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WINCHESTER, a city, having separate jurisdiction, and the head of a union, locally in the hundred of Buddlesgate, Winchester and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, of which it is the capital, 63 miles (S. W. by W.) from London; containing, with the Soke liberty, 10,732 inhabitants. This place, called by the ancient Britons Caer Gwent, from the whiteness of its chalky soil, was the Venta Belgarum of Ptolemy and Antoninus; and on its subsequent occupation by the Saxons, obtained the appellation of Wintan-Ceaster, from which its present name is derived. It was probably first inhabited by the Celtic Britons, who emigrated from the coasts of Armorica, in Gaul, and came to this part of the island, finding well-watered valleys, fertile plains, and shady forests, adapted to their support, and suited to the exercise of their religious rites. Here they fixed their chief residence, and continued in undisturbed possession till within a century prior to the Christian era, when they were expelled by a tribe of the Belgæ, who, having established themselves on the southern coasts, concentrated their forces, and advancing into the country, made this one of their settlements. Among the several towns which were called Ventæ, this became the most important, and, prior to the Roman invasion, was the capital of the Belgian territory in Britain. It retained its pre-eminence till it fell under the power of the Romans, who, achieving the conquest of this portion of the island, under Vespasian, made it one of their principal stations. In the year 50, Ostorius Scapula fortified all the cities of the Belgae between Anton, or the Southampton river, and the Severn, and placed garrisons in them, as a defence from the frequent assaults of the Britons, who were ever on the alert to surprise the enemy, and to recover the towns of which they had been deprived. The fortifications of this station may be still discerned in various places; and on Catherine Hill, within a mile of the city, are vestiges of a Roman camp. Two Roman temples are said to have been erected near the site of the present cathedral, one consecrated to Apollo, and the other to Concord; and among other evidences of Roman occupation, sepulchres have been discovered without the walls of the city to the north, east, and west. Carausius and Alectus, who assumed the imperial purple in Britain, are said to have fixed their residence in this place, where their coins have been discovered in greater profusion than in any other part of the kingdom. Soon after the establishment of Christianity in the island, a monastery was founded here, of which Constans, son of Coustantine, was one of the brethren; but being allured by his father from his devotional retirement, to take the command of the forces in Spain, he was, by the revolt of his general, made prisoner, and eventually put to death. After the departure of the Romans from Britain, Vortigern, who had previously exercised authority over the western part of the island, being elected king in order to oppose the incursions of the Picts and Scots, who were making continual depredations, made Winchester the metropolis of the whole kingdom. It was also the residence of his successors.

On the invasion of Britain by the Saxons under Cerdic, and the defeat of the united Britons in the New Forest, it became the capital of the Saxon kingdom of Wessex, and the residence of the conqueror, who was crowned King of the West Saxons. Cerdic, in conjunction with his son Cenric, spent several years in extending his dominions, and in giving security to his conquests; he died and was buried here, in 534. During his government, the monastery was converted into a Pagan temple, and appropriated to the service of the Saxon deities. In 635, St. Birinus, whom Pope Honorius had sent into Britain, to propagate the Christian faith in those parts of the island which were still in Pagan darkness, met with a favourable reception from Cynegils, who, with his son Cwichelm, was then king of the West Saxons. Cynegils, by the persuasion of Oswald, King of Northumbria, who afterwards espoused his daughter Kineburga, was baptized at York; and in the following year, his son Cwichelm and many of his subjects were converted to Christianity, which from that time began to flourish in this part of the island. Cenwahl, the second son, succeeding to the throne on the death of his elder brother, the people again relapsed into paganism, till, upon his baptism by St. Birinus, in 648, he completed a cathedral, which he dedicated to St. Birinus, St. Peter, and St. Paul; and founded, and amply endowed, a monastery near the site. About ten years after the death of St. Birinus, who was buried at Dorchester, Cenwahl divided the see into two portions, assigning the northern part of his kingdom to Dorchester, and the southern part to Winchester, to the cathedral of which latter place the remains of St. Birinus were removed by Hedda, the fifth bishop. Egbert, who succeeded to the throne of Wessex in 800, after many severe struggles for empire, obtained the sovereignty of all the kingdoms of the heptarchy, of which he was crowned sole monarch, in the cathedral of Winchester, in 827, in the presence of a wittenagemote, or great assembly of the people. This union of the kingdoms greatly promoted the importance of Winchester, which, from being the capital only of Wessex, became the metropolis of the kingdom. Ethelwolf, who succeeded Egbert, dated from this city his charter for the general establishment of tithes, which was signed in the cathedral, by himself, by Burhred, King of Mercia, and Edmund, King of the East Angles (his tributary vassals), and by the chief nobility and prelates.

About this time the city seems to have been in a flourishing condition; and a commercial guild was established in it, under royal protection, at least a century earlier than in any other part of the kingdom. During the reigns of Ethelwolf and Ethelbald, St. Swithin, a native, either of the city or its suburbs, presided over the see. By his advice, the latter monarch inclosed the cathedral and the cloisters with a wall and fortifications, to defend them from the predatory attacks of the Danes, who, at this period, were beginning to make frequent incursions upon this part of the coast, and who, in the succeeding reign, having landed in considerable numbers at Southampton, advanced to Winchester, where they committed the most barbarous outrages. When retiring to their ships, however, they were attacked, routed with great slaughter, and dispossessed of the immense quantity of plunder which they had taken in the city. About the year 872, after repeated battles fought with various success, in which Ethelbert was assisted by his younger brother Alfred, a band of those rapacious pirates assaulted the city, in which they made dreadful havoc; the cathedral was greatly damaged, and the ecclesiastics were inhumanly massacred. After the victory subsequently obtained over them by Alfred, Winchester was restored to its former importance, and again became the seat of government; and Alfred, who had fixed his chief residence here, ordered a general survey of the country to be made and deposited in the royal archives, which was thence called the Codex Wintoniensis. This monarch founded a monastery on the north side of the cathedral, for his chaplain St. Grimbald, intending it also as a place of interment for himself and family; but dying before it was completed, he was buried in the cathedral, from which his remains were subsequently removed, and deposited in the new minster. In the time of Athelstan six mints were established here, for coining as many different kinds of money; and during this reign, the legendary battle between Guido, Earl of Warwick, and a Dane of gigantic stature, named Colbrand, is said to have taken place in a meadow near the city, on a spot of ground still called Danemark.

