Henry Baring, of Cromer Hall, was a British banker and politician. He was the third son of Sir Francis Baring, 1st Baronet, the founder of the family banking firm that grew into Barings Bank, his grandfather John Baring established the family in England. Henry Baring was a member of the Baring family, the third of five sons of Sir Francis Baring, 1st Baronet, Harriet, daughter of William Herring. Sir Thomas Baring, 2nd Baronet and Alexander Baring, 1st. Henry, along with his older brothers Thomas and Alexander, became partners in the firm in 1804. Less interested in banking than his brothers, Henry retired from partnership in 1823, he sat as Member of Parliament for Bossiney from 1806 to 1807 and for Colchester from 1820 to 1826. Baring was twice married, he married firstly Maria Matilda, daughter of U. S. Senator William Bingham and former wife of James Alexander, Comte de Tilly, in 1802, they had two daughters. He divorced Marie in 1824, married Cecilia Anne, daughter of Vice-Admiral William Lukin Windham, in 1825, through which marriage Cromer Hall came into the family.
They had one daughter. Several of his children and descendants gained distinction, his eldest son from his first marriage, Henry Bingham Baring was a politician, father of Lieutenant-General Charles Baring and grandfather of Sir Godfrey Baring, 1st Baronet. His second son from his second marriage was Edward Baring, 1st Baron Revelstoke, whose fifth son was the man-of-letters Maurice Baring, his sixth son from his second marriage was 1st Earl of Cromer. Baring died in April 1848, his second wife died in October 1874, aged 71. Ziegler, Philip; the Sixth Great Power: Barings 1762–1929. London: Collins. ISBN 0-00-217508-8. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Henry Baring
Dent & Co.
Dent & Co. or Dent's, was one of the wealthiest British merchant firms, or Hongs, active in China during the 19th century. A direct rival to Jardine, Matheson & Co, together with Russell & Co. these three companies are recognised as the original Canton Hongs active in early Colonial Hong Kong. Former East India Company supercargo George Baring, son of Sir Francis Baring, 1st Baronet of the eponymous banking family founded the firm to become Dent & Co in 1809. After the firm ordered its supercargos to stop trading in opium, William Davidson joined the firm, becoming sole partner between 1813–1820. In that year Thomas Dent came on board and he in turn brought in Robert Hugh Inglis, who had connections with the East India Company, of which his father and uncle were both directors. A relation of Thomas, Lancelot Dent joined his brother in the firm in 1827. Thomas Dent arrived in Canton in 1823 to join Co as a partner; when Davidson left in 1824, the company changed its name to "Dent & Co.". Lancelot succeeded Thomas as the senior partner when his brother departed the company in 1831.
Lin Zexu's warrant for the arrest of Lancelot Dent in 1839 to force him to hand over his store of opium was the opening shot of the First Opium War. Thomas Chaye Beale joined the firm as a partner in 1845 whereupon it became Beale & Co.. It once again became Dent & Co. upon Beale's departure in 1857. In 1841 Dent moved its headquarters to Victoria, where it was one of the first companies in Hong Kong to purchase land in what was to become known as Central District. Dent was one of the first traders to open offices when Shanghai opened to foreign trade in 1843 following the First Opium War; the firm built offices there at 14, The Bund, became involved in the international silk and tea trade, having divested their criminal shares in Opium to their associates in Boston, out of reach of the English Justice. Dent's was one of the founding members of the provisional committee that launched The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited in March 1865. Francis Chomley of Dent's chaired the first meeting, held on 6 August 1864.
It led the foundation of the Union Insurance Society of Canton in 1835. In 1866, the collapse of Overend and Company, a discount house in Lombard Street, London rocked the financial world; this failure caused a run on many banks which in turn brought down many other businesses and forced Dent's to shut its Hong Kong office in the wake of the affair. Jardine Matheson & Co averted disaster by learning the news sooner – its mail steamer carrying news from Calcutta arrived one hour earlier than others – and emptied its balances at a failing bank before anyone else had heard of the news in Hong Kong. Dent's folded in 1867, its headquarters moved to Shanghai following the collapse in Hong Kong. Dent occupied a building on the corner of Pedder Street and Praya Central, where The Landmark complex is now situated; the first building was constructed in 1850, was redeveloped in 1864. After Dent collapsed, half of its land on Pedder Street was sold to the newly established Hongkong Hotel Company; the hotel was duly built, became Hong Kong's first deluxe hotel.
