Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for BRISTOL

BRISTOL, a city, with special jurisdiction, on the mutual border of Gloucester and Somerset. It includes eighteen town parishes, and an extra-parochial tract, forming the district of Bristol; the parishes of Clifton and St. Philip and St. Jacob-Out, part of the parish of St. James and St. Paul-Out, and part of the tything of Stoke-Bishop, in the district of Clifton; and part of the parish of Bedminster, in the district of Bedminster. It stands on the river Avon, at the influx of the Frome, 6 miles in direct distance from the Avon's mouth, 11¾ WNW of Bath, and 118½ by railway W of London. The Avon has a tidal rise at it of nearly 30 feet; was partly diverted past it in a deep new cut in 1804-9, with formation of a great floating harbour; and gives it, for large sea-home vessels, all the characters of a seaport. A navigation likewise lies up the river to the Kennet and Avon canal at Bath; and railways go toward respectively Exeter, London, Wales, and Gloucester.

History.—Bristol is supposed to have been founded by Brennus, the alleged first king of the Britons; and was called by these people Caer-Odor, the "city of Odor," or perhaps the "city of the Chasm," in allusion to a gorge through which the Avon flows at Clifton. It may also have been adopted and improved by the Romans; and is thought, by some antiquaries, to be the Roman Abona, on the Julian way. It is mentioned by a writer of the sixth century, and again by one of the seventh, as a fortified town; and is thought to have been a meeting-place, in 603, of St. Augustine with the bishops of the primitive church; and it was known to the Saxons as Britostow or Brightstowe, signifying "the pleasant city." Harold set sail from it, in 1063, to invade Wales; and coins were struck at it both in his reign and that of the Conqueror. A strong castle then stood in it; and this was seized in 1086, and made their headquarters, by the rebels under Odo. The empress Matilda resided some time at Bristol during her contest for the crown. Stephen was brought hither a prisoner, and kept here, after his defeat; and Prince Henry, afterwards Henry II., was placed here, during four years, for safety and education. Robert Fitzhardinge, the empress's brother, ruled the city, rebuilt the castle, founded the Abbey of St. Augustin, and received a visit from Mac-Murrough, King of Leinster, in Ireland. King John visited Bristol in 1209. A synod was held in it by the pope's legate, in 1216, which excommunicated the barons who had supported the French prince Louis; and a political council was held in it, in the same year, which appointed the Earl of Pembroke to be protector of the kingdom. Prince Edward, in 1263, was brought hither a prisoner from Windsor; and, two years afterwards, captured the castle, and fired the city. Edward I., in 1283, made a visit to Bristol, and gave the citizens a charter. The Earl of Kent, acting for Queen Isabella, in 1326, captured the city, and put its governor to death. Edward III. constituted it a county within itself, made it a centre of traffic for wool, and sent twenty-two ships from it to the siege of Calais. Henry, Duke of Lancaster, while acquiring the mastery against Richard II., assailed Bristol, captured the castle, and put its governor, the Earl of Wilts, and two of his knightly assistants to death. The citizens, in the reign of Henry V., acted warmly in his cause. Henry VI. visited the city in 1446; his queen Margaret, in 1459; Edward IV., in 1461; and Henry VII. in 1487. Fulford, the subject of Chatterton's "Bristowe Tragedy," was executed on occasion of Edward IV.'s visit; and the citizens made a costly display of dress on occasion of Henry VII.'s visit, and were fined for it by the king. Sebastian Cabot sailed from Bristol in 1497, in the remarkable voyage which took him to Labrador about a year before Columbus saw the American mainland. Henry VIII. made Bristol the seat of a bishopric; and gave his own sword to the mayor as a symbol of authority; and the sword is still preserved. Elizabeth visited the city in 1574; and she was received with great pomp, and lodged on St. Augustine's back. Four ships went from Bristol, in 1588, against the Armada. The parliamentarians, in 1642, garrisoned the city, strengthened the castle, and erected batteries on Prior's and St. Michael's hills,-the last of which is still called "the Fort." Prince Rupert, next year, carried the place by storm; entering it through a breach near Berkeley-square. Charles I. then visited it, and lodged in Small-street. Fairfax, in 1645, stormed Prior's Hill fort; compelled Rupert to surrender; and afterwards destroyed the castle. Charles II. visited the city in 1663; and Queen Anne, in 1702 and 1710. Edmund Burke sat for Bristol; and made here some of his grandest speeches. A riot, of three days' continuance, occurred in 1831, in resentment of the recorder, SirWetherell, having voted against the Reform bill; involved a destruction of property to the value of about £70,000; and occasioned-wounds or death to several hundred individuals.