In the reign of Edgar a law was made to prevent frauds arising from the diversity of measures, and for the establishment of a legal standard measure, to be used in every part of his dominions. The standard vessels made by order of the king were deposited in this city, from which circumstance originated the appellation "Winchester measure:" the original bushel is still preserved in the guildhall. In the same reign, St. Ethelwold, a native of Winchester, who presided over the see, partly rebuilt the cathedral, which, on its completion in the following reign, he re-consecrated, in the presence of King Ethelred, Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the principal nobility and prelates of the kingdom; including in the dedication the name of St. Swithin, whose remains, buried at his own request in the churchyard, were removed and re-interred in the cathedral under a magnificent shrine, which had been prepared for that purpose by King Edgar. After the partition of the kingdom between Edmund Ironside and Canute, the latter, obtaining the entire sovereignty, divided it into four parts, three of which he entrusted to subordinate rulers, while he reserved the fourth and most important under his own administration. He fixed his seat of government at Winchester, and greatly enriched the cathedral, to which, after the memorable reproof of his courtiers at Southampton for their flattery, he presented his regal crown, depositing it over the high altar, and making a vow never to wear it more. This monarch here held a general assembly of the nobility, in which he enacted laws for the government of the kingdom, and for the preservation of the royal forests and chases. On the death of Hardicanute, in 1041, Edward the Confessor was crowned with great pomp and splendour in the cathedral, to which he granted an additional charter, at the same time ordering a donation of half a mark to the master of the choir, and a cask of wine and 100 cakes of white bread to the convent, as often as a king of England should wear his crown in that city. During this reign, Queen Emma his mother, by her own desire, to vindicate her innocence of the crime of incontinence, with which she had been aspersed, underwent the trial of the fiery ordeal in the cathedral, without, as is stated, receiving the smallest injury. In gratitude for her deliverance, she enriched the possessions of the church with nine additional manors; the same number was added by Bishop Alwyn, her kinsman and her asserted paramour, and the manors of Portland, Weymouth, and Wyke were given on the occasion by the king. The first great seal of England was, in the course of this reign, made and kept in the city.

At the Conquest, William fixed his principal residence at Winchester as the seat of government, and built a strong castle at the south-west extremity of the city, in order to keep his new subjects in awe. Here he enacted most of his laws, and framed measures for the security of his government, among which were the institution of the Curfew, and the general survey and estimate of the property of his subjects, called the Roll of Winchester, or Domesday book, a probable imitation, or enlargement, of the Codex Wintoniensis of Alfred. Though he occasionally resided in London, which was growing into importance, and more especially during the latter part of his reign, yet he invariably celebrated the festival of Easter in this city. In 1079, Walkelyn, a relation of the Conqueror's and bishop of the see, began to rebuild the cathedral and the adjoining monastery; for which purpose he obtained from the king a grant of timber from the woods in the vicinity: the building was completed in 1093, and dedicated, with great pomp, in the presence of all the bishops and abbots in the kingdom. On the death of Walkelyn, in 1098, William Rufus, who was crowned here, seized upon the bishopric, and held it till the year 1100, when, being killed while hunting in the New Forest, his body was brought into the city on the following day, in a cart belonging to a charcoalmaker named Purkis, and interred in the choir of the cathedral. The lineal descendants of Purkis still pursue that occupation in the same place, which is within a few hundred yards of the spot where the king fell.

On the death of Rufus, his elder brother Robert being on a crusade, Henry, his younger brother, hastened to Winchester; and having made himself master of the royal treasure, he drew his sword in the presence of the reluctant nobles, and secured his pretensions to the kingdom by forcibly placing the crown upon his head. In the same year he espoused Matilda, daughter of Malcolm III., King of Scotland, who had assumed the veil in the monastery of St. Mary, in this city, but had not taken the vows; by which marriage the royal Saxon and Norman lines were united; and on the birth of a son, the following year, he conferred many additional privileges on the inhabitants. About this time a dreadful fire broke out, which destroyed the royal palace, the mints, the guildhall, a considerable portion of the city, and many of the public records. Henry, by the advice of Roger, Bishop of Sarum, ordered a general meeting of the masters of the several mints to assemble at Winchester, on Christmas-day in 1125, to investigate the state of the coin, which had been generally debased throughout the kingdom; and after due examination they were all, with the exception of three of the Winchester mint-masters, found guilty of gross fraud, and punished by the loss of the right hand. Henry, also, to prevent frauds in the measurement of cloth, ordered a standard yard, of the length of his own arm, to be deposited here with the standard measures of Edgar.

Winchester appears now to have attained its highest degree of prosperity. It was the seat of government, and the residence of the monarch; and the royal mint, the treasury, and the public records were kept here: it had also a magnificent royal palace, a noble castle erected by the Conqueror, and another not less considerable, which was subsequently built as a palace for the bishops; with various stately public buildings, and numerous mansions for the residence of the nobility and gentry connected with the court. In the city were three royal monasteries, exclusively of inferior religious houses; a splendid cathedral, in which many of the monarchs of England had been crowned, and were interred; and a vast number of parochial churches, of which Stowe relates that not less than forty were destroyed in the war between Stephen and Matilda. The population was great, and the suburbs, in every direction, extended a mile further than they do at present. Winchester was the general thoroughfare from the eastern to the western parts of the kingdom; it had a considerable manufactory for woollen caps, and enjoyed an extensive commerce with the continent, from which it imported wine, in exchange for its manufactures. It was also a place of great resort for its numerous fairs.

On the death of Henry I., the city suffered greatly in the war which followed in the reign of Stephen, who having seized into his own hands the episcopal palaces throughout the kingdom, a synod was held here, to protest against the injustice of that measure, and to concert means of obtaining redress. At this meeting it was resolved that the assembled prelates should prepare an address, and send a deputation to the king, who then resided at the palace of Winchester, which was accordingly done; but the king, without paying the least attention to it, departed for London. The Empress Matilda, at this conjuncture, landed on the coast of Sussex, to dispute Stephen's title to the throne, and the royal castle of Winchester was secured by a party in her interest; but through the influence of Henry de Blois, the king's brother, who then held the see, the city was preserved in its allegiance to Stephen. On the subsequent captivity of the king, who was made prisoner in the war, and the acknowledgment of Matilda's claim to the crown by the greater part of the kingdom, the bishop abandoned his brother's cause; and having gone out with a solemn procession of his clergy, to meet the empress at Magdalene Hill, conducted her and her partisans into the city with great ceremony. The public opinion beginning, however, to change in favour of the captive king, and the haughtiness of the empress having excited much disgust, the bishop commenced putting his castle of Wolvesey into a state of defence, and had scarcely completed its fortifications, when it was closely invested by Matilda's forces, under the command of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, her natural brother, and of her uncle, David, King of Scotland. A considerable body of Stephen's party having taken up arms, marched to the relief of the bishop. The armies on both sides were numerous and well appointed, and the city suffered dreadful havoc from their hostilities, which were carried on in the very centre of it, for several weeks, with the utmost acrimony. The king's party ultimately succeeded in confining their opponents within the limits of the royal castle; but, having previously spread a report of Matilda's sickness and death, the garrison obtained a truce for her interment, and placing her in a coffin, she was carried out through the army and escaped in safety to Gloucester. In the mean time, the Earl of Gloucester, with the King of Scots, taking advantage of the truce, made a sally from the castle; being pursued, the earl was taken prisoner at Stockbridge, and subsequently exchanged for the captive monarch. Stephen, immediately on his liberation, repaired to Winchester, and began to strengthen the fortifications of the castle by the addition of new works; but, while engaged in that undertaking, an army which had been newly raised in the adjoining counties, marched against him, and he was compelled to abandon his design, and save himself by flight. During the war, the bishop held a synod here, by an act of which it was decreed, that ploughs should have the same privilege of sanctuary as churches; and a sentence of excommunication was issued against all who should molest any person employed in agriculture. On the conclusion of the war, during which nearly one-half of the city was destroyed, the treaty between Stephen and Henry the son of Matilda, the terms of which had been agreed upon at Wallingford Castle, was ratified at Winchester, by general consent.

