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HE county of Hertford, bounded on the east by Essex, on the north by Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, on the west by Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and on the south by Middlesex; is of an irregular form towards the north-west and south. The greatest extent of the county from north to south is twenty-five miles, and from east to west thirty-five miles, estimated to contain four hundred and fifty-one thousand acres.
Its principal rivers are the Lea and the Coln, the former uniting all the streams of the eastern and middle parts; the latter of the western. The LEA springing out of Lea grave-marsh, near Luton, in Bedfordshire, crosses the middle of Hertfordshire in a south-east direction to Hertford, where, making a simicircular sweep, and receiving first the Marum or Mimerum, a small stream from Welwyn, and then the Bean, which rises near Yardley; and the united Rib and Quin, coming down by Standon, it passes by Ware; whence, being joined by the Ash, it turns southwards to the Essex border, near Hoddesdon, and receives the Stort, making the limit between Hertfordshire and Essex, and flowing on between Essex and Middlesex, to its junction with the Thames. The Lea is navigable to Hertford, as is the Stort to Bishop's Stortford.
The COLN issues from the neighbourhood of Kit's End, in Middlesex; it then passes northward to North Mims, and, turning west, receives the MUSE, or VERULAM RIVER, from Bedfordshire, at Colney Street. The Coln then flows A 2
by Watford to Rickmansworth, being joined by the GADE, from Gaddesden to Hemel Hemsted, bringing with it a stream from Berkhamsted; then by the Chesham river, out of Buckingham. Below Rickmansworth, the Coln leaves the county, and becomes the limit between Middlesex and Buckingham, to the Thames. The NEW RIVER, which supplies London with water, has its head near Ware, in this county; whence it is carried in an artificial channel parellel and near to the Lea, and enters Middlesex not far from Waltham Cross.
Hertfordshire is an almost perpetual succession of hill and dale. The soil is mostly a strong, red, shelvy clay, mixed with flints, upon a bed of chalk, at different depths from the surface, affording to the husbandmen inexhaustible material for improvement. In general, though not perceptibly among the most fertile countries, this county is eminently fitted for the growth of grain.
Its fine climate renders Hertfordshire the residence of more nobility and gentry in proportion than almost any other county. Its air is pure and dry, but not bleak, equally favouring the health of the inhabitauts, and the maturation and goodness of vegetation.
The grains chiefly cultivated, are wheat, barley, and The white wheat is much valued for its fine flour: barley is malted in large quantities for the London market; various intervening crops are also grown, and in no country has the art of agriculture triumphed more over natural defects. Thr manures are various; chalk, the capital one for the clay lands, is laid on in large quantities: the spring or top-dressings, form a peculiar feature of Hertfordshire farming; these consist of soot ashes, malt dust, and doil cake dust or powder.
The live stock chiefly consists of horses for the plough, milch cows, and sheep, principally ewes; few of these, however, are bred in the county, but are obtained by purchase,
Hertfordshire is well wooded, independently of parks and plantations; these yield a quick growth of underwood, which is cut periodically for charcoal, fire wood, and other
pusposes. There is also much oak timber fit for the navy, and inferior shipping, but plank timber is scarce.
The farms of Hertfordshire are from 100l. to 400l. or 600% per annum. The rents do not on an average exceed 12s. per acre. The land is for the most part enclosed, though there are many small common fields lying intermixed, which by agreement are cultivated in the same way as enclosures. The waste lands are computed at about four thousand five hundred acres, including the sheep downs on the skirts of the county.
No considerable manufacture can be expected in an agricultural district like Hertfordshire, which has also the defect of great scarcity of fuel, though this might be remedied by the introduction of canals. At St. Alban's, and near Rickniansworth, are cotton mills for the making of candlewicks; and the neighbourhood of Tring, Berkhampstead, &c. partakes in the straw-plat manufactory, which affords employment for the women and children; but the great business of the county, next to agriculture, is malting, which is carried on to a great extent in and about Hertford, Ware, Hitchin, &c. The malt made here is not only from Hertfordshire barley, but much is brought from Cambridgeshire, and the Isle of Ely. It has a ready conveyance to London, by means of the Lea navigation, which brings back the coal and coke used in the process, On several of the Hertfordshire rivulets paper mills, and other works, are established, for which purpose they are peculiarly adapted from the clearness of their water, and the steadiness of their streams.
The population of the county is considerable on the Essex and Middlesex sides. Hertfordshire was part of the Roman division of the Cattieuchlani and the Cassii. In the heptarchy, part of the county belonged to the East Saxons, and part to the Mercians. It is now comprised in the home circuit, and divided into eight hundreds. Hertford is the county town. There are eighteen nominal market towns, and two parliamentary boroughs, Hertford and St. Alban's, which, with the county, send six members. It pays eleven
parts of the land tax, and provides five hundred and sixty men to the national militia.
Hertfordshire is partly in the diocese of Lincoln, and partly in that of London. In Lincoln diocese and Huntingdon archdeaconry, are the deaneries of Baldock, Hertford, Berkhamsted, and Hitchin. In London diocese, are the deanery of St. Alban's, in the archdeaconry of St. Alban's, the deanery of Braughing, in Middlesex archdeaconry.
We enter the county of Hertford at
RICKMERSWORTH, vulgarly RICKMANSWORTH, a market town eighteen miles three quarters from London, situate on the Coln. In the neighbourhood is a warren hill, where the sound of the trumpet is repeated twelve times by the echo*.
* Ecchoes are generally dsstinguished into various kinds. Those which return the voice but once are called single, whereof some are tonical, which only return a voice when modulated into some particular musical tone: others polysyllabical, which return many syllables, words, and
Of this kind is the fine eccho which Dr. Plott describes in Woodstock Park, Oxfordshire, that returns very distinctly seventeen syllables in the day time, and twenty syllables in the night. The reason of which is, that the air being more dense on account of being colder, the return of the first vibrations, being slower, gives time for the repetition of more syllables.
Dr. Harris observes, that he found a very fine eccho of this nature near Shidley church, in the wild of Sussex, which would repeat distinctly these words, in the night.
Os homini sublime dedit, cœlumque tueri
Such ecchoes as return syllables and words often repeated, are called multiple, or tautological ecchoes.
The antients mention an eccho of this kind, at the sepulchre of Metella, wife of Crassus, which repeated what was said five times. And Barthius, in his notes on Statius's Thebais, lib. vi. ver. 10, mentions an eccho, on the banks of the Naha, between Coblentz and Bingen, which repeated a sound seventeen times. This author assures us he had proved the truth of what he asserts, and had told seventeen repetitions. And al