Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Lincoln

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LINCOLN, one of the four eastern maritime counties of England, lies between 52º 39' and 53º 43' N. lat., and 0º 22' E. and 0º 56' W. long. It is bounded on the N. by the Humber, E. by the German Ocean and the Wash, S.E. for 3 miles by Norfolk, S. by Cambridge and Northampton, S.W. by Rutland, W. by Leicestershire and Notts, and N.W. by Yorkshire. Its greatest length north and south, from Barton-on-Humber to Market Deeping, is 75 miles, its greatest breadth, from Wroot on the west to Saltfleet on the east, is 50 miles, its circuit about 260 miles. Its area is 1,767,962 acres, or about 2762 square miles, making it the second largest county in England.

Coast-Line. — The coast-line, about 110 miles in length, is low and marshy, and artificial banks for guarding against the inroads of the sea are to be found, in places, all along the coast. From Grimsby to Skegness traces of a submarine forest are visible; but while the sea is encroaching upon some parts of the coast it is receding from others, as shown by Holbeach, which is now 6 miles from the sea. Several thousand acres have been reclaimed from this part of the Wash, and round the mouth of the Nene on the south-east. The deep bay between the coasts of Lincolnshire and Norfolk, called the Wash, is full of dangerous sandbanks and silt; the navigable portion, off the Lincolnshire coast, is known as the Boston deeps. The rapidity of the tides in this inlet, and the lowness of its shores, which are generally indistinct on account of mist from a moderate offing, render this the most difficult portion of the navigation of the east coast of England.

Surface and Geology. — The surface of Lincolnshire is generally a large plain, some portions of which are below the level of the sea. The south-east parts are perfectly flat; and about one-third of the county consists of fens and marshes, intersected in all directions by artificial drains, called locally dykes, delphs, drains, becks, leams, and eaux. This flat surface is, however, broken by two ranges of calcareous hills running north and south through the county, and known as the Cliff and the Wolds. The former range, on the west, runs nearly due north from Grantham to Lincoln, and thence to the Humber, traversing the Heaths of Lincolnshire, which were formerly open moors, rabbit warrens, and sheep walks, but are now enclosed and brought into high cultivation. Parallel with this range on the east side of it runs the old Roman Ermine Street, sometimes called the Cliff Row Road. The Wolds form a ridge of bold hills extending from Spilsby to Barton-on-Humber for about 40 miles, with an average breadth of about 8 miles. Between the Wolds and the sea lie the Marshes, a level tract of rich alluvial soil extending from Barton-on-Humber to Wainfleet, varying in breadth from 5 to 10 miles. Between the Welland and the Nene in the south-east of the county are Gedney Marsh, Holbeach Marsh, Moulton Marsh, and Sutton Marsh.

The Fens, the soil of which has been formed partly by tidal action and partly by the decay of forests, occupy the Isle of Axholme on the north-west, the vale of Ancholme on the north, and most of the country south-east of Lincoln. The chief of these are the Holland, Wildmore, West, and East Fens draining into the Witham; and the Deeping, Bourn, Great Porsand, and Whaplode Fens draining into the Welland. Owing to the dead level of these districts there is perhaps more artificial drainage in Lincolnshire than in any other English county; and this part of the country resembles in many respects, especially in embankments and dykes, the continental Holland.

The drainage of the Fens appears to have early occupied attention. Shortly after the Norman Conquest Richard de Rulos, lord of Brunn, and chamberlain to William I., enclosed and drained a large part of Deeping Fen in so complete a manner that the work would not be disgraced by a comparison with the more scientific efforts of modern times. Excluding the Welland by a bank, he changed “deep lakes and impassable fens into most fruitful fields and pastures, and the most humid and moorish parts thereof into a garden of pleasure.”

The drainage of the remaining levels of Lincolnshire was chiefly commenced in the reigns of James I. and Charles I. The East, West, and Wildmore Fens were contracted for in the 7th Charles I. The earl of Lindsey undertook all the fens in Holland and Kesteven, north of the river Glen up to Lincoln, on the completion of which 24,000 acres were awarded to him. In the 13th of the same reign, the king declared himself the “Undertaker” of the Holland Fen, containing 22,000 acres, out of which he was to have 8000 for his share. Sir John Monson with other freeholders drained the Ancholme level in the north, and had 5827 acres assigned to them. In the same reign the Isle of Axholme was undertaken by Cornells Vermuijden and his Dutch and Flemish followers. These operations were interrupted during the civil wars, and many of the works destroyed by the “stilt-walkers,” so curiously described by Camden. Little was done towards restoring the works thus destroyed till the middle of the 18th century, when several townships, having a right of common over particular fens, began to join in procuring Acts of Parliament for their drainage, enclosure, and division. The Holland Fen was the first to be dealt with, about 1768; in spite of renewed and riotous opposition from the “stilt-walkers,” all the fen lands were successfully drained and enclosed, and on the completion of the East, West, and Wildmore Fens (about 60,000 acres) the race of “stilt-walkers” became extinct. The low lands adjoining the tidal reaches of the Trent and Humber, and part of those around the Wash, have been raised above the natural level, and enriched by the process of warping, which consists in letting the tide run over the land, and retaining it there a sufficient time to permit of the deposit of the sand and mud held in solution by the waters.

