Online Encyclopedia

PETERSFIELD

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 305 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
PETERSFIELD, a market town in the Petersfield parliamentary division of Hampshire, England, 55 M. S.W. from London by the London & South Western railway. Pop. of urban district (19o1), 3265. The church of St Peter retains some ornate Norman work. The picturesque market-place contains an equestrian statue ofj William III. Ecclesiastically a chapelry of Buriton, Petersfield (Peterfelde) owes its origin as a borough to the charter granted by William, earl of Gloucester, in the reign of Henry II. and, confirmed later by his widow, Hawise. Petersfield is not mentioned in Domesday, but it was probably then included in the manor of Mapledurham. It was a mesne borough possessing by its first charter the liberties and customs of Winchester together with a merchant gild. These grants were confirmed by John in 1198 and in 1415 Henry V. in addition freed the burgesses from all tolls. No charter of incorporation has been found. Gradually privileges and rights other than those of a mesne borough were usurped by the mayor and burgesses, but were recovered by a suit brought against them by Thomas Hanbury, owner of the borough, in 1611. A mayor continued to be elected until 1885. Petersfield was represented in parliament in. 1307. No return was then made until 1552-1553, from which date two members were regularly returned. In 1832 the number was reduced to one, and in 1885 the representation was merged in that of the county. Three-day fairs at the feasts of St Peter and' St Andrew were granted in 1255. In 1892 the summer fair then held on the loth of July was abolished. The autumn fair now held on the 6th of October is for both business and pleasure. The market, which dates from before 1373, formerly held on Saturday, is now held on alternate Wednesdays. In the 16th century Petersfield had important cloth and leather manufactures. PETER'S PENCE, ROME SCOT, or ROM-FEOII, a tax of a penny on every hearth, formerly paid annually to the popes; now represented by a voluntary contribution made by the devout in Roman Catholic churches. Its date of origin is doubtful. The first written evidence of it is contained in a letter of Canute (1031) sent from Rome to the English clergy. At this time it appears to have been levied on all families possessed of land worth thirty pence yearly rental, out of which they paid one penny. Matthew Paris says the tax was instituted by Offa, king of Mercia (757—796) for the upkeep of the English school and hostel at Rome. Layamon, however, declares that Ina, king of Wessex (688-725), was the originator of the idea. At the Norman Conquest it appears to have fallen into arrears for a time, for William the Conqueror promised the pope in 1076 that it should be regularly paid. By a bull of Pope Adrian IV. the tax was extended to Ireland. In 1213 Innocent III. complained that the bishops kept i000 marks of it, only forwarding 300 to Rome. In 1306 Clement V. exacted a penny from each household instead of the £2oi, 9s. at which the tax appears to have been then fixed. The threat of withholding Peter's pence proved more than once a useful weapon against recalcitrant popes in the hands of English kings. Thus in 1366 and for some years after it was refused on the ground of the pope's obstinacy in withholding his consent to the statute of praemunire. During the loth century the custom of Peter's pence was introduced into Poland, Prussia and Scandinavia, and in the 11th century Gregory VII. attempted to exact it from France and Spain. The tax was fairly regularly paid by the English until 1J34, when it was abolished by Henry VIII.
End of Article: PETERSFIELD
[back]
PETERSBURG CAMPAIGN (1864-65)
[next]
PETERWARDEIN (Hung. Petervarad, Serv. Petrovaradin)...

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.