GLOUCESTER, a city, an inland port, the head of a union, and a county of itself, locally in the hundred of Dudstone and King's-Barton, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 34 miles (N. N. E.) from Bristol, and 107 (W. N. W.) from London, on the road to South Wales; containing, with the College Precincts, which are extraparochial, 14,152 inhabitants. This was a town of considerable importance prior to the Roman invasion. Its origin is generally ascribed to the Dobuni, a tribe of Britons who settled in this part of the country; and, either from its founder Glowi, a native chief, or, with greater probability, from its eminence, it obtained the appellation of Caer Glou, British words implying, according to the former supposition, "the city of Glowi," or, according to the latter, "the fair city." Richard of Cirencester relates that the British fortress was taken in the year 47 by the Romans, who established a colony here, which he styles Glebon; and which, in the Itinerary of Antoninus, as well as other ancient writings, is denominated Glevum Colonia. The situation of the place on the Ermin-street, which was both a British and a Roman road passing over the Severn, rendered it of importance. The exact site of the Roman station is supposed to have been a tract of land, now in tillage, to the north-east of the present city, called Kingsholme, near which was a palace belonging to the Anglo-Saxon kings of Mercia, in old deeds named Regia Domus: on this spot have been found Roman coins, urns, and sacrificing utensils. Tradition relates that Lucius, the first Christian king of Britain, founded a see at Gloucester, in the second century, and that he was buried in the church of St. Mary de Lode.
After the departure of the Romans, the city is said to have been governed by Eldol, a British chief, who was present at the massacre of the Britons by the Saxons at Stonehenge, and who, according to some writers, escaped from the carnage, and afterwards killed Hengist the Saxon leader, at the battle of Maeshill, in Yorkshire, in 489. Having been captured by the Saxons in 578, Gloucester was by them called Gleau-ceasters, from which, or from Claudii Castra, its present name is derived: it first belonged to the kingdom of Wessex, and then to that of Mercia. About 679, the city was considerably enlarged by Wulphere, King of Mercia, who founded here a priory dedicated to St. Oswald, and subsequently erected the abbey. Edgar, in a charter to the monks of Worcester, dated at Gloucester in 964, styles this a "royal city." It was repeatedly plundered by the Danes, by whom, in the reign of Ethelred II., it was taken, and nearly destroyed by fire: the injury it suffered was, however, soon repaired. Edmund Ironside, having taken up his quarters here after his defeat by Canute at Assandune, challenged that prince to decide their mutual claim to the kingdom by single combat; but the English and Danish nobility, wearied with continual warfare, induced their kings to hold a conference for the partition of the kingdom, which took place in the Isle of Alney, on the south-western side of the city. Edward the Confessor often resided here in regal splendour, as also did William I. (who erected the castle, on the bank of the Severn), William II., and other kings. According to Camden, a mint was established here in the reign of John, on whose death, in 1216, his son Henry III. was crowned in the abbey church, by the Bishop of Winchester, in the presence of the pope's legate. This king, in 1263, having appointed Sir Maci De Besile, a Frenchman, sheriff for Gloucestershire, and constable of Gloucester Castle, the citizens, and the nobility of the county, taking umbrage at the promotion of a foreigner, chose for their governor Sir William de Tracy, who, proceeding to hold a county court, was arrested by De Besile, and imprisoned in the castle. The discontented nobles then besieged and captured that fortress, which they held for some time; but at length surrendered it to Prince Edward, afterwards Edward I., who in 1279 held a parliament here, in which various laws were enacted, called "the Statutes of Gloucester." Another parliament was held by Richard II., in 1378; others by Henry IV., in 1403 and 1407; and finally a parliament was summoned here by Henry V. in 1420, which, at the expiration of 14 days, was adjourned to Westminster.
