Johann Jakob Ferber.

An essay on the oryctography of Derbyshire, a province of England online

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SwaVian and Pre ftcn,

PriBicis-Stieet, London.




77 OTAGE to England and Scotland, by Gonzales, - - - i

Shaw's Tour to the Weji of England, - - - - - - - 172

Sketch of a Tour into Derbyjhire, by William Bray, F. ji* S. - - - 33^

Orydography of Derby/hire, by Ferber, - • - - - - 465

Travels through feveral Parts of England, by C. P* Moritz, - ^ - - 489

Skrinc's Tours through Wales, - - - -.« . 574

Malkin's Tour through Wales, - * - - - 646

Hajfel's Tour to the Jfle of Wight, (>6i

}leath*sAccoHntofthelJlandsofScilly, • - -.- • - 729

Robertfon's Tour through the J/le of Man f - - - - -• 785





1. ST. VINCENT'S Reck near Brlftol, - - - - - - 24^/-^

2. St. Michael's Mount, -"-' - - - - - -271

3. The Peak Cavern, - - - 399

4. Matlock High Torr, ji^^-^e^

5. Cader Idris, - - - - '^^3. -^©5^

6. Snowdon, -. - - . - - 630

7. London, - - - ^if . - 6'j^

S. Map of the Scilly Ifles, - - - 729

9. Tynwald Hill, - - - - - 804

I o. Ullfwater, - - ■\ y^^^-w^ //*' ^^^' •

11. Derwentwater, - >^^.^. j^ /fz « . « t-At- the End of th e V o lumoy

12. Stonehenge, - ^-A z^-







(From the Harleian Colleftion, Vol. I. p. 9.) Q } ' /'

Cha'PT EK l,'^Contai?rmg theRcafons of the Author* s Voyage to England, tffc. f:t^


N my infancy, my parents, being on both fides defcended from new Ghriflians, to ,n , .>

appear more devout and attached to the eftablilhed church, and fo the better to fcreen ' -"'^-y ^'"^
themfelves from the eye of the Portugueze inquifition, put me on the habit of a jefuit,
and determined to breed me a fcholar at lead, if not a father of that fociety. In con-
fequence of this refolution, I, as foon as age would, was fent to their public
fchool of St. Antoaon, or St. Anthony the Great, at Lifbon, where not only languages,
but all the liberal fciences are taught ; and in a few years was to determine, w^hether
I would enter into the fociety, or fucceed to my father's bufmefs of a merchant, who
then was declining, both with age and infirmities of body. My tutor laid clofe fiege
to my affedions, well knowing that, as then I was the only furviving child of my
parents, all their fubftance (and they were accounted rich) would center with me in
their fociety for ever, could 1 be perfuaded to become a jefiiit : to whom I had alnioft
yielded ; till my mother inlerpofing, with folid reafons convinced me, that for the
prefent it would be better, both for her and myfelf, to enter into partnerfhip with my
father, alledging that I was not yet fo capable to judge how an ecclefiaftical life, un-
der vows of poverty, chaftity, and obedience, might confift with my growing inclina*
tions and propenfity of nature ; that as the whole paternal eftate would be feized on
for their own ufe, upon my father's death, (he rauft be ruined, or become obfequious
VOL. 11. B to


to the fociety for a mean fubfiftence, or perchance be obliged to end her days in a
monafiic confinement; and again, that fliould I happen to give them any provocation,
or break their orders or rules, I might be unjefuited, expelled their fociety, and ex-
cluded both from my inheritance, and all means of living. And then, (he added, that
if in after-life my inclinations continued, when youth was conquered, and the world
could yield me no pleafure, I might then do as I pleafed ; and it would yet be time
enough to retire-
Thus advifed, I no longer appeared at St. Anthony's, nor in my {Indent's drefs ; yet
iny bookifh inclination continued : But the courfe of my ftudies was changed, for in-
flead of Ariflotle's Philofophy, School Divinity, and Cafuiftry, I now reliflied nothing
but Voyages, Travels, and Geography ; and fuch other books as would lead me into
a jufl notion of the world, and aflift me in that ftate of hfe I then had juft entered


