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HAVERFORDWEST (Welsh Hwlfordd, the En...

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 81 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HAVERFORDWEST (Welsh Hwlfordd, the English name ,being perhaps a corruption of the Scandinavian Hafna-Fjord), the chief town of Pembrokeshire, S. Wales, a contributory parliamentary and municipal borough, and a county of itself with its own lord-lieutenant. Pop. (1901), 6007. It is picturesquely situated on the slopes overlooking the West Cleddau river, which is here crossed by two stone bridges. It has a station on the Great Western Railway on the east side of the river, and when viewed from this point the town presents an imposing appearance with its castle-keep and its many ancient buildings. The river is tidal and navigable for vessels of not more than 150 tons. Coal, cattle, butter and grain are exported, but the commercial importance of the place has greatly declined, as the many ruined warehouses near the river plainly testify. The old walls and fortifications have almost disappeared, but Haverfordwest is still rich in memorials of its past greatness. The huge castle-keep, which dominates the town, was probably built by Gilbert de Clare, early in the 12th century; formerly used as the county gaol, it now serves as the police-station. The large church of St Mary, at the top of the steep High Street, has fine clerestory windows, clustered columns and an elaborate carved-oak ceiling of the 15th century; it contains several interesting monuments of the 17th and 18th centuries, some of which commemorate members of the family of Philipps of Picton Castle. At the N. corner of the adjacent churchyard stands an ancient building with a vaulted roof, once the record office, but now used as a fish-market. St Martin's, with a low tower and spire, close to the castle, is probably the oldest church in the town, but has been much modernized. Near St Thomas's church on the Green stands an old Moravian chapel which is closely associated with the great scholar and divine, Bishop John Gambold (1711-1771). In a meadow on the W. bank of the river are the considerable remains of the Augustinian Priory of St Mary and St Thomas, built by Robert de Hwlfordd, lord of Haverford, about the year 1200. On the E. bank are the suburbs of Cartlet and Prendergast, the latter of which contains the ancient parish church of St David and the ruins of a large mansion originally built by Maurice de Prendergast (12th century) and subsequently the seat of the Stepney family. A little to the S. of the town are the remains of Haroldstone, once the residence of the powerful Perrot family. The charities belonging to the town, which include John Perrot's bequest (1J79), yielding about £35o annually for the improvement of the town, and Tasker's charity school (1684), are very considerable. Haverfordwest owes its origin to the advent of the Flemings, who were permitted by Henry I. to settle in the hundred of Roose, or Rhos, in the years sto6–i 1o8, in till, and again in 1156. English is exclusively spoken in the town and district, and its inhabitants exhibit their foreign extraction by their language, customs and appearance. Haverfordwest is, in fact, the capital of that English-speaking portion of Pembrokeshire, which has been, nicknamed " Little England beyond Wales." source of an abundant and excellent water supply. There are fifteen public parks, the largest of which, Winnikenni Park. (214 acres), contiguous to Lake Kenoza, is of great natural beauty. The city has three well-equipped hospitals, the beautiful Pentucket club house, a children's home, an old ladies' homr and numerous charitable organizations. The schools of the city, both public and private, are of high standing; they include Bradford Academy (1803) for girls and the St James School (Roman Catholic). The public library is generously endowed, and in 1908 had about 90,000 volumes. Almost from the beginning of its history Haverhill was active industrially. Thomas Dustin, the husband of Hannah Dustin, manufactured bricks, and this industry has been carried on in the same locality for more than two hundred years. The large Stevens woollen mills are the outgrowth of mills established in 1835. The manufacture of woollen hats, established in the middle of the 18th century, is one of the prominent industries. There are large morocco factories. By far the leading industry of the city is the manufacture of boots, shoes and slippers, chiefly of the finer kinds, of which it is one of the largest producers in the world. In 1905 Haverhill ranked fourth among the cities of the United States in the product value of this manufacture, which was 4.8% of the total value of boots and shoes