The general appearance of the county is very pleasing. The level tracts are richly cultivated; the hills and dales are interspersed with wood and lawn; and many spots on the Cliff or Wolds command extensive and charming views. The charms of the Fen districts are described as “a beauty as of the sea, of boundless expanse and freedom” (Kingsley). Not a few passages in the writings of Tennyson (a native of the county) bear the impress of the scenery and colourings of the Fens.

The geological formations, for the most part, extend in parallel belts, nearly in the line of the length of the county, from north to south, and succeed one another, in ascending order, from west to east.

1. The lowest is the Triassic or New Red Sandstone found in the Isle of Axholme and the valley of the Trent in the form of marls, sandstone, and gypsum. The presence of the peroxide of iron which tinges the beds red seems to have been prejudicial to animal life; therefore few fossils are found. Fish scales and teeth, with bones and footprints of the Labyrinthodon, are to be met with in the sandstone. The red clay is frequently dug for brick-making. The beds dip gently towards the east. At the junction between the Trias and Lias are series of beds termed Rhætics, which seem to mark a transition from one to the other. These beds are in part exposed in pits near Newark, and extend north by Gainsborough to where the Trent flows into the Humber, passing thence into Yorkshire. The characteristic shells are found at Lea, 2 miles south of Gainsborough, with a thin stratum of bone bed full of fish teeth and scales.

2. The Lower Lias comes next in order, with a valuable bed of ironstone now largely worked. This bed is about 27 feet in thickness, and crops out at Scunthorpe, where the workings are open and shallow. The Middle Lias, which enters the county near Woolsthorpe, is about 20 or 30 feet thick, and is very variable both in thickness and mineralogical character. The Upper Lias enters the county at Stainby, passing by Grantham and Lincoln. It forms the west slope of the Cliff range, and is thickest upon the highest hills. The Lias thus occupies a band about 8 or 10 miles in width in the south, narrowing until on the Humber it is about a mile wide.

3. To this succeed the three Oolite formations. The Lower Oolite, somewhat narrower than the Lias, extends from the boundary with Rutland due north past Lincoln to the vicinity of the Humber. The Middle Oolite, very narrow in the south near Wilsthorpe, widening gradually about Sleaford, and then suddenly contracting again south of Lincoln, sends out a narrow band south-east towards Spilsby. It then proceeds north from Lincoln with decreasing width to the vicinity of the Humber. Tho Upper Oolite and Kimmeridge clay start from the vicinity of Stamford, and after attaining their greatest width near Horncastle, run north-north-west to the Humber.

4. In the Cretaceous system of the Wolds, the Lower Greensand runs nearly parallel with the Upper Oolite past South Willingham to the Humber. The Upper Greensand and Gault run north-west from Irby, widening out as far as Kelstern on the east, and cross the Humber. The Chalk formation, about equal in breadth to the three preceding, extends from Burgh across the Humber.

5. All the rest of the county, comprising all its south-east portions between the Middle Oolite belt and the sea, all its north-east portion between the Chalk belt and the sea, and a narrow tract up the course of the Ancholme river, consists of alluvial deposits or of reclaimed marsh.

Minerals. — Gypsum is dug in the Isle of Axholme, whiting is made from the chalk near the shores of the Humber, and lime is made on the Wolds. Freestone is quarried around Ancaster, and good oolite building stone is quarried near Lincoln and other places. Ironstone is found and worked at Claxby near Caistor, and carried into Yorkshire to be smelted; it is also worked at Frodingham, 9 miles north-north-west of Brigg.

Rivers. — The Humber separates Lincolnshire from Yorkshire. Its ports on the Lincolnshire side are Barton, New Holland, and Grimsby. The Trent divides the Isle of Axholme from Lindsey, and falls into the Humber about 30 miles below Gainsborough. Like the Severn, it is noted for a tidal phenomenon called the “eager” or bore, which, at spring tides, rises to the height of from 6 to 8 feet. The Witham rises on the south-west border of the county, flows north past Grantham to Lincoln, and thence east and south-east to Boston, after a course of about 80 miles. This river was once noted for its pike. The Welland rises in north-west Northamptonshire, enters the county at Stamford, and, after receiving the Glen, flows through an artificial channel into the Fossdyke Wash. The Nene on the south-east has but a small portion of its course in Lincolnshire; it flows due north through an artificial outfall called the Wisbech Cut.

