YARMOUTH, a small port at the western extremity of the Isle of Wight, England, on the shore of the Solent, where the estuary of the Yar debouches. Pop. (1901) 903. Steamers connect it with the London & South-Western railway at Lymington on the mainland, and it is also served by the Isle of Wight Central line. The church contains a fine monument to Admiral Sir Robert Holmes, who took New Amsterdam, afterwards New York, from the Dutch.
The place appears in the Domesday Survey of 1086 under the name of Ermud; it was then assessed at I hide 21 virgates, and held in parage by Aluric and Wislac, two of the king's thegns who had also held it under Edward the Confessor. The first charter was granted by Baldwin de Redvers in 1135, and was confirmed by Edward I., Henry VI., Edward IV. and Elizabeth, but the earliest charter of incorporation was from James I., instituting a governing body of a mayor and twelve chief burgesses, with power to choose a steward, town clerk and serjeant-at-mace. Under the Municipal Corporations Act of 1883 the corporation was abolished and the administration vested in a town trust of eleven members. Yarmouth and Newport returned members to parliament as one borough in 1295, but no further returns were made until 1584, from which date Yarmouth continued to send representatives until disfranchised by the Reform Act of 1832. The charter from James I. instituted a Wednesday market and a fair at the feast of St James, which were maintained until within recent years. In the 18th century Yarmouth was a notorious smuggling centre. In 1206 John embarked from Yarmouth for the expedition to La Rochelle. The town was burnt by the French in 1337 and in 1544 In the 16th century, at the time of the expectation of the Spanish invasion, a small fort was built called Carey's Sconce, the remains of which are to be seen at the W. of the town. In 1648 Charles I. was brought to Yarmouth on his way from Carisbrooke to Hurst Castle; and in 1671 Charles II. and his court were entertained at Yarmouth by Admiral Sir Robert Holmes, governor of the island.
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This page was last modified 29-SEP-18
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