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HISTORY OF BOMSEY.
reformation in the ecclesiastical institutions, being assisted in the work by " Dunstan," afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. The first Abbess was " Marivanna," a lady of noble birth. This pious lady was succeeded by " Elwina," who, in consequence of the Danes invading this part, was compelled to fly to Winchester with the whole of the nuns and the sacred relics, reaching the city in safety. Nothing further of note occurred until King Stephen s youngest daughter, Mary, became Abbess, During this lady's administration Henry II. totally disregarded monastic vows, and set at defiance the dispensation of the Pope, by causing Matthew of Alsace (son of the Count of Flanders) to woo and wed Mary, the Lady Abbess, thus entiiely striking at the root of Thomas a Beckett s superstitious supremacy. The Abbey Church, for antiquity and its Saxon and Norman architecture, is not excelled by any m England. It is dedicated to St. Mary, bearing date of register 1659. The building is of cruciform shape, part Norman and part Early English architecture, in the decorated style, having a small Norman tower, with a peal of eight bells. The Church contains several stained glass windows, those in the western chancel being to t e memory of the late Viscount Palmerston, costing £1,200, raised by public subscription. There are some fine monuments; one, erected to the Lady Abbess Mary, being a most interesting relic. The living is a Vicarage, with residence, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter o Winchester, and held by the Eev. Edward Lyon Berthon, M.A., of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and Rural Dean.
Bomsey is a neat built town, having three principal streets opening into the Market Place, in the centre o which is a fine bronze monument (by Noble), standing on a granite pedestal, erected in 1867, to the late Viscoun Palmerston, as a tribute to his great worth as a statesman, and also as a native of the town, being born ere in 1784.
The town is well paved, lighted with gas, and amply supplied with water; it is governed by a mayor, our aldermen, 12 burgesses, town clerk, and other officers.
There are several good buildings, hotels and inns, and many excellent shops, well stocked.
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