Online Encyclopedia

ABERGAVENNY

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 53 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
ABERGAVENNY, a market town and municipal borough in the northern parliamentary division of Monmouthshire, England, 14 M. W. of Monmouth on the Great Western and the London and North-Western railways. Pop. (1901) 7795. It is situated at the junction of a small stream called the Gavenny with the river Usk; and the site, almost surrounded by lofty hills, is very beautiful. The town was formerly walled, and has the remains of a castle built soon after the conquest, frequently the scene of border strife. The church of St Mary belonged origin-ally to a Benedictine monastery founded early in the 12th century. The existing building, however, is Decorated and Perpendicular, and contains a fine series of memorials of dates from the 13th to the 17th century. There is a free grammar school, which till 1857 had a fellowship at Jesus College, Oxford. Breweries, ironworks, quarries, brick fields and collieries in the neighbour-hood are among the principal industrial establishments. Abergavenny was incorporated in 1899, and is governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen and 12 councillors. Area, 825 acres. This was the Roman Gobannium, a small fort guarding the road along the valley of the Usk and ensuring quiet among the hill tribes. There is practically no trace of this fort. Abergavenny (Bergavenny) grew up under the protection•of the lords of Abergavenny, whose title dated from William I. Owing to its situation, the town was frequently embroiled in the border warfare of the 12th and 13th centuries, and Giraldus Cambrensis relates how in 1175 the castle was seized by the Welsh. Hamelyn de Baalun, first lord of Abergavenny, founded'the Benedictine priory, which was subsequently endowed by William de Braose with a tenth of the profits of the castle and town. At the dissolution of the priory part of this endowment went towards the foundation of a free grammar school, the site itself passing to the Gunter family. During the Civil War prior to the siege of Raglan Castle in 1645, Charles I. visited Abergavenny, and presided in person over the trial of Sir Trevor Williams and other parliamentarians. In 1639 Abergavenny received a charter of incorporation under the title of bailiff and burgesses. A charter with extended privileges was drafted in 1657, but appears never to have been enrolled or to have come into effect. Owing to the refusal of the chief officers of the corporation to take the oath of allegiance to William III. in 1688, the charter was annulled, and the town subsequently declined in prosperity. The act of 27 Henry VIII., which provided that Monmouth, as county town, should return one burgess to parliament, further stated that other ancient Monmouthshire boroughs were to contribute towards the payment of the member. In consequence of this clause Abergavenny on various occasions shared in the election, the last instance being in 1685. Reference to a market at Abergavenny is found in a charter granted to the prior by William de Braose (d. 1211). The right to hold two weekly markets and three yearly fairs, as hitherto held, was confirmed in 1657. Abergavenny was celebrated for the production of Welsh flannel, and also for the manufacture, whilst the fashion prevailed, of periwigs of goats' hair. The title of Baron Abergavenny, in the Neville family, dates from Edward Neville (d. 1476), who was the youngest son of the 1st earl of Westmoreland by Joan Beaufort, daughter of John of Gaunt. He married the heiress of Richard, earl of Worcester, whose father had inherited the castle and estate of Abergavenny, and was summoned in 1392 to parliament as Lord Bergavenny. Edward Neville was summoned to parliament with this title in 1450. His direct male descendants ended in 1587 in Henry Neville, but a cousin, Edward Neville (d. 1622), was confirmed in the barony in 1604. From him it has descended continuously, the title being increased to an earldom in 1784; and in 1876 William Nevill (sic), 5th earl (b. 1826), an indefatigable and powerful supporter of the Conservative party, was created 1st marquess of Abergavenny. (See NEVILLE.) ABERIGH-MACKAY, GEORGE ROBERT (1848-188r), Anglo-Indian writer, son of a Bengal chaplain, was born on the 25th of July 1848, and was educated at Magdalen College School and Cambridge University. Entering the Indian education department in 187o, he became professor of English literature in Delhi College in 1873, tutor to the raja of Rutlam 1876, and principal of the Rajkumar College at Indore in 1877. He is best known for his book Twenty-one Days in India (1878-1879), a satire upon Anglo-Indian society and modes of thought. This book gave promise of a successful literary career; but the author died at the age of thirty-three.
End of Article: ABERGAVENNY
[back]
ABERFOYLE
[next]
JOHN ABERNETHY (1680-,74o)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.