views updated May 23 2018

Worcester. Cathedral city on the river Severn, and county town of Worcestershire. A modest Roman town, it was reoccupied by a cathedral (680) and later by a fortified town (burh) c.890. From the 14th to the 17th cents. it flourished as a river port and cloth-making city. Its peak national ranking came in the 17th cent. (twelfth largest English town in 1662), but it suffered severely for supporting the royalists in the civil wars, especially after the battle of Worcester. In the 18th and 19th cents. it prospered more modestly through porcelain and glove manufactures. The cathedral is a fine 13th/14th-cent. building housing the tombs of King John and Prince Arthur; the city retains much of its historic fabric despite appalling central redevelopment in the 1960s (‘the sack of Worcester’).

David M. Palliser


views updated May 29 2018

Worcester County town of Worcestershire, on the River Severn, w central England. Worcester was founded in c.680. Its 13th–14th century cathedral is the burial place of King John. King Charles II's defeat by Oliver Cromwell at Worcester (1651) was the final battle in the English Civil War. Industries: Royal Worcester porcelain (manufactured here since 1751) and Worcester sauce. Pop. (1996) 82,661.


views updated May 21 2018

Worcester a cathedral city in western England, where in 1651 during the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell defeated a Scottish army under Charles II.

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Worcester (England)

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