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Title: Tour through the Eastern Counties of England, 1722
Author: Defoe, Daniel
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Tour through the Eastern Counties of England, 1722" ***

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OF ENGLAND, 1722***

Transcribed from the 1891 Cassell & Company edition by David Price, email

                        CASSELL’S NATIONAL LIBRARY

                                * * * * *

                               THROUGH THE
                           EASTERN COUNTIES OF
                              ENGLAND, 1722.

                              DANIEL DEFOE.

                      [Picture: Decorative graphic]

                       CASSELL & COMPANY, LIMITED:
                    _LONDON_, _PARIS_, & _MELBOURNE_.


DEFOE’S “particular and diverting account of whatever is curious and
worth observation” in his native country, told in a series of letters,
was founded upon seventeen separate tours in the counties, and three
larger tours through the whole country.  He said he had “viewed the north
part of England and the south part of Scotland five several times over,”
and he thought it worth while to note what he saw, because, “the fate of
things gives a new face to things; produces changes in low life, and
innumerable incidents; plants and supplants families; raises and sinks
towns; removes manufactures and trade; great towns decay and small towns
rise; new towns, new palaces, and new seats are built every day; great
rivers and good harbours dry up, and grow useless; again, new ports are
opened; brooks are made rivers; small rivers navigable pools, and
harbours are made where there were none before, and the like.”  We are
endeavouring, by little books published from time to time in this
“National Library,” to secure some record of the changes in our land and
in our manners as a people, and of what was worth record in his day we
can wish for no better reporter than Defoe.

Here, therefore, is Defoe’s first letter, which describes a Tour through
the Eastern Counties as they were in 1722.  It opens his first volume,
published in 1724, which was entitled, “A Tour through the whole Island
of Great Britain, Divided into Circuits or Journies.  Giving a Particular
and Diverting Account of whatever is Curious and worth Observation, viz.,
I. A Description of the Principal Cities and Towns, their Situation,
Magnitude, Government, and Commerce.  II. The Customs, Manners, Speech,
as also the Exercises, Diversions, and Employment of the People.  III.
The Produce and Improvement of the Lands, the Trade and Manufactures.
IV. The Sea Ports and Fortifications, the Course of Rivers, and the
Inland Navigation.  V. The Public Edifices, Seats and Palaces of the
Nobility and Gentry.  With Useful Observations upon the Whole.
Particularly fitted for the Reading of such as Desire to Travel over the
Island.  By a Gentleman.”  The Second Volume of the Tour was published in
June, 1725; and the Third Volume, giving a Tour through Scotland with a
Map of Scotland by Mr. Moll, followed in August, 1726, completing the
record of what Defoe called “a tedious and very expensive five years’
Travel.”  However tedious the travel may have been, Defoe’s account of it
is anything but tedious reading.

The change of times is in this letter vividly illustrated in this volume
by Defoe’s account of life as he found it in the undrained Essex marshes.
Life in them was so unhealthy that the land was cheap, men thus were
tempted to take fevers for grazing and corn-growing.  They became fairly
acclimatised, but when they brought their wives in fresh and healthy from
the uplands the women sickened and perished so fast, that it was common
to find a man with his sixth or eighth wife, and Defoe was told of an old
farmer who was living with his twenty-fifth wife, and had a son about
thirty-five years old, who had been married to about fourteen wives.
Custom had even dulled the sense of this horrible state of things until
the frequent change of wives became a local joke.

We have also a reminder in this volume of the traces and fresh memories
of Civil War in the account of the Siege of Colchester, which is a bit of
realisation such as no man could give better than Defoe.  We may note
also the fulness of detail in his account of Ipswich, a town that he
first knew as a child of seven.  He tells how it was once noted for
strong collier vessels built there, he maintains its honour and explains
its decay, while he makes various suggestions for the restoration of
prosperity, even to the hint that Ipswich would be a healthy and pleasant
place for persons to retire to who would live well upon slender means.
He writes, indeed, of Ipswich like a loyal townsman who had lived there
all his life.

At Bury St. Edmunds Defoe tolls us how in a pathway between two churches
a barrister of good family attempted to assassinate his brother-in-law
whom he had invited with his wife and children to supper.  On excuse of
visiting a neighbour he led him to the ambush of a hired assassin.  They
left their victim for dead, horribly mangled on the head and face and
body with a hedgebill.  He lived to bring them to justice, and was living
still when Defoe wrote.  But the assassins had been condemned to death
“on the statute for defacing and dismembering, called the Coventry Act.”
This Tour also recalls the days when Bury was a place of fashionable
holiday resort.  Defoe meditates upon the decline and fall of Dunwich,
tells of the coming and going of the swallows from our east coast, and of
innumerable swallows whom he saw one day waiting for a favourable wind on
the roofs of the church and houses at Southwold.  We read of the coming
up to London of the Norfolk turkeys on foot, in droves of from three
hundred to a thousand, and so many droves that by one route alone, and
that not the most crowded—over Stratford Bridge—a hundred and forty
thousand birds travelled to London between August and October.

In Norwich, Defoe was less interested than in Ipswich; but of Yarmouth
his account is full, and the frequency of wrecks on the east coast,
especially about Cromer Bay, which seamen called the Devil’s Throat, is
illustrated by the fact that in all the way from Winterton towards Cromer
that “the farmers and country people had scarce a barn, or a shed, or a
stable, nay not the pales of their yards and gardens, not a hog sty, but
what was built of old planks, beams, wales, and timbers, etc., the wrecks
of ships, and ruins of mariners’ and merchants’ fortunes.”

Defoe saw the races at Newmarket, where he was “sick of the jockeying
part.”  He went also to Bury Fair, of which he gives a full description,
and at Cambridge he paid honour to the University.

There was another Tour told in letters so near to Defoe’s in date and
form that the first or second volume of one work is often sold with the
second or first volume of the other.  The book not by Defoe was entitled
“A Journey through England in Familiar Letters from a Gentleman” here to
his friend abroad, in two vols., 1722, with a third volume on Scotland in
1726.  All editions published after Defoe’s death in 1731 have matter
added by others.  The addition of new matter began with the novelist
Samuel Richardson in 1732.

Some time afterwards there were changes announced as “by a gentleman of
eminence in the literary world.”

                                                                     H. M.


I BEGAN my travels where I purpose to end them, viz., at the City of
London, and therefore my account of the city itself will come last, that
is to say, at the latter end of my southern progress; and as in the
course of this journey I shall have many occasions to call it a circuit,
if not a circle, so I chose to give it the title of circuits in the
plural, because I do not pretend to have travelled it all in one journey,
but in many, and some of them many times over; the better to inform
myself of everything I could find worth taking notice of.

I hope it will appear that I am not the less, but the more capable of
giving a full account of things, by how much the more deliberation I have
taken in the view of them, and by how much the oftener I have had
opportunity to see them.

I set out the 3rd of April, 1722, going first eastward, and took what I
think I may very honestly call a circuit in the very letter of it; for I
went down by the coast of the Thames through the Marshes or Hundreds on
the south side of the county of Essex, till I came to Malden, Colchester,
and Harwich, thence continuing on the coast of Suffolk to Yarmouth;
thence round by the edge of the sea, on the north and west side of
Norfolk, to Lynn, Wisbech, and the Wash; thence back again, on the north
side of Suffolk and Essex, to the west, ending it in Middlesex, near the
place where I began it, reserving the middle or centre of the several
counties to some little excursions, which I made by themselves.

Passing Bow Bridge, where the county of Essex begins, the first
observation I made was, that all the villages which may be called the
neighbourhood of the city of London on this, as well as on the other
sides thereof, which I shall speak to in their order; I say, all those
villages are increased in buildings to a strange degree, within the
compass of about twenty or thirty years past at the most.

The village of Stratford, the first in this county from London, is not
only increased, but, I believe, more than doubled in that time; every
vacancy filled up with new houses, and two little towns or hamlets, as
they may be called, on the forest side of the town entirely new, namely
Maryland Point and the Gravel Pits, one facing the road to Woodford and
Epping, and the other facing the road to Ilford; and as for the hither
part, it is almost joined to Bow, in spite of rivers, canals, marshy
grounds, &c.  Nor is this increase of building the case only in this and
all the other villages round London; but the increase of the value and
rent of the houses formerly standing has, in that compass of years
above-mentioned, advanced to a very great degree, and I may venture to
say at least the fifth part; some think a third part, above what they
were before.

This is indeed most visible, speaking of Stratford in Essex; but it is
the same thing in proportion in other villages adjacent, especially on
the forest side; as at Low Leyton, Leytonstone, Walthamstow, Woodford,
Wanstead, and the towns of West Ham, Plaistow, Upton, etc.  In all which
places, or near them (as the inhabitants say), above a thousand new
foundations have been erected, besides old houses repaired, all since the
Revolution; and this is not to be forgotten too, that this increase is,
generally speaking, of handsome, large houses, from £20 a year to £60,
very few under £20 a year; being chiefly for the habitations of the
richest citizens, such as either are able to keep two houses, one in the
country and one in the city; or for such citizens as being rich, and
having left off trade, live altogether in these neighbouring villages,
for the pleasure and health of the latter part of their days.

The truth of this may at least appear, in that they tell me there are no
less than two hundred coaches kept by the inhabitants within the
circumference of these few villages named above, besides such as are kept
by accidental lodgers.

This increase of the inhabitants, and the cause of it, I shall enlarge
upon when I come to speak of the like in the counties of Middlesex,
Surrey, &c, where it is the same, only in a much greater degree.  But
this I must take notice of here, that this increase causes those villages
to be much pleasanter and more sociable than formerly, for now people go
to them, not for retirement into the country, but for good company; of
which, that I may speak to the ladies as well as other authors do, there
are in these villages, nay, in all, three or four excepted, excellent
conversation, and a great deal of it, and that without the mixture of
assemblies, gaming-houses, and public foundations of vice and debauchery;
and particularly I find none of those incentives kept up on this side the

Mr. Camden, and his learned continuator, Bishop Gibson, have ransacked
this country for its antiquities, and have left little unsearched; and as
it is not my present design to say much of what has been said already, I
shall touch very lightly where two such excellent antiquaries have gone
before me; except it be to add what may have been since discovered, which
as to these parts is only this: That there seems to be lately found out
in the bottom of the Marshes (generally called Hackney Marsh, and
beginning near about the place now called the Wick, between Old Ford and
the said Wick), the remains of a great stone causeway, which, as it is
supposed, was the highway, or great road from London into Essex, and the
same which goes now over the great bridge between Bow and Stratford.

That the great road lay this way, and that the great causeway landed
again just over the river, where now the Temple Mills stand, and passed
by Sir Thomas Hickes’s house at Ruckolls, all this is not doubted; and
that it was one of those famous highways made by the Romans there is
undoubted proof, by the several marks of Roman work, and by Roman coins
and other antiquities found there, some of which are said to be deposited
in the hands of the Rev. Mr. Strype, vicar of the parish of Low Leyton.

From hence the great road passed up to Leytonstone, a place by some known
now as much by the sign of the “Green Man,” formerly a lodge upon the
edge of the forest; and crossing by Wanstead House, formerly the dwelling
of Sir Josiah Child, now of his son the Lord Castlemain (of which
hereafter), went over the same river which we now pass at Ilford; and
passing that part of the great forest which we now call Hainault Forest,
came into that which is now the great road, a little on this side the
Whalebone, a place on the road so called because the rib-bone of a great
whale, which was taken in the River Thames the same year that Oliver
Cromwell died, 1658, was fixed there for a monument of that monstrous
creature, it being at first about eight-and-twenty feet long.

According to my first intention of effectually viewing the sea-coast of
these three counties, I went from Stratford to Barking, a large
market-town, but chiefly inhabited by fishermen, whose smacks ride in the
Thames, at the mouth of their river, from whence their fish is sent up to
London to the market at Billingsgate by small boats, of which I shall
speak by itself in my description of London.

One thing I cannot omit in the mention of these Barking fisher-smacks,
viz., that one of those fishermen, a very substantial and experienced
man, convinced me that all the pretences to bringing fish alive to London
market from the North Seas, and other remote places on the coast of Great
Britain, by the new-built sloops called fish-pools, have not been able to
do anything but what their fishing-smacks are able on the same occasion
to perform.  These fishing-smacks are very useful vessels to the public
upon many occasions; as particularly, in time of war they are used as
press-smacks, running to all the northern and western coasts to pick up
seamen to man the navy, when any expedition is at hand that requires a
sudden equipment; at other times, being excellent sailors, they are
tenders to particular men of war; and on an expedition they have been
made use of as machines for the blowing up of fortified ports and havens;
as at Calais, St. Malo, and other places.

This parish of Barking is very large, and by the improvement of lands
taken in out of the Thames, and out of the river which runs by the town,
the tithes, as the townsmen assured me, are worth above £600 per annum,
including, small tithes.  _Note_.—This parish has two or three chapels of
ease, viz., one at Ilford, and one on the side of Hainault Forest, called
New Chapel.

Sir Thomas Fanshaw, of an ancient Roman Catholic family, has a very good
estate in this parish.  A little beyond the town, on the road to
Dagenham, stood a great house, ancient, and now almost fallen down, where
tradition says the Gunpowder Treason Plot was at first contrived, and
that all the first consultations about it were held there.

This side of the county is rather rich in land than in inhabitants,
occasioned chiefly by the unhealthiness of the air; for these low marsh
grounds, which, with all the south side of the county, have been saved
out of the River Thames, and out of the sea, where the river is wide
enough to be called so, begin here, or rather begin at West Ham, by
Stratford, and continue to extend themselves, from hence eastward,
growing wider and wider till we come beyond Tilbury, when the flat
country lies six, seven, or eight miles broad, and is justly said to be
both unhealthy and unpleasant.

However, the lands are rich, and, as is observable, it is very good
farming in the marshes, because the landlords let good pennyworths, for
it being a place where everybody cannot live, those that venture it will
have encouragement and indeed it is but reasonable they should.

Several little observations I made in this part of the county of Essex.

1.  We saw, passing from Barking to Dagenham, the famous breach, made by
an inundation of the Thames, which was so great as that it laid near
5,000 acres of land under water, but which after near ten years lying
under water, and being several times blown up, has been at last
effectually stopped by the application of Captain Perry, the gentleman
who, for several years, had been employed in the Czar of Muscovy’s works,
at Veronitza, on the River Don.  This breach appeared now effectually
made up, and they assured us that the new work, where the breach was, is
by much esteemed the strongest of all the sea walls in that level.

2.  It was observable that great part of the lands in these levels,
especially those on this side East Tilbury, are held by the farmers,
cow-keepers, and grazing butchers who live in and near London, and that
they are generally stocked (all the winter half year) with large fat
sheep, viz., Lincolnshire and Leicestershire wethers, which they buy in
Smithfield in September and October, when the Lincolnshire and
Leicestershire graziers sell off their stock, and are kept here till
Christmas, or Candlemas, or thereabouts; and though they are not made at
all fatter here than they were when bought in, yet the farmer or butcher
finds very good advantage in it, by the difference of the price of mutton
between Michaelmas, when it is cheapest, and Candlemas, when it is
dearest; this is what the butchers value themselves upon, when they tell
us at the market that it is right marsh-mutton.

3.  In the bottom of these Marshes, and close to the edge of the river,
stands the strong fortress of Tilbury, called Tilbury Fort, which may
justly be looked upon as the key of the River Thames, and consequently
the key of the City of London.  It is a regular fortification.  The
design of it was a pentagon, but the water bastion, as it would have been
called, was never built.  The plan was laid out by Sir Martin Beckman,
chief engineer to King Charles II., who also designed the works at
Sheerness.  The esplanade of the fort is very large, and the bastions the
largest of any in England, the foundation is laid so deep, and piles
under that, driven down two an end of one another, so far, till they were
assured they were below the channel of the river, and that the piles,
which were shed with iron, entered into the solid chalk rock adjoining
to, or reaching from, the chalk hills on the other side.  These bastions
settled considerably at first, as did also part of the curtain, the great
quantity of earth that was brought to fill them up, necessarily,
requiring to be made solid by time; but they are now firm as the rocks of
chalk which they came from, and the filling up one of these bastions, as
I have been told by good hands, cost the Government £6,000, being filled
with chalk rubbish fetched from the chalk pits at Northfleet, just above

The work to the land side is complete; the bastions are faced with brick.
There is a double ditch, or moat, the innermost part of which is 180 feet
broad; there is a good counterscarp, and a covered way marked out with
ravelins and tenailles, but they are not raised a second time after their
first settling.

On the land side there are also two small redoubts of brick, but of very
little strength, for the chief strength of this fort on the land side
consists in this, that they are able to lay the whole level under water,
and so to make it impossible for an enemy to make any approaches to the
fort that way.

On the side next the river there is a very strong curtain, with a noble
gate called the Water Gate in the middle, and the ditch is palisadoed.
At the place where the water bastion was designed to be built, and which
by the plan should run wholly out into the river, so to flank the two
curtains of each side; I say, in the place where it should have been,
stands a high tower, which they tell us was built in Queen Elizabeth’s
time, and was called the Block House; the side next the water is vacant.

Before this curtain, above and below the said vacancy, is a platform in
the place of a counterscarp, on which are planted 106 pieces of cannon,
generally all of them carrying from twenty-four to forty-six pound ball;
a battery so terrible as well imports the consequence of that place;
besides which, there are smaller pieces planted between, and the bastions
and curtain also are planted with guns; so that they must be bold fellows
who will venture in the biggest ships the world has heard of to pass such
a battery, if the men appointed to serve the guns do their duty like
stout fellows, as becomes them.

The present government of this important place is under the prudent
administration of the Right Honourable the Lord Newbrugh.

From hence there is nothing for many miles together remarkable but a
continued level of unhealthy marshes, called the Three Hundreds, till we
come before Leigh, and to the mouth of the River Chelmer, and Blackwater.
These rivers united make a large firth, or inlet of the sea, which by Mr.
Camden is called _Idumanum Fluvium_; but by our fishermen and seamen, who
use it as a port, it is called Malden Water.

In this inlet of the sea is Osey, or Osyth Island, commonly called Oosy
Island, so well known by our London men of pleasure for the infinite
number of wild fowl, that is to say, duck, mallard, teal, and widgeon, of
which there are such vast flights, that they tell us the island, namely
the creek, seems covered with them at certain times of the year, and they
go from London on purpose for the pleasure of shooting; and, indeed,
often come home very well laden with game.  But it must be remembered too
that those gentlemen who are such lovers of the sport, and go so far for
it, often return with an Essex ague on their backs, which they find a
heavier load than the fowls they have shot.

It is on this shore, and near this creek, that the greatest quantity of
fresh fish is caught which supplies not this country only, but London
markets also.  On the shore, beginning a little below Candy Island, or
rather below Leigh Road, there lies a great shoal or sand called the
Black Tail, which runs out near three leagues into the sea due east; at
the end of it stands a pole or mast, set up by the Trinity House men of
London, whose business is to lay buoys and set up sea marks for the
direction of the sailors; this is called Shoe Beacon, from the point of
land where this sand begins, which is called Shoeburyness, and that from
the town of Shoebury, which stands by it.  From this sand, and on the
edge of Shoebury, before it, or south west of it, all along, to the mouth
of Colchester water, the shore is full of shoals and sands, with some
deep channels between; all which are so full of fish, that not only the
Barking fishing-smacks come hither to fish, but the whole shore is full
of small fisher-boats in very great numbers, belonging to the villages
and towns on the coast, who come in every tide with what they take; and
selling the smaller fish in the country, send the best and largest away
upon horses, which go night and day to London market.

_N.B._—I am the more particular in my remarks on this place, because in
the course of my travels the reader will meet with the like in almost
every place of note through the whole island, where it will be seen how
this whole kingdom, as well the people as the land, and even the sea, in
every part of it, are employed to furnish something, and I may add, the
best of everything, to supply the City of London with provisions; I mean
by provisions, corn, flesh, fish, butter, cheese, salt, fuel, timber,
etc., and clothes also; with everything necessary for building, and
furniture for their own use or for trade; of all which in their order.

On this shore also are taken the best and nicest, though not the largest,
oysters in England; the spot from whence they have their common
appellation is a little bank called Woelfleet, scarce to be called an
island, in the mouth of the River Crouch, now called Crooksea Water; but
the chief place where the said oysters are now had is from Wyvenhoe and
the shores adjacent, whither they are brought by the fishermen, who take
them at the mouth of that they call Colchester water and about the sand
they call the Spits, and carry them up to Wyvenhoe, where they are laid
in beds or pits on the shore to feed, as they call it; and then being
barrelled up and carried to Colchester, which is but three miles off,
they are sent to London by land, and are from thence called Colchester

The chief sort of other fish which they carry from this part of the shore
to London are soles, which they take sometimes exceeding large, and yield
a very good price at London market.  Also sometimes middling turbot, with
whiting, codling and large flounders; the small fish, as above, they sell
in the country.

In the several creeks and openings, as above, on this shore there are
also other islands, but of no particular note, except Mersey, which lies
in the middle of the two openings between Malden Water and Colchester
Water; being of the most difficult access, so that it is thought a
thousand men well provided might keep possession of it against a great
force, whether by land or sea.  On this account, and because if possessed
by an enemy it would shut up all the navigation and fishery on that side,
the Government formerly built a fort on the south-east point of it; and
generally in case of Dutch war, there is a strong body of troops kept
there to defend it.

At this place may be said to end what we call the Hundreds of Essex—that
is to say, the three Hundreds or divisions which include the marshy
country, viz., Barnstable Hundred, Rochford Hundred, and Dengy Hundred.

I have one remark more before I leave this damp part of the world, and
which I cannot omit on the women’s account, namely, that I took notice of
a strange decay of the sex here; insomuch that all along this country it
was very frequent to meet with men that had had from five or six to
fourteen or fifteen wives; nay, and some more.  And I was informed that
in the marshes on the other side of the river over against Candy Island
there was a farmer who was then living with the five-and-twentieth wife,
and that his son, who was but about thirty-five years old, had already
had about fourteen.  Indeed, this part of the story I only had by report,
though from good hands too; but the other is well known and easy to be
inquired into about Fobbing, Curringham, Thundersly, Benfleet,
Prittlewell, Wakering, Great Stambridge, Cricksea, Burnham, Dengy, and
other towns of the like situation.  The reason, as a merry fellow told
me, who said he had had about a dozen and a half of wives (though I found
afterwards he fibbed a little) was this: That they being bred in the
marshes themselves and seasoned to the place, did pretty well with it;
but that they always went up into the hilly country, or, to speak their
own language, into the uplands for a wife.  That when they took the young
lasses out of the wholesome and fresh air they were healthy, fresh, and
clear, and well; but when they came out of their native air into the
marshes among the fogs and damps, there they presently changed their
complexion, got an ague or two, and seldom held it above half a year, or
a year at most; “And then,” said he, “we go to the uplands again and
fetch another;” so that marrying of wives was reckoned a kind of good
farm to them.  It is true the fellow told this in a kind of drollery and
mirth; but the fact, for all that, is certainly true; and that they have
abundance of wives by that very means.  Nor is it less true that the
inhabitants in these places do not hold it out, as in other countries,
and as first you seldom meet with very ancient people among the poor, as
in other places we do, so, take it one with another, not one-half of the
inhabitants are natives of the place; but such as from other countries or
in other parts of this country settle here for the advantage of good
farms; for which I appeal to any impartial inquiry, having myself
examined into it critically in several places.

