/lang"keuh steuhr/; for 4-8 also /lang"kas teuhr/, n.
1. the English royal family that reigned 1399-1461, descended from John of Gaunt (Duke of Lancaster), and that included Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI. Cf. York (def. 1).
2. a member of this family.
3. a city in Lancashire, in NW England. 125,500.
4. a city in SE Pennsylvania. 54,725.
5. a town in S California. 48,027.
6. a city in central Ohio. 34,953.
7. a town in N Texas. 14,807.
8. a town in W New York. 13,056.
9. Lancashire.

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(as used in expressions)
Fleming Ian Lancaster
John of Gaunt duke of Lancaster
Lancaster Burton Stephen
Lancaster house of

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      city, Los Angeles county, southwestern California, U.S. Lying in Antelope Valley at the western edge of the Mojave Desert, it is 80 miles (130 km) north of the city of Los Angeles and separated from it by the San Gabriel Mountains. In 1876, when the Southern Pacific Railroad laid tracks through the area on its route between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the city's growth was assured. It began as a Scottish settlement organized in 1884 by M.L. Wicks, who may have named it for his hometown in Pennsylvania (though the origins of the city's name are somewhat in doubt). Both borax (still locally mined and economically significant) and gold were discovered in the foothills near the city in 1898. The valley largely supported cattle ranching until the early 1900s, when water, pumped by gasoline engines, transformed it into an agricultural area. Lancaster shares with Palmdale (south) development of aircraft, aerospace, and electronics industries; Lancaster's Aerospace Walk of Honor (1990) is for test pilots who have made significant contributions to the industry. Edwards Air Force Base, the site of many space shuttle landings, is northeast of the city. A community college was established in the city in 1929. West of the city the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, a protected area of more than 1,700 acres (700 hectares), is devoted to protecting native wildflowers, notably the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), which is the state flower. Saddleback Butte State Park and Antelope Valley Indian Museum are east of Lancaster. Inc. 1977. Pop. (1990) 97,291; (2000) 118,718.

      urban area and city (district), administrative and historic county of Lancashire, England, at the head of the estuary of the River Lune, 7 miles (11 km) from the Irish Sea.

      Lancaster grew on the site of a Roman station, and traces of the Roman fortification walls remain. In the 11th century a feudal landowner, Roger of Poitou, founded or enlarged a castle on an eminence there and also founded the Priory of St. Mary as a cell of his Benedictine priory. The town grew around these institutions and was granted its first charter in 1193. Although twice destroyed by the Scots (in 1322 and 1389), Lancaster became a market centre, and in 1688 six trade companies were incorporated. It flourished briefly as a port in the late 18th century, but silting of the estuary caused its decline. In the English Civil Wars of the mid-17th century the castle, held by the Parliamentarians, was three times besieged by Royalist forces.

      The city has a range of industries, including furniture and linoleum manufacture. Because of its distance from the great urban centres of Manchester and Liverpool, attempts to found a cotton textile industry proved abortive, but synthetic fibres have become established, and the city is the headquarters of Reebok. The town remains a major market centre, having one of the largest livestock markets in northwestern England. A high proportion of professional, distributive, and retail employment reflects its traditional status as a regional centre for northern Lancashire. Lancaster lies on the railway line between southern Lancashire and the city of Carlisle and on the major British motorway between the city of Birmingham and Scotland.

      Lancaster's buildings include a castle on the site of the Roman castrum, St. Mary's Church (mainly 15th-century), and the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Peter (built in 1859). The University of Lancaster (founded in 1964) is located in the city. The Storey Institute has technical and art schools, an art gallery, and a museum. Market Square contains a civic and regimental museum. In addition to the town of Lancaster, the city (district) includes a substantial rural and agricultural area and the seaside resort of Morecambe. Area 223 square miles (577 square km). Pop. (2001) urban area, 45,952; (2004 est.) city, 136,700.