The remaining part of the west wing was let out to other trading firms. The hotel expanded northwards, was rebuilt into a 6-storey structure, completed in 1893, but the hotel burned down in 1926; the site was acquired by Hongkong Land, Gloucester Tower constructed in 1932. It was redeveloped into The Landmark in 1979. History of Hong Kong List of trading companies Dermigny, Louis, La Chine et l'Occident: le commerce à Canton au XVIIIe siècle, 1719-1833, École pratique des hautes études. VIe section. Centre de recherches historiques. Ports, trafics, 2, Impr. nationaleLe Pichon, Alain. China Trade and Empire: Jardine, Matheson & Co. and the Origins of British Rule in Hong Kong 1827-1843. Oxford University Press/British Academy. ISBN 9780197263372. Wordie, Jason. Streets: Exploring Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 962-209-563-1. H. B. Morse, The Chronicle of the East India Company Trading to China, 1635–1834
The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been sourced during the era of the British Empire, it documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world; the British Museum was established in 1753 based on the collections of the Irish physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. It first opened in Montagu House, on the site of the current building, its expansion over the following 250 years was a result of expanding British colonisation and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the Natural History Museum in 1881. In 1973, the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997.
The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture and Sport, as with all national museums in the UK it charges no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions. Its ownership of some of its most famous objects originating in other countries is disputed and remains the subject of international controversy, most notably in the case of the Parthenon Marbles. Although today principally a museum of cultural art objects and antiquities, the British Museum was founded as a "universal museum", its foundations lie in the will of the Irish physician and naturalist Sir Hans Sloane, a London-based doctor and scientist from Ulster. During the course of his lifetime, after he married the widow of a wealthy Jamaican planter, Sloane gathered a large collection of curiosities and, not wishing to see his collection broken up after death, he bequeathed it to King George II, for the nation, for a sum of £20,000. At that time, Sloane's collection consisted of around 71,000 objects of all kinds including some 40,000 printed books, 7,000 manuscripts, extensive natural history specimens including 337 volumes of dried plants and drawings including those by Albrecht Dürer and antiquities from Sudan, Greece, the Ancient Near and Far East and the Americas.
On 7 June 1753, King George II gave his Royal Assent to the Act of Parliament which established the British Museum. The British Museum Act 1753 added two other libraries to the Sloane collection, namely the Cottonian Library, assembled by Sir Robert Cotton, dating back to Elizabethan times, the Harleian Library, the collection of the Earls of Oxford, they were joined in 1757 by the "Old Royal Library", now the Royal manuscripts, assembled by various British monarchs. Together these four "foundation collections" included many of the most treasured books now in the British Library including the Lindisfarne Gospels and the sole surviving manuscript of Beowulf; the British Museum was the first of a new kind of museum – national, belonging to neither church nor king open to the public and aiming to collect everything. Sloane's collection, while including a vast miscellany of objects, tended to reflect his scientific interests; the addition of the Cotton and Harley manuscripts introduced a literary and antiquarian element and meant that the British Museum now became both National Museum and library.
The body of trustees decided on a converted 17th-century mansion, Montagu House, as a location for the museum, which it bought from the Montagu family for £20,000. The trustees rejected Buckingham House, on the site now occupied by Buckingham Palace, on the grounds of cost and the unsuitability of its location. With the acquisition of Montagu House, the first exhibition galleries and reading room for scholars opened on 15 January 1759. At this time, the largest parts of collection were the library, which took up the majority of the rooms on the ground floor of Montagu House and the natural history objects, which took up an entire wing on the second state storey of the building. In 1763, the trustees of the British Museum, under the influence of Peter Collinson and William Watson, employed the former student of Carl Linnaeus, Daniel Solander to reclassify the natural history collection according to the Linnaean system, thereby making the Museum a public centre of learning accessible to the full range of European natural historians.
