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city and unitary authority (2011 pop. 205,056), S England, on Spithead Channel. The city includes Portsea (naval station), Southsea (residential district and resort), and the old town of Portsmouth proper. Since Henry VII had stone fortifications and docks built there, Portsmouth city has almost continuously been Britain's foremost naval base. There are also aircraft-engineering and other industries, and tourism is important. The Cathedral of St. Thomas of Canterbury dates partly from the 12th cent. Southsea Castle was built under Henry VIII. The 1st duke of Buckingham was assassinated in Buckingham House (then the Spotted Dog Inn) in Portsmouth in 1628. The house in which Charles DickensDickens, Charles,
1812–70, English author, b. Portsmouth, one of the world's most popular, prolific, and skilled novelists. Early Life and Works

The son of a naval clerk, Dickens spent his early childhood in London and in Chatham.
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 was born has been converted into a museum, and the H.M.S. Victory, Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar in 1805, and other warships and museums are part of the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Charles II married Catherine of Braganza in Portsmouth, and George MeredithMeredith, George,
1828–1909, English novelist and poet. One of the great English novelists, Meredith wrote complex, often comic yet highly cerebral works that contain striking psychological character studies.
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 and Walter BesantBesant, Sir Walter
, 1836–1901, English novelist and humanitarian, grad. Christ's College, Cambridge, 1859. He taught at the Royal College of Mauritius from 1861 to 1867.
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 were also born there. An 18th-century boys' school and a teacher-training college are in the city.


1 City (1990 pop. 25,925), Rockingham co., SE N.H., a port of entry with a good harbor and a state-owned port terminal at the mouth of the Piscataqua River opposite Kittery, Maine; inc. 1653. A regional trade center, it has a fishing industry and seafood processing. Manufactures include steel, glass, and paper products; machinery; and topsoil. Tourism is important, and the city's population nearly doubles in the summer. Portsmouth is the oldest community in New Hampshire (settled c.1623). It was a point for exporting lumber and fish and served as colonial capital until the American Revolution. Shipbuilding was an early and important industry.

The city gives its name to the great Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (est. 1800), but geographically it is in Kittery, on two islands (now joined together) in the Piscataqua River. It is also a significant submarine base and repair yard. The Treaty of Portsmouth, ending the Russo-Japanese WarRusso-Japanese War,
1904–5, imperialistic conflict that grew out of the rival designs of Russia and Japan on Manchuria and Korea. Russian failure to withdraw from Manchuria and Russian penetration into N Korea were countered by Japanese attempts to negotiate a division of
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, was signed (1905) at the base. The former Pease Air Force Base is now an airport.

Many old houses are in "Strawbery Banke," a restored colonial community on the original seaport; they include the Richard Jackson house (1664), the Warner house (1716), and the John Paul Jones house (1758), where the naval hero once lived. The first newspaper in the state, the New Hampshire Gazette, was published there.

2 City (1990 pop. 22,676), seat of Scioto co., S Ohio, in a hilly area on the Ohio River at the mouth of the Scioto, across from South Portsmouth, Ky.; inc. 1814. Once a steel and shoe manufacturing center, current manufactures include chemicals, plastics, and bricks. Completion of the Ohio Canal (1832), linking Portsmouth with Cleveland, and the discovery of iron ore in the area started the city's industrial growth. Of interest are the 1810 house; Mound Park, with ancient Native American burial grounds; floodwall murals of historic scenes; a civic center; and traces of the old Ohio River Canal. Shawnee State Univ. and a state prison are there. Nearby are a uranium enrichment facility, Shawnee State Park, and Wayne National Forest.

3 Town (1990 pop. 16,857), Newport co., SE R.I., on N Rhode, or Aquidneck, Island and four smaller islands; founded by William Coddington, John Clarke, Anne Hutchinson, and others in 1638, inc. 1644. It is mainly residential with some light industry and also serves as a summer resort. The Native Americans called this area Pocasset. The second white settlement in the state, it was an early fishing, shipping, and shipbuilding center, with some farming. The first general assembly of the new colony met at Portsmouth in 1647. The British general Richard Prescott was captured (1777) at his own headquarters in the town by American raiders, and the battle of Rhode Island was fought there (1778). Coal mining was important in the 19th cent. The Mt. Hope Bridge (1929) and the Sakonnet Bridge (1956) connect the town to BristolBristol.
1 Industrial city (1990 pop. 60,640), Hartford co., central Conn., on the Pequabuck River; settled 1727, inc. 1785. Its clock-making industry dates from 1790.
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 and TivertonTiverton
, rural town (1990 pop. 14,312), Newport co., SE R.I., between the Sakonnet River and the Mass. line; settled 1680, included in Massachusetts until 1746, inc. 1747. Tiverton is a summer resort center in a farm area, and there are fisheries.
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, respectively. The Newport Car Museum is there.

4 City (1990 pop. 103,907), SE Va., on the Elizabeth River and Hampton Roads, adjacent to and opposite Norfolk, with which it is connected by two bridges and two tunnels; founded 1752 on the site of a Native American village, inc. 1858. The city, one of the ports of Hampton RoadsHampton Roads,
roadstead, 4 mi (6.4 km) long and 40 ft (12.2 m) deep, SE Va., through which the waters of the James, Nansemond, and Elizabeth rivers pass into Chesapeake Bay.
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, forms with Norfolk one of the largest operating naval installations in the world. In Portsmouth itself are one of the world's largest shipyards; a huge naval hospital; a naval ammunitions dump; and the headquarters of the Fifth U.S. Coast Guard district. Portsmouth is also a busy commercial seaport and a rail center, with railroad shops and terminals. Industries include food processing, tool and die manufacture, machining, and scrap metal processing. Furniture, chemicals, clothing, electronic equipment, plastic products, and machines are also manufactured.