When hostilities began between Charles I. and the parliament, the citizens declared in favour of the latter; and having procured cannon, and repaired and strengthened their fortifications, with the assistance of a few regular troops under the government of Colonel Massie, they resolved to defend themselves against all opposition. In the middle of Feb, 1642, Lord Herbert, son of the Marquess of Worcester, besieged the city at the head of 2000 Welsh royalists; and after remaining before it five weeks, surrendered himself and his followers, on the approach of an army under Sir William Waller to relieve the place. On the 10th of August, 1643, the king, with a large and well-appointed body of forces, laid siege to Gloucester; but his reiterated attacks were repulsed by the garrison with the utmost vigour and resolution; and after a siege of 26 days, and the loss of 1000 men, he was induced to retreat on the advance of the Earl of Essex, who had marched from London to relieve the city. Previously to this siege, there were eleven parish churches in Gloucester, six of which were destroyed, together with the suburbs of the city, by order of the governor, to obstruct the approach of the enemy. The conduct of the citizens was not forgotten at the Restoration of Charles II., by whose order their walls were rased, and their fortifications destroyed, in 1662: that monarch also deprived them of their charter, but subsequently granted a new one. In 1687, James II. visited Gloucester, in one of his progresses through the kingdom, and lodged at the deanery, where many resorted to him to be touched for the king's evil. George III., the queen, and the princesses, visited Gloucester on their route from Cheltenham, in 1788; in 1807, George IV., then Prince of Wales, dined with the corporation, and received the freedom of the city. On the 19th of October, 1830, Her present Majesty, Queen Victoria, accompanied by her illustrious mother, visited the place, when an address was presented to her by the mayor and corporation.
Gloucester is pleasantly situated in a fertile vale, on the eastern bank of the river Severn, and consists principally of four spacious streets, built on rising ground, and diverging at right angles from the centre of the town, which is the highest spot, towards the cardinal points. They were originally terminated by the East, North, South, and West gates, from which they respectively took their names; and at the intersection was an elegant cross, surrounded by four churches, of which only one is remaining. The West gate, on the western bank of the river, was standing till the erection of the new bridge, many years previously to which all the other gates had been removed. This bridge is a handsome structure of stone, consisting of one arch, 87 feet in the span, with a plain parapet and cornice; the approaches on both sides are defended by iron palisades, and from it a causeway, half a mile in length, extends across the Isle of Alney to Over, where is a noble bridge of one arch, in the construction of which the segments of a circle and an ellipsis have been combined. The streets are paved, and lighted with gas, by a company incorporated in 1820, and in 1834 two acts were obtained for better lighting the city and suburbs; the houses are in general handsome and well built, and the inhabitants amply supplied with water. A beautiful statue of Queen Anne has been lately erected on the College green. Triennial musical festivals of the united choirs of Gloucester, Worcester, and Hereford, are celebrated here, at which oratorios and selections of sacred music are performed in the cathedral, and miscellaneous concerts and balls are held in the spacious room at the shire-hall; the receipts arising from these performances, which embody the principal musical talent in the kingdom, are, after deducting the expenses, appropriated to the benefit of the widows and orphans of the necessitous clergy of the diocese. The theatre, in Westgate-street, is occasionally opened; and there are races annually in a meadow on the bank of the Severn. The environs abound with pleasant walks; and the salubrity of the air, and agreeableness of the situation, render Gloucester desirable as a place of residence. The approaches are ornamented with ranges of modern houses; the entrance from Cheltenham displays many mansions in detached situations, suited for families of opulence and distinction. Commercial rooms have been erected, in connexion with a permanent subscription library; and a literary and scientific association has been formed with much success. To the east of the city a mineral spring, resembling that at Cheltenham, was discovered in 1814, round which an extensive tract of land has been tastefully laid out in pleasure-grounds; a pump-room has been erected, with other buildings for the accommodation of visiters, and near it have been built some handsome villas. In 1823 a church dedicated to the Holy Trinity was erected, in the Grecian style, from a design by Mr. Rickman. The whole forms an elegant appendage to the city, under the designation of the Spa.