Site, Streets, and Environs.—The site of Bristol is diversified in both form and elevation. Some of it consists of eminences, rising high above the level of the neighbouring streets; and much is a variety of slope, declining chiefly to the Avon. The city-proper, or ancient city, is on the right bank of the river, intersected by long and ramified reaches of the floating harbour; the Clifton suburb, itself almost a city, is on the same bank, further down, but almost conjoined with the city-proper by recent buildings; and the Bedminster suburb is on the left bank, separated from the ancient city only by the river. Brandon Hill, between the ancient city and Clifton, rises to the height of 250 feet; is laid out as a public park; has two guns from Sebastopol on its summit; and commands a fine view of Bristol and to the south. The ground to the north-west is naturally romantic; has been richly embellished by architecture and other arts; and includes brilliant scenes and charming walks; but will be noticed separately in our account of Clifton. The country to the south, behind Bedminster, rises gradually, in a series of swells and eminences, till it attains, in Dundry Hill, at a distance of 4 miles, an elevation of about 700 feet. Interesting points to the north-west, on or near the river, are, on the left bank, Nightingale Valley, Ashton Court, and Leigh-Court, and on the right bank, Henbury cottages, Blaise Castle, Kingsweston Park, and Penpole Point. The ancient city shows more resemblance than perhaps any other place in Britain to some of the old towns of Belgium and Germany. Some of the streets here are very narrow; lanes, courts, and alleys are numerous; and many of the houses are curious ancient structures, with overhanging upper stories, numerous windows, and front gables; but these interesting relics are fast disappearing under modern improvements. The central point is at the intersection of High-street from the south-east, Broad-street from the north-west, Corn-street from the south-west, and Wine-street from the north-east: and one of the most striking of the picturesque old thoroughfares is Maryport-street, opening into High-street. The more modern parts of the city, on all sides of the ancient one, contain spacious streets, many of them well aligned; and some parts are distinguished by elegant houses.

Public Buildings.—The castle stood on the isthmus between the Avon and the Frome, commanding the entrance to the town from the east; occupied about an acre of ground; and is commemorated in the name of Castlestreet, now partly on its site; but has left scarcely a vestige except a crypt, which was converted into a forge. Two of the city gateways, and part of the walls of the 17th century, are still standing; and one of the gateways, adjoining St. John's church, has two ancient statues, said to be those of Brennus, the supposed founder of the city, and his brother Belinus. The ancient High cross had figures of eight kings, with other decorations, and is now at Stourhead; and a partial restoration of it, effected in 1851, is now to be seen at the entrance of College-green. Colston's house, in Small-street, where Charles I. lodged, has a hall in perpendicular architecture, with a fine timber roof. Canynge's house, once the masonic hall, in Redcliffe-street, has also a perpendicular hall, and rich, light, wooden roof. Redlodge, near Park-street, long occupied by the learned Dr. Pritchard, is a curious old edifice with interior porch, carved staircase, and elegant ceilings. The Bishop's palace, adjoining the cloisters of the cathedral, was burnt in the riots of 1831; and some remains of it are yet standing. The college gate, a little west of the cathedral, comprises an elaborate Norman archway and a fine perpendicular superstructure, in excellent preservation; and is probably part of the original edifice of Fitzhardinge's Abbey. Ancient crypts under the houses in Highstreet forming the store-houses of the merchants in the middle ages; the Back hall, built in the 15th century; Bartholomew's gateway. in Christmas-street; and the perpendicular door of the Guardhouse, also are interesting structures.