Henry II., on his accession to the throne, was crowned here with his queen Margaret. Here also, in 1184, his daughter, the Duchess of Saxony, gave birth to a son, named William, from whom the illustrious house of Hanover is supposed to have sprung. This monarch conferred many privileges upon the city, among which was that of being governed by a mayor and a subordinate bailiff. During his reign a calamitous fire, which began in the mint, destroyed the greater part of the town. On the death of Henry, his son Richard I., surnamed Cœur de Lion, having secured the royal treasure in this city, was crowned in London; but after his ransom from the captivity into which he fell, in returning from the crusades, he had the ceremony of his coronation performed with great pomp in the cathedral of Winchester. In 1207, King John held a parliament here, in which he imposed a tax of one-thirteenth part on all moveable property; and in the same year his queen gave birth to a son, who, from the place of his nativity, was surnamed Henry of Winchester. The year following, in consideration of 200 marks paid down, and an annual payment of £100, that monarch granted the inhabitants a charter of incorporation, confirming all previous privileges; and on his subsequent submission to the pope, he received absolution in the chapter-house of the monastery from sentence of excommunication, which had been pronounced against him by the legate of Pope Innocent III.

Henry III., during his minority, kept bis court here, under the guardianship of the Earl of Pembroke, and, after the earl's death, under that of Peter de Rupibus, Bishop of Winchester. The residence of the king contributed materially to restore Winchester to the importance it had enjoyed previously to the war between Stephen and Matilda; but this advantage was greatly diminished by the existence of numerous bands of lawless plunderers in the city and its vicinity, with whom many of the inhabitants, and even members of the king's household, were connected. The depredations committed by these bands were at length suppressed by the firmness and resolution of the king, thirty of the offenders being brought to trial and publicly executed. During the war between this monarch and the barons, the city experienced considerable devastation, and suffered severely from the violence of both parties, who alternately had possession of it. After the battle of Evesham, the king held several parliaments here, in which all who had borne arms against him were attainted; but, with the exception of the Montfort family, none of the attainders were carried into execution, and the highest penalty inflicted did not exceed five years' rent of the forfeited estates. The celebrated trial of John Plantagenet, Earl of Surrey, took place here, for the murder of Alan de la Zouch, chief justice of Ireland, whom that nobleman killed on the bench in Westminster Hall, when summoned before him to give evidence of the tenure by which he held his estates. On his oath, and on that of twenty-four compurgators, that he did not strike the judge from preconceived malice, the earl was acquitted, and fined 1200 marks.

Edward I. also held several parliaments at Winchester, in one of which the celebrated ordinances, afterwards called the Statutes of Winchester, were passed. But the royal residence for the greater part was transferred to London, which, having risen into higher importance, had now become the metropolis of the kingdom; and Winchester, which hitherto had held the first rank among the cities of the empire, began to decline. Towards the end of his reign, this monarch, offended at the escape of a foreign hostage, who had been confined in the castle under the mayor's custody, deprived the city of all its privileges, which were however subsequently restored. Soon after the death of Edward II., a parliament was held here by Queen Isabel and Mortimer, in which Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent, was arraigned on a charge of high treason, and condemned to death. Edward III. having made Winchester a staple for the sale of wool, the merchants erected large warehouses for conducting that lucrative trade, and the city began to recover its commercial importance. Its progress, however, was interrupted by the destruction of Portsmouth and Southampton, in 1337, by the French; also, in the following year, by the plague, which ten years afterwards raged violently in the neighbourhood; and ultimately by the removal of the staple to Calais in 1363. During this reign, Bishop Edington, who was treasurer and chancellor to the king, commenced rebuilding the nave of the cathedral, which was completed by his successor, William of Wykeham, who, for his skill in architecture, was employed by Edward III. to superintend the erection of part of Windsor Castle.

Richard II. and his queen visited Winchester in 1388; and in 1392, that monarch removed to it his parliament from London, which was then suffering a suspension of its privileges under the king's displeasure. The marriage of Henry IV. with the Dowager Duchess of Bretagne was solemnized in the cathedral, by Bishop Wykeham, in 1401; and on the death of that prelate, Henry, afterwards Cardinal Beaufort, son of John of Gaunt, was appointed to the see. Here Henry V. gave audience to the French ambassadors, whose insolence on the occasion led to the invasion of France which soon followed. Henry VI. was a great benefactor to the city, which he frequently visited; and in 1449 he held a parliament here, which continued to sit for several weeks. In the course of this reign, however, its trade and population so greatly declined, that, in petitioning the king for the renewal of a grant conferred by his predecessor in 1440, the inhabitants represented that 997 houses were deserted, and seventeen parochial churches closed. Bishop Waynfleet having succeeded to the see, the king honoured the ceremony of his installation with his presence; and in the reign of Henry VII., the queen resided in the castle, where she gave birth to a son, whom, to conciliate the Welsh, the king named Arthur, in honour of the British hero of that name. In 1522, Henry VIII., in company with his royal guest, Charles V., spent several days in the city; on this occasion the celebrated Round Table, at which the renowned King Arthur and his knights used to dine, and which was preserved in the castle, was newly painted, and an inscription placed beneath it, in commemoration of the visit. The Dissolution of monasteries and the demolition of many of the religious establishments, completed the downfall of this once splendid and opulent city, and reduced it to a mere shadow of its former grandeur. On the accession of Mary, some transient gleams of returning prosperity revived, for a time, a hope of restoration; the marriage of that queen with Philip of Spain was solemnized in the cathedral, and several estates which had been alienated during previous reigns were restored to the see. But the real importance of Winchester had subsided, and in a charter obtained for it from Elizabeth, through the solicitation of Sir Francis Walsingham, it is described as "having fallen into great ruin, decay, and poverty."

