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been perforated by bullets in several places by the Parliamentary soldiers, those sworn foes to every thing venerable or sacred.
The Town Hall is a neat building, erected in 1713, on the site of a former edifice; in the front is a good statue of Queen Anne; and in the interior are preserved many curious relics of antiquity, among which are the original Winchester Bushel, given by Edgar, the measures of length and quantity fixed by Henry I, and other princes, and a variety of ancient charters and grants made by successive sovereigns to this city. The Market House was built in 1772, when the improvements in paving, &c. took place; the market-days are Wednesday and Saturday. Two annual Fairs are also held here, and were formerly among the largest in the kingdom; St. Giles's was the most celebrated, but has now sunk into insignificance; St. Mary Magdalen's is still considerable. A spacious County Gaol, on Howard's plan, with a Chapel, &c. has been erected within the last 20 years; and here is also a County and a City Bridewell. A handsome Theatre, built in 1785; and a Race Course, about 37 miles to the north of the city, furnish amusement to the inhabitants, who have also Assemblies, Balls, and Concerts during the winter. An Obelisk, at the west-end of the town, commemorates the sufferings occasioned by the plague, in 941, 1348, and 1666.
Several Charitable Institutions are established here, among which are Bishop Morley's Alms-houses, founded by that prelate, in 1672; St. John's House, an hospital originally instituted in the tenth century for “pore syke people,” which being seized by Henry VIII at the Dissolution, was endowed, in 1554, by R. Lamb, Esq. for six poor widows, who occupy but a small part of the original building, the Great Hall and other apartments* being used by the Corporation for public feasts, assemblies, &c.; and in the Chapel is now held a Free School; three Charity Schools also impart the benefits of education to the children of the poor. The County Infirmary, established nearly a century ago, is a handsome building, under excellent management, and has been extremely beneficial.
* In one of these apartments, called the Council Chamber, are the “ City Tables," which give a brief chronological account of the most important events connected with this city.
The government of this city is vested, by a Charter of Queen Elizabeth, in a Mayor, Recorder, six Aldermen, twenty-four Common Councilmen, “ of the better, discreeter, and more honest sort," and several inferior officers. The Corporation possesses the privilege of electing the two Members whom Winchester has sent to Parliament ever since 1295. Notwithstanding the comparatively modern date of its present Charter, it is to be observed that this city was incorporated before any other in England, and its chief magistrate was distinguished by the title of Mayor as early as the year 1184.
Of the monastic establishments by which Winchester was distinguished in ancient times, scarcely a vestige remains. The most splendid of these, founded by Alfred, and called the Newen Mynstre, or Hyde Abbey, was rebuilt in the reign of Henry I, and again in that of Henry II, after its destruction in the war between the partisans of Maud and Stephen. Its Church contained the remains of Alfred, his Queen Alswitha, and several of their descendants; and was completely demolished immediately after the Dissolution. A rempant of the parish church of St. Bartholomew, which was attached to the Abbey, and some fragments of the monastic walls, now alone remain to attest its existence, although it was one of the most important in the kingdom, its Abbots having a seat in Parliament, and some of them being allied to royalty itself Among the ruins, about 60 years ago, a stone inscribed " ALFRED REX, DCCCCI," in Saxon characters, was discovered; and, 30 years later, in digging the foundation for the new Bridewell, many stone coffins, with rings, chalices, &c. were found. The Nunna Mynstre, or Abbey of St. Mary, was founded by Alswitha, queen of the great Alfred, and hither she retired after the death of her husband. It afterwards became the retreat of many of the Saxon princesses, when war and devastation overspread their country in every direction; and here Matilda, niece of Edgar Atheling, resided, until her marriage with Henry I reconciled the people to his sway, as it appeared to be shared with the descendant of their ancient princes. This Abbey, like the • Newen Mynstre," was burnt during the Civil War in the reign of Stephen, and restored in that of Henry II. At the Dissolution the Abbess had a small pension allowed her, and the possessions of the Abbey were granted to Lord Edward Seymour, afterwards Duke of Somerset, and Protector. A large modern mansion has been erected, with a part of the materials, and on the site, of the ancient edifice, and this is now called the Abbey.
* Alwyn, the eighth Abbot, was uncle to King Harold, and, with twelve of his monks, was slain at the fatal battle of Hastings., The Conqueror afterwards seized on the possessions of the Abbey, and would not allow a new Abbot to be elected until the lapse of more than three years.
