Launceston (Launs'ton or Lon'son), till 1838 the county town of Cornwall, on the Kensey, a tributary of the Tamar, 36 miles NW. of Plymouth and 50 W. of Exeter by branch-lines opened in 1865 and 1886. It has a fine granite church (1511); the circular Norman keep of a castle which figured in the Great Rebellion, and in which Fox the Quaker was imprisoned (1656); an old gateway; and a new town-hall (1887). A municipal borough since 1227, it returned two members till 1832, one till 1885. Pop. (1851) 3397 ; (1901) 4053, the boundary having been extended in 1889. See a work by A. F. Robbins (1885).
Launceston, the second city of Tasmania, is to the north of the island what Hobart, the capital, is to the south - the chief port of entry and mart of trade. It stands in a valley enclosed by hills at the junction of the Esk with the Tamar, which, after a course of 40 miles, enters Bass Strait at Port Dalrymple. There is a railway (133 miles) to Hobart. The principal buildings are the government-house, new post-office, theatre, town-hall, and mechanics' institute. Launceston was incorporated in 1858, and raised to a city in 1889. Pop. (1881) 12,753; (1901) 21,180.