In 1823, King George IV gave the King's Library assembled by George III, Parliament gave the right to a copy of every book published in the country, thereby ensuring that the museum's library would expand indefinitely. During the few years after its foundation the British Museum received several further gifts, including the Thomason Collection of Civil War Tracts and David Garrick's library of 1,000 printed plays; the predominance of natural history and manuscripts began to lessen when in 1772 the museum acquired for £8,410 its first significant antiquities in Sir William Hamilton's "first" collection of Greek vases. From 1778, a display of objects from the South Seas brought back from the round-the-world voyages of Captain James Cook and the travels of other explorers fascinated visitors with a glimpse of unknown lands; the bequest of a collection of books, engraved gems, coins and drawings by Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode in 1800 did much to raise the museum's reputation. The museum's first notable addition towards its collection of antiquities, since its foundation, was by Sir William Hamilton, British Ambassador to Naples, who sold his collection of Greek and Roman artefacts to
Thomas Willing was an American merchant, a Delegate to the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania and the first president of the First Bank of the United States. Thomas Willing was born in Philadelphia, the son of Charles Willing, who twice served as mayor of Philadelphia, Anne Shippen, granddaughter of Edward Shippen, the second mayor of Philadelphia, his brother, James Willing, led a 1778 military expedition to raid holdings of British loyalists in Natchez, Mississippi. Thomas completed preparatory studies in Bath, England studied law in London at the Inner Temple. In 1749, after studying abroad in England, he returned to Philadelphia, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits, in partnership with Robert Morris, until 1793. A member of the common council in 1755, he became an alderman in 1759, associate justice of the city court on October 2, 1759, justice of the court of common pleas February 28, 1761. Willing became Mayor of Philadelphia in 1763. In 1767, the Pennsylvania Assembly, with Governor Thomas Penn's assent, had authorized a Supreme Court justice to sit with local justices of the peace in a system of Nisi Prius courts.
Governor Penn appointed John Lawrence and Thomas Willing. Willing served until the last under the colonial government. A member of the committee of correspondence in 1774 and of the committee of safety in 1775, he served in the colonial house of representatives; as a member of the Continental Congress in 1775 and 1776, he voted against the Declaration of Independence. However, he subscribed £5,000 to supply the revolutionary cause. After the war, he became president of the Bank of North America, preceding John Nixon, the first president of the Bank of the United States from 1791 to 1807. In August, 1807, he suffered a slight stroke, he resigned for health reasons as president of the bank in November, 1807. In 1763, Willing married daughter of Samuel McCall and Anne Searle. Together, they had thirteen children, including: Anne Willing, who married William Bingham Thomas Mayne Willing, who married Jane Nixon Elizabeth Willing, who married William Jackson Mary Willing, who married Henry Clymer Dorothy Willing, who married Thomas Willing Francis, a cousin George Willing, who married Rebecca Harrison Blackwell Richard Willing, who married Eliza Moore Abigail Willing, who married Richard Peters.
Willing died in 1821 in Philadelphia. Willing was the great-uncle of John Brown Francis, a governor and United States Senator from Rhode Island. Willing was the grandfather of Ann Louisa Bingham, who married Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton, in 1798, Maria Matilda Bingham, married to Jacques Alexandre, Comte de Tilly, a French aristocrat and married her sister's brother-in-law, Henry Baring, until their divorce in 1824. Maria married the Marquis de Blaisel in 1826, their brother, Willing's grandson, William Bingham married Marie-Charlotte Chartier de Lotbiniere, the second of the three daughters and heiresses of Michel-Eustache-Gaspard-Alain Chartier de Lotbinière by his second wife Mary, daughter of Captain John Munro, in 1822. Stephen Simpson, an outspoken journalist and fierce critic of the First National Bank and its practices. List of wealthiest historical figures List of richest Americans in history Notes Sources' Wright, Robert E. "Thomas Willing: Philadelphia Financier and Forgotten Founding Father".
Pennsylvania History, 63: 525–60. United States Congress. "Thomas Willing". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Columbia Encyclopedia article Biographical sketch and portrait at the University of Pennsylvania The Willings and Francis Records, including correspondence and legal documents of Thomas Willings' mercantile firm, are available for research use at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
William IV of the United Kingdom
William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death in 1837. The third son of George III, William succeeded his elder brother George IV, becoming the last king and penultimate monarch of Britain's House of Hanover. William served in the Royal Navy in his youth, spending time in North America and the Caribbean, was nicknamed the "Sailor King". In 1789, he was created Duke of St Andrews. In 1827, he was appointed as Britain's first Lord High Admiral since 1709; as his two older brothers died without leaving legitimate issue, he inherited the throne when he was 64 years old. His reign saw several reforms: the poor law was updated, child labour restricted, slavery abolished in nearly all of the British Empire, the British electoral system refashioned by the Reform Act 1832. Although William did not engage in politics as much as his brother or his father, he was the last monarch to appoint a prime minister contrary to the will of Parliament.
