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Cheshire

Cheshire, a lowland county in north-western England, resembles a hammock slung between the south-west Pennines (east) and Flint–Denbighshire uplands (west); the southerly morainic barrier is crossed by the midland gap, now followed by road, rail, and canal. These barriers halted the early flood of Anglo-Saxon invaders to fertile meadowlands and ancient woodlands. The Romans had established a legionary fortress at Deva (Chester), as a base for advances into Wales and west Brigantia, but place-names reflect subsequent traces of early Celtic church influence and Scandinavian invasions (Irish-Norse into Wirral, Danes into east). Initially part of Mercia and ‘shired’ (=sheared) in the 10th cent., the county boundaries conformed to roughly their present extent by the 12th cent. palatinate from 1237 when the earldom passed to the crown, though sparsely inhabited, Cheshire was not rich in castles despite its border position; large country houses, characteristically half-timbered, were its greater glory. Of crucial importance during the Civil War because of its strategic position, the county saw much fighting. The royalist defeat at Nantwich in 1644, followed by the surrender of Chester after siege in February 1646, effectively ended Charles I's hopes of help from Ireland.

Long known for its salt and famous for its cheese since the Middle Ages, Cheshire remained only moderately important agriculturally until specialization encouraged expansion of its dairying. The south and centre of the county have remained agricultural. Equal balance between rural and urban populations was affected by the revolutionary changes of the industrial period, with the extension of manufacturing industries and improving transport. Under the influence of the expanding cotton industry, Stockport (important for the manufacture of textile machinery) and other towns in north-east Cheshire grew rapidly; Birkenhead then developed around Cammell Laird's shipyard. As population quadrupled during the 19th cent., canals took coal and agricultural products to the labour forces, and salt all over England; railway networks radiating from Crewe and Chester were augmented by that growing around Manchester and a tunnel under the river Mersey, linking Birkenhead with Liverpool (1886). The emergence of the chemical industries, concentrated on Northwich (salt), Runcorn, and Port Sunlight (soap), lessened the dependence on textiles. Population has continued to increase, since much of northern Cheshire has become an overspill or dormitory area for nearby Lancashire urban centres. The county, once called ‘the seedplot of Gentility’, nevertheless remains determined to maintain its distinctions.

A. S. Hargreaves

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"Cheshire." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Cheshire (former county, England)

Cheshire (chĕsh´ər), county, W central England, on the N border with Wales. The county seat was Chester. Other principal population centers included Northwich, Crewe, and Macclesfield.

Cheshire was made a palatinate by William I and maintained some of its privileges as such until 1830. The numerous black-and-white-timbered manor houses attest to the county's prosperity in the 16th and 17th cent. Much later, the population of the county greatly increased with the industrialization and suburbanization of the Wirral peninsula and the part of Cheshire just S of Manchester.

In 1974, most of Cheshire became part of the new nonmetropolitan county of Cheshire; NW Cheshire (including Birkenhead) became part of the former metropolitan county of Merseyside, and NE Cheshire (including Stockport) became part of the former metropolitan county of Greater Manchester. In 1998, Halton and Warrington in N Cheshire became administratively independent of the county. Cheshire was abolished as an administrative county in 2009, but it remains a ceremonial county under the Lieutenancies Act, and its name survives in the unitary authorities of Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester.

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Cheshire

Cheshire County in nw England, bounded w by Wales and n by Greater Manchester and Merseyside. The county town is Chester. Cheshire is drained by the Mersey, Weaver and Dee rivers. It is an important industrial and dairy farming region, noted for its cheese. Industries: salt mining, chemicals, textiles, motor vehicles, oil refining. Area: 2331sq km (900sq mi). Pop. (1998 est.) 672,400.

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Cheshire (town, United States)

Cheshire, town (1990 pop. 25,684), New Haven co., S central Conn., in a farm area; settled 1695, inc. 1780. It is chiefly residential, with some light industry. The painter John Frederick Kensett was born in Cheshire.

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Cheshire

Chesh·ire / ˈcheshər/ (also Cheshire cheese) • n. a kind of firm crumbly cheese, originally made in Cheshire, England.

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Cheshire

Cheshirecassia, glacier •apraxia, dyspraxia •banksia • eclampsia •estancia, fancier, financier, Landseer •intarsia, mahseer, Marcia, tarsier •bartsia, bilharzia •anorexia, dyslexia •intelligentsia • dyspepsia •Dacia, fascia •Felicia, Galicia, indicia, Lycia, Mysia •asphyxia, elixir, ixia •dossier • nausea •Andalusia, Lucia •overseer • Mercia • Hampshire •Berkshire • Caernarvonshire •Cheshire • differentia • Breconshire •Devonshire • Ayrshire •Galatia, Hypatia, solatia •alopecia, godetia, Helvetia •Alicia, Leticia •Derbyshire • Berwickshire •Cambridgeshire • Warwickshire •Argyllshire • quassia • Shropshire •Yorkshire • Staffordshire •Hertfordshire • Bedfordshire •Herefordshire • Oxfordshire •Forfarshire • Lancashire •Lincolnshire • Monmouthshire •Buckinghamshire • Nottinghamshire •Northamptonshire • Leicestershire •Wigtownshire • Worcestershire

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