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´╗┐MATE'S HANDBOOK TO SOUTHAMPTON.
Point," a projection of the shore, now effaced, but which for centuries carefully preserved by a line of piles driven into the beach. Did Mrs. Canute give him "a good blowing up" for wetting his best clothes with salt water ? William the Conqueror probably built the Castle, of which the foundations of the keep may still be traced.
Mr. Shore, F.C.S., F.G.S., than whom no better authority on Hampshire can be found, says " The importance of Southampton in Norman times arose from its position as the port of Winchester, and the great outlet for the district far northward, during the time when an immense intercourse and traffic in goods and merchandise was kept up between England and the Norman dominions of the English kings."
Robert, the erratic Duke of Normandy, and Henry I. were no strangers at Southampton, and its burghers heard, probably without surprise, of the death of the " Red King," at Stony Cross. Who can forget the romance of Sir Bevis and Ascupart, though truth to tell the heroes of the story are somewhat mythical. After stout resistance to the Conqueror Sir Bevis is said to have found his way to Constantinople. Ascupart was a loathly giant whom Sir Bevis subdued with sword and spear, and coerced into more or less patient bondage. Only half-tamed, however, this Caliban mutinied on one occasion in the absence of his master, and carried off Josyan the Bright, wife of Sir Bevis, whose knights soon tracked out and slew the foul felon, Sir Bevis is said to have lived on the mount, three-quarters of a mile above the Bargate. This noble paladin, after much fighting, died on the same day with his loving wife Josyan, and his horse Arundel. Venetian galleys carried back English cloth and English legends, and Mr. Rawdon Brown tells us that to this day the " History of Sir Bevis of Hampton" is a stock piece at the Venetian puppet-show theatres. A famous sword, named Morglay, said to have been wielded by Sir Bevis, is still preserved in Arundel Castle.
Henry I. gave its first charter of incorporation to the town, and refers to four existing churches. Henry II. confirmed this charter, and twice at least knew bitter sorrow in Southampton. He came here on his way to do penance at the tomb of Becket, and here he waited for the fatal news of the loss of the White Ship, which carried his son and heir. Part of Cceur de Lion's fleet assembled at Southampton before sailing for Palestine, where the Sheriff supplied some eight hundred loudly-protesting Hampshire hogs, and ten
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