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of Esher, ranks foremost in his management of this very delicate and useful article: he rears upon an average 500 a year; and for this purpose the Dorsetshire ewes are the only sort he keeps, as he considers them the best nurses, and producing lambs all the year."

"GENERAL VIEW

OF THE

AGRICULTURE

OF THE

COUNTY OF SURREY.

DRAWN UP FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF

The Board of Agriculture and Internal Improvement. BY WILLIAM STEVENSON.

1813."*

N reviewing Mr. STEVENSON'S DORSETSHIRE (afore-. going) I was induced by the variety of sources from which he collected his materials, to consider him in the capacity of an editor, rather than in that of an author. In the volume which is now before me, he appears in a more distinguishable character:-not as an author, merely, but as à well qualified Reporter of rural affairs. To the performance of that, he was probably pressed-dragged-goededinto the service. In executing this he evidently felt his subject, and wrote as an admirer of it.

It is to be observed, however, that much of it reads as an extemporary, rather than as a studied work. But altho it is not uniformly instructive, it rarely offends. To general readers, and especially to amateurs in agriculture, it cannot fail to be interesting; and will be found, in the abstract of it, to convey much useful information.

Of the MODE of SURVEY pursued in collecting materials for this Report, I find no account; nor any notice, by the author, concerning the rise or progress of his work.

Such valuable facts, as arise out of the practice of Surrey, and such instructive remarks as the writer not unfrequently elicits,

* Another new title page! The Survey for this Report appears, in different parts of the work, to have been made in 1806, or 7.

elicits, will be incorporated with the other valuable materials that I have been able to extract from the Board's Reports.

The number of pages-six hundred and seven; with an intelligent index.

A colored map of soils. No other engraving.

SUBJECT THE FIRST.

NATURAL ECONOMY.

EXTENT.-P.

XTENT.-P. 3. "Its area contains 811 square miles, or about 519,040 acres."

SURFACE.-P. 42. "The surface of almost the whole of Surrey, except the Weald, is gentle hill and dale. In some parts of it, the hills rise to a considerable height, and present very commanding and bold views."

Mr. S. has extended this article to several pages; partly from his own observations, and in part with quotations.

CLIMATURE.-P. 19. "The climate of Surrey is deemed very healthy in most parts of it between the Weald and the Thames, particularly near the northern foot of the chalkhills the dryness of the soil and climate in this part of it, and the entire freedom from the smoke of the metropolis, by the prevalence of the westerly winds, have deservedly given it this character."

P. 18. "The spring in this county is early, and is not so often checked and thrown back by frosty mornings, or cold raw easterly winds, as in some other counties more to the south, but at the same time more exposed. The summers are generally very dry and warm-to such a degree, indeed, that even those soils which are not easily baked by the heat, the friable and sound loams, are sometimes rendered as hard as clays are in a less sultry climate. The harvest is early, generally commencing within the first ten days of August; and from the steadiness of the weather at that important time, there is seldom any corn out in the fields after the first week of September. Of course, in a county where the soils and elevations are so various as they are in Surrey, the climate must vary in some degree, not only with respect to moisture, but also with respect to warmth, and the state of forwardness. On the high cold lands about Effingham-hall, the snow often lies a fortnight longer than it does on the adjacent lower-lying grounds; and on the chalk-hills, where they are not broken in their surface, and sheltered, the snow lies longer, and the harvest is later, than

on

on the adjoining vale lands. Perhaps the earliest part of the county is near Godalming, on the rich, dry, well-sheltered sandy loams."

WATERS.-The rivers, or brooks, of Surrey are enumerated in p. 354, aforegoing. In the report now before me, I perceive little on this head to interest the reader who is in search of useful information, concerning rural affairs. The subjoined passage, relating to the calcareous Wandle, shows, within a small compass, how much the operations of agriculture are liable to be thwarted by those of manufacture. The waters of the Wandle, as to quality, might well be classed with those of the southern Avon; with which the inestimable meadows of Wiltshire are irrigated.

P. 68. "This river takes its rise a little to the south of Croydon, and flowing by Waddon and Beddington, is greatly increased by some very powerful and constant springs which rise at Carshalton; from this place the Wandle runs by Wallington, Mitcham, Morden, Merton, Tooting, and Wandsworth, at which last place it enters the Thames. In this course of rather more than ten miles, it turns nearly forty mills of different kinds."

SOILS. Mr. Stevenson has extended this article to a considerable length; and has rendered it an important section of his work. It opens with a laudable attempt to define the different varieties of soils; but not, I think, with scientific decision; which, I conceive, is a desideration that nothing but ANALYSIS can effect, with sufficient preci

sion.

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Mr. S.'s classification of soils stands thus:-1,"Clay."2. Loam ;-which he subdivides into "strong loam,"-" less adhesive loam, or hazle loam"-" calcareous loam" and "sandy loam."-3. " Chalk"-" bare chalk, very slightly covered or mixed with earth."-4." Heathy, or moorish soils."