Canals. — The principal canals are the Stainforth and Keadby, connecting the Trent with the Yorkshire coal-field; the Louth Navigation, from Louth to Tetney Haven; the Sleaford Navigation, connecting Sleaford with the Witham; and the Grantham Canal, from that town to the Trent at Nottingham. The remainder are chiefly small rivers artificially deepened and embanked.

Climate. — The climate of the higher grounds is now noted for its salubrity, and meteorological observation does not justify the reputation for cold and damp often given to the county as a whole. The mean annual temperature of the Fens as given by ten years observation (1864-73) is 47º.9, lº.6 below that of Greenwich. The rainfall of the Fen district is very small as compared with other parts of England. While the average of the whole country was little over 30 inches, at Boston the average fall from 1830 to 1849 was 23.58 inches, and from 1850 to 1869 22.08. At Wisbech south-west winds prevail on an average six months in the year, and north-east winds barely two months.

Soil and Agriculture. — The soils vary considerably, according to the geological formations; ten or twelve different kinds may be found in going across the country from east to west. A good sandy loam is common in the Heath division; a sandy loam with chalk, or a flinty loam on chalk marl, abounds on portions of the Wolds; an argillaceous sand, merging into rich loam, lies on other portions of the Wolds; a black loam and a rich vegetable mould cover most of the Isle of Axholme on the north-west; a well-reclaimed marine marsh, a rich brown loam, and a stiff cold clay variously occupy the low tracts along the Humber, and between the north Wolds and the sea; a peat earth, a deep sandy loam, and a rich soapy blue clay occupy most of the east and south Fens; and an artificial soil, obtained by “warping,” occupies considerable low strips of land along the tidal reaches of the rivers. The wide grazing lands of Lincolnshire have long been famous, and the arable lands are specially adapted for the growth of wheat and beans. There is no generally recognized rotation of crops. The cattle raised are the Shorthorns and improved Lincolnshire breeds. The dairy, except in the vicinity of large towns, receives little attention. The sheep are chiefly of the Lincolnshire and large Leicestershire breeds, and go to the markets of Yorkshire and the metropolis. Lincolnshire has long been famous for a fine breed of horses both for the saddle and draught. Horse fairs are held every year at Horncastle and Lincoln. Large flocks of geese were formerly kept in the Fens, but their number has been diminished since the drainage of these parts. Where a large number of them were bred, nests were constructed for them one above another; they were daily taken down by the gooseherd, driven to the water, and then reinstated in their nests, without a single bird being misplaced. Decoys were once numerous in the undrained state of the Fens.

According to the agricultural returns for 1881, the total area under crops comprehended 1,498,676 acres, a percentage of 84.7 instead of 81.7 in 1870; corn crops had an area of 611,977 acres, a percentage of 34.6 instead of 34.9 in 1870; green crops, 238,719 acres, a percentage of 13.5 instead of 13.2 in 1870; rotation grasses, 167,252 acres, a percentage of 9.5 instead of 9.4; permanent pasture, 440,422 acres, a percentage of 24.9 instead of 23.0. The area under crops is thus more than three times the amount under pasturage. The area under woods in 1881 was 39,431 acres, and under orchards 1788, under market gardens 660, under nursery grounds 137. Of the corn crops the most largely grown is wheat, which in 1881 occupied 245,645 acres, — barley or bere, grown mostly on the Wolds and the Heath districts, coming next with 199,900 acres; then oats, 113,564 acres; lastly rye, 1300 acres. Beans occupied 41,073 acres, pease 10,495 acres. Of the green crops the most largely grown in 1881 were turnips and swedes, 142,300 acres, mostly on the Wolds and Lincoln Heath. Potatoes occupied 39,794 acres; mangold, 21,438; vetches and other green crops, except clover or grass, 18,615 acres; cabbage, kohl-rabi, and rape, 15,057 acres; carrots, 1515 acres. Onions are raised to a great extent in the Isle of Axholme, and under good management have been known to return £50 per acre. Flax occupied 353 acres, and hops 3. The bare fallow or uncropped arable land in 1881 was 39,950 acres. In 1870, 817 per cent. of the entire area of Lincolnshire was returned as cultivated, in 1879, 84.1 per cent., and in 1880, 84.5. The number of horses used solely for agriculture in 1881 was 49,656; mares and unbroken horses, 15,171 — total, 64,827. The number of cows and heifers in milk or in calf in 1881 was 53,499, and of other cattle 156,706. The number of sheep was 1,336,147, or 90.2 for every 100 acres, the average for Great Britain being 76.3, for England 62.4. Pigs in 1881 numbered 82,497.

