Somerset eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 291 pages of information about Somerset.

Parry, William Edward, b. 1790, at Bath; Arctic explorer; knighted; d. 1855.

Prynne, William, b. 1600, at Swainswick; Presbyterian pamphleteer; wrote “Histriomastix” (directed against stage-plays); several times pilloried; d. 1669.

Pym, John, b. 1584, at Brymore, near Cannington; politician; one of the five members of the Commons whom Charles I. sought to arrest; d. 1643.

Quekett, John Thomas, b. 1815, at Langport; microscopist and histologist; conservator of the Hunterian Museum; d. 1861.

Speke, John Hanning, b. 1827, at Ashill; African explorer; discovered Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria Nyanza; accidentally shot, 1864.

Young, Thomas, b. 1773, at Milverton; scientist, and Egyptologist; described as the founder of physiological optics, and one of the first to interpret the hieroglyphics on the Rosetta Stone; d. 1829.


Church, Richard William, Rector of Whatley from 1852 to 1871.

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, resided at Clevedon (1795) and Nether Stowey (1796-98).

Ken, Thomas, Bishop of Bath and Wells from 1684 to 1691; wrote the morning and evening hymns, “Awake, my soul, and with the sun,” and “Glory to Thee, my God, this night.”

More, Hannah, resided for many years between 1786 and 1833 at Barley Wood, near Wrington, and did much to spread education and religion among the Mendip miners.

Smith, Sydney, the humorous Canon of St Paul’s, and one of the founders of the Edinburgh Review, held from 1829 till his death in 1845 the living of Combe Florey.

Wolsey, Thomas, the famous cardinal, held for a time the living of Limington.  Whilst here he is said to have been put in the stocks by Sir Amyas Poulett of Hinton St George for drinking too much cider.  When he became Chancellor of England he revenged himself on the knight, who was Treasurer of the Middle Temple, by forbidding him to quit London without his leave.

Wordsworth, William, resided in 1797 at Alfoxden, a house near Holford.

For distinguished persons who have resided at Bath, see p. 46.

  [5] Chiefly derived from the “Dictionary of National Biography.”


N.B.—­The following abbreviations are adopted:—­

  Norm. = Norman (1066-1190). 
  Trans. = Transitional (1145-1190). 
  E.E. = Early English (1190-1280). 
  Dec. = Decorated (1280-1377). 
  Perp. = Perpendicular (1377-1547).

[Proofreader’s Note:  Additional abbreviations found in the text are: 
  G.W.R. = Great Western Railway
  S.& D. = Somerset and Dorset Railway.]

Abbot’s Leigh, a village 4 m.  W. from Bristol.  The church, which stands at the bottom of a long lane, is, with the exception of the tower, entirely modern, the original fabric having been destroyed by fire in 1848.  Near the S. porch is the base of an old cross.  The churchyard commands a good view of the mouth of the Avon. Leigh Court is a modern residence.  A former mansion was one of the many hiding-places of Charles II. when a fugitive.

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Somerset from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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