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Checking Out the History of the Place Gloucester City Was Named After

Before becoming Gloucester City proper, the area saw many changes of ownership. First, there were the Dutch in the 1620s, who created Fort Nassau for trading beaver pelts, followed by its incorporation into New Sweden. The Swedish owners moved the settlement across the river to forge Fort Casimir in 1651. In 1677, the English Quakers arrived on the river and erected the permanent settlement of Axwamus, reaching the size of a town by 1689.

This is where Gloucester City would eventually stand as a chartered city. Now in Camden County, New Jersey, having been incorporated in 1868, it bears the name of a British place that also dons an interesting history.

Made a prestigious city of Rome


Source: Unsplash

The UK’s Gloucester wouldn’t exist as a city today without the Romans. When they arrived, it was ruled by the Dobbuni people, but then Rome ordered a fortress in modern-day Kingsholm to establish the city of Glevum in 49CE. Just 12 years later, the city center shifted to modern Gloucester, with its fingerprints still easy to spot to this day. Gloucester is a big part of the UK’s Roman history and its continued fascination with its once-invaders.

This may be why the Roman theme is so popular in British entertainment, from the show Britannia to the slot game Gladiator: Mega Cash Collect. Sitting prominently among the online slots for real cash, the Gladiator game from Playtech offers everything Rome aficionados and movie lovers could want. In particular, it’s loaded with the characters from the hit 2000 movie of the same name – which itself was made by a British director, Ridley Scott.

Naturally, being surrounded by Roman history inclines residents of Gloucester to gravitate to ancient Roman media. Away from the screens, there’s plenty to be experienced. Some of the city is built from the old Roman settlement, with the modern city now built on top of it. The city named among the administrative capitals of Britain by Emperor Nerva is still unearthing more ties to its past, including new fragments discovered under St Mary de Crypt.

A rebellious post-Roman Gloucester

 


Source: Pexels

Gloucester continued to hold prominence once the Romans departed. Gloucester became very popular for religious buildings, including St Peter’s Abbey (modern-day Gloucester Cathedral), Llanthony Secunda Priory, and St Oswald’s Priory. Gloucester Cathedral even hosted Henry III’s crowning in 1216. Still, one of the city’s most notable moments in history came during the First English Civil War.

Charles I and his Royalists were progressing well westwards, even taking Bath and Bristol. After those, the other western counties fell rapidly. All that was left was Gloucester and Colonel Edward Massey’s command of 1,400 men. The King’s army arrived in August 1643, boasting around 30,000 troops to lay siege to the city. After 27 days of relentless bombardments, the Earl of Essex arrived to clear away the besieging army.

After their failures, the Royalists remained in control of the other western settlements, but Charles I would lament Gloucester remaining out of his grasp. A year after the siege, Colonel Massey started to send out raids, which allowed him to reclaim several castles from the Royalists and disband many smaller garrisons dotted around. By the summer of 1646, the Royalists had lost, and Charles I was taken into custody.

As it turns out, Gloucester City was named for a place that boasts a long and prestigious city. Not only was it prized by the Romans and decorated with monumental buildings, but it held firm against all the King’s men to ultimately help swing the First English Civil War against the Royalists.

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