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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 871 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WYCOMBE (officially CHEPPING WYCOMBE, also CHIPPING or HIGH WYCOMBE), a market town and municipal borough in the Wycombe parliamentary division of Buckinghamshire, England, 34 M. W. by N. of London by the Great Western railway. Pop. (1901) 15,542. The church of All Saints, originally of Norman foundation, was rebuilt in 1273 by the abbess and nuns of Godstow near Oxford, and was largely reconstructed early in the 15th century. For the grammar school, founded c. 1550 by the mayor and burgesses, a new building was erected in 1883. There are remains of a Norman hospital of St John the Baptist, consisting of arches of the chapel. The market-house and guildhall was erected in 1757. The family of Petty, with whom the town has long been connected, occupied the mansion called Wycombe Abbey. Lord Beaconsfield's mansion of Hughenden is I.'_ m. N. of the town. Among a number of almshouses are some bearing the name of Queen Elizabeth, endowed in 1562 out of the revenues of a dissolved fraternity of St Mary. The principal industry is chair-making, and there are also flour and paper mills. The borough is under a mayor, 8 aldermen and 24 councillors. Area, 1734 acres. The burgesses of Wycombe have ancient rights of common pasturage on the neighbouring Rye Mead. There are various British remains in the neighbourhood of Chipping Wycombe (Wicumbe, Wycumbee, Cheping Wycombe, Cheping Wichham), but the traces of a Roman settlement are more important. In Domesday Book the manor only is mentioned, but in 1199 the men of Wycombe paid tallage to the king. In 1225-1226 Alan Basset granted to the burgesses the whole town as a free borough. This grant was confirmed by Henry III., Edward I., Henry IV. and Mary. In 1558, however, a new charter of incorporation was granted in reward for the loyalty shown to Queen Mary. It was confirmed by Elizabeth in 1598 and by James I. in 1609 with certain additions. Cromwell granted another charter, but it was burnt after the Restoration, and the last charter was granted by Charles II. in 1663. The corporation was remodelled under the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835, and now consists of a mayor, 6 aldermen and 18 councillors. Wycombe returned two burgesses to parliament in 1300 and continued to send members until 1885. The franchise was enlarged after 1832, and in 1867 the borough was deprived of one of its members. A market was granted by Basset to the burgesses in 1226, and at the present day it is held every Friday, the day fixed by the charter of Queen Mary. Two statutory fairs were held under thecharter of 1558, but in 1792 only one fair was nerd on the Monday before Michaelmas for hiring, but there is now a pleasure fair on the same day. See John Parker, History and Antiquities of Wycombe (1878). WYE, a river of England, famous for its beautiful scenery. It rises in Montgomeryshire on the E. slope of Plinlimmon, close to the source of the Severn, the estuary of which it joins after a widely divergent course. Its length is 130 m.; its drainage area (which is included in the basin of the Severn), 1609 sq. m. Running at first S.E. it crosses the W. of Radnor-shire, passing Rhayader, and receiving the Elan, in the basin of which are the Birmingham reservoirs. It then divides Radnor-shire from Brecknockshire, receives the Ithon on the left, passes Builth, and presently turns N.E. to Hay, separating Radnorshire from Herefordshire, and thus forming a short stretch of the Welsh boundary. The river, which rose at an elevation exceeding 2000 ft., has now reached a level of 250 ft., 55 M. from its source. As it enters Herefordshire it bends E. by S. to reach the city of Hereford. It soon receives the Lugg, which, augmented by the Arrow and the Frome, joins from the N. The course of the Wye now becomes extremely sinuous; and the valley narrows nearly to Chepstow. For a short distance the Wye divides Herefordshire from Gloucestershire, and for the rest of its course Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire. It passes Mon-mouth, where it receives the Monnow on the right, and finally Chepstow, 2 M. above its junction with the Severn estuary. The river is navigable for small vessels for 15 M. Up from the mouth on high tides, but there is not much traffic above Chepstow. The average spring rise of the tide is 38 ft. at Chepstow, while 5o ft. is sometimes exceeded; the average neap rise is 282 ft. The scenery is finest between Rhayader and Hay in the upper part, and from Goodrich, below Ross, to Chepstow in the lower, the second being the portion which gives the Wye its fame. The name of Wye belongs also to two smaller English rivers—(1) a right-bank tributary of the Derbyshire Dement, rising in the uplands near Buxton, and having part of its early course through one of the caverns characteristic of the district; (2) a left-bank tributary of the Thames, watering the valley of the Chilterns in which lies Wycombe and joining the main river near Bourne End.
WILLIAM WYCHERLEY (c. 1640-1716)

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