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Carlisle in 1836

CARLISLE, an ancient city, parliamentary and municipal borough, and port, in Cumberland, 260 miles N.W. by N. from London direct distance, or 302 by the road. Carlisle is supposed to be of British origin, and there is reason to conclude that it was a Roman station, the Luguvallum of the Itinerary of Antoninus. Its modern name is said to be derived from the word Luel, a Saxon corruption of Luguvallum, to which the British word Caer is prefixed. It appears to have been first fortified about the time, probably, of Agricola. The Danes destroyed it about the end of the ninth century ; and it remained desolate till after the Norman conquest. Its restoration, and the erection of the the castle, are attributed to William Rufus. The subsequent history of Carlisle, down to the junction of the two kingdoms, is intimately connected with the wars between England and Scotland, and the history of the border feuds and forays. Carlisle was taken by David I king of Scots, and besieged afterwards by William, called the Lion, who did not succeed in his attempt. It suffered repeated damage by fire during subsequent sieges. It was occupied on different occasions by Edward I, who, in 1306-7, held a Parliament here, at which was passed the act printed amongst the statutes of the realm under the title of ‘the Statute of Carlisle.’ Mary, Queen of Scotland, stopped in her flight after the battle of Langside at Carlisle, from which period commenced her long imprisonment in England. It suffered severe privations during the civil wars, having declared for Charles I. In 1745 the garrison surrendered to Charles Stuart, the mayor and corporation presenting him with the keys of the city on their knees, and afterwards proclaiming him King of Great Britain. On the city being re-taken by Duke of Cumberland, the principal actors on this occasion suffered, some of them death, others severities little short of it.

Carlisle, as an important border-town, was early endowed with peculiar privileges : but down to the year 1745, no trade or manufacture was carried on in it of the smallest importance. Being a fortified city, and a place of retreat to the surrounding inhabitants, it was, at different periods in its early history, very populous ; but after the junction of England and Scotland, under James I, it sunk into decay, from which it has only begun to recover since the commencement of the present century. The population in 1763 was about 4,158 ; in 1780, 6,299 ; in 1801, 10,221 ; in 1831, the total population amounted to 19,069.

Carlisle is divided into the ancient city and the suburbs, which make together the city popularly so called. The ancient city was formerly the parliamentary borough ; but under the Reform Act, a large portion of the suburbs was included. The number of voters on the registry at the last genera1 election (1834) was 946. The suburbs contain a larger population than the ancient city, and about an equal number of houses. Under the Municipal Reform Act the town is divided into five wards, with ten aldermen and thirty councillors. Carlisle has returned two members to Parliament since the time of Edward I.

The principal business of Carlisle consists in its manufactures of cotton goods and ginghams, and in a coasting trade. Some traffic arises also from its lying on the great western road from London to Edinburgh and Glasgow. In 1823 a ship canal was completed from Carlisle to Bowness, on the Solway Frith, a distance of eleven miles, by means of which vessels of 80 to 100 tons can come up to the town. There is now frequent communication between Carlisle and Liverpool by steam-vessels. Considerable expectations of an increase of traffic are entertained from a rail-road now in progress between Newcastle and Carlisle, which was opened between Newcastle and Blenkinsop, in July, 1816. The following is a statement of the amount of tonnage of the port of Carlisle in three different years :-






















The increase of late years in Carlisle has been considerable; the new streets are comparatively wide and handsome, and the roads approaching the place are excellent. The town is very healthy. The mean quantity of rain at Carlisle for 24 years, 1801-1824, was 30.571 inches. The mean height of the barometer for 24 years, 29.839 inches. The mean temperature for ditto, 47.453 degrees Fahrenheit.

Carlisle is pleasantly situated on an eminence, nearly inclosed by three streams. The largest of these, the Eden, runs past the city in a N.W. direction into the Solway Frith ; the other two, the Caldew and the Pettrel, fall into the Eden on the W. and E. sides of the city respectively. A handsome elliptical bridge of five arches, and of white freestone, was erected over the Eden in 1812, at an expense of £70,000. Two stone bridges, of one arch each, are thrown over the Caldew, and one over the Pettrel of three arches, about a mile from the town.

Before the Reformation, there were several ecclesiastical establishments in the city. In the year 1133 Henry I erected Carlisle into a see, giving its bishop jurisdiction over a large portion of Cumberland and Westmoreland. In the third Report of the Church Commissioners (May, 1836) amongst other alterations suggested respecting the see, it is proposed that. the bishopric of Sodor and Man should be united to that of Carlisle. There is but one archdeaconry in the see.

Dr. Paley was archdeacon of Carlisle, and published some of his most popular works while residing in the city. He is buried in the cathedral, where a monument has been recently erected to his memory. The cathedral is an ancient building of red freestone, displaying specimens of different styles of architecture, some parts of which are assigned to the Saxon times. In addition to the cathedral and St. Mary’s, there are three other churches, - St. Cuthbert’s, Trinity, and Christ Church.

An earldom of Carlisle was created shortly after the Norman conquest. It has become three times extinct, by surrender, attainder, and death without issue. The present earldom was revived in 1661, and is held by a branch of the Howard family

The castle of Carlisle lies between the city and the Eden, on a slight eminence overlooking the river. It is still maintained as a garrison-fortress. Scarcely any portion of the old walls and bulwarks of the ancient city now remains : a great part of the city walls, and the English, Scotch, and Irish gates, were recently removed to promote the health and convenience of the inhabitants. There is no city gaol. The county gaol and county house of correction are within the city ; they were finished in 1827.

There is an endowed grammar-school in Carlisle, founded by Henry VIII ; the number of other schools, as given in the Education Returns for 1835, is 47.

The city also contains a number of charities and benevolent institutions : among which are an Infirmary, lately erected, a Fever Hospital, a Dispensary, and a Humane Society. There are also two literary institutions.

The market-days are Wednesdays and Saturdays. There are fairs held in August and September, persons attending which were anciently exempted from all arrest.