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The coastal resort town of Bournemouth, is situated on the south coast of England. It was founded in 1810 by Lewis Tregonwell, a captain in the Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry. He was born in nearby Anderson, Dorset. When their second child died after an accidental overdose of his medicine, his wife Henrietta became despondent and fell into melancholia. As a therapeutic method, they went on holiday in Hampshire so she could recuperate. While there, they visited what would soon become Bournemouth. They found the area so enchanting that they bought some land there. Captain Tregonwell built a house on the land and later bought up many more properties, thus virtually founding Bournemouth.

Prior to its founding, it was a deserted heathland where cattle grazed, smugglers and pirates skulked, and an occasional fisherman came to cast his rod. It was not until 1837 that a settlement finally began in Bournemouth. The population of the village in 1851 was 695. Ten years later, the population was 1,707.

In 1851, Mary Shelley, wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and author of "Frankenstein," bought a house atop a cliff in Bournemouth. At that time, she had the remains of her parents moved from their original burial places in London to an underground mausoleum in Bournemouth. Mary died in 1851 at age 53 of what was thought by her physician to be a brain tumour. She was buried at St. Peter's Church in Bournemouth. On the first anniversary of her death, her son and daughter-in-law opened Mary's box desk and discovered, among other things, some of Percy's ashes and his heart. The son, Sir Percy Florence Shelley, had the heart encased in silver and on display at his home in Bournemouth. It was buried with him and his grandparents, mother, and wife upon Sir Percy's own death.

In 1856, local government was established, and the Bouirnemouth police department was founded, and an Act of Parliament designated men responsible for paving, cleaning, and lighting the streets. The dispensary, a place where indigent residents could get free medical care and medicine, opened in 1859. Gas street lights debuted in Bournemouth in 1864, and piped water ran through around the same time. In 1870, the London and South Western Railway Company opened the first railway station in Bournemouth, and that same year, the volunteer fire brigade was formed. By 1897, train stations dotted the streets of the town. The tram connected Bournemouth, Poole, Winton, and Christchurch from 1902 and 1936 when buses took their place.

Today, Bournemouth is a service town, meaning that restaurants, hotels and inns, pubs, and other tourist attractions are the primary industry. Recently, it has also become a financial service center with companies like JP Morgan Chase, Abbey Life, and Liverpool Victoria having opened offices in town.


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