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of each county there is an account of its soil, extent, products, population, rental, poor-rates, and of all other the interesting particulars belonging to it; under the name of each city and other principal place, there is a history of it as far as regards matters of general interest or of great curiosity; and, where.. ever there was formerly a monastic establishment, the nature and value of it are mentioned under the name of the place, whether that place be a city or hamlet. The distance from London is stated, in the case of cities, boroughs, and markettowns, And, in the case of the villages, hamlets, and tithings, their distances, and also their bearings, from the nearest city, borough, or market-town, are stated; and in all cases the population is stated. In places where there are markets or fairs, the days for holding them are stated, and mention is made of the commodities dealt in at the fairs. With regard to localities, it is not the great and well-known places, but the small and obscure places, of which we want a knowledge, How many scores of places have I received letters from, and there being no post-mark, or it being illegible, and it not being named in the date of the letter, have been unable to send an answer with any chance of its reaching its destination! Of how many places do we daily read in the newspapers, and in pamphlets and books, of which places we never before heard,of the local situation of which we know nothing; and yet, with regard to which, we, for some reason or other, wish to possess a knowledge! It was from the great and almost constant inconvenience which I experienced as to this matter, that induced me to undertake this most laborious work. For instance, if we were to read or hear something of a transaction at Tilford, how are we to know where Tilford is, and what sort of a place it is? We might, from some circumstance, learn that it was in the county of SURREY ; but one should not know whether it were a town or village, or what it was, nor in what part of the county it lay. My book, in the Index, tells us that it is in SURREY; in the Dictionary, it tells us, that it is a tithing, that it is in the parish of Farnham, and that Farnham is a MARKET-TOWN, distant therefrom in a N. W. direction, that is, at 39 miles distant from London; and the county-map shows us, that this markettown lies at the westERN EXTREMITY OF THE COUNTY. In many cases it was unnecessary to state the distances of hamlets and tithings from any other place; but in all such cases the parish (being city, borough, town, or village) is made known; which makes our knowledge on the subject quite minute enough. For instance, in the county of SURREY, Bagshot is a hamlet, the distance of which from Chertsey, the nearest town, is not stated; but the book tells us, that it is in the village and parish of WINDLESHAM, and that that village is 7.miles from Chertsey ; so that here is nothing wanting. There now remain to be explained some things, which, if left unexplained, might lead to error. First, under the name, in the Dictionary, of each county, is given the number of parishes it contains. This frequently leaves out townships, a great many of which have separate parochial jurisdiction; but it was impossible, in all cases, to come at a correct knowledge of the facts relating to this matter; and, therefore, the pa
ishes, so called, have, in the statistical table as well as in the Dictionary, generally been taken as they stood in the official returns to Parliament. SECOND, as the Dictionary part was compiled before the Reform-law was passed, the number of members of Parliament returned by the several counties, cities, and boroughs, stands in this part of the book according to the rotten-borough system ; but this matter is amply set to rights in the tables which are at the close of the book, and which it is now my business to describe.
IV. Next after the Dictionary comes a staTISTICAL TABLE (which is called No. I.); which states, against the name of each county in England, and against that of the whole of Wales, the following pieces of information ; namely, its square miles, its acres of land, its number of parishes; number of markettowns ; number of members of Parliament according to the new law ; number of former monastic establishments ; number of public charities ; number of parishes which have no churches; number of parishes the population of each of which is under a hundred persons; number of parishes which have no parsonage-houses ; number of parishes in which the parsonage-houses are unfit to live in; annual amount of the county poor-rates according to return of 1818,
that being the last presented; number of paupers at that time; the annual · rental of the county at the same time, no return having since been made ; total population of the county according to return of 1821 ; number of houses in the county, in 1821, no return on that subject having been made since; the proportion between the poor-rates and the rental of the county ; the proportion between the number of paupers and the number of houses in the county; the county poor-rates in 1776, by way of comparison ; the number of persons to each square mile in the county; the number of acres of land to each person in the county; the number of acres of land to each house in the county ; the whole of the male population in 1821, no distinction, in this respect, having been made in the last return; number of agricultural families, handicraft families, and other families, all according to the return of 1821, no information of this sort being given in the last return; number of agricultural males in the county; number of able labourers ; number of acres of land in the county to each of its able labourers! In a table like this, containing such a mass of figures, it was next to impossible to avoid, either in author or printer, something in the way of error, and one, and I believe only one, has been committed here; and that is, in the statement of the number of acres of land to each person and to each house in the county of Middlesex. As I firmly believe, that a fiftieth part as much really useful information was never before given in so small a compass ; so I am quite sure, that a hundredth part as much was never before published at a similar price. This Table, the whole of which the reader sees at tuo openings of the book, has cost me, first and last, months of labour.
V. In Table No. II. we come to the new and important PARLIAMENTARY DIVISIONS AND DISTIBUTIONS. This Table again ranges the counties in their alphabetical order, and shows, at one view, the distribution of the country for the purposes connected with the election of members to serve in parliament (according to the act of 1832); naming the counties, describing the divisions (where there are divisions) in the counties, stating the places for holding the election courts, stating the polling places in each county or division of a county, naming the cities and boroughs in the county returning members to Parliament, and stating the number of members for each county, and each city and borough; and, finally, the whole number of members returned by each county.
VI. But as the cities and boroughs are, in the Table No II, not accompanied by a statement of their population, Table No III. gives them with their population in their new boundaries; and also the counties of England with their present populations, separate from that of the cities and boroughs; and then the total population of each county, and the total number of members that each county is to return. Wales, for want of any return relative to it respecting these matters, is given (as to its population) in this Table without the distinction just mentioned.
VII. In order that no part of this most interesting and most memorable change, made by the Reform-law, may be left without information relative to it, and that information may be always at hand, Table No. IV. gives the names of all the rotten boroughs wholly cashiered, and also of those half-cashiered, by the Act of 4 June, 1832, together with the counties in which they are, and the number of roters which they formerly had, this being matter which never ought to be effaced from the minds of Englishmen.
Such is the book that I now present to my readers; and if it prove tiresome to them, I beseech them to think of what it must have been to its author! It has done one thing for me, at any rate; it has at last taught me, at the end of three-score years of labour, that there is something that can fatigue ; and it is a truly curious fact that I am putting this on paper in the VERY ROOM in which Dr. JOHNSON wrote his plaintive preface to the prodigious production of his patient toil.
No. 11, Bolt-court, 28 June, 1832.
ENGLAND AND WALES.
. . SITUATION, BOUNDARIES, AND EXTENT.
1. This COUNTRY is in Europe, and lies between 49 deg. 50 min. and 55 deg. 40 min. of North latitude. 2. It is bounded, on the East, by the German Ocean; on the South, by the English Channel ; on the West, by St. George's Channel; on the North, by Scotland, from which it is separated by the river Tweed, and by a line, which is imaginary, running along the Cheviot hills, and falling in at the head of the Frith of Solway. 3. Its extreme length, from the Lizard Point, in Cornwall, to the town of Berwick-uponTweed, in Northumberland, is 403 English miles; and its extreme width, from the North Foreland, in Kent, to the Land's End, in Cornwall, is 370 English iniles. 4. The whole country is computed to contain 49,450 square miles; and, according to returns made to the House of Commons, in the year 1831, the population was 14,171,591.
