Portsmouth, city (1991 pop. 174,218) and district, Hampshire, S England, on Spithead Channel. The district includes Portsea (naval station), Southsea (residential district and resort), and the old town of Portsmouth proper. Since Henry VII had stone fortifications and docks built there, Portsmouth city has almost continuously been Britain's foremost naval base. There are also aircraft-engineering and other industries, and tourism is important. The Cathedral of St. Thomas of Canterbury dates partly from the 12th cent. Southsea Castle was built under Henry VIII. The 1st duke of Buckingham was assassinated in Buckingham House (then the Spotted Dog Inn) in Portsmouth in 1628. The house in which Charles Dickens was born has been converted into a museum, as has H.M.S. Victory, Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar in 1805; both are major attractions. Charles II married Catherine of Braganza in Portsmouth, and George Meredith and Walter Besant were born there. An 18th-century boys' school and a teacher-training college are in the city.
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