Halifax, a thriving market-town, municipal, parliamentary, and county borough, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, is situated on the river Hebble, a feeder of the Calder, on the slope of an eminence, and is almost wholly surrounded by hills. It is 43 miles SW. of York, and 194 miles NNW. of London. Its name is probably derived from the four ways travelled by pilgrims converging towards the parish church, called Holy Ways; fax (as in Carfax) being Norman-French for ' forks' or ways. Its ample supply of water-power and of coal, its facilities for transport both by water and by leading lines of railway, and its position in proximity to many of the great towns of the north of England, contribute materially to its manufacturing and commercial importance, which dates from the settlement here of Flemish artisans in the reign of Henry VII. The parish church of St John, restored in 1879, is a fine specimen of Perpendicular Gothic; All Souls (1861), by Sir G. G. Scott, is one of the best and most elaborate of all his churches. The Congregational 'square Church' was erected in 1855. The town-hall, opened by the Prince of Wales in 1863, is a very ornate Renaissance edifice, from designs by Sir Charles Barry; the new post-office was opened in 1887. Another important building is the Piece Hall, erected in 1779 for the sale of manufactured goods; it was presented to the corporation in 1868, and is now used as a Market Hall. Besides the Heath grammar-school (1585), at which Sterne was educated, and the Blue-coat School, there is the Crossley and Porter Orphan Home and School, built by the Crossley brothers, with an endowment of £135,894. Halifax has five parks - Savile, Shrogg's, Claremont, Akroyd, with free library, museum, and art-gallery, and the People's Park. The last, the gift of the late Sir F. Crossley in 1857, was laid out by Sir Joseph Paxton. There are two theatres (one dating from 1888). The Public Libraries Act was early adopted ; there are also a Mechanics' Institute and the Dean Clough Institute erected by the Crossleys for their work-people. The tramways are on the overhead electric system, and the electric light is in use. There is a strong co-operative society. The worsted and carpet trades are the staple industries. Crossley's carpet-works, the largest in the world, employ more than 5000 hands. Other manufactured goods are worsted coatings, fancy dress goods, damasks, and merinos. Cotton fabrics and wool-cards are manufactured, while dyeing and hosiery trades are on an extensive scale. There is also some trade in corn ; iron, chemicals, boots, and mill-machinery are manufactured, and freestone is quarried. The water-works, which are very complete, have cost the corporation about £950,000. Pop. (1851) 33,582 ; (1871) 65,510; (1881) 73,633 ; (1901) 104,936, the boundary having been extended in 1900. The borough since 1832 has returned two members. See Watson's History of Halifax (1775 ; ed. by Leyland, 1869).
Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia and the principal Atlantic seaport of Canada, is situated in 44° 39' N. lat. and 63° 37' W. long. It is the nearest to Great Britain of any city on the American continent, being but 2178 miles from Cape Clear. The magnificent sheet of water that constitutes its harbour is easily accessible at all seasons of the year, at all times of the tide, by-ships of any tonnage ; and is capable of affording safe anchorage to the whole British navy. Its selection as the American rendezvous of D'An-ville's ill-starred expedition against the British American colonies in 1746, led to a demand on their part that a place of such strategic importance should no longer be unoccupied by British troops. The demand was ably supported by Lord Halifax, and accordingly an expedition was fitted out in 1749, which founded the city and gave to it the name of its English patron. It at once became the capital of the province, and the principal naval and military station of Great Britain in America, and, strongly fortified, was garrisoned by British troops till 1905, when Canada assumed full responsibility for its defence. The dockyard is one of the finest in the British colonies. The town is built on the western side of the harbour, and extends along it about 2 1/2 miles. It is the residence of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Halifax and of the Anglican bishop of Nova Scotia. It is also the seat of Dalhousie University. It is the eastern or Atlantic terminus of the Intercolonial Railway of Canada and of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and has lines of steamers connecting it with London, Liverpool, New York, Boston, etc. It has also the largest graving-dock (580 by 102 feet) in America, constructed in 1880-89, at a cost of $1,000,000, and capable of receiving the largest ship afloat. The proximity of Halifax to the coalfields of Pictou and Cape Breton and its extensive wharf accommodation make it a great coaling-station. Pop. (1881) 36,100; (1901) 40,787. Dartmouth (pop. 6000), on the harbour's opposite shore, is practically a suburb of Halifax.