At the commencement of the parliamentary war, Sir William Waller took possession of the castle for the parliament; but towards the close of the year 1643, it was retaken and garrisoned for the king, by Sir William (afterwards Lord) Ogle, and the city was appointed the general rendezvous of the army then forming in the west for the re-establishment of the king's authority, Fortifications were constructed round it, more especially on the east and west sides, where vestiges of intrenchments are still discernible; but the vigilance and activity of Waller disconcerted the enterprise, and on the subsequent defeat of Lord Hopton's party on Cheriton Down, he obtained possession of the city without difficulty. The castle, notwithstanding, held out for the king; and on the retreat of the parliamentarians to join the forces of the Earl of Essex, who was then laying siege to Oxford, the city also fell into the hands of the royalists. After the battle of Naseby, Cromwell was sent with an army to reduce Winchester, which after being repeatedly summoned, refused to surrender, and the siege was immediately commenced. The garrison made a resolute defence, but after a week's resistance capitulated on honourable terms. The castle was immediately dismantled, and the works blown up; the fortifications were demolished, together with the bishop's castle of Wolvesey, and several churches and other public buildings. The wanton violence of the parliamentary troops was manifested in defacing the cathedral, destroying its monuments, violating the tombs, and in the indiscriminate insult offered to the relics of the illustrious dead, whose bones the soldiers scattered about the church; the statues of James and Charles, at the entrance of the choir, were thrown down, and the communion-plate and other valuables belonging to the church were carried away. After the Restoration, the king chose Winchester for his occasional residence, and purchased the remains of the ancient castle, with the materials of which he began to erect a palace. The example of the king was followed by many of his nobility, who began to build splendid mansions, and Winchester once more exhibited signs of retrieving its distinction; but the death of Charles, before the completion of these works, put an end to those flattering prospects. Queen Anne, after her accession to the throne, paid a visit to the city, accompanied by Prince George of Denmark, on whom the palace of Charles II. had been settled at the time of his marriage, in the event of his surviving the queen, his consort.

The City is pleasantly situated on the eastern acclivity of an eminence rising gradually from the river Itchen, which is navigable to Southampton. It consists of one spacious regular street, passing through the centre, and intersected at right angles by several smaller streets, extending in a parallel direction for about half a mile through the breadth of the city, which is nearly the same as its length. Extensive hills, or downs, encircle it on the east and west. The principal parts of the city are within the limits of the ancient walls, which were of flint, strongly cemented with mortar, and defended by turrets at short intervals. The chief entrances from the suburbs were through four ancient gates, of which the West Gate is remaining, and, though it has undergone considerable alteration, still retains much of its ancient character: the other gates were removed by the commissioners appointed in 1770, by act of parliament, for the general improvement of the city. Over the Itchen, of which several branches intersect the town, is a handsome and substantial bridge of stone. At a small distance beyond the West Gate is an obelisk, occupying the spot where the people of the neighbouring country used to deposit their provisions for the supply of the city in time of plague, the inhabitants leaving the stipulated sum for payment, to prevent any communication of the contagion. In the centre of the High-street is the city cross, forty-three feet high, an elegant pyramidal structure in the later English style, consisting of three successive stages, richly ornamented with open arches, canopied niches, and crocketed pinnacles, erected by the fraternity of the Holy Cross, instituted by Henry VI. One of the niches of the second stage contains a figure supposed by some to be of St. John the Evangelist, but more probably, by others, to be of St. Lawrence, to whom the adjacent church is dedicated. The houses are in general substantial and well built, and many of them possess an appearance of great autiquity. The city is paved, lighted with gas, and supplied with water of excellent quality. A public subscription library is established in High-street; and the upper floor of the butchers' market, which had been used as a watchhouse, was lately taken down, and a building for a mechanics' institution erected. The theatre, in Gaol-street, a neat building handsomely fitted up, is occasionally opened by the Southampton company; and miscellaneous concerts and balls are held in St. John's rooms, in which also the general winter assemblies and subscription concerts usually take place. There are hot, cold, vapour, and shower baths in High-street. Races are held in July, on Worthy Down, about four miles from the city. On the site of the ancient castle is the unfinished palace of Charles II., now called the King's House, which, had it been completed according to the original design, would have been one of the most magnificent palaces in Europe; the front is 328 feet in length, and the principal story contained a splendid suite of state apartments. The building has been converted into a handsome range of barracks for the district, capable of containing about 2000 men, and having spacious grounds for exercise.

The trade was formerly considerable for the manufacture of woollen caps; at present, there is an extensive factory for sacking, and a little business is carried on in wool-combing. A canal from Woodmill, about two miles above the Itchen ferry, near Southampton, supplies the town with coal and the heavier articles of merchandise; and a station on the London and Southwestern railway is situated near the western extremity of the city. The market-days are Wednesday and Saturday, the latter for corn. The market-house, erected in 1772, is a handsome building, in every respect adapted to its use: the corn-exchange, at the north end of Jewrystreet, built in 1838, affords excellent accommodation, and is a considerable ornament to the town. The fairs are on the first Monday in Lent, on August 2nd, September 12th, and October 24th, for horses and pedlery: the first and last take place in the city, and the two others on the hills immediately adjoining; the September fair which is held on St. Giles's Hill, is a very large cheese-fair.

Winchester received its first regular charter of incorporation from Henry II., in 1184, twenty-two years before London was incorporated; and among the privileges conferred by that monarch, was the superintendence of the royal kitchen and laundry at the ceremony of the king's coronation. This charter was confirmed and extended by succeeding sovereigns, and remodelled by Queen Elizabeth; but the corporation now consists of a mayor, six aldermen, and 18 councillors, under the act 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76. The borough is divided into three wards; the municipal and parliamentary boundaries are co-extensive, and the number of magistrates is nine. The city first exercised the elective franchise in the 23rd of Edward I., since which time it has regularly returned two members to parliament: the right of election was extended in 1832, to the £10 householders of an enlarged district, comprising by estimation 715 acres: the mayor is returning officer. The recorder holds quarterly courts of session for all offenres not capital; a court of record is held four times in the year for the recovery of debts to any extent, and petty-sessions take place twice a week. The powers of the county debtcourt of Winchester, established in 1847, extend over the registration-districts of Alresford, Hursley, and Winchester. The Cheyncy court, so called from its having been anciently held under an oak (chéne), which refers its origin to the Druids, is an episcopal court, held weekly for the determining of actions, and the recovery of debts to any amount. Its jurisdiction extends over all places which ever belonged to the see of Winchester or the convent of St. Swithin, including 100 parishes, tythings, and hamlets, in the county of Southampton, some of which are 30 miles distant from the city.

