Monmouth

Monmouth

[mon-muhth]
Monmouth, James Scott, duke of, 1649-85, pretender to the English throne; illegitimate son of Charles II of England by Lucy Walter. After his mother's death, he was cared for by Lord Crofts, by whose name the boy was known. In 1662, James went to live at Charles's court. Charles acknowledged him as his son, created him (1663) duke of Monmouth, and married him to Anne Scott, countess of Buccleuch, whose name James now adopted. He held military commands on the Continent (1672-74), became captain general in 1678, and defeated the Scottish Covenanters at Bothwell Bridge in 1679. Politically he became very important after feeling against the succession of the Roman Catholic duke of York (later James II) was heightened at the time of the Popish Plot agitation in 1678. The 1st earl of Shaftesbury and other supporters of a Protestant succession championed Monmouth as heir to Charles and tried in vain to get Charles to prove his son legitimate. In 1679, Charles sent both Monmouth and the duke of York into exile. When Monmouth returned without the king's permission, he was forbidden to come to court but was received enthusiastically in London and the western counties. Monmouth worked with Shaftesbury and the Whig party for the exclusion of James from the succession, and after the arrest of Shaftesbury for treason in 1681 he was heard to speak openly of rebellion. When the Rye House Plot was discovered (1683) and some of the Whig leaders were arrested, Monmouth fled to Holland. James II succeeded Charles in Feb., 1685. In June, Monmouth landed at Lyme Regis, Dorset, and raised a small force. At Taunton he was proclaimed king, and for a short time his chances for success looked very promising. But the gentry failed to come to his support, and his army was routed at Sedgemoor by James's troops, led by John Churchill (later duke of Marlborough). Monmouth was captured and beheaded in London on July 15.
Monmouth, Welsh Trefynwy, town (1981 pop. 7,379), Monmouthshire, SE Wales, at the junction of the Monnow and Wye rivers. The town is a popular tourist and agricultural center with flourishing cattle and produce markets. Industries include food processing and paper manufacture. Fishing is also an activity. Remains of a 12th-century castle (in which Henry V was born), a Norman church, and an old bridge (1272) over the Monnow are there. Monmouth School for boys was founded in 1614. A local museum commemorates Admiral Horatio Nelson's numerous connections with the town.
Monmouth, city (1990 pop. 9,489), seat of Warren co., W Ill.; inc. 1852. Located in a farm area, it is a trade center with a packing plant. Manufactures include pottery, farm tools, and feed. Monmouth College is in the city. Wyatt Earp was born there.
Monmouth, battle of, in the American Revolution, fought June 28, 1778, near the village of Monmouth Courthouse (now Freehold, N.J.). Gen. George Washington chose this location to attack the British troops, who were retreating from Philadelphia to New York City. Gen. Charles Lee launched the assault but without warning ordered a retreat. The British, under Sir Henry Clinton, immediately counterattacked, and only the arrival of Washington and Baron von Steuben prevented an American rout. Steuben re-formed Lee's disordered troops and led them back to battle, but the British forces escaped during the night. Lee was later court-martialed and suspended from command for disobeying orders. The legend of Molly Pitcher grew from this battle.

See W. S. Stryker, The Battle of Monmouth (1927, repr. 1970).

(died 1155) Medieval British chronicler. He was probably an Oxford cleric for most of his life. His mostly fictional History of the Kings of Britain (circa 1135–39) traced the descent of British princes from the Trojans; it brought the figure of Arthur (see Arthurian legend) into European literature and introduced the enchanter Merlin, whose story Geoffrey related in the Vita Merlini (circa 1148–51?). Though denounced from the first by other historians, the History was one of the most popular books of the Middle Ages and had an enormous influence on later chroniclers.

Learn more about Geoffrey of Monmouth with a free trial on Britannica.com.

This is about the Welsh town of Monmouth. For other uses, see Monmouth (disambiguation).
Monmouth (Welsh: Trefynwy = "town on the Monnow") is a town in southeast Wales and traditional county town of the historic county of Monmouthshire. It is situated where the River Monnow meets the River Wye with bridges over both

Character

Monmouth boasts a medieval 13th-century stone gated bridge at Monnow Bridge , unique in Britain as it is the only preserved bridge of its design remaining. There is also a long bridge over the River Wye After centuries of waiting a second bridge over the Monnow was finally opened on March 15, 2004, thus allowing the old bridge to become pedestrianised. This project has, however, meant the demolition of the old cattle market, thus Monmouth is no longer the traditional market town it has traditionally been; however, a farmers' market selling local produce is still held.

