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The principal merit of this catalogue,' to use Mr. Pilkington's own words, is, that it is an authentic lift, not copied from the works of other writers. Many of the fpecimens mentioned have come under my own infpection, chiefly in the collection of a gentleman, who refided four years in this county for the purpofe of examining its mines and fofil productions.'
In the fixth chapter, we have an account of medicinal waters and baths. It may be deferving of notice, that the mineral waters of Derbyshire of a chalybeate and fulphureous nature, arife in beds of fhale; and from this circumftance it feems probable, that they derive their impregnation from this fubftance.' The warm fprings likewife appear at the furface, near the beds of fhale.
A minute hiftory is here given of the fprings at Buxton and Matlock, together with the feveral analyfes of thefe waters, as made by Dr. Percival, Dr. Higgins, and Dr. Pearfon: but the most curious part of this chapter, is a letter from Dr. Darwin of Derby, in which he inveftigates the caufes of the heat in the Buxton and Matlock waters. The refult of his reafoning, which certainly is ingenious, though it may not be convincing, is, that thefe warm fprings do not acquire their heat, as has been afferted, from the chemical decompofition of pyrites: but that this water is raifed in vapour by fubterraneous fires deep in the earth; and that this vapour is condenfed under the furface of the mountains, in the vicinity of the fprings.
In the next fection, the courfes of the rivers in Derbyshire are traced; with an account, likewife, of the navigable canals. Chapter VII. Soil, agriculture, and produce.
The most common foil in Derbyshire, is a reddish clay or marl. A different foil prevails throughout that part of the country where coal is found: it is a clay of various colours, black, grey, brown, and yellow, but principally the laft. Refpecting the cultivation of the county, it appears that a larger proportion of land is applied to the purposes of the dairy and to grazing, than to the growth of corn. The produce of barley, however, is large: about 5000 quarters are annually carried into and confumed in the counties of Stafford, Chefter, and Lancaster.
An experiment is related, in which the effect of urine, as a manure, was tried; and the produce was found fuperior to that from dung, &c. in the proportion of two to one.
Improvements in hufbandry are not, however, to be much expected from the Derbyshire farmers; who, in fact, have not yet availed themfelves of many advantageous practices among their neighbours; for inftance, the ufe of the hoe in turnip fields, the fetting of wheat, and the cultivation of turnip
rooted cabbages, and other ufeful plants. Some farmers also retain ftrong prejudices against the Norfolk and doublefurrowed ploughs.
In this chapter, we meet with a fection, as it is called, These are fimilar to what are found in concerning animals. the neighbouring counties. The cows are, in general, large and handsome. Several gentlemen have lately taken confiderable pains to improve the breed of cattle in this county. And it may be justly queftioned, whether any other district in England of the fame extent can furnish fo large a number of cows, equally diftinguifhed by their beautiful fhape. In proof of their great value and excellence, fome have been fold at fo high a price as 100l. each.'-The fheep in the middle part of the county weigh from 20lb. to 30lb. per quarter: in the High Peak, from 14lb. to 17lb.
The eighth chapter contains a catalogue of fome plants growing fpontaneously in Derbyshire. The author's principal intention, in this part of his work, is to point out the fituation of the plants, fo that they may be found by any one who em ploys himself in their fearch: no botanical defcription is here given: but their ufes in medicine, in the arts, and in food, are enumerated. With regard to the arrangement of the plants, Mr. P. has chiefly followed Mr. Hudfon and Dr. Withering. From the latter, indeed, he has borrowed the chief of his information on this fubject. We fhall give one extract concerning an oak in Kedleston park, which is esteemed the most perfect tree in that part of the kingdom:
It is calculated to be about 80 feet in height of good timber. Mr. Haywood of Duffield, a confiderable dealer in timber, by whom I have been favoured with this calculation, divides the tree into two lengths. The first he fuppofes to be 45 feet by 51 inches fquare, and to contain 812 cubit feet. The fecond length he estimates 35 feet by 29 inches fquare, and to contain 204 cubic feet. The whole tree, exclufive of the branches, therefore amounts to 25 tons of timber meafure, or 33 tons, 26 feet neat.-There are other oaks in England, which exceed this in circumference near the ground, and which perhaps contain the fame quantity of timber, but I believe there are very few, if any, which rife to equal height with fo much regularity. Its beauty has however been in a fmall degree injured by the wind, which has broken off one or two of its largest branches.- Mr. Haywood values this tree, if found, at 100l. and without afcertaining this point, he thinks it worth 801.'
The ninth and laft chapter in the first volume, treats of birds; among which the eagle is confidered only as an occafional vifitant in Derbyshire.
The contents of the fecond volume are divided into two chapters. The first treats of the ancient and modern ftate of Derbyshire.
After bringing forward, from Mr. Pegge, fome undoubted proofs of the Romans having inhabited Derbyshire; and after having traced the courfe of two Roman roads; the author gives the general divifion of the county into fix hundreds, containing about 440 hamlets.
Refpecting the ftate of population, we are told, that,
The refult of the enquiries which I have made, is, that the prefent number of houfes in Derbyshire is 25,206, and of inhabitants 124,465. This account was taken at different places at different times; but in none at a greater diftance than seven years from each other.
It may be expected, that population is not in the fame flcurifhing ftate throughout the whole county. In that part of it where the bufinefs of the lead mines is carried on, it is fuppofed by fome, that the number of inhabitants is fmaller than it was 50 years ago. But even in thefe fituations population is now much revived; and in other places it is confiderably greater than it ever was at any former period.'