As for languages, I had been very happy in taking them at fchool ; fo that I was at
tio lofs in reading authors of diverfe nations, except the Englifli : for though the
Englifh fadory at Lifbon is both the richefl and the largeil, and there is alfo an Eng-
lifli college, an Englifh nunnery, and two Irifh colleges, and a nunnery of that nation
alfo, who fpeak the Englifh tongue ; and I may add, though our greatefl dealings in
the mercantile way are with the fubjeds of Great Britain, none of the natives endeavour
to teach or learn their language. Therefore my next ftep towards obtaining true ideas
of a nation I, in all probability, was to deal with during my life, was to fearch not
only for Portugueze and Spanifh, but for French and Italian authors ; yet I could
find none in any of thefe languages, that are any other than mere fuperficial accounts,
and, in my opinion, no way capable to convey jufl ideas of fo deferving a people, nor
fufficient to inflrud a foreigner how to manage an advantageous commerce with them.
For fo long as we are kept ignorant of any country, and traffic with its natives only by
factors of their own nation, fettled among us, we mufl take only what they pleafe to
import, and at their own times and price, to our own great lofs : whereas a merchant,
that is thoroughly acquainted with the produd, manufacture, and genius of the nations
he traffics with, has the advantage to fupply himfelf with the befl commodities, in th€
befi feafons, and at the cheapefl rates. Confequently,

I, refolving to merchandife with Great Britain, refolved alfo firfl: to learn the
language, and then to make a voyage to the ifland itfelf. I foon made myfclf mafler
of as much of the Englifh tongue, as to enable me to attempt my intended voyage,
without the incumbrance and the accidents that often befal gentlemen, who are ob-
liged to truft all to an interpreter. Having gained my parents' confent, 1 embarked
with their bleffing, on board the packet, on the 23d of April, being. St. George's day,
commonly called the patron of England; and, after a pleafant voyage of feven days>
we arrived fafe at Falmouth, the 30th of April 1730, N. S.

•Jill KSV/ * -'?:■>['

Chapter Il.-^i^ Cborographical Defcription of England *.

BEING thus accompanied ,and inftruded. It was to be my peculiar care to improve
my journey to the ufes I firft intended, at my departure from Lifbon ; and, in particu-
hr, to render it, for the future, fubfervient to my mercantile way of life : Therefore
I began to take minutes of the foil, produce, and manufadures of every county through

* In th^ original this is the n-Inth chapter, feven chapters being filled with a hafty and Imperfea hlftory
«f England, which can nowife intereft the reader.



which we pafled ; and made my particular obfervations on the genius of the people,.
their different methods of dealing ; and diftinguiftied the feveral cities, towns, and
villages, which are mod remarkable for trade and navigation ; of all which, take the;
following true, though rude and unpoliihed account. — I begin with Cornwall, the
county in which I landed.

Cornwall is the mofl: weftern county of England, and is fo wafhed by the fea on the
north, fouth, and weft, and the river Tamer on the eaft, that it is a perfed peninfula
fhaped like a horn. I prefently found the people of this county valued themfelves
upon fome pretenfions above the other part of the nation, wdiich I was informed was
their ability in wreftling, and ftrength of body ; their having moft of the old Britifh
blood in their families ; and their peculiar honour of giving title of Duke without crea-
tion to the elded fon of the King of Great Britain.

This is not the moft fruitful part of England, the foil being for the moft part moun-
tainous, thin, and rocky underneath : yet the vallies are fat with corn and good pafture ;
the hills are rich in tin and copper mines ; and they every where abound in wild fowls,
efpecially the dainty woodcock. Nor muft I forget their produce of eringo, famphire,
fine flate, and marble. But their chief metal and manufadure is tin. When the ore
is brought above ground in the ilone, it is broke with hammers, and then carried to the
ftamping mills, which make it ready for other mills^ whereby it is ground to powder.
After it is waflied and cleared from earth, &c. it is melted at the blowing-houfes into
pigs of three or four hundred weight, marked with the owner's name, and the value
is fet upon it at the coining-houfe, where it is alfayed, to know what it is worth. The
times for coining or making it, are Midfummer and Michaelmas ; and for fuch as have
not their tin then ready, there is a poft-coinage at Lady-day and Chriftmas. The
ilamp is, the feal of the duchy of Cornwal. The tinners are regulated by Stannary
laws, fo called horn Jiannu?7i, the Latin word for tin ; and the trials of their caufes are
by juries, returned by the mayors of the ftannary towns ; for which purpofe, courts are
held by the Lord Warden of the ftannaries, who has alfo a deputy. When all the
legal duties are fatisfied, the tinner may fell his tin where he will ; only, if the King,
or the Duke of Cornwall, have a mind to be purchafers, they have a right of pre-

The coinage towns are Lefkard, Leftwithiel, Truro, Helfton, and Penfance ; and the
.tinners are reckoned at leaft 1 00,000.

