Hampshire, Hants, or, officially, the County of Southampton, a maritime county in the south Of England, bounded by Dorset, Wilts, Berks, Surrey, Sussex, and the English Channel. Including the Isle of Wight, it has an area of 1621 sq. m., or 1,037,764 acres, 700,000 of which are generally under culture. Pop. (1801) 219,290; (1841) 354,682; (1861) 481,815; (1881) 593,465; (1901) 797,634. The surface is diversified by the North and South Downs, the loftiest points being Sidown Hill (940 feet), and, on the Berkshire border, Inkpen Beacon (1011 feet), the highest chalk-down in England. The south-western portion of the county, almost wholly detached from the main portion by Southampton Water, is occupied mainly by the New Forest (q.v.). In the south-east and east there are remains of the forests of Bere, Woolmer, and Waltham Chace. The principal rivers are the Test, Itchen, and Avon, all flowing southward; the last named forms the western boundary of the New Forest. The county, exclusive of the parliamentary boroughs of Portsmouth, Southampton, Winchester, and Christchurch, and the Isle of Wight, returns five members for its five divisions - North or Basingstoke, West or Andover, East or Petersfield, South or Fareham, and New Forest. Hampshire is wholly in the diocese of Winchester. Towns other than the four boroughs are Alder-shot, Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Bishops Waltham, Bournemouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Lymington, Petersfield, Ringwood, Romsey, and Titchfield. Among Hampshire's worthies have been Jane Austen, Walter Besant, Dickens, William Gilpin, Keble, Kingsley, George Meredith, Archbishop Warham, Gilbert White, William of Wykeham, and Edward Young. See works by Woodward (3 vols. 1861-69) and T. W. Shore (1892).