1902 Encyclopedia > 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 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 ; 53a 15' N. lat., 32' W. long.

LINCOLN-1 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 due 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 Hi," 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 ealcareons stone of Lincoln Heath and Haydor, which has the peculiarity of becoming hardened on the surface when tooled. In former clays 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 180S ; 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 clays 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 Inv 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 114S ; 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 31 feet, dates 1258 - S8. 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., 1150. 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 r,nri enranr, ;Å°.Å° mn;n1,r 131n 1 Thn nthnr 1-milrlinonx 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 same 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 ; Flemming, 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 0. 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 11. 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. HenryIL 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 Swinton], 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 fine specimen of 13th century work, one of the bosses of the north arch having upon it a carved representation of the crucifixion, Pottergate 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 Risehohne, 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 Grevfriar'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 Grey-friars), 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. 11. J. Anderson, Lincoln Poel-et Guide, 1880 ; J. P. Faunthmpe, Geography of Lincolnshire, 1872 ; Prof. W. Bright, Early English Church History, 1978; sir Win. Dugdale, Monastteon Anglicanum, 1673-82; J. Gelkie, Prehistoric Europe, 1881 ; S. II. Miller and S. B. J. Skertehly, The fentand Past and Present, 1878 ; Rev. M. C. Walcott, Memorials of Lincoln, 1866, and English Minsters, 1879, 2 vole. (C. II. C.)

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