As an inland port, Gloucester attained some eminence at an early period. The quay is mentioned as existing in the reign of Edward IV., and in the 22nd of Elizabeth the customs were granted by letters-patent; in the following year the custom-house was erected, and also a wharf, or quay, for unloading vessels, called the King's quay. The limits of the port are, practically, from the source of the Severn, in Montgomeryshire, to Chapel rock, at Beachley. To avoid the dangerous and uncertain navigation of the Severn at Gloucester, a ship canal was projected and commenced in 1793; and it is since the opening of this canal, on the 26th of April, 1827, that Gloucester has become a port of any consequence. It now ranks as a third-class port; and some idea may be formed of its trade, from the fact, that in the year the canal was opened the customs' revenue amounted to £28,550, and in a recent year to £156,641: the number of vessels of above 50 tons' burthen, registered as belonging to the port, is 74, and their aggregate tonnage 5732. Its foreign and coasting trade is very extensive: the imports consist chiefly of grain, timber, wine and spirits, and Mediterranean produce; the exports, of bark, coal, iron, and salt. The canal is a work of great magnitude, having cost nearly £500,000; it is 16¼ miles in length, from 70 to 90 feet wide, 18 feet deep, and level from one extremity to the other, so that vessels of 600 tons' register can pass along it. There is a commodious ship and barge dock at Gloucester, around which are extensive warehouses and wharfs; also a graving-dock for the repair of vessels. In addition to the traffic carried on by means of the canal, many vessels are solely employed upon the Severn, in the trade in coal and iron from Shropshire and Staffordshire; and, considering the geographical advantages of the city as connected with the manufacturing and other districts of the kingdom, there is little doubt that the port will rise to much greater eminence; a notion strengthened by the rapid progress making in railway communication. The Bristol and Birmingham railway passes by the town; the station here is 37½ miles from Bristol, and 53 from Birmingham. An act was passed in 1846 for a railway from Gloucester to the Forest of Dean, the length of the line being 15½ miles, with branches of 2¼ miles.
Gloucester is said to have been a place of considerable trade before the time of the Conquest; and, besides the mint, there was a merchants' guild, established in the reign of John, who granted the burgesses exemption from toll, and other privileges and immunities. Forges for the smelting of ore appear to have subsisted here so early as the 12th century, and Long Smith-street derived its name from the number of artisans by whom it was inhabited. Cap or felt making, the refining of sugar, and the manufacture of glass, which formerly flourished, have been long discontinued. The principal branches of manufacture carried on at present are those of iron and pins: the latter, which was introduced in 1625 by John Tilsby, may be considered as the staple of the place; the former, especially since the establishment of a foundry by Mr. Montague in 1802, has greatly improved, and the castings lately produced are distinguished by a degree of excellence almost unrivalled. A bellfoundry was carried on for nearly a century and a half, by the family of Mr. Rudhall, the original proprietor, in the course of which period not less than 5000 church bells of various sizes were cast, not only for Great Britain and Ireland, but for the East and West Indies, and North and South America; but this manufacture is now discontinued. The trade of wool-stapling, which afforded employment to many persons, has been in a great measure superseded by the dressing of hemp and flax; and an establishment for the manufacture of shawls, in imitation of those of France, has also been discontinued for several years. There is a brush manufactory on an extensive scale, from which most of the surrounding counties are supplied; the proprietors have received three patents for improvements in articles used in the clothing business. The market-days are Wednesday and Saturday, and there is a market for live-stock on the first Monday in every month: they were formerly held in the open streets, but two large and commodious market-houses have been erected; one in East-gate-street, for the sale of corn, meat, poultry, and vegetables; and the other in Southgate-street, for fish, butter, &c. The cattle-market is held in a spacious area, judiciously appropriated to the purpose, in the Lower Northgate-street. The fairs are on April 5th, July 5th, Sept. 28th and 29th (for cheese), and Nov. 28th.
