Descriptive text

Bickham's Hampshire 1750

The text pages accompanying the map are headed by an imaginery scene; a cottage by the bank of a river in which a horseman lets his mount drink, just outside a gateway. In the sky two cherubs hold up the coat of arms of Winchester.

page 57:-

Hampshire (properly the County of Southampton, from the principal Town) is bounded on ye North by Berkshire, on the East by Surry & Sussex, on the South by the British Channel, and on the West by Dorsetshire & Wiltshire.

The Air is mild & wholesome, but towards the South subject to Sea Vapours. The Soil is rich. The chief Commodities are Corn, Cattle, Wool, Wood, Iron, excellent Honey, and the best Bacon in England. Kersies, Stuffs, and some Cloths, are here manufactured. Rivers are the Tees, Avon, Stowre, Itching, and some others.

The People in general have ye Advantage of ye more westerly Counties from their greater Vicinity to London: but in ye New Forest one may expect as much simplicity & want of Breeding, as in any Part of the Kingdom.
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Besides the Knights of ye Shire, & the Citizens of Winchester, Hampshire chuses two Burgesses for each of ye following Towns,
Southampton, Stockbridge, Whitchurch,
Portsmouth, Christchurch, and
Petersfield, Limington, Andover.
To which if we add the Six Members for the Isle of Wight (a Part of this County) chosen at
Newport, Yarmouth, Newton,
the whole Number of Representatives will be Twenty-Six.

Winchester is famous for its Cathedral & College, ye former finished, and the latter founded, by ye famous Bishop William of Wickham. A Palace was begun here by King Charles II, but never finished.

Southampton has been more considerable than at present; but is still a good Town, and a County in itself. But the Place in this County now most worthy of notice is Portsmouth, the best Fortification in England, the chief rendezvous of the Royal Navy, and a great marine Arsenal. It is of late Years vastly increased. The Haven may contain a thousand large ships.

New Forest, between the Avon & Hampton Water, was made by William the Conqueror, who laid waste for that Purpose thirty six Parishes.

Silchester, on ye North Edge of this County, now only a Farmhouse and a Church, is the antient Vindonum of ye Romans, whose Walls, almost entire, are two Miles in Compass. Noblemen's Seats here are Basing-House & Abbotson,
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the Duke of Bolton's; Rockburn-house, Earl of Shaftesbury's; Hursborn, Earl of Portsmouth's; Farnborough-house, Earl of Anglesea's; Eadesworth. Lord Dormor's; Whorwell, Lord Delamere's; and the earl of Peterborough's, at Southampton.

Bickham's Hampshire 1750
General index
Old Hampshire Mapped

Map HMCMS:FA1999.77.1
 ©  Martin and Jean Norgate: 2003
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