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3147 3944 71 18,685
1615 33 7,384
1590 † 1986
973 11 4,982
30,253 43,481 552 210,431 55,744 34,064|113692|
Chiefly In trade,
3804 5393 9588
1571 5190 2525 842 4643 4872 1460 3877 1486 1537 1933
39 625 26241
In order to obtain an accurate knowledge of the population of Suffolk, Mr. Arthur Young took the trouble, in 1796, to write to all the rectors and vicars in the county, requesting the births and burials from their registers for the twenty preceding years, with an enumeration of the houses and people. To above four hundred letters, he received two hundred and sixty answers. These enabled him to
The last ten hundred are incorporated.
+ In the original here is an error; it is entered 1086, but by turning to the detail it appears to be 1986.
form a very satisfactory table which afforded the following general
From 1786 to 1795.
Excess of Births, 6,884
From this comparison the natural inference is, that the population of the eounty must either have much increased, or that a considerable emigration from it is constantly going forward. Both these positions may, we think, safely be assumed as facts.
CLIMATE.—The climate of Suffolk is unquestionably one of the driest in the kingdom ; but the frosts are severe, and the northeast winds in spring are sharp and prevalent. Upon the whole, however, the climate of this county must be reckoned favorable; and it cannot but be extremely salubrious, to judge from the more tality which, upon an average of ten years, appears to have been to the existing population as one to fifty-four, while the number of births was as one to thirty.
SOIL.---It may be asserted that not a county in the kingdom contains a greater diversity of soil, or more clearly discriminated than Suffolk. A strong loam on a clay-marl bottom, predominates through the greatest parts, extending from the south-western extremity at Wratting Park to North Cove near Beccles. Its northern boundary stretches from Dalham by Barrow, Little Saxham near Bury, Rougham, Pakenham, Ixworth, Honington, Knattishal, and then in a line near the Waveney to Beccles and North Cove; but every where leaving a slope and vale of rich friable loam of various breadths, along the side of the river. It then turns southward, to Wrentham, Wangford, Blithford, Holton, Bramfield, Yoxford, Saxmundham, Campsey Ash, Woodbridge, Culpho, Bramford, Hadleigh, and following the high lands on the west side of the Bret, to the Stour, is thence bounded by the latter river to its source, leaving all along it a very rich tract of slope and vale. It must not be supposed that in so large an exB2
tent there is no variation; but it may be observed as a general rule, that wherever there are rivers in this space, the slopes descending to the vales through which they run, and the bottoms themselves are of a superior quality, being in general composed of rich friable loams; and this holds even with regard to many inconsiderable streams which fall into the larger rivers. The chief part of this district would commonly, but improperly, be denominated clay, for, upon analysis, the soil has been found to be much more impregnated with sand than its texture would seem to indicate. Lying as it does upon a retentive clay-marl bottom, it may, from its wetness, be properly termed strong or clayey loam. This district of rich loam is much less clearly discriminated. It comprehends the space left by the preceding district between the rivers Stour and Orwell, and a tract of coast a few miles in breadth between the latter and the Deben. It is composed of a vein of fri. able, putrid, vegetable mould, more inclined to sand than clay, and of extraordinary fertility. The best is about Walton, Trim ley, and Felixtow, where, for depth and richness, much of it can scarcely be exceeded by any soils found in other parts of the county, and would rank high among the best in England. In the line from Ipswich to Hadleigh, it varies considerably, in many places approaching sand, and in many places being much stronger. The general complexion, however, of the whole of Samford Hundred is that of good loam.
Considering only the real quatity of the soil, the whole of the maritime district of this county, with the exception just mentioned, must be pronounced sandy; towards the north much inclining to loamy sands, and in others to sandy loams; but so broken, divided, and mixed with undoubted sands, that one term must be applied in a general view to the whole. This district, Mr. Arthur Young looks upon as one of the best cultivated in England, and it is also one of the most profitable. Few districts in the county, if any, abound with more wealthy farmers, or contain a greater proportion of occupying proprietors, possessing from one hundred to three and four hundred pounds a year. The inferior stratum of
this district varies considerably, but in general consists of sand, chalk, or crag, and in some parts of mari and loam. The crag is a singular mixture of cockle and other shells, found in great masses in various parts of the county, from Dunwich, quite to the Orwell, and even across that river to Wolverston park. It is both red and white, but generally of the former color, aad the shells so broken as to resemble sand. There are pits to be seen, from which great quantities of it have been taken to the depth of fifteen and twenty feet, for improving heaths; but on lands long in tillage, the use is discontinued, as it is found to make the sands blow more.
The western sand district comprehends the whole north-western angle of the county, except the corner to the left of a line drawa from Brandon to the conflux of the rivers Ouse and Lark. It contains few spots of such rich sands as are found on the coast, but abounds with warrens and poor sheep-walks. Parts of this tract, however, partake of the character of loamy sand; for instance, the whole angle to the right of a line from Barrow to Honington, in' which no blowing or even very light sand is found. A more striking exception, though of smaller extent, is found at Mildenhall, in an open field of arable land, dry, yet highly fertile and friable, without being loose. The under stratum throughout almost all the district, is a more or less perfect chalk, at various depths; and, according to the eminent agricultural writer already quoted, it may be received as a rule that, excepting the low vales contiguous to rivers, the whole of this part of the county is proper for sainfoin.
The fen district is confined to the corner cut off from the preceding. Its surface, to the depth of from one foot to six, is the common peat bog. In some places it is black, and solid enough to yield a considerable quantity of ashes in burning ; but in others more loose, puffy, reddish, and consequently of inferior quality.' The under stratum is generally a white clay or marl. Part of these fens is under water, though subject to a tax for drainage, which has been attempted, but failed. In Burnt Fen, however, a late act of parliament for improving the banks, has been put in execution B 3
with such success, that 14,000 acres are completely drained and under cultivation.*
Rivers.-Suffolk is a well watered county ; its boundaries to the south and north are rivers navigable to a considerable height, and it is every where intersected with streams, which, if the practice of irrigation were more generally adopted, would be productive of incalculable benefit.
The Stour rises on the west side of the county, on the borders of Cambridgeshire, and first running southward to Haverhill, then taks an eastern direction, and forms throughout its whole course the boundary between Suffolk and Essex. It passes by Sudbury, and after being joined by the Bret, and other smaller streams, receives the tide at Manningtree. Here increasing considerably in breadth, it presents a beautiful object at high-water to the fine seat and grounds of Mistly Thorn, the effect of which, however, is considerably diminished by its muddy channel and contracted stream during the ebb. It meets the Orwell from Ipswich, and their united waters, having formed the port of Harwich, discharge themselves into the German Ocean, between that town and Landguard Fort
The Gipping has its source in the centre of the county near Stowmarket Running in a south-east direction, it waters Ipswich, and assuming below that town the name of the Orwell, proceeds to meei the Stour opposite to Harwich. The banks of this river are in general picturesque, especially when it becomes an estuary below Ipswich, to which place it is navigable for ships of considerable burden. The banks there rise into pleasing elevations, beautifully fringed with wood, and adorned with several fine seats.
The Deben, which has its source near Debenham, takes a south-eastern direction, and passing by Woodbridge falls into the German Ocean, a few miles to the north of the two preceding rivers.
Young's Gen. View of the Agriculture of Suffolk, p. 6.