Through his brother Adolphus, the Viceroy of Hanover, he granted his German kingdom a short-lived liberal constitution. At the time of his death William had no surviving legitimate children, but he was survived by eight of the ten illegitimate children he had by the actress Dorothea Jordan, with whom he cohabited for twenty years. Late in life, he married and remained faithful to the young princess who would become Queen Adelaide. William was succeeded in the United Kingdom by his niece Victoria and in Hanover by his brother Ernest Augustus. William was born in the early hours of the morning on 21 August 1765 at Buckingham House, the third child and son of King George III and Queen Charlotte, he had two elder brothers and Frederick, was not expected to inherit the Crown. He was baptised in the Great Council Chamber of St James's Palace on 20 September 1765, his godparents were his paternal uncles, the Duke of Gloucester and Prince Henry, his paternal aunt, Princess Augusta hereditary duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.
He spent most of his early life in Richmond and at Kew Palace, where he was educated by private tutors. At the age of thirteen, he joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman, was present at the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1780, his experiences in the navy seem to have been little different from those of other midshipmen, though in contrast to other sailors he was accompanied on board ships by a tutor. He did his share of the cooking and got arrested with his shipmates after a drunken brawl in Gibraltar, he served in New York during the American War of Independence, making him the only member of the British royal family to visit America up to and through the American Revolution. While William was in America, George Washington approved a plot to kidnap him, writing: "The spirit of enterprise so conspicuous in your plan for surprising in their quarters and bringing off the Prince William Henry and Admiral Digby merits applause. I am persuaded, that it is unnecessary to caution you against offering insult or indignity to the persons of the Prince or Admiral..."
The plot did not come to fruition. In September 1781, William held court at the Manhattan home of Governor Robertson. In attendance were Mayor David Mathews, Admiral Digby, General Delancey, he became captain of HMS Pegasus the following year. In late 1786, he was stationed in the West Indies under Horatio Nelson, who wrote of William: "In his professional line, he is superior to two-thirds, I am sure, of the list; the two were great friends, dined together nightly. At Nelson's wedding, William insisted on giving the bride away, he was given command of the frigate HMS Andromeda in 1788, was promoted to rear-admiral in command of HMS Valiant the following year. William sought to be made a duke like his elder brothers, to receive a similar parliamentary grant, but his father was reluctant. To put pressure on him, William threatened to stand for the House of Commons for the constituency of Totnes in Devon. Appalled at the prospect of his son making his case to the voters, George III created him Duke of Clarence and St Andrews and Earl of Munster on 16 May 1789 saying: "I well know it is another vote added to the Opposition."
William's political record was inconsistent and, like many politicians of the time, cannot be ascribed to a single party. He allied himself publicly with the Whigs as well as his elder brothers George, Prince of Wales, Frederick, Duke of York, who were known to be in conflict with the political positions of their father. William ceased his active service in the Royal Navy in 1790; when Britain declared war on France in 1793, he was anxious to serve his country and expected a command, but was not given a ship at first because he had broken his arm by falling down some stairs drunk, but perhaps because he gave a speech in the House of Lords opposing the war. The following year he spoke in favour of the war; the Admiralty did not reply to his request. He did not lose hope of being appointed to an active post. In 1798 he was made an admiral. Despite repeated petitions, he was never given a command throughout the Napoleonic Wars. In 1811, he was appointed to the honorary position of Admiral of the Fleet.
History of slavery
The history of slavery spans many cultures and religions from ancient times to the present day. However the social and legal positions of slaves have differed vastly in different systems of slavery in different times and places. Slavery occurs rarely among hunter-gatherer populations because it develops under conditions of social stratification. Slavery operated in the first civilizations. Slavery features in the Mesopotamian Code of Hammurabi, which refers to it as an established institution. Slavery became common within much of Europe during the Dark Ages and it continued into the Middle Ages; the Byzantine–Ottoman wars and the Ottoman wars in Europe resulted in the capture of large numbers of Christian slaves. The Dutch, Spanish, British, Arabs and a number of West African kingdoms played a prominent role in the Atlantic slave trade after 1600. David P. Forsythe wrote: "The fact remained that at the beginning of the nineteenth century an estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom."