From the marshes and low grounds being not able to travel without many
windings and indentures by reason of the creeks and waters, I came up to
the town of Malden, a noted market town situate at the conflux or joining
of two principal rivers in this county, the Chelm or Chelmer, and the
Blackwater, and where they enter into the sea.  The channel, as I have
noted, is called by the sailors Malden Water, and is navigable up to the
town, where by that means is a great trade for carrying corn by water to
London; the county of Essex being (especially on all that side) a great
corn county.

When I have said this I think I have done Malden justice, and said all of
it that there is to be said, unless I should run into the old story of
its antiquity, and tell you it was a Roman colony in the time of
Vespasian, and that it was called Camolodunum.  How the Britons, under
Queen Boadicea, in revenge for the Romans’ ill-usage of her—for indeed
they used her majesty ill—they stripped her naked and whipped her
publicly through their streets for some affront she had given them.  I
say how for this she raised the Britons round the country, overpowered,
and cut in pieces the Tenth Legion, killed above eighty thousand Romans,
and destroyed the colony; but was afterwards overthrown in a great
battle, and sixty thousand Britons slain.  I say, unless I should enter
into this story, I have nothing more to say of Malden, and, as for that
story, it is so fully related by Mr. Camden in his history of the Romans
in Britain at the beginning of his “Britannia,” that I need only refer
the reader to it, and go on with my journey.

Being obliged to come thus far into the uplands, as above, I made it my
road to pass through Witham, a pleasant, well-situated market town, in
which, and in its neighbourhood, there are as many gentlemen of good
fortunes and families as I believe can be met with in so narrow a compass
in any of the three counties of which I make this circuit.

In the town of Witham dwells the Lord Pasely, oldest son of the Earl of
Abercorn of Ireland (a branch of the noble family of Hamilton, in
Scotland).  His lordship has a small, but a neat, well-built new house,
and is finishing his gardens in such a manner as few in that part of
England will exceed them.

Nearer Chelmsford, hard by Boreham, lives the Lord Viscount Barrington,
who, though not born to the title, or estate, or name which he now
possesses, had the honour to be twice made heir to the estates of
gentlemen not at all related to him, at least, one of them, as is very
much to his honour, mentioned in his patent of creation.  His name was
Shute, his father a linendraper in London, and served sheriff of the said
city in very troublesome times.  He changed the name of Shute for that of
Barrington by an Act of Parliament obtained for that purpose, and had the
dignity of a baron of the kingdom conferred on him by the favour of King
George.  His lordship is a Dissenter, and seems to love retirement.  He
was a member of Parliament for the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

On the other side of Witham, at Fauburn, an ancient mansion house, built
by the Romans, lives Mr. Bullock, whose father married the daughter of
that eminent citizen, Sir Josiah Child, of Wanstead, by whom she had
three sons; the eldest enjoys the estate, which is considerable.

It is observable, that in this part of the country there are several very
considerable estates, purchased and now enjoyed by citizens of London,
merchants, and tradesmen, as Mr. Western, an iron merchant, near
Kelendon; Mr. Cresnor, a wholesale grocer, who was, a little before he
died, named for sheriff at Earl’s Coln; Mr. Olemus, a merchant at
Braintree; Mr. Westcomb, near Malden; Sir Thomas Webster at Copthall,
near Waltham; and several others.

I mention this to observe how the present increase of wealth in the City
of London spreads itself into the country, and plants families and
fortunes, who in another age will equal the families of the ancient
gentry, who perhaps were brought out.  I shall take notice of this in a
general head, and when I have run through all the counties, collect a
list of the families of citizens and tradesmen thus established in the
several counties, especially round London.

The product of all this part of the country is corn, as that of the
marshy feeding grounds mentioned above is grass, where their chief
business is breeding of calves, which I need not say are the best and
fattest, and the largest veal in England, if not in the world; and, as an
instance, I ate part of a veal or calf, fed by the late Sir Josiah Child
at Wanstead, the loin of which weighed above thirty pounds, and the flesh
exceeding white and fat.

From hence I went on to Colchester.  The story of Kill-Dane, which is
told of the town of Kelvedon, three miles from Witham, namely, that this
is the place where the massacre of the Danes was begun by the women, and
that therefore it was called Kill-Dane; I say of it, as we generally say
of improbable news, it wants confirmation.  The true name of the town is
Kelvedon, and has been so for many hundred years.  Neither does Mr.
Camden, or any other writer I meet with worth naming, insist on this
piece of empty tradition.  The town is commonly called Keldon.

Colchester is an ancient corporation.  The town is large, very populous,
the streets fair and beautiful, and though it may not said to be finely
built, yet there are abundance of very good and well-built houses in it.
It still mourns in the ruins of a civil war; during which, or rather
after the heat of the war was over, it suffered a severe siege, which,
the garrison making a resolute defence, was turned into a blockade, in
which the garrison and inhabitants also suffered the utmost extremity of
hunger, and were at last obliged to surrender at discretion, when their
two chief officers, Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle, were shot to
death under the castle wall.  The inhabitants had a tradition that no
grass would grow upon the spot where the blood of those two gallant
gentlemen was spilt, and they showed the place bare of grass for many
years; but whether for this reason I will not affirm.  The story is now
dropped, and the grass, I suppose, grows there, as in other places.

However, the battered walls, the breaches in the turrets, and the ruined
churches, still remain, except that the church of St. Mary (where they
had the royal fort) is rebuilt; but the steeple, which was two-thirds
battered down, because the besieged had a large culverin upon it that did
much execution, remains still in that condition.

There is another church which bears the marks of those times, namely, on
the south side of the town, in the way to the Hythe, of which more

The lines of contravallation, with the forts built by the besiegers, and
which surrounded the whole town, remain very visible in many places; but
the chief of them are demolished.

The River Colne, which passes through this town, compasses it on the
north and east sides, and served in those times for a complete defence on
those sides.  They have three bridges over it, one called North Bridge,
at the north gate, by which the road leads into Suffolk; one called East
Bridge, at the foot of the High Street, over which lies the road to
Harwich, and one at the Hythe, as above.

The river is navigable within three miles of the town for ships of large
burthen; a little lower it may receive even a royal navy; and up to that
part called the Hythe, close to the houses, it is navigable for hoys and
small barques.  This Hythe is a long street, passing from west to east,
on the south side of the town.  At the west end of it, there is a small
intermission of the buildings, but not much; and towards the river it is
very populous (it may be called the Wapping of Colchester).  There is one
church in that part of the town, a large quay by the river, and a good

The town may be said chiefly to subsist by the trade of making bays,
which is known over most of the trading parts of Europe by the name of
Colchester Bays, though indeed all the towns round carry on the same
trade—namely, Kelvedon, Witham, Coggeshall, Braintree, Bocking, &c., and
the whole county, large as it is, may be said to be employed, and in part
maintained, by the spinning of wool for the bay trade of Colchester and
its adjacent towns.  The account of the siege, A.D. 1648, with a diary of
the most remarkable passages, are as follows, which I had from so good a
hand as that I have no reason to question its being a true relation.


ON the 4th of June, we were alarmed in the town of Colchester that the
Lord Goring, the Lord Capel, and a body of two thousand of the loyal
party, who had been in arms in Kent, having left a great body of an army
in possession of Rochester Bridge, where they resolved to fight the Lord
Fairfax and the Parliament army, had given the said General Fairfax the
slip, and having passed the Thames at Greenwich, were come to Stratford,
and were advancing this way; upon which news, Sir Charles Lucas, Sir
George Lisle, Colonel Cook, and several gentlemen of the loyal army, and
all that had commissions from the king, with a gallant appearance of
gentlemen volunteers, drew together from all parts of the country to join
with them.

The 8th, we were further informed that they were advanced to Chelmsford,
to New Hall House, and to Witham; and the 9th some of the horse arrived
in the town, taking possession of the gates, and having engineers with
them, told us that General Goring had resolved to make this town his
headquarters, and would cause it to be well fortified.  They also caused
the drums to beat for volunteers; and a good number of the poor
bay-weavers, and such-like people, wanting employment, enlisted; so that
they completed Sir Charles Lucas’s regiment, which was but thin, to near
eight hundred men.

On the 10th we had news that the Lord Fairfax, having beaten the
Royalists at Maidstone, and retaken Rochester, had passed the Thames at
Gravesend, though with great difficulty, and with some loss, and was come
to Horndon-on-the-Hill, in order to gain Colchester before the Royalists;
but that hearing Sir Charles Lucas had prevented him, had ordered his
rendezvous at Billerecay, and intended to possess the pass at Malden on
the 11th, where Sir Thomas Honnywood, with the county-trained bands, was
to be the same day.

The same evening the Lord Goring, with all his forces, making about five
thousand six hundred men, horse and foot, came to Colchester, and
encamping without the suburbs, under command of the cannon of St. Mary’s
fort, made disposition to fight the Parliament forces if they came up.

The 12th, the Lord Goring came into Colchester, viewed the fort in St.
Mary’s churchyard, ordered more cannon to be planted upon it, posted two
regiments in the suburbs without the head gate, let the town know he
would take them into his Majesty’s protection, and that he would fight
the enemy in that situation.  The same evening the Lord Fairfax, with a
strong party of one thousand horse, came to Lexden, at two small miles’
distance, expecting the rest of his army there the same night.

The Lord Goring brought in prisoners the same day, Sir William Masham,
and several other gentlemen of the county, who were secured under a
strong guard; which the Parliament hearing, ordered twenty prisoners of
the royal party to be singled out, declaring, that they should be used in
the same manner as the Lord Goring used Sir William Masham, and the
gentlemen prisoners with him.

On the 13th, early in the morning, our spies brought intelligence that
the Lord Fairfax, all his forces being come up to him, was making
dispositions for a march, resolving to attack the Royalists in their
camp; upon which, the Lord Goring drew all his forces together, resolving
to fight.  The engineers had offered the night before to entrench his
camp, and to draw a line round it in one night’s time, but his lordship
declined it, and now there was no time for it; whereupon the general,
Lord Goring, drew up his army in order of battle on both sides the road,
the horse in the open fields on the wings; the foot were drawn up, one
regiment in the road, one regiment on each side, and two regiments for
reserve in the suburb, just at the entrance of the town, with a regiment
of volunteers advanced as a forlorn hope, and a regiment of horse at the
head-gate, ready to support the reserve, as occasion should require.

About nine in the morning we heard the enemy’s drums beat a march, and in
half an hour more their first troops appeared on the higher grounds
towards Lexden.  Immediately the cannon from St. Mary’s fired upon them,
and put some troops of horse into confusion, doing great execution,
which, they not being able to shun it, made them quicken their pace, fall
on, when our cannon were obliged to cease firing, lest we should hurt our
own troops as well as the enemy.  Soon after, their foot appeared, and
our cannon saluted them in like manner, and killed them a great many men.

Their first line of foot was led up by Colonel Barkstead, and consisted
of three regiments of foot, making about 1,700 men, and these charged our
regiment in the lane, commanded by Sir George Lisle and Sir William
Campion.  They fell on with great fury, and were received with as much
gallantry, and three times repulsed; nor could they break in here, though
the Lord Fairfax sent fresh men to support them, till the Royalists’
horse, oppressed with numbers on the left, were obliged to retire, and at
last to come full gallop into the street, and so on into the town.  Nay,
still the foot stood firm, and the volunteers, being all gentlemen, kept
their ground with the greatest resolution; but the left wing being
routed, as above, Sir William Campion was obliged to make a front to the
left, and lining the hedge with his musketeers, made a stand with a body
of pikes against the enemy’s horse, and prevented them entering the lane.
Here that gallant gentleman was killed with a carabine shot; and after a
very gallant resistance, the horse on the right being also overpowered,
the word was given to retreat, which, however, was done in such good
order, the regiments of reserve standing drawn up at the end of the
street, ready to receive the enemy’s horse upon the points of their
pikes, that the royal troops came on in the openings between the
regiments, and entered the town with very little loss, and in very good

By this, however, those regiments of reserve were brought at last to
sustain the efforts of the enemy’s whole army, till being overpowered by
numbers they were put into disorder, and forced to get into the town in
the best manner they could; by which means near two hundred men were
killed or made prisoners.

Encouraged by this success the enemy pushed on, supposing they should
enter the town pell-mell with the rest; nor did the Royalists hinder
them, but let good part of Barkstead’s own regiment enter the head-gate;
but then sallying from St. Mary’s with a choice body of foot on their
left, and the horse rallying in the High Street, and charging them again
in the front, they were driven back quite into the street of the suburb,
and most of those that had so rashly entered were cut in pieces.

Thus they were repulsed at the south entrance into the town; and though
they attempted to storm three times after that with great resolution, yet
they were as often beaten back, and that with great havoc of their men;
and the cannon from the fort all the while did execution upon those who
stood drawn up to support them; so that at last, seeing no good to be
done, they retreated, having small joy of their pretended victory.

They lost in this action Colonel Needham, who commanded a regiment called
the Tower Guards, and who fought very desperately; Captain Cox, an old
experienced horse officer, and several other officers of note, with a
great many private men, though, as they had the field, they concealed
their number, giving out that they lost but a hundred, when we were
assured they lost near a thousand men besides the wounded.

They took some of our men prisoners, occasioned by the regiment of
Colonel Farr, and two more sustaining the shock of their whole army, to
secure the retreat of the main body, as above.

The 14th, the Lord Fairfax finding he was not able to carry the town by
storm, without the formality of a siege, took his headquarters at Lexden,
and sent to London and to Suffolk for more forces; also he ordered the
trained bands to be raised and posted on the roads to prevent succours.
Notwithstanding which, divers gentlemen, with some assistance of men and
arms, found means to get into the town.

The very same night they began to break ground, and particularly to raise
a fort between Colchester and Lexden, to cover the general’s quarter from
the sallies from the town; for the Royalists having a good body of horse,
gave them no rest, but scoured the fields every day, and falling all that
were found straggling from their posts, and by this means killed a great

The 17th, Sir Charles Lucas having been out with 1,200 horse, and
detaching parties toward the seaside, and towards Harwich, they brought
in a very great quantity of provisions, and abundance of sheep and black
cattle sufficient for the supply of the town for a considerable time; and
had not the Suffolk forces advanced over Cataway Bridge to prevent it, a
larger supply had been brought in that way; for now it appeared plainly
that the Lord Fairfax finding the garrison strong and resolute, and that
he was not in a condition to reduce them by force, at least without the
loss of much blood, had resolved to turn his siege into a blockade, and
reduce them by hunger; their troops being also wanted to oppose several
other parties, who had, in several parts of the kingdom, taken arms for
the king’s cause.

This same day General Fairfax sent in a trumpet to propose exchanging
prisoners, which the Lord Goring rejected, expecting a reinforcement of
troops, which were actually coming to him, and were to be at Linton in
Cambridgeshire as the next day.

The same day two ships brought in a quantity of corn and provisions and
fifty-six men from the shore of Kent with several gentlemen, who all
landed and came up to the town, and the greatest part of the corn was
with the utmost application unloaded the same night into some hoys, which
brought it up to the Hythe, being apprehensive of the Parliament’s ships
which lay at Harwich, who having intelligence of the said ships, came the
next day into the mouth of the river, and took the said two ships and
what corn was left in them.  The besieged sent out a party to help the
ships, but having no boats they could not assist them.

18th.  Sir Charles Lucas sent an answer about exchange of prisoners,
accepting the conditions offered, but the Parliament’s general returned
that he would not treat with Sir Charles, for that he (Sir Charles) being
his prisoner upon his parole of honour, and having appeared in arms
contrary to the rules of war, had forfeited his honour and faith, and was
not capable of command or trust in martial affairs.  To this Sir Charles
sent back an answer, and his excuse for his breach of his parole, but it
was not accepted, nor would the Lord Fairfax enter upon any treaty with

Upon this second message Sir William Masham and the Parliament Committee
and other gentlemen, who were prisoners in the town, sent a message in
writing under their hands to the Lord Fairfax, entreating him to enter
into a treaty for peace; but the Lord Fairfax returned, he could take no
notice of their request, as supposing it forced from them under
restraint; but that if the Lord Goring desired peace, he might write to
the Parliament, and he would cause his messenger to have a safe conduct
to carry his letter.  There was a paper sent enclosed in this paper,
signed Capel, Norwich, Charles Lucas, but to that the general would
return no answer, because it was signed by Sir Charles for the reasons

All this while the Lord Goring, finding the enemy strengthening
themselves, gave order for fortifying the town, and drawing lines in
several places to secure the entrance, as particularly without the east
bridge, and without the north gate and bridge, and to plant more cannon
upon the works; to which end some great guns were brought in from some
ships at Wivenhoe.

The same day, our men sallied out in three places, and attacked the
besiegers, first at their port, called Essex, then at their new works, on
the south of the town; a third party sallying at the east bridge, brought
in some booty from the Suffolk troops, having killed several of their
stragglers on the Harwich road.  They also took a lieutenant of horse
prisoner, and brought him into the town.

19th.  This day we had the unwelcome news that our friends at Linton were
defeated by the enemy, and Major Muschamp, a loyal gentleman, killed.

The same night, our men gave the enemy alarm at their new Essex fort, and
thereby drew them out as if they would fight, till they brought them
within reach of the cannon of St. Mary’s, and then our men retiring, the
great guns let fly among them, and made them run.  Our men shouted after
them.  Several of them were killed on this occasion, one shot having
killed three horsemen in our fight.

20th.  We now found the enemy, in order to a perfect blockade, resolved
to draw a line of circumvallation round the town; having received a train
of forty pieces of heavy cannon from the Tower of London.

This day the Parliament sent a messenger to their prisoners to know how
they fared, and how they were used; who returned word, that they fared
indifferent well, and were very civilly used, but that provisions were
scarce, and therefore dear.

This day a party of horse, with 300 foot, sallied out, and marched as far
as the fort on the Isle of Mersey, which they made a show of attacking,
to keep in the garrison.  Meanwhile the rest took a good number of cattle
from the country, which they brought safe into the town, with five
waggons laden with corn.  This was the last they could bring in that way,
the lines being soon finished on that side.

This day the Lord Fairfax sent in a trumpet to the Earl of Norwich and
the Lord Goring, offering honourable conditions to them all, allowing all
the gentlemen their lives and arms, exemption from plunder, and passes,
if they desired to go beyond sea, and all the private men pardon, and
leave to go peaceably to their own dwellings.  But the Lord Goring and
the rest of the gentlemen rejected it, and laughed at them, upon which
the Lord Fairfax made proclamation, that his men should give the private
soldiers in Colchester free leave to pass through their camp, and go
where they pleased without molestation, only leaving their arms, but that
the gentlemen should have no quarter.  This was a great loss to the
Royalists, for now the men foreseeing the great hardships they were like
to suffer, began to slip away, and the Lord Goring was obliged to forbid
any to desert on pain of present death, and to keep parties of horse
continually patrolling to prevent them; notwithstanding which many got

21st.  The town desired the Lord Goring to give them leave to send a
message to Lord Fairfax, to desire they might have liberty to carry on
their trade and sell their bays and says, which Lord Goring granted; but
the enemy’s general returned, that they should have considered that
before they let the Royalists into the town; that to desire a free trade
from a town besieged was never heard of, or at least, was such a motion,
as was never yet granted; that, however, he would give the bay-makers
leave to bring their bays and says, and other goods, once a week, or
oftener, if they desire it, to Lexden Heath, where they should have a
free market, and might sell them or carry them back again, if not sold,
as they found occasion.

22nd.  The besieged sallied out in the night with a strong party, and
disturbed the enemy in their works, and partly ruined one of their forts,
called Ewer’s Fort, where the besiegers were laying a bridge over the
River Colne.  Also they sallied again at east bridge, and faced the
Suffolk troops, who were now declared enemies.  These brought in
six-and-fifty good bullocks, and some cows, and they took and killed
several of the enemy.

23rd.  The besiegers began to fire with their cannon from Essex Fort, and
from Barkstead’s Fort, which was built upon the Malden road; and finding
that the besieged had a party in Sir Harbottle Grimston’s house, called,
“The Fryery,” they fired at it with their cannon, and battered it almost
down, and then the soldiers set it on fire.

This day upon the townsmen’s treaty for the freedom of the bay trade, the
Lord Fairfax sent a second offer of conditions to the besieged, being the
same as before, only excepting Lord Goring, Lord Capel, Sir George Lisle,
and Sir Charles Lucas.

This day we had news in the town that the Suffolk forces were advanced to
assist the besiegers, and that they began a fort called Fort Suffolk, on
the north side of the town, to shut up the Suffolk road towards
Stratford.  This day the besieged sallied out at north bridge, attacked
the out-guards of the Suffolk men on Mile End Heath, and drove them into
their fort in the woods.

This day the Lord Fairfax sent a trumpet, complaining of chewed and
poisoned bullets being shot from the town, and threatening to give no
quarter if that practice was allowed; but Lord Goring returned answer,
with a protestation, that no such thing was done by his order or consent.

24th.  They fired hard from their cannon against St. Mary’s steeple, on
which was planted a large culverin, which annoyed them even in the
general’s headquarters at Lexden.  One of the best gunners the garrison
had was killed with a cannon bullet.  This night the besieged sallied
towards Audly, on the Suffolk road, and brought in some cattle.

25th.  Lord Capel sent a trumpet to the Parliament-General, but the rogue
ran away, and came not back, nor sent any answer; whether they received
his message or not, was not known.

26th.  This day having finished their new bridge, a party of their troops
passed that bridge, and took post on the hill over against Mile End
Church, where they built a fort, called Fothergall’s Fort, and another on
the east side of the road, called Rainsbro’s Fort, so that the town was
entirely shut in, on that side, and the Royalists had no place free but
over east bridge, which was afterwards cut off by the enemy’s bringing
their line from the Hythe within the river to the stone causeway leading
to the east bridge.

