Online Encyclopedia

WARMINSTER

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 326 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WARMINSTER, a market town in the Westbury parliamentary division of Wiltshire, England, rook' m. W. by S. of Lon-don by the Great Western railway. Pop. of urban district (190') 5547. Its white stone houses form a long curve between the uplands of Salisbury Plain,which sweep away towards the north and east, and the tract of park and meadow land lying south and west. The cruciform church of St Denys has a 14th-century south porch and tower. St Lawrence's chapel, a chantry built under Edward I., was bought by the townsfolk at the Reformation. Warminster has also a free school established in 1707, a missionary college, a training home for lady missionaries and a reformatory for boys. Besides a silk mill, malthouses and engineering and agricultural implement works, there is a brisk trade in farm produce. Warminster appears in Domesday, and was a royal manor whose tenant was bound to provide, when required, a night's lodging for the king and his retinue. This privilege was enforced by George III. when he visited Longleat. The meeting of roads from Bath, Frome, Shaftesbury and Salisbury made Warminster a busy coaching centre. Eastward, within 2 m., there are two, great British camps: Battlesbury, almost impregnable save essayist and novelist, was born of Puritan ancestry, in Plainfield, Massachusetts, on the 12th of September 1829. From his sixth to his fourteenth year he lived in Charlemont, Mass., the scene of the experiences pictured in his delightful study of childhood, Being a Boy (1877). He removed thence to Cazenovia, New York, and in 1851 graduated from Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y. He worked with a surveying party in Missouri; studied law at the university of Pennsylvania; practised in Chicago (1856–186o); was assistant editor (186o) and editor (1861–1867) of The Hartford Press, and after The Press was merged into The Hartford Courant, was co-editor with Joseph R. Hawley; in '884 he joined the editorial staff of Harper's Magazine, for which he conducted "The Editor's Drawer" until 1892, when he took charge of " The Editor's Study." He died in Hartford on the loth of October 1900. He travelled widely, lectured frequently, and was actively interested in prison reform, city park supervision and other movements for the public good. He was the first president of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and, at the time of his death, was president of the American Social Science Association. He first attracted attention by the reflective sketches entitled My Summer in a Garden (187o; first published in The Hartford Courant), popular for their abounding and refined humour and mellow personal charm, their wholesome love of out-door things, their suggestive comment on life and affairs, and their delicately finished style, qualities that suggest the work of Washington Irving. Among his other works are Saunterings (descriptions of travel in eastern Europe, 1872) and Back-Log Studies (1872); Baddeck, and That Sort of Thing (1874), travels in Nova Scotia and elsewhere; My Winter on the Nile (1876); In the Levant (1876); In the Wilderness (1878); A Roundabout Journey, in Europe (1883); On Horseback, in the Southern States (1888); Studies in the South and West, with Comments on Canada (1889); Our Italy, southern California (1891); The Relation of Literature to Life (1896); The People for Whom Shakespeare Wrote (1897); and Fashions in Literature (1902). He also edited " The American Men of Letters " series, to which he contributed an excellent biography of Washington Irving (1881), and edited a large " Library of the World's Best Literature." His other works include his graceful essays, As We Were Saying (1891) and As We Go (1893); and his novels, The Gilded Age (in collaboration with Mark Twain, 1873); Their Pilgrimage (1886); A Little Journey in the World (1889); The Golden House (1894); and That Fortune (1889). See the biographical sketch by T. R. Lounsbury in the Complete Writings (15 vols., Hartford, 1904) of Warner.
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