The agriculture of Lincolnshire is only second to that of East Lothian, by which alone it is excelled in the use of fixed steam-engines upon its farmsteads. In the south part of the county small proprietors abound. According to the landowner's returns for 1872-73, the land in the county of Lincoln was divided among 30,497 owners, and its gross estimated rental was £3,173,825. Of the owners, 13,768, or more than 45 per cent., possessed less than 1 acre; the average value per acre was £1, 19s. 6½d. There were four proprietors possessing over 20,000 acres each: — Earl of Yarborough, 55,272 acres; Lady Willoughby de Eresby, 24,696 acres; Henry Chaplin, M. P., 23,370 acres; and Christopher Turner, 20,664 acres.

The following table gives a classification of holdings according to size as returned on the 25th June 1875 and the 4th June 1880: —

Class of holding

50 Acres and
under.

50 to 100 Acres.

100 to 300 Acres.

300 to 500 Acres.

500 to 1000 Acres.

1000 Acres and
upwards.

Total.

1875. 1880. 1875. 1880. 1875. 1880. 1875. 1880. 1875. 1880. 1875. 1880. 1875. 1880.
Number 19,706 20,203 2,181 2,196 2,888 2,826 817 833 370 388 28 36 25,990 26,542
Area in acres 221,837 224,826 156,085 155,559 511,042 500,575 313,136 318,612 239,468 249,538 33,879 45,516 1,475,447 1,494,626

Manufactures and Trade. — The manufactures are few and comparatively small. There are, however, some large agricultural machine and steam-engine factories in and around Lincoln; and similar works exist at Boston, Gainsborough, Grantham, and Louth. At Frodingham there are extensive iron-works. At Little Bytham a very hard brick, called the adamantine clinker, is made of the silicious clay that the Romans used for their manufactures of pottery. At Louth there is a carpet manufactory, also several tanneries and iron foundries. Bone crushing, leather working, the manufacture of oil-cake for cattle, rope making, and sack weaving are carried on in various places. The chief ports are Grimsby, Boston, Sutton Bridge, and Gainsborough, the first being by far the most important. For the fisheries of Grimsby see vol. ix. p. 249.

Railways. — The first line opened in the county was the Midland Railway to Lincoln, in August 1846. The Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway, first opened in 1848-49, goes from Lincoln north-east to Market Rasen, and thence, by way of Barnetby and Ulceby junctions, to Grimsby and Cleethorpes. A second branch runs north-east from Gainsborough to New Holland and Barton on the Humber, and a third from Barnetby due west to the Yorkshire coal-fields. The Great Northern main line runs through the south-west of the county past Grantham to Newark, and throws off several branches. A loop line connecting Spalding, Boston, and Lincoln with the direct line from London to York was opened in 1848. The East Lincolnshire Railway (leased to the Great Northern) runs from Boston to Grimsby.

Administration. — The primary divisions of Lincolnshire are three trithings or ridings. The north division constitutes the Parts of Lindsey, the south-west the Parts of Kesteven, and the south-east the Parts of Holland. Each of these divisions had before the Norman Conquest its own trithing gerefa or reeve, and to this day each has its separate magistrates, quarter sessions, clerk of the peace and treasurer, but they are all under one lord-lieutenant and one sheriff, and subject to the court of assize held at Lincoln. These “Parts” are again subdivided into wapeutakes, sokes, and hundreds. The trithings do not in any way coincide with parliamentary divisions. The Parts of Lindsey comprise more than half the county, and contain seventeen wapentakes. The Parts of Kesteven, exclusive of the soke and borough of Grantham and the borough of Stamford, comprise nine wapentakes. The Parts of Holland comprise three wapentakes only. Before the passing of the Reform Act of 1832 Lincolnshire sent twelve members to parliament — two for the county, two for the city of Lincoln, and two each for the boroughs of Great Grimsby, Boston, Grantham, and Stamford. After the passing of that Act the county returned four members, and Grimsby lost one. In 1867 Stamford also lost a member, and the representation of the county, newly divided into Mid, North, and South Lincolnshire, was increased to six, each new division returning two members. Lincolnshire comprises one city, Lincoln (population 37,312), which is also a municipal and parliamentary borough; four other municipal and parliamentary boroughs — Boston (18,867), Grantham (17,345), Great Grimsby (45,373), Stamford, partly in Northampton (8995); and one municipal borough — Louth (10,690).