July 1st.  From the 26th to the 1st, the besiegers continued finishing
their works, and by the 2nd the whole town was shut in; at which the
besiegers gave a general salvo from their cannon at all their forts; but
the besieged gave them a return, for they sallied out in the night,
attacked Barkstead’s fort, scarce finished, with such fury, that they
twice entered the work sword in hand, killed most part of the defendants,
and spoiled part of the forts cast up; but fresh forces coming up, they
retired with little loss, bringing eight prisoners, and having slain, as
they reported, above 100.

On the second, Lord Fairfax offered exchange for Sir William Masham in
particular, and afterwards for other prisoners, but the Lord Goring

5th.  The besieged sallied with two regiments, supported by some horse,
at midnight; they were commanded by Sir George Lisle.  They fell on with
such fury, that the enemy were put into confusion, their works at east
bridge ruined, and two pieces of cannon taken, Lieutenant Colonel
Sambrook, and several other officers, were killed, and our men retired
into the town, bringing the captain, two lieutenants, and about fifty men
with them prisoners into the town; but having no horse, we could not
bring off the cannon, but they spiked them, and made them unfit for

From this time to the 11th, the besieged sallied almost every night,
being encouraged by their successes, and they constantly cut off some of
the enemy, but not without loss also on their own side.

About this time we received by a spy the bad news of defeating the king’s
friends almost in all parts of England, and particularly several parties
which had good wishes to our gentlemen, and intended to relieve them.

Our batteries from St. Mary’s Fort and steeple, and from the north
bridge, greatly annoyed them, and killed most of their gunners and
firemen.  One of the messengers who brought news to Lord Fairfax of the
defeat of one of the parties, in Kent, and the taking of Weymer Castle,
slipped into the town, and brought a letter to the Lord Goring, and
listed in the regiment of the Lord Capel’s horse.

14th.  The besiegers attacked and took the Hythe Church, with a small
work the besieged had there, but the defenders retired in time; some were
taken prisoners in the church, but not in the fort; Sir Charles Lucas’s
horse was attacked by a great body of the besiegers; the besieged
defended themselves with good resolution for some time, but a
hand-grenade thrown in by the assailants, having fired the magazine, the
house was blown up, and most of the gallant defenders buried in the
ruins.  This was a great blow to the Royalists, for it was a very strong
pass, and always well guarded.

15th.  The Lord Fairfax sent offers of honourable conditions to the
soldiers of the garrison if they would surrender, or quit the service;
upon which the Lords Goring and Capel, and Sir Charles Lucas, returned an
answer signed by their hands, that it was not honourable or agreeable to
the usage of war to offer conditions separately to the soldiers,
exclusive of their officers, and therefore civilly desired his lordship
to send no more such messages or proposals, or if he did, that he would
not take it ill if they hanged up the messenger.

This evening all the gentlemen volunteers, with all the horse of the
garrison, with Sir Charles Lucas, Sir George Lisle, and Sir Bernard
Gascoigne at the head of them, resolved to break through the enemy, and
forcing a pass to advance into Suffolk by Nayland Bridge.  To this
purpose they passed the river near Middle Mill; but their guides having
misled them the enemy took the alarm; upon which their guides, and some
pioneers which they had with them to open the hedges and level the banks,
for their passing to Boxted, all ran away, so the horse were obliged to
retreat, the enemy pretending to pursue, but thinking they had retreated
by the north bridge, they missed them; upon which being enraged, they
fired the suburbs without the bridge, and burned them quite down.

18th.  Some of the horse attempted to escape the same way, and had the
whole body been there as before, they had effected it; but there being
but two troops, they were obliged to retire.  Now the town began to be
greatly distressed, provisions failing, and the townspeople, which were
numerous, being very uneasy, and no way of breaking through being found
practicable, the gentlemen would have joined in any attempt wherein they
might die gallantly with their swords in their hands, but nothing
presented; they often sallied and cut off many of the enemy, but their
numbers were continually supplied, and the besieged diminished; their
horse also sunk and became unfit for service, having very little hay, and
no corn, and at length they were forced to kill them for food; so that
they began to be in a very miserable condition, and the soldiers deserted
every day in great numbers, not being able to bear the want of food, as
being almost starved with hunger.

22nd.  The Lord Fairfax offered again an exchange of prisoners, but the
Lord Goring rejected it, because they refused conditions to the chief
gentlemen of the garrison.

During this time, two troops of the Royal Horse sallied out in the night,
resolving to break out or die: the first rode up full gallop to the
enemy’s horse guards on the side of Malden road, and exchanged their
pistols with the advanced troops, and wheeling made as if they would
retire to the town; but finding they were not immediately pursued, they
wheeled about to the right, and passing another guard at a distance,
without being perfectly discovered, they went clean off, and passing
towards Tiptree Heath, and having good guides, they made their escape
towards Cambridgeshire, in which length of way they found means to
disperse without being attacked, and went every man his own way as fate
directed; nor did we hear that many of them were taken: they were led, as
we are informed, by Sir Bernard Gascoigne.

Upon these attempts of the horse to break out, the enemy built a small
fort in the meadow right against the ford in the river at the Middle
Mill, and once set that mill on fire, but it was extinguished without
much damage; however, the fort prevented any more attempts that way.

22nd.  The Parliament-General sent in a trumpet, to propose again the
exchange of prisoners, offering the Lord Capel’s son for one, and Mr.
Ashburnham for Sir William Masham; but the Lord Capel, Lord Goring, and
the rest of the loyal gentlemen rejected it; and Lord Capel, in
particular, sent the Lord Fairfax word it was inhuman to surprise his
son, who was not in arms, and offer him to insult a father’s affection,
but that he might murder his son if he pleased, he would leave his blood
to be revenged as Heaven should give opportunity; and the Lord Goring
sent word, that as they had reduced the king’s servants to eat
horseflesh, the prisoners should feed as they fed.

The enemy sent again to complain of the Royalists shooting poisoned
bullets, and sent two affidavits of it made by two deserters, swearing it
was done by the Lord Norwich’s direction; the generals in the town
returned under all their hands that they never gave any such command or
direction; that they disowned the practice; and that the fellows who
swore it were perjured before in running from their colours and the
service of their king, and ought not to be credited again; but they
added, that for shooting rough-cast slugs they must excuse them, as
things stood with them at that time.

About this time, a porter in a soldier’s habit got through the enemy’s
leaguer, and passing their out-guards in the dark, got into the town, and
brought letters from London, assuring the Royalists that there were so
many strong parties up in arms for the king, and in so many places, that
they would be very suddenly relieved.  This they caused to be read to the
soldiers to encourage them; and particularly it related to the rising of
the Earl of Holland, and the Duke of Buckingham, who with 500 horse were
gotten together in arms about Kingston in Surrey; but we had notice in a
few days after that they were defeated, and the Earl of Holland taken,
who was afterwards beheaded.

26th.  The enemy now began to batter the walls, and especially on the
west side, from St. Mary’s towards the north gate; and we were assured
they intended a storm; on which the engineers were directed to make
trenches behind the walls where the breaches should be made, that in case
of a storm they might meet with a warm reception.  Upon this, they gave
over the design of storming.  The Lord Goring finding that the enemy had
set the suburbs on fire right against the Hythe, ordered the remaining
houses, which were empty of inhabitants, from whence their musketeer
fired against the town, to be burned also.

31st.  A body of foot sallied out at midnight, to discover what the enemy
were doing at a place where they thought a new fort raising; they fell in
among the workmen, and put them to flight, cut in pieces several of the
guard, and brought in the officer who commanded them prisoner.

August 2nd.  The town was now in a miserable condition: the soldiers
searched and rifled the houses of the inhabitants for victuals; they had
lived on horseflesh several weeks, and most of that also was as lean as
carrion, which not being well salted bred wens; and this want of diet
made the soldiers sickly, and many died of fluxes, yet they boldly
rejected all offers of surrender, unless with safety to their offices.
However, several hundreds got out, and either passed the enemy’s guards,
or surrendered to them and took passes.

7th.  The townspeople became very uneasy to the soldiers, and the mayor
of the town, with the aldermen, waited upon the general, desiring leave
to send to the Lord Fairfax for leave to all the inhabitants to come out
of the town, that they might not perish, to which the Lord Goring
consented, but the Lord Fairfax refused them.

12th.  The rabble got together in a vast crowd about the Lord Goring’s
quarters, clamouring for a surrender, and they did this every evening,
bringing women and children, who lay howling and crying on the ground for
bread; the soldiers beat off the men, but the women and children would
not stir, bidding the soldiers kill them, saying they had rather be shot
than be starved.

16th.  The general, moved by the cries and distress of the poor
inhabitants, sent out a trumpet to the Parliament-General, demanding
leave to send to the Prince, who was with a fleet of nineteen men of war
in the mouth of the Thames, offering to surrender, if they were not
relieved in twenty days.  The Lord Fairfax refused it, and sent them word
he would be in the town in person, and visit them in less than twenty
days, intimating that they were preparing for a storm.  Some tart
messages and answers were exchanged on this occasion.  The Lord Goring
sent word they were willing, in compassion to the poor townspeople, and
to save that effusion of blood, to surrender upon honourable terms, but
that as for the storming them, which was threatened, they might come on
when they thought fit, for that they (the Royalists) were ready for them.
This held to the 19th.

20th.  The Lord Fairfax returned what he said was his last answer, and
should be the last offer of mercy.  The conditions offered were, that
upon a peaceable surrender, all soldiers and officers under the degree of
a captain in commission should have their lives, be exempted from
plunder, and have passes to go to their respective dwellings.  All the
captains and superior officers, with all the lords and gentlemen, as well
in commission as volunteers, to surrender prisoners at discretion, only
that they should not be plundered by the soldiers.

21st.  The generals rejected those offers; and when the people came about
them again for bread, set open one of the gates, and bid them go out to
the enemy, which a great many did willingly; upon which the Lord Goring
ordered all the rest that came about his door to be turned out after
them.  But when the people came to the Lord Fairfax’s camp the out-guards
were ordered to fire at them and drive them all back again to the gate,
which the Lord Goring seeing, he ordered them to be received in again.
And now, although the generals and soldiers also were resolute to die
with their swords in their hands rather than yield, and had maturely
resolved to abide a storm, yet the Mayor and Aldermen having petitioned
them as well as the inhabitants, being wearied with the importunities of
the distressed people, and pitying the deplorable condition they were
reduced to, they agreed to enter upon a treaty, and accordingly sent out
some officers to the Lord Fairfax, the Parliament-General, to treat, and
with them was sent two gentlemen of the prisoners upon their parole to

Upon the return of the said messengers with the Lord Fairfax’s terms, the
Lord Goring, &c., sent out a letter declaring they would die with their
swords in their hands rather than yield without quarter for life, and
sent a paper of articles on which they were willing to surrender.  But in
the very interim of this treaty news came that the Scots army, under Duke
Hamilton, which was entered into Lancashire, and was joined by the
Royalists in that country, making 21,000 men, were entirely defeated.
After this the Lord Fairfax would not grant any abatement of
articles—viz., to have all above lieutenants surrender at mercy.

Upon this the Lord Goring and the General refused to submit again, and
proposed a general sally, and to break through or die, but found upon
preparing for it that the soldiers, who had their lives offered them,
declined it, fearing the gentlemen would escape, and they should be left
to the mercy of the Parliament soldiers; and that upon this they began to
mutiny and talk of surrendering the town and their officers too.  Things
being brought to this pass, the Lords and General laid aside that design,
and found themselves obliged to submit; and so the town was surrendered
the 28th of August, 1648, upon conditions as follows:—

  The Lords and gentlemen all prisoners at mercy.

  The common soldiers had passes to go home to their several dwellings,
  but without arms, and an oath not to serve against the Parliament.

  The town to be preserved from pillage, paying £14,000 ready money.

The same day a council of war being called about the prisoners of war, it
was resolved that the Lords should be left to the disposal of the
Parliament.  That Sir Charles Lucas, Sir George Lisle, and Sir Marmaduke
Gascoigne should be shot to death, and the other officers prisoners to
remain in custody till further order.

The two first of the three gentlemen were shot to death, and the third
respited.  Thus ended the siege of Colchester.

N.B.—Notwithstanding the number killed in the siege, and dead of the
flux, and other distempers occasioned by bad diet, which were very many,
and notwithstanding the number which deserted and escaped in the time of
their hardships, yet there remained at the time of the surrender:

Earl of Norwich (Goring).
Lord Capell.
Lord Loughbro’.
       11  Knights.
        9  Colonels.
        8  Lieut.-Colonels.
        9  Majors.
       30  Captains.
       72  Lieutenants.
       69  Ensigns.
      183  Serjeants and Corporals.
    3,067  Private Soldiers.
       65  Servants to the Lords and General Officers and Gentlemen.
    3,526  in all.

The town of Colchester has been supposed to contain about 40,000 people,
including the out-villages which are within its liberty, of which there
are a great many—the liberty of the town being of a great extent.  One
sad testimony of the town being so populous is that they buried upwards
of 5,259 people in the plague year, 1665.  But the town was severely
visited indeed, even more in proportion than any of its neighbours, or
than the City of London.

The government of the town is by a mayor, high steward, a recorder or his
deputy, eleven aldermen, a chamberlain, a town clerk, assistants, and
eighteen common councilmen.  Their high steward (this year, 1722) is Sir
Isaac Rebow, a gentleman of a good family and known character, who has
generally for above thirty years been one of their representatives in
Parliament.  He has a very good house at the entrance in at the south, or
head gate of the town, where he has had the honour several times to lodge
and entertain the late King William of glorious memory in his returning
from Holland by way of Harwich to London.  Their recorder is Earl Cowper,
who has been twice Lord High Chancellor of England.  But his lordship not
residing in those parts has put in for his deputy,—Price, Esq.,
barrister-at-law, and who dwells in the town.  There are in Colchester
eight churches besides those which are damaged, and five meeting-houses,
whereof two for Quakers, besides a Dutch church and a French church.

                          _Public Edifices are_—

1.  Bay Hall, an ancient society kept up for ascertaining the manufacture
of bays, which are, or ought to be, all brought to this hall to be viewed
and sealed according to their goodness by the masters; and to this
practice has been owing the great reputation of the Colchester bays in
foreign markets, where to open the side of a bale and show the seal has
been enough to give the buyer a character of the value of the goods
without any further search; and so far as they abate the integrity and
exactness of their method, which I am told of late is much omitted; I
say, so far, that reputation will certainly abate in the markets they go
to, which are principally in Portugal and Italy.  This corporation is
governed by a particular set of men who are called governors of the Dutch
Bay Hall.  And in the same building is the Dutch church.

2.  The guildhall of the town, called by them the moot hall, to which is
annexed the town gaol.

3.  The workhouse, being lately enlarged, and to which belongs a
corporation or a body of the inhabitants, consisting of sixty persons
incorporated by Act of Parliament Anno 1698 for taking care of the poor.
They are incorporated by the name and title of the governor, deputy
governor, assistants, and guardians of the poor of the town of
Colchester.  They are in number eight-and-forty, to whom are added the
mayor and aldermen for the time being, who are always guardians by the
same charter.  These make the number of sixty, as above.  There is also a
grammar free-school, with a good allowance to the master, who is chosen
by the town.

4.  The castle of Colchester is now become only a monument showing the
antiquity of the place, it being built as the walls of the town also are,
with Roman bricks, and the Roman coins dug up here, and ploughed up in
the fields adjoining, confirm it.  The inhabitants boast much that
Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, first Christian Emperor of
the Romans, was born there, and it may be so for aught we know.  I only
observe what Mr. Camden says of the Castle of Colchester, viz.: In the
middle of this city stands a castle ready to fall with age.

Though this castle has stood one hundred and twenty years from the time
Mr. Camden wrote that account, and it is not fallen yet, nor will another
hundred and twenty years, I believe, make it look one jot the older.  And
it was observable that in the late siege of this town, a common shot,
which the besiegers made at this old castle, were so far from making it
fall, that they made little or no impression upon it; for which reason,
it seems, and because the garrison made no great use of it against the
besiegers, they fired no more at it.

There are two charity schools set up here, and carried on by a generous
subscription, with very good success.

The title of Colchester is in the family of Earl Rivers, and the eldest
son of that family is called Lord Colchester, though as I understand, the
title is not settled by the creation to the eldest son till he enjoys the
title of earl with it, but that the other is by the courtesy of England;
however, this I take _ad referendum_.

From Colchester I took another step down to the coast; the land running
out a great way into the sea, south and south-east makes that promontory
of land called the Naze, and well known to seamen using the northern
trade.  Here one sees a sea open as an ocean without any opposite shore,
though it be no more than the mouth of the Thames.  This point called the
Naze, and the north-east point of Kent, near Margate, called the North
Foreland, making what they call the mouth of the river and the port of
London, though it be here above sixty miles over.

At Walton-under-the-Naze they find on the shore copperas-stone in great
quantities; and there are several large works called copperas houses,
where they make it with great expense.

On this promontory is a new mark erected by the Trinity House men, and at
the public expense, being a round brick tower, near eighty feet high.
The sea gains so much upon the land here by the continual winds at
south-west, that within the memory of some of the inhabitants there they
have lost above thirty acres of land in one place.

From hence we go back into the county about four miles, because of the
creeks which lie between; and then turning east again come to Harwich, on
the utmost eastern point of this large country.

Harwich is a town so well known and so perfectly described by many
writers, I need say little of it.  It is strong by situation, and may be
made more so by art.  But it is many years since the Government of
England have had any occasion to fortify towns to the landward; it is
enough that the harbour or road, which is one of the best and securest in
England, is covered at the entrance by a strong fort and a battery of
guns to the seaward, just as at Tilbury, and which sufficiently defend
the mouth of the river.  And there is a particular felicity in this
fortification, viz., that though the entrance or opening of the river
into the sea is very wide, especially at high-water, at least two miles,
if not three over; yet the Channel, which is deep, and in which the ships
must keep and come to the harbour, is narrow, and lies only on the side
of the fort, so that all the ships which come in or go out must come
close under the guns of the fort—that is to say, under the command of
their shot.

The fort is on the Suffolk side of the bay or entrance, but stands so far
into the sea upon the point of a sand or shoal, which runs out toward the
Essex side, as it were, laps over the mouth of that haven like a blind to
it; and our surveyors of the country affirm it to be in the county of
Essex.  The making this place, which was formerly no other than a sand in
the sea, solid enough for the foundation of so good a fortification, has
not been done but by many years’ labour, often repairs, and an infinite
expense of money, but it is now so firm that nothing of storms and high
tides, or such things as make the sea dangerous to these kind of works,
can affect it.

The harbour is of a vast extent; for, as two rivers empty themselves
here, viz., Stour from Manningtree and the Orwell from Ipswich, the
channels of both are large and deep; and safe for all weathers; so where
they join they make a large bay or road able to receive the biggest
ships, and the greatest number that ever the world saw together; I mean
ships of war.  In the old Dutch war great use has been made of this
harbour; and I have known that there has been one hundred sail of
men-of-war and their attendants and between three and four hundred sail
of collier ships all in this harbour at a time, and yet none of them
crowding or riding in danger of one another.

Harwich is known for being the port where the packet boats, between
England and Holland, go out and come in.  The inhabitants are far from
being famed for good usage to strangers, but, on the contrary, are blamed
for being extravagant in their reckonings in the public-houses, which has
not a little encouraged the setting up of sloops, which they now call
passage boats, to Holland, to go directly from the River Thames; this,
though it may be something the longer passage, yet as they are said to be
more obliging to passengers and more reasonable in the expense, and, as
some say, also, the vessels are better sea boats, has been the reason why
so many passengers do not go or come by the way of Harwich as formerly
were wont to do; insomuch that the stage coaches between this place and
London, which ordinarily went twice or three times a week, are now
entirely laid down, and the passengers are left to hire coaches on
purpose, take post-horses, or hire horses to Colchester, as they find
most convenient.

The account of a petrifying quality in the earth here, though some will
have it to be in the water of a spring hard by, is very strange.  They
boast that their town is walled and their streets paved with clay, and
yet that one is as strong and the other as clean as those that are built
or paved with stone.  The fact is indeed true, for there is a sort of
clay in the cliff, between the town and the Beacon Hill adjoining, which,
when it falls down into the sea, where it is beaten with the waves and
the weather, turns gradually into stone.  But the chief reason assigned
is from the water of a certain spring or well, which, rising in the said
cliff, runs down into the sea among those pieces of clay, and petrifies
them as it runs; and the force of the sea often stirring, and perhaps
turning, the lumps of clay, when storms of wind may give force enough to
the water, causes them to harden everywhere alike; otherwise those which
were not quite sunk in the water of the spring would be petrified but in
part.  These stones are gathered up to pave the streets and build the
houses, and are indeed very hard.  It is also remarkable that some of
them taken up before they are thoroughly petrified will, upon breaking
them, appear to be hard as a stone without and soft as clay in the
middle; whereas others that have lain a due time shall be thorough stone
to the centre, and as exceeding hard within as without.  The same spring
is said to turn wood into iron.  But this I take to be no more or less
than the quality, which, as I mentioned of the shore at the Naze, is
found to be in much of the stone all along this shore, viz., of the
copperas kind; and it is certain that the copperas stone (so called) is
found in all that cliff, and even where the water of this spring has run;
and I presume that those who call the hardened pieces of wood, which they
take out of this well by the name of iron, never tried the quality of it
with the fire or hammer; if they had, perhaps they would have given some
other account of it.

On the promontory of land which they call Beacon Hill and which lies
beyond or behind the town towards the sea, there is a lighthouse to give
the ships directions in their sailing by as well as their coming into the
harbour in the night.  I shall take notice of these again all together
when I come to speak of the Society of Trinity House, as they are called,
by whom they are all directed upon this coast.

This town was erected into a marquisate in honour of the truly glorious
family of Schomberg, the eldest son of Duke Schomberg, who landed with
King William, being styled Marquis of Harwich; but that family (in
England, at least) being extinct the title dies also.

Harwich is a town of hurry and business, not much of gaiety and pleasure;
yet the inhabitants seem warm in their nests, and some of them are very
wealthy.  There are not many (if any) gentlemen or families of note
either in the town or very near it.  They send two members to Parliament;
the present are Sir Peter Parker and Humphrey Parsons, Esq.

And now being at the extremity of the county of Essex, of which I have
given you some view as to that side next the sea only, I shall break off
this part of my letter by telling you that I will take the towns which
lie more towards the centre of the county, in my return by the north and
west part only, that I may give you a few hints of some towns which were
near me in my route this way, and of which being so well known there is
but little to say.

