Online Encyclopedia

EGREMONT

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 20 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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EGREMONT, a market town in the Egremont parliamentary division of Cumberland, England, 5 M. S.S.E. of Whitehaven, on a joint line of the London & North Western and Furness railways. Pop. of urban district (1901) 5761. It is pleasantly situated in the valley of the Ehen. Ruins of a castle command the town from an eminence. It was founded c. 1120 by William de Meschines; it is mated, and retains a Norman doorway and some of the original masonry, as well as fragments of later date. The church of St Mary is a modern reconstruction em-bodying some of the Norman features of the old church. Iron ore and limestone are raised in the neighbourhood. It seems impossible to find any history for Egremont until after the Norman Conquest, when Henry I. gave the barony of Coupland to William de Meschines, who erected a castle at Egremont around which the town grew into importance. The barony afterwards passed by marriage to the families of Lucy and Multon, and finally came to the Percys, earls of Northumberland, from whom are descended the present lords of the manor of Egremont. The earliest evidence that Egremont was a borough occurs in a charter, granted by Richard de Lucy in the reign of King John, which gave the burgesses right to choose their reeve, and set out the customs owing to the lord of the manor, among which was that. of providing twelve armed men at his castle in the time of war. The borough was represented by two members in the parliament of 1295, but in the following year was disfranchised, on the petition of the burgesses, on account of the expense of sending members. In 1267 Henry III. granted Thomas de Multon a market every Wednesday at Egremont, and a fair every year on the eve, day and morrow of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. In the Quo Warranto rolls he is found to have claimed by prescription another weekly market on Saturday. The market rights were purchased from Lord Leconfield in 1885, and the market on Saturday is still held. Richard de Lucy's charter shows that dyeing, weaving and fulling were carried on in the town in his time.
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