The town-hall, a handsome structure in the Grecian style, and of the Doric order, was built in 1713, on the site of an edifice erected on the foundation of one burnt down in 1112. The front is decorated with a well executed statue in bronze of Queen Anne, given to the corporation by George Brydges, Esq., who represented Winchester in seven successive parliaments. In the muniment-room, over the west gate of the city, are preserved the town records, the original Winchester bushel made by order of King Edgar, the standard yard of Henry, and the standard measures of succeeding sovereigns, with various other remains of antiquity. The assizes and general quarter-sessions for the county are held in the chapel of the old castle, which has been converted into a county-hall, and appropriately fitted up for the purpose. The building is 110 feet in length. At the cast end is suspended the celebrated Round Table, attributed to the renowed King Arthur, but which, with greater probability, is said to have been introduced by King Stephen, with a view to prevent disputes for precedence. It is made of oaken planks, is eighteen feet in diameter, and ornamented with a figure of King Arthur, and the names of his knights, as collected from the romances of the times, in the costume and characters of the reign of Henry VIII. In several parts it is perforated by bullets, probably discharged by Cromwell's soldiers, while in possession of the city. An extensive common gaol for the county was erected in Gaol-street, in 1778, upon the principle recommended by the philanthropist Howard: the county bridewell, a spacious structure in Hyde-street, was built in 1786.

The origin of the Diocese may be traced to the early part of the seventh century, when Cynegils, the first Christian king of the West Saxons, being converted by St. Birinus, resolved to make his capital the seat of a bishopric, and began to collect materials for building a cathedral, which was afterwards accomplished by his son, Cenwahl, in 646. The establishment having been dispersed by the Danes in 867, secular priests were substituted the year following, who remained till 963, when Ethelwold, by command of King Edgar, expelled them, and supplied their place with monks of the Benedictine order from Abingdon. These kept possession without molestation, and the establishment continued to flourish, enriched with royal donations and other ample endowments, till the Dissolution, at which time its revenue amounted to £1507. 17. 2. It was afterwards refounded by Henry VIII., for a bishop, dean, chancellor, twelve prebendaries or canons, two archdeacons, six minor canons, ten lay clerks, eight choristers, and other officers. The jurisdiction of the see extends over the counties of Hants and Surrey, the Isle of Wight, and the islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark: the Bishop has the patronage of the two archdeaconries, the chancellorship, the canonries (now reduced to nine), and 83 benefices. The Dean and Chapter have the patronage of the minor canonries and 19 benefices. Three of the canonries have been suspended, and the proceeds transferred to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners' fund for the augmentation of small livings.

The Cathedral, situated in an open space near the centre of the city, towards the south-east, and originally dedicated to St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Swithin, was, upon the establishment of the present society by Henry VIII., dedicated to the Holy and Undivided Trinity. It is a spacious, massive, and splendid cruciform structure, chiefly in the Norman style, with a low tower rising from the centre, richly ornamented in its upper stages. The original building, as erected by Bishop Walkelyn in 1079, was one of the most magnificent specimens of the Norman style in the kingdom; it was enlarged by Bishop Edington, and a considerable part was rebuilt by the celebrated William of Wykeham, who, adopting the later English, which prevailed in his time, endeavoured to make the original style conform to that model. By this means the character of the architecture was materially changed, but the edifice displays many features of great beauty, and, from its extent and the loftiness of its proportions, notwithstanding the discrepancy of some parts, retains an air of stately grandeur. The principal Norman parts are, the transepts, in which the chief alteration is in the insertion of windows in the later style; and the tower, which preserves its original character. The west front is an elegant composition in the later English style, comprising three highly-enriched porches. Some part of the eastern portion is in the finest early English, with occasional insertions of later date, particularly the clerestory windows of the choir; and in other parts of the building are various specimens of the early English at different periods, all remarkable for the excellence of their details. In a few instances are found small portions of the decorated merging into the later English, of which latter, in various parts of the building, are progressive series from its commencement to the period of its utmost perfection.

The interior, from the amplitude of its dimensions, and the loftiness of its elevation, is strikingly impressive. The Nave is separated from the aisles by massive circular columns, twelve feet in diameter, and of proportionate height, which, in order to make them assimilate with the pointed arches that have been introduced within the circular Norman arches, have been cased with clustered pillars, and appropriately embellished. In some of the intervals between the columns, which are two diameters in width, are various chantry and sepulchral chapels. The roof is elaborately groined, and richly ornamented with delicate tracery, embellished with the armorialbearings and devices of John of Gaunt, Cardinal Beaufort, and Bishops Waynfleet and Wykeham, which are continued along the fascia, under the arches of the triforium. In the Transepts are several chapels and altars of exquisite beauty; the central part is separated from the aisles by massive circular columns and arches, rising iu successive series, and with varied ornaments to the roof. The west aisle of the south transept has been partitioned off for a chapter-house; and at the extremity of the north transept is a beautiful Catherine-wheel window. At the eastern extremity of the nave, a flight of steps leads into the choir, through a beautiful screen lately erected; on the sides of the entrance are niches containing ancient bronze statues of James I. and Charles I.

The Choir, which comprises the lower stage of the central tower, is early English, with some insertions, including a handsome range of clerestory windows in the later style. The original roof of the tower is concealed by an embellished ceiling, in the centre of which is an emblematical representation of the Trinity, with an inscription: the vaulting is supported by ribs springing from busts of James I. and Charles I., dressed in the costume of their times, above each of which is a motto; and among various other ornaments, are the initials and devices of Charles I. and his queen, Henrietta Maria, with their profiles in medallions. The roof of the choir, from the tower to the east end, is richly groined, and adorned with a profusion of armorial-bearings, devices, and other ornaments, exquisitely carved, and richly painted and gilt. Among them are the armorial-bearings of the houses of Tudor and Lancaster, and of the sees of Exeter, Bath and Wells, Durham, and Winchester, over which Bishop Fox, who superintended this work, successively presided. From the altar to the east window, the embellishments are emblematical of Scripture history, comprising the instruments of the Crucifixion, the faces of Pilate and his wife, of the high priest, and others: the whole of these embellishments have been judiciously renewed during the recent repairs of the edifice. The east window is of excellent proportions and design, and embellished with remains of ancient stained glass of rich hue: the subjects are chiefly the Apostles and Prophets, and some of the bishops of the see, with appropriate symbols and legends. Many of the figures were mutilated by the soldiery when they defaced the cathedral, at which time also the painted glass generally was destroyed; the fragments that remain bear ample testimony to their original merit. The bishop's throne, the prebendal-stalls, and pulpit, are excellent specimens of tabernacle-work. The altar, in front of which is a beautiful tessellated pavement, is adorned with a painting, by West, of Christ raising Lazarus from the Dead. Behind the altar, and separating it from the Lady chapel, is a finely-carved stone screen of beautiful design, with canopied niches and other appropriate ornaments; the statues that formerly filled the niches, were destroyed by Cromwell's soldiers. On each side of the altar, separating the presbytery from the aisles, are partitions of stone divided into compartments, ornamented with arches, and with shields of armorial-bearings and other devices: above the compartments are placed six mortuary chests, richly carved and gilt, and surmounted by crowns, containing the bones of several Saxon kings and prelates, which were collected and deposited in them by Bishop Fox.