      city, seat (1800) of Fairfield county, south-central Ohio, U.S., on the Hocking River, about 30 miles (50 km) southeast of Columbus. It was founded (1800) by Ebenezer Zane on land granted to him in payment for blazing Zane's Trace, a 266-mile (428-km) wilderness road from Wheeling, W.Va. (then a part of Virginia), to Limestone (now Maysville), Ky. The first settlers came over this road in 1798; many of them were from Lancaster, Pa., for which the new town was named. Completion (1808) of the Lancaster Lateral Canal, connecting with the Ohio and Erie Canal, and the arrival (1851) of the Muskingum Valley Railroad spurred economic progress, which was further enhanced by the discovery (1887) of natural gas in the vicinity. Lancaster's economy is well diversified; it is a trading centre for a region chiefly supporting dairying, beef cattle, and pigs and the growing of corn (maize), wheat, and soybeans, while varied manufactures include glassware, breakfast cereal, paper products, industrial lighting, automotive parts, boiler equipment, and electronics. A campus (1956) of Ohio University is in the city.

      The birthplace on East Main Street of the American Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman and his brother John Sherman, sponsor of the Sherman Antitrust Act, is preserved as a state memorial. Mount Pleasant, a 250-foot (75-metre) rock overlooking the city, was a favourite Indian lookout, while the nearby Tarlton Cross Mound State Memorial (15 miles [24 km] southwest) is the only known Indian earthwork shaped in the form of a cross. Several covered bridges are in the vicinity. Inc. 1831. Pop. (2000) 35,335; (2005 est.) 36,063.

      city, seat of Lancaster county, southeastern Pennsylvania, U.S., and the centre of a metropolitan area comprising a number of small towns and boroughs, 71 miles (114 km) west of Philadelphia. The original site on Conestoga Creek, known as Gibson's Pasture, or Hickory Town, was made the county seat in 1729, the year after Lancaster county (named for the English city and shire) was created. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress, fleeing from Philadelphia, held a one-day session there (September 27, 1777), and the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania took refuge in the city for nine months in 1777–78. Lancaster was considered for the new national capital in 1790. From 1799 to 1812 it was the capital of Pennsylvania.

      The stone-surfaced turnpike from Lancaster to Philadelphia was completed in 1794. President James Buchanan (Buchanan, James) lived in Lancaster, and his home, Wheatland (1828), has been restored; he is buried in Woodward Hill Cemetery. Thaddeus Stevens (Stevens, Thaddeus), Abolitionist congressman, also lived in the city; he is buried in a small cemetery amid the graves of blacks. The 18th-century Conestoga wagon (symbol of the pioneers' trek westward) and the Pennsylvania (Kentucky) rifle were produced in Lancaster, which after the Revolution became an iron-founding centre. It was in Lancaster that F.W. Woolworth (Woolworth Co.) opened (1879–80) his first successful “5-and-10 cent” store. The city's modern diversified economy is balanced between agriculture (cattle, dairy products, grain, and tobacco), services (including tourism), and industry. Manufactures include linoleum, electrical products, and farm machinery; printing is also important.

      In the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch (Pennsylvania German) (from German Deutsch, or Deitsch, “German”) country, Lancaster's residents include members of the Amish, Mennonite, and Dunkard churches; the Amish, in particular, are distinguished by their black, buttonless attire and avoidance of modern devices. The restored Hans Herr House (1719) is an early example of medieval Germanic architecture; it was used as a Mennonite meetinghouse. The state's agricultural history is depicted at the nearby Amish Farm and House and the Landis Valley Museum, the latter a re-creation of a 19th century Pennsylvania German village. Franklin and Marshall College was founded in 1787, and Lancaster Bible College was founded in 1933. Also nearby is the Ephrata Cloister, site of a German monastic community that flourished in the mid-18th century. Inc. borough, 1742; city, 1818. Pop. (1990) 55,551; Lancaster MSA, 422,822; (2000) city, 56,348; Lancaster MSA, 470,658.