On the road from London to Colchester, before I came into it at Witham,
lie four good market towns at equal distance from one another, namely,
Romford, noted for two markets, viz., one for calves and hogs, the other
for corn and other provisions, most, if not all, bought up for London
market.  At the farther end of the town, in the middle of a stately park,
stood Guldy Hall, vulgarly Giddy Hall, an ancient seat of one Coke,
sometime Lord Mayor of London, but forfeited on some occasion to the
Crown.  It is since pulled down to the ground, and there now stands a
noble stately fabric or mansion house, built upon the spot by Sir John
Eyles, a wealthy merchant of London, and chosen Sub-Governor of the South
Sea Company immediately after the ruin of the former Sub-Governor and
Directors, whose overthrow makes the history of these times famous.

Brentwood and Ingatestone, and even Chelmsford itself, have very little
to be said of them, but that they are large thoroughfare towns, full of
good inns, and chiefly maintained by the excessive multitude of carriers
and passengers which are constantly passing this way to London with
droves of cattle, provisions, and manufactures for London.

The last of these towns is indeed the county town, where the county gaol
is kept, and where the assizes are very often held; it stands on the
conflux of two rivers—the Chelmer, whence the town is called, and the

At Lees, or Lee’s Priory, as some call it, is to be seen an ancient house
in the middle of a beautiful park, formerly the seat of the late Duke of
Manchester, but since the death of the duke it is sold to the Duchess
Dowager of Buckinghamshire, the present Duke of Manchester retiring to
his ancient family seat at Kimbolton in Huntingdonshire, it being a much
finer residence.  His grace is lately married to a daughter of the Duke
of Montagu by a branch of the house of Marlborough.

Four market towns fill up the rest of this part of the country—Dunmow,
Braintree, Thaxted, and Coggeshall—all noted for the manufacture of bays,
as above, and for very little else, except I shall make the ladies laugh
at the famous old story of the Flitch of Bacon at Dunmow, which is this:

One Robert Fitzwalter, a powerful baron in this county in the time of
Henry III., on some merry occasion, which is not preserved in the rest of
the story, instituted a custom in the priory here: That whatever married
man did not repent of his being married, or quarrel or differ and dispute
with his wife within a year and a day after his marriage, and would swear
to the truth of it, kneeling upon two hard pointed stones in the
churchyard, which stones he caused to be set up in the Priory churchyard
for that purpose, the prior and convent, and as many of the town as
would, to be present, such person should have a flitch of bacon.

I do not remember to have read that any one ever came to demand it; nor
do the people of the place pretend to say, of their own knowledge, that
they remember any that did so.  A long time ago several did demand it, as
they say, but they know not who; neither is there any record of it, nor
do they tell us, if it were now to be demanded, who is obliged to deliver
the flitch of bacon, the priory being dissolved and gone.

The forest of Epping and Hainault spreads a great part of this country
still.  I shall speak again of the former in my return from this circuit.
Formerly, it is thought, these two forests took up all the west and south
part of the county; but particularly we are assured, that it reached to
the River Chelmer, and into Dengy Hundred, and from thence again west to
Epping and Waltham, where it continues to be a forest still.

Probably this forest of Epping has been a wild or forest ever since this
island was inhabited, and may show us, in some parts of it, where
enclosures and tillage has not broken in upon it, what the face of this
island was before the Romans’ time; that is to say, before their landing
in Britain.

The constitution of this forest is best seen, I mean as to the antiquity
of it, by the merry grant of it from Edward the Confessor before the
Norman Conquest to Randolph Peperking, one of his favourites, who was
after called Peverell, and whose name remains still in several villages
in this county; as particularly that of Hatfield Peverell, in the road
from Chelmsford to Witham, which is supposed to be originally a park,
which they called a field in those days; and Hartfield may be as much as
to say a park for doer; for the stags were in those days called harts, so
that this was neither more nor less than Randolph Peperking’s
Hartfield—that is to say, Ralph Peverell’s deer-park.

N.B.—This Ralph Randolph, or Ralph Peverell (call him as you please),
had, it seems, a most beautiful lady to his wife, who was daughter of
Ingelrick, one of Edward the Confessor’s noblemen.  He had two sons by
her—William Peverell, a famed soldier, and lord or governor of Dover
Castle, which he surrendered to William the Conqueror, after the battle
in Sussex, and Pain Peverell, his youngest, who was lord of Cambridge.
When the eldest son delivered up the castle, the lady, his mother, above
named, who was the celebrated beauty of the age, was it seems there, and
the Conqueror fell in love with her, and whether by force or by consent,
took her away, and she became his mistress, or what else you please to
call it.  By her he had a son, who was called William, after the
Conqueror’s Christian name, but retained the name of Peverell, and was
afterwards created by the Conqueror lord of Nottingham.

This lady afterwards, as is supposed, by way of penance for her yielding
to the Conqueror, founded a nunnery at the village of Hatfield Peverell,
mentioned above, and there she lies buried in the chapel of it, which is
now the parish church, where her memory is preserved by a tombstone under
one of the windows.

Thus we have several towns, where any ancient parks have been placed,
called by the name of Hatfield on that very account.  As Hatfield Broad
Oak in this county, Bishop’s Hatfield in Hertfordshire, and several

But I return to King Edward’s merry way, as I call it, of granting this
forest to this Ralph Peperking, which I find in the ancient records, in
the very words it was passed in, as follows.  Take my explanations with
it for the sake of those that are not used to the ancient English:

_The_ GRANT _in_ OLD ENGLISH.       _The Explanation in Modern
IChe EDWARD Koning,                 I Edward the king,
Have given of my Forrest the        Have made ranger of my forest of
kepen of the Hundred of _Chelmer_   Chelmsford hundred and Deering
and _Dancing_.                      hundred,
To RANDOLPH PEPERKING,              Ralph Peverell, for him and his
And to his kindling.                heirs for ever;
With Heorte and Hind, Doe and       With both the red and fallow
Bocke,                              deer.
Hare and Fox, Cat and Brock,        Hare and fox, otter and badger;
Wild Fowle with his Flock;          Wild fowl of all sorts,
Patrich, Pheasant Hen, and          Partridges and pheasants,
Pheasant Cock,
With green and wild Stub and        Timber and underwood roots and
Stock,                              tops;
To kepen and to yemen with all      With power to preserve the
her might.                          forest,
Both by Day, and eke by Night;      And watch it against
                                    deer-stealers and others:
And Hounds for to hold,             With a right to keep hounds of
Good and Swift and Bold:            all sorts,
Four Greyhound and six Raches,      Four greyhounds and six terriers,
For Hare and Fox, and Wild          Harriers and foxhounds, and other
Cattes,                             hounds.
And therefore Iche made him my      And to this end I have registered
Book.                               this my grant in the crown rolls
                                    or books;
Witness the Bishop of _Wolston_.    To which the bishop has set his
And Booke ylrede many on,           hand as a witness for any one to
And _Sweyne_ of _Essex_, our        Also signed by the king’s brother
Brother,                            (or, as some think, the
                                    Chancellor Sweyn, then Earl or
                                    Count of Essex).
And taken him many other            He might call such other
                                    witnesses to sign as he thought
And our steward _Howlein_,          Also the king’s high steward was
That _By sought_ me for him.        a witness, at whose request this
                                    grant was obtained of the king.

There are many gentlemen’s seats on this side the country, and a great
assembly set up at New Hall, near this town, much resorted to by the
neighbouring gentry.  I shall next proceed to the county of Suffolk, as
my first design directed me to do.

From Harwich, therefore, having a mind to view the harbour, I sent my
horses round by Manningtree, where there is a timber bridge over the
Stour, called Cataway Bridge, and took a boat up the River Orwell for
Ipswich.  A traveller will hardly understand me, especially a seaman,
when I speak of the River Stour and the River Orwell at Harwich, for they
know them by no other names than those of Manningtree water and Ipswich
water; so while I am on salt water, I must speak as those who use the sea
may understand me, and when I am up in the country among the inland towns
again, I shall call them out of their names no more.

It is twelve miles from Harwich up the water to Ipswich.  Before I come
to the town, I must say something of it, because speaking of the river
requires it.  In former times, that is to say, since the writer of this
remembers the place very well, and particularly just before the late
Dutch wars, Ipswich was a town of very good business; particularly it was
the greatest town in England for large colliers or coal-ships employed
between Newcastle and London.  Also they built the biggest ships and the
best, for the said fetching of coals of any that were employed in that
trade.  They built, also, there so prodigious strong, that it was an
ordinary thing for an Ipswich collier, if no disaster happened to him, to
reign (as seamen call it) forty or fifty years, and more.

In the town of Ipswich the masters of these ships generally dwelt, and
there were, as they then told me, above a hundred sail of them, belonging
to the town at one time, the least of which carried fifteen score, as
they compute it, that is, 300 chaldron of coals; this was about the year
1668 (when I first knew the place).  This made the town be at that time
so populous, for those masters, as they had good ships at sea, so they
had large families who lived plentifully, and in very good houses in the
town, and several streets were chiefly inhabited by such.

The loss or decay of this trade accounts for the present pretended decay
of the town of Ipswich, of which I shall speak more presently.  The ships
wore out, the masters died off, the trade took a new turn; Dutch flyboats
taken in the war, and made free ships by Act of Parliament, thrust
themselves into the coal-trade for the interest of the captors, such as
the Yarmouth and London merchants, and others; and the Ipswich men
dropped gradually out of it, being discouraged by those Dutch flyboats.
These Dutch vessels, which cost nothing but the caption, were bought
cheap, carried great burthens, and the Ipswich building fell off for want
of price, and so the trade decayed, and the town with it.  I believe this
will be owned for the true beginning of their decay, if I must allow it
to be called a decay.

But to return to my passage up the river.  In the winter-time those great
collier ships, above-mentioned, are always laid up, as they call it; that
is to say, the coal trade abates at London, the citizens are generally
furnished, their stores taken in, and the demand is over; so that the
great ships, the northern seas and coast being also dangerous, the nights
long, and the voyage hazardous, go to sea no more, but lie by, the ships
are unrigged, the sails, etc., carried ashore, the top-masts struck, and
they ride moored in the river, under the advantages and security of sound
ground, and a high woody shore, where they lie as safe as in a wet dock;
and it was a very agreeable sight to see, perhaps two hundred sail of
ships, of all sizes, lie in that posture every winter.  All this while,
which was usually from Michaelmas to Lady Day, the masters lived calm and
secure with their families in Ipswich; and enjoying plentifully, what in
the summer they got laboriously at sea, and this made the town of Ipswich
very populous in the winter; for as the masters, so most of the men,
especially their mates, boatswains, carpenters, etc., were of the same
place, and lived in their proportions, just as the masters did; so that
in the winter there might be perhaps a thousand men in the town more than
in the summer, and perhaps a greater number.

To justify what I advance here, that this town was formerly very full of
people, I ask leave to refer to the account of Mr. Camden, and what it
was in his time.  His words are these:—“Ipswich has a commodious harbour,
has been fortified with a ditch and rampart, has a great trade, and is
very populous, being adorned with fourteen churches, and large private
buildings.”  This confirms what I have mentioned of the former state of
this town; but the present state is my proper work; I therefore return to
my voyage up the river.

The sight of these ships thus laid up in the river, as I have said, was
very agreeable to me in my passage from Harwich, about five and thirty
years before the present journey; and it was in its proportion equally
melancholy to hear that there were now scarce forty sail of good colliers
that belonged to the whole town.

In a creek in this river, called Lavington Creek, we saw at low water
such shoals, or hills rather, of mussels, that great boats might have
loaded with them, and no miss have been made of them.  Near this creek,
Sir Samuel Barnadiston had a very fine seat, as, also, a decoy for wild
ducks, and a very noble estate; but it is divided into many branches
since the death of the ancient possessor.  But I proceed to the town,
which is the first in the county of Suffolk of any note this way.

Ipswich is seated, at the distance of twelve miles from Harwich, upon the
edge of the river, which, taking a short turn to the west, the town
forms, there, a kind of semicircle, or half moon, upon the bank of the
river.  It is very remarkable, that though ships of 500 ton may, upon a
spring tide, come up very near this town, and many ships of that burthen
have been built there, yet the river is not navigable any farther than
the town itself, or but very little; no, not for the smallest beats; nor
does the tide, which rises sometimes thirteen or fourteen feet, and gives
them twenty-four feet water very near the town, flow much farther up the
river than the town, or not so much as to make it worth speaking of.

He took little notice of the town, or at least of that part of Ipswich,
who published in his wild observations on it that ships of 200 ton are
built there.  I affirm, that I have seen a ship of 400 ton launched at
the building-yard, close to the town; and I appeal to the Ipswich
colliers (those few that remain) belonging to this town, if several of
them carrying seventeen score of coals, which must be upward of 400 ton,
have not formerly been built here; but superficial observers must be
superficial writers, if they write at all; and to this day, at John’s
Ness, within a mile and a half of the town itself, ships of any burthen
may be built and launched even at neap tides.

I am much mistaken, too, if since the Revolution some very good ships
have not been built at this town, and particularly the _Melford_ or
_Milford_ galley, a ship of forty guns; as the _Greyhound_ frigate, a
man-of-war of thirty-six to forty guns, was at John’s Ness.  But what is
this towards lessening the town of Ipswich, any more than it would be to
say, they do not build men-of-war, or East India ships, or ships of five
hundred ton burden at St. Catherines, or at Battle Bridge in the Thames?
when we know that a mile or two lower, viz., at Radcliffe, Limehouse, or
Deptford, they build ships of a thousand ton, and might build first-rate
men-of-war too, if there was occasion; and the like might be done in this
river of Ipswich, within about two or three miles of the town; so that it
would not be at all an out-of-the-way speaking to say, such a ship was
built at Ipswich, any more than it is to say, as they do, that the _Royal
Prince_, the great ship lately built for the South Sea Company, was
London built, because she was built at Limehouse.

And why then is not Ipswich capable of building and receiving the
greatest ships in the navy, seeing they may be built and brought up again
laden, within a mile and half of the town?

But the neighbourhood of London, which sucks the vitals of trade in this
island to itself, is the chief reason of any decay of business in this
place; and I shall, in the course of these observations, hint at it,
where many good seaports and large towns, though farther off than
Ipswich, and as well fitted for commerce, are yet swallowed up by the
immense indraft of trade to the City of London; and more decayed beyond
all comparison than Ipswich is supposed to be: as Southampton, Weymouth,
Dartmouth, and several others which I shall speak to in their order; and
if it be otherwise at this time, with some other towns, which are lately
increased in trade and navigation, wealth, and people, while their
neighbours decay, it is because they have some particular trade, or
accident to trade, which is a kind of nostrum to them, inseparable to the
place, and which fixes there by the nature of the thing; as the
herring-fishery to Yarmouth; the coal trade to Newcastle; the Leeds
clothing trade; the export of butter and lead, and the great corn trade
for Holland, is to Hull; the Virginia and West India trade at Liverpool;
the Irish trade at Bristol, and the like.  Thus the war has brought a
flux of business and people, and consequently of wealth, to several
places, as well as to Portsmouth, Chatham, Plymouth, Falmouth, and
others; and were any wars like those, to continue twenty years with the
Dutch, or any nation whose fleets lay that way, as the Dutch do, it would
be the like perhaps at Ipswich in a few years, and at other places on the
same coast.

But at this present time an occasion offers to speak in favour of this
port; namely, the Greenland fishery, lately proposed to be carried on by
the South Sea Company.  On which account I may freely advance this,
without any compliment to the town of Ipswich, no place in Britain is
equally qualified like Ipswich; whether we respect the cheapness of
building and fitting out their ships and shallops; also furnishing,
victualling, and providing them with all kinds of stores; convenience for
laying up the ships after the voyage, room for erecting their magazines,
warehouses, rope walks, cooperages, etc., on the easiest terms; and
especially for the noisome cookery, which attends the boiling their
blubber, which may be on this river (as it ought to be) remote from any
places of resort.  Then their nearness to the market for the oil when it
is made, and which, above all, ought to be the chief thing considered in
that trade, the easiness of their putting out to sea when they begin
their voyage, in which the same wind that carries them from the mouth of
the haven, is fair to the very seas of Greenland.

I could say much more to this point if it were needful, and in few words
could easily prove, that Ipswich must have the preference of all the port
towns of Britain, for being the best centre of the Greenland trade, if
ever that trade fall into the management of such a people as perfectly
understand, and have a due honest regard to its being managed with the
best husbandry, and to the prosperity of the undertaking in general.  But
whether we shall ever arrive at so happy a time as to recover so useful a
trade to our country, which our ancestors had the honour to be the first
undertakers of, and which has been lost only through the indolence of
others, and the increasing vigilance of our neighbours, that is not my
business here to dispute.

What I have said is only to let the world see what improvement this town
and port is capable of; I cannot think but that Providence, which made
nothing in vain, cannot have reserved so useful, so convenient a port to
lie vacant in the world, but that the time will some time or other come
(especially considering the improving temper of the present age) when
some peculiar beneficial business may be found out, to make the port of
Ipswich as useful to the world, and the town as flourishing, as Nature
has made it proper and capable to be.

As for the town, it is true, it is but thinly inhabited, in comparison of
the extent of it; but to say there are hardly any people to be seen
there, is far from being true in fact; and whoever thinks fit to look
into the churches and meeting-houses on a Sunday, or other public days,
will find there are very great numbers of people there.  Or if he thinks
fit to view the market, and see how the large shambles, called Cardinal
Wolsey’s Butchery, are furnished with meat, and the rest of the market
stocked with other provisions, must acknowledge that it is not for a few
people that all those things are provided.  A person very curious, and on
whose veracity I think I may depend, going through the market in this
town, told me, that he reckoned upwards of six hundred country people on
horseback and on foot, with baskets and other carriage, who had all of
them brought something or other to town to sell, besides the butchers,
and what came in carts and waggons.

It happened to be my lot to be once at this town at the time when a very
fine new ship, which was built there for some merchants of London, was to
be launched; and if I may give my guess at the numbers of people which
appeared on the shore, in the houses, and on the river, I believe I am
much within compass if I say there were 20,000 people to see it; but this
is only a guess, or they might come a great way to see the sight, or the
town may be declined farther since that.  But a view of the town is one
of the surest rules for a gross estimate.

It is true here is no settled manufacture.  The French refugees when they
first came over to England began a little to take to this place, and some
merchants attempted to set up a linen manufacture in their favour; but it
has not met with so much success as was expected, and at present I find
very little of it.  The poor people are, however, employed, as they are
all over these counties, in spinning wool for other towns where
manufactures are settled.

The country round Ipswich, as are all the counties so near the coast, is
applied chiefly to corn, of which a very great quantity is continually
shipped off for London; and sometimes they load corn here for Holland,
especially if the market abroad is encouraging.  They have twelve parish
churches in this town, with three or four meetings; but there are not so
many Quakers here as at Colchester, and no Anabaptists or Antipoedo
Baptists, that I could hear of—at least, there is no meeting-house of
that denomination.  There is one meeting-house for the Presbyterians, one
for the Independents and one for the Quakers; the first is as large and
as fine a building of that kind as most on this side of England, and the
inside the best finished of any I have seen, London not excepted; that
for the Independents is a handsome new-built building, but not so gay or
so large as the other.

There is a great deal of very good company in this town, and though there
are not so many of the gentry here as at Bury, yet there are more here
than in any other town in the county; and I observed particularly that
the company you meet with here are generally persons well informed of the
world, and who have something very solid and entertaining in their
society.  This may happen, perhaps, by their frequent conversing with
those who have been abroad, and by their having a remnant of gentlemen
and masters of ships among them who have seen more of the world than the
people of an inland town are likely to have seen.  I take this town to be
one of the most agreeable places in England for families who have lived
well, but may have suffered in our late calamities of stocks and bubbles,
to retreat to, where they may live within their own compass; and several
things indeed recommend it to such:—

  1.  Good houses at very easy rents.

  2.  An airy, clean, and well-governed town.

  3.  Very agreeable and improving company almost of every kind.

  4.  A wonderful plenty of all manner of provisions, whether flesh or
  fish, and very good of the kind.

  5.  Those provisions very cheap, so that a family may live cheaper here
  than in any town in England of its bigness within such a small distance
  from London.

  6.  Easy passage to London, either by land or water, the coach going
  through to London in a day.

The Lord Viscount Hereford has a very fine seat and park in this town;
the house indeed is old built, but very commodious; it is called Christ
Church, having been, as it is said, a priory or religious house in former
times.  The green and park is a great addition to the pleasantness of
this town, the inhabitants being allowed to divert themselves there with
walking, bowling, etc.

The large spire steeple, which formerly stood upon that they call the
tower church, was blown down by a great storm of wind many years ago, and
in its a fall did much damage to the church.

The government of this town is by two bailiffs, as at Yarmouth.  Mr.
Camden says they are chosen out of twelve burgesses called portmen, and
two justices out of twenty-four more.  There has been lately a very great
struggle between the two parties for the choice of these two magistrates,
which had this amicable conclusion—namely, that they chose one of either
side; so that neither party having the victory, it is to be hoped it may
be a means to allay the heats and unneighbourly feuds which such things
breed in towns so large as this is.  They send two members to Parliament,
whereof those at this time are Sir William Thompson, Recorder of London,
and Colonel Negus, Deputy Master of the Horse to the king.

There are some things very curious to be seen here, however some
superficial writers have been ignorant of them.  Dr. Beeston, an eminent
physician, began a few years ago a physic garden adjoining to his house
in this town; and as he is particularly curious, and, as I was told,
exquisitely skilled in botanic knowledge, so he has been not only very
diligent, but successful too, in making a collection of rare and exotic
plants, such as are scarce to be equalled in England.

One Mr. White, a surgeon, resides also in this town.  But before I speak
of this gentleman, I must observe that I say nothing from personal
knowledge; though if I did, I have too good an opinion of his sense to
believe he would be pleased with being flattered or complimented in
print.  But I must be true to matter of fact.  This gentleman has begun a
collection or chamber of rarities, and with good success too.  I
acknowledge I had not the opportunity of seeing them; but I was told
there are some things very curious in it, as particularly a sea-horse
carefully preserved, and perfect in all its parts; two Roman urns full of
ashes of human bodies, and supposed to be above 1,700 years old; besides
a great many valuable medals and ancient coins.  My friend who gave me
this account, and of whom I think I may say he speaks without bias,
mentions this gentleman, Mr. White, with some warmth as a very valuable
person in his particular employ of a surgeon.  I only repeat his words.
“Mr. White,” says he, “to whom the whole town and country are greatly
indebted and obliged to pray for his life, is our most skilful surgeon.”
These, I say, are his own words, and I add nothing to them but this, that
it is happy for a town to have such a surgeon, as it is for a surgeon to
have such a character.

