Online Encyclopedia

WISBECH

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 740 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WISBECH, a municipal borough, market town, and port in the Wisbech parliamentary division of Cambridgeshire, England, 38 M. N. by W. of Cambridge, on the Great Eastern and the Great Northern and Midland joint railways. It lies in the flat fen country, on the river Nene (mainly on the east bank), 11 m. from its outlet on the Wash. By the Wisbech canal it has communication with the Ouse. The church of St Peter and St Paul has a double nave, with aisles, the north arcade being Norman; but the rest of the building is mainly Decorated and Perpendicular. There are remains of a Norman west tower; the Perpendicular tower stands on the north side. The museum contains a valuable library and various collections, including antiquities and objects of art and natural history. Other institutions include a grammar school founded in the middle of the 16th century and provided for by a charter of Edward VI., the Cambridgeshire hospital, a custom-house, a cattle-market, and an important corn-exchange, for Wisbech has a large trade in grain. A Gothic monument commemorates Thomas Clarkson (176o-1846), a powerful opponent of the slave-trade, and a native of the town. The shipping trade is carried on both at the town itself and at Sutton Bridge, 8 m. lower down the river. The chief imports are coal, timber and iron, and the exports grain and other agricultural products and salt. Foreign trade is chiefly with the Russian Baltic ports. In the neighbourhood large quantities of fruit are grown, including apples, pears, plums, gooseberries, and strawberries. Potatoes, asparagus, and other vegetables are also grown for the London market. The town possesses agricultural implement works, coach-building works, breweries, ropeworks, planing and sawing mills, and corn and oil-cake mills. The borough is under a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors. Area, 6476 acres. Wisbech (Wisebec, i.e. Ousebec) is near a Roman embankment and tumuli. About 940 the manor is said to have been given to the abbey of Ely by Oswy and Leoflede; the abbot held it in ,o86; and it became attached to the see of Ely with the other possessions of the monastery. The castle is alleged to have been built by William I., and was converted from a fortress in the fens into an episcopal palace between 1471 and 1473. The growth of Wisbech depended on its position and episcopal patronage. In 1190 tenants of Wisbech Barton acquired an exemption from tolls throughout England, confirmed by John, Henry IV. and Henry V. The Gild of the Holy Trinity is mentioned in 1399, and grew rich and powerful. After its dissolution the townsmen became, in 1549, a corporation holding of the king, by a charter which transferred to them the property and duties of the gild, and was renewed in 16ro and 1669. By the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 a mayor, aldermen and a council replaced the capital burgesses, the older governing body. The borough returned a member only to the parliament of 1658; its elected member, Secretary Thurloe, chose then to represent another constituency. A fair of twenty days from the vigil of Holy Trinity was granted to the bishop of Ely in 1327. The mart still occupies by custom the interval between Lynn mart, of which it is probably an offshoot, and Stamford fair in mid-Lent. A pleasure fair, called the Statute Fair, takes place shortly before Michaelmas. Importance attaches to the horse fair, held in 1827 in the week before Whitsuntide and now on theof the Mississippi. Physical Features.—Wisconsin forms part of the inner margin of an ancient coastal plain and the oldland of crystalline rocks about which the plain sediments were deposited. The plain and the old-land were well worn down by erosion and then were uplifted; were dissected by stream valleys, and were glaciated. The surface is generally rolling and undulating, comprising, with the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a swelling elevation of land between the three depressions represented by Lakes Michigan and Superior and the Mississippi and the St Croix rivers. The lowest elevations are in the southern and central portions of the state, where the altitude averages between 58o and 600 ft. above sea-level. The highest points in the state are residual masses of relatively resistant rock rising above the erosion surface; such are: Rib Hill (1940 ft.) in Marathon county, in the north-central part, and some of the peaks of the Penokee Range in the N. part of the state, which are about 1800 ft. high. From the N. highland two heights of land (1200 to 1600 ft.) extend southward well into the central portions of the state, dividing the greater part of its area into two natural drainage basins. The westernmost of these elevations separates the valleys of the Mississippi, and the St Croix from that of the Wisconsin river. The eastern elevation is a ridge or cuesta formed by an outcropping hard layer of the ancient coastal plain ; and it separates the Wisconsin river basin from the Fox River Valley and the streams flowing into Lake Michigan. Along the Mississippi and the Wisconsin runs a chain of bluffs varying in height from 200 to 300 ft., and in the E. a rocky limestone ridge or cuesta some 30 M. back from Lake Michigan extends from the Door county peninsula, E. of Lake Winnebago and as far south as the Illinois line. There are no large rivers flowing into Lake Superior and very little drainage in that direction, as from a point some 30 M. S. of the lake all the streams flow in a southerly direction. The Mississippi is the drainage basin for a greater part of the state. The St Croix river rises in the S.W. part of the Penokee Range and flows W. and S., forming the western boundary of the state for 135 M. before it joins the Mississippi 20 M. below St Paul. Before it is joined by the Wisconsin, the Mississippi 1 The badger is not found in the state, and the name probably originated as a nickname for 'those lead miners N. of the Illinois line who came from the East, *lo lived in dug-outs like the hillside burrows of the badger, and who did not go home in winter like the miners from southern Illinois and farther south, who were called " suckers," a name borrowed from the migrating fish in the Rock, Illinois and other rivers flowing south. The name " suckers " was applied generally to all the people of Illinois, and the name " badgers " to the people of Wisconsin and " badger state " to the state. 2 Besides the area as given here, the state has jurisdiction over approximately 7500 sq. m. of Lake Michigan and 2378 sq. m. of Lake Superior. second Thursday in May and on July 25, and to the cattle fair in the beginning of August. Saturday was market day in 1792; a corn market is now held on Saturday, a cattle market on Thursday and Saturday. In so86 eels were prolific in Wisbech water. The port was noteworthy until a diversion of the Ouse, before 1292, rendered it hardly accessible. Drainage restored trade before 1634, and the act of 1773 for making Kinderley's Cut was the beginning of prosperity. From 1783 to 1825 agricultural produce was exported and coal imported. Hemp and flax had an importance, lost between 1827 and 1849, but responsible in 1792 for fairs on Saturday and Monday before Palm Sunday. See W. Watson, History of Wisbech (Wisbech, 1827) ; N. Walker and C. Thomas, History of Wisbech (Wisbech, 1849) ; History of Wisbech (Wisbech and London, 1833).
End of Article: WISBECH
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Additional information and Comments

The above article on Wisbech contains a large subset of an article on Wisconsin - approximately 35 lines. This starts starting on the line: "in 1827 in the week before Whitsuntide and now on theof the Mississippi. Physical Features." The insertion ends on the line: "Lake Michigan and 2378 sq. m. of Lake Superior . second Thursday in May and on July 25, and " The inappropriate lines do not appear in the online article on Wisconsin itself and so presumably should be relocated into that article. Regards, Richard Andrews
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