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Its Ijistoi'i} and Jtfitxquities,
An Index of Contents will be found at the end.
The situation of Southampton must ever secure for it tlie character of a beautiful place, if its great natural advantages, aided by commercial enterprise, fail to retain for it the revived importance it has achieved principally during the last 40 or 50 years. Rich in historical associations of chivalry and commerce, as the place of embarkation of our early sovereigns and their armies and once the chief harbour of import into England of the produce of Europe and the East, during the present century it lias regained an importance quite equal to that which it held as the wine port of John and his successors, and the place whence Edward III. and the Black Prince sailed for the victorious field of Creasy, and Henry V. set out for the brilliant battle of Agincourt. At the beginning of the present century the population numbered less than 8,000 ; the census of 1831 showed it to contain under 20,000 ; in 1851 these figures had risen to 35,000, and in 1871 to 48,000 exclusive of the suburbs, which probably number some 25,000 or 30,000 residents.
" The Ancient Order of Foresters,"—we now quote from the sketch, as useful as it is interesting, which it is the commendable custom of our worthy Permanent Secretary to embody in the Directory respecting the towns in which the Executive Council is located—"was introduced into Southampton in 1843 the first Court (1559) being opened on the 23rd of March in that year, and Court 1646 in the following November. In 1844 it was extended to Romsey. In 1845 two Courts were opened in the Isle of Wight, one each at Shirley, Poole, Ringwood, and Stockbridge, and four new Courts in Southampton. This induced the formation of two Districts, called the Southampton District and the South Hants District. The two Districts, however, amalgamated in 1847, and took the name of the South-Western District. The District continued to extend its operations, and at the end of 1851 the growing
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