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Colchester(kōl`chĭstər, –chĕs'tər), city (1991 pop. 87,476) and district, Essex, SE England, on the Colne River. The city is a grain and cattle market. The oyster fisheries of the Colne are important; an annual event is the October oyster feast. Other industries are flour milling, malting, and the making of boilers, gas engines, shoes, clothing, and farm machinery. Colchester was one of the great cities of pre-Roman Britain, the capital of the ruler Cunobelin (Shakespeare's Cymbeline). It became an important Roman colony and was the particular object of attack (A.D. 61) by BoadiceaBoadicea
, d. A.D. 61, British queen of the Iceni (of Norfolk), properly called Boudicca. Her husband, King Prasutagus, died in A.D. 59 or 60, leaving half his property to the Roman emperor and half to his daughters.
..... Click the link for more information. . To the Anglo-Saxons the place was known as Colneceaster. The witenagemotwitenagemot
[Old Eng.,=meeting of counselors], a session of the counselors (the witan) of a king in Anglo-Saxon England. Such a body existed in each of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
..... Click the link for more information. met there in 931. During the English civil warEnglish civil war,
1642–48, the conflict between King Charles I of England and a large body of his subjects, generally called the "parliamentarians," that culminated in the defeat and execution of the king and the establishment of a republican commonwealth.
..... Click the link for more information. , the town was taken (1648) after a long siege by parliamentarians under Baron Fairfax of Cameron. Of interest are the preserved Roman walls and the massive Norman castle, part of which houses a museum of Roman antiquities. Colchester has a military base.
a city in Great Britain, on the Colne River in Essex. Population, 72,600 (1968).
Colchester has machine building, printing, and sewn-goods industries. It has the remains of a pre-Roman settlement (belonging to the Celtic tribe of the Trinovantes) and of Camulodunum, a city dating from Roman times. Under the Roman emperor Claudius, Colchester was turned into a settlement for Roman veterans and enjoyed the rights of a municipality (Colonia Victricensis). In A.D. 61, during the rebellion of Boadicea, the city was almost destroyed by fire. However, it was soon restored and became one of the main cities of Roman Britain. Excavations carried out since the 1880’s have uncovered the largest complex of antiquities found anywhere in Britain. A Norman castle, church buildings, and the grain exchange are among the medieval monuments that have been preserved.