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The Hampshire Portal

View over Portsmouth from Portsdown Hill
View over Portsmouth from Portsdown Hill
Hampshire outline map with UK.png

Hampshire (/ˈhæmpʃər/, /-ʃɪər/ (About this soundlisten); postal abbreviation Hants.) is a county on the southern coast of England. The county town is the city of Winchester. Its two largest cities, Southampton and Portsmouth, are administered separately as unitary authorities; the rest of the county is governed by Hampshire County Council.

First settled about 14,000 years ago, Hampshire's history dates to Roman Britain, when its chief town was Winchester. When the Romans left Britain, the area was infiltrated by tribes from Scandinavia and mainland Europe, principally in the river valleys. The county was recorded in the 11th century Domesday Book, divided into 44 hundreds. From the 12th century, the ports grew in importance, fuelled by trade with the continent, wool and cloth manufacture in the county, and the fishing industry, and a shipbuilding industry was established. By the 16th century, the population of Southampton had outstripped that of Winchester. By the mid-19th century, with the county's population at 219,210 (double that at the beginning of the century) in more than 86,000 dwellings, agriculture was the principal industry and 10 per cent of the county was still forest. Hampshire played a crucial military role in both World Wars. The Isle of Wight left the county to form its own in 1974.

The county's geography is varied, with upland to 286 metres (938 ft) and mostly south-flowing rivers. There are areas of downland and marsh, and two national parks: the New Forest, and part of the South Downs, which together cover 45 per cent of Hampshire.

Hampshire is one of the most affluent counties in the country, with an unemployment rate lower than the national average, and its economy derived from major companies, maritime, agriculture and tourism. Tourist attractions include many seaside resorts, the national parks and the Southampton Boat Show. The county is known as the home of writers Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, the childhood home of Florence Nightingale and the birthplace of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

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All Saints' Church with neighbouring shops (and East Street in between) in 1852

All Saints' Church was a church building in Southampton City Centre, located on the corner of the High Street and East Street, a short distance south of the Bargate.

The original church on the site was named All Hallows, and was constructed in medieval times on land granted by the monarch at the time, Henry II, to the monks of St. Denys Priory. This building fell into disrepair and in the 1790s a new church building was constructed and the church renamed to All Saints. The old church was demolished in 1791 and the new building was completed in 1795, following two acts of Parliament allowing trustees of the church to raise funds from rates on property and rents in the parish. The All Hallows catacombs were incorporated into the All Saints building, and a separate graveyard was established. The church was regularly attended by author Jane Austen while she lived in Southampton and painter Sir John Everett Millais was baptised there. A new organ was installed in the church in 1861 and a substantial refurbishment programme took place in 1872. All Saints was heavily damaged in the Southampton Blitz and was subsequently demolished.

The All Saints building was designed by architect Willey Reveley and featured an arched ceiling that spanned the whole sanctuary, some 90 feet (27 m) long and 60 feet (18 m) wide, without the use of any supporting pillars. The neoclassical frontage of the church was dominated by four columns supporting Grecian pilasters and a triangular pediment.

The catacombs were the resting place of a chancellor of the Exchequer and two notable Royal Navy officers among others. In August 1944 the remains of all 403 people buried in the catacombs were transferred to a communal grave elsewhere in Southampton. Read more...

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Official Royal Australian Navy portrait photograph of Frank Jenner

Frank Arthur "Bones" Jenner (surname often misspelled Genor; 2 November 1903 – 8 May 1977) was an Australian evangelist. His signature approach to evangelism was to ask people on George Street, Sydney, "If you died within 24 hours, where would you be in eternity? Heaven or hell?" Born and raised in England, he contracted African trypanosomiasis at the age of twelve and suffered from narcolepsy for the rest of his life. After some time, he joined the Royal Navy, but deserted in New York and joined the United States Navy. When he was 24, he deserted again while in Australia. He subsequently worked for the Royal Australian Navy until he bought his way out in 1937.

That year, Jenner encountered a group of men from the Glanton Exclusive Brethren who were engaging in open-air preaching, and he converted to Christianity. For 28 years, from his initial conversion until his debility from Parkinson's disease, Jenner engaged in personal evangelism, probably speaking with more than 100,000 people in total. One person who became a Christian after encountering Jenner's question was Noel Stanton, who went on to found the Jesus Army in 1969.

In 1952, the Reverend Francis Dixon of Lansdowne Baptist Church in Bournemouth, England, began hearing several testimonies from people who became Christians after Jenner accosted them on George Street, Sydney. The following year, Dixon met with Jenner in Australia and told him about the people he had met who had become Christians as a result of Jenner's evangelism, and Jenner, then fifty years old, cried because he had not previously known that even one of the people he had talked to had remained a Christian beyond their initial profession of faith.

Jenner died from colorectal cancer in 1977. While he was alive, very few people knew of him, but after he died, stories of his evangelistic activities circulated widely, and elements of some of these stories contradicted others. In 2000, Raymond Wilson published Jenner of George Street: Sydney's Soul-Winning Sailor in an attempt to tell the story of Jenner's life accurately. Nonetheless, conflicting accounts of Jenner's life have continued to propagate, including an account from Ché Ahn in which Jenner is referred to as "Mr. Genor". Read more...

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