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ASHLAR—ASHTON–UNDER–LYNE

about 1854, Ashland was incorporated as a village in 1863 and received a city charter in 1887.

ASHLAR, also written Ashler, Ashelere, &c. (probably from Lat. axilla, diminutive of axis, an axle), hewn or squared stone, generally applied to that used for facing walls. In a contract of date 1398 we read—“Murus erit exterius de puro lapide vocato achilar, plane incisso, interius vero de lapide fracto vocato roghwall.” “Clene hewen ashler” often occurs in medieval documents; this no doubt means tooled or finely worked, in contradistinction to rough-axed faces.

An “ashlar piece” in building is an upright piece of timber framed between the common rafters and the wall plate.

ASHLEY, WILLIAM JAMES (1860-  ), English economist, was born in London on the 25th of February 1860. He was educated at St Olave’s grammar school and Balliol College, Oxford, and became a fellow of Lincoln College. In 1888 he was appointed professor of political economy and constitutional history in Toronto University, a post which he resigned in 1892, in order to become professor of economic history at Harvard University. In 1901 he was appointed professor of commerce and finance in Birmingham University and in 1902 dean of the faculty of commerce. Professor Ashley became well known for his work on the early history of English industry, and for his prominence among those English economists who supported Mr Chamberlain’s tariff reform movement. His most important works are Early History of the English Woollen Industry (1887); Introduction to English Economic History and Theory (2 parts, 1888-1893); Surveys, Historic and Economic (1900); Adjustment of Wages (1903); the Tariff Problem (2nd ed. 1904); Progress of the German Working Classes (1904).

ASHMOLE, ELIAS (1617-1692), English antiquarian, and founder of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, was born at Lichfield on the 23rd of May 1617, the son of a saddler. In 1638 he became a solicitor, and in 1644 was appointed commissioner of excise. At Oxford, whither this brought him when the Royalist Parliament was sitting there, he made friends with Captain (afterwards Sir) George Wharton, through whose influence he obtained the king’s commission as captain of horse and comptroller of the ordnance. In 1646 he was initiated as a Freemason—the first gentleman, or amateur, to be “accepted.” In 1649 he married Lady Mainwaring, some twenty years his senior and a relative of his first wife who had died eight years before. This marriage placed him in a position of affluence that enabled him to devote his whole time to his favourite studies. His interest in astrology, aroused by Wharton, and by William Lilly,—whom with other astrologers he met in London in 1646,—seems, in the following years, to have subsided in favour of heraldry and antiquarian research. In 1657 his wife petitioned for a separation, but failing to gain her case returned to live with him. Between this crisis in his domestic life and the time of her death in 1668, Ashmole was in high favour at court. He was made successively Windsor herald, commissioner, comptroller and accountant-general of excise, commissioner for Surinam and comptroller of the White Office. He afterwards refused the office of Garter king-at-arms in favour of Sir William Dugdale, whose daughter he had married in 1668. In 1672 he published his Institutions, Laws and Ceremonies of the Order of the Garter, a work which was practically exhaustive, and is an example of his diligence and years of patient antiquarian research. Five years later he presented the Ashmolean Museum, the first public museum of curiosities in the kingdom, the larger part of which he had inherited from a friend, John Tradescant, to the university of Oxford. He made it a condition that a suitable building should be erected for its reception, and the collection was not finally installed until 1683. Subsequently he made the further gift to the university of his library. He died on the 18th of May 1692.

ASHRAF (Shurefa, Sherifs), a small scattered tribe of African “Arabs” settled near Tokar, in the valleys of the Gash and Baraka, and in the Amarar country north of Suakin. They call themselves Beni Hashin, and claim descent from Mahomet; hence their name, sherif (plural ashraf) being the title applied to descendants of the prophet. In the time of the khalifa Abdulla (1885-1898), Ashraf was the name by which the family and adherents of his late master the mahdi were known, the mahdi’s family claiming to be Ashraf. The Ashraf of Tokar remained loyal to Egypt during the Sudan troubles.

See Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, edited by Count Gleichen (London, 1905); Fire and Sword in the Sudan, by Slatin Pasha (London, 1896); for the Ashraf or Sherifs in Arabia, see Arabia: Geography.

ASHREF, a town of Persia in the province of Mazandaran, about 50 m. W. of Astarabad and 5 m. inland from the Caspian Sea, in 36° 42′ N. and 53° 32′ E. The population is about 6000, comprising descendants of some Georgians introduced by Shah Abbas I. (1587-1629) and a number of Gudars, a peculiar pariah race, probably of Indian origin. The place was without importance until 1612, when Shah Abbas began building and laying out the palaces and gardens in the neighbourhood now collectively known as Bagh i Shah (the garden of the shah). The palaces, completed in 1627, are now in ruins, but the gardens with their luxuriant vegetation and gigantic cypress and orange trees ate well worth a visit. There were originally six separate gardens, all contained within one large wall but separated one from another by high walls. The principal palace was the Chehel Situn (forty pillars), destroyed by the Afghans in 1723, and, although rebuilt by Nadir Shah in 1731, already in ruins in 1743. About ¾ m. north of the town is the Safi-abad garden, with a palace built by Shah Safi (1629-1642) for his daughter. It is situated on a lovely wooded hill, and was repaired and in part renovated about 1870 by Náṣiru’d-Din Shah.

ASHTABULA, a city of Ashtabula county, Ohio, U.S.A., in Ashtabula township, on the Ashtabula river and Lake Erie, and 54 m. N.E. of Cleveland. Pop. (1890) 8338; (1900) 12,949, of whom 3688 were foreign-born; (1910, census) 18,266. There is a large Finnish-born population in the city and in Ashtabula county, and the Amerikan Sanomat, established here in 1897, is one of the most widely read Finnish weeklies in the country. Ashtabula is served by the Pennsylvania, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, and the New York, Chicago & St Louis railways, and by inter-urban electric lines. The city is built on the high bank of the river about 75 ft. above the lake, and commands good views of diversified scenery. There is a public library. Ashtabula has an excellent harbour, to and from which large quantities of iron ore and coal are shipped. More iron ore is received at this port annually than at any other port in the country, or, probably, in the world; the ore is shipped thence by rail to Pittsburg, Youngstown and other iron manufacturing centres. In 1907 the port received 7,542,149 gross tons of iron ore, and shipped 2,632,027 net tons of soft coal. Among the city’s manufactures are leather, worsted goods, agricultural implements, and foundry and machine shop products; in 1905 the total value of the factory product was $1,895,454, an increase of 114.3% in five years. There are large green-houses in and near Ashtabula, and quantities of lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes are raised under glass and shipped to Pittsburg and other large cities. The first settlement here was made about 1801. Ashtabula township was created in 1808, and from it the townships of Kingsville, Plymouth and Sheffield have subsequently been formed. The village of Ashtabula was incorporated in 1831, and received a city charter in 1891. The name Ashtabula is an Indian word first applied to the river and said to mean “fish river.”

ASHTON-IN-MAKERFIELD, an urban district in the Newton parliamentary division of Lancashire, England, 4 m. S. of Wigan, on the Great Central railway. Pop. (1901) 18,687. The district is rich in minerals, and has large collieries, and a colliery company’s institute; iron goods are manufactured.

ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE, a market-town and municipal and parliamentary borough of Lancashire, England, on the river Tame, a tributary of the Mersey, 185 m. N. W. by N. from London and 6½ E. from Manchester. Area, 1346 acres. Pop. (1891) 40,486; (1901) 43,890. It is served by the London & North-Western and the Lancashire & Yorkshire railways (Charlestown station), and by the Great Central (Park Parade station).