ALBESFORD (New) is seated on the Itchin, at a short distance from its source, and 574 miles from London. It appears to have been a market-town from a very early period, as it was given by Kenewalch, King of the West Saxons, in the seventh century, to the clergy of Winchester; it formerly sent one Member to Parliament, and had a considerable trade. It has now very little, except a manufactory of kerseys; and its prosperity has been much checked by its river ceasing to be navigable, and by three dreadful fires, the first of which was in 1690, when nearly the whole of the town was destroyed, and the other two in the course of the last century, which were equally fatal. It is governed by a Bailiff and eight Burgesses, and has a weekly Market on Thursday; the Petty Sessions are still held here. The town is divided into two parishes, and the mother church is at Old Alresford. The population of this parish is 1219 persons.
To the south-west of the town is a fine piece of water, covering 200 acres, called Alresford Pond, which was formed by Bishop de Lucy, under a charter from King John, and, by means of locks and aqueducts, rendered the Itchin navigable from Alresford to Winchester, and from thence to the Southampton Water. The breed of swans and wild fowl being now encouraged on this pond, it presents a very pleasing appearance.
Old Alresford is a parish about a mile north of the town just described, with a population of 445 persons, and a neat Church, rebuilt in 1753. To the living, which is a rectory, the adjoining parishes of New Alresford and Medsted are annexed.
Tichborne Hall, about two miles distant, is a modern edifice, erected on the site of a very ancient mansion, the residence of the family of Tichborne, who were seated here previously to the Conquest. At this place “ has been annually bestowed, on Lady Day, from the reign of Henry II, a gift to every applicant of twopence in bread or money, of which bounty, in some years, not less than 1700 persons have partaken.”
Alton, a neat market-town, pleasantly situated on the Wey, is 47 miles from London, and consists of three streets, containing some good houses. The Church, dedicated to St. Lawrence, is small and plain in appearance.
Here is also a respectable Free Grammar School, and two Meeting Houses for Dissenters. The town is governed by a Constable, and the Petty Sessions are held here. Manufactures of druggets, serges, &c. are carried on in Alton, and the neighbourhood is celebrated for its hop plantations. The population, in 1821, was 2499. The market-day is Saturday, and two annual Fairs are held here.
William Curtis, the celebrated botanist, was born in this town, in 1746, and was intended by his father, an apothecary, for the medical profession. To the studies necessary for proficiency in this line, he added that of botany, and at length devoted himself to the latter exclusively. He formed a botanical garden at Bermondsey, but afterwards removed to Lambeth, and commenced the publication of his great work, the “ Flora Londinensis,” in 1777, having previously printed two smaller works on entomology. This book not meeting, at first, with the success it deserved, the great expenses attending it embarrassed his circumstances; but the Botanical Magazine, his next production, being less scientific was more popular, and enabled him not only to surmount his temporary difficulties, but to form a much larger garden at Brompton, which, like his prior establishments, was systematically arranged, and was open to the public at a small annual subscription. He died in 1799, at the age of 53 years.
ANDOVER. This town is situated on the river Anton, 63 miles from London, and is a place of great antiquity, being supposed by Stukely to be the Andareon of the Romans, a supposition which is strengthened by the remains of several encampments in the vicinity, and the situation of the town on the Roman road from Winchester to Cirencester. It was certainly of consequence in the Anglo-Saxon times, as in 994 the treaty between King Ethelred and Anlaf, the Danish chieftain, by which the latter agreed to quit the island, was concluded here; and in the Domesday Book it is stated to have been held by the Confessor. The town is said to have been incorporated by King John, but the Charter by which it is at present governed, was granted by Queen Elizabeth; and the Corporation consists of a Bailiff, eleven other capital Burgesses, twelve Assistants, a Recorder, &c. Two Members have been sent from hence to Parliament, uninterruptedly, since 1585, and occasionally at a much earlier period; they are elected by the Corporation. The market-day is on Saturday; three annual Fairs are held, and a considerable trade is carried on in malt, leather, and shalloon. The town is also considerably benefited by its situation at the junction of several roads, and by the great fair of Weyhill, which is annually held within four miles, and lasts fourteen days. The population of the parish, in 1821, was 4219.
The Church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a large and ancient structure, consisting of a nave, aisles, and chancel, with a northern transept, and a low tower in the centre. The western entrance is by a handsome doorway, with a semicircular arch, adorned with zigzag mouldings. The Town Hall is a large brick building, with an open area beneath, in which the Market is held. Here is a Free School, founded in 1569 by John Hanson, Esq.; a Charity School for 30 boys; and an Hospital for six poor men, endowed by Mr. Pollen, one of the Parliamentary Representatives of this town in the reign of William III. About two miles to the south-west of Andover, on the summit of Bury Hill, is a large encampment, of Roman construction, and several smaller ones are observable in the vicinity.