Worcestershire, a W. county of England, bordering on the counties of Salop, Stafford, Warwick, Gloucester, and Hereford; area, 738 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 338,848. The surface is generally level or undulating, and there are some beautiful vales on the banks of the rivers, the chief of which are the Severn, Avon, Stour, and Teme. The soil is deep and fertile. Celebrated cider is made. Coal, salt, and iron are found. The chief towns are Worcester, the capital, Evesham, Droitwitch, Dudley, Kidderminster, and Bewdley. Dudley is the chief seat of the iron manufacture. Kidderminster is famous for its carpets, and Worcester for its porcelain.


See Pauperism, vol. xiii., p. 181.

Worm Grass

See Pinkroot.


See Voeontzoff.


See Wool, Manufactures of.


See Brewing, vol. iii., p. 259.

Writ (In Norman French And Law Latin Breve)

Writ (In Norman French And Law Latin Breve), a word used from very early times to designate any judicial process or precept, by which the sovereign, whether state or person, commands the proper executive officer, usually the sheriff, or in the courts of the United States the marshal, to do some act. It must be attested by a judge, usually the chief justice of the court to which it is returnable, who thus bears testimony to the fact that the command is lawful and issues from the sovereign; and this attestation of the court or judge is certified by the clerk of the court. Writs were formerly much more numerous than now. Those still in use may be divided into: 1, original writs, by which all suits at law are begun; 2, writs of mesne process, which issue in the intermediate proceedings; and 3, writs of execution by which the final judgment or decree of the court is carried into operation.

Writers Cramp

See Scrivenees' Palsy.


Wroxeter, a village of Shropshire, England, on the Severn, 6 m. S. E. of Shrewsbury; pop. in 1871, 529. It is celebrated as the site of a Roman city, the Uriconium of Antoninus and the Viriconium of Ptolemy. The remains show that the city wall was 3 m. in circumference. In 1752 several Roman inscriptions, urns, and silver coins of Vespasian and later emperors were discovered. Since 1859 a systematic excavation has unearthed buildings, pottery, coins, ornaments, and other relics, and skeletons have been found in the hypocausts, showing that when the city was sacked and burned by the Saxons some of the inhabitants took refuge there. (See Weight, Thomas).

Wych Hazel

See Witch Hazel.


THE 24th letter of the English alpha. bet. It represents in English, and generally in French also, the combined sounds of cs as in the word texture, and of gs as in the word example, except at the beginning of words, where it has the sound of z. Its form and position in the alphabet are apparently borrowed from those of the Greek x, while its sound is that of, the 14th letter of the Greek alphabet. In Italian it is not used, s and c being substituted for it, as in esatto, exact, eccellente, excellent. In Spanish it has at the end of syllables the same value as in English; at their beginning it is, like the Spanish j, a guttural, nearly equivalent to the German ch. In Portuguese it represents several sounds, but most frequently that of the English sh. In Russian the X represents the sound, as it retains the character, of the Greek x- As a Latin numeral, X stands for 10; the Greek £ stood for 60, and x for 600.