The county belongs to the midland circuit. Besides the winter and summer assizes held at Lincoln, there are spring assizes held at the same place for Lincoln and Notts, and autumn assizes at Nottingham for Notts and Lincoln. Quarter sessions for the Parts of Lindsey are held at Lincoln and Spilsby, for the Parts of Kesteven at Bourn and Sleaford, for the Parts of Holland at Boston and Spalding. The county is divided into seventeen county court districts, many of which coincide with the unions. For the convenience of rating there are eighteen poor law unions; five of these, however, include eighty parishes in the adjacent counties. Ecclesitically the county, with that of Nottingham, forms the diocese of Lincoln, which is divided into the three archdeaconries of Lincoln, Stow, and Nottingham, the latter place giving title to a suffragan bishop without a see.

Education. — The educational resources of the county in 1881 embraced one theological and one training college, both at Lincoln, and fourteen endowed grammar schools at the following places: — Alford (founded 1565), Boston (1554), Bourn (1636), Caistor (1630), Donington (1701), Gainsborough (1589), Grantham (1528), Horncastle (1571), Lincoln (1583), Louth (1551), Moulton (1561), Sleaford (1604), Spalding (1588), Spilsby (1550).

Population. — In 1881 the population of the county was 469,994 (235,014 males and 234,980 females); in 1861 it had been 412,246, and 436,599 in 1871. The figures for nine of the principal towns, in addition to the boroughs already given, are as follows: — Bourn (7121), Caistor (8793), Gainsborough (10,964), Glandford Brigg (3107), Holbeach (5190), Horncastle (4814), Sleaford (4967), Spalding (9260), and Spilsby (7082).

History and Antiquities. — It is highly probable that the territory now forming Lincolnshire was first settled by a tribe of the Belgæ, who, however, at the time of the invasion by Cæsar, had become a mixed race with the real Britons. This territory was unaffected by Cæsar's first invasion, and even after the reduction of Britain by Claudius the Fenland remained intact. The county was conquered about 70 A.D., and formed part of the province of Flavia Cæsariensis. The tribes which occupied Lincolnshire, according to Ptolemy, were the Coritani, who had Lindum and Ratæ (Leicester) for their towns. The date of the introduction of Christianity is uncertain, but we learn from Bede (Hist. Eccles., ii. 16) that Adelphius of Colonia Londinensium, which has been mistaken for London, attended the council of Arles (314). Under the Saxon kingdom of Mercia, Lindsey, which probably extended nearly or quite over the modern county of Lincoln, appears to have been a dependent state. Under Edwin of Northumbria, the conqueror of Mercia, Christianity was reintroduced by Paulinus of York, and Bede tells us that Blæcca, the governor of Lincoln, was, with his household, among the first converts (628).

Early in 870 the Danes or Northmen landed at Humberstone near Grimsby, and ravaged Lindsey and the famous monastery of Bardney on the Withain. Lincolnshire passed permanently into the hands of the Danes about 877, and was included within the boundary of the “Danelage” of Danish jurisdiction as settled by the treaty of 878. Probably the greatest changes consequent upon the Danish invasion are, first, the supplanting of the Anglo-Saxon names of places by those of the Danish termination ending in by, which are numerous, and the substitution of the wapentake for the earlier division of the hundred; the ancient British laws and those of the Danes were otherwise not dissimilar. In time the two populations became amalgamated and came under the dominion of the Anglo-Saxon crown. The subsequent history of the county under the Normans is associated more or less with the city of Lincoln. In the civil war between Stephen and the empress Matilda a battle was fought near Lincoln in 1141. In 1174 the Isle of Axholme Avas the scene of the struggle between Roger de Mowbray, one of the adherents of Prince Henry, and the forces sent against him by his father Henry II. The issue was decided by the Lincolnshire men in favour of the king. In 1216 occurred King John's march across the county, when he lost all his baggage and jewels in the Fossdyke Wash on his way to Swineshead Abbey. In the reign of Edward IV. Sir Robert Wells, at the head of 30,000 Lincolnshire men, was defeated at Losecoat Field near Stamford, March 1470. At the suppression of the monasteries a rebellion broke out at Louth headed by Makerel, the last prior of the abbey of Barlings Oxney, October 1536. The prior was hanged, and the shire for the trouble it gave to King Henry VIII. was designated in a state paper as “one of the most brute and beestalie of the whole realm.” During the civil wars the county was a scene of numerous contests, the most famous of which was the battle at Grantham in 1643, won by Cromwell over the royalists. The advantage that was taken by the Fenmen to destroy the efforts made to drain and enclose the remaining levels of Lincolnshire during this stormy period has been already noticed. Riots broke out at intervals, and were continued down to the middle of the 18th century.

Remains of British camps are found at Barrow, Folkingham, Ingoldsby, Revesby, and Well. Traces of Roman camps are found at Alkborough, Caistor, Gainsborough, Gedney Hill near Holbeach, Honington near Grantham, South Ormsby, and Yarborough. The Roman roads are nearly perfect, — Ermine Street, on the east side of the Cliff hills, and the Fossway running south west from Lincoln. The crown of these remains is without doubt the famous Roman arch called the Newport Gate at Lincoln. Tesselated pavements have been found at Denton, Horkstow, Lincoln, Scampton, and Winterton. Coins of the emperors Nero, Vespasian, and Julian have been found at Lincoln and Ancaster, and two Roman altars to the west of Stow.