Monmouth is very much a town of schools. Apart from the comprehensive school with over 1600 pupils, there are two independent schools - Monmouth School (founded 1614) and Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls (founded 1892). There are also several state primary schools, with most areas served by both infants' and juniors' Schools.

The annual Monmouth Show has been held each year (traditionally on the last Thursday of August) since 1919 (when it was called the Monmouthshire County Show), though its history can be traced back further to 30 May 1857 when the eighth Duke of Beaufort and Sir Charles Morgan M.P. put up the funds for a Monmouth Cattle Show, and even prior to that there had been an agricultural society in existence in the town dating back to the 1790s, which held ploughing competitions.

The Savoy Theatre in Church Street, built on the site of the oldest theatre in Wales, functions as both a cinema and theatre. There are numerous pubs in the centre of Monmouth, including Old Nags Head, Queen's Head, Punch House, The Griffin, The Gloucester, The Vinetree, The Kings Head, The Three Horseshoes, The Green Dragon and The Gatehouse. Some of these hold pub quizzes and live music throughout the week.

Monmouth is twinned with Carbonne, France and Waldbronn, Germany.

History

Archaeological excavations undertaken by the Monmouth Archaeological Society on various sites along Monnow Street have uncovered a wealth of information about the early history of the town. Indeed, the Council for British Archaeology have designated Monmouth as one of the top ten towns in Britain for archaeology.

Roman Times

Monmouth as an organised settlement dates back to the times of the Roman occupation of Britain and the conquest of Roman Wales. The Romans called it Blestium, and it was part of a network of Roman forts covering the region, linked via Roman roads to Abergavenny or Gobannium, Usk known as Burrium, later Isca Augusta at Caerleon, and Glevum at Gloucester and modern local archaeologists and historians have found items of Roman pottery and Roman currency and coinage that date from that period.

Middle Ages

The town appears in the Domesday Book, and for the 11th century and 12th century the town and surrounding areas were ruled by Norman French lords after the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. During this time, Monmouth Castle was built, in 1067 under William Fitz-Osbern of Breteuil, Normandy, a significant castle-builder, holding commanding views over the surrounding area from a sound defensive site. Initially it would have been a motte and bailey castle, rebuilt in stone and later refortified and developed over time.

A Benedictine priory was also created in 1101, and it was traditionally there that Geoffrey of Monmouth - author of the Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain) - gained his education. A fortified bridge was built during the 13th century.

The castle came into the possession of the House of Lancaster through the marriage of John of Gaunt to Blanche, a Monmouth based heiress. John of Gaunt strengthened the castle, adding the Great Hall.

In 1387, Henry V was born in Monmouth Castle in the Queens Chamber within the gatehouse. The castle became a favourite residence of the House of Lancaster. Henry would win the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Many parts of Monmouth, including the town's main square, are named after this battle.

During the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr between 1400 and 1412 Monmouth Castle and walled town was not attacked by Welsh forces, however skirmishes and battles were fought in the area, such as at Campston Hill when Prince Henry's men followed a retreating force of Glyndwr's, capturing the Welsh standard and killing the standard bearer, Ellis ap Richard ap Howell ap Morgan Llwyd. Other battles took place at nearby at Craig-y-Dorth, at Grosmont and Usk, such as the Battle of Pwll Melyn. Grosmont town was razed and Abergavenny and Crickhowell attacked.

Post-Medieval times

In 1605, James I granted Monmouth a town charter by letters patent. The granting of the charter included the charge that the town "at all perpetual future times ... be and remain a town and borough of Peace and Quiet, to the example and terror of the wicked and reward of the good".

The layout of the town as depicted in Speede's map of 1610 would be easily recognisable to present day inhabitants, with the layout of the main axis from the castle via the main street, Monnow Street, to the bridge clearly visible. Monnow street is a typical market street, in being wide in the middle (for those selling) and narrow at each end (to help prevent the livestock escaping).

Four railways were built to serve Monmouth between 1857 and 1883 - all have now closed, the first in 1917, the last in 1959 (passengers), 1964 (goods), since when Monmouth has not had any rail services. One of the former lines has now been replaced by a major road, built along the same route. Monmouth's main station, known as Monmouth (Troy), was offices for a timber yard for many years, but the building has now been dismantled and re-erected at Winchcombe railway station on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.

Notable persons

Famous persons associated with Monmouth include:

Etymology

It is generally believed Monmouth is a contraction of 'Monnow-Mouth', and is pronounced by those who live in the area as 'Mon-muth', much like Bournemouth. Deeper into Wales the town is often pronounced as 'Mun-muth', in the same way as London is pronounced "Lun-dun" and is arguably derived from Mynwy (Monnow) and Mydd (Mouth) (c.f. myn-mydd).

References

External links

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