The Republic of Ragusa became the first European country to ban the slave trade - in 1416. In modern times Denmark-Norway abolished the trade in 1802. Although slavery is no longer legal anywhere in the world, human trafficking remains an international problem and an estimated 25-40 million people were enslaved as of 2013, the majority in Asia. During the 1983–2005 Second Sudanese Civil War people were taken into slavery. Evidence emerged in the late 1990s of systematic child-slavery and -trafficking on cacao plantations in West Africa. Slavery continues into the 21st-century. Although Mauritania criminalized slavery in August 2007, an estimated up to 600,000 men and children, or 20% of the population of Mauritania, are enslaved, many of them used as bonded labor. Slavery in 21st-century Islamism continues, Islamist quasi-states such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Boko Haram have abducted and enslaved women and children. Evidence of slavery predates written records, has existed in many cultures.
However, slavery is rare among hunter-gatherer populations. Mass slavery requires a high population density to be viable. Due to these factors, the practice of slavery would have only proliferated after the invention of agriculture during the Neolithic Revolution, about 11,000 years ago. Slavery was known in civilizations as old as Sumer, as well as in every other ancient civilization, including Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, the Akkadian Empire, Babylonia, Ancient Iran, Ancient Greece, Ancient India, the Roman Empire, the Arab Islamic Caliphate and Sultanate and the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas; such institutions were a mixture of debt-slavery, punishment for crime, the enslavement of prisoners of war, child abandonment, the birth of slave children to slaves. French historian Fernand Braudel noted that slavery was endemic in Africa and part of the structure of everyday life. "Slavery came in different guises in different societies: there were court slaves, slaves incorporated into princely armies and household slaves, slaves working on the land, in industry, as couriers and intermediaries as traders".
During the 16th century, Europe began to outpace the Arab world in the export traffic, with its slave traffic from Africa to the Americas. The Dutch imported slaves from Asia into their colony in South Africa. In 1807 Britain, which held extensive, although coastal, colonial territories on the African continent, made the international slave trade illegal, as did the United States in 1808. In Senegambia, between 1300 and 1900, close to one-third of the population was enslaved. In early Islamic states of the Western Sudan, including Ghana, Mali and Songhai, about a third of the population was enslaved. In Sierra Leone in the 19th century about half of the population consisted of slaves. In the 19th century at least half the population was enslaved among the Duala of the Cameroon, the Igbo and other peoples of the lower Niger, the Kongo, the Kasanje kingdom and Chokwe of Angola. Among the Ashanti and Yoruba a third of the population consisted of slaves; the population of the Kanem was about a third slave.
It was 40% in Bornu. Between 1750 and 1900 from one- to two-thirds of the entire population of the Fulani jihad states consisted of slaves; the population of the Sokoto caliphate formed by Hausas in northern Nigeria and Cameroon was half-slave in the 19th century. It is estimated. Half the population of Madagascar was enslaved; the Anti-Slavery Society estimated that there were 2,000,000 slaves in the early 1930s Ethiopia, out of an estimated population of between 8 and 16 million. Slavery continued in Ethiopia until the brief Second Italo-Abyssinian War in October 1935, when it was abolished by order of the Italian occupying forces. In response to pressure by Western Allies of World War II Ethiopia abolished slavery and serfdom after regaining its independence in 1942. On 26 August 1942 Haile Selassie issued a proclamation outlawing slavery; when British rule was first imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate and the surrounding areas in northern Nigeria at the turn of the 20th century 2 million to 2.5 million people there were slaves.
Slavery in northern Nigeria was outlawed in 1936. Elikia M'bokolo, April 1998, Le Monde diplomatique. Quot
Wiltshire is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Berkshire; the county town was Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the county town of Trowbridge. Wiltshire is characterised by its high wide valleys. Salisbury Plain is noted for being the location of the Stonehenge and Avebury stone circles and other ancient landmarks, as a training area for the British Army; the city of Salisbury is notable for its medieval cathedral. Important country houses open to the public include Longleat, near Warminster, the National Trust's Stourhead, near Mere; the county, in the 9th century written as Wiltunscir Wiltonshire, is named after the former county town of Wilton. Wiltshire is notable for its pre-Roman archaeology; the Mesolithic and Bronze Age people that occupied southern Britain built settlements on the hills and downland that cover Wiltshire. Stonehenge and Avebury are the most famous Neolithic sites in the UK.