There are remains of feudal castles at Boston, Lincoln, Sleaford, Somerton, Tattershall, and Torksey. The seats worthy of note (chiefly modern) are Appleby Hall, Aswarby Hall, Belton House, Blankney Hall, Brocklesby, Bulby House, Burghley House (near Stamford), Burton Hall, Casewick House, Denton Hall, Easton Hall, Hackthorn Hall, Haverholm Priory, Lea Hall, Leadenham House, Manby Hall, Newton House, Nocton Hall, Normanby Hall, Norton Place, Panton Hall, Riby Grove, Somerby Park, Stourton, Syston Park, Thonock House, Thurlby Hall, Uffington, and Willingham by Stow.

At the time of the suppression of the monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII. there were upwards of one hundred religious houses; and among the Fens rose some of the finest abbeys held by the Benedictines. The Gilbertines were a purely English order which took its rise in Lincolnshire, the canons following the Austin rule, the nuns and lay brothers that of the Cistercians. They generally lived in separate houses, but formed a community having a common church in which the sexes were divided by a longitudinal wall. These houses were at Alvingham, Catley, Holland Brigg, Lincoln, before the gate of which was erected the first Eleanor Cross, Newstead in Lindsey, Semperingham, the chief house of the order, founded by St Gilbert of Gaunt in 1139, Stamford (a college for students), and Welles. There were nunneries of the order at Haverholm, Nun Ormsby, and Tunstal.

The following are a few of the most famous abbeys. (1) Barlings Oxney (Premonstratensian), founded 1154, for fourteen canons. The tower, Decorated, with arcading pierced with windows, and the east wall of the south wing remain. (2) The Benedictine Mitred Abbey of Crowland, founded 716, refounded in 948. The foundations of the new church in 1114 were laid on massive piles of oak. lart of the west front was repaired in 1255-81, with beautiful Early English sculpture of the legend of St Guthlac and saints; this, with the Perpendicular north-west tower 1460-70 remain. (3) Swineshead Abbey (Carthusian), colonized from Furness in 1134 by eleven monks. (4) Thornton-upon-Humber Abbey (Black Canons), founded in 1139. There remain a fragment of the south wing of the transept, two sides of the decagonal chapter-house (1282), and the beautiful west gate-house, Early Perpendicular (1382-88), with an oriel window on the east.

The general beauty of the parish churches of Lincolnshire is proverbial, but it is incorrect to suppose that they are equally good in every part of the county. In the Parts of Lindsey, though there are some of considerable beauty and interest, the churches can scarcely be considered above the average; several though small and mean present curious early features, particularly the well-known tower of St Peter, Barton-on-Humber, supposed to be of the Saxon period, and those of Crowle, Heapham, and Stow. Those of Grimsby and Wainfleet are cruciform.

In the Parts of Kesteven the churches are not only elegant but well finished, built of excellent stone which abounds at Ancaster and near Sleaford. The church of St Andrew Heckington is the best example of Middle Pointed architecture in the county; it is famed for its Easter sepulchre and fine sedilia. The largest and finest church in this division is doubtless that of St Wolfran at Grantham, 200 by 87 feet, with three collateral naves, and steeple, 271 feet high, of the 14th century.

It is principally in the Parts of Holland that we are to look for the finest churches in the county; they are not to be equalled by those of any other district in the kingdom, which is the more remarkable as the district is comprised wholly of marsh land, and is without stone of any kind. It is highly probable that the churches of the south part of this district owe their origin to the munificence of the abbeys of Crowland and Spalding. The earliest specimen of Norman architecture is that of Long Sutton, which has been called the counterpart of Christ Church, Oxford. St Mary and Nicholas at Spalding, 157 feet by 95, has the uncommon feature of a double aisle on each side of the nave, as well as a transept. The glory of the division of Holland is beyond question the church of St Botolph, Boston.

EB9 Lincoln - plan.jpg
Plan of Lincoln.

Lincoln, the capital of the county of that name, is a city and county in itself, and is also a municipal and parliamentary borough. It is picturesquely situated on the summit and south slope of the limestone ridge of the Cliff range of hills which rises from the north bank of the river Witham, at its confluence with the Foss Dyke, to an altitude of 200 feet above the banks of the river. It is 132 miles north-west from London by road, and 138 miles by rail; 53º 15' N. lat., 32' W. long.