The municipal constitution has varied considerably at different periods: in 1022, the chief magistrate is said to have borne the title of præfect, and in the reign of Henry II. that of provost; under John the place was constituted a borough, and governed by two bailiffs. Henry III. granted a charter of incorporation under bailiffs or provosts, of whom there was a 'succession till the first of Richard III., who bestowed a new charter, appointing a mayor and other officers, and ordaining that the hundreds of Dudstone and King's-Barton should be called the county of the town of Gloucester. Henry VII. ratified all former privileges; and Henry VIII., on establishing the bishopric of Gloucester, in 1541, directed that the town should thenceforth be considered as a city. Edward VI., Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I., confirmed preceding grants; but the charter which extended and established the liberties and franchises of the city, and under the authority of which the corporation acted until the passing of the recent Municipal act, was granted April 18th, 1672, in consideration of a payment to the king of £679. 4. 6. The corporation now consists of a mayor, six aldermen, and 18 councillors; a sheriff is appointed by the council, and a recorder by the crown. The city is divided into three wards; the municipal boundaries have been enlarged, and are now co-extensive with those for parliamentary purposes. The mayor and recorder for the time being are justices of the peace, and the total number of magistrates is five. The income of the corporation averages about £4000 per annum. The freedom is inherited by all the sons of freemen on attaining the age of 21, and acquired by servitude to a resident freeman. The city first exercised the elective franchise in the 23rd of Edward I., since which time it has returned two members to parliament: the right of election was once vested in the freemen, in number about 2000; but by the act of the 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, the former non-resident electors, except within seven miles, were disfranchised, and the privilege was extended to the £10 householders of an enlarged district, containing 460 acres: the sheriff is returning officer. There were anciently 12 companies, but the butchers' company is the only one remaining.
The recorder holds quarterly courts of session, and courts of gaol delivery, for the county of the city, with power to take cognizance of all offences except treason and misprision of treason; and there is a petty-session every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for determining affairs of police. The assizes, and quarter-sessions for the county, are also held in the city, which is in the Oxford circuit, and is the place of election for the eastern division of Gloucestershire. The powers of the county debt-court of Gloucester, established in 1847, extend over the registration-districts of Gloucester and Wheatenhurst, and part of the district of Westbury. The municipal affairs are transacted in a building called the Tolsey, which stands at the angle formed by Westgate and Southgate streets, on the site of a church dedicated to All Saints; it was erected in pursuance of an act of parliament passed in the 23rd of George II. The city gaol, situated at the bottom of Southgate-street, and erected in 1782, was a few years since enlarged and improved, with the addition of a chapel: adjoining it a lock-up house has been built. The assizes were formerly held in an old edifice called the Booth Hall, but in 1814 a new and magnificent shire-hall, in the Grecian style, was erected, of Bath and Leckhampton stone, from a design by R. Smirke, Esq.; in the front is a portico of four Ionic columns, 35 feet high, forming the principal entrance. The county gaol stands upon the bank of the Severn, on the site of the ancient castle, the keep of which had been long used as a place of confinement previously to its entire removal to make way for the present massive and colossal edifice, built on the plan recommended by the celebrated Howard, and finished in 1791, at an expense of nearly £30,000.
Gloucester is said to have been a See when Britain was under the dominion of the Romans; and Eldad is mentioned as having presided over the diocese in 490. The first bishopric was probably suppressed when the country was conquered by the Anglo-Saxons; and the whole county of Gloucester, which formed part of the kingdom of Mercia, was, on the full introduction of Christianity, included in the diocese of Lichfield. In 679 it was annexed to the newly-established bishopric of Worcester, to which it belonged till the Reformation, when Henry VIII., by letters-patent dated Sept. 3rd, 1541, confirmed by act of parliament, erected the shire of Gloucester into a see, to which he also annexed so much of the county of the city of Bristol as had formerly belonged to the diocese of Worcester. The new bishopric was suppressed by Queen Mary, but re-established on the accession of Elizabeth. By the late ecclesiastical arrangements, under the act of the 6th and 7th of William IV., cap. 77, the dioceses of Gloucester and Bristol have been united into one bishopric, consisting of the former diocese of Gloucester, of the city and deanery of Bristol, of the deaneries of Cricklade and Malmesbury, in the county of Wilts, and formerly in the diocese of Salisbury, and of the parish of Bedminster, which was in the diocese of Bath and Wells. The bishop is elected by the dean and chapter of Bristol and the dean and chapter of Gloucester, alternately. The establishment of Gloucester consists of a dean, archdeacon, chancellor, five (to be reduced to four) canons, four honorary canons, four (to be three) minor canons, and other officers. The dean and chapter possess the patronage of the minor canonries. On the foundation of the bishopric the abbey church of St. Peter was constituted the cathedral. This edifice owed its origin to Wulphere, the first Christian king of Mercia, who, about 680, commenced the erection of a nunnery, which was completed by his brother and successor, Ethelred. The nunnery, being destroyed by the Danes, was re-founded by Bernulf, King of Mercia, in 821, for the reception of secular priests. Canute, the Dane, in 1022 ejected these priests, and introduced Benedictine monks, who, after some opposition, kept possession of the monastery, which was governed by a line of 32 abbots belonging to that order, the last of whom was William Malvern, otherwise Parker, who wrote a history of the abbey, and died in retirement after the Dissolution. The monastery and its endowments were surrendered to the king's commissioners in January, 1540, by the prior, Gabriel Morton, when the revenue was estimated at £1946. 5. 9. Of the monastic buildings the remains are the church, chapter-house, and cloisters, which escaped demolition in consequence of their being appropriated to the purposes of the episcopal establishment.
