Persistent identifier:
image: of 194
to be a very striking coincidence that not only was Southampton the place from which the British Empire had its rise,—for, as I have mentioned, the Hamton settlement became Wessex, Wessex England, and England the British Empire,—but that it was also in a sense the place from which the other great Anglo-Saxon federation, the United States, had its rise ; for although there had been emigration to America before 1620, yet the New England States were founded by the Pilgrim Fathers who left Southampton in that year, and it was the New England States that had proved to be the strength and the backbone of the magnificent people who had sprung up across the Atlantic.
If we turn to later times, events are so numerous and annals so extensive, that I should detain you too long if I were merely to enumerate the interesting occurrences which mark our records. And the later history of the borough has not by any means yet been fully investigated. Many interesting events took place in this neighbourhood in the struggle between King and Parliament in the seventeenth century. On the whole, Southampton sided with the Parliament. The Parliamentary garrison of the town was commanded by Colonel Norton, and it had a great deal to do in keeping in check the Royalist garrisons at Winchester and Romsey. Between Southampton and Winchester there were many skirmishes, some so important as to be almost worthy of the name of battles—one was on Twyford Down, and at another in the same neighbourhood 80 Royalists from Winchester were taken prisoners and 100 horses captured. In 1643 a serious plot was discovered to hand over the town of Southampton to the Royalists and in 1654 the Mayor of the town, William Higgens, was so strongly Royalist in his sympathies that he hesitated to acknowledge Oliver Cromwell's authority. But Cromwell took decisive measures to mark his will. The Mayor and Council assembled at the Audit House to discuss whether or not they should recognise the Protector and admit the Protector's garrison. A body of troops was brought from Portsmouth ; they surrounded the Audit House, and brought the deliberations of the Mayor and Council to a somewhat abrupt conclusion. The Mayor was removed from his office, and another put into his place, while the troops of the Protector occupied the town and settled for the time being the question whether the town should or should not give its allegiance to the Commonwealth Government. A little later the plague visited the town, and although I do not speak of this as one of the great events in local history, there was an incident in connection with it of so much interest that I mention it to show how in those days there was very little idea of sanitary science or
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon Delicious Digg RSS