Those varieties are separately traced over the face of the County; their several situations or localities being noted, and some of them described with much intelligence, and with sufficient interest to entitle them to admission into this abstract.

Clays.-In comparing the clays that are found on the north-side of the Chalk Hills, with those which lie at their feet on the south, Mr. S. mentions, among others of more ordinary distinction, the following.-P. 22. "The clay of the Weald is not affected by dry weather to such a degree as the northern clays: in the latter may be seen cracks, or rather rents, nearly a yard in depth, and several inches broad, in long-continued dry and sultry weather; but in the Weald, the ground does not contract nearly so much.

I had a good opportunity this very dry summer (1807), of observing the different degrees in which the two kinds of clay were affected by the heat: while the northern clays were rent in all directions, there were to be seen but very few and very trifling cracks in the Weald of Surrey. This circumstance, however, may perhaps be more justly accounted for, from the situation of the Weald than from the nature of the soil: from the low situation of that part of Surrey, and the difficulty and slowness with which the ground there is dried, from the flatness of the surface, and the want of ventilation and sun (compared with the more open, elevated, and sloping ground in the north-east of the county), the moisture will be longer retained, and, of course, the contraction of the soil will be less-not because it is less pure clay, but because it is not nearly so dry."These remarks appear to my mind, highly creditable to Mr. Stevenson, as a man of observation.

P. 24. "The pale and less fertile clay occupies nearly the whole of the Weald of Surrey. This district, which joins the Weald of Sussex and Kent, extends in its most southern part the whole breadth of Surrey, from Wilderwick to Haslemere, a distance of more than 30 miles. It contracts on the western side, as we proceed from Haslemere to Godalming; and about half way between these towns, it is deeply indented by the sandy loams. From near Hascomb to the northern boundary of the Weald, the breadth is not much more than 20 miles. The medial distance between the borders of Sussex and the northern limit of the Weald, is about four miles.

"This is by far the most extensive tract of uniform soil in the county of Surrey: except on the northern side, where it rises towards the sandy loams, there is no differ ence to be perceived in the whole compass of it, except what evidently proceeds from peculiar situation. Its eleva tion in general is very trifling-less, it is said, than that of any other vale district in the island. Its surface, also, is very uniform: there are, indeed, a few spots raised above the general level of the Weald; and it is the soil of these rising grounds, which forms the only exception to the gene. ral soil of the district. The colour of the soil on the eminences is darker, and the quality more fertile; arising, in all probability, from the more dry and better ventilated state of the ground, and from the greater quantity of vegetable matter, which would be produced and decay in such a situation, than in those which were more cold and less kindly."

P. 26. "Proceeding northwards, and omitting for the present the loamy soils, which are formed by the junction of

the

on the adjoining vale lands. Perhaps the earliest part of the county is near Godalming, on the rich, dry, well-sheltered sandy loams."

WATERS.-The rivers, or brooks, of Surrey are enumerated in p. 354, aforegoing. In the report now before me, I perceive little on this head to interest the reader who is in search of useful information, concerning rural affairs. The subjoined passage, relating to the calcareous Wandle, shows, within a small compass, how much the operations of agriculture are liable to be thwarted by those of manufacture. The waters of the Wandle, as to quality, might well be classed with those of the southern Avon; with which the inestimable meadows of Wiltshire are irrigated.

P. 68. "This river takes its rise a little to the south of Croydon, and flowing by Waddon and Beddington, is greatly increased by some very powerful and constant springs which rise at Carshalton; from this place the Wandle runs by Wallington, Mitcham, Morden, Merton, Tooting, and Wandsworth, at which last place it enters the Thames. In this course of rather more than ten miles, it turns nearly forty mills of different kinds."

SOILS. Mr. Stevenson has extended this article to a considerable length; and bas rendered it an important section of his work. It opens with a laudable attempt to define the different varieties of soils; but not, I think, with scientific decision; which, I conceive, is a desideration that nothing but ANALYSIS can effect, with sufficient precision.

Mr. S.'s classification of soils stands thus:-1." Clay."2. Loam ;-which he subdivides into "strong loam,"-" less adhesive loam, or hazle loam"-" calcareous loam" and "sandy loam."-3. " Chalk”—" bare chalk, very slightly covered or mixed with earth."-4." Heathy, or moorish soils."

Those varieties are separately traced over the face of the County; their several situations or localities being noted, and some of them described with much intelligence, and with sufficient interest to entitle them to admission into this abstract.

Clays.-In comparing the clays that are found on the north-side of the Chalk Hills, with those which lie at their feet on the south, Mr. S. mentions, among others of more ordinary distinction, the following.-P. 22. "The clay of Ithe Weald is not affected by dry weather to such a degree as the northern clays: in the latter may be seen cracks, or rather rents, nearly a yard in depth, and several inches broad, in long-continued dry and sultry weather; but in the Weald, the ground does not contract nearly so much. I had

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