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BERKHAMPSTEAD—BERKSHIRE

of Roger of Berkeley. Their descendants styled themselves of Berkeley, and in 1200 the town was confirmed to Robert of Berkeley with toll, soc, sac, &c., and a market on whatever day of the week he chose to hold it. This charter was confirmed to Thomas, Lord Berkeley, in 1330, and in 1395-1396 Lord Berkeley received a grant of another fair on the vigil and day of Holyrood. The descendants of the Berkeley family still hold the manor and town. Berkeley Castle was the scene of the death of Edward II. The king was at first entrusted to the care of Lord Berkeley, who, being considered too lenient, was obliged to give up his prisoner and castle to Sir John Mautravers and Thomas Gournay. The town has no charter, but is mentioned as a borough in 1284-1285. It was governed by a mayor and twelve aldermen, but by 1864 their privileges had become merely nominal, and the corporation was dissolved in 1885 under the Municipal Corporations Act. Berkeley was formerly noted for the manufacture of clothing, but the trade had decreased by the 16th century, for Leland, writing about 1520, says “the town of Berkeley is no great thing.... It hath very much occupied and yet somewhat doth clothing.”

See John Fisher, History of Berkeley (1864).

BERKHAMPSTEAD (Great Berkhampstead), a market town in the Watford parliamentary division of Hertfordshire, England, 28 m. N.W. from London by the London & North-Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 5140. It lies pleasantly in the narrow well-wooded valley of the Bulbourne, and is close to the Grand Junction canal. The church of St Peter, a large cruciform structure, exhibits all the Gothic styles, and earlier fragments are traceable. There are several brasses of interest. The poet William Cowper was born in the rectory in 1731. The large grammar school is a foundation of 1541. Straw-plaiting and the manufacture of small wooden wares are the principal industries, and there are large chemical works. Of the castle earthworks and fragments of walls remain. The name of the town is Great Berkhampstead (or Berkhamsted), in distinction from Little Berkhampstead near Hatfield in this county.

Berkhampstead (Beorhhamstede, Berchehamstede) was undoubtedly of some importance in Saxon times since there were fifty-two burgesses there at the time of the Conquest. In 1156 Henry II. granted the men and merchants of the town the same laws and customs as they had in the time of Edward the Confessor, and that they should be quit of toll throughout England, Normandy, Aquitaine and Anjou. Berkhampstead rose to importance with its castle, which is said to have been built by Robert, count of Mortain, and when the castle fell into ruin after 1496 the town also began to decay. In 1618, however, the burgesses received an incorporation charter; but after the civil wars the corporate body began to fail through poverty, and in the 18th century had ceased to exist. The burgesses returned two members to parliament in 1320 and again in 1338 and 1341, but were never represented again. Before the 13th century the burgesses held a weekly market on Sunday and a yearly fair on St James’s day, but in 1218 Henry III. altered the market day to Monday. Roofing tiles were manufactured in Berkhampstead as early as the 13th century, and in Elizabeth’s reign the making of malt was the chief industry.

BERKSHIRE, THOMAS HOWARD, 1st Earl of (1587-1669), 2nd son of Thomas Howard, 1st earl of Suffolk and of Catherine, daughter of Sir Henry Knevet, Kt., widow of Richard Rich, was baptized on the 8th of October 1587. He succeeded to his mother’s estate of Charlton in Wiltshire, was created K.B. in 1605, became master of the horse to Prince Charles, and was created Lord Howard of Charlton and Viscount Andover in 1622, K.G. in 1625, and earl of Berkshire in 1626. In 1634 he was chosen high steward of the university of Oxford. He was a commissioner for negotiating the treaty of Ripon in 1640, and accompanied the king to York in 1642. While attempting to execute the king’s commission of array in Oxfordshire in August he was taken prisoner by Hampden at Watlington and imprisoned in the Tower, but after being censured by the Lords was liberated in September. In 1643 he was made governor of the prince of Wales, a post for which he was in no way fitted, and in which he showed himself factious and obstructive. He accompanied the prince to Scilly and to Jersey, but on the latter’s departure for France went to Holland. At the Restoration he was made a privy councillor and received rewards. He died on the 16th of July 1669, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. According to Clarendon “his affection for the crown was good; his interest and reputation less than anything but his understanding.” He married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of William, earl of Exeter, by whom he had nine sons and four daughters. Of these Charles succeeded him as 2nd earl of Berkshire; Thomas succeeded the latter; and Philip was ancestor of John, 15th earl of Suffolk and 8th earl of Berkshire, and so of the later earls of Suffolk and Berkshire.

BERKSHIRE [abbreviated Berks, pronounced Barkshire], a southern county of England, bounded N. by Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, E. by Surrey, S. by Hampshire, W. by Wiltshire, and N.W. for a short distance by Gloucestershire. Its area is 721.9 sq. m. Its entire northern boundary is formed by the river Thames, in the basin of which practically the whole county is included. In the north-west a narrow and broken line of hills, pierced in the west by the Cole stream, which here forms the county boundary, extends past Faringdon and culminates in a height over 500 ft. at Cumnor Hurst, which, with Wytham Hill, fills a deep northward bend of the Thames, and overlooks the city of Oxford from the west. The range separates the Thames valley from the Vale of White Horse which is traversed by the small river Ock, and bounded on the south by a line of hills known as the White Horse Hills or Berkshire Downs, richly wooded along their base, and rising sharply to bare rounded summits. In White Horse Hill on the western confines of the county a height of 856 ft. is reached. The line of these hills is continued north-eastward by the Chiltern Hills in Oxfordshire, but a division between the two is made by the Thames in a narrow valley or gap at Goring. Southward the Downs are scored with deep narrow valleys, the chief of which are those of the Lambourn and the Pang. The last stream runs eastward directly to the Thames; but the Lambourn and others join the Kennet, which drains a beautiful sylvan valley to the Thames at Reading. Another line of downs closely confines the vale of Kennet on the south from Newbury upwards, and although the greater part of these does not fall within the county, their highest point, Inkpen Beacon (1011 ft.), does so. The Enborne stream, rising here, and flowing parallel to the Kennet until turning north to join it, is for a considerable distance the county boundary. Between Reading and Windsor the Thames makes a northward bend, past Henley and Marlow, in the form of three sides of a square. Within the bend slight hills border the river, but south of these, and in the Loddon valley south of Reading, the county is low and flat. In the south-east of the county, however, there is a high sandy plateau, forming part of Bagshot Heath, over 400 ft. in elevation, and extending into Surrey. Fir-woods are characteristic of this district, and northward towards the Thames extends the royal park of Windsor, which is magnificently timbered. The proportion to the total area of the county which is under woods is, however, by no means so great as in the adjacent counties of Surrey and Hampshire. There is fine trout-fishing in the Kennet and some of its feeders.

Geology.—The dominant feature of the county, the Chiltern and White Horse Hills, owes its form to the Chalk, which spreads from Ashbury and Hungerford on the west to Henley and Maidenhead on the east. In the northern face of the escarpment we find the Lower Chalk with a hard bed, the Totternhoe Stone; on the southern slope lies the Chalk-with-Flints. At Kintbury it is quarried for the manufacture of whiting. At the foot of the Chalk escarpment is the Upper Greensand with a narrow crop towards the west which is broken up into patches eastwards. Looking northward from the Chalk hills, the low-lying ground is occupied successively by the Gault Clay, the Kimmeridge Clay, and finally by the Oxford Clay, which extends beyond the Thames into Oxfordshire. This low-lying tract is relieved by an elevated ridge of Corallian beds, between the Kimmeridge Clay and the Gault. It extends from near Faringdon past Abingdon