In the south aisle of the choir is the sumptuous Chapel, or Chantry, of Bishop Fox, which, for its richness and minutely elaborate ornaments, is perhaps unequalled. In a niche under one of the arches is a recumbent figure of the founder, wrapped in a winding-sheet, with the feet resting on a skull. The roof is finely groined, and embellished with the arms of the royal house of Tudor, richly emblazoned, and with the armorial-bearings of the bishop, and the pelican, his favourite device. In the north aisle of the choir is the sepulchral Chapel of Bishop Gardiner, an unsightly mixture of the later English and the Grecian styles, and in a greatly dilapidated state. Behind the altar is a chapel in which was kept the magnificent shrine of St. Swithin, the costly gift of King Edgar, said to have been of silver, richly gilt, and profusely ornamented with jewels. The Lady Chapel, on each side of which is a smaller chapel, terminates the eastern extremity of the cathedral. It was built by Bishop de Lucy, and enlarged and beautified by Priors Hunton and Silkstede, whose initials and devices are worked into the groinings of the roof; the portrait of the latter, with his insignia of office, is still visible over the piscina, and on the walls are traces of paintings in fresco, representing subjects of scriptural, profane, and legendary history, now in a very imperfect state. The magnificent Chantry of Cardinal Beaufort, of Purbeck marble, is a highly-finished structure in the later English style, and abounds with architectural beauty of the highest order. The roof, which is delicately groined, and enriched with fan-tracery of elegant design, is supported on slender clustered columns of graceful proportions. On the tomb of the founder is his effigy in a recumbent posture, in his robes as cardinal; and at the upper end of the chantry, inclosing the altar, are some beautiful canopied niches crowned with crocketed pinnacles, from which the statues were taken by the parliamentarian soldiers. Bishop Waynfleet's Chantry is in the same style, and of equal beauty with Cardinal Beaufort's. From the attention paid to it by the trustees of his foundation at Magdalen College, it is kept in good repair. It contains the tomb of the bishop with his effigy in his pontificals, in the attitude of prayer. Among the various other chapels in the cathedral, are, that of Bishop Langton, containing some fine carvings in oak, his tomb stripped of all its ornaments; and that of Bishop Orleton, of whom no memorial is preserved. Of this latter chapel, the roof is vaulted, and profusely ornamented with figures of angels: on the north side is the tomb of Bishop Mews, a distinguished adherent to the cause of Charles I., who after having served as an officer in the royal army, entered into holy orders, and was promoted to the see of Winchester.

Underneath the high altar, and formerly accessible by a stone staircase leading from that part of the cathedral called the "Holy Hole," as being the depository of the remains of saints, are vestiges of the ancient Norman crypt built by Ethelwold; the walls, pillars, and groining are in their original state, and remarkable for the boldness and simplicity of their style. A new crypt, in the later style, has been built underneath the eastern end of the Lady chapel. Among the monuments, in addition to those in the sepulchral chapels, is the tomb of William Rufus, in the centre of the choir, of grey marble, raised about two feet above the surface of the pavement. In the cathedral are also the tombs of Hardicanute; Earl Beorn, son of Ertrith, sister of Canute; Richard, second son of William the Conqueror; Bishops Peter de Rupibus, Henry de Blois, Hoadly, Willis, and other distinguished prelates; Sir John Clobery, who assisted General Monk in planning the restoration of Charles II.; Sir Isaac Townsend, knight of the garter; the Earl of Banbury; Dr. Joseph Warton; Izaak Walton, and other eminent persons. The whole length of this magnificent structure is 545 feet, from east to west, and the breadth along the transepts, 186; the mean breadth of the nave is 87, and that of the choir 40: the height of the tower is 140 feet, and its sides are 50 feet broad.

The great cloisters, which inclosed a quadrangular area 180 feet in length and 174 in breadth, were destroyed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. On the east side of the quadrangle is a dark passage, which led to the infirmary and other offices belonging to the ancient monastery; and to the south of it is a doorway, that led to the chapter-house, whose site is now occupied by the Dean's garden, in the walls of which are some of the pillars and arches yet remaining. The refectory is now divided into two stories; under it are two kitchens, the roofs of which are vaulted in the Norman style, and supported on a single central column, still preserved. The Prior's hall and some other apartments form the present deanery; and other remains of the conventual buildings may be traced in the gardens of the prebendal houses, which occupy the Cathedral Close, an extraparochial district.

Winchester comprises the Parishes of St. Bartholomew, which is partly in the Soke liberty, and contains 776 inhabitants; St. Lawrence, the mother church, 310; St. Mary Kalendar, 867; St. Maurice, 1770; St. Peter Colebrook, 616; St. Thomas, 3071 inhabitants; and the parishes of St. Faith, St. John, St. Michael, St. Peter Cheesehill, St. Martin Winnall, and St. Swithin, within the Soke liberty, containing together 3361 inhabitants. The living of St. Bartholomew's parish is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10, and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £100. The church, in Hyde-street, is supposed to have been originally appropriated to Hyde Abbey. St. Lawrence's is a discharged rectory, valued at £6. 5., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £56. The church, situated in the square, is an ancient structure with a lofty tower, and consists of one large aisle, into which, on taking possession of his see, the bishop makes a solemn entry. The living of St. Mary Kalendar's is valued in the king's books at £7: the church has been destroyed. St. Maurice's is a rectory, to which the rectories of St. Mary Kalendar, St. Peter Colebrook, St. George, and St. Mary Wood, are united, valued at £6. 7. 6.; net income, £ 145; patron, the Bishop. The church, in High-street, formerly the chapel of a priory, has been rebuilt by subscription, aided by a grant of £500 by the Incorporated Society. The living of St. Peter's Colebrook is valued in the king's books at £3. 4. 2.: the church has been destroyed, as also have those of St. George and St. Mary Wood, the livings of which are valued, the former at £3. 5. 8., and the latter at £2. The living of St. Thomas' is a discharged rectory, with that of St. Clement united, valued at £13. 17. 8½.; net income, £145; patron, the Bishop. The church is an ancient structure in the Norman style, with a low tower; the interior consists of a nave and one aisle, separated by massive circular columns. The church of St. Clement has been demolished.

