BERKHAMPSTEAD (GREAT BERRHAMPSTEAD), a market town in the Watford parliamentary division of Hertfordshire, England, 28 m.
The name of the town is Great Berkhampstead (or Berkhamsted), in distinction from Little Berkhampstead near Hatfield in this county.
Berkhampstead (Beorhhamstede, Berchehamstede) was undoubtedly of some importance in Saxon times since there were fifty-two burgesses there at the time of the Conquest.
Berkhampstead rose to importance with its castle, which is said to have been built by Robert, count of Mortain, and when the castle fell into ruin after 1496 the town also began to decay.
Roofing tiles were manufactured in Berkhampstead as early as the 13th century, and in Elizabeth's reign the making of malt was the chief industry.
They were repulsed by the Norman horse, but with such loss to the latter that the duke thought it imprudent to lay siege to the city at that time, and he retired to Berkhampstead.'
The result was that Edgar and Earls Edwin and Morkere and " the best men of London " repaired to Berkhampstead, where they submitted themselves and swore fealty to the Conqueror.
THOMAS KEN (1637-17x1), the most eminent of the English non-juring bishops, and one of the fathers of modern English hymnology, was born at Little Berkhampstead, Herts, in 1637.
The Essex and the Essex Union, the Surrey and the Surrey Union, the Old Berkeley, the West Kent, the Burstow, the Hertfordshire, the Crawley and Horsham, the Puckeridge, as regards foxhounds; the Berkhampstead, the Enfield Chase, Lord Rothschild's, the Surrey, the West Surrey and the Warnham, as regards staghounds - as well as the Bucks and Berks, which was substituted for the Royal Buckhounds - are within easy reach of the capital.