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Independence, was settled about 1790, and was incorporated in 1835. The city’s boundaries were enlarged in 1905.

ASHFORD, a market-town in the Southern or Ashford parliamentary division of Kent, England, 56 m. S.E. of London by the South-Eastern & Chatham railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 12,808. It is pleasantly situated on a gentle eminence near the confluence of the upper branches of the river Stour. It has a fine Perpendicular church dedicated to St Mary, with a lofty, well-proportioned tower and many interesting monuments. The grammar school was founded by Sir Norman Knatchbull in the reign of Charles I. Ashford has agricultural implement works and breweries; and the large locomotive and carriage works of the South-Eastern & Chatham railway are here. At Bethersden, between Ashford and Tenterden, marble quarries were formerly worked extensively, supplying material to the cathedrals of Canterbury and Rochester, and to many local churches. At Charing, north-west of Ashford, the archbishops of Canterbury had a residence from pre-Conquest times, and ruins of a palace, mainly of the Decorated period, remain. On the south-eastern outskirts of Ashford is the populous village of Willesborough (3602).

Ashford (Esselesford, Asshatisforde, Essheford) was held at the time of the Domesday survey by Hugh de Montfort, who came to England with William the Conqueror. A Saturday market and an annual fair were granted to the lord of the manor by Henry III. in 1243. Further annual fairs were granted by Edward III. in 1349 and by Edward IV. in 1466. In 1672 Charles II. granted a market on every second Tuesday, with a court of pie-powder. James I. in 1607, at the petition of the inhabitants of Ashford, gave Sir John Smith, Kt., the right of holding a court of record in the town on every third Tuesday. The fertility of the pasture-land in Romney Marsh to the south and east of Ashford caused the cattle trade to increase in the latter half of the 18th century, and led to the establishment of a stock market in 1784. The town has never been incorporated.
See Edward Hasted, History and Survey of Kent (Canterbury, 1778–1799, 2nd ed. 1797–1801); Victoria County History—Kent.

’ASHI (352–427), Jewish ’amora, the first editor of the Talmud, was born at Babylon. He was head of the Sura Academy, and there began the Babylonian Talmud, spending thirty years of his life at it. He left the work incomplete, and it was finished by his disciple Rabina just before the year 500 A.D. (See Talmud.)

ASHINGTON, an urban district in the Wansbeck parliamentary division of Northumberland, England, 4 m. E. of Morpeth, on the Newbiggin branch of the North Eastern railway. Pop. (1901) 13,956. The district, especially along the river Wansbeck, is not without beauty, but there are numerous collieries, from the existence of which springs the modern growth of Ashington. At Bothal on the river (from which parish that of Ashington was formed) is the castle originally belonging to the Bertram family, of which Roger Bertram probably built the gatehouse, the only habitable portion remaining, in the reign of Edward III. The ruins of the castle are fragmentary, but of considerable extent. The church of St Andrew here has interesting details from Early English to Perpendicular date, and in the neighbouring woods is a ruined chapel of St Mary. The mining centre of Ashington lies 2 m. north-east, on the high ground north of the Wansbeck.

’ASHKENAZI, SEBI (1656–1718), known as Ḥakham Ṣebi, for some time rabbi of Amsterdam, was a resolute opponent of the followers of the pseudo-Messiah, Sabbatai Ṣebi (q.v.). He had a chequered career, owing to his independence of character. He visited many lands, including England, where he wielded much influence. His Responsa, are held in high esteem.

ASHLAND, a city of Boyd county, Kentucky, U.S.A., on the Ohio river, about 130 m. E. by N. of Frankfort. Pop. (1890) 4195; (1900) 6800 (489 negroes); (1910) 8688. It is served by the Chesapeake & Ohio (being a terminal of the Lexington and Big Sandy Divisions) and the Norfolk & Western railways, and is connected with Huntington, West Virginia, by an electric line. The city has a fine natural park (Central Park) of about 30 acres; and Clyffeside Park (maintained by a private corporation), of about 75 acres, just east of the city, is a pleasure resort and a meeting-ground (with a casino seating 3000 people) for the Tri-State “Chautauqua” (for certain parts of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia). The surrounding country abounds in coal, iron ore, oil, clay, stone and timber, for which the city is a distributing centre. Ashland has considerable river traffic, and various manufactures, including pig iron, nails, wire rods, steel billets, sheet steel, dressed lumber (especially poplar), furniture, fire brick and leather. Ashland was settled in 1854, and was chartered as a city in 1870.

