/es"iks/, n.
1. 2nd Earl of. See Devereux, Robert.
2. a county in SE England. 1,410,900; 1418 sq. mi. (3670 sq. km).
3. a town in N Maryland, near Baltimore. 39,614.
4. a town in W Vermont. 14,392.

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Administrative (pop., 2001: 1,310,922), geographic, and historic county, eastern England.

It extends along the North Sea coastline between the estuaries of the Rivers Thames and Stour. Chelmsford, centrally situated, has long been the county headquarters and is also the seat of a church diocese. The ancient county stretched west as far as Middlesex, but Greater London now incorporates its southwestern corner. It was a Roman centre until the 5th-century Saxon invasions; it became one of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of the Heptarchy and had its centre at London. It came under Danish control in the 9th century and was later reconquered by Wessex. Despite its proximity to London, much of Essex remains rural, and the county is highly farmed; it is also the site of petroleum installations on the River Thames and of a nuclear power plant. The University of Essex is at Colchester.
(as used in expressions)
Cromwell Thomas earl of Essex
Essex Robert Devereux 2nd earl of
Essex Robert Devereux 3rd earl of
Essex Walter Devereux 1st earl of

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▪ Anglo-Saxon kingdom
      one of the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England; i.e., that of the East Saxons. An area of early settlement, it probably originally included the territory of the modern county of Middlesex; London was its chief town. Archaeological discoveries suggest that many of the new settlers were continental Saxons. Essex sometimes had joint kings, and from 664 they were subject to the rulers of the midland kingdom of Mercia. From 825 Essex was controlled by Wessex, first as a subkingdom ruled by sons of the Wessex kings and then from 860 without separate existence. By the treaty made between King Alfred the Great and the Danish king Guthrum in 878, the latter acquired Essex, but it was won back by the Wessex dynasty early in the 10th century and was thereafter ruled by ealdormen, in origin royal household officials. Essex had been slow to accept Christianity wholeheartedly; an important missionary there was the Northumbrian Cedd (died 664), whose church at Bradwell-on-Sea still survives.

      town (township), Chittenden county, northwestern Vermont, U.S., on the Winooski River just east of Burlington. Chartered in 1763 and settled in 1783, it consists of the villages of Essex Junction and Essex Center. Essex Junction is a busy industrial and residential site where the Central Vermont Railroad and several highways converge; its railway depot serves as the depot for Burlington. Essex Center is a small, mostly residential settlement. The grounds of the Champlain Valley Exposition are nearby, as is the site of Fort Ethan Allen, used as a military reservation during the Spanish-American War and World Wars I and II but now occupied by private businesses and organizations. Area 39 square miles (101 square km). Pop. (1990) 16,498; (2000) 18,626.

      administrative, geographic, and historic county of eastern England, extending along the North Sea coastline between the Thames and Stour estuaries. The administrative county covers an area within the larger geographic county, which in turn covers a part of the original historic county of Essex. The administrative county comprises 12 districts: Basildon, Braintree, Epping Forest, Harlow, Maldon, Rochford, Tendring, Uttlesford, and the boroughs of Brentwood, Castle Point, Chelmsford, and Colchester. The geographic county includes not only the administrative county but also the unitary authorities of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock. The historic county includes the entire geographic county as well as the area east of the River Lea as far south as its confluence with the Thames. This area comprises the Greater London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, and Waltham Forest. The historic county also includes the area around Great Chishill currently assigned to the South Cambridgeshire district in the administrative county of Cambridgeshire.

      The historical county of Essex is low-lying, with a flat coast that has many tidal inlets and islands. The hardwood forest cover on its predominantly clay soils resisted agricultural efforts until the Iron Age, and even today some tracts of land that were never converted to farmland survive as woodland, notably in Epping Forest.

      In Roman times Colchester became one of the few coloniae (municipalities) in Britain, and there are other Romano-British sites at Chelmsford, Great Chesterford, and Rivenhall. The 5th-century Saxon invaders were followed by the Danes, who won the Battle of Maldon in 991. Essex men, including the former Colchester priest John Ball, were prominent in the Peasant's Revolt of 1381. During the late Middle Ages Colchester became an important cloth-weaving centre.