The mundic^ in which the tin Hes as in its bed, yields fuch a quantity of lapis calami-
naris, for making brafs, that inftead of importing copper and brafs, which yearly here-
tofore did amount to 100,000/. they now export as much, if not more.

In this county alfo is carried on a great trade for pilchards, which are caught be-
tween July and November, of which the merchants export vaft quantities to foreign
markets, and for which they fit them by fuming, preffing, and pickling : Thefe are
faked but not gutted, the entrails being reckoned the beft part; and, after having beeu
.piled in heaps in a cellar for ten days, and prefled, to drain off the fuperfluous moifture
of the blood and fait, they are barrelled up with pickle, for France ; but without it^
for Spain, Italy, and other hotter countries.

We pafs through this county into Devonlhire, travelling eaftward ; which being
not fo much incompaffed with the fea, is of a more pure air ; and both the roads
are better, and the foil more fruitful j though Devonfliire has many both hiils and

Its commodities are corn, cattle, wool, &c. and its manufadures, kerfes, ferges,
liruggets, perpetuanas, long-ells, (halloons, narrow cloths, &c. as alfo bonelace.

»2 That


That part called the South-hams is famous for its noble rough cyder : In other parts
of it mines of tin have been formerly difcovered in fuch abundance, that in King
John's time the coinage of Devonfhire was fet to farm for loo/. a-year, when Corn-
wall paid but 66/. i8j. 4^.; and it has four ftannary towns, with as many ftannary
courts, and towns of coinage ; which are Plympton, Taviftock, Afhburton, and Chag-
ford ; but there is very little tin dug in this country now.

Veins of loadftone are found here, which I was told, a learned naturalifl: fays gene-
rally run eaft and weft, contrary to the received opinion, that the loadftone gave a
a northerly direction ; becaufe its natural pofition in the mine is fuppofed to be north
and fouth. Here*are quarries of good ftone for building, and alfo of flate for covering
houfes ;' and of the latter great quantities are exported.

Proceeding ftilleaftward, we entered the pleafant and fruitful county of Dorfet, or
Dorfetfliire, which not only produceth great plenty of corn, pafture, cattle, wild fowl
and fiftj, but hemp and flax ; and great quantities of cloth are made here, both
woollen and linen. Nor can any ftiire match its plenty of excellent ftone in the quar-
ries at Portland and Purbeck, (in the laft of which marble has been dug up fome-
times) ; and from Blacknore Foreft may be brought fuflicient timber to ferve the
whole county : And what a conveniency this is to the inhabitants, appears, from the
elegance of the buildings, not only of the gentlemen's feats, but in their towns. Many
kinds of earth, that are ufeful, are difperfed up and down the county : particularly, the
beft tobacco pipe-clay, which, as I was told, would fell at London for 30J. a-ton.

From hence we travelled into Somerfetftiire, fo called from its being the warmeft
county in the whole ifland of Britain. It is a very rich, plentiful, populous and plea-
fant county, famous among the graziers for its large fheep and oxen ; and among
merchant-adventurers, for its commodious havens. But the roads in winter are very
foul and bad for travellers.

It abounds with grain of all kinds, of which it fupplies home and foreign markets
with vaft quantities. Its hills afford mines of coal, lead, and copper. Wood thrives
here, as well as in any ftiire in the kingdom ; and teazles (a fort of thiftles ufed by
the cloth-dreflersj grow fcarce any where elfe. Ocre is dug up, on and about Mendip
hills ; and of lapis calaminaris (without which, and copper, there is no making of
brafs) more is dug up here than in all the kingdom befides. As this county is rich
in pafture, no wonder it yields fuch great quantities of cheefe, of which the beft and
biggeft in England are made at Chedder, and reckoned as good as Parmefan ; and it
is worthy both the obfervation and imitation of fuch as defire to excel in this branch of
trade, that the whole milk of the parifti is, by the agreement of the pariftiioners, pre-
ferved for the making of it. Its oxen are as large as thofe of Lancaftiire and Lincoln-
fhire ; and the grain of the flefh is faid to be finer. Its vales feed and fatten a prodi-
gious number of flieep, and of the largeft fize. Its maftiff dogs are the boldeft of all
others of the kind at baiting the bull, a fport in which the ruder fort of people
among them, and fome of the low-bred gentry, take perhaps too much delight, as well
here, as in other parts of this nation.