The country round Ipswich, as if qualified on purpose to accommodate the
town for building of ships, is an inexhaustible store-house of timber, of
which, now their trade of building ships is abated, they send very great
quantities to the king’s building-yards at Chatham, which by water is so
little a way that they often run to it from the mouth of the river at
Harwich in one tide.

From Ipswich I took a turn into the country to Hadleigh, principally to
satisfy my curiosity and see the place where that famous martyr and
pattern of charity and religious zeal in Queen Mary’s time, Dr. Rowland
Taylor, was put to death.  The inhabitants, who have a wonderful
veneration for his memory, show the very place where the stake which he
was bound to was set up, and they have put a stone upon it which nobody
will remove; but it is a more lasting monument to him that he lives in
the hearts of the people—I say more lasting than a tomb of marble would
be, for the memory of that good man will certainly never be out of the
poor people’s minds as long as this island shall retain the Protestant
religion among them.  How long that may be, as things are going, and if
the detestable conspiracy of the Papists now on foot should succeed, I
will not pretend to say.

A little to the left is Sudbury, which stands upon the River Stour,
mentioned above—a river which parts the counties of Suffolk and Essex,
and which is within these few years made navigable to this town, though
the navigation does not, it seems, answer the charge, at least not to

I know nothing for which this town is remarkable, except for being very
populous and very poor.  They have a great manufacture of says and
perpetuanas, and multitudes of poor people are employed in working them;
but the number of the poor is almost ready to eat up the rich.  However,
this town sends two members to Parliament, though it is under no form of
government particularly to itself other than as a village, the head
magistrate whereof is a constable.

Near adjoining to it is a village called Long Melfort, and a very long
one it is, from which I suppose it had that addition to its name; it is
full of very good houses, and, as they told me, is richer, and has more
wealthy masters of the manufacture in it, than in Sudbury itself.

Here and in the neighbourhood are some ancient families of good note;
particularly here is a fine dwelling, the ancient seat of the Cordells,
whereof Sir William Cordell was Master of the Rolls in the time of Queen
Elizabeth; but the family is now extinct, the last heir, Sir John
Cordell, being killed by a fall from his horse, died unmarried, leaving
three sisters co-heiresses to a very noble estate, most of which, if not
all, is now centred on the only surviving sister, and with her in
marriage is given to Mr. Firebrass, eldest son of Sir Basil Firebrass,
formerly a flourishing merchant in London, but reduced by many disasters.
His family now rises by the good fortune of his son, who proves to be a
gentleman of very agreeable parts, and well esteemed in the country.

From this part of the country, I returned north-west by Lenham, to visit
St. Edmund’s Bury, a town of which other writers have talked very
largely, and perhaps a little too much.  It is a town famed for its
pleasant situation and wholesome air, the Montpelier of Suffolk, and
perhaps of England.  This must be attributed to the skill of the monks of
those times, who chose so beautiful a situation for the seat of their
retirement; and who built here the greatest and, in its time, the most
flourishing monastery in all these parts of England, I mean the monastery
of St. Edmund the Martyr.  It was, if we believe antiquity, a house of
pleasure in more ancient times, or to speak more properly, a court of
some of the Saxon or East Angle kings; and, as Mr. Camden says, was even
then called a royal village, though it much better merits that name now;
it being the town of all this part of England, in proportion to its
bigness, most thronged with gentry, people of the best fashion, and the
most polite conversation.  This beauty and healthiness of its situation
was no doubt the occasion which drew the clergy to settle here, for they
always chose the best places in the country to build in, either for
richness of soil, or for health and pleasure in the situation of their
religious houses.

For the like reason, I doubt not, they translated the bones of the
martyred king St. Edmund to this place; for it is a vulgar error to say
he was murdered here.  His martyrdom, it is plain, was at Hoxon or
Henilsdon, near Harlston, on the Waveney, in the farthest northern verge
of the county; but Segebert, king of the East Angles, had built a
religions house in this pleasant rich part of the county; and as the
monks began to taste the pleasure of the place, they procured the body of
this saint to be removed hither, which soon increased the wealth and
revenues of their house, by the zeal of that day, in going on pilgrimage
to the shrine of the blessed St. Edmund.

We read, however, that after this the Danes, under King Sweno,
over-running this part of the country, destroyed this monastery and burnt
it to the ground, with the church and town.  But see the turn religion
gives to things in the world; his son, King Canutus, at first a Pagan and
a tyrant, and the most cruel ravager of all that crew, coming to turn
Christian, and being touched in conscience for the soul of his father, in
having robbed God and his holy martyr St. Edmund, sacrilegiously
destroying the church, and plundering the monastery; I say, touched with
remorse, and, as the monks pretend, terrified with a vision of St. Edmund
appearing to him, he rebuilt the house, the church, and the town also,
and very much added to the wealth of the abbot and his fraternity,
offering his crown at the feet of St. Edmund, giving the house to the
monks, town and all; so that they were absolute lords of the town, and
governed it by their steward for many ages.  He also gave them a great
many good lordships, which they enjoyed till the general suppression of
abbeys, in the time of Henry VIII.

But I am neither writing the history or searching the antiquity of the
abbey, or town; my business is the present state of the place.

The abbey is demolished; its ruins are all that is to be seen of its
glory: out of the old building, two very beautiful churches are built,
and serve the two parishes, into which the town is divided, and they
stand both in one churchyard.  Here it was, in the path-way between these
two churches, that a tragical and almost unheard-of act of barbarity was
committed, which made the place less pleasant for some time than it used
to be, when Arundel Coke, Esq., a barrister-at-law, of a very ancient
family, attempted, with the assistance of a barbarous assassin, to murder
in cold blood, and in the arms of hospitality, Edward Crisp, Esq., his
brother-in-law, leading him out from his own house, where he had invited
him, his wife and children, to supper; I say, leading him out in the
night, on pretence of going to see some friend that was known to them
both; but in this churchyard, giving a signal to the assassin he had
hired, he attacked him with a hedge-bill, and cut him, as one might say,
almost in pieces; and when they did not doubt of his being dead, they
left him.  His head and face was so mangled, that it may be said to be
next to a miracle that he was not quite killed: yet so Providence
directed for the exemplary punishment of the assassins, that the
gentleman recovered to detect them, who (though he outlived the assault)
were both executed as they deserved, and Mr. Crisp is yet alive.  They
were condemned on the statute for defacing and dismembering, called the
Coventry Act.

But this accident does not at all lessen the pleasure and agreeable
delightful show of the town of Bury; it is crowded with nobility and
gentry, and all sorts of the most agreeable company; and as the company
invites, so there is the appearance of pleasure upon the very situation;
and they that live at Bury are supposed to live there for the sake of it.

The Lord Jermin, afterwards Lord Dover, and, since his lordship’s
decease, Sir Robert Davers, enjoyed the most delicious seat of Rushbrook,
near this town.

The present members of Parliament for this place are Jermyn Davers and
James Reynolds, Esquires.

Mr. Harvey, afterwards created Lord Harvey, by King William, and since
that made Earl of Bristol by King George, lived many years in this town,
leaving a noble and pleasantly situated house in Lincolnshire, for the
more agreeable living on a spot so completely qualified for a life of
delight as this of Bury.

The Duke of Grafton, now Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, has also a stately
house at Euston, near this town, which he enjoys in right of his mother,
daughter to the Earl of Arlington, one of the chief ministers of State in
the reign of King Charles II., and who made the second letter in the word
“cabal,” a word formed by that famous satirist Andrew Marvell, to
represent the five heads of the politics of that time, as the word
“smectymnus” was on a former occasion.

I shall believe nothing so scandalous of the ladies of this town and the
country round it as a late writer insinuates.  That the ladies round the
country appear mighty gay and agreeable at the time of the fair in this
town I acknowledge; one hardly sees such a show in any part of the world;
but to suggest they come hither, as to a market, is so coarse a jest,
that the gentlemen that wait on them hither (for they rarely come but in
good company) ought to resent and correct him for it.

It is true, Bury Fair, like Bartholomew Fair, is a fair for diversion,
more than for trade; and it may be a fair for toys and for trinkets,
which the ladies may think fit to lay out some of their money in, as they
see occasion.  But to judge from thence that the knights’ daughters of
Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, and Suffolk—that is to say, for it cannot be
understood any otherwise, the daughters of all the gentry of the three
counties—come hither to be picked up, is a way of speaking I never before
heard any author have the assurance to make use of in print.

The assembly he justly commends for the bright appearance of the
beauties; but with a sting in the tail of this compliment, where he says
they seldom end without some considerable match or intrigue; and yet he
owns that during the fair these assemblies are held every night.  Now
that these fine ladies go intriguing every night, and that too after the
comedy is done, which is after the fair and raffling is over for the day,
so that it must be very late.  This is a terrible character for the
ladies of Bury, and intimates, in short, that most of them are loose
women, which is a horrid abuse upon the whole country.

Now, though I like not the assemblies at all, and shall in another place
give them something of their due, yet having the opportunity to see the
fair at Bury, and to see that there were, indeed, abundance of the finest
ladies, or as fine as any in Britain, yet I must own the number of the
ladies at the comedy, or at the assembly, is no way equal to the number
that are seen in the town, much less are they equal to the whole body of
the ladies in the three counties; and I must also add, that though it is
far from true that all that appear at the assembly are there for matches
or intrigues, yet I will venture to say that they are not the worst of
the ladies who stay away, neither are they the fewest in number or the
meanest in beauty, but just the contrary; and I do not at all doubt, but
that the scandalous liberty some take at those assemblies will in time
bring them out of credit with the virtuous part of the sex here, as it
has done already in Kent and other places, and that those ladies who most
value their reputation will be seen less there than they have been; for
though the institution of them has been innocent and virtuous, the ill
use of them, and the scandalous behaviour of some people at them, will in
time arm virtue against them, and they will be laid down as they have
been set up without much satisfaction.

But the beauty of this town consists in the number of gentry who dwell in
and near it, the polite conversation among them, the affluence and plenty
they live in, the sweet air they breathe in, and the pleasant country
they have to go abroad in.

Here is no manufacturing in this town, or but very little, except
spinning, the chief trade of the place depending upon the gentry who live
there, or near it, and who cannot fail to cause trade enough by the
expense of their families and equipages among the people of a county
town.  They have but a very small river, or rather but a very small
branch of a small river, at this town, which runs from hence to Milden
Hall, on the edge of the fens.  However, the town and gentlemen about
have been at the charge, or have so encouraged the engineer who was at
the charge, that they have made this river navigable to the said Milden
Hall, from whence there is a navigable dyke, called Milden Hall Drain,
which goes into the River Ouse, and so to Lynn; so that all their coal
and wine, iron, lead, and other heavy goods, are brought by water from
Lynn, or from London, by the way of Lynn, to the great ease of the

This town is famous for two great events.  One was that in the year 1447,
in the 25th year of Henry VI., a Parliament was held here.

The other was, that at the meeting of this Parliament, the great
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, regent of the kingdom during the absence of
King Henry V. and the minority of Henry VI., and to his last hour the
safeguard of the whole nation, and darling of the people, was basely
murdered here; by whose death the gate was opened to that dreadful war
between the houses of Lancaster and York, which ended in the confusion of
that very race who are supposed to have contrived that murder.

From St. Edmund’s Bury I returned by Stowmarket and Needham to Ipswich,
that I might keep as near the coast as was proper to my designed circuit
or journey; and from Ipswich, to visit the sea again, I went to
Woodbridge, and from thence to Orford, on the sea side.

Woodbridge has nothing remarkable, but that it is a considerable market
for butter and corn to be exported to London; for now begins that part
which is ordinarily called High Suffolk, which, being a rich soil, is for
a long tract of ground wholly employed in dairies, and they again famous
for the best butter, and perhaps the worst cheese, in England.  The
butter is barrelled, or often pickled up in small casks, and sold, not in
London only, but I have known a firkin of Suffolk butter sent to the West
Indies, and brought back to England again, and has been perfectly good
and sweet, as at first.

The port for the shipping off their Suffolk butter is chiefly Woodbridge,
which for that reason is full of corn factors and butter factors, some of
whom are very considerable merchants.

From hence, turning down to the shore, we see Orfordness, a noted point
of land for the guide of the colliers and coasters, and a good shelter
for them to ride under when a strong north-east wind blows and makes a
foul shore on the coast.

South of the Ness is Orford Haven, being the mouth of two little rivers
meeting together.  It is a very good harbour for small vessels, but not
capable of receiving a ship of burden.

Orford was once a good town, but is decayed, and as it stands on the land
side of the river the sea daily throws up more land to it, and falls off
itself from it, as if it was resolved to disown the place, and that it
should be a seaport no longer.

A little farther lies Aldborough, as thriving, though without a port, as
the other is decaying, with a good river in the front of it.

There are some gentlemen’s seats up farther from the sea, but very few
upon the coast.

From Aldborough to Dunwich there are no towns of note; even this town
seems to be in danger of being swallowed up, for fame reports that once
they had fifty churches in the town; I saw but one left, and that not
half full of people.

This town is a testimony of the decay of public things, things of the
most durable nature; and as the old poet expresses it,

    “By numerous examples we may see,
    That towns and cities die as well as we.”

The ruins of Carthage, of the great city of Jerusalem, or of ancient
Rome, are not at all wonderful to me.  The ruins of Nineveh, which are so
entirety sunk as that it is doubtful where the city stood; the ruins of
Babylon, or the great Persepolis, and many capital cities, which time and
the change of monarchies have overthrown, these, I say, are not at all
wonderful, because being the capitals of great and flourishing kingdoms,
where those kingdoms were overthrown, the capital cities necessarily fell
with them; but for a private town, a seaport, and a town of commerce, to
decay, as it were, of itself (for we never read of Dunwich being
plundered or ruined by any disaster, at least, not of late years); this,
I must confess, seems owing to nothing but to the fate of things, by
which we see that towns, kings, countries, families, and persons, have
all their elevation, their medium, their declination, and even their
destruction in the womb of time, and the course of nature.  It is true,
this town is manifestly decayed by the invasion of the waters, and as
other towns seem sufferers by the sea, or the tide withdrawing from their
ports, such as Orford, just now named, Winchelsea in Kent, and the like,
so this town is, as it were, eaten up by the sea, as above; and the still
encroaching ocean seems to threaten it with a fatal immersion in a few
years more.

Yet Dunwich, however ruined, retains some share of trade, as particularly
for the shipping of butter, cheese, and corn, which is so great a
business in this county, that it employs a great many people and ships
also; and this port lies right against the particular part of the county
for butter, as Framlingham, Halstead, etc.  Also a very great quantity of
corn is bought up hereabout for the London market; for I shall still
touch that point how all the counties in England contribute something
towards the subsistence of the great city of London, of which the butter
here is a very considerable article; as also coarse cheese, which I
mentioned before, used chiefly for the king’s ships.

Hereabouts they begin to talk of herrings and the fishery; and we find in
the ancient records that this town, which was then equal to a large city,
paid, among other tribute to the government, fifty thousand of herrings.
Here also, and at Swole, or Southole, the next seaport, they cure sprats
in the same manner as they do herrings at Yarmouth; that is to say,
speaking in their own language, they make red sprats; or to speak good
English, they make sprats red.

It is remarkable that this town is now so much washed away by the sea,
that what little trade they have is carried on by Walderswick, a little
town near Swole, the vessels coming in there, because the ruins of
Dunwich make the shore there unsafe and uneasy to the boats; from whence
the northern coasting seamen a rude verse of their own using, and I
suppose of their own making, as follows,

    “Swoul and Dunwich, and Walderswick,
    All go in at one lousie creek.”

This “lousie creek,” in short, is a little river at Swoul, which our late
famous atlas-maker calls a good harbour for ships, and rendezvous of the
royal navy; but that by-the-bye; the author, it seems, knew no better.

From Dunwich we came to Southwold, the town above-named: this is a small
port town upon the coast, at the mouth of a little river called the
Blith.  I found no business the people here were employed in but the
fishery, as above, for herrings and sprats, which they cure by the help
of smoke, as they do at Yarmouth.

There is but one church in this town, but it is a very large one and well
built, as most of the churches in this county are, and of impenetrable
flint; indeed, there is no occasion for its being so large, for staying
there one Sabbath day, I was surprised to see an extraordinary large
church, capable of receiving five or six thousand people, and but
twenty-seven in it besides the parson and the clerk; but at the same time
the meeting-house of the Dissenters was full to the very doors, having,
as I guessed, from six to eight hundred people in it.

This town is made famous for a very great engagement at sea, in the year
1672, between the English and Dutch fleets, in the bay opposite to the
town, in which, not to be partial to ourselves, the English fleet was
worsted; and the brave Montague, Earl of Sandwich, Admiral under the Duke
of York, lost his life.  The ship _Royal Prince_, carrying one hundred
guns, in which he was, and which was under him, commanded by Sir Edward
Spragg, was burnt, and several other ships lost, and about six hundred
seamen; part of those killed in the fight were, as I was told, brought on
shore here and buried in the churchyard of this town, as others also were
at Ipswich.

At this town in particular, and so at all the towns on this coast, from
Orfordness to Yarmouth, is the ordinary place where our summer friends
the swallows first land when they come to visit us; and here they may be
said to embark for their return, when they go back into warmer climates;
and as I think the following remark, though of so trifling a
circumstance, may be both instructing as well as diverting, it may be
very proper in this place.  The case is this; I was some years before at
this place, at the latter end of the year, viz., about the beginning of
October, and lodging in a house that looked into the churchyard, I
observed in the evening, an unusual multitude of birds sitting on the
leads of the church.  Curiosity led me to go nearer to see what they
were, and I found they were all swallows; that there was such an infinite
number that they covered the whole roof of the church, and of several
houses near, and perhaps might of more houses which I did not see.  This
led me to inquire of a grave gentleman whom I saw near me, what the
meaning was of such a prodigious multitude of swallows sitting there.
“Oh, sir,” says he, turning towards the sea, “you may see the reason; the
wind is off sea.”  I did not seem fully informed by that expression, so
he goes on, “I perceive, sir,” says he, “you are a stranger to it; you
must then understand first, that this is the season of the year when the
swallows, their food here failing, begin to leave us, and return to the
country, wherever it be, from whence I suppose they came; and this being
the nearest to the coast of Holland, they come here to embark” (this he
said smiling a little); “and now, sir,” says he, “the weather being too
calm or the wind contrary, they are waiting for a gale, for they are all

This was more evident to me, when in the morning I found the wind had
come about to the north-west in the night, and there was not one swallow
to be seen of near a million, which I believe was there the night before.

How those creatures know that this part of the Island of Great Britain is
the way to their home, or the way that they are to go; that this very
point is the nearest cut over, or even that the nearest cut is best for
them, that we must leave to the naturalists to determine, who insist upon
it that brutes cannot think.

Certain it is that the swallows neither come hither for warm weather nor
retire from cold; the thing is of quite another nature.  They, like the
shoals of fish in the sea, pursue their prey; they are a voracious
creature, they feed flying; their food is found in the air, viz., the
insects, of which in our summer evenings, in damp and moist places, the
air is full.  They come hither in the summer because our air is fuller of
fogs and damps than in other countries, and for that reason feeds great
quantities of insects.  If the air be hot and dry the gnats die of
themselves, and even the swallows will be found famished for want, and
fall down dead out of the air, their food being taken from them.  In like
manner, when cold weather comes in the insects all die, and then of
necessity the swallows quit us, and follow their food wherever they go.
This they do in the manner I have mentioned above, for sometimes they are
seen to go off in vast flights like a cloud.  And sometimes again, when
the wind grows fair, they go away a few and a few as they come, not
staying at all upon the coast.

_Note_.—This passing and re-passing of the swallows is observed nowhere
so much, that I have heard of, or in but few other places, except on this
eastern coast, namely, from above Harwich to the east point of Norfolk,
called Winterton Ness, North, which is all right against Holland.  We
know nothing of them any farther north, the passage of the sea being, as
I suppose, too broad from Flamborough Head and the shore of Holderness in
Yorkshire, etc.

I find very little remarkable on this side of Suffolk, but what is on the
sea-shore as above.  The inland country is that which they properly call
High Suffolk, and is full of rich feeding grounds and large farms, mostly
employed in dairies for making the Suffolk butter and cheese, of which I
have spoken already.  Among these rich grounds stand some market towns,
though not of very considerable note; such as Framlingham, where was once
a royal castle, to which Queen Mary retired when the Northumberland
faction, in behalf of the Lady Jane, endeavoured to supplant her.  And it
was this part of Suffolk where the Gospellers, as they were then called,
preferred their loyalty to their religion, and complimented the Popish
line at expense of their share of the Reformation.  But they paid dear
for it, and their successors have learned better politics since.

In these parts are also several good market towns, some in this county
and some in the other, as Beccles, Bungay, Harlston, etc., all on the
edge of the River Waveney, which parts here the counties of Suffolk and
Norfolk.  And here in a bye-place, and out of common remark, lies the
ancient town of Hoxon, famous for being the place where St. Edmund was
martyred, for whom so many cells and shrines have been set up and
monasteries built, and in honour of whom the famous monastery of St.
Edmundsbury, above mentioned, was founded, which most people erroneously
think was the place where the said murder was committed.

Besides the towns mentioned above, there are Halesworth, Saxmundham,
Debenham, Aye, or Eye, all standing in this eastern side of Suffolk, in
which, as I have said, the whole country is employed in dairies or in
feeding of cattle.

This part of England is also remarkable for being the first where the
feeding and fattening of cattle, both sheep as well as black cattle, with
turnips, was first practised in England, which is made a very great part
of the improvement of their lands to this day, and from whence the
practice is spread over most of the east and south parts of England to
the great enriching of the farmers and increase of fat cattle.  And
though some have objected against the goodness of the flesh thus fed with
turnips, and have fancied it would taste of the root, yet upon experience
it is found that at market there is no difference, nor can they that buy
single out one joint of mutton from another by the taste.  So that the
complaint which our nice palates at first made begins to cease of itself,
and a very great quantity of beef and mutton also is brought every year
and every week to London from this side of England, and much more than
was formerly known to be fed there.

