AUBIN, a town of southern France, in the department of Aveyron on the Enne, 30 m. N.W. of Rodez. In 1906 the urban population was 2229, the communal population 9986. Aubin is the centre of important coal-mines worked in the middle ages, and also has iron-mines, the product of which supplies iron works close to the town. Sheep-breeding is important in the vicinity. The church dates from the 12th century.
AUBREY, JOHN (1626-1697), English antiquary, was born at Easton Pierse or Percy, near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, on the 12th of March 1626, his father being a country gentleman of considerable fortune. He was educated at the Malmesbury grammar school under Robert Latimer, who had numbered Thomas Hobbes among his earlier pupils, and at his schoolmaster’s house Aubrey first met the philosopher about whom he was to leave so many curious and interesting details. He entered Trinity College, Oxford, in 1642, but his studies were interrupted by the Civil War. In 1646 he became a student of the Middle Temple, but was never called to the bar. He spent much of his time in the country, and in 1649 he brought into notice the megalithic remains at Avebury. His father died in 1652, leaving to Aubrey large estates, and with them, unfortunately, complicated lawsuits. Aubrey, however, lived gaily, and used his means to gratify his passion for the company of celebrities and for every sort of knowledge to be gleaned about them. Anthony à Wood prophesied that he would one day break his neck while running downstairs after a retreating guest, in the hope of extracting a story from him. He took no active share in the political troubles of the time, but from his description of a meeting of the Rota Club, founded by James Harrington, the author of Oceana, he appears to have been a theorizing republican. His reminiscences on this subject date from the Restoration, and are probably softened by considerations of expediency. In 1663 he became a member of the Royal Society, and in the next year he met Joan Somner, “in an ill hour,” he tells us. This connexion did not end in marriage, and a lawsuit with the lady complicated his already embarrassed affairs. He lost estate after estate, until in 1670 he parted with his last piece of property, Easton Pierse. From this time he was dependent on the hospitality of his numerous friends. In 1667 he had made the acquaintance of Anthony à Wood at Oxford, and when Wood began to gather materials for his invaluable Athenae Oxonienses, Aubrey offered to collect information for him. From time to time he forwarded memoranda to him, and in 1680 he began to promise the “Minutes for Lives,” which Wood was to use at his discretion. He left the task of verification largely to Wood. As a hanger-on in great houses he had little time for systematic work, and he wrote the “Lives” in the early morning while his hosts were sleeping off the effects of the dissipation of the night before. He constantly leaves blanks for dates and facts, and many queries. He made no attempt at a fair copy, and, when fresh information occurred to him, inserted it at random. He made some distinction between hearsay and authentic information, but had no pretence to accuracy, his retentive memory being the chief authority. The principal charm of his “Minutes” lies in the amusing details he has to recount about his personages, and in the plainness and truthfulness that he permits himself in face of established reputations. In 1592 he complained bitterly that Wood had destroyed forty pages of his MS., probably because of the dangerous freedom of Aubrey’s pen. Wood Was prosecuted eventually for insinuations against the judicial integrity of the earl of Clarendon. One of the two statements called in question was certainly founded on information provided by Aubrey. This perhaps explains the estrangement between the two antiquaries and the ungrateful account that Wood gives of the elder man’s character. “He was a shiftless person, roving and magotie-headed, and sometimes little better than crased. And being exceedingly credulous, would stuff his many letters sent to A. W. with follies and misinformations, which sometimes would guide him into the paths of error.” In 1673 Aubrey began his “Perambulation” or “Survey” of the county of Surrey, which was the result of many years’ labour in collecting inscriptions and traditions in the country. He began a “History of his Native District of Northern Wiltshire,” but, feeling that he was too old to finish it as he would wish, he made over his material, about 1695, to Thomas Tanner, afterwards bishop of St Asaph. In the next year he published his only completed, though certainly not his most valuable work, the Miscellanies, a collection of stories on ghosts and dreams. He died at Oxford in June 1697, and was buried in the church of St Mary Magdalene.
AUBURN, a city and the county-seat of Androscoggin county, Maine, U.S.A., on the Androscoggin river, opposite Lewiston (with which it practically forms an industrial unit), in the S.W. part of the state. Pop. (1890) 11,250; (1900) 12,951, of whom 2076 were foreign-born; (1910, census) 15,064. It is served by the Grand Trunk and the Maine Central railways. The river furnishes abundant water-power, and the city ranked fourth in the state as a manufacturing centre in 1905. Boots and shoes are the principal products; in 1905 seven-tenths of the city’s wage-earners were engaged in their manufacture, and Auburn’s output ($4,263,162 = 66.5% of the total factory product of the city) was one-third of that of the whole state. Other manufactures are butter, bread and other bakery products, cotton goods, furniture and leather. The municipality owns and operates its waterworks. Auburn was first settled in 1786, and was incorporated in 1842, but the present charter dates only from 1869.
AUBURN, a city and the county-seat of Cayuga county, New York, U.S.A., 25 m. S.W. of Syracuse, on an outlet of Owasco Lake. Pop. (1890) 25,858; (1900) 30,345, of whom 5436 were foreign-born, 2084 being from Ireland and 1023 from England; (1910) 34,668. It is served by the Lehigh Valley and the New York Central & Hudson River railways, and by inter-urban electric lines. The city is attractively situated amidst a group of low hills in the heart of the lake country of western New York; the streets are wide, with a profusion of shade trees. Auburn has a city hall, the large Burtis Auditorium, the Auburn hospital, two orphan asylums, and the Seymour library in the Case Memorial building. There is a fine bronze statue of William H. Seward, who made his home here after 1823, and was buried in Fort Hill Cemetery. In Auburn are the Auburn (State) prison (1816), in connexion with which there is a women’s prison; the Auburn Theological Seminary (Presbyterian), founded in 1819, chartered in 1820, and opened for students in 1821; the Robinson school for girls; and the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union, for the education of working girls, with a building erected in 1907. The city owns its water-supply system, the water being pumped from Owasco Lake, about 2½ m. S.S.E. of the city. There is a good water-power, and the city has important manufacturing
- “Life of Anthony à Wood written by Himself” (Athen. Oxon., ed. Bliss).