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Moors, till it becomes environed with coal-works, and the others run into the Tees. These rivers afford Salmon, Salmon Trout, Trout, &c. Just below Durham a skilful Angler will obtain as much fish as he can wish for.
The BLACKWATER and the CHELMER are the rivers of most note besides the Thames in this county; the Crouch and the Bromhill being inconsiderable streams, except at their mouths. The upper branch, which bears the name of the Blackwater throughout, rises near Saffron Walden, on the borders of Cambridgeshire, runs through Bocking and Coggeshall, and thence nearly southward to Malden; the Chelmer, which rises near Thaxted, and taking its course by Dunmow, pursues nearly a parallel course with the Blackwater to the southeast, as far as Chelmsford, from whence it makes a compass towards the east to join its sister stream; the Estuary of the Blackwater, which is formed below Malden, after the union of the two rivers, is very extensive. The COLNE is a small river, and rises on the borders of Suffolk, near Clare, runs through Halsted, and from thence to Colchester; below which it empties itself into a creek of the sea, between Mersey Island and the Main. At the mouth of this river, and the salt water inlets, are bred and fattened the famous Oysters.
The STOUR of Essex rises at a place called Stur mer, not far from Haverhill, on the borders of Cam
bridgeshire; passes through Sudbury; from which place, by an Act of the fourth of Queen ANNE, it was made navigable to Maningtree, where the tide meets it, and at Mistley it is, at high water, a beautiful object to the Hall, the seat of the late Mr. RIGBY; it is joined by the Brett near Neyland, and, dividing this county from Suffolk at Harwich, meets the Orwell from Ipswich; and both rivers fall into the sea beneath the batteries of Languard Fort, on the Suffolk shore.
The Lea rises near Luton, in Bedfordshire, in a Marsh called Leagrave, and pursues a south-east course to Hertford and Ware. Though in itself but a sluggish river, the country through which it flows, particularly near Hertford, is extremely pleasant; about the central part of its course, it is increased by various small streams; of which the Stort, the Quan, the Bean, and the Maran, are the principal. Soon after its outset, the late Earl of BUTE swelled the Lea into a large lake at his park at Luton Hoo; it undergoes a second artificial enlargement in Brocket Park, the ornamented seat of Viscount MELBOURNE.
The Lea divides Essex from Middlesex, bounded on one side by the wooded hills of Epping Forest, and on the other by the heights of Barnet and Highgate; the level afterwards becomes very considerable as this river approaches Hackney, and still more so as it advances towards the THAMES, which it falls into a little below Stepney.
These rivers are all slow and deep, produce Carp, Tench, Pike, Perch, and Eels, but very few Salmon
or Trout; they are so poached, particularly near the towns which they pass, as to materially injure the Angler's amusement. A part of the Lea is however well looked after, in which there is good angling for Perch, Pike, Chub, Roach, Dace, Gudgeon, and Barbel, At Stourmere (the Source of the STOUR) the Tench and Pike are singularly fine.
THE SEVERN is large, and for the length of its navigation, may be said to rival the THAMES. This river comes into the county two miles above Tewkesbury, to which place, and sometimes higher, (although seventy miles from the sea,) the tide flows. The tide swells not by degrees, but the mouth of the river opening to the great Atlantic Ocean, pours in with great violence, four or five feet high, and carries every thing before it; and the river growing suddenly narrow, the channel is filled at once: another singular circumstance is, that the tides are highest one year at the full Moon, and the next year at the change; and also, that in one year the night tides are highest, and the next the day tides: it is navigable to Shrewsbury, which is by land fifty miles above Gloucestershire. The Severn rises in a small lake* on the eastern side of Plinlimmon Hill, in Montgomeryshire, and in that county is capable of carry
* Mr. BINGLEY in his North Wales Tour, says, "The Stream at the Source of the Severn is so small, that a Child may stride across it."
ing large barges from King's Road up to Pool-Quay; afterwards, it almost encircles Shrewsbury, in the form of a horse-shoe, receiving the Tern, a little below, in Lord BERWICK'S grounds: it runs through Colebrook Dale, and then flows southward to Bridgnorth, where it is joined by the Wort and by the Stour below Bewdley; it then proceeds to Worcester and Gloucester, (whose Cathedrals and numerous Churches present fine objects to the course of the Severn,) dividing near the latter city into two channels, which soon reuniting, constitute a great tide river; and, after joining the Wye and the Lower Avon, assumes the title of the British Channel, expanding and insensibly losing itself in the Atlantic Ocean, between the Land's End of Cornwall and the extreme point of Pembrokeshire, just at the entrance of St. George's Channel, which separates Great Britain from Ireland. The Severn is so rapid that the stream is muddy, and has no great variety of fish; it is however well furnished with fine Salmon, and in the fishery near Gloucester abundance are taken, and forwarded to the London Markets. The Lampreys of the Severn are likewise particularly celebrated.
The Isis, which gives one half of the name to the THAMES, and is said to be its head, rises in the parish of Cotes, in this county.
* As a proof of the estimation in which the Salmon of this County were held, HENRY I. in 1243 ordered the Sheriff of Gloucestershire to send him twenty Salmon in Pies;-from Sussex he at the same time demanded ten brawners, "Brawns,' with the heads; ten Peacocks, fifty Rabbits, one hundred Partridges, and five hundred Hens.
The WYE rises on the south side of the Plinlimmon mountain; passing between the woods and orchards of Cabalva and the village of Clifford with its high Church, and the ruins of that castle which gave birth to Fair ROSAMOND*, the daughter of Lord CLIFFord. Various rivulets add to its stream before it reaches the plain of Herefordshire, which it enters beneath the few remaining fragments of Whitney Bridge: at the village of Brockware it meets the tide, and swell`ing at once into a majestic Estuary, fills the space between the impending woods and rocks on either side, and with great grandeurwinding round the fragments of Tintern Abbey, it encompasses the rocky promontory of Lancautin, Gloucestershire, while its Monmouthshire bank is enriched by that happy combination of art and nature with which Persfield is ornamented: The Wye then approaches Chepstow, where there is a wooden bridge of great height; the tide sometimes rising eighty feet perpendicular: beneath the flourishing port of this town it is still encompassed by cliffs, through which it rushes into the Bristol Channel.
The UPPER AVON rises on the borders of Leicestershire, and adding much to the delightful territory
The anxiety which HENRY must have experienced in the progress of his life to conceal this Amour from the high-spirited ELEANOR of Guienne, gave rise, probably, to BROMPTON'S Tale of the Bower of Woodstock; and of ROSAMOND's Death by Poison. Both may be reckoned fabulous. We know not exactly when this fair Lady died, but we are told that her Body was found near Godstow Nunnery, cased in Leather, (like that of HENRY I.) and in lead; and that when opened, "a very sweet smell came out of it."