      Over the centuries, land was reclaimed from the marshes in the southeast, and the rich alluvial soil has produced heavy yields of crops. With the construction of railways in the 19th century, seaside resorts at Southend and on the Tendring coast attracted Londoners for holidaymaking, retirement, and even commuting. More intense suburban development took place in the southwestern corner of the historic county, which became part of Greater London in 1965.

      Because local stone was scarce, timber was the chief domestic building material during the Middle Ages, and many examples of medieval timber-framed houses, often plastered and colour-washed, survive. From the 16th century, brick was used for mansions, such as Audley End. Two Norman castles—Castle Hedingham and Colchester—survive.

      Much of the geographic county of Essex continues to undergo industrial, residential, and recreational development as part of the metropolitan region centred on London. The sailing craft of affluent urbanites enliven the sheltered waters of the tidal inlets, commuters on electrified railways have swelled the populations of the more accessible inland towns and villages, and historic market towns and new towns such as Basildon and Harlow have attracted modern light industries and residents from London. The port of London has increasingly shifted eastward from London's original Dockland in the East End to deep water on the lower Thames at Tilbury. The port of Harwich, in northeastern Essex, carries traffic to Scandinavia, Germany, and The Netherlands. Giant petroleum installations have been established on the Thames marshes at Shellhaven, Coryton, and Canvey Island. A nuclear power station was built at Bradwell-on-Sea.

      Despite its proximity to London, much of Essex remains rural, and the county is highly farmed, producing rich crops of cereals and supporting prosperous livestock enterprises. Especially where lighter soils cap the clay, there are extensive market gardens and plant nurseries.

      Chelmsford, centrally situated, has long been the county headquarters and is also the seat of a church diocese. The University of Essex is at Colchester. Area administrative county, 1,338 square miles (3,465 square km); geographic county, 1,419 square miles (3,674 square km). Pop. (2005 est.) administrative county, 1,340,000; geographic county, 1,645,900.

      county, extreme northeastern Massachusetts, U.S., bordered by New Hampshire to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Its topography is largely hilly, with coastal lowlands in the east that include several islands in the Atlantic. The principal streams are the Merrimack, Ipswich, Parker, Shawsheen, and Sauqus rivers. Recreational areas include Bradley Palmer State Park and Plum Island State Reservation Area, as well as Willowdale and Harold Parker state forests.

      The county seat is Salem. In addition to many historic houses, Salem contains the Peabody Museum (1799) and the Essex Institute (1848). Coastal resort communities rich in maritime history and architectural tradition include Gloucester, Manchester, Marblehead, Rockport, and Newburyport. Some industrial cities are Lynn, Lawrence, and Haverhill. Essex county also was home to writers Anne Bradstreet (Bradstreet, Anne) and Nathaniel Hawthorne (Hawthorne, Nathaniel).

      Since its inception as one of Massachusetts' three original counties (May 1643), Essex has been a centre for the production of shoes, textiles, and metal products, and it is credited as being the birthplace of the nation's iron and steel, wool, and shoemaking industries. It was named for Essex, Eng. Area 498 square miles (1,290 square km). Pop. (2000) 723,419; (2007 est.) 733,101.

      county, northeastern New Jersey, U.S., bounded by Newark Bay to the southeast and the Passaic River to the east and west. The county's topography ranges from coastal lowland in the east to hilly piedmont in the west. Although timberland is scarce, oak and hickory are the principal forest species. Essex is the home of the nation's first county park system, which began in 1895.