      city, seat of Lancaster county, northern South Carolina, U.S., near the Catawba River (Santee-Wateree-Catawba river system). It was founded in the 1750s by settlers from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The architect Robert Mills (Mills, Robert) designed the jail (1823) and the courthouse (1828). In the early 19th century the community was identified with the Waxhaw Revival, part of the Great Revival (a nationwide movement of religious vagaries), and witchcraft was once legally recognized. A textile-based economy prevails, supplemented by light industries. A campus of the University of South Carolina (South Carolina, University of) was opened in Lancaster in 1959. A state park 8 miles (13 km) north marks the site of President Andrew Jackson (Jackson, Andrew)'s birthplace. Inc. village, 1802; town, 1830; city, 1898. Pop. (1990) 8,914; (2000) 8,177.

also called  Avro Lancaster 
 the most successful British heavy bomber of World War II. The Lancaster emerged from the response by A.V. Roe & Company, Ltd., to a 1936 Royal Air Force specification calling for a bomber powered by two 24-cylinder Rolls-Royce (Rolls-Royce PLC) Vulture engines. The resultant aircraft, the Manchester, first flew in July 1939, entered production the following year, and was committed to combat in February 1941. However, the Vulture engine proved to be a failure, and the Manchester was produced only in small numbers. Avro then proposed a redesigned Manchester powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, and the result was the Lancaster.

      The Lancaster first flew in January 1941 and entered production in early 1942; it entered combat in April of that year. A mid-wing design with a twin tail, the Lancaster was powered by four 1,460-horsepower Merlins, had a wingspan of 102 feet (31 metres), and was 69 feet (21 metres) long. It was operated by a basic crew of seven, including the pilot, copilot, bombardier, navigator, radioman, and gunners. It could reach a maximum speed of 280 miles (450 km) per hour and a ceiling of 24,500 feet (7,500 metres), and it could carry a 14,000-pound (6,350-kg) bomb load to a range of 1,660 miles (2,670 km) at 200 miles (320 km) per hour. Lancasters powered by Bristol Hercules air-cooled radial engines also were produced as a result of shortages of Merlin engines, but these proved to be less capable than Merlin-powered versions. The engine production problem was eventually resolved with Packard-built Merlins imported from the United States.

      Almost all of the 7,377 Lancasters produced during the war were committed to the nighttime firebombing of German cities. For these missions the planes' spacious bomb bays typically carried a mixed load of high-explosive bombs—for instance, a cylindrical 2,000- or 4,000-pound (900- or 1,800-kg) high-blast “cookie” or several 1,000- or 2,000-pound (450- or 900-kg) bombs—with the balance of the bomb load consisting of small incendiaries. Most Lancasters were armed with a powered tail turret mounting four 0.303-inch (7.7-mm) machine guns, a powered twin-0.303 turret on the upper rear fuselage, and a pair of 0.303s in the nose; a few had twin-0.303 belly turrets.

      The Lancaster's more-spectacular exploits included successful attacks on the Möhne, Sorpe, and Eder hydroelectric dams in Germany on the night of May 17, 1943, using special spinning bombs that were designed to skip across the water when released at low altitude, hug the face of the dam as they sank, and then be detonated at the proper depth by a hydrostatic fuse. Another was the sinking on Nov. 12, 1944, of the German battleship Tirpitz in the remote Kaa fjord of Norway by 31 Lancasters dropping 12,000-pound (5,400-kg) “Tallboy” bombs.

      Some Lancasters were equipped with H2S ground-mapping radar from 1943 and later with improved H2X radar as well as receivers for “Gee” and “Oboe” radio guidance systems. By the spring of 1944, radar-equipped Lancasters were capable of bombing at night with considerable accuracy, particularly when attacking targets close enough to Britain to be guided by the radio bombing aids. Lancasters played a major role in the preparations for D-Day (June 6, 1944), conducting accurate attacks on bridges, rail yards, and other transportation targets. Less happily, the tail-mounted Monica radar device, adopted in mid-1943 and designed to warn bomber crews of attack from the rear, proved to be a magnet for German night fighters equipped with passive radar receivers tuned to home in on Monica transmissions. Bomber Command remained unaware of the German homing capability for some six months, and many bomber crews paid for this oversight with their lives. In addition, the lack of armament, or even an observer, in most Lancasters' bellies cost Bomber Command crews dearly, for in late 1943 (and unknown to the British for a considerable time) the Luftwaffe armed night fighters with upward-firing 20-mm (0.8-inch) cannons in the rear fuselage. Bomber Command never developed an effective response to this weapon (which the Germans called Schrage musik, or “jazz music”), and many hundreds of British heavy bombers were destroyed by German fighters firing undetected from beneath at close range.