The Guildhall, in Broad-street, was originally built in the time and style of Richard II.; was rebuilt, in 1843, in the same style; is 117 feet long and 45 and 73 feet high; has statues of Edward II I., Queen Victoria, and others, between the windows; and contains apartments for the several law-courts. Colston's Hall was inaugurated in 1867; cost till then about £25,000, and would cost about £15,000 more for completion; and includes a very splendid music hall, with accommodation for about 3,000 persons. The Council-house, in Corn-street, was built in 1827, at a cost of upwards of £14,000; and is. a chaste pedimented structure. The Exchange, also in Corn-street, was built in 1781, at a cost of £50,000; is an edifice of the Corinthian order, 100 feet long and 148 feet wide; includes a peristyle, capable of containing 1,440 persons; and is used chiefly by the corn merchants. The commercial rooms, in the same street, nearly opposite the Exchange, were built in 1811; are surmounted by statues representing Bristol, Commerce, and Navigation; serve as the general exchange; and contain a reading room. The Custom-house, in Queen-square, was burnt in the riots of 1831, but re-erected on the same site; and is a neat and appropriate structure. The Excise office was burnt at the same time; and has been succeeded by a new Inland Revenue office. The Postoffice‡ adjoins the Exchange; and has receiving-offices‡ in North-street, West-street, Redcliffe, Redland, Hotwells, and Clifton.

The Railway station occupies an eminence, rising from Temple-meads, adjacent to the Avon; serves for at once the Great Western, the Exeter, and the Gloucester railways: and is a handsome structure in the Tudor style. A proposal was raised unsuccessfully in 1861 to extend the railway lines to the centre of the city; and it was renewed in 1864 with every prospect of success. The Bank of England's office, adjoining the Guildhall, is a modern edifice, adorned with Ionic columns. The West of England and South Wales bank, built in 1858, is on the model of the Library of St. Mark in Venice; the lower story Doric, with five-arched arcade and emblematic decorations; the upper story Ionic, with ornate capitals, and ten emblematic female figures; the entablature adorned with a richly-sculptured frieze. The National Provincial bank, in Corn-street, was founded in 1862, on a design to be an ornamental edifice, with sculptural work. The Royal Insurance office, in the same street, was founded in the same year, and is in the Corinthian style. The City Hotel, in Broad-street, was built in 1869, and measures 110 feet by 136 feet. The jail was built in 1820; partially burnt in the riots of 1831, afterwards rebuilt; and has capacity for 165 male and 42 female prisoners. The bridewell was entirely destroyed in the riots, and afterwards rebuilt, in larger and better form, on the same site; and has capacity for 56 male and 29 female prisoners. A stone bridge of three arches, the centre one elliptical, with a span of 55 feet, connects the central part of the city with Redcliffe; and, in terms of a resolution taken in 1861, was widened and much altered. An iron swivel-bridge, opened in 1827, connects the ancient parishes of St. Stephen and St. Augustine, and leads to Clifton; and two iron bridges, each with one arch of 100 feet in span, connect the city with Bedminster. The elegant suspension bridge formerly over the Thames at Hungerford-market in London, and erected there in 1845 by Brunel at a cost of £110,000, was removed to Clifton in 1862. A bronze equestrian statue of William III., by Rysbrach, at a cost of £1,800, is in the centre of Queen's-square. A large market-place is behind the Exchange; another, of less extent, is in Union-street; and another is in Nicholas-street. The Merchants, the Venturers, and the Coopers' halls, are fine structures. The theatre, in King-street, was erected in 1766; and is substantial and commodious. A new theatre was built in 1867, is convenient and elegant, and has seats for 2,150 persons. The Assembly-room, in Prince's street, has Corinthian decorations, and is spacious. The Victoria rooms, near the head of Park-street, have a Corinthian portico; are intended for public assemblies and meetings of all kinds; and include a grand hall 117 feet long, 35 feet wide, and 47 feet high.

Ecclesiastical-Affairs.—The see of Bristol was erected in 1542; and endowed with property from the dissolved monasteries. Its territory was taken from the dioceses of Salisbury and Worcester; and included Bristol, great part of Dorset, and part of Gloucestershire. Paul Bushe, provincial of the Bons-Hommes, was the first bishop; and Trelawney, Boulter, Butler, Secker, Coneybeare, Newton, and other eminent men followed. The see was united, in 1836, to that of Gloucester; and the two now form one diocese, under the name of Gloucester and Bristol. The chapter of each remains distinct; and that of Bristol comprises a dean, an archdeacon, a chancellor, four canons, thirteen honorary canons, and three minor canons. The income of the archdeacon is £200; and that of each of the minor canons, £150. The divisions and livings of Bristol archdeaconry will be noticed in the article Gloucester and Bristol.