St. Faith's is a sinecure rectory, annexed to the mastership of the hospital of St. Cross, which is extra-parochial, and in the chapel of which the parishioners attend divine service, the church of St. Faith having been demolished for more than two centuries. St. John's is a perpetual curacy, with the rectory of St. Peter's Southgate united; net income, £82; patron, the Bishop. The church is in the Norman style, with a massive tower and turret, and consists of a nave and two aisles, separated by massive circular columns: the church of St. Peter's Southgate has been destroyed. The living of St. Michael's is a discharged rectory, valued at £5. 17. 11.; net income, £104; patron, the Bishop. The church, with the exception of the tower, has been rebuilt; it is a handsome edifice in the later English style, and consists of a spacious nave and chancel. St. Peter's Cheesehill is a discharged rectory, valued at £14. 9. 9½., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £100. The church is a neat plain structure, with a tower. St. Swithin's is a discharged rectory, valued at £6. 6. 10½., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £80. The church, which is over a postern called King's Gate, was used as the church for the servants employed in the great priory of St. Swithin. The living of St. Martin's Winnall is a rectory, valued at £5; net income, £170: patron, the Bishop. The church, rebuilt in 1786, consists of one aisle and a small tower. There are places of worship in the city for Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyans. A Roman Catholic chapel in the later English style, dedicated to St. Peter, was erected in 1792, in St. Peter street: at the entrance of the walk leading to it is an ancient Norman portal, which was removed from the church of St. Mary Magdalene's hospital. Nearly opposite is a convent, a large and handsome brick edifice, called the Bishop's House, consisting of Benedictine nuns removed from Brussels. To the south-west of the city is a public cemetery, containing 7 acres, laid out in gravel-walks and plantations; a low wall separates the consecrated portion from that appropriated to dissenters.

Winchester college holds a pre-eminent rank among the public literary institutions of the kingdom, and from a very early period has been distinguished as a seat of preparatory instruction. A grammar school was established prior to the commencement of the twelfth century, on the site of which, in 1387, Bishop Wykeham, who had received his early education in it, erected the present magnificent college, for a warden, ten secular priests who are perpetual fellows, three priests' chaplains, three clerks, sixteen choristers, a first and second master, and seventy scholars, intending it as a preparatory seminary for his foundation of New College, Oxford, completed the year before. Under the influence of salutary regulations, the college continued to flourish till the time of the Dissolution, when its revenue amounted to £639. 8. 7.; and it was held in such estimation, that it obtained a special exemption from that general measure. The collegiate buildings, which were completed in 1393, occupy two spacious quadrangles. The entrance into the outermost is through a noble turreted gateway, under a finely-pointed arch; and on the opposite side of this quadrangle is a gateway leading into the second court, above which is a tower ornamented in front with three beautiful niches, enriched with canopies and crocketed pinnacles. The buildings surrounding the inner quadrangle are principally in the later English style, of which they exhibit an elegant specimen. The grand hall and the chapel occupy the south side. The former is lighted by a range of windows enriched with tracery; the roof is finely arched, and the beams, which are handsomely ornamented, are supported by ribs springing from corbels decorated with coloured busts of kings and bishops. In the centre of this side is the stately tower of the chapel, surmounted with turrets crowned with pinnacles, the work of a later period than the building by Wykeham, and said to have been erected by the Warden Thurbern. The chapel vestibule, the ceiling of which is elaborately enriched, contains the ancient stalls, removed from the chapel in 1681 by Dr. Nicholas, and some ancient brasses. The interior of the chapel is beautifully arranged: the windows are enriched with tracery, antl with paintings of kings, saints, prelates, and nuns; in the great east window is a representation of the Genealogy of Christ, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. The altar is embellished with a painting of the Salutation, by De Moine, presented by a late headmaster, Dr. Burton. The schoolroom is a plain brick building, erected in 1687, at an expense of £2600: over the entrance is a statue of Bishop Wykeham, presented to the college by Caius Gabriel Cibber, which has been injudiciously painted and gilt. To the south of the chapel are the cloisters, inclosing a quadrangular area 132 feet square, and apparently of the 15th century; they contain many ancient brasses, and in the centre of the area is a chantry chapel, erected by John Fromond, a liberal benefactor to Wykeham's foundations. This building, the ceiling of which is strongly vaulted, is now appropriated as the college library, and contains a select and valuable collection of works, and a small museum of natural curiosities. The sides of the quadrangle are composed of the houses and apartments of the warden, fellows, head and second masters, and other members of the establishment; and contiguous to the college is a spacious building for the residence of gentlemen commoners not on the foundation, of whom the number is very considerable. The college, chapel, and school, were completely repaired in 1795. A visitation is held in July, by the warden and two of the fellows of New College, Oxford, at which an examination takes place of the candidates for the vacant fellowships in that college. There are several scholarships and exhibitions for such as fail in obtaining fellowships; also a superannuated fund belonging to the establishment, founded by Dr. Cobden, Archdeacon of London, in 1784. In this noble institution many eminent prelates and literary characters have received their early education; among whom may be named, Sir Thomas Brown, Sir Thomas Wooton, Sir Thomas Ryves; and the poets Otway, Philips, Young, Somerville, the Rev. Christopher Pitt, Collins, Warton, and Hayley.

The Hospital of St. Cross, about a mile south of the city, beautifully placed on the bank of the river Itchen, was founded in 1132, by Bishop Henry de Blois, brother of King Stephen, who endowed it for the residence and maintenance of a master, steward, four chaplains, thirteen clerks, seven choristers, and thirteen poor brethren; and for the daily entertainment of 100 of the most indigent men in the city, who dined together in a common hall, called the "hundred menne's hall." Bishop Wykeham, on his appointment to the see in 1366, finding that the revenue of the hospital was misapplied, succeeded, after a tedious litigation, in reestablishing the institution. At the suppression of monasteries its revenue was valued at £184. 4. 2.: it was exempted from dissolution, but suffered materially during the war in the reign of Charles I. The present establishment consists of a master, chaplain, steward, and thirteen brethren. The buildings formerly occupied two quadrangular areas, but the south side of the inner quadrangle has been taken down: the entrance gateway, erected by Cardinal Beaufort, is a good specimen of the later English style, surmounted by a lofty tower. In the inner court is the church of St. Cross, an ancient and interesting cruciform structure, comprising a series of styles, passing, by gradual and almost imperceptible transitions, from the Norman to the early and decorated English styles. The low tower rising from the centre is Norman. The west front is an elegant composition in the early English style, with appropriate embellishments. The groining of the roof, towards the east, is replete with ornaments of Norman character; that of the western part, which appears to have been the work of Beaufort, is embellished with the armorialbearings of the cardinal, of Bishop Wykeham, and of the college. The west window, of five lights, is richly ornamented with painted glass, representing various saints, and emblazoned with armorial devices; over the stalls in the choir are sculptured figures of the most conspicuous subjects of Scripture history. Among the funeral monuments are, an ancient brass in memory of John de Campden, the friend of Wykeham; and a modern mural tablet to Wolfran Cornwall, speaker of the house of commons. The living is a perpetual curacy, with the rectory of St. Faith's annexed, and in the patronage of the Bishop. The remaining buildings of the hospital include the apartments of the brethren; the refectory; and the master's apartments, which are spacious and commodious.

