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[inter]course of trade and alliance happily took the place of national reprisals and family feuds.
The antiquity of this town is supposed to be found in its name
being of British derivation, from Pen and Rhudd, signifying in
that langauge, a red head or hill; and such is the colour of the
hill above the town, and the ground and stones round it. But with
respect to situation, it may well be derived from Pen, the head,
and Ryn, a promontory, and so be referred to the beacon hill. It
might however be judged a more honourable etymon to derive the
name from Pen, and Rhydd, of Rhyddaw, to make free, and that on
account of special service or fidelity to the Roman government,
the Britons of this town were emancipated from the abject slavery
which the nation in general were subjected to, by their
tyrannical masters. This, in their own language, might be
Penrhydd, and pronounced by the Britons, as by the Welch at this
day, Penrith. However this may be, it has been the happiness of
this town to remain a royal franchise through all the ages of
feudal servitude; at least ever since the reign of Edward I.
without the incumbrance of a charter, and it is now peaceably
governed by the steward of the honours, and a free jury. The
honours of both town and castle belong to the Duke of Portland.
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