The livings within Bristol district are the rectories of Christ-Church with St. Ewen's, St. John Baptist with St. Lawrence, St. Mary-le-Port, St. Michael, St. Peter, St. Stephen, and St. Werburgh; the vicarages of St. Augustine, St. Mary-Redcliffe, All Saints, St. George-Brandon Hill, St. Nicholas with St. Leonard, St. Philip and St. Jacob, St. Thomas, Temple, St. Andrew-Montpelier, St. Barnabas, St. Clement, St. James, St. Jude, St. Luke, St. Paul, St. Simon, Trinity, Emmanuel, St. Bartholomew, and St. Matthias; and the p. curacies of St. Matthew and St. Silas. Value of Christ-Church, £390; of St. John Baptist, £229; of St. Andrew, St. Barnabas, St. Jude, and St. Matthias, £150;* of St. Mary-le-Port and St. Simon, £150; of St. Luke, £203; of St. Michael, £250; * of St. Peter, £239; of St. Stephen, £292; of St. Werburgh, £70; of St. Augustine, £240; of St. Mary-Redcliffe, £226;* of All Saints, £154; of St. George, £285; of St. Nicholas, £253; of St. Philip and St. Jacob, £378;* of St. Thomas, £120; of Temple, £296;* of St. Clement, 200;* of St. James, £551;* of Emm., St. Matt., and St. Silas, not reported; of St. Paul, £380:* of Trinity, £400: of St. Bartholomew, £193. Patron of Christ-Church, the Rev. James Robertson; of St. John Baptist, St. Mary-le-Port, St. Michael, St. Peter, St. Philip and St. Jacob, Temple, St. Clement, St. James, St. Paul, Trinity, Emmanuel, St. Barth., St. Matt., and St. Silas, Trustees; of St. Stephen and St. Werburgh, the Lord Chancellor; of St. Augustine, All Saints, St. George, and St. Nicholas, the Dean and Chapter of Bristol; of St. Mary-Redcliffe, St. Thomas, St. Barnabas, and St. Andrew, the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol; of St. Jude, St. Simon, and St. Matthias, alternately the Crown and the Bishop; of St. Luke, the vicar of St. Philip and St. Jacob. The livings within the city but not within the district will be found noticed in the articles Bedminster, Clifton, Philip and Jacob-Out (Sts.), and James and Paul-Out (Sts.).

The places of worship within the city, in 1864, were the cathedral, 22 parish churches, 25 other places of worship belonging to the Established church, 1 of Presbyterians, 18 of Independents, 9 of Baptists, 4 of Brethren, 1 of Moravians or United Brethren, 1 of Friends, 1 of Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, 1 of the New Christian church or Swedenborgians, 9 of Wesleyan Methodists, 9 of the Methodist Free church, 2 of Bible Christians, 1 of the Methodist New Connexion, 3 of Primitive Methodists, 2 of Unitarians, 6 of Roman Catholics, 1 of Jews, the Seamen's floating chapel, and 11 places of the Bristol City Mission. There were also 4 convents.

The Cathedral stands on the south side of College-green; and was the church of the Augustinian Abbey, founded by Robert Fitzhardinge. The nave was taken down in the 16th century, and measured 118 feet in length and 70 feet in breadth; but a new nave, 117 feet by 80, with ornate W front, and with two towers 130 feet high, was being built in 1868-9. The pile, besides the nave, consists of an aisled, four-bayed choir, 175 feet long, 73 feet wide, and 43 feet high; a transept, 128 feet long and 43 feet high; an ambulatory and Lady. chapel, opening into the choir; and a central, two-story, pinnacled tower, 133 feet high. It was built mostly in the former half of the 14th century; is chiefly late and rich decorated English, passing into perpendicular; and underwent extensive restoration in 1860 and 1861. It abounds in monuments, both ancient and modern; many of the ancient ones with stellated Spanish canopies, and many of the modern ones highly interesting, either in themselves or for their associations. The chief are those of Abbot David, 1234; Thomas Lord Berkeley, 1243: Maurice Lord Berkeley, 1281; Thomas Lord Berkeley, 1321; Abbot Knowle, 1332; Maurice, Lord Berkeley, 1368; Abbot Newland, 1515; Abbot Gwilym, 1553: Bishop Bushe, 1558; Sir Henry Newton and his lady, 1599; Sir John Young, 1603; Sir R. Codrington, 1618: SirVaughan, 1630; Sir John Newton, 1666; Sir R. N. Cradock, the judge, who, however, with his lady, was buried in Yatton church; Mrs. Mason, with epitaph by her husband and Gray; Mrs. Draper, Sterne's Eliza, by Bacon; Powell, the tragedian, with epitaph by Coleman: Bishop Butler, with epitaph by Southey; Dr. Foster, editor of the Hebrew Bible; Catherine Vernon, by Bacon; Emma Crawford, by Chantrey; Mrs. Middleton, by Baily; Elizabeth Stanhope, by Westmacott; Maria Elwyn, by Chantrey; and Robert Southey, by Baily. The chapter-house has a Norman vestibule; is a beautiful vaulted, groined, late Norman apartment, 43 feet long, 25 feet wide, and 26 feet high; and was, not long ago, tastefully renovated and improved.

