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rendezvous for:the western division of the fleet; and on the 4th of July in that year, the army which afterwards gained the battle of Cressy, embarked hence.
In 1348 the black pestilence, which had smitten almost every nation in the world, in its destructive course westward from China, swept off great numbers of the inhabitants, so that provisions became greatly reduced in price, for want of consumers, and the harvest partly perished on the ground, from the scarcity and high price of labour.
In 1354 its commerce received a considerable impetus from Winchester being made a settled mart for wool, leather, wool fells, &c., which were all shipped at Southampton, and in the next year this port was again made the rendezvous of a fleet which had to convey troops to France.
Eichard II. improved the fortifications of the Castle in 1379, and a merchant of Genoa, who wished to make Southampton the depository of his merchandize, offered to build a more magnificent and secure fortress adjoining the town, but was assassinated before he could carry out his design, it is said at the instigation of London merchants, who feared his rivalry in trade. In 1394 considerable improvement was made in the wool trade, by opening connections with the western countries of Europe.
IV-, to secure the permanent reparation or the walls and Castle, granted £100 from the customs, "F1 the fee-farm of the town, and ordered an additional £100 to be subscribed by the inhabitants; this arrangement enabled them to greatly improve and beautify the whole, remodel the Bar, and open other gates in the pointed style of architecture at different parts.
Henry V., in 1415, mustered his army here prior to embarking them to France, where they afterwards gained the victory of Agincourt, Whilst waiting for a
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