ASHLAND, a borough of Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., about 50 m. N.E. of Harrisburg and about 100 m. N.W. of Philadelphia. Pop. (1890) 7346; (1900) 6438 (969 foreign-born); (1910) 6855. It is served by the Lehigh Valley and the Philadelphia & Reading railways, and by the electric lines of the Schuylkill Railway Company and the Shamokin & Mount Carmel Transit Company. The borough is built on the slope of Locust Mountain, about 885 ft. above sea-level. Its chief industry is the mining of anthracite coal at several collieries in the vicinity; and at Fountain Springs, 1 m. south-east, is a state hospital for injured persons of the Anthracite Coal Region of Pennsylvania, opened in 1883. The municipality owns and operates the waterworks. Ashland was laid out as a town in 1847, and was named in honour of Henry Clay’s home at Lexington, Ky.; in 1857 it was incorporated.

ASHLAND, a village of Hanover county, Virginia, U.S.A., 17 m. N.W. of Richmond. Pop. (1900) 1147; (1910) 1324. It is served by the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac railway, and is a favourite resort from Richmond. Here is situated the Randolph-Macon College (Methodist Episcopal, South), one of the oldest Methodist Episcopal colleges in the United States. In 1832, two years after receiving its charter, it opened near Boydton, Mecklenburg county, Virginia, and in 1868 was removed to Ashland. The college in 1907–1908 had 150 students and a faculty of 16; it publishes an endowed historical series called The John P. Branch Historical Papers of Randolph-Macon College; and it is a part of the “Randolph-Macon System of Colleges and Academies,” which includes, besides, Randolph-Macon Academy (1890) at Bedford City, Virginia, and Randolph-Macon Academy (1892) at Front Royal, Virginia, both for boys; Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (1893) at Lynchburg, Virginia, which in 1907–1908 had an enrolment of 390; and Randolph-Macon Institute, for girls, Danville, Virginia, which was admitted into the “System” in 1897. These five institutions are under the control of a single board of trustees; the work of the preparatory schools is thus correlated with that of the colleges. About 7 m. out of Ashland is the birthplace of Henry Clay, and about 15 m. distant is the birthplace of Patrick Henry. Ashland was settled in 1845 and was incorporated in 1856.

ASHLAND, a city and the county-seat of Ashland county, Wisconsin, U.S.A., situated about 315 m. N.W. of Milwaukee, and about 70 m. E. of Superior and Duluth, in the N. part of the state, at the head of Chequamegon Bay, an arm of Lake Superior. Pop. (1890) 9956; (1900) 13,074, of whom 4417 were foreign-born; (1910, census) 11,594. It is served by the Chicago & North-Western, the Northern Pacific, the Chicago, St Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha, and the Wisconsin Central railways, and by several steamboat lines on the Great Lakes. The city is attractively situated, has a dry, healthful climate, and is a summer resort. It has a fine Federal building, one of the best high-school buildings in Wisconsin, the Vaughn public library (1895), a Roman Catholic hospital, and the Rinehart hospital, and is the seat of the Northland College and Academy (Congregational). Ashland has an excellent harbour, has large iron-ore and coal docks, and is the principal port for the shipment of iron ore from the rich Gogebic Range, the annual ore shipment approximating 3,500,000 tons, valued at $12,000,000, and it has also an extensive export trade in lumber. Brownstone quarried in the vicinity is also an important export. The lake trade amounts to more than $35,000,000 annually. Ashland has large saw-mills, iron and steel rolling mills, foundries and machine shops, railway repair shops (of the Chicago & North-Western railway), knitting works, and manufactories of dynamite, sulphite fibre, charcoal and wood-alcohol. In 1905 its total factory product was valued at $4,210,265. Settled