BARNSTAPLE , a seaport,market
See also:town and municipal
See also:borough, in the Barnstaple
See also:parliamentary division of Devonshire, England, on the
See also:river Taw, near the
See also:coast . Pop . (1901) 14,137 . It is served by the
See also:London & South-Western, the
See also:Great Western, and the
See also:Lynton & Barnstaple
See also:railways . The Taw is here crossed by a
See also:bridge of sixteen
See also:arches, said to have been built in the 12th or 13th century . The town manufactures
See also:lace, gloves,
See also:cloth and fishing-nets, and has extensive
See also:potteries, tanneries, sawmills and foundries, while
See also:shipbuilding is also carried on . The
See also:harbour admits only small
See also:coasting vessels . The public buildings and institutions include a
See also:guildhall (1826), a
See also:free grammar school and a large market-place . The poet
See also:John Gay was
See also:born in the vicinity, and received his
See also:education at the grammar school, which at an earlier
See also:period had numbered
See also:Jewel among its pupils . It was founded in the 14th century, in connexion with a chantry . There are also some curious Jacobean almshouses . The borough is under a mayor, six aldermen and eighteen councillors .
See also:Area, 2236 acres . Barnstaple (Berdestaple, Barnstapol, Barstaple, also Barum) ranks among the most
See also:ancient of royal boroughs . As early as Domesday, where it is several times mentioned, there were
See also:forty burgesses within the town and nine without, who rendered 4os . Tradition claims that
See also:Athelstan threw up defensive
See also:works here, but the existing
See also:castle is attributed to Joel of Totnes, who held the
See also:manor during the reign of
See also:William the Conqueror, and also founded a Cluniac priory, dedicated to St Mary Magdalene . From this date the borough and priory
See also:grew up $ide by side, but each preserving its
See also:independent privileges and rights of
See also:government until the dissolution of the latter in 1535• In
See also:Edward II.'s reign the burgesses petitioned for the restoration of rights bestowed by a pretended
See also:charter from Athelstan . The existence of this charter was denied, but the desired privileges were conceded, including the right to elect a mayor . The earliest authenticated charter is that of
See also:Henry I., which was confirmed in a charter of Henry II . The later charter states that the burgesses should have customs similar to those granted to London, and further charters confirmed the same right . A charter of
See also:Queen Mary in 1556 added some new privileges, and specified that the
See also:common council should consist of a mayor, two aldermen and twenty-four chief burgesses .
See also:James I., by a charter dated 1610, increased the number of chief burgesses to twenty-five and instituted a recorder, a clerk of the market, justices of the peace and other
See also:officers . This charter was confirmed in 1611 and 1689, and held force until the Municipal Corporations
See also:Act of 1835, which established six aldermen and eighteen councillors . The borough sent two members to parliament in 1295, and so continued to do until the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, when the
See also:representation was merged in that of the
See also:county .
Barnstaple was once famous for its woollen
See also:trade, now entirely declined, and as early as the reign of Edward III. was an important
See also:port, with an extensive
See also:shipping trade . That this prosperity was not altogether uninterrupted is testified by the fact that, at the
See also:time of the
See also:Armada, the mayor pleaded inability to contribute three
See also:ships, on account of injuries to trade consequent on the war with Spain . The
See also:Friday market and the
See also:annual four days'
See also:fair in
See also:September are held by immemorial
See also:prescription . See J . B . Gribble, Memorials of Barnstaple (Barnstaple, 1830) .
PHINEAS TAYLOR BARNUM (1810-1891)
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