All forts of cloth is manufadured here ; as broad and narrow kerfeys, druggets,
ferges, duroys and ftialloons, together with ftockings and buttons ; and in the fouth-
eaft parts of the ftiire are made great quantities of linen. The value of the woollen
manufaaure alone here, in the firft hands, has been rated at a million a-year ; and if a
calculation was made of its other manufadures : and its produce by mines, tillage,
feeding, grazing, dairies, &c. it would undoubtedly exceed any county of the kingdom
vx riches, both natural and acquired, Yorkftiire not excepted i due allowance being made



for the difference in extent. As to foreign trade, furely no fhire but Middlefex \vill
compare with one that has the city of Briftol to boaft of j not to mention the coafting
trade in the little ports of Bridgewater and MInhead.

We then entered Wiltfhire, the northern part of which is full of pleafant rifings,
and watered with clear flreams. It was once overfpread with woods, which are now
in a manner quite deftroyed. The foil of this part of the country being clay, is confe-
quently troublefome fometimes to travellers ; but here is a great variety of delightful
profpeds, to make them amends. And my tutor told me, that a good author of their
own made this remark of Wiltfhire : " That an ox, left to himfelf, would, of all
*' England, chufe to Hve in the north of this county, a fheep in the fouth part of it,
" and a man in the middle between both j as partaking of the pleafure of the plain, *
*' and the plenty of the deep country." The foil of the vale is very fruitful, and
affords great quantity of as good cheefe as any in England ; and though that of the
hills is in fome places chalky, and barren enough, yet its cheapnefs makes it bene-
ficial to the neighbouring farmers. I have been told on the fpot, that on the downs
betwixt Sandy-lane and Marlborough, and between the Devizes and Salifbury, hun-
dreds of acres have been rented at a groat an acre per annum. But the numerous
flocks of fheep fed there turn much more to the profit of the proprietors. The abun-
dance of wool which thefe fheep produce, invited the inhabitants to fall very much
into the clothing trade ; and the befl broad cloths, both white and dyed. In England,
are made in the well and north parts of this county, and indeed, in the fouth and eaft
parts too, but not in fuch quantities.

Fuel is not very plenty in this county, which has no coal pits, nor indeed much
wood : * Tis produftive, however, of all forts of grain, efpecially wheat.

From Wiltfhire we departed for Hampfhire or Hantfhire, by fome called the county
of Southampton. This is the county where I faw, what my tutor had before told me,
the traft of land, called New Foreft, which was enlarged by William the Conqueror at
the de(lru6tIon of feveral towns and villages, and 36 parlfhes, being computed 50 miles
in compafs ; and became remarkable for the death of two of his fons and a grandfon,
who loft their lives flrangely in this foreft.

The air of this county is moft pure and piercing, efpecially the downs, of which „,.^,,„^j^
there is a ridge that runs almoft athwart it, and affords plenty of game. The foil is <
various as to its fertility, the hilly parts being barren, Hke other downs, and fit only for
fheep ; but the lower grounds are fruitful In corn and herbage. It produces great quan-
tities of all manner of grain, particularly wheat and barley, with which It fupplies the ^
flourifhlng markets of Farnham, Bafingftoke, and Reading ; and their teams of
horfes, many of which are fit for the beft coach in the kingdom, fhew the wealth of the
farmer. The arable ground, though very ftony, is fruitful ; for the f tones lie loofe ,^^^
upon the foil : andthofe who are well fKilled in agriculture affirm, that they keep it /
warm, and that therefore, the taking them away would do more hurt than good. This
county is particularly famous for its honey, with which they make moft excellent
mead and metheglin. Hampfhire bacon is allowed by all to be the beft in England, the ^«-^'>'-
fwine being fuppHed with acorns in plenty, from the New Foreft, and other wooda, in
which they are fuffered to run at large : And the delicacy of their flefh is attributed to
their not being pent up in ftyes. Kerfey and cloth are made here ; and though not in
fo great plenty as in Wiltfhire, Somerfetfhire, and Gloucefterfhire, yet there is enough
made, not only for home confumption, but for a foreign trade. Its fea-coafts furnlfh
oy Iters, lobfters, and other fait water fifh. And indeed, both for profit and pleafure,
there is not a more inviting county in Great Britain.

