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BRIGHTON

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 571 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BRIGHTON, a municipal, county and parliamentary borough of Sussex, England, one of the best-known seaside resorts in the United Kingdom, 51 M. S. from London by the London, Brighton & South Coast railway. Pop. (1901) 123,478. Its ready accessibility from the metropolis is the chief factor in its popularity. It is situated on the seaward slope of the South Downs; the position is sheltered from inclement winds, and the climate is generally mild. The sea-front, overlooking the English Channel, stretches nearly 4 M. from Kemp Town on the cast to Hove (a separate municipal borough) on the west. Inland, including the suburb of Preston, the town extends some 2 M. The tendency of the currents in the Channel opposite Brighton is to drive the shingle eastward, and encroachments of the sea were frequent and serious until the erection of a massive sea-wall, begun about 1830, 6o ft. high, 23 ft. thick at the base, and, 3 ft. at the summit. There are numerous modern churches and chapels, many of them very handsome; and the former parish church of St Nicholas remains, a Decorated structure containing a Norman font and a memorial to the great duke of Wellington. The incumbency of Trinity Chapel was held by the famous preacher Frederick William Robertson (1847-1853). The town hall and the parochial offices are the principal administrative buildings. Numerous institutions contribute to the entertainment of visitors. Of these the most remarkable is the Pavilion, built as a residence for the prince regent (afterwards George IV.) and remodelled in 1819 by the architect, John Nash, in a grotesque Eastern style of architecture. In 1849 it was purchased by the town for £53,000, and is devoted to various public uses, containing a museum, assembly-rooms and picture-galleries. The detached building, formerly the stables, is converted into a fine concert hall; it is lighted by a vast glazed dome approaching that of St Paul's cathedral, London, in dimensions. There are several theatres and music-halls. The aquarium, the property of the corporation, contains an excellent marine collection, but is also used as a concert hall and winter garden, and a garden is laid out on its roof. The Booth collection of British birds, bequeathed to the corporation by E. T. Booth, was opened in 1893. There are two piers, of which the Palace pier, near the site of the old chain pier (1823), which was washed away in 1896, is near the centre of the town, while the West pier is towards Hove. Preston and Queen's parks are the principal of several public recreation grounds; and the racecourse at Kemp Town is also the property of the town. Educational establishments are numerous, and include Brighton College, which ranks high among English public schools. There are municipal schools of science, technology and art. St Mary's Hall (1836) is devoted to the education of poor clergymen's daughters. Among many hospitals, the county hospital (1828), " open to the sick and lame poor of every country and nation," may be mentioned. There are an extensive mackerel and herring fishery, and motor engineering works. The parliamentary borough, which includes the parish of Hove, returns two members. The county borough was created in 1888. The municipal borough is under a mayor, 14 aldermen and 42 councillors. Area, 2536 acres. Although there is evidence of Roman and Saxon occupation of the site, the earliest mention of Brighton (Bristelmeston, Brichelmestone, Brighthelmston) is the Domesday Book record that its three manors belonged to Earl Godwin and were held by William de Wa,tenne. Of these, two passed to the priories of Lewes and Michelham respectively, and after the dissolution of the monasteries were subject to frequent sale and division.. The third descended to the earls of Arundel, falling to the share of the duke of Norfolk in 1.415, and being divided in 1502 between the families of Howard and Berkeley. That Brighton was a large fishing village in ro86 is evident from the rent of 4000 herrings; in 1285 it had a separate constable, and in 1333 it was assessed for a tenth, and fifteenth at £5:4:61i half the assessment of Shoreham. In 1340 there were no merchants there, only tenants of lands, but its prosperity increased during the 15th and 16th centuries, and it was assessed at 06:12:8 in 1534. There is, however, no indication that it was a borough. In 158o commissioners sent to decide disputes between the fishermen and landsmen found that from time immemorial Brighton had been governed by two head boroughs sitting in the borough court, and assisted by a council called the Twelve. This constitution disappeared before 1772, when commissioners were appointed. Brighton refused a charter offered by George; prince of Wales, but was incorporated in 1854. It had become a parliamentary borough in 1832. From a fishing'town in 1656 it became a fashionable resort in 1756; its popularity increased after the visit of the prince of Wales (see GEORGE IV.) to the duke of Cumberland in 1783, and was ensured by his building the Pavilion in 1784-1787, and his adoption of it as his principal residence; and his association with Mrs Fitzherbcrt at Brighton was the starting-point of its fashionable repute. See Victoria County History Sussex; Susses. Archaeological, Society Transactions, vol. ii. ; L. Melville, Brighton, its History, its Follies and its Fashions (London, 1909). BRIGHT'S DISEASE, a term in medicine applied to a class of diseases of the kidneys (acute and chronic nephritis) which have as their most prominent symptom the presence of albumen in the urine, and frequently also the coexistence of dropsy. These associated symptoms in connexion with kidney disease were first described in x827 by Dr Richard Bright (1789—1858). Since that period it has been established that the symptoms, instead of being, as was formerly supposed, the result of one form of disease of the kidneys, may be dependent on various morbid conditions of those organs (see KIDNEY DISEASES). Hence the term Bright's disease, which is retained in medical nomenclature in honour of Dr Bright, must be understood as having a generic application. The symptoms are usually of a severe character. Pain in the back, vomiting and febrile disturbance commonly usher in the attack. Dropsy, varying in degree from slight puffiness of the face to an accumulation of fluid sufficient to distend the whole body, and to occasion serious embarrassment to respiration, is a very common accompaniment. The urine is reduced in quantity, is of dark, smoky or bloody colour, and exhibits to chemical reaction the presence of a large amount of albumen, while, under the microscope, blood corpuscles and casts, as above mentioned, are found in abundance. This state of acute inflammation may by its severity destroy life, or, short of this, may by continuance result in the establishment of one of the chronic forms of Bright's disease. On the other hand an arrest of the inflammatory action frequently occurs, and this is marked by the increased amount of the urine, and the gradual disappearance of its albumen and other abnormal constituents; as also by the subsidence of the dropsy and the rapid recovery of strength. In the treatment of acute Bright's disease, good results are often obtained from local depletion, from warm baths and from the careful employment of diuretics and purgatives. Chronic Bright's disease is much less amenable to treatment, but by efforts to maintain the strength and improve the quality of the blood by strong nourishment, and at the same time by guarding against the risks of complications, life may often be prolonged in comparative comfort, and even a certain measure of improvement be experienced.
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