One remarkable discovery, however, of general interest, was the outcome of a long series of delicate weighings and minute experimental care in the determination of the relative density of nitrogen gas - undertaken in order to determine the atomic weight of nitrogen - namely, the discovery of argon, the first of a series of new substances, chemically inert, which occur, some only in excessively minute quantities, as constituents of the 1 The barony was created at George IV.'s coronation in 1821 for the wife of Joseph Holden Strutt, M.P. for Maldon (1790-1826) and Okehampton (1826-1830), who had done great service during the French War as colonel of the Essex militia.
OKEHAMPTON, a market town and municipal borough in the Tavistock parliamentary division of Devonshire, England, on the east and west Okement rivers, 22 m.
Okehampton Castle, one of the most picturesque ruins in Devon, probably dates from the 15th century, though its keep may be late Norman.
Okehampton (Oakmanton) was bestowed by William the Conqueror on Baldwin de Brioniis, and became the caput of the barony of Okehampton.
In the 18th century the manor passed by marriage to the Courtenays, afterwards earls of Devon, and Robert de Courtenay in 1220 gave the king a palfrey to hold an annual fair at his manor of Okehampton, on the vigil and feast day of St Thomas the Apostle.
Okehampton returned two members to parliament in 1300, and again in 1312 and 1313, after which there was an intermission till 1640, from which date two members were returned regularly until by the Reform Act of 1832 the borough was disfranchised.
Bridges, History of Okehampton (1889).
At the dissolution in 1774 he had been returned for Okehampton in Devonshire, and for Castle Rising in Norfolk, and selected the former constituency; on his promotion as leading law officer of the crown he returned to Bishop's Castle.
The inherent weakness of the government, the vigour and eloquence of his opposition, and a series of military disasters abroad combined to rouse a public feeling of indignation which could not be withstood, and in December 1756 Pitt, who now sat for Okehampton, became secretary of state, and leader of the Commons under the premiership of the duke of Devonshire.