made in the United States. This industry began about 1795. In 1905 Haverhill's manufacturing establishments produced goods valued at $24,446,594, 83.9% of this output being represented by boots and shoes or their accessories. One of the largest sole-leather manufactories in the world is here. Haverhill was settled in June 164o by a small colony from Newbury and Ipswich, and its Indian name, Pentucket, was replaced by that of Haverhill in compliment to the first minister, Rev. John Ward, who was born at Haverhill, England. In its earlier years this frontier town suffered severely from the forays of the Indians, and in 1690 the abandonment of the settlement was contemplated. Two Indian attacks are particularly noteworthy—one in 1698, in which Hannah Dustin, her new-born babe, and her nurse were carried away to the vicinity of Penacook, now Concord, New Hampshire. Here in the night Mrs Dustin, assisted by her nurse and by a captive English boy, tomahawked and scalped ten Indians (two men, the others children and women) and escaped down the river to Haverhill; a monument to her stands in City Hall Park. In 1708 250 French and Indians attacked the village, killing 40 of its inhabitants. In 1873 a destructive fire caused the loss of 35 places of business, and on the 17th of February 1882 almost the entire shoe district (consisting of 10 acres) was burned, with a loss of more than $2,000,000; but a greater business district was built on the ruins of the old. Haverhill was the birthplace of Whittier, who lived here in 1807-1836, and who in his poem Haverhill, written for the 250th anniversary of the town in 1890, and in many of his other poems, gave the poet's touch to. the history, the legends and the scenery of his native city. His birthplace, the scene of Snow-Bound in the eastern part of the city, is owned by the Whittier Association and is open to visitors. A petition from Haverhill to the national House of Representatives in 1842, praying for a peaceable dissolution of the Union, raised about J. Q. Adams, its presenter, perhaps the most violent storm in the long course of his defence of the This new settlement of intruding foreigners had naturally to be protected against the infuriated natives, and the castle was accordingly built c. 1I13 by Gilbert de Clare, first earl of Pembroke, who subsequently conferred the seignory of Haverford on his castellan, Richard Fitz-Tancred. On the death of Robert de HwIfordd, the benefactor and perhaps founder of the priory of St Mary and St Thomas, in 1213, the lordship of the castle reverted to the Crown, and was purchased for l000 marks from King John by William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, who gave various privileges to the town. Of the numerous charters the earliest known (through an allusion found in a document of Bishop Houghton of St Davids, c. 1370) is one from Henry II., who therein confirms all former rights granted by his grand-father, Henry I. John in 1207 gave certain rights to the town concerning the Port of Milford, while William Marshal II., earl of Pembroke, presented it with three charters, the earliest of which is dated 1219. An important charter of Edward V., as prince of \Vales and lord of Haverford, enacted that the town should be incorporated under a mayor, two sheriffs and two bailiffs, duly chosen by the burgesses. In 1536, under Henry Haverfordwest was declared a town and county of itself and was further empowered to send a representative burgess to parliament. The town long played a prominent part in South Welsh history. In 1220 Llewelyn ap Iorwerth, prince of North \Vales, during the absence of William Marshal II., earl of Pembroke. attacked and burnt the suburbs, but failed to reduce the castle by assault. Several of the Plantagenet kings visited the town, including Richard II., who stopped here some time on his return from Ireland in 1299, and is said to have performed here his last regal act—the confirmation of the grant of a hurgage to the Friars Preachers. Oliver Cromwell spent some days here on his way to Ireland, and his original warrant to the mayor and council for the demolition of the castle is still preserved in the council chamber. The prosperity and local importance of Iaverfordwest continued unimpaired throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, and Richard Fenton, the historian of Pembrokeshire, describes it in 1810, as " the largest town in the county, if not in all Wales." With the rise of Milford, however, the shipping trade greatly declined, and Haverfordwest has now the appearance of a quiet country town.
End of Article: HAVERFORDWEST (Welsh Hwlfordd, the English name ,being perhaps a corruption of the Scandinavian Hafna-Fjord)
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