St. John's Hospital, now called St. John's House, in High-street, is a very ancient establishment, said to have been founded in the year 933, by St. Brinstan, Bishop of Winchester, and to have become the property of the Knights Templars, upon the suppression of which order it was refounded, by permission of Edward II., for sick and lame soldiers, for pilgrims, and necessitous wayfaring men, who had their lodging and other necessaries for one night, or longer, in proportion to their wants. After the Dissolution, the site and remains were given to the corporation, who converted the great hall into a public room, in which meetings of the corporation, and public assemblies and concerts, are held. The hall is elegantly fitted up, and embellished with a fulllength portrait of Charles II. in his robes of state, painted by Sir Peter Lely, and presented to the corporation by that monarch: in an adjoining room, called the councilchamber, are the city tables, recording its principal historical events. In an inner court of the northern part of the hospital are the almshouses founded in 1558, by Ralph Lamb, who endowed them for the support of six widows. By a decree of the court of chancery, the management of this charity has been transferred from the corporation to 12 trustees; and the funds having greatly increased, an extensive building on the opposite side of the street has been erected, in which 18 additional inmates are lodged, who receive the same alms as those in the original establishment. The ancient chapel of the hospital, which had been used as a schoolroom, was lately renovated, and a regular chaplain is now appointed. Christ's Hospital was established in 1586, by Peter Symonds, who endowed it with lands now producing more than £420 per annum, for the support of six unmarried men above 50 years of age, and the maintenance and education of four boys. There are two exhibitions, of £10 per annum each, tenable for four years, to Oxford and Cambridge; and with such as do not obtain them, an apprentice-fee of £10 is given, on their leaving the hospital. The County Hospital or Infirmary, in Parchment-street, the first institution of the kind established in the kingdom, was founded in 1736; the buildings comprise a centre and two wings, and are in every respect well adapted to the purposes of the institution. Near the cathedral are some almshouses founded in 1672, by Bishop Morley, for the residence and support of ten clergymen's widows; and there are various other funds for charitable uses, among which is Sir Thomas White's charity, for loans without interest to young tradesmen. The poor-law union of Winchester comprises 33 parishes or places, and contains a population of 20,452.

Among the ancient monastic institutions, in addition to those already described, was Hyde Abbey, originally the New Minster founded by Alfred the Great, adjoining the site of the present cathedral, which, by way of distinction, was thence called the Old Minster. The foundation, after the death of Alfred, was completed by his son, Edward the Elder, and placed under the superintendence of St. Grimbald, who established a fraternity of Canons regular, that were afterwards expelled by Bishop Ethelwold, and replaced by monks of the order of St. Benedict. Alwyn, the eighth abbot in succession from St. Grimbald, was uncle of Harold, and, with twelve of his monks, assisted that monarch at the battle of Hastings, in which he was slain with his brethren. In resentment of this, William the Conqueror treated the New Minster with the utmost rigour, seized upon its revenue, and would not allow a new abbot to be appointed. About three years after, however, he permitted an abbot to be chosen, and restored some of the abbey lands, giving others in exchange for the remainder. The contiguity of the buildings to the Old Minster, and the nuisances which had arisen from the stagnation of the stream of water brought in its immediate vicinity to supply the fosse dug round the castle erected by the Conqueror, induced the fraternity to build a new abbey at a greater distance, on a spot near the north wall of the city, called Hyde meadow, from which it took its name. Into this the remains of Alfred, his queen Alswitha, his sons Ethelred and Edward the Elder, of Elfleda, Ethelhida, and King Edwy, were removed and re-interred. In the contest between Stephen and Matilda the abbey was burnt to the ground by the fire-balls thrown from Wolvesey Castle; but it was rebuilt, with greater magnificence, in the reign of Henry II., and the abbot was invested with the privilege of a seat in parliament. It continued to flourish till the Dissolution, at which time its revenue was £865. 1. 6. The buildings were soon after demolished, and very small portions of them at present remain; among these are, the tower of St. Bartholomew's church, some of the offices, and part of a large barn, with one gateway containing a regal head in the groining of the arch. On the site of the abbey a new bridewell has been erected, in digging the foundations of which many stone coffins, chalices, patins, rings, busts, capitals of ancient columns, and other fragments of sculpture, were found; the most interesting relic being a stone inscribed "Alfred Rex, 881," in Saxon characters.

The Abbey of St. Mary was founded by Alswitha, wife of Alfred, and, after the king's death, was the place of her retirement. Edburga, daughter of Edward the Elder, became abbess; and in the reign of Edgar, the convent was amply endowed by Bishop Ethelwold, who prescribed for the observance of the nuns the more severe rules of the order of St. Benedict. Many Saxon ladies of royal and noble lineage were sisters in this establishment, in which Matilda, wife of Henry I., received her education. The buildings were destroyed in the war during the reign of Stephen, and subsequently restored by Henry II., who was a liberal benefactor to the abbey. At the time of the Dissolution, its revenue was £179. 7. 2.; a few years after that period, its abbess and eight of the nuns received small pensions, and the rest of the inmates were dispossessed. The only visible remains are in a large modern mansion, partly built with the materials of the abbey. In the meadow of St. Stephen, near the Bishop's palace of Wolvesey, was a college, established in 1300 by Bishop Pontoys, dedicated to St. Elizabeth, a daughter of the King of Hungary, and endowed for a provost, six chaplains, priests, six clerks, and six choristers: its revenue at the Dissolution was £112. 17- 4. A monastery, dedicated to St. James, was founded in the abbey churchyard by John, or Roger, Inkpenne, who in 1318 endowed it for a warden and several priests. In the churchyard of St. Maurice was the fraternity of St. Peter; and in that of St. Mary Kalendar, a college, the revenue of which was granted to the corporation in the reign of Philip and Mary. The Hospital of St. Mary Magdalene was an ancient building, situated on Magdalene Hill, and supposed to have been erected and endowed by one of the bishops, about the close of the twelfth century. In 1665, the king ordered the inmates to be removed to the city of Winchester; the old hospital buildings, being in a state of ruin, were taken down, and six tenements, with three rooms each, were built in St. John's parish, in the East Soke. The institution consists of a warden and four brothers and four sisters, and the annual income of the charity amounts on an average to £154. There were also convents of Augustine, Carmelite, Dominican, and Franciscan friars, the sites of which were, after the Dissolution, granted to the college. Winchester gives the title of Marquess to the family of Paulet.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.