The cathedral is one of the most magnificent ecclesiastical structures in England, combining specimens of Norman, with early and later English, architecture: it consists of a nave, choir, aisles, transepts. Lady chapel, and grand central tower, besides other parts of less importance. The oldest portions are the nave, the chantry chapels around the choir, and the crypt, or undercroft, which are supposed to have belonged to the abbey church founded by Aldred, Bishop of Worcester, a few years prior to the Norman Conquest. The roof of the nave, built by Abbot Henry Foliot, was finished in 1248. The south aisle was begun by Abbot Thokey, in 1310, and the south transept was added in 1330; about which time, also, was commenced the erection of the north transept and the choir, which last was finished in 1457. Between 1351 and 1390 the cloisters, which are the most elegant and perfect of the kind in England, were constructed; the west front and south porch were added in 1421, and the edifice was completed by the erection of the Lady chapel and the central tower, which were begun in 1457, under the direction of Abbot Sebroke, who, dying that year, committed the execution of the work to Robert Tulley, one of the monks, who afterwards became Bishop of St. David's: the chapel was finished in 1498, and the tower in 1518. Notwithstanding the variety of style in its architecture, the exterior presents a noble and impressive appearance: the tower, in particular, though of colossal dimensions, has, from the taste and delicacy of its ornaments, a light and airy effect, which adds greatly to the beauty of the whole. On entering the cathedral through the porch, on the left hand, is the consistory court; and opposite the entrance, across the nave, is a gate of light open iron-work, presenting in pleasing perspective a view of the exquisite tracery of the roof of the great cloister: the western extremity is adorned with a once finely painted window. The nave is separated from the aisles by massive round pillars, from which spring semicircular arches; and the roof displays tracery which is most ornamented towards the west end. A classically correct and appropriate screen, separating the nave from the choir, was erected in 1820 at the expense of Dr. Griffith, prebendary. There are many tombs deserving notice; among which may be mentioned the tomb erected by Abbot Parker, in memory of Osric, King of Northumbria, one of the founders of the monastery, who died about the year 729, with his effigy in freestone, in the north aisle, near the entrance to the Lady chapel; an altartomb in a chapel in the same aisle, removed from the centre of the choir, where were laid the remains of Robert, Duke of Normandy, son of William the Conqueror, with his figure carved in oak recumbent on it, under a wire lattice; not far from the high altar, the monument of Edward II., who was murdered at Berkeley Castle, with a recumbent figure in alabaster, supposed, from the elegance of the sculpture, to be of Italian workmanship, with a more modern but still beautiful canopy of tabernacle work; the monument of Alderman Blackleach and his wife, with their statues in white marble; that of Mrs. Morley, with a group of statuary by Flaxman; and those of Judge Powell; Sir George Onesiphorus Paul, Bart.; Dr. Edward Jenner, who first brought the practice of vaccination into general use; Charles Brandon Trye, an eminent surgeon; and the Rev. Richard Raikes. The chapter-house of the monastery, situated on the north side of the cathedral, with an entrance from the cloisters, is now appropriated to the college library.
