spain and Queen Mary, were celebrated here in 1554; and in the reign of Elizabeth a new Charter was granted to the city, in which it is described as having " fallen into great ruin, decay, and poverty.' In 1603 Sir B. Tichborne, High Sheriff of Hampshire, proclaimed James of Scotland, at Winchester, as successor to Elizabeth, on his own responsibility, before the Council had issued any orders on the subject; and the King was so much pleased with this forward loyalty, that he granted to the Sheriff the royal Castle in perpetuity, together with an annual pension of £100 for his own life, and that of his eldest son, who also received knighthood. In this reign Sir Walter Raleigh, Lord Cobham, and others, were tried here for a pretended conspiracy to place the unhappy Arabella Stuart on the throne.
In the commencement of the Civil War, Winchester was secured for the Parliament by Sir W. Waller; but the Castle was seized by a party of Royalists towards the close of 1643. Waller again obtained possession of the city, and prepared
to besiege the Castle, but being obliged to join the Earl of Essex in the siege of Oxford, this city again fell into the hands of the King's party. After the battle of Naseby, in 1645, Cromwell marched to Winchester, and after a week's siege obtained possession of both castle and city; the fortifications of the former he immediately demolished, as well as the greater part of the eity walls, the Bishop's castle, and many churches and public buildings.
* A particular account of this venerable relic, with an Engraving, will be found in a subsequent page.
In 1666, the plague, which had almost depopulated London in the preceding year, extended its ravages to this city; and the dead were carried out by cart-loads, and interred on the eastern downs. Fear of this dreadful infection kept the country people from the market, and those whom the disease spared were in danger of perishing by famine, until a plan was devised, by which the necessary articles of subsistence were left on a large stone, now forming the basis of the Obelisk beyond the western gate, and the money for them was thrown into a vessel of water provided for that purpose. Towards the close of this reign, Winchester again became the residence of royalty; and Charles employed Sir Christopher Wren to erect a magnificent Palace, on the site of the ancient Castle, which he purchased for the purpose; his death, two years afterwards, put a stop to the design, and also occasioned the abandonment of several handsome mansions, which had been erected here by the nobility and gentry attached to the court.
In the following reign this city was one of the places disgraced by the barbarous Jeffreys on his
campaign" to try the persons engaged in the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion; and one of the most revolting of the scenes exhibited by this man' was the trial of Mrs. Alicia Lisle, (the widow of John Lisle, one of the Judges of Charles I), who was convicted, on testimony utterly unworthy of credit, and with which the jury repeatedly declared themselves not satisfied, of harbouring two of the fugitive rebels. A verdict of guilty was at length obtained, by the furious threatenings of the judge; and the unhappy woman, who was more than 70 years of age, was executed here in September, 1685.
From this period no event of importance has varied the peaceful annals of Winchester. Many improvements have, however, been effected in it's appearance since 1770, when an act for paving and lighting the city was obtained. Its streets, most of which branch off at right angles from the High Street, are clean and neat, though of antique archi
tecture. It has very little trade; but an ancient wool-combing business is still carried on; and the manufacture of silk has been introduced here within the present century. The principal support of the city arises from its being the place in which the Assizes are held, and all the public business of the county transacted; and also from the residence of the clergy attached to the Cathedral and the College. The population, in 1821, was 7739.
is one of the most interesting and venerable objects in the kingdom; “ considered,” says Dr. Milner, “ either with reference to the antiquity of its foundation, the importance of the scenes which have been transacted in it, or the personages with whose mortal remains it is enriched and hallowed.” It also exhibits a rare combination of the various styles of ecclesiastical architecture in use in this country, from the tenth to the sixteenth century.
The supposed foundation of a Cathedral here by Lucius, its subsequent destruction under Dioclesian, and re-edification in the reign of Constantius Chlorus, have been already adverted to; the first edifice was dedicated to The Holy Saviour, the second to