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Beverley

Beverley. Yorkshire town, in the marshlands of the Hull valley. John, bishop of York, founded or restored a monastery there, where he was buried (721); he was later canonized as St John of Beverley (1037). The monastery was succeeded by a collegiate church or minster, which became a major pilgrimage centre thanks to John's shrine. A town developed north of the church, and its rights of sanctuary included the whole town. The archbishops of York were lords of the town, and in the 1120s Thurstan granted its burgesses the same liberties as York. The minster, rebuilt c.1220–1400, surpasses in both size and beauty some English cathedrals. The town flourished not only as an ecclesiastical centre, but through textiles, and by 1377 was one of the twelve largest English towns. Its trade and industry decayed in the 15th and 16th cents., and the suppression of the college (1548) further impoverished the town. In the 17th and 18th cents. prosperity returned as Beverley became effectively the administrative and social capital of east Yorkshire. In the 19th cent. it became a byword for electoral corruption, and was disfranchised in 1870 after a scandalous election, in which the novelist Trollope unsuccessfully contested the seat.

David M. Palliser

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Beverley

Beverley, town (1991 pop. 16,433), East Riding of Yorkshire, NE England. Beverley is primarily a market town with some shipbuilding and such light industries as the manufacture of railroad and automobile accessories and leather. The famous large minster, or monastery church (13th cent.), was attached to a monastery founded by St. John of Beverley (d. 721) and transformed by Athelstan into a college of canons. It contains the tomb of the Percy family and the ancient "chair of peace," which gave sanctuary from the laws of man. (The sanctuary, a privilege granted by Athelstan, applied in a 1-mi (1.6-km) radius around the minster; it was ended at the time of the Reformation.) The town gate is of the early 15th cent., and St. Mary's Church dates from the 14th cent.

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Beverley

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