The city, prior to the passing of the Municipal Corporations' act, comprised the parishes of St. Aldate, containing 786 inhabitants; St. John the Baptist, 3380; St. Mary de Crypt, 1012; St. Mary de Grace, 298; St. Nicholas, 2775; St. Owen, 714; and the Holy Trinity, 591; with part of the parishes of St. Catherine, 1445; St. Mary de Lode, 1840; and St. Michael, 1029; to which are now added part of the hamlets of Barton St. Michael and Barton St. Mary, the hamlet of Littleworth, and part of the South hamlet. The living of St. Aldate's is a perpetual curacy; net income, £154; patron, the Bishop. St. Catherine's is a perpetual curacy; net income, £34; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Bristol: the tithes were commuted for land and for corn-rents in 1796. The church was destroyed during the siege in 1643. The living of St. John the Baptist's is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £14. 1. 1½., and in the patronage of the Crown, with a net income of £150: the church, with the exception of the ancient tower and spire, was rebuilt in 1734. The living of St. Mary's de Crypt is a discharged rectory, with the livings of All Saints' and St. Owen's consolidated, valued at £14. 7. 11., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £120. The church is a spacious cruciform structure, principally in the later English style, with some remains of the Norman, early English, and decorated styles, and having a handsome tower rising from the intersection: the edifice, after a perfect restoration, was reopened with much ceremony in Nov. 1845. St. Owen's church was destroyed during the siege of the city. The living of St. Mary's de Lode is a discharged vicarage, to which that of the Holy Trinity is annexed, together valued in the king's books at £19. 13. 4.; net income, £284; patrons and impropriators, the Dean and Chapter: the tithes were commuted for land and corn-rents in 1796. The body of the church has been rebuilt, in the later English style; but the chancel and tower of the old edifice remain: the latter formerly supported a lofty spire, which was demolished by a storm. In the north wall is an ancient tomb with a recumbent effigy, said to have been erected to the memory of Lucius, first Christian king of Britain, who is erroneously supposed to have been buried in the church. In St. Mary's square, now added to the churchyard, a monument was erected, in 1826, to the memory of Bishop Hooper, who in the reign of Mary suffered martyrdom on the spot. Trinity church was taken down in 1698, since which period its beautiful tower has shared the same fate. The living of St. Michael's is a discharged rectory, with the perpetual curacy of St. Mary's de Grace consolidated, valued in the king's books at £8. 16. 10., and in the gift of the Crown, with a net income of £231: the tithes were commuted for land and corn-rents in 1796. The church, with the exception of its ancient tower, has undergone so much alteration as to have defaced nearly all traces of its original character. St. Mary's church was taken down, by order of the corporation, in 1653. The living of St. Nicholas' is a perpetual curacy, with that of St. Bartholomew's annexed, in the patronage of Charity Trustees belonging to the hospital of St. Bartholomew; net income, £116. The church is an ancient structure in the early English style, with later additions and insertions: the tower, which is handsome, appears to have declined from the perpendicular by the sinking of the foundation; it is surmounted by a spire, the upper part of which has been removed for greater security. The living of ChristChurch is a perpetual curacy; net income, £135; patrons, certain Trustees. Additional churches have been erected within the last few years, of which one, in the extra-parochial district of High Orchard, was built and endowed by the Rev. Samuel Lysons, in whose family the patronage is vested; it is dedicated to St. Luke. The other churches or chapels are, St. James's, the living of which has a net income of £150; St. Mark's, which was consecrated in 1847, and contains 550 sittings, and to which a district is attached, formed out of the parishes of St. Catherine, St. John the Baptist, and St. Mary de Lode; St. Matthew's, Twigworth; and the annexed chapels of St. Mary Magdalen and St. Margaret. The livings of St. James', St. Mark's, and St. Matthew's, are in the gift of the Bishop; the two other chapels are presented to by Trustees. There are places of worship for Baptists, Friends, the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion, Independents, Wesleyans, and Unitarians, a Roman Catholic chapel, and a synagogue.