The manufactures carried on in Derbyshire, are various and extenfive:
It partakes with Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire in the ma. nufacture of stockings, with Yorkshire in the manufactures of iron, and woollen cloth, and with Lancashire in the manufacture of cotton. The bufinefs done in thefe different branches is not carried on to fo great extent as in thefe neighbouring counties. But the manufacture of filk in it is much greater than in any of them. There are very few, if any towns in England, in which there is fo large a number of machines employed as in Derby, for preparing this article for the manufactures in which it is generally used.'
On the customs and manners of the inhabitants, little is advanced. We learn, however, that the behaviour of the lower people, which was peculiarly rude, has been greatly amended by the cftablishment of Sunday fchools.
In the fecond chapter, the author takes a view of each particular town, village, &c. throughout the county. To this end, he follows the ecclefiaftical divifion of it into deaneries. He here traces the boundaries of parishes, and gives the value of each living, as marked in the king's books; together with the names of the patrons, &c. Every village or hamlet is noticed; and he inquires into the ftate of their population and manufactures. Great pains have been bestowed in investigating the hiftory of religious houfes, and in afcertaining their endowments. The antiquary will alfo find a refpectable difplay of knowlege concerning ancient monuments. Each caftle, or feat, of any note in the county, is defcribed; and the genealogy of its owner is moft induftrioufly, and often tediously, traced: but for thefe, and many other mifcellaneous matters, we must refer thofe who wish to be informed, to the volume itself.
On the whole, Mr. Pilkington has prefented us with an ufeful work, which must have coft much labour. That fomething might be added with advantage, and much rejected without injury, cannot, in our opinion, be denied: but probably, to recur to what was obferved toward the beginning of the article, what we fhould difmifs, would, by many, be reluctantly yielded; and what we fhould add, might, by as many, be unthankfully received. o.
The Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, have adjudged the reward of (if we are not mistaken) twenty-five guineas, for the performance to which the foregoing article relates.
ART. XX. Report of the Committee of the Highland Society of Scotland, to whom the Subject of Shetland Wool was referred. With an Appendix, containing fome Papers, drawn up by Sir John Sinclair, and Dr. Anderson, in reference to the faid Report. 8vo. pp. 81. 25. Cadell. 1790.
HE first sentiment that occurred to us on reading the title of this report, was, that common humanity is peculiarly interested in promoting any fpecies of cultivation or manufacture, that might meliorate the adverfe circumstances of those who inhabit the remote northerly extremities of the British dependencies: but a perufal of the report extended our views from the natives of the Scottish ifles, to the British nation at large; and it is our decided opinion, that a more interesting publication than the prefent is not often fubmitted to the eye of the public.
It appears from this report, that Shetland is poffeffed of at leaft 100,000 fheep, whofe fleeces do not produce above a. pound and a half of wool each, not worth, at prefent, above fixpence per pound; whereas the fineft wool might fetch five fhillings. It is declared by the committee,
That there are two kinds of fheep producing fine wool to be found in thefe iflands: One, known by the name of the kindly Sheep, whofe whole body almoft is covered with it; another, whofe wool is fine about the neck only, and other particular parts of the body. The colour of the fine wool alfo varies, fometimes being of a pure white, which is fuppofed to be the foftest and most filky, at other times of a light grey, fometimes of a black, and fometimes of a ruffet colour.
The fheep producing this wool are of a breed, which, for the fake of diftinétion, might be called the beaver sheep; for, like that animal, many of them have long hairs growing amongst the wool, which cover and fhelter it; and the wool is a fpecies of fine fur re
fembling down, which grows in fome meafure under the protection of the hair with which the animal is covered.
Your Committee understand that the sheep producing this fine wool are of the hardieft nature; are never houfed nor kept in any particular pafture; and that in the winter feason they are often fo pinched for food, that many of them are obliged to feed upon the fea-ware driven upon the fhore. It is obferved, however, that the healthiest sheep are thofe which live conftantly upon the hills, and never touch the fea-ware.
Laftly, It appears that the Shetland fheep are never clipt or fhorn, but that, about the beginning of June, the wool is pulled off (which is done without the fmallest pain or injury to the animal), leaving the long hairs already mentioned, which fhelter the young wool, and contribute to keep the animal warm and comfortable, at a feafon of the year when cold and piercing winds may occafionally be expected in fo northern a latitude.'
The immediate scheme in view is, (as these fine-wooled fheep, from improper, as well as unheeded mixtures of breed, are nearly extinct,) to felect and cultivate the beft, and extend the breed among the Orkney and Hebride iflands, where they might multiply, fecure from mixture; which cannot be fo effectually done, where various fpecies of fheep, in contiguous fituations, are occafionally liable to breaches of modeft decorum.
Dr. Anderson, who has diftinguished himself so much by his ingenious communications to the public on fubjects of agriculture, &c. has proved a moft able affiftant to the committee who have entered on this important business. Among the papers fubjoined to the report, we particularly remark the memorial, No. IV. as a curious and useful research into Britith antiquities. The Doctor there proves, from indifputable records, that from the earliest times, down to the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the wool of Great Britain was not only greatly fuperior to that of Spain, but was accounted the finest in the univerfe; and that even in the time of the Romans, a manufacture of woollen cloths was established at Winchester, for the ufe of the emperors. He attributes our total loss of this momentous pre-eminence, to a fyftem of legislation over the commerce of wool, that took place foon after the days of James I. extremely different from what had been before followed in this country. The exportation of wool had, till then, been permitted, under certain and occafional regulations: but fince the time of Charles II. 'it has been totally prohibited, under the feverest penalties. This check, however the fact may ftagger the advocates for it, has, according to this clear-fighted examiner, driven the wool-grower from his former attention to the quality of the fleece, to that of the value of the carcafe.—It is no more than a due execution of our office, to recommend