The church of St. Mary-Redcliffe crowns a knoll of red sandstone a short distance west of the railway station; takes the name of Redcliffe from its site; and is a far finer edifice than the Cathedral, one of the grandest parish churches in England, "the pride of Bristowe and the Western londe." The date of its foundation is controverted. It has, since 1854, under the direction of George Godwin, been undergoing restorations which are estimated to cost £40,000. It is English of all periods, with ornaments of the most graceful and delicate description: consists of nave, transept, and choir, all aisled, south porch, priest's house, and Lady-chapel; and has a rich western tower, with the stump of a spire which was never finished. The nave is 128 feet long 52 wide, and 54 high; the choir, 60 feet long, 52 wide, and 53 high; the transept, 117½ feet long, and 47 wide; the Lady-chapel, 38 feet long and 23 wide; and the tower, 200 feet high. A muniment room above the north entrance, contains fragments of the coffer in which Chatterton pretended to find the Rowley manuscripts. The church contains effigies of William Canynge, John Lamington, and John Jay: canopied monuments of the brothers Mede of the 15th century; altar-tombs of Robert Lord Berkeley and Sir John Inuyns; and the armour of Admiral Sir William Penn, father of the founder of Pennsylvania.

Christ-Church occupies the site of a previous church dating from 1003; and is a modern Grecian structure, with handsome tower and spire. The church of St. John the Baptist is in a line with the city wall; was built, traditionally, in 1397, by Walter Frampton; and contains effigies of its founder, an altar-tomb of a Bristol merchant of Henry VII.'s reign, and a well-preserved ancient hour-glass. The church of St. Mary-le-Port is perpendicular English. St. Peter's church was built in 1130, has been much altered, and contains a brass of 1461; and its churchyard contains the remains of the poet Savage, who was sent to the city prison for debt after writing his "London and Bristol delineated," and died there in 1743. St. Stephen's church was built, in 1472, by John Shipward; is perpendicular English, with an elegant square tower, 133 feet high; has a richly ornate porch; contains a recessed canopied tomb and two fine effigies; and has a chantry, founded by Edward Blanket, who invented the article of bed-furniture which bears his name. St. Werburgh's church was rebuilt in 1761; has a tower of 1385; is in the later English style; and contains a brass of 1546, and a monument of Robert Thorne, the founder of the grammar school. All Saints' church is an ancient structure in Norman and perpendicular English; has a tower of 1716; and contains a monument, by Rysbrach, of Edward Colston, a merchant of the city, who spent about £70,000 in local benefactions. St. Nicholas church is a modern edifice with tower and spire: but has a crypt of 1503, with a stone coffin of 1311. The church of St. Philip and St. Jacob is in a mixed style, in both body and tower; but presents curious features, interesting to an architect; was recently repaired; and contains an ancient figure erroneously ascribed to the aldest son of the Conqueror, and a Norman font. Temple church belonged originally to the Knights Templars; presents a mixture of Norman and early English; has a tower 114 feet high, leaning 2¾ feet out of the perpendicular; and contains two brasses of 1395. St Thomas' church, excepting the tower, was rebuilt in 1793. St. Silas' church and the Penitentiary church were built in 1867, at a cost of £5,000 and £2,200.