      Nevertheless, the Lancaster was far and away the most effective British heavy bomber of World War II, being far superior to its main competitor, the Halifax, in tons of bombs dropped per man-hour expended in production and maintenance. In tons of bombs dropped per aircraft lost, its superior figures were particularly telling: 107 tons for the Lancaster as opposed to 48 for the Halifax for each aircraft lost on operations by the summer of 1943. After the war, Lancasters served as patrol bombers well into the 1950s, and a civilian airliner version, the Lancastrian, was produced in small numbers.

John F. Guilmartin, Jr.

Additional Reading
Studies of the Lancaster include D.B. Tubbs, Lancaster Bomber (1972); and Bill Sweetman and Rikyu Watanabe, Avro Lancaster (1982), a well-illustrated work.

      county, southeastern Pennsylvania, U.S., consisting of a hilly piedmont region bounded by the Susquehanna River to the west, Conewago Creek to the northwest, and Octoraro Creek to the southeast. Impoundments of the Susquehanna River form Lakes Clarke and Aldred and Conowingo Reservoir. Susquehannock State Park is located near Muddy Run Reservoir. Other waterways include the Conestoga River and Octoraro Lake, as well as Chickies, Little Conestoga, Pequea, and Conowingo creeks.

      The region was settled by the German immigrants known as Pennsylvania Dutch (Pennsylvania German)—including Mennonites, Amish, Dunkers, and Moravians—who established such religious societies as the Ephrata Community (1732–1814). The county was created in 1728 and named for Lancaster, England. The city of Lancaster, the county seat, was briefly the national capital (September 27, 1777) during the American Revolution and the second state capital (1799–1812). The city contains Franklin and Marshall College (founded 1787). The Fulton Opera House (built 1852), which was named for steamboat designer and county resident Robert Fulton (Fulton, Robert), was built on the site of the Lancaster jail, where the Paxton Boys (Paxton Boys uprising) from Dauphin county slaughtered the last of the Susquehanna (Susquehannock) Indians during the Indian uprising known as Pontiac's War (December 1763). The county was home to James Buchanan (Buchanan, James), 15th U.S. president, and abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens (Stevens, Thaddeus), and it was known for the manufacture of Conestoga wagons (Conestoga wagon) and Kentucky rifles.

      Residents of Lancaster county, one of the leading agricultural counties in Pennsylvania, raise corn (maize), hay, tobacco, wheat, barley, and livestock (cattle, hogs, and poultry). Other major components of the economy include tourism and manufacturing, especially commercial printing, metal products, and food. Area 949 square miles (2,458 square km). Pop. (1990) 422,822; (2000) 470,658.

      county, northern South Carolina, U.S. It is bounded by the Catawba River and its Wateree Lake extension to the west, the Lynches River to the east, and North Carolina to the north. The county lies in hilly piedmont terrain, much of which is covered in hardwood and pine forests. Andrew Jackson State Park is in the narrow northern section, near North Carolina.

      In the 17th century the area was Catawba Indian territory, but European settlements dominated the region by the mid-18th century. The county was organized in 1785 and named for Lancaster, Pennsylvania, from whence the area's early settlers had come. Since 1828 gold has been mined sporadically near the town of Kershaw. Cotton was long a major crop in Lancaster county before boll weevil infestations, erosion, and changing economics resulted in its decline in the early 20th century.

      Agriculture (livestock) and manufacturing (clothing and other textile products and electronic equipment) are important elements in the economy. The town of Lancaster is the county seat. Area 549 square miles (1,422 square km). Pop. (2000) 61,351; (2007 est.) 73,393.

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Universalium. 2010.

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