Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/407

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
391
SOMERSWORTH—SOMERVILLE

are the most remarkable. Athelney, founded by Alfred on the spot where he found shelter, has utterly perished. Montacute and Dunster fill a place in both ecclesiastical and military history. The castle of Robert of Mortain, the Conqueror’s brother, was built on the peaked hill (mons acutus) of Leodgaresburh, where the holy cross of Waltham was found. The priory arose at the foot. Dunster, one of the few inhabited castles in England, stands on a hill crowned by an English mound. Besides these there are also remains at Nunney and Castle Cary. In ecclesiastical architecture the two great churches of Wells and Glastonbury supply a great study of the development of the Early English style out of the Norman. But the individual architectural interest of the county lies in its great parish churches, chiefly in the Perpendicular style, which are especially noted for their magnificent towers. They are so numerous that it is not easy to select examples, but besides those at Bath, Taunton and Glastonbury, the churches at Bridgwater, Cheddar, Crewkerne, Dunster, Ilminster, Kingsbury, Leigh-on-Mendip, Martock and Yeovil may be specially indicated. Of earlier work there is little Norman, and hardly any pre-Conquest, but there is a characteristic local style in some of the smaller buildings of the 14th century. The earlier churches were often cruciform, and sometimes with side towers. In domestic remains no district is richer, owing to the abundance of good stone. Clevedon Court is a very fine inhabited manor-house of the 14th century, and the houses, great and small, of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries are very numerous. Indeed, the style has never quite gone out, as the gable and the mullioned window have lingered on to this day. Barrington Court in the 16th century and Montacute House in the 17th are specially fine examples. There are also some very fine barns, as at Glastonbury, Wells and Pilton.

See J. Collinson, History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset (Bath, 1791) ; W. Phelps, History and Antiquities of Somerset (London, 1839); R. W. Eyton, Domesday Studies: Analysis of the Somerset Survey (London, 1880); F. T. Elworthy, West Somerset Word-Book (Dialect Society, London, 1886); Roger, Myths and Worthies of Somerset (London, 1887); C. R. B. Barrett, Somerset Highways, Byways and Waterways (London, 1894); C. Walters, Bygone Somerset (London, 1897); Victoria County History: Somerset; also various publications by the Somerset Record Society, the Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, and Somerset Notes and Queries.


SOMERSWORTH, a city of Strafford county, New Hampshire, U.S.A., on the Salmon Falls river, 5 m. N. of Dover, and opposite the town of Berwick, Maine, industrially a part of Somersworth. Pop. (1890) 6207; (1900) 7023 (3166 foreign-born); (1910) 6704. Somersworth is served by the Boston & Maine railroad, and is connected by electric line with Rochester and Dover. The river furnishes good water power, and the city’s chief interests are in the manufacture of cotton and woollen goods, and boots and shoes. It has a public library. In the south-west part is Central Park, lying along the shore of Willand’s Pond. The municipality owns and operates the waterworks. A settlement was established here in the latter part of the 17th century, when the territory was a part of Dover. In 1729 the parish of Summersworth was organized; in 1754 this parish was erected into the town of Somersworth; in 1821 the first company was formed to develop the water-power and establish cotton and woollen mills; in 1849 the southern half of the town was set-off and incorporated as Rollinsford; and in 1893 Somersworth was chartered as a city.

See W. D. Knapp, Somersworth, an Historical Sketch (1894).


SOMERVILE, WILLIAM (1675–1742), English poet, eldest son of a country gentleman, was born at Edstone, Worcestershire, on the 2nd of September 1675. He was educated at Winchester College and at New College, Oxford. After his father’s death in 1705 he lived on his estate, devoting himself especially to field sports, which supplied the subjects of his best-known poems. His publications were The Two Springs (1725), a fable; Occasional Poems. . . (1727) ; The Chase (1735) Hobbinol, or the Rural Games (1740), a burlesque poem; and Field Sports (1742), a poem on hawking. Somervile died on the 19th of July 1742.

His Chase passed through many editions. It was illustrated by Bewick (1796), by Stothard (1800), and by Hugh Thomson (1896), with a preface by R. F. Sharp.


SOMERVILLE, MARY (1780–1872), British scientific writer, was the daughter of Admiral Sir William George Fairfax, and was born on the 26th of December 1780 in the manse of Jedburgh, the house of her mother’s sister, wife of Dr Thomas Somerville (1741–1830), author of My Own Life and Times, whose son was her second husband. She received a rather desultory education, and mastered algebra and Euclid in secret after she had left school, and without any extraneous help. In 1804 she married her cousin, Captain Samuel Greig, who died in 1806; and in 1812 she married another cousin, Dr William Somerville (1771–1860), inspector of the army medical board, who encouraged and greatly aided her in the study of the physical sciences. After her marriage she made the acquaintance of the most eminent scientific men of the time, among whom her talents had attracted attention before she had acquired general fame, Laplace paying her the compliment of stating that she was the only woman who understood his works. Having been requested by Lord Brougham to translate for the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge the Mécanique Céleste of Laplace, she greatly popularized its form, and its publication in 1831, under the title of The Mechanism of the Heavens, at once made her famous. Her other works are the Connexion of the Physical Sciences (1834), Physical Geography (1848), and Molecular and Microscopic Science (1869). Much of the popularity of her writings was due to their clear and crisp style and the underlying enthusiasm for her subject which pervaded them. In 1835 she received a pension of £300 from government. She died at Naples on the 28th of November 1872. In the following year there appeared her Personal Recollections, consisting of reminiscences written during her old age, and of great interest both for what they reveal of her own character and life and the glimpses they afford of the literary and scientific society of bygone times.


SOMERVILLE, a city of Middlesex county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., on the Mystic river, adjoining Boston (Charlestown), Cambridge, Medford and Arlington. Pop. (1890), 40,152; (1900), 61,643, of whom 17,232 were foreign-born; (1910 census), 77,236. Of the foreign-born in 1900 6400 were English-Canadians, 5542 were Irish, 1321 were English, 610 were French-Canadians, 590 were Italians, 576 were Scotch and 556 were Swedish. Somerville is served by the Boston & Maine railroad and by suburban electric railway lines. It is a residential and manufacturing suburb of Boston, of which, industrially, it forms a part; it is included in the metropolitan water, sewer and park districts, and in the Boston postal district. It comprises an irregular (land) area of 4.06 sq. m. in the Mystic Valley and along a range of hills or ridges, of which the largest are Prospect, Spring, Winter, Central and Clarendon hills. Among its public buildings and institutions are a fine public library (1872) with 80,000 volumes in 1908, the city hall, a state armoury, Somerville Hospital, the city poor house, a Roman Catholic home for the aged, and two high schools (English and classical). Among the parks are Broadway Park, Central Hill Park, Prospect Hill Park, Lincoln Park, and Nathan Tufts Park. The total value of the city’s factory product in 1905 was $22,955,197, an increase of 14.4 per cent, over that of 1900; in 1890 the product value was only $7,307,522. The establishments include slaughtering and meat-packing houses, whose product is by far the most valuable in the city, bleacheries, finishing factories, glassworks, machine shops, tube works, jewelry factories, and a desk factory. There are also lumber and coal yards. Blue slate-stone used for building purposes is quarried.

Somerville, originally a part of Charlestown, was settled in 1630. Six hundred acres, the “Ten Hills Farm,” were granted here in 1631 to John Winthrop, who built and launched here in that year the “Blessing of the Bay,” the first ship built in Massachusetts. For more than a century it was a sparsely settled farming community, the only article of manufacture