Axminster, a town in the county of Devon, England, on the left bank of the Axe, 24 m. E. by N. of* Exeter; pop. 2,900. It is well known on account of its rich and beautiful carpets, woven in one piece, which rivalled those of Turkey and Persia; but the manufacture has now ceased. The town is mentioned in Domesday Book, and is believed to have existed from very early times. An action was fought near Axminster in the civil wars in 1644.
Ayamonte, a city of Spain, in the province and 24 m. W. of the city of Huelva, near the mouth of the Guadiana; pop. about 6,000. The town is strongly fortified, but difficult of access, owing to the bar at the mouth of the river. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the sardine, tunny, and cod fisheries.
Ayasalook, Or Aiasalnk. See Ephesus.
Ayesha, Or Aisha, the favorite wife of Mohammed, born at Medina in 611, died there about 678. She was the daughter of Abubekr, and was but nine years old when she was betrothed to the prophet, who cherished an especial regard for her, though she bore him no children. The 24th chapter of the Koran was written by the prophet expressly to silence those cynics who doubted Ayesha's purity. She survived Mohammed about 46 years, and had an active part in the contest against Ali, who took her prisoner with arms in her hands, but pardoned her. Her opinion was sought sometimes on difficult points in the Koran, and had the force of law with good Sunnis.
Ayicebron, Or Aveuccbrol. See Solomon BEN Gabirol.
Aylesbury, a market town, parish, and parliamentary borough of England, county seat of Buckinghamshire, 37 m. N. W. of London; pop. of the borough in 1871, 28,760. The town is very old and irregularly built, but well paved, and lighted with gas. Straw plaiting is extensively carried on, and ducks are raised in great numbers for the London market. The manufacture of lace, formerly an important industry, has diminished greatly of late years. There is one silk factory.
Aylom (anc. Aulon), a fortified town of Turkey, the best seaport of Albania, in the pa-shalic of Janina, on the gulf of Avlona; pop. about 8,000. The Christian part of its inhabitants are chiefly employed in commerce. The Turks manufacture woollen fabrics and arms.
Ayton, Or Aytonn Sir Robert, a Scottish poet, private secretary to the queens of James I. and Charles I., born at Kinaldie, Fifeshire, in 1570, died in the palace of Whitehall in March, 1638. When James VI. of Scotland became king of England, Ayton was rewarded for a very eulogistic Latin poem by knighthood, and several lucrative offices. His Latin poems, chiefly panegyrical, were published in his lifetime, and much esteemed. His English poems, principally preserved by tradition, were scarcely known until the Ballantyne club at Edinburgh printed a collection of them in their "Miscellany." Some years later a manuscript containing Ayton's poems was picked up at a sale, and the whole, edited by C. A. Pryor, were published in 1844. Burns greatly admired such of Ayton's poems as he had seen - among them the original of "Auld Lang Syne." Ayton was intimate with Ben Jonson and the leading literary men of his time.