A private shipyard was built there in 1767; it served as a British base in the American Revolution, after which it became a U.S. base (the U.S.S. Chesapeake was built there). In the Civil War the navy yard was burned and evacuated by the Federals in 1861 and then retaken in 1862. During the brief Confederate occupation, the steamship Merrimack was converted into the world's first ironclad (see Monitor and MerrimackMonitor and Merrimack,
two American warships that fought the first engagement between ironclad ships. When, at the beginning of the Civil War, the Union forces abandoned the Norfolk Navy Yard at Portsmouth, Va., they scuttled the powerful steam frigate Merrimack.
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). The nation's first battleship (Texas) was built there in 1892 and the first aircraft carrier (Langley) in 1922. Of interest in Portsmouth are Trinity Episcopal Church (1762); Monumental Church (1772; Methodist); the Shipyard Museum, with a model of the Merrimack; the U.S. Naval Hospital (1830); and the Old Towne Historic District. A floodwall also serves as a pedestrian promenade along the waterfront.

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Portsmouth (Independent City), Virginia

PO Box 820
Portsmouth, VA 23705
Phone: (757) 393-8746
Fax: (757) 393-5378

In southeastern VA on the Elizabeth River opposite of Norfolk. Established 1752; incorporated as a town in 1836; as a city in 1858. Name Origin: Named by town founder, William Crawford, for the city in England

Area (sq mi):: 46.62 (land 33.16; water 13.46) Population per square mile: 3020.80
Population 2005: 100,169 State rank: 16 Population change: 2000-20005 -0.40%; 1990-2000 -3.20% Population 2000: 100,565 (White 45.10%; Black or African American 50.60%; Hispanic or Latino 1.70%; Asian 0.80%; Other 2.80%). Foreign born: 1.60%. Median age: 34.50
Income 2000: per capita $16,507; median household $33,742; Population below poverty level: 16.20% Personal per capita income (2000-2003): $21,403-$25,171
Unemployment (2004): 5.60% Unemployment change (from 2000): 0.20% Median travel time to work: 23.80 minutes Working outside county of residence: 54.70%
Cities with population over 10,000:
  • Portsmouth County seat (99,291)

  • See other counties in .
    Counties USA: A Directory of United States Counties, 3rd Edition. © 2006 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
    The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



    a port city in Great Britain, situated on the English Channel, in Hampshire. Located on Portsea Island, across from the Isle of Wight. Population 200,000 (1974). Portsmouth has a naval station, and its major industries are shipbuilding and ship repair. Other industries include the aircraft, electrical-engineering, and other branches of machine building and the production of clothing. Among the city’s suburbs are Gosport, which is connected by a bridge with Portsmouth, and the seaside resort of Southsea.



    a city in the USA, in Virginia. Population 111,000 (1970). Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Newport News together form a group of ports on Hampton Roads of the Chesapeake Bay. Portsmouth exports coal and produces chemicals. It has commercial and naval shipyards.



    a city in the eastern USA, in Ohio. Population, 28,000 (1970). Portsmouth is a port at the confluence of the Ohio and Scioto rivers. Major industries include ferrous metallurgy, the manufacture of refractories and chemicals, and metal-working. A large atomic installation is located north of the city.

    The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


    1. a port in S England, in Portsmouth unitary authority, Hampshire, on the English Channel: Britain's chief naval base; university (1992). Pop.: 187 056 (2001)
    2. a unitary authority in S England, in Hampshire. Pop.: 188 700 (2003 est.). Area: 37 sq. km (14 sq. miles)
    3. a port in SE Virginia, on the Elizabeth River: naval base; shipyards. Pop.: 99 617 (2003 est.)
    Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
    References in periodicals archive ?
    Seacoast Press has been selected as the winner for the 2019 Best of Portsmouth Award in the Publisher category by the Portsmouth Award Program.
    The Build One Portsmouth Comprehensive Plan was recently recognized by the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association as the 2019 Resilient Virginia Community of the Year.
    He wrote: "I wonder how many Portsmouth fans I can shoot.
    Pearce would certainly fit the bill but the Portsmouth News are reporting he has his heart set on a return to Fratton Park.
    Working with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Portsmouth City Councilor Josh Denton signed up the Portsmouth restaurants and businesses to participate in the campaign.
    "I wounder (sic) how many Portsmouth fans I can shoot everyone remember the Manchester arena bombing just imagine fratton park going bang well let's find out tomorrow," read the initial post.
    Q Sunderland have only lost one of their four meetings with Portsmouth in cup competition (W2 D1), though it was their last such meeting in an FA Cup tie in January 2010.
    Cargo-handling business Kalmar USA Inc revealed on Friday that it will expand its operations in Portsmouth's Midtown business district effective March 2018.
    The event was organised by Portsmouth Trades Council following the news that BAE is making 1,775 workers redundant, with 835 going in Glasgow, Rosyth, and Filton, near Bristol.
    BAE Systems announced last week that it will be cutting 1,775 jobs, including 940 in Portsmouth and hundreds more in Scotland.
    Shipbuilding operations will end in Portsmouth in the second half of next year, but an engineering team will be retained to support the new Type 26 warships, which will be built in Glasgow.

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