The College School, founded by Henry VIII., is held in an apartment adjoining the cathedral. The school of St. Mary's de Crypt was founded and endowed in the 31st of Henry VIII., as a free grammar school, by John Cooke or Coke, alderman of Gloucester, and his wife: the schoolroom adjoins the parochial church from which it is named. Eight scholarships, of about £50 per annum each, were founded by George Townsend, Esq., in 1683, in Pembroke College, Oxford, for boys from the "chief school for the time being" of Gloucester, and from the schools of Cheltenham, Chipping-Campden, and Northleach, the scholars being entitled to presentation to the livings of Colnbrook and Uxbridge. From the time of the foundation, the exhibitioner from Gloucester has invariably been sent from Crypt school. In Eastgate-street is the Blue-coat Hospital, founded on a plan somewhat similar to that of Christ's Hospital, London, by Sir Thomas Rich, Bart., a native of Gloucester, who, by will dated in 1666, left £6000, to purchase lands for the maintenance and education of 20 boys. St. Bartholomew's Hospital, on the north side of Westgate-street, is an almshouse for 59 decayed men and women, who receive weekly pensions, which, with the salaries of a chaplain, a physician, and a surgeon, are paid from the endowment, amounting to about £1000 per annum. Queen Elizabeth granted letters-patent for the establishment of this hospital, to the mayor and burgesses, through the interest of Richard Pates, recorder of the city: its revenue originally belonged to a priory founded in the reign of Henry II. The hospital was rebuilt in 1786, in the early English style. St. Mary Magdalene's or King James's hospital, in the London road, was founded by one of the priors of Llanthony, for ten men and nine women. Not far from it is St. Margaret's hospital, originally a house for lepers, in which eight men are now supported. In the parish of St. Mary de Crypt is an almshouse for six persons, founded by Sir Thomas Bell, who died in 1566. The workhouse, or house of industry, situated in Bare Land, was founded and liberally endowed by Timothy Nourse, Esq., in 1703. The poor-law union of Gloucester comprises 37 parishes or places, and contains a population of 26,838. The Gloucester infirmary, or County hospital for the indigent sick, situated in Southgate-street, was built in 1755; the County lunatic asylum, about half a mile from the city, on the London road, is a handsome building, erected at an expense of £44,000. A Magdalen asylum was established in 1821.
Among other traces of the residence of the Romans, numerous inscribed stones, coins, &c., have at different periods been found in the city and its vicinity, chiefly at or near Kingsholme. One of the most remarkable of the relics was a statera, or Roman steelyard, supposed to have been the first ever discovered in Great Britain. The walls of Gloucester have been entirely destroyed; and of the remains of civil monuments of the middle ages, scarcely any thing exists except the Conduit, a beautiful piece of architecture in the later English style, which formerly stood in Southgate-street, but has been removed to the grounds of a private gentleman in Barton-street. Of the priory of St. Oswald, and the convents of Franciscans, Dominicans, and Carmelites, anciently subsisting here, there are no relics deserving notice. Among the distinguished natives of Gloucester, and persons connected with the city, may be noticed, Osbern of Gloucester, a learned writer, and Benedict, author of the Life of St. Dubricius, who were both monks here in the reign of Stephen; Robert of Gloucester, author of a curious chronicle in rhyme, who lived in the middle of the 13th century; John Rastell and John Corbett, historical writers; John Taylor, "the water poet," born in 1580; Dr. Miles Smith, Bishop of Hereford, one of the translators of the Bible; George Whitefield, founder of the Calvinistic Methodists; Dr. John Moore, Archbishop of Canterbury, educated at Crypt grammar school; Dr. White, the celebrated orientalist, and Dr. Phillpotts, Bishop of Exeter, both educated at the College school; and Robert Raikes, Esq., who, from his unwearied exertions in promoting the increase of Sunday schools, obtained the reputation of having been their founder, though, as is contended by many, they owe their origin to the Rev. Thomas Stock, formerly rector of the parish of St. John the Baptist, in the city.