Gloucester (Glos'ter), the capital of Gloucestershire, a parliamentary and county borough; is pleasantly situated on the left bank of the Severn, which here becomes tidal. It is 114 miles by rail (by road 106) WNW. of London, 38 NNE. of Bristol, and 55 SSW. of Birmingham. The Caergloui of the Britons, and Glevum of the Romans, whose cruciform ground-plan survives in the four main streets, Gleawanceastre or Gloucester was the seat successively of a nunnery (681), a monastery (821), and a great Benedictine abbey (1022). The last was suppressed in 1539 ; and its church two years later became the cathedral of the new see of Gloucester - a see conjoined with that of Bristol in 1836, but made independent again in 1897. Built between 1088 and 1498, and restored since 1853, the cathedral measures 420 feet by 144 across the transept, and though substantially Norman - crypt, chapter-house, and the interior of the nave are Norman - in general character is Perpendicular. Its pinnacled central tower (1457) rises 225 feet, and contains the ' Great Peter' bell, weighing 3 tons 2 cwt. Other noteworthy features are the lofty round piers of the nave, the east window (the largest in England - 72 by 38 feet) with its splendid stained glass of 1350, the shrine of King Osric of Northumbria, the exquisite canopied shrine of Edward II., the statue of Jenner, and a group by Flaxman, the 'whispering gallery' in the triforium, and the matchless fan-vaulted cloisters (1351-1412). A new episcopal palace was built in 1862; the picturesque deanery is the old prior's lodge ; and other buildings are the 12th-century West Gate, the New Inn (built about 1450 for pilgrims), the Tolsey or guildhall, the shire-hall (1816), the infirmary (1755), the county lunatic asylum (1823), the King's or College school, the Crypt grammar-school, the Blue-coat hospital, and a theological college. There is a cross (1863) to Hooper, and a statue (1880) of Raikes, the founder of Sunday schools; in the public park is a chalybeate spring, which was discovered in 1814. Gloucester's commerce is now more important than its manufactures - chemicals, soap, matches, railway plant, shipbuilding, etc. The Gloucester and Berkeley Canal, 17 miles long, and admitting vessels of 600 tons, was completed in 1827 at a cost of £500,000. The number of vessels entering the port has almost trebled during the last thirty years; the imports include corn and timber, the exports agricultural produce and the minerals of the Forest of Dean. Gloucester returns one member. Pop. (1841) 14,152 ; (1871, as extended) 31,844; (1901, as extended in 1900) 47,955. In the Great Rebellion (1643) Gloucester held out successfully against Charles I. till Essex relieved it. Among its natives have been (doubtfully) the chronicler Robert of Gloucester ; Taylor, the water-poet; Whitefield, Raikes, Wheatstone, and W. E. Henley. See works by Rudder (1781), Britton (1829), F. Bond (1848), Waller (1856), Masse (1898); also Murray's Western Cathedrals.
Gloucester, a port of entry of Massachusetts, on the south side of Cape Ann peninsula, 28 miles NNE. of Boston. It has an excellent harbour, and the cod and mackerel fisheries employ several thousand men ; but there are also a large trade in the granite quarried here, shipbuilding, and manufactures of anchors and railroad iron. Gloucester was incorporated as a town in 1642, and made a city in 1874. Pop. (1880) 19,329 ; (1900) 26,121.