In the 6th and 7th centuries Wiltshire was at the western edge of Saxon Britain, as Cranborne Chase and the Somerset Levels prevented the advance to the west. The Battle of Bedwyn was fought in 675 between Escuin, a West Saxon nobleman who had seized the throne of Queen Saxburga, King Wulfhere of Mercia. In 878 the Danes invaded the county. Following the Norman Conquest, large areas of the country came into the possession of the crown and the church. At the time of the Domesday Survey the industry of Wiltshire was agricultural. In the succeeding centuries sheep-farming was vigorously pursued, the Cistercian monastery of Stanley exported wool to the Florentine and Flemish markets in the 13th and 14th centuries. In the 17th century English Civil War Wiltshire was Parliamentarian; the Battle of Roundway Down, a Royalist victory, was fought near Devizes. In 1794 it was decided at a meeting at the Bear Inn in Devizes to raise a body of ten independent troops of Yeomanry for the county of Wiltshire, which formed the basis for what would become the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, who served with distinction both at home and abroad, during the Boer War, World War I and World War II.
The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry lives on as Y Squadron, based in Swindon, B Squadron, based in Salisbury, of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry. Around 1800 the Kennet and Avon Canal was built through Wiltshire, providing a route for transporting cargoes from Bristol to London until the development of the Great Western Railway. Information on the 261 civil parishes of Wiltshire is available on Wiltshire Council's Wiltshire Community History website which has maps, demographic data and modern pictures and short histories; the local nickname for Wiltshire natives is "Moonrakers". This originated from a story of smugglers who managed to foil the local Excise men by hiding their alcohol French brandy in barrels or kegs, in a village pond; when confronted by the excise men they raked the surface to conceal the submerged contraband with ripples, claimed that they were trying to rake in a large round cheese visible in the pond a reflection of the full moon. The officials took them for simple yokels or mad and left them alone, allowing them to continue with their illegal activities.
Many villages claim the tale for their own village pond, but the story is most linked with The Crammer in Devizes. Two-thirds of Wiltshire, a rural county, lies on chalk, a kind of soft, porous limestone, resistant to erosion, giving it a high chalk downland landscape; this chalk is part of a system of chalk downlands throughout eastern and southern England formed by the rocks of the Chalk Group and stretching from the Dorset Downs in the west to Dover in the east. The largest area of chalk in Wiltshire is Salisbury Plain, used for arable agriculture and by the British Army as training ranges; the highest point in the county is the Tan Hill–Milk Hill ridge in the Pewsey Vale, just to the north of Salisbury Plain, at 295 m above sea level. The chalk uplands run northeast into West Berkshire in the Marlborough Downs ridge, southwest into Dorset as Cranborne Chase. Cranborne Chase, which straddles the border, like Salisbury Plain, yielded much Stone Age and Bronze Age archaeology; the Marlborough Downs are part of a 1,730 km2 conservation area.
In the northwest of the county, on the border with South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset, the underlying rock is the resistant oolite limestone of the Cotswolds. Part of the Cotswolds AONB is in Wiltshire, in the county's northwestern corner. Between the areas of chalk and limestone downland are clay vales; the largest of these vales is the Avon Vale. The Avon cuts diagonally through the north of the county, flowing through Bradford-on-Avon and into Bath and Bristol; the Vale of Pewsey has been cut through the chalk into Greensand and Oxford Clay in the centre of the county. In the south west of the county is the Vale of Wardour; the southeast of the county lies on the sandy soils of the northernmost area of the New Forest. Chalk is a porous rock, so the chalk hills have little surface water; the main settlements in the county are therefore situated at wet points. Notably, Salisbury is situated between the chalk of marshy flood plains; the county has green belt along its western fringes as a part of the extensive Avon green belt, reaching as far as the outskirts of Rudloe/Corsham and Trowbridge, preventing urban spr