St. Andrew's church, Montpelier, was built in 1845; and is in the style of the 13th century. St. James church was originally the church of a Benedictine priory, founded by Robert, Earl of Gloucester, son of Henry I.; was made parochial in 1347; is a very curious specimen of Norman, with a tower added in 1374; was recently restored; and contains an ancient monument, said to be that of its founder. St. Bartholomew's church, in Union-street, was built in 1861; and is a structure of Penuant stone, with freestone dressings, in the early decorated style. Emmanuel church, near the goods station of the Great Western railway, was built in 1863, at a cost of £3,190; and is an edifice in plain early decorated English. St. Paul's church, Portland-square, is a conspicuous edifice; and contains a monument to Col. Vassal. The Mayor's chapel, St. Mark's church, or the chapel of the Gaunts, was founded in 1230 in connexion with Gaunts' hospital of Bon-Hommes; has a tower of 1487; was at one time collegiate, but became the chapel of the Mayor; is a gem of pointed architecture,-the reredos perpendicular, the rest early English or decorated; and contains four very fine sedilia, and monuments of Sir Maurice de Gaunt, Sir Henry de Gaunt, Sir Robert de Gonmant, Sir Maurice Berkeley, Bishop Salley of Llandaff, John Carr, and Sir J. K. Haberfield. The Poyntz chapel, a small chantry, now used as a vestry, adjacent to the Mayor's chapel, is rich perpendicular English; has a fantracery roof, with some Spanish cncaustic enamelled tiles of the age of Charles V.; and contains the remains of Captain Bedloe, the associate of Titus Oates in the Ryehouse plot. An edifice in Merchant-street, once a Dominican priory, now used as a day school, includes the ancient dormitory, 86 feet by 23, with a roof of the 14th century, and the lesser hall, 49 feet by 24¼. Several of the dissenting places of worship are handsome edifices; and one of the latest, a Brethren's chapel, on the Batch, containing about 1,000 sittings, was founded and completed in the short space of three months in 1861. An act of parliament for an ultra-mural general cemetery was passed in 1837; and the area of all the churchyards of the city, at that time, including the sites of the churches, was only 14 acres. The new cemetery, on the Bristol road, was opened in the beginning of 1856 and was enlarged in 1862; is highly ornamental; and has two funeral cruciform chapels, with bell turret about 100 feet high, to the Episcopal chapel.

Education.—There were, in 1851, within the city, 77 public schools, with 11,881 scholars; 269 private day schools, with 6,345 s.; and 91 Sunday schools, with 14,128 s. Thirteen of the public day schools were supported by endowments, 45 by religions bodies, and 19 by subscription. Five of the endowed ones were collegiate and grammar schools; 8 of the next class were National, 4 British, and 5 Roman Catholic; and 5 of the subscription class were ragged schools, 2 orphan schools, 1 for the blind, and 1 for the deaf and dumb. The city grammar school was founded, in 1532, by Robert Thorne; has been remodelled in management, under authority of the Court of Chancery; possesses five exhibitions and two scholarships at Oxford; and is attended by about 300 pupils. Henry VIII.'s college grammar school is near the Cathedral. Colston's hospital, for the education and maintenance of 120 boys, was founded in 1708; has an income of upwards of £2,500; had Chatterton as a scholar for seven years; and is now located in the quondam episcopal palace at Stapleton. Colston's free schools, in Temple parish and in Pile-street, each for 40 boys, were founded at the same time as the hospital. Queen Elizabeth's or Carr's hospital was founded in 1586, for the education of poor boys after the manner of Christ's hospital in London; has an income of £6,000; and is an edifice in the castellated Tudor style, 400 feet long, at Brandon Hill, rebuilt in 1847, by Fosters. The Red Maids' school, for educating, maintaining, and clothing 44 girls, was founded in 1627 by Alderman Whiston; has now an income of about £600, and now admits 120 scholars; and possesses a handsome school house, in the Tudor style, with a tower, erected in 1837. The Bristol Fine Arts' Academy, in Queen's-road, was built by subscription in 1857; is in the Italian style; and contains statues of Flaxman and Reynolds. The Practical School of Art, held in the same building, is attended by upwards of 2,000 pupils. The Baptist college, at Stoke's Croft, for training young men for the ministry, was founded in 1770, has some income from endowment, is associated with the memory of Hall and Foster and other distinguished men, and contains a collection of heathen idols, the only complete copy in existence of Tyndale's New Testament published in 1525, and an original miniature portrait of Oliver Cromwell.

