Lincolnshire (abbreviated Lincs) is a county in the East Midlands of England. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders Northamptonshire in the south for just 20 yards (18 m), England's shortest county boundary. The county town is Lincoln, where the county council has its headquarters.
The ceremonial county of Lincolnshire is composed of the non-metropolitan county of Lincolnshire and the area covered by the unitary authorities of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. Therefore, part of the ceremonial county is in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and most is in the East Midlands region. The county is the second-largest of the English ceremonial counties and one that is predominantly agricultural in land use. The county is fourth largest of the two-tier counties, as the unitary authorities of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire are not included. The county can be broken down into a number of geographical sub-regions, including the rolling chalk hills of the Lincolnshire Wolds. In the southeast are the Lincolnshire Fens (southeast Lincolnshire), the Carrs (similar to the Fens but in north Lincolnshire), the industrial Humber Estuary and North Sea coast around Grimsby and Scunthorpe, and in the southwest of the county, the Kesteven Uplands, comprising rolling limestone hills in the district of South Kesteven.
The South Forty-Foot Drain is the main channel for the land-drainage of the Black Sluice Level in the Lincolnshire Fens. It lies in eastern England between Guthram Gowt and the Black Sluice pumping station on The Haven, at Boston. The Drain has its origins in the 1630s, when the first scheme to make the Fen land available for agriculture was carried out by the Earl of Lindsay, and has been steadily improved since then. Water drained from the land entered The Haven by gravity at certain states of the tide until 1946, when the Black Sluice pumping station was commissioned.
The Drain was navigable until 1971, when improvements to the pumping station led to the entrance lock being removed. It is currently being upgraded to navigable status by the Environment Agency, as part of the Fens Waterways Link, with the new entrance lock being completed in December 2008, and the upgrading of the southern section, including a link to the River Glen to allow navigation to Spalding forming phase 2 of the project.
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Walter de Coutances (died 16 November 1207) was a medieval English Bishop of Lincoln and Archbishop of Rouen. He began his royal service in the government of Henry II, serving as a vice-chancellor. He also accumulated a number of ecclesiastical offices, becoming successively canon of Rouen Cathedral, treasurer of Rouen, and Archdeacon of Oxford. King Henry sent him on a number of diplomatic missions, and finally rewarded him with the Bishopric of Lincoln in 1183. He did not remain there long, for he was translated to the archbishopric of Rouen in late 1184.
When Richard I, King Henry's son, became king in 1189, Coutances absolved Richard for his rebellion against his father and invested him as Duke of Normandy. He then accompanied Richard to Sicily as the king began the Third Crusade, but events in England prompted Richard to send the archbishop back to England to mediate between William Longchamp, the justiciar whom Richard had left in charge of the kingdom, and Prince John, Richard's younger brother. Coutances succeeded in securing a peace between Longchamp and John, but further actions by Longchamp led to the justiciar's expulsion from England, replaced in his role by Coutances, even though he never formally used the title. He remained in the office until late 1193, when he was summoned to Germany by the king, who was being held in captivity there. Coutances became a hostage for the final payment of Richard's ransom on the king's release in February 1194.
Coutances took no further part in English government after returning from Germany. Instead he became involved in Norman affairs, including a dispute with Richard over the ownership of Andali, an archiepiscopal manor that Richard desired as a fortress. Eventually the archbishop surrendered it to the king in return for two other manors and the seaport of Dieppe. Richard went on to build the castle of Château Gaillard on the former archiepiscopal manor. After Richard's death, Coutances invested Prince John as Duke of Normandy, but was forced to pay 2,100 angevin pounds to secure contested rights from the new king. After John lost control of Normandy in 1204, the archbishop did not resist the new government of King Philip II of France. Coutances died in November 1207 and was buried in his cathedral. (read more . . . )
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