I cannot omit, however little it may seem, that this county of Suffolk is
particularly famous for furnishing the City of London and all the
counties round with turkeys, and that it is thought there are more
turkeys bred in this county and the part of Norfolk that adjoins to it
than in all the rest of England, especially for sale, though this may be
reckoned, as I say above, but a trifling thing to take notice of in these
remarks; yet, as I have hinted, that I shall observe how London is in
general supplied with all its provisions from the whole body of the
nation, and how every part of the island is engaged in some degree or
other of that supply.  On this account I could not omit it, nor will it
be found so inconsiderable an article as some may imagine, if this be
true, which I received an account of from a person living on the place,
viz., that they have counted three hundred droves of turkeys (for they
drive them all in droves on foot) pass in one season over Stratford
Bridge on the River Stour, which parts Suffolk from Essex, about six
miles from Colchester, on the road from Ipswich to London.  These droves,
as they say, generally contain from three hundred to a thousand each
drove; so that one may suppose them to contain five hundred one with
another, which is one hundred and fifty thousand in all; and yet this is
one of the least passages, the numbers which travel by Newmarket Heath
and the open country and the forest, and also the numbers that come by
Sudbury and Clare being many more.

For the further supplies of the markets of London with poultry, of which
these countries particularly abound, they have within these few years
found it practicable to make the geese travel on foot too, as well as the
turkeys, and a prodigious number are brought up to London in droves from
the farthest parts of Norfolk; even from the fen country about Lynn,
Downham, Wisbech, and the Washes; as also from all the east side of
Norfolk and Suffolk, of whom it is very frequent now to meet droves with
a thousand, sometimes two thousand in a drove.  They begin to drive them
generally in August, by which time the harvest is almost over, and the
geese may feed in the stubbles as they go.  Thus they hold on to the end
of October, when the roads begin to be too stiff and deep for their broad
feet and short legs to march in.

Besides these methods of driving these creatures on foot, they have of
late also invented a new method of carriage, being carts formed on
purpose, with four stories or stages to put the creatures in one above
another, by which invention one cart will carry a very great number; and
for the smoother going they drive with two horses abreast, like a coach,
so quartering the road for the ease of the gentry that thus ride.
Changing horses, they travel night and day, so that they bring the fowls
seventy, eighty, or, one hundred miles in two days and one night.  The
horses in this new-fashioned voiture go two abreast, as above, but no
perch below, as in a coach, but they are fastened together by a piece of
wood lying crosswise upon their necks, by which they are kept even and
together, and the driver sits on the top of the cart like as in the
public carriages for the army, etc.

In this manner they hurry away the creatures alive, and infinite numbers
are thus carried to London every year.  This method is also particular
for the carrying young turkeys or turkey poults in their season, which
are valuable, and yield a good price at market; as also for live chickens
in the dear seasons, of all which a very great number are brought in this
manner to London, and more prodigiously out of this country than any
other part of England, which is the reason of my speaking of it here.

In this part, which we call High Suffolk, there are not so many families
of gentry or nobility placed as in the other side of the country.  But it
is observed that though their seats are not so frequent here, their
estates are; and the pleasure of West Suffolk is much of it supported by
the wealth of High Suffolk, for the richness of the lands and application
of the people to all kinds of improvement is scarce credible; also the
farmers are so very considerable and their farms and dairies so large
that it is very frequent for a farmer to have £1,000 stock upon his farm
in cows only.


From High Suffolk I passed the Waveney into Norfolk, near Schole Inn.  In
my passage I saw at Redgrave (the seat of the family) a most exquisite
monument of Sir John Holt, Knight, late Lord Chief Justice of the King’s
Bench several years, and one of the most eminent lawyers of his time.
One of the heirs of the family is now building a fine seat about a mile
on the south side of Ipswich, near the road.

The epitaph or inscription on this monument is as follows:—

                                  M. S.
                     D. Johannis Holt, _Equitis Aur_.
                      _Totius Angliæ in Banco Regis_
                        _per_ 21 _Annos continuos_
                          Capitalis Justitiarii
                      _Gulielmo Regi Annæqur Reginæ_
                         _Consiliarii perpetui_:
                     _Libertatis ac Legum Anglicarum_
                  _Assertoris_, _Vindicis_, _Custodis_,
                       _Vigilis Acris & intrepidi_,
                     _Rolandus Frater Uncius & Hæres_
                          _Optime de se Merito_
                 _Die Martis Vto_. 1709.  _Sublatus est_
                           _ex Oculis nostris_
                   _Natus_ 30 _Decembris_, _Anno_ 1642.

When we come into Norfolk, we see a face of diligence spread over the
whole country; the vast manufactures carried on (in chief) by the Norwich
weavers employs all the country round in spinning yarn for them; besides
many thousand packs of yarn which they receive from other countries, even
from as far as Yorkshire and Westmoreland, of which I shall speak in its

This side of Norfolk is very populous, and thronged with great and
spacious market-towns, more and larger than any other part of England so
far from London, except Devonshire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire; for
example, between the frontiers of Suffolk and the city of Norwich on this
side, which is not above 22 miles in breadth, are the following
market-towns, viz.:—

Thetford,      Hingham,           Harleston,
Diss,          West Dereham,      E. Dereham,
Harling,       Attleborough,      Watton,
Bucknam,       Windham,           Loddon, etc.

Most of these towns are very populous and large; but that which is most
remarkable is, that the whole country round them is so interspersed with
villages, and those villages so large, and so full of people, that they
are equal to market-towns in other countries; in a word, they render this
eastern part of Norfolk exceeding full of inhabitants.

An eminent weaver of Norwich gave me a scheme of their trade on this
occasion, by which, calculating from the number of looms at that time
employed in the city of Norwich only, besides those employed in other
towns in the same county, he made it appear very plain, that there were
120,000 people employed in the woollen and silk and wool manufactures of
that city only; not that the people all lived in the city, though Norwich
is a very large and populous city too: but, I say, they were employed for
spinning the yarn used for such goods as were all made in that city.
This account is curious enough, and very exact, but it is too long for
the compass of this work.

This shows the wonderful extent of the Norwich manufacture, or
stuff-weaving trade, by which so many thousands of families are
maintained.  Their trade, indeed, felt a very sensible decay, and the
cries of the poor began to be very loud, when the wearing of painted
calicoes was grown to such a height in England, as was seen about two or
three years ago; but an Act of Parliament having been obtained, though
not without great struggle, in the years 1720 and 1721, for prohibiting
the use and wearing of calicoes, the stuff trade revived incredibly; and
as I passed this part of the country in the year 1723, the manufacturers
assured me that there was not, in all the eastern and middle part of
Norfolk, any hand unemployed, if they would work; and that the very
children, after four or five years of age, could every one earn their own
bread.  But I return to speak of the villages and towns in the rest of
the county; I shall come to the city of Norwich by itself.

This throng of villages continues through all the east part of the
country, which is of the greatest extent, and where the manufacture is
chiefly carried on.  If any part of it be waste and thin of inhabitants,
it is the west part, drawing a line from about Brand, or Brandon, south,
to Walsinghan, north.  This part of the country indeed is full of open
plains, and somewhat sandy and barren, and feeds great flocks of good
sheep; but put it all together, the county of Norfolk has the most people
in the least tract of land of any county in England, except about London,
and Exon, and the West Riding of Yorkshire, as above.

Add to this, that there is no single county in England, except as above,
that can boast of three towns so populous, so rich, and so famous for
trade and navigation, as in this county.  By these three towns, I mean
the city of Norwich, the towns of Yarmouth and Lynn.  Besides that, it
has several other seaports of very good trade, as Wisbech, Wells,
Burnham, Clye, etc.

Norwich is the capital of all the county, and the centre of all the trade
and manufactures which I have just mentioned; an ancient, large, rich,
and populous city.  If a stranger was only to ride through or view the
city of Norwich for a day, he would have much more reason to think there
was a town without inhabitants, than there is really to say so of
Ipswich; but on the contrary if he was to view the city, either on a
Sabbath-day, or on any public occasion, he would wonder where all the
people could dwell, the multitude is so great.  But the case is this: the
inhabitants being all busy at their manufactures, dwell in their garrets
at their looms, and in their combing shops (so they call them),
twisting-mills, and other work-houses, almost all the works they are
employed in being done within doors.  There are in this city thirty-two
parishes besides the cathedral, and a great many meeting-houses of
Dissenters of all denominations.  The public edifices are chiefly the
castle, ancient and decayed, and now for many years past made use of for
a gaol.  The Duke of Norfolk’s house was formerly kept well, and the
gardens preserved for the pleasure and diversion of the citizens, but
since feeling too sensibly the sinking circumstances of that once
glorious family, who were the first peers and hereditary earl-marshals of

The walls of this city are reckoned three miles in circumference, taking
in more ground than the City of London, but much of that ground lying
open in pasture-fields and gardens; nor does it seem to be, like some
ancient places, a decayed, declining town, and that the walls mark out
its ancient dimensions; for we do not see room to suppose that it was
ever larger or more populous than it is now.  But the walls seem to be
placed as if they expected that the city would in time increase
sufficiently to fill them up with buildings.

The cathedral of this city is a fine fabric, and the spire steeple very
high and beautiful.  It is not ancient, the bishop’s see having been
first at Thetford, from whence it was not translated hither till the
twelfth century.  Yet the church has so many antiquities in it, that our
late great scholar and physician, Sir Thomas Brown, thought it worth his
while to write a whole book to collect the monuments and inscriptions in
this church, to which I refer the reader.

The River Yare runs through this city, and is navigable thus far without
the help of any art (that is to say, without locks or stops), and being
increased by other waters, passes afterwards through a long tract of the
richest meadows, and the largest, take them all together, that are
anywhere in England, lying for thirty miles in length, from this city to
Yarmouth, including the return of the said meadows on the bank of the
Waveney south, and on the River Thyrn north.

Here is one thing indeed strange in itself, and more so, in that history
seems to be quite ignorant of the occasion of it.  The River Waveney is a
considerable river, and of a deep and full channel, navigable for large
barges as high as Beccles; it runs for a course of about fifty miles,
between the two counties of Suffolk and Norfolk, as a boundary to both;
and pushing on, though with a gentle stream, towards the sea, no one
would doubt, but, that when they see the river growing broader and
deeper, and going directly towards the sea, even to the edge of the
beach—that is to say, within a mile of the main ocean—no stranger, I say,
but would expect to see its entrance into the sea at that place, and a
noble harbour for ships at the mouth of it; when on a sudden, the land
rising high by the seaside, crosses the head of the river, like a dam,
checks the whole course of it, and it returns, bending its course west,
for two miles, or thereabouts; and then turning north, through another
long course of meadows (joining to those just now mentioned) seeks out
the River Yare, that it may join its water with hers, and find their way
to the sea together.

Some of our historians tell a long, fabulous story of this river being
once open, and a famous harbour for ships belonging to a town of
Lowestoft adjoining; but that the town of Yarmouth envying the prosperity
of the said town of Lowestoft, made war upon them; and that after many
bloody battles, as well by sea as by land, they came at last to a
decisive action at sea with their respective fleets, and the victory fell
to the Yarmouth men, the Lowestoft fleet being overthrown and utterly
destroyed; and that upon this victory, the Yarmouth men either actually
did stop up the mouth of the said river, or obliged the vanquished
Lowestoft men to do it themselves, and bound them never to attempt to
open it again.

I believe my share of this story, and I recommend no more of it to the
reader; adding, that I see no authority for the relation, neither do the
relators agree either in the time of it, or in the particulars of the
fact; that is to say, in whose reign, or under what government all this
happened; in what year, and the like; so I satisfy myself with
transcribing the matter of fact, and then leave it as I find it.

In this vast tract of meadows are fed a prodigious number of black cattle
which are said to be fed up for the fattest beef, though not the largest
in England; and the quantity is so great, as that they not only supply
the city of Norwich, the town of Yarmouth, and county adjacent, but send
great quantities of them weekly in all the winter season to London.

And this in particular is worthy remark, that the gross of all the Scots
cattle which come yearly into England are brought hither, being brought
to a small village lying north of the city of Norwich, called St.
Faith’s, where the Norfolk graziers go and buy them.

These Scots runts, so they call them, coming out of the cold and barren
mountains of the Highlands in Scotland, feed so eagerly on the rich
pasture in these marshes, that they thrive in an unusual manner, and grow
monstrously fat; and the beef is so delicious for taste, that the
inhabitants prefer them to the English cattle, which are much larger and
fairer to look at; and they may very well do so.  Some have told me, and
I believe with good judgment, that there are above forty thousand of
these Scots cattle fed in this county every year, and most of them in the
said marshes between Norwich, Beccles, and Yarmouth.

Yarmouth is an ancient town, much older than Norwich; and at present,
though not standing on so much ground, yet better built; much more
complete; for number of inhabitants, not much inferior; and for wealth,
trade, and advantage of its situation, infinitely superior to Norwich.

It is placed on a peninsula between the River Yare and the sea; the two
last lying parallel to one another, and the town in the middle.  The
river lies on the west side of the town, and being grown very large and
deep, by a conflux of all the rivers on this side the county, forms the
haven; and the town facing to the west also, and open to the river, makes
the finest quay in England, if not in Europe, not inferior even to that
of Marseilles itself.

The ships ride here so close, and, as it were, keeping up one another,
with their headfasts on shore, that for half a mile together they go
across the stream with their bowsprits over the land, their bows, or
heads touching the very wharf; so that one may walk from ship to ship as
on a floating bridge, all along by the shore-side.  The quay reaching
from the drawbridge almost to the south gate, is so spacious and wide,
that in some places it is near one hundred yards from the houses to the
wharf.  In this pleasant and agreeable range of houses are some very
magnificent buildings, and among the rest, the Custom House and Town
Hall, and some merchant’s houses, which look like little palaces rather
than the dwelling-houses of private men.

The greatest defect of this beautiful town seems to be that, though it is
very rich and increasing in wealth and trade, and consequently in people,
there is not room to enlarge the town by building, which would be
certainly done much more than it is, but that the river on the land side
prescribes them, except at the north end without the gate; and even there
the land is not very agreeable.  But had they had a larger space within
the gates there would before now have been many spacious streets of noble
fine buildings erected, as we see is done in some other thriving towns in
England, as at Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Frome, etc.

The quay and the harbour of this town during the fishing fair, as they
call it, which is every Michaelmas, one sees the land covered with
people, and the river with barques and boats, busy day and night landing
and carrying of the herrings, which they catch here in such prodigious
quantities, that it is incredible.  I happened to be there during their
fishing fair, when I told in one tide 110 barques and fishing vessels
coming up the river all laden with herrings, and all taken the night
before; and this was besides what was brought on shore on the Dean (that
is the seaside of the town) by open boats, which they call cobles, and
which often bring in two or three last of fish at a time.  The barques
often bring in ten last a piece.

This fishing fair begins on Michaelmas Day, and lasts all the month of
October, by which time the herrings draw off to sea, shoot their spawn,
and are no more fit for the merchant’s business—at least, not those that
are taken thereabouts.

The quantity of herrings that are caught in this season are diversely
accounted for.  Some have said that the towns of Yarmouth and Lowestoft
only have taken 40,000 last in a season.  I will not venture to confirm
that report; but this I have heard the merchants themselves say, viz.,
that they have cured—that is to say, hanged and dried in the smoke—40,000
barrels of merchantable red herrings in one season, which is in itself
(though far short of the other) yet a very considerable article; and it
is to be added that this is besides all the herrings consumed in the
country towns of both those populous counties for thirty miles from the
sea, whither very great quantities are carried every tide during the
whole season.

But this is only one branch of the great trade carried on in this town.
Another part of this commerce is in the exporting these herrings after
they are cured; and for this their merchants have a great trade to Genoa,
Leghorn, Naples, Messina, and Venice; as also to Spain and Portugal, also
exporting with their herring very great quantities of worsted stuffs, and
stuffs made of silk and worsted, camblets, etc., the manufactures of the
neighbouring city of Norwich and of the places adjacent.

Besides this, they carry on a very considerable trade with Holland, whose
opposite neighbours they are; and a vast quantity of woollen manufactures
they export to the Dutch every year.  Also they have a fishing trade to
the North Seas for white fish, which from the place are called the North
Sea cod.

They have also a considerable trade to Norway and to the Baltic, from
whence they bring back deals and fir timber, oaken plank, balks, spars,
oars, pitch, tar, hemp, flax, spruce canvas, and sail-cloth, with all
manner of naval stores, which they generally have a consumption for in
their own port, where they build a very great number of ships every year,
besides refitting and repairing the old.

Add to this the coal trade between Newcastle and the river of Thames, in
which they are so improved of late years that they have now a greater
share of it than any other town in England, and have quite worked the
Ipswich men out of it who had formerly the chief share of the colliery in
their hands.

For the carrying on all these trades they must have a very great number
of ships, either of their own or employed by them: and it may in some
measure be judged of by this that in the year 1697, I had an account from
the town register that there was then 1,123 sail of ships using the sea
and belonged to the town, besides such ships as the merchants of Yarmouth
might be concerned in, and be part owners of, belonging to any other

To all this I must add, without compliment to the town or to the people,
that the merchants, and even the generality of traders of Yarmouth, have
a very good reputation in trade as well abroad as at home for men of fair
and honourable dealing, punctual and just in their performing their
engagements and in discharging commissions; and their seamen, as well
masters as mariners, are justly esteemed among the ablest and most expert
navigators in England.

This town, however populous and large, was ever contained in one parish,
and had but one church; but within these two years they have built
another very fine church near the south end of the town.  The old church
is dedicated to St. Nicholas, and was built by that famous Bishop of
Norwich, William Herbert, who flourished in the reign of William II., and
Henry I., William of Malmesbury, calls him _Vir Pecuniosus_; he might
have called him _Vir Pecuniosissimus_, considering the times he lived in,
and the works of charity and munificence which he has left as witnesses
of his immense riches; for he built the Cathedral Church, the Priory for
sixty monks, the Bishop’s Palace, and the parish church of St. Leonard,
all in Norwich; this great church at Yarmouth, the Church of St. Margaret
at Lynn, and of St. Mary at Elmham.  He removed the episcopal see from
Thetford to Norwich, and instituted the Cluniack Monks at Thetford, and
gave them or built them a house.  This old church is very large, and has
a high spire, which is a useful sea-mark.

Here is one of the finest market-places and the best served with
provisions in England, London excepted; and the inhabitants are so
multiplied in a few years that they seem to want room in their town
rather than people to fill it, as I have observed above.

The streets are all exactly straight from north to south, with lanes or
alleys, which they call rows, crossing them in straight lines also from
east to west, so that it is the most regular built town in England, and
seems to have been built all at once; or that the dimensions of the
houses and extent of the streets were laid out by consent.

They have particular privileges in this town and a jurisdiction by which
they can try, condemn, and execute in especial cases without waiting for
a warrant from above; and this they exerted once very smartly in
executing a captain of one of the king’s ships of war in the reign of
King Charles II. for a murder committed in the street, the circumstance
of which did indeed call for justice; but some thought they would not
have ventured to exert their powers as they did.  However, I never heard
that the Government resented it or blamed them for it.

It is also a very well-governed town, and I have nowhere in England
observed the Sabbath day so exactly kept, or the breach so continually
punished, as in this place, which I name to their honour.

Among all these regularities it is no wonder if we do not find abundance
of revelling, or that there is little encouragement to assemblies, plays,
and gaming meetings at Yarmouth as in some other places; and yet I do not
see that the ladies here come behind any of the neighbouring counties,
either in beauty, breeding, or behaviour; to which may be added too, not
at all to their disadvantage, that they generally go beyond them in

From Yarmouth I resolved to pursue my first design, viz., to view the
seaside on this coast, which is particularly famous for being one of the
most dangerous and most fatal to the sailors in all England—I may say in
all Britain—and the more so because of the great number of ships which
are continually going and coming this way in their passage between London
and all the northern coasts of Great Britain.  Matters of antiquity are
not my inquiry, but principally observations on the present state of
things, and, if possible, to give such accounts of things worthy of
recording as have never been observed before; and this leads me the more
directly to mention the commerce and the navigation when I come to towns
upon the coast as what few writers have yet meddled with.

The reason of the dangers of this particular coast are found in the
situation of the county and in the course of ships sailing this way,
which I shall describe as well as I can thus:—The shore from the mouth of
the River of Thames to Yarmouth Roads lies in a straight line from SSE.
_to_ NNW., the land being on the W. or larboard side.

From Wintertonness, which is the utmost northerly point of land in the
county of Norfolk, and about four miles beyond Yarmouth, the shore falls
off for nearly sixty miles to the west, as far as Lynn and Boston, till
the shore of Lincolnshire tends north again for about sixty miles more as
far as the Humber, whence the coast of Yorkshire, or Holderness, which is
the east riding, shoots out again into the sea, to the Spurn and to
Flamborough Head, as far east, almost, as the shore of Norfolk had given
back at Winterton, making a very deep gulf or bay between those two
points of Winterton and the Spurn Head; so that the ships going north are
obliged to stretch away to sea from Wintertonness, and leaving the sight
of land in that deep bay which I have mentioned, that reaches to Lynn and
the shore of Lincolnshire, they go, I say, N. or still NNW. to meet the
shore of Holderness, which I said runs out into the sea again at the
Spurn; and the first land they make or desire to make, is called as
above, Flamborough Head, so that Wintertonness and Flamborough Head are
the two extremes of this course, there is, as I said, the Spurn Head
indeed between; but as it lies too far in towards the Humber, they keep
out to the north to avoid coming near it.

In like manner the ships which come from the north, leave the shore at
Flamborough Head, and stretch away SSE. for Yarmouth Roads; and they
first land they make is Wintertonness (as above).  Now, the danger of the
place is this: if the ships coming from the north are taken with a hard
gale of wind from the SE., or from any point between NE. and SE., so that
they cannot, as the seamen call it, weather Wintertonness, they are
thereby kept within that deep bay; and if the wind blows hard, are often
in danger of running on shore upon the rocks about Cromer, on the north
coast of Norfolk, or stranding upon the flat shore between Cromer and
Wells; all the relief they have, is good ground tackle to ride it out,
which is very hard to do there, the sea coming very high upon them; or if
they cannot ride it out then, to run into the bottom of the great bay I
mentioned, to Lynn or Boston, which is a very difficult and desperate
push: so that sometimes in this distress whole fleets have been lost here

The like is the danger to ships going northward, if after passing by
Winterton they are taken short with a north-east wind, and cannot put
back into the Roads, which very often happens, then they are driven upon
the same coast, and embayed just as the latter.  The danger on the north
part of this bay is not the same, because if ships going or coming should
be taken short on this side Flamborough, there is the river Humber open
to them, and several good roads to have recourse to, as Burlington Bay,
Grimsby Road, and the Spurn Head, and others, where they ride under

The dangers of this place being thus considered, it is no wonder, that
upon the shore beyond Yarmouth there are no less than four lighthouses
kept flaming every night, besides the lights at Castor, north of the
town, and at Goulston S., all of which are to direct the sailors to keep
a good offing in case of bad weather, and to prevent their running into
Cromer Bay, which the seamen call the devil’s throat.