Science and Literature.—The British Association and the Royal Agricultural Society have visited Bristol. The Philosophical and Scientific institute, in Park-street, was opened in 1823; is a handsome Corinthian edifice, with circular portico, erected by Cockerell, at a cost of £11,000; and contains a theatre for lectures, a library, and an excellent museum. The Athenæum, in Corn-street, was erected in 1854; has a library of 7,000 volumes; and contains a lecture-hall, reading rooms, refreshment-rooms, and other spacious apartments. The City library, in King-street, was founded in 1613; is a handsome building, with emblematic figures in front; and has about 8,000 volumes. The Bristol Library Society, founded in 1772, and possessing some 10,000 volumes, is now located in a portion of the late Bishop's College, Queen's-road.

There are also a law library and a medical library. Clifton and its neighbourhood likewise contain some similar appliances, and present an interesting field for scientific observation.

Benevolence.—The General Hospital, at the side of Bathurst basin, was erected in 1858, after a design by Gingell, at a cost of about £15,000; has a warehouse basement for aiding its income; includes tower day-rooms for convalescents, and colonnades for exercise; and contains accommodation for 170 patients. The Royal infirmary, in Marlborough-street, was built in 1785; is a spacious edifice, with accommodation for 200 patients; and is supported by subscription. Müller's orphan asylum, at Ashley Down, which provides for and educates 1,150 orphans, was erected at intervals from 1835 till 1861, at an aggregate cost of £25,000. The orphan girls' asylum, at the bottom of Ashley Hill, has about 60 orphans, was instituted in 1795, and is supported by subscription. White's Temple hospital has an income of £1,192; Trinity hospital, £1,600; Stephens' almshouses, £651; Colston's alms-houses, £345; Fosters' alms-houses, £600; and there are a seamen's hospital, two dispensaries, an eye infirmary, and a number of other benevolent institutions. The endowed charities are estimated at £23,000 a year; and the subscription charities, at about £15,000.

Trade and Manufactures.—A mart for the sale of English slaves existed at Bristol in the 11th century; a great trade in wool commenced in the time of Edward III.; and a general traffic, both inland and commercial, of very miscellaneous character, has long been flourishing. Markets are held on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; a weekly cattle market on Thursday, and fairs, on 1 March, the Thursday before 25 July, and 1 Sept. Two newspapers are published daily; and four weekly, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Manufactures are carried on in glass, soap, starch, refined sugar, tobacco, hats, malt liquors, drugs, dyes, woollen, linen, silk, cotton, paper, leather, brushes, tobacco-pipes, earthenware, alum, chemicals, cocoa, copper, brass, tin, lead, zinc, iron, chain cables, anchors, engines, machinery and ship-building. A sugar factory in Temple-street is of vast size, and perhaps the best looking structure of its kind in the kingdom. The Great Western cottonworks, established about 1840, are conspicuous; but were closed in consequence of "the cotton famine." There are seven banking offices; and one of them is the head office of the West of England and South Wales bank. The inns are numerous, and of all grades.

Commerce.—The harbour consists of floating docks, formed in 1804-9, by changing the course of the Avon, and placing locks in the old channel, at a cost of £600,000; extends over a length of 2¾ miles; has undergone improvements since its original formation; and includes a quay upwards of a mile long, and several graving-docks. The entrance lock is at Rownham; and the berths of the largest ships, the timber ships, the sailing smacks, and the barges are respectively at the Grove, Sea-Banks, Welsh-Back, and near the Swing bridge. A light is at the river's mouth; and a pilot station at Pill. The vessels registered at the port, on 31 December, 1867, were 163 small sailing-vessels, of aggregately 4,712 tons; 156 larger sailing-vessels, of aggregately 52,304 tons; 20 small steam-vessels, of aggregately 563 tons; and 27 larger steam-vessels, of aggregately 3,702 tons. The vessels which entered in 1867, including repeated voyages, were 535 British, of 149,130 tons, from abroad; 444 foreign, of 124,440 tons, from abroad; and 6,905 coasters, of 524,888 tons, coastwise; and those which cleared out were 144 British, of 38,514 tons, 107 foreign, of 32,077 tons, and 4,047 coasters, of 401,843 tons. The amount of customs in 1858 was £1,295,559; and in 1867, £1,110,387. The chief foreign and colonial imports are timber, tallow, hemp, sugar, rum, wines, brandy, fruits, dye-woods, corn, coffee, hides, oil, metals, tobacco, wool, and tea; and the chief exports, coal and culm, earthenware, corn, tea, tobacco, wines, and spirits, iron, tin, glass, refined sugar, and textile fabrics. The chief coasting imports are coal, iron, tin, salt, agricultural produce, provisions, cattle, and Irish linens; and the chief exports, groceries, wines, spirits, and the articles of local manufacture. Steamers ply to all the chief ports of Monmouth, South Wales, and Devon, and Cornwall; to Liverpool and London; to Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, and Cork; and to Cadiz, Charente, Bordeaux, and Rotterdam. The "Great Western" steam-ship, the first steamer which crossed the Atlantic, and the still larger steam-ship, the "Great Britain, " were built at Bristol.

