Exeter, a city, port, and parliamentary borough of England, capital of Devonshire, and a county in itself, on the Exe, 10 m. from its mouth in the English channel, and 159 m. W. S. W. of London'; pop. in 1871, 34,646. It is 194 m. from London by the Great Western railway, and is the point at which railways centre from South Devon, North Devon, Salisbury, and Exmouth. The Exe is here crossed by a handsome stone bridge leading to the suburb of St. Thomas. The city, standing on a steep acclivity, has two wide principal streets, which cross each other at right angles near its centre. It is generally well built, has many fine squares and terraces and ancient houses, and in its suburbs and environs are numerous elegant villas.

It was formerly strongly fortified, but its exterior wall is now in a ruinous state, and a part of the rampart has been converted into a promenade. On an eminence N. E. of the town is • Rougemont castle, anciently the residence of the West Saxon kings, repaired by William the Conqueror. Exeter is the seat of a bishopric founded about 1050. Its cathedral, a magnificent building of cruciform shape, was begun about the year 1100. Its entire length is 408 ft; it has two Norman towers 130 ft. in height, ten chapels or oratories, and a chapter house. One of the towers contains an immense bell weighing 12,500 lbs., and the other has a chime of 11 bells. Among the numerous schools is a free grammar school founded by the citizens in the reign of Charles I., in which the sons of freemen are instructed gratuitously, and which has 18 exhibitions to either of the universities. Exeter has a theatre and various literary and charitable institutions. Its commerce is much less now than formerly, but it has some internal trade, and is an important corn and provision market.

The river Exe is navigable for vessels of large burden to Top-sham, 4 m. below Exeter; and by means of a canal built in 1563, subsequently much enlarged, and one of the oldest in England, vessels of 400 tons burden can come up to the quay near the walls of the town. Serges and other woollen goods were formerly manufactured in this city and the neighboring towns to a large extent, and shipped to the continent and the East Indies; but the introduction of machinery and the lower price of fuel in the north of England have very much diminished this trade.-This city is of unknown antiquity, and is supposed to be the Caer-Ise of the Britons, and the Isea Damnoniorum of the Romans. It was the capital of the West Saxons, and in the reign of Alfred in 876 it was surprised by the Danes. It was besieged and taken byWilliam the Conqueror. In the civil war it espoused the royal cause, was taken by the parliamentarians, was retaken by Prince Maurice, became the headquarters of the royalists in the west and the residence of Charles's queen, and in 1646 surrendered after a blockade to Fairfax.

Exeter Cathedral.

Exeter Cathedral.