MIDHURST, an ancient parliamentary borough and market-town of Sussex, is picturesquely situated on a gentle eminence above the south bank of the West Bother, on three railway lines, 50 miles south-west of London and 12 north from Chichester. The church of St Denis (restored in 1881-83) is chiefly Perpendicular in style, but the lower part of the embattled tower is probably Norman. At the grammar school, founded in 1672, Richard Cobden and Sir Charles Lye11 were educated. A new public hall was opened in 1882. The old castle of the De Bohuns stood on a mound above the river, now overgrown with trees. In ancient times a commandery of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem had jurisdiction over the district now forming the liberty of St John. The prosperity of the town depends chiefly on agriculture. A market is held weekly, and a fair three times a year. The population of the parliamentary borough, which has an area of 26,172 acres, was 6753 in 1871, and 7221 in 1881.
Midhurst is not mentioned in Domesday, being included under Easebourne. In the reign of Henry I. it was held by the king as a minor barony. In the time of Edward I. it passed into the possession of the De Bohuns. From the time of Edward II. till 1832 it returned two members to parliament, hut since then only one.