The Borough.—The city, as defined by its borough boundaries, comprises 4,674 acres, and measures 4 miles by 3. It was first chartered by Henry III.; has sent two members to parliament since the time of Edward I.; and is governed by a mayor, sixteen aldermen, and fortyeight councillors. Assizes are held in spring and summer. The police force consists of 303 men; and is maintained at a cost of about £17,500. The number of indictable offences committed in 1863, was 331; persons apprehended, 291; convicted summarily, 2,006; of depredators and suspected persons at large, 774; of houses of bad character, 172. The water supply comes from the Mendip hills, a distance of 15 miles; amounts, at the reservoir, to nearly a million of gallons a day; and is conveyed in pipes which cross the Avon through a tubular arch. Municipal revenue, £48,483. Property and assessed taxes, in 1857, £132,952. Real property in 1860, £503,072. Electors in 1868, 14,324. Pop. in 1841, 123,188; in 1861, 154,093. Houses, 23,590.

Eminent Citizens.—William Botoner, who wrote an itinerary of the city in the reign of Henry VI.; Norton, the alchemist, who died in 1477; Grocyne, Greek professor at Oxford, and friend of Erasmus; Sebastian Cabot, who discovered Labrador; T. White, the founder of Sion college; Elliott, who discovered Newfoundland; Fowler, the printer, who died in 1579; Archbishop Matthew, 1623; Bishop Thomas, 1689; Child, the composer, 1697; Admiral Sir W. Penn, 1670; Lewis, the author of a "Life of Wickliffe," 1721; Chatterton, 1770; Sir W. Draper: Mrs. Robinson, the "English Sappho," 1800; Wraxall, author of "Memoirs," 1831; Sir Thomas Lawrence; the poet Southey; the sculptor Bailey; and a number of other persons known to fame, were either natives or residents of Bristol. Sir H. Davy made his first scientific appearance here, under Dr. Beddoes; the poets Coleridge and Wordsworth resided here for a time, and found their first patron in the native publisher, Joseph Cottle; Hannah More kept a school with her sister in Park-street, and died in Clifton; and Robert Hall spent in Bristol both his early and his closing years. The city gave the title of Marquis to the family of Hervey.

The District.—Bristol poor-law district excludes Clifton, Bedminster, and some other parts of the borough; is administered under a local act; and is divided into five subdistricts. These are St. James subdistrict, conterminate with St. James In parish; St. Augustine subdistrict, containing St. Augustine and St. Michael parishes; St. Paul subdistrict, containing St. Paul In and St. Philip and St. Jacob In parishes; St. Mary Redcliffe subdistrict, containing St. Mary-Redcliffe, Temple, and St. Thomas parishes; and Castle Precincts subdistrict, containing Castle Precincts extra parochial tract and St. Nicholas, St. Stephen, St. Leonard, St. Werburgh, All Saints, St. Ewin, St. John, St. Peter, Christ Church, and St. Mary-le-Port parishes. Acres of the district 1,840. Poor-rates in 1866, £56,316. Pop. in 1841. 64,266; in 1861, 66,027. Houses, 9,402. Marriages in 1866,-1,359; births, 2,219,-of which 100 were illegitimate; deaths, 1,800,-of which 707 were at ages under 5 years, and 42 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 12,486; births, 21,869; deaths, 17,594. The Bristol workhouse is a new structure, on the site of the old French prison, at Stapleton, about 2½ miles from the city. The Borough lunatic asylum stands near the workhouse; and is a handsome edifice, in the Tudor style, built in 1861, at a cost of upwards of £40,000, and containing accommodation for 200 patients.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a city, with special jurisdiction"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Bristol Inc/RegD       Gloucestershire AncC       Somerset AncC
Place names: BRIGHTSTOWE     |     BRISTOL     |     BRITOSTOW
Place: Bristol

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