As I went by land from Yarmouth northward, along the shore towards Cromer
aforesaid, and was not then fully master of the reason of these things, I
was surprised to see, in all the way from Winterton, that the farmers and
country people had scarce a barn, or a shed, or a stable, nay, not the
pales of their yards and gardens, not a hogstye, not a necessary house,
but what was built of old planks, beams, wales, and timbers, etc., the
wrecks of ships, and ruins of mariners’ and merchants’ fortunes; and in
some places were whole yards filled and piled up very high with the same
stuff laid up, as I supposed to sell for the like building purposes, as
there should he occasion.

About the year 1692 (I think it was that year) there was a melancholy
example of what I have said of this place: a fleet of 200 sail of light
colliers (so they call the ships bound northward empty to fetch coals
from Newcastle to London) went out of Yarmouth Roads with a fair wind, to
pursue their voyage, and were taken short with a storm of wind at NE.
after they were past Wintertonness, a few leagues; some of them, whose
masters were a little more wary than the rest, or perhaps, who made a
better judgment of things, or who were not so far out as the rest,
tacked, and put back in time, and got safe into the roads; but the rest
pushing on in hopes to keep out to sea, and weather it, were by the
violence of the storm driven back, when they were too far embayed to
weather Wintertonness as above, and so were forced to run west, everyone
shifting for themselves as well as they could; some run away for Lynn
Deeps, but few of them (the night being so dark) could find their way in
there; some, but very few, rode it out at a distance; the rest, being
above 140 sail, were all driven on shore and dashed to pieces, and very
few of the people on board were saved: at the very same unhappy juncture,
a fleet of laden ships were coming from the north, and being just
crossing the same bay, were forcibly driven into it, not able to weather
the Ness, and so were involved in the same ruin as the light fleet was;
also some coasting vessels laden with corn from Lynn and Wells, and bound
for Holland, were with the same unhappy luck just come out to begin their
voyage, and some of them lay at anchor; these also met with the same
misfortune, so that, in the whole, above 200 sail of ships, and above a
thousand people, perished in the disaster of that one miserable night,
very few escaping.

Cromer is a market town close to the shore of this dangerous coast.  I
know nothing it is famous for (besides it being thus the terror of the
sailors) except good lobsters, which are taken on that coast in great
numbers and carried to Norwich, and in such quantities sometimes too as
to be conveyed by sea to London.

Farther within the land, and between this place and Norwich, are several
good market towns, and innumerable villages, all diligently applying to
the woollen manufacture, and the country is exceedingly fruitful and
fertile, as well in corn as in pastures; particularly, which was very
pleasant to see, the pheasants were in such great plenty as to be seen in
the stubbles like cocks and hens—a testimony though, by the way, that the
county had more tradesmen than gentlemen in it; indeed, this part is so
entirely given up to industry, that what with the seafaring men on the
one side, and the manufactures on the other, we saw no idle hands here,
but every man busy on the main affair of life, that is to say, getting
money; some of the principal of these towns are:—Alsham, North Walsham,
South Walsham, Worsted, Caston, Reepham, Holt, Saxthorp, St. Faith’s,
Blikling, and many others.  Near the last, Sir John Hobart, of an ancient
family in this county, has a noble seat, but old built.  This is that St.
Faith’s, where the drovers bring their black cattle to sell to the
Norfolk graziers, as is observed above.

From Cromer we ride on the strand or open shore to Weyburn Hope, the
shore so flat that in some places the tide ebbs out near two miles.  From
Weyburn west lies Clye, where there are large salt-works and very good
salt made, which is sold all over the county, and sometimes sent to
Holland and to the Baltic.  From Clye we go to Masham and to Wells, all
towns on the coast, in each whereof there is a very considerable trade
carried on with Holland for corn, which that part of the county is very
full of.  I say nothing of the great trade driven here from Holland, back
again to England, because I take it to be a trade carried on with much
less honesty than advantage, especially while the clandestine trade, or
the art of smuggling was so much in practice: what it is now, is not to
my present purpose.

Near this town lie The Seven Burnhams, as they are called, that is to
say, seven small towns, all called by the same name, and each employed in
the same trade of carrying corn to Holland, and bringing back,—etc.

From hence we turn to the south-west to Castle Rising, an old decayed
borough town, with perhaps not ten families in it, which yet (to the
scandal of our prescription right) sends two members to the British
Parliament, being as many as the City of Norwich itself or any town in
the kingdom, London excepted, can do.

On our left we see Walsingham, an ancient town, famous for the old ruins
of a monastery of note there, and the Shrine of our Lady, as noted as
that of St. Thomas-à-Becket at Canterbury, and for little else.

Near this place are the seats of the two allied families of the Lord
Viscount Townsend and Robert Walpole, Esq.; the latter at this time one
of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury and Minister of State, and the
former one of the principal Secretaries of State to King George, of which

From hence we went to Lynn, another rich and populous thriving port-town.
It stands on more ground than the town of Yarmouth, and has, I think,
parishes, yet I cannot allow that it has more people than Yarmouth, if so
many.  It is a beautiful, well built, and well situated town, at the
mouth of the River Ouse, and has this particular attending it, which
gives it a vast advantage in trade; namely, that there is the greatest
extent of inland navigation here of any port in England, London excepted.
The reason whereof is this, that there are more navigable rivers empty
themselves here into the sea, including the washes, which are branches of
the same port, than at any one mouth of waters in England, except the
Thames and the Humber.  By these navigable rivers, the merchants of Lynn
supply about six counties wholly, and three counties in part, with their
goods, especially wine and coals, viz., by the little Ouse, they send
their goods to Brandon and Thetford, by the Lake to Mildenhall, Barton
Mills, and St. Edmundsbury; by the River Grant to Cambridge, by the great
Ouse itself to Ely, to St. Ives, to St. Neots, to Barford Bridge, and to
Bedford; by the River Nyne to Peterborough; by the drains and washes to
Wisbeach, to Spalding, Market Deeping, and Stamford; besides the several
counties, into which these goods are carried by land-carriage, from the
places, where the navigation of those rivers end; which has given rise to
this observation on the town of Lynn, that they bring in more coals than
any sea-port between London and Newcastle; and import more wines than any
port in England, except London and Bristol; their trade to Norway and to
the Baltic Sea is also great in proportion, and of late years they have
extended their trade farther to the southward.

Here are more gentry, and consequently is more gaiety in this town than
in Yarmouth, or even in Norwich itself—the place abounding in very good

The situation of this town renders it capable of being made very strong,
and in the late wars it was so; a line of fortification being drawn round
it at a distance from the walls; the ruins, or rather remains of which
works appear very fair to this day; nor would it be a hard matter to
restore the bastions, with the ravelins, and counterscarp, upon any
sudden emergency, to a good state of defence: and that in a little time,
a sufficient number of workmen being employed, especially because they
are able to fill all their ditches with water from the sea, in such a
manner as that it cannot be drawn off.

There is in the market-place of this town a very fine statue of King
William on horseback, erected at the charge of the town.  The Ouse is
mighty large and deep, close to the very town itself, and ships of good
burthen may come up to the quay; but there is no bridge, the stream being
too strong and the bottom moorish and unsound; nor, for the same reason,
is the anchorage computed the best in the world; but there are good roads
farther down.

They pass over here in boats into the fen country, and over the famous
washes into Lincolnshire, but the passage is very dangerous and uneasy,
and where passengers often miscarry and are lost; but then it is usually
on their venturing at improper times, and without the guides, which if
they would be persuaded not to do, they would very rarely fail of going
or coming safe.

From Lynn I bent my course to Downham, where is an ugly wooden bridge
over the Ouse; from whence we passed the fen country to Wisbeach, but saw
nothing that way to tempt our curiosity but deep roads, innumerable
drains and dykes of water, all navigable, and a rich soil, the land
bearing a vast quantity of good hemp, but a base unwholesome air; so we
came back to Ely, whose cathedral, standing in a level flat country, is
seen far and wide, and of which town, when the minster, so they call it,
is described, everything remarkable is said that there is room to say.
And of the minster, this is the most remarkable thing that I could hear
it, namely, that some of it is so ancient, totters so much with every
gust of wind, looks so like a decay, and seems so near it, that whenever
it does fall, all that it is likely will be thought strange in it will be
that it did not fall a hundred years sooner.

From hence we came over the Ouse, and in a few miles to Newmarket.  In
our way, near Snaybell, we saw a noble seat of the late Admiral Russell,
now Earl of Orford, a name made famous by the glorious victory obtained
under his command over the French fleet and the burning their ships at La
Hogue—a victory equal in glory to, and infinitely more glorious to the
English nation in particular, than that at Blenheim, and, above all, more
to the particular advantage of the confederacy, because it so broke the
heart of the naval power of France that they have not fully recovered it
to this day.  But of this victory it must be said it was owing to the
haughty, rash, and insolent orders given by the King of France to his
admiral, viz., to fight the confederate fleet wherever he found them,
without leaving room for him to use due caution if he found them too
strong, which pride of France was doubtless a fate upon them, and gave a
cheap victory to the confederates, the French coming down rashly, and
with the most impolitic bravery, with about five-and-forty sail to attack
between seventy and eighty sail, by which means they met their ruin.
Whereas, had their own fleet been joined, it might have cost more blood
to have mastered them if it had been done at all.

The situation of this house is low, and on the edge of the fen country,
but the building is very fine, the avenues noble, and the gardens
perfectly finished.  The apartments also are rich, and I see nothing
wanting but a family and heirs to sustain the glory and inheritance of
the illustrious ancestor who raised it—_sed caret pedibus_; these are

Being come to Newmarket in the month of October, I had the opportunity to
see the horse races and a great concourse of the nobility and gentry, as
well from London as from all parts of England, but they were all so
intent, so eager, so busy upon the sharping part of the sport—their
wagers and bets—that to me they seemed just as so many horse-coursers in
Smithfield, descending (the greatest of them) from their high dignity and
quality to picking one another’s pockets, and biting one another as much
as possible, and that with such eagerness as that it might be said they
acted without respect to faith, honour, or good manners.

There was Mr. Frampton the oldest, and, as some say, the cunningest
jockey in England; one day he lost one thousand guineas, the next he won
two thousand; and so alternately he made as light of throwing away five
hundred or one thousand pounds at a time as other men do of their
pocket-money, and as perfectly calm, cheerful, and unconcerned when he
had lost one thousand pounds as when he had won it.  On the other side
there was Sir R Fagg, of Sussex, of whom fame says he has the most in him
and the least to show for it (relating to jockeyship) of any man there,
yet he often carried the prize.  His horses, they said, were all cheats,
how honest soever their master was, for he scarce ever produced a horse
but he looked like what he was not, and was what nobody could expect him
to be.  If he was as light as the wind, and could fly like a meteor, he
was sure to look as clumsy, and as dirty, and as much like a cart-horse
as all the cunning of his master and the grooms could make him, and just
in this manner he beat some of the greatest gamesters in the field.

I was so sick of the jockeying part that I left the crowd about the posts
and pleased myself with observing the horses: how the creatures yielded
to all the arts and managements of their masters; how they took their
airings in sport, and played with the daily heats which they ran over the
course before the grand day.  But how, as knowing the difference equally
with their riders, would they exert their utmost strength at the time of
the race itself!  And that to such an extremity that one or two of them
died in the stable when they came to be rubbed after the first heat.

Here I fancied myself in the Circus Maximus at Rome seeing the ancient
games and the racings of the chariots and horsemen, and in this warmth of
my imagination I pleased and diverted myself more and in a more noble
manner than I could possibly do in the crowds of gentlemen at the
weighing and starting-posts and at their coming in, or at their meetings
at the coffee-houses and gaming-tables after the races were over, where
there was little or nothing to be seen but what was the subject of just
reproach to them and reproof from every wise man that looked upon them.

N.B.—Pray take it with you, as you go, you see no ladies at Newmarket,
except a few of the neighbouring gentlemen’s families, who come in their
coaches on any particular day to see a race, and so go home again

As I was pleasing myself with what was to be seen here, I went in the
intervals of the sport to see the fine seats of the gentlemen in the
neighbouring county, for this part of Suffolk, being an open champaign
country and a healthy air, is formed for pleasure and all kinds of
country diversion, Nature, as it were, inviting the gentlemen to visit
her where she was fully prepared to receive them, in conformity to which
kind summons they came, for the country is, as it were, covered with fine
palaces of the nobility and pleasant seats of the gentlemen.

The Earl of Orford’s house I have mentioned already; the next is Euston
Hall, the seat of the Duke of Grafton.  It lies in the open country
towards the side of Norfolk, not far from Thetford, a place capable of
all that is pleasant and delightful in Nature, and improved by art to
every extreme that Nature is able to produce.

From thence I went to Rushbrook, formerly the seat of the noble family of
Jermyns, lately Lord Dover, and now of the house of Davers.  Here Nature,
for the time I was there, drooped and veiled all the beauties of which
she once boasted, the family being in tears and the house shut up, Sir
Robert Davers, the head thereof, and knight of the shire for the county
of Suffolk, and who had married the eldest daughter of the late Lord
Dover, being just dead, and the corpse lying there in its funeral form of
ceremony, not yet buried.  Yet all looked lovely in their sorrow, and a
numerous issue promising and grown up intimated that the family of Davers
would still flourish, and that the beauties of Rushbrook, the mansion of
the family, were not formed with so much art in vain or to die with the
present possessor.

After this we saw Brently, the seat of the Earl of Dysert, and the
ancient palace of my Lord Cornwallis, with several others of exquisite
situation, and adorned with the beauties both of art and Nature, so that
I think any traveller from abroad, who would desire to see how the
English gentry live, and what pleasures they enjoy, should come into
Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, and take but a light circuit among the
country seats of the gentlemen on this side only, and they would be soon
convinced that not France, no, not Italy itself, can outdo them in
proportion to the climate they lived in.

I had still the county of Cambridge to visit to complete this tour of the
eastern part of England, and of that I come now to speak.

We enter Cambridgeshire out of Suffolk, with all the advantage in the
world; the county beginning upon those pleasant and agreeable plains
called Newmarket Heath, where passing the Devil’s Ditch, which has
nothing worth notice but its name, and that but fabulous too, from the
hills called Gogmagog, we see a rich and pleasant vale westward, covered
with corn-fields, gentlemen’s seats, villages, and at a distance, to
crown all the rest, that ancient and truly famous town and university of
Cambridge, capital of the county, and receiving its name from, if not, as
some say, giving name to it; for if it be true that the town takes its
name of Cambridge from its bridge over the river Cam, then certainly the
shire or county, upon the division of England into counties, had its name
from the town, and Cambridgeshire signifies no more or less than the
county of which Cambridge is the capital town.

As my business is not to lay out the geographical situation of places, I
say nothing of the buttings and boundings of this county.  It lies on the
edge of the great level, called by the people here the Fen Country; and
great part, if not all, the Isle of Ely lies in this county and Norfolk.
The rest of Cambridgeshire is almost wholly a corn country, and of that
corn five parts in six of all they sow is barley, which is generally sold
to Ware and Royston, and other great malting towns in Hertfordshire, and
is the fund from whence that vast quantity of malt, called Hertfordshire
malt, is made, which is esteemed the best in England.  As Essex, Suffolk,
and Norfolk are taken up in manufactures, and famed for industry, this
county has no manufacture at all; nor are the poor, except the
husbandmen, famed for anything so much as idleness and sloth, to their
scandal be it spoken.  What the reason of it is I know not.

It is scarce possible to talk of anything in Cambridgeshire but Cambridge
itself; whether it be that the county has so little worth speaking of in
it, or, that the town has so much, that I leave to others; however, as I
am making modern observations, not writing history, I shall look into the
county, as well as into the colleges, for what I have to say.

As I said, I first had a view of Cambridge from Gogmagog hills; I am to
add that there appears on the mountain that goes by this name, an ancient
camp or fortification, that lies on the top of the hill, with a double,
or rather treble, rampart and ditch, which most of our writers say was
neither Roman nor Saxon, but British.  I am to add that King James II.
caused a spacious stable to be built in the area of this camp for his
running homes, and made old Mr. Frampton, whom I mentioned above, master
or inspector of them.  The stables remain still there, though they are
not often made use of.  As we descended westward we saw the Fen country
on our right, almost all covered with water like a sea, the Michaelmas
rains having been very great that year, they had sent down great floods
of water from the upland countries, and those fens being, as may be very
properly said, the sink of no less than thirteen counties—that is to say,
that all the water, or most part of the water, of thirteen counties falls
into them; they are often thus overflowed.  The rivers which thus empty
themselves into these fens, and which thus carry off the water, are the
Cam or Grant, the Great Ouse and Little Ouse, the Nene, the Welland, and
the river which runs from Bury to Milden Hall.  The counties which these
rivers drain, as above, are as follows:—

Lincoln,           Warwick,           Norfolk,
* Cambridge,       Oxford,            Suffolk,
* Huntingdon,      Leicester,         Essex,
* Bedford,         * Northampton
Buckingham,        * Rutland.

  Those marked with (*) empty all their waters this way, the rest but in

In a word, all the water of the middle part of England which does not run
into the Thames or the Trent, comes down into these fens.

In these fens are abundance of those admirable pieces of art called
decoys that is to say, places so adapted for the harbour and shelter of
wild fowl, and then furnished with a breed of those they call decoy
ducks, who are taught to allure and entice their kind to the places they
belong to, that it is incredible what quantities of wild fowl of all
sorts, duck, mallard, teal, widgeon, &c., they take in those decoys every
week during the season; it may, indeed, be guessed at a little by this,
that there is a decoy not far from Ely which pays to the landlord, Sir
Thomas Hare, £500 a year rent, besides the charge of maintaining a great
number of servants for the management; and from which decoy alone, they
assured me at St. Ives (a town on the Ouse, where the fowl they took was
always brought to be sent to London) that they generally sent up three
thousand couple a week.

There are more of these about Peterborough, who send the fowl up twice a
week in waggon-loads at a time, whose waggons before the late Act of
Parliament to regulate carriers I have seen drawn by ten and twelve
horses a-piece, they were laden so heavy.

As these fens appear covered with water, so I observed, too, that they
generally at this latter part of the year appear also covered with fogs,
so that when the downs and higher grounds of the adjacent country were
gilded with the beams of the sun, the Isle of Ely looked as if wrapped up
in blankets, and nothing to be seen but now and then the lantern or
cupola of Ely Minster.

One could hardly see this from the hills and not pity the many thousands
of families that were bound to or confined in those fogs, and had no
other breath to draw than what must be mixed with those vapours, and that
steam which so universally overspreads the country.  But notwithstanding
this, the people, especially those that are used to it, live unconcerned,
and as healthy as other folks, except now and then an ague, which they
make light of, and there are great numbers of very ancient people among

I now draw near to Cambridge, to which I fancy I look as if I was afraid
to come, having made so many circumlocutions beforehand; but I must yet
make another digression before I enter the town (for in my way, and as I
came in from Newmarket, about the beginning of September), I cannot omit,
that I came necessarily through Stourbridge Fair, which was then in its

If it is a diversion worthy a book to treat of trifles, such as the
gaiety of Bury Fair, it cannot be very unpleasant, especially to the
trading part of the world, to say something of this fair, which is not
only the greatest in the whole nation, but in the world; nor, if I may
believe those who have seen the mall, is the fair at Leipzig in Saxony,
the mart at Frankfort-on-the-Main, or the fairs at Nuremberg, or
Augsburg, any way to compare to this fair at Stourbridge.

It is kept in a large corn-field, near Casterton, extending from the side
of the river Cam, towards the road, for about half a mile square.

If the husbandmen who rent the land, do not get their corn off before a
certain day in August, the fair-keepers may trample it under foot and
spoil it to build their booths, or tents, for all the fair is kept in
tents and booths.  On the other hand, to balance that severity, if the
fair-keepers have not done their business of the fair, and removed and
cleared the field by another certain day in September, the ploughmen may
come in again, with plough and cart, and overthrow all, and trample into
the dirt; and as for the filth, dung, straw, etc. necessarily left by the
fair-keepers, the quantity of which is very great, it is the farmers’
fees, and makes them full amends for the trampling, riding, and carting
upon, and hardening the ground.

It is impossible to describe all the parts and circumstances of this fair
exactly; the shops are placed in rows like streets, whereof one is called
Cheapside; and here, as in several other streets, are all sorts of
trades, who sell by retail, and who come principally from London with
their goods; scarce any trades are omitted—goldsmiths, toyshops,
brasiers, turners, milliners, haberdashers, hatters, mercers, drapers,
pewterers, china-warehouses, and in a word all trades that can be named
in London; with coffee-houses, taverns, brandy-shops, and eating-houses,
innumerable, and all in tents, and booths, as above.

This great street reaches from the road, which as I said goes from
Cambridge to Newmarket, turning short out of it to the right towards the
river, and holds in a line near half a mile quite down to the river-side:
in another street parallel with the road are like rows of booths, but
larger, and more intermingled with wholesale dealers; and one side,
passing out of this last street to the left hand, is a formal great
square, formed by the largest booths, built in that form, and which they
call the Duddery; whence the name is derived, and what its signification
is, I could never yet learn, though I made all possible search into it.
The area of this square is about 80 to 100 yards, where the dealers have
room before every booth to take down, and open their packs, and to bring
in waggons to load and unload.

This place is separated, and peculiar to the wholesale dealers in the
woollen manufacture.  Here the booths or tents are of a vast extent, have
different apartments, and the quantities of goods they bring are so
great, that the insides of them look like another Blackwell Hall, being
as vast warehouses piled up with goods to the top.  In this Duddery, as I
have been informed, there have been sold one hundred thousand pounds
worth of woollen manufactures in less than a week’s time, besides the
prodigious trade carried on here, by wholesale men, from London, and all
parts of England, who transact their business wholly in their
pocket-books, and meeting their chapmen from all parts, make up their
accounts, receive money chiefly in bills, and take orders: These they say
exceed by far the sales of goods actually brought to the fair, and
delivered in kind; it being frequent for the London wholesale men to
carry back orders from their dealers for ten thousand pounds’ worth of
goods a man, and some much more.  This especially respects those people,
who deal in heavy goods, as wholesale grocers, salters, brasiers,
iron-merchants, wine-merchants, and the like; but does not exclude the
dealers in woollen manufactures, and especially in mercery goods of all
sorts, the dealers in which generally manage their business in this

Here are clothiers from Halifax, Leeds, Wakefield and Huddersfield in
Yorkshire, and from Rochdale, Bury, etc., in Lancashire, with vast
quantities of Yorkshire cloths, kerseys, pennistons, cottons, etc., with
all sorts of Manchester ware, fustiains, and things made of cotton wool;
of which the quantity is so great, that they told me there were near a
thousand horse-packs of such goods from that side of the country, and
these took up a side and half of the Duddery at least; also a part of a
street of booths were taken up with upholsterer’s ware, such as tickings,
sackings, kidderminster stuffs, blankets, rugs, quilts, etc.