Adjoining #


Adjoining to HAmpfhire is the inland county of Berks ; whofe air is generally healthy
and fweet ; the foil h?rtile enough, where 'tis cultivated ; and the whole county, which
is one of the mofl: pleafant in England, is well llored with cattle and timber, particularly
oak and beech, in the weftern parts, and in Windfor Forefl: ; which alfo abounds with
wild fowl, and other game ; as its rivers Thames and Kennet, the one on the north,
the other on the fouth fide of it, do with fifh, efpecially fine large trout and cray-fifh.
It has been obferved, that land is dearer here, than in other parts the fame diftance
from London. Th j chief manufactures of this county are woollen cloth, fail cloth, and
malt ; their being great crops of barley in the weft part of the county, particularly the
vale of White-horle, fo named from the bare fide of a chalky hill reprefenting that
animal, which the inhabitants once a-year, about mid-fummer, take fome pains in trim-
ming, to keep it to its fhape and colour, and then conclude the day with mirth. 'Tis
fuppofed by fome, that the ground there was formed into this figure by the Saxons,
, who had the White-horfe for their arms.

Having regaled ourfelves four days with the fowl and delicious fiih of Berkfhire, we
pafied into Surrey, which I could not find to be remarkable for any particular trade or
manufadure, excepting the corn market at Croydon, and the feveral branches of trade
carried on in the borough of Southwark: but as that borough is contiguous to Lon-
don, I fhall remark their trade together. In general, I obferve this to be a healthy,
plealant county ; and therefore it boafts of feveral royal palaces, and many feats of
the nobility and gentry. But the air, as well as the foil, of the middle and extreme
parts is vaftly different, the air being mild in the latter, which is very fruitful in corn
and hay, with a fine mixture of woods and fields, efpecially on the fouth about Holmf-
dale, and on the north towards the Thames ; but the air is bleak in the heart of the
county, which, except a delightful fpot indeed here and there, is all open fandy ground,,
and barren heath : for which reafon, the county is not unaptly compared to a coarfe
cloth with a fine lift or hem. In fome places there are long ridges of hills or downs,
with warrens for rabbits and hares, and parks 'for deer; and its rivers, the chief of
which, befides the Thames, are the Mole, the Wey, and the Wandle, abound with
fifli. And the chief commodities of this county, befides its corn, are box- wood, wal-
nuts, and fullers-earth, which laft is fold at a groat a buftiel at the pits near Ryegate,
and is fent up to London for the ufe of the woollen manufadures all over England.

N. B. — ^This earth is prohibited exportation by the fame laws, and under the fame
penalties as wool itfelf.

Our tour through Surrey was pretty agreeable in regard to the many fine feats which
-^_,we met with, biU I was more pleafed to turn off into Suffex, a maritime county upon
the Englifh channel ; whofe downs near the coaft are charming, and its vallies, or the
Wild of Suffex, as it is commonly called, very plentiful, efpecially in oats. The downs
are very high green hills, well known to travellers, efpecially fuch as deal in wool or
flieep ; there being great numbers bred here, whofe wool, which is very fine, is too
often exported clandeftinely to France by farmers and jobbers, who are called owlers.
Many parts of the downs being a fat chalky foil, are, on that account, very fruitful,
both-in corn and grafs. The middle part of the county is delightfully chequer'd with
meadows, paftures, groves, and corn-fields, that produce wheat and barley. The north
•quarter is fhaded with woods, from which they make abundance of charcoal ; and they
fupply timber for the navy docks, and fuel for the iron works, there being not only
plenty of ore on the eaft fide towards Kent, but many great forges, furnaces, and
watermills, for both caft and wrought iron, which, though it is faid to be more brittle
tkan the Spanifti, yet cannon are caft with it j and the beft gunpowder in the world is
♦ - made


made in this county. A great deal of its meadow ground is turned into ponds and

pools, to drive hammer-mills by the flaihes. Here we were regaled with the delicious ^

bird, called the wheat-ear, for which this county is particularly famous. 'Tis no big- c^^j^s^- **»

ger than a lark, and is taken by digging a hole in the ground, into which they put a

fnare of horfe-hair, and then cover the hole, very near, with the turf, turning the

grafly fide downwards ; this bird being fo very timorous, that the fhadow even of

a cloud frightens them into thefe little cavities. They are fo fat, that, when cauglit,

Online LibraryJohann Jakob FerberAn essay on the oryctography of Derbyshire, a province of England → online text (page 1 of 129)