      English settlers purchased lands from the Delaware Indians in 1666. Essex, one of the original New Jersey counties, was formed in 1683 and named for Essex, Eng. The industrial port city of Newark, the county seat, is the most populous in New Jersey. Newark developed as a manufacturing and transportation centre; Newark International Airport is one of the world's busiest. Among the schools in the county are New Jersey Institute of Technology (founded 1881) and a campus of Rutgers University (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey) (1892) in Newark, Seton Hall University (1856) in South Orange (South Orange Village), Upsala College (1893) in East Orange, and Montclair State University (1908) in Montclair. Other communities include Irvington, Bloomfield, Belleville, and West Orange, where inventor Thomas A. Edison (Edison, Thomas Alva) spent the latter half of his life; the Edison National Historic Site preserves the inventor's laboratory. Caldwell is the birthplace of Grover S. Cleveland (Cleveland, Grover), 22nd and 24th president of the United States.

      The principal economic activities are health and business services, manufacturing (chemicals and electronics), and transportation. The county is highly urbanized and has been one of the most populous in New Jersey since the 19th century. Area 126 square miles (327 square km). Pop. (2000) 793,633; (2007 est.) 776,087.

      county, northeastern New York state, U.S. It comprises a mountainous region bounded by the Ausable River to the northeast, Vermont to the east (Lake Champlain (Champlain, Lake) constituting the border), Lake George (George, Lake) to the southeast, and the Hudson River to the southwest. Other waterways include the Cold, Chubb, Bouquet, and Boreas rivers and Schroon and Paradox lakes; Lake Tear of the Clouds is regarded as the source of the Hudson River. The county, in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, is entirely occupied by Adirondack Park (1892), which is one of the largest parks in the United States and the nation's first forest preserve. Mount Marcy, in the central part of the county, is the highest point in the state (5,344 feet [1,629 metres]); surrounding peaks include Haystack, Skylight, Basin, Little Marcy, and Colden. The county is predominantly forested with spruce and fir trees, with stands of pine along Lake Champlain (Champlain, Lake).

      From the early 17th to the early 19th century, control over Lake Champlain was the prize in a struggle between the Indians, the French, the British, and the Americans. At the fortifications in Crown Point, the British dislodged the French (August 4, 1759), who in turn were ousted by the Green Mountain Boys (May 11, 1775). Similarly, Fort Ticonderoga (Ticonderoga) was held by the French (1755–59) and the British (1759–75) until it was captured by Ethan Allen (Allen, Ethan) and the Green Mountain Boys (May 10, 1775), after which it was recaptured but later released by the British (1777). The county was created in 1799 and named for Essex, England.

      Tourism, the county's primary industry, is centred in Lake Placid, the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games (Olympic Games); it is located near the farm and grave of abolitionist John Brown (Brown, John). Other towns include Port Henry, Keeseville, Westport, and Elizabethtown, which is the county seat. Area 1,797 square miles (4,654 square km). Pop. (1990) 37,152; (2000) 38,851.

      county, northeastern Vermont, U.S., bordered to the north by Quebec, Can., and to the east by New Hampshire, the Connecticut River constituting that boundary. It is a mountainous region, with several peaks above 3,000 feet (915 metres). The Connecticut River watershed includes the Moose and Nulhegan rivers as well as Paul Stream. Maidstone Lake and Great Averill and Island ponds are among the numerous small lakes. Recreational areas include Maidstone and Brighton state parks, Victory State Forest, and Brighton Municipal Forest. Essex is one of the most heavily forested counties in Vermont, with an abundance of spruce, fir, birch, and maple trees. The region also features many species of wildlife, notably moose.

      Founded in 1764, Guildhall was one of the oldest colonial settlements in northeastern Vermont; it is now the county seat. The county was created in 1792 and named for Essex, Eng. In 1853 Island Pond became the midpoint between Montreal and Portland, Maine, along the Grand Trunk Railway, the first international railroad in North America. Located near the Canadian border, Canaan was one of the northernmost American stations on the Underground Railroad. Other communities are Lunenburg, Concord, and Bloomfield.

      The economy is centred on the county's forest resources, which support logging, paper, and furniture industries. Area 665 square miles (1,723 square km). Pop. (2000) 6,459; (2007 est.) 6,495.

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Universalium. 2010.

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