Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, called by the fathers of the church caput jejuni, the beginning of the fast, or dies cine-rum, ash day, in allusion to the custom of sprinkling the head with ashes. In the Roman Catholic church, on this day the priest marks the sign of the cross with ashes on the foreheads of the people, repeating the words, Memento, homo, quod pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris: "Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust shalt return."


Ashford, a town of Kent, England, 45 m. S. E. of London; pop. 5,500. It has damask manufactories, and the population is rapidly increasing in consequence of the favorable situation of the town at the junction of three railroad lines.


Ashland. I. A N. E. county of Ohio; area, 340 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 21,933. It is crossed by the Obio and Pennsylvania and the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne, and Chicago railroads. Its surface is hilly and undulating, and the soil is of unsurpassed fertility. In 1870 the county produced 467,684 bushels of wheat, 537,798 of Indian corn, 551,245 of oats, 117,416 of potatoes, 33,674 tons of hay, 344,187 lbs. of wool, 668,473 of butter, 418,011 of cheese, 733,855 of flax, and 110,742 of maple sugar. Capital, Ashland. II. A new N. W. county of Wisconsin, bounded N. by Lake Superior, and separated on the N. E. from Michigan by the Montreal river; area, about 1,500 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 221. The county is drained in its southern portion by affluents of the Chippewa river. Iron ore is found in a ridge called Iron mountain, which is 1,200 feet high.


Ashley, a S. E. county of Arkansas, bordering on Louisiana, bounded W. by the Sabine and Washita rivers, and intersected in the west by Bayou Bartholomew; area, 870 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 8,042, of whom 3,764 were colored. The surface is undulating and highly fertile. In 1870 the county produced 201,905 bushels of Indian corn, 34,269 of sweet potatoes, and 7,856 bales of cotton. Capital, Fountain Hill.


Ashtabula, a N E. county of Ohio, bordering on Lake Erie and. Pennsylvania; area, 420 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 32,517. The surface is level, the soil clayey and adapted to grazing purposes. It is drained by Grand and Conne-aut rivers, and traversed by two railroads. In 1870 the county produced 190,191 bushels of wheat, 557,632 of oats, 382,556 of Indian corn, 363,957 of potatoes, 58,678 tons of hay, 197,-464 lbs. of wool, 1,134,877 of butter, 1,193,089 of cheese, and 146,306 of maple sugar. Capital, Jefferson.

Ashton Oxenden

Ashton Oxenden, an English bishop, born at Broome Park, near Canterbury, in 1808. He was educated at University college, London, and for many years was rector of Pluckly-with-Pevington in Kent. In 1864 he became honorary canon of Canterbury cathedral, and in 1869 was chosen bishop of Montreal, and as such primate and metropolitan of Canada; his jurisdiction covers eight bishoprics, Quebec, Toronto, Ontario, Huron, Nova Scotia, Frede-ricton, Newfoundland, and Rupert's Land. His publications are very numerous, being mostly of a practical character; among them are: "A Plain History of the Christian Church " (1847); "Barham Tracts" (1859); "The Pastoral Office" (1859); "Baptism and the Lord's Supper simply explained " (1861); " Decision " (1868); and " Lectures on the Gospels " (2 vols., 1869).