Lincoln is one of the most ancient and interesting cities in England. The ancient British town occupied the crown of the hill beyond the Newport or North Gate of the subsequent Roman town, the ancient earthworks and ditches of which are nearly conterminous with the present boundaries of the parish of St John. The Roman town consisted of two parallelograms of unequal length, the first of which extended west from the Newport gate to a point a little west of the castle keep. The second parallelogram extended clue south from this point down the hill towards the Witham as far as Newland, and thence in a direction due east as far as Broad Street. Returning thence due north, it joined the south-east corner of the first and oldest parallelogram in what was afterwards known as the Minster yard, and terminated its east side upon its junction with the north wall in a line with the Newport gate. This is the oldest part of the town, and is named “above hill.” After the departure of the Romans, the city walls were extended still further in a south direction across the Witham as far as the great bar gate, the south entrance to the High Street of the city; the junction of these walls with the later Roman one was effected immediately behind Broad Street. These three divisions comprise the boundaries of the municipal and parliamentary boroughs, which are conterminous. The “above hill” portion of the city is not well built, but consists of narrow irregular streets, some of which are too steep to admit of being ascended by carriages. The south portion, which is named “below hill,” is much more commodious, and contains the principal shops and inns, with many elegant buildings and private residences. Here also are the Great Northern and Midland Railway stations.

The glory of Lincoln is its noble minster. As a study to the architect and antiquary this stands unrivalled, not only as the earliest purely Gothic building in Europe, but as containing within its compass every variety of style from the simple massive Norman of the west front, to the Late Decorated of the east portion. The building material is the oolite and calcareous stone of Lincoln Heath and Haydor, which has the peculiarity of becoming hardened on the surface when tooled. In former days the cathedral had three spires, all of wood or leaded timber. The spire on the central tower was blown down in 1547. Those on the two western towers, 101 feet high, were removed in 1808; good representations of them will be found in the well-known views by Hollar and Buck. The ground plan of the first church, adopted from that of Rouen, was laid by Bishop Remigius in 1086, and the church was consecrated four days after his death, May 6, 1092; the central west front and the font are of this period. The approximate dates of the remaining portions of the fabric may be assigned as follows: — the three west portals and the Norman portion of the west towers above the screen to the top of the third story, about 1148; the nave, its aisles, and the north and south chapels of the west end, completed 1220; the Early English portion of the west front, and the upper parts of the north and south wings, with pinnacle turrets, 1225; the west porch of the main transept, 1220; the crossing, and lower part of the central tower, 1235; the upper part, 1307; the west door of the choir aisles, 1240. The south porch of the presbytery dates 1256. The east window, the finest of its style in England, 57 by 34 feet, dates 1258-88. The choir screens date 1280, the Easter sepulchre 1290. The gables and upper parts of the main transept, the parapets of the south side of the nave, south wing, and west front, and the screen in the south aisle, all date from 1225. The upper parts of the west towers date from 1365; their upper stories, the west windows and parapet of the galilee porch, and the chapel screens in the transept, 1450. The vaulted lantern of the central tower is 127 feet above the floor. The main transept has two fine rose windows; the one on the north called the Dean's Eye is 30 feet in diameter. The Bishop's Eye to the south is very fine Decorated (c. 1350). The rood screen is mainly c. 1340.[1] The other buildings in the close that call for notice are the chapter-house of ten sides, 60 feet diameter, 42 feet high, with a fine vestibule of the se,me height built in 1225, and the library, 104 by 17 feet, which contains a little museum. Among the most famous bishops were St Hugh, who died 1200; Grosseteste, died 1253; Flemrning, died 1431, founder of Lincoln College, Oxford; Smith, died 1521, founder of Brasenose, Oxford; Wake; and Gibson. Every stall has produced a prelate or cardinal; among those who have been capitular members may be named Walter Mapes, Henry of Huntingdon, Polydore Vergil, W. Grocyn, W. Outram, George Herbert, S. Pegge, W. Paley, Cartwright, inventor of the power-loom, and O. Manning the topographer. Lincoln, the enormous diocese of which in early times extended from the Thames to the Humber, was one of the thirteen cathedrals of the old foundation served by secular canons.

History. — The name of Lincoln is a hybrid of Celtic and Latin. It appears in the Ravenna geographer in the form of Lindum Colonia, and in Bede as Lindocolina. Lindum is purely Celtic, and exactly describes the early British settlement as the “hill fort by the pool.” Lindum Colonia was founded on the site of what is now the castle and cathedral, about 100 A.D. It was besieged by Saxons in 518, and became one of the chief cities of Mercia. After being frequently ravaged by the Danes, Lincoln was recovered by Edmund II. in 1016. Lincoln Castle was built by William I. in 1086, which occasioned the removal of one hundred and sixty-six houses. Great and destructive fires occurred in 1110, 1123, and 1141. King Stephen besieged the empress Matilda in the castle in 1140. Henry II. was crowned there in the followingyear, as was King Stephen at Christmas 1147; David, king of Scots, did homage to King John, 1201. Lincoln was captured by King John in 1216, and invested by the barons in 1217. The battle of Lincoln Fair took place in 1218. The city was sacked in 1266. John of Gaunt, earl of Lincoln, married there in 1396 Lady Swinford, Chaucer's sister-in-law; in virtue of his title he held the castle, but built himself a winter house in the lower part of the city. A parliament of Henry VI. met at Lincoln in 1466. The town was stormed by Earl Manchester on behalf of the Parliament in 1644.

Antiquities. — One of the most perfect specimens of genuine Roman architecture in England is the Newport or North Gate of Lincoln. It is sunk fully 11 feet below the present level of the street, and has two smaller arches on each side, the one to the west being concealed by an adjoining house. The Roman Ermine Street passes through this gate, and runs north from it for 11 or 12 miles as straight as an arrow. Many Roman coins, &c., have been found in the immediate vicinity of the gate. The other gates within the city worthy of notice are the Exchequer Gate, a line specimen of 13th century work, one of the bosses of the north arch having upon it a carved representation of the crucifixion, Fottergate and Stonebow at the top of High Street, over which is the guildhall. The castle shows traces of Norman work, the foundations of which consisted of massive beams of wood and grouting. The hall of the old episcopal palace is 90 feet by 60 wide, and had two rows of grey marble pillars. The modern palace is at Riseholme, 3 miles north of Lincoln. In the cloister garden are preserved a tesselated pavement and the sepulchral slab of a Roman soldier; the splendidly carved stone coffin lid of Bishop Remigius found there has recently been removed into the cathedral. The ancient conduits of St Mary le Wigford, picturesque Gothic, and “the Greyfriar's goodly conduit” in the High Street, may also be noticed. The St Mary's Guild near St Peters at Gowts is a fine specimen of Norman architecture; another fine relic of the domestic architecture of this period is the Jews' House, the mouldings of which are identical with those of the west portals of the cathedral (c. 1148). Near this is Dunestall, where the little Lincoln boy afterwards known as Little St Hugh was crucified by Jews in August 1255. There were formerly three small priories, five friaries, and four hospitals in or near Lincoln. The preponderance of friaries over priories of monks is explained by the fact that the cathedral was served by secular canons. The famous Bishop Grosseteste was the devoted patron of the friars, particularly the Franciscans, who were always in their day the town missionaries.

There were fifty-two churches in the city before the Reformation, all the names of which are preserved. Fourteen remain or have been rebuilt. There are fifteen benefices in the city, consisting of three rectories and twelve vicarages. There are fourteen Nonconformist places of worship.

The charities comprise the new county hospital, general dispensary, lunatic asylum, penitent females' home, and institute for nurses. The educational institutions comprise a theological college (formerly old county hospital), grammar school (formerly Greyfriars), blue coat school, training college for mistresses (Newport), St Martin's parochial schools, British schools (in Newland), Wesleyan school, and a school of art. Of other institutions may be named the Lincolnshire agricultural society, permanent library, mechanics institute, county newsroom (above hill), city newsroom, and choral society. The remaining public buildings are the new corn exchange and masonic hall, county assembly-room and theatre in High Street. The public park is near the cattle market, and the racecourse beyond Newland. Population in 1811, 7000; in 1871, 26,766; in 1881, 37,312.

For the county and city of Lincoln see Wm. White, History of Lincolnshire, 1872; Sir C. H. J. Anderson, Lincoln Pocket Guide, 1880; J. P. Faunthorpe, Geography of Lincolnshire, 1872; Prof. W. Bright, Early English Church History, 1878; Sir wm. Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum, 1673-82; J. Gelkie, Prehistoric Europe, 1881; S. H. Miller and S. B. J. Skertchly, The Fenland Past and Present, 1878; Rev. M. C. Walcott, Memorials of Lincoln, 1866, and English Minsters, 1879, 2 vols. (C. H. C.)


  1. The dimensions of the cathedral internally are — nave, 252 × 79.6 × 80 feet; choir, 158 × 82 × 72 feet; angels choir, which includes presbytery and lady chapel, 166 × 44 × 72 feet; main transept, 220 × 63 × 74 feet; choir transept, 166 × 44 × 72 feet. Externally the west front is 173 feet broad by 130 feet; the west towers are 206 feet high; the central tower, from which booms the new Great Tom of Lincoln (5 tons 8 cwts.), is 262 feet high.


VOL.XIV. LINCOLN PLATE VIII
EB9 Lincoln - map.jpg
J. Bartholomew. Edinr.
ENCYLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, NINTH EDITION.