In the Duddery I saw one warehouse, or booth with six apartments in it,
all belonging to a dealer in Norwich stuffs only, and who, they said, had
there above twenty thousand pounds value in those goods, and no other.

Western goods had their share here also, and several booths were filled
as full with serges, duroys, druggets, shalloons, cantaloons, Devonshire
kerseys, etc., from Exeter, Taunton, Bristol, and other parts west, and
some from London also.

But all this is still outdone at least in show, by two articles, which
are the peculiars of this fair, and do not begin till the other part of
the fair, that is to say for the woollen manufacture begins to draw to a
close.  These are the wool and the hops; as for the hops, there is scarce
any price fixed for hops in England, till they know how they sell at
Stourbridge fair; the quantity that appears in the fair is indeed
prodigious, and they, as it were, possess a large part of the field on
which the fair is kept to themselves; they are brought directly from
Chelmsford in Essex, from Canterbury and Maidstone in Kent, and from
Farnham in Surrey, besides what are brought from London, the growth of
those and other places.

Enquiring why this fair should be thus, of all other places in England,
the centre of that trade; and so great a quantity of so bulky a commodity
be carried thither so far; I was answered by one thoroughly acquainted
with that matter thus: the hops, said he, for this part of England, grow
principally in the two counties of Surrey and Kent, with an exception
only to the town of Chelmsford in Essex, and there are very few planted
anywhere else.

There are indeed in the west of England some quantities growing: as at
Wilton, near Salisbury; at Hereford and Broomsgrove, near Wales, and the
like; but the quantity is inconsiderable, and the places remote, so that
none of them come to London.

As to the north of England, they formerly used but few hops there, their
drink being chiefly pale smooth ale, which required no hops, and
consequently they planted no hops in all that part of England, north of
the Trent; nor did I ever see one acre of hop-ground planted beyond Trent
in my observation; but as for some years past, they not only brew great
quantities of beer in the north, but also use hops in the brewing their
ale much more than they did before; so they all come south of Trent to
buy their hops; and here being quantities brought, it is great part of
their back carriage into Yorkshire, and Northamptonshire, Derbyshire,
Lancashire, and all these counties; nay, of late, since the Union, even
to Scotland itself; for I must not omit here also to mention, that the
river Grant, or Cam, which runs close by the north-west side of the fair
in its way from Cambridge to Ely, is navigable, and that by this means,
all heavy goods are brought even to the fair-field, by water carriage
from London and other parts; first to the port of Lynn, and then in
barges up the Ouse, from the Ouse into the Cam, and so, as I say, to the
very edge of the fair.

In like manner great quantities of heavy goods, and the hops among the
rest, are sent from the fair to Lynn by water, and shipped there for the
Humber, to Hull, York, etc., and for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and by
Newcastle, even to Scotland itself.  Now as there is still no planting of
hops in the north, though a great consumption, and the consumption
increasing daily, this, says my friend, is one reason why at Stourbridge
fair there is so great a demand for the hops.  He added, that besides
this, there were very few hops, if any worth naming, growing in all the
counties even on this side Trent, which were above forty miles from
London; those counties depending on Stourbridge fair for their supply, so
the counties of Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Northampton,
Lincoln, Leicester, Rutland, and even to Stafford, Warwick, and
Worcestershire, bought most if not all of their hops at Stourbridge fair.

These are the reasons why so great a quantity of hops are seen at this
fair, as that it is incredible, considering, too, how remote from this
fair the growth of them is as above.

This is likewise a testimony of the prodigious resort of the trading
people of all parts of England to this fair; the quantity of hops that
have been sold at one of these fairs is diversely reported, and some
affirm it to be so great, that I dare not copy after them; but without
doubt it is a surprising account, especially in a cheap year.

The next article brought thither is wool, and this of several sorts, but
principally fleece wool, out of Lincolnshire, where the longest staple is
found; the sheep of those countries being of the largest breed.

The buyers of this wool are chiefly indeed the manufacturers of Norfolk
and Suffolk and Essex, and it is a prodigious quantity they buy.

Here I saw what I have not observed in any other county of England,
namely, a pocket of wool.  This seems to be first called so in mockery,
this pocket being so big, that it loads a whole waggon, and reaches
beyond the most extreme parts of it hanging over both before and behind,
and these ordinarily weigh a ton or twenty-five hundredweight of wool,
all in one bag.

The quantity of wool only, which has been sold at this place at one fair,
has been said to amount to fifty or sixty thousand pounds in value, some
say a great deal more.

By these articles a stranger may make some guess at the immense trade
carried on at this place; what prodigious quantities of goods are bought
and sold here, and what a confluence of people are seen here from all
parts of England.

I might go on here to speak of several other sorts of English
manufactures which are brought hither to be sold; as all sorts of
wrought-iron and brass-ware from Birmingham; edged tools, knives, etc.,
from Sheffield; glass wares and stockings from Nottingham and Leicester;
and an infinite throng of other things of smaller value every morning.

To attend this fair, and the prodigious conflux of people which come to
it, there are sometimes no less than fifty hackney coaches which come
from London, and ply night and morning to carry the people to and from
Cambridge; for there the gross of the people lodge; nay, which is still
more strange, there are wherries brought from London on waggons to ply
upon the little river Cam, and to row people up and down from the town,
and from the fair as occasion presents.

It is not to be wondered at, if the town of Cambridge cannot receive, or
entertain the numbers of people that come to this fair; not Cambridge
only, but all the towns round are full; nay, the very barns and stables
are turned into inns, and made as fit as they can to lodge the meaner
sort of people: as for the people in the fair, they all universally eat,
drink, and sleep in their booths and tents; and the said booths are so
intermingled with taverns, coffee-houses, drinking-houses, eating-houses,
cook-shops, etc., and all in tents too; and so many butchers and higglers
from all the neighbouring counties come into the fair every morning with
beef, mutton, fowls, butter, bread, cheese, eggs, and such things, and go
with them from tent to tent, from door to door, that there is no want of
any provisions of any kind, either dressed or undressed.

In a word, the fair is like a well-fortified city, and there is the least
disorder and confusion I believe, that can be seen anywhere with so great
a concourse of people.

Towards the latter end of the fair, and when the great hurry of wholesale
business begins to be over, the gentry come in from all parts of the
county round; and though they come for their diversion, yet it is not a
little money they lay out, which generally falls to the share of the
retailers, such as toy-shops, goldsmiths, braziers, ironmongers, turners,
milliners, mercers, etc., and some loose coins they reserve for the
puppet shows, drolls, rope-dancers, and such like, of which there is no
want, though not considerable like the rest.  The last day of the fair is
the horse-fair, where the whole is closed with both horse and foot races,
to divert the meaner sort of people only, for nothing considerable is
offered of that kind.  Thus ends the whole fair, and in less than a week
more, there is scarce any sign left that there has been such a thing
there, except by the heaps of dung and straw and other rubbish which is
left behind, trod into the earth, and which is as good as a summer’s
fallow for dunging the land; and as I have said above, pays the
husbandman well for the use of it.

I should have mentioned that here is a court of justice always open, and
held every day in a shed built on purpose in the fair; this is for
keeping the peace, and deciding controversies in matters deriving from
the business of the fair.  The magistrates of the town of Cambridge are
judges in this court, as being in their jurisdiction, or they holding it
by special privilege: here they determine matters in a summary way, as is
practised in those we call Pye Powder Courts in other places, or as a
Court of Conscience; and they have a final authority without appeal.

I come now to the town and university of Cambridge; I say the town and
university, for though they are blended together in the situation, and
the colleges, halls, and houses for literature are promiscuously
scattered up and down among the other parts, and some even among the
meanest of the other buildings, as Magdalene College over the bridge is
in particular; yet they are all incorporated together by the name of the
university, and are governed apart and distinct from the town which they
are so intermixed with.

As their authority is distinct from the town, so are their privileges,
customs, and government; they choose representatives, or members of
Parliament for themselves, and the town does the like for themselves,
also apart.

The town is governed by a mayor and aldermen; the university by a
chancellor, and vice-chancellor, etc.  Though their dwellings are mixed,
and seem a little confused, their authority is not so; in some cases the
vice-chancellor may concern himself in the town, as in searching houses
for the scholars at improper hours, removing scandalous women, and the

But as the colleges are many, and the gentlemen entertained in them are a
very great number, the trade of the town very much depends upon them, and
the tradesmen may justly be said to get their bread by the colleges; and
this is the surest hold the university may be said to have of the
townsmen, and by which they secure the dependence of the town upon them,
and consequently their submission.

I remember some years ago a brewer, who being very rich and popular in
the town, and one of their magistrates, had in several things so much
opposed the university, and insulted their vice-chancellor, or other
heads of houses, that in short the university having no other way to
exert themselves, and show their resentment, they made a bye-law or order
among themselves, that for the future they would not trade with him; and
that none of the colleges, halls, etc., would take any more beer of him;
and what followed?  The man indeed braved it out a while, but when he
found he could not obtain a revocation of the order, he was fain to leave
off his brewhouse, and if I remember right, quitted the town.

Thus I say, interest gives them authority; and there are abundance of
reasons why the town should not disoblige the university, as there are
some also on the other hand, why the university should not differ to any
extremity with the town; nor, such is their prudence, do they let any
disputes between them run up to any extremities if they can avoid it.  As
for society; to any man who is a lover of learning, or of learned men,
here is the most agreeable under heaven; nor is there any want of mirth
and good company of other kinds; but it is to the honour of the
university to say, that the governors so well understand their office,
and the governed their duty, that here is very little encouragement given
to those seminaries of crime, the assemblies, which are so much boasted
of in other places.

Again, as dancing, gaming, intriguing are the three principal articles
which recommend those assemblies; and that generally the time for
carrying on affairs of this kind is the night, and sometimes all night, a
time as unseasonable as scandalous; add to this, that the orders of the
university admit no such excesses; I therefore say, as this is the case,
it is to the honour of the whole body of the university that no
encouragement is given to them here.

As to the antiquity of the university in this town, the originals and
founders of the several colleges, their revenues, laws, government, and
governors, they are so effectually and so largely treated of by other
authors, and are so foreign to the familiar design of these letters, that
I refer my readers to Mr. Camden’s “Britannia” and the author of the
“Antiquities of Cambridge,” and other such learned writers, by whom they
may be fully informed.

The present Vice-Chancellor is Dr. Snape, formerly Master of Eaton School
near Windsor, and famous for his dispute with, and evident advantage
over, the late Bishop of Bangor in the time of his government; the
dispute between the University and the Master of Trinity College has been
brought to a head so as to employ the pens of the learned on both sides,
but at last prosecuted in a judicial way so as to deprive Dr. Bentley of
all his dignities and offices in the university; but the doctor flying to
the royal protection, the university is under a writ of mandamus, to show
cause why they do not restore the doctor again, to which it seems they
demur, and that demur has not, that we hear, been argued, at least when
these sheets were sent to the press.  What will be the issue time must

From Cambridge the road lies north-west on the edge of the fens to
Huntingdon, where it joins the great north road.  On this side it is all
an agreeable corn country as above, adorned with several seats of
gentlemen; but the chief is the noble house, seat, or mansion of Wimple
or Wimple Hall, formerly built at a vast expense by the late Earl of
Radnor, adorned with all the natural beauties of situation, and to which
was added all the most exquisite contrivances which the best heads could
invent to make it artificially as well as naturally pleasant.

However, the fate of the Radnor family so directing, it was bought with
the whole estate about it by the late Duke of Newcastle, in a partition
of whose immense estate it fell to the Right Honourable the Lord Harley,
son and heir-apparent of the present Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, in
right of the Lady Harriet Cavendish, only daughter of the said Duke of
Newcastle, who is married to his lordship, and brought him this estate
and many other, sufficient to denominate her the richest heiress in Great

Here his lordship resides, and has already so recommended himself to this
county as to be by a great majority chosen Knight of the Shire for the
county of Cambridge.

From Cambridge, my design obliging me, and the direct road in part
concurring, I came back through the west part of the county of Essex, and
at Saffron Walden I saw the ruins of the once largest and most
magnificent pile in all this part of England—viz., Audley End—built by,
and decaying with, the noble Dukes and Earls of Suffolk.

A little north of this part of the country rises the River Stour, which
for a course of fifty miles or more parts the two counties of Suffolk and
Essex, passing through or near Haveril, Clare, Cavendish, Halsted,
Sudbury, Bowers, Nayland, Stretford, Dedham, Manningtree, and into the
sea at Harwich, assisting by its waters to make one of the best harbours
for shipping that is in Great Britain—I mean Orwell Haven or Harwich, of
which I have spoken largely already.

As we came on this side we saw at a distance Braintree and Bocking, two
towns, large, rich, and populous, and made so originally by the bay
trade, of which I have spoken at large at Colchester, and which
flourishes still among them.

The manor of Braintree I found descended by purchase to the name of
Olmeus, the son of a London merchant of the same name, making good what I
had observed before, of the great number of such who have purchased
estates in this county.

Near this town is Felsted, a small place, but noted for a free school of
an ancient foundation, for many years under the mastership of the late
Rev. Mr. Lydiat, and brought by him to the meridian of its reputation.
It is now supplied, and that very worthily, by the Rev. Mr. Hutchins.

Near to this is the Priory of Lees, a delicious seat of the late Dukes of
Manchester, but sold by the present Duke to the Duchess Dowager of Bucks,
his Grace the Duke of Manchester removing to his yet finer seat of
Kimbolton in Northamptonshire, the ancient mansion of the family.  From
hence keeping the London Road I came to Chelmsford, mentioned before, and
Ingerstone, five miles west, which I mention again, because in the parish
church of this town are to be seen the ancient monuments of the noble
family of Petre, whose seat and large estate lie in the neighbourhood,
and whose whole family, by a constant series of beneficent actions to the
poor, and bounty upon all charitable occasions, have gained an
affectionate esteem through all that part of the country such as no
prejudice of religion could wear out, or perhaps ever may; and I must
confess, I think, need not, for good and great actions command our
respect, let the opinions of the persons be otherwise what they will.

From hence we crossed the country to the great forest, called Epping
Forest, reaching almost to London.  The country on that side of Essex is
called the Roodings, I suppose, because there are no less than ten towns
almost together, called by the name of Roding, and is famous for good
land, good malt, and dirty roads; the latter indeed in the winter are
scarce passable for horse or man.  In the midst of this we see Chipping
Onger, Hatfield Broad Oak, Epping, and many forest towns, famed as I have
said for husbandry and good malt, but of no other note.  On the south
side of the county is Waltham Abbey; the ruins of the abbey remain, and
though antiquity is not my proper business, I could not but observe that
King Harold, slain in the great battle in Sussex against William the
Conqueror, lies buried here; his body being begged by his mother, the
Conqueror allowed it to be carried hither; but no monument was, as I can
find, built for him, only a flat gravestone, on which was engraven
_Harold Infelix_.

From hence I came over the forest again—that is to say, over the lower or
western part of it, where it is spangled with fine villages, and these
villages filled with fine seats, most of them built by the citizens of
London, as I observed before, but the lustre of them seems to be entirely
swallowed up in the magnificent palace of the Lord Castlemain, whose
father, Sir Josiah Child, as it were, prepared it in his life for the
design of his son, though altogether unforeseen, by adding to the
advantage of its situation innumerable rows of trees, planted in curious
order for avenues and vistas to the house, all leading up to the place
where the old house stood, as to a centre.

In the place adjoining, his lordship, while he was yet Sir Richard Child
only, and some years before he began the foundation of his new house,
laid out the most delicious, as well as most spacious, pieces of ground
for gardens that is to be seen in all this part of England.  The
greenhouse is an excellent building, fit to entertain a prince; it is
furnished with stoves and artificial places for heat from an apartment in
which is a bagnio and other conveniences, which render it both useful and
pleasant.  And these gardens have been so the just admiration of the
world, that it has been the general diversion of the citizens to go out
to see them, till the crowds grew too great, and his lordship was obliged
to restrain his servants from showing them, except on one or two days in
a week only.

The house is built since these gardens have been finished.  The building
is all of Portland stone in the front, which makes it look extremely
glorious and magnificent at a distance, it being the particular property
of that stone (except in the streets of London, where it is tainted and
tinged with the smoke of the city) to grow whiter and whiter the longer
it stands in the open air.

As the front of the house opens to a long row of trees, reaching to the
great road at Leightonstone, so the back face, or front (if that be
proper), respects the gardens, and, with an easy descent, lands you upon
the terrace, from whence is a most beautiful prospect to the river, which
is all formed into canals and openings to answer the views from above and
beyond the river; the walks and wildernesses go on to such a distance,
and in such a manner up the hill, as they before went down, that the
sight is lost in the woods adjoining, and it looks all like one planted
garden as far as the eye can see.

I shall cover as much as possible the melancholy part of a story which
touches too sensibly many, if not most, of the great and flourishing
families in England.  Pity and matter of grief is it to think that
families, by estate able to appear in such a glorious posture as this,
should ever be vulnerable by so mean a disaster as that of stock-jobbing.
But the general infatuation of the day is a plea for it, so that men are
not now blamed on that account.  South Sea was a general possession, and
if my Lord Castlemain was wounded by that arrow shot in the dark it was a
misfortune.  But it is so much a happiness that it was not a mortal
wound, as it was to some men who once seemed as much out of the reach of
it.  And that blow, be it what it will, is not remembered for joy of the
escape, for we see this noble family, by prudence and management, rise
out of all that cloud, if it may be allowed such a name, and shining in
the same full lustre as before.

This cannot be said of some other families in this county, whose fine
parks and new-built palaces are fallen under forfeitures and alienations
by the misfortunes of the times and by the ruin of their masters’
fortunes in that South Sea deluge.

But I desire to throw a veil over these things as they come in my way; it
is enough that we write upon them, as was written upon King Harold’s tomb
at Waltham Abbey, _Infelix_, and let all the rest sleep among things that
are the fittest to be forgotten.

From my Lord Castlemain’s, house and the rest of the fine dwellings on
that side of the forest, for there are several very good houses at
Wanstead, only that they seem all swallowed up in the lustre of his
lordship’s palace, I say, from thence, I went south, towards the great
road over that part of the forest called the Flats, where we see a very
beautiful but retired and rural seat of Mr. Lethulier’s, eldest son of
the late Sir John Lethulier, of Lusum, in Kent, of whose family I shall
speak when I come on that side.

By this turn I came necessarily on to Stratford, where I set out.  And
thus having finished my first circuit, I conclude my first letter, and

                                                     Sir, your most humble
                                                     and obedient servant.


WHOEVER travels, as I do, over England, and writes the account of his
observations, will, as I noted before, always leave something, altering
or undertaking by such a growing improving nation as this, or something
to discover in a nation where so much is hid, sufficient to employ the
pens of those that come after him, or to add by way of appendix to what
he has already observed.

This is my case with respect to the particulars which follow: (1) Since
these sheets were in the press, a noble palace of Mr. Walpole’s, at
present First Commissioner of the Treasury, Privy-counsellor, etc., to
King George, is, as it were, risen out of the ruins of the ancient seat
of the family of Walpole, at Houghton, about eight miles distant from
Lynn, and on the north coast of Norfolk, near the sea.

As the house is not yet finished, and when I passed by it was but newly
designed, it cannot be expected that I should be able to give a
particular description of what it will be.  I can do little more than
mention that it appears already to be exceedingly magnificent, and
suitable to the genius of the great founder.

But a friend of mine, who lives in that county, has sent me the following
lines, which, as he says, are to be placed upon the building, whether on
the frieze of the cornice, or over the portico, or on what part of the
building, of that I am not as yet certain.  The inscription is as
follows, viz.:—

                                  “H. M. P.

    “_Fundamen ut essem Domûs_
    _In Agro Natali Extruendæ_,
    Robertus ille Walpole
    Quem nulla nesciet Posteritas:

                                                             _Faxit Dues_.

    “_Postquam Maturus Annis Dominus_.
    _Diu Lætatus fuerit absolutâ_
    _Incolumem tueantur Incolames_.
    _Ad Summam omnium Diem_
    _Et nati natorum et qui nascentur ab illis_.

                                                         _Hic me Posuit_.”

A second thing proper to be added here, by way of appendix, relates to
what I have mentioned of the Port of London, being bounded by the Naze on
the Essex shore, and the North Foreland on the Kentish shore, which some
people, guided by the present usage of the Custom House, may pretend is
not so, to answer such objectors.  The true state of that case stands

“(1)  The clause taken from the Act of Parliament establishing the extent
of the Port of London, and published in some of the books of rates, is

“‘To prevent all future differences and disputes touching the extent and
limits of the Port of London, the said port is declared to extend, and be
accounted from the promontory or point called the North Foreland in the
Isle of Thanet, and from thence northward in a right line to the point
called the Naze, beyond the Gunfleet upon the coast of Essex, and so
continued westward throughout the river Thames, and the several channels,
streams, and rivers falling into it, to London Bridge, saving the usual
and known rights, liberties, and privileges of the ports of Sandwich and
Ipswich, and either of them, and the known members thereof, and of the
customers, comptrollers, searchers, and their deputies, of and within the
said ports of Sandwich and Ipswich and the several creeks, harbours, and
havens to them, or either of them, respectively belonging, within the
counties of Kent and Essex.’

“II.  Notwithstanding what is above written, the Port of London, as in
use since the said order, is understood to reach no farther than
Gravesend in Kent and Tilbury Point in Essex, and the ports of Rochester,
Milton, and Faversham belong to the port of Sandwich.

“In like manner the ports of Harwich, Colchester, Wivenhoe, Malden,
Leigh, etc., are said to be members of the port of Ipswich.”

This observation may suffice for what is needful to be said upon the same
subject when I may come to speak of the port of Sandwich and its members
and their privileges with respect to Rochester, Milton, Faversham, etc.,
in my circuit through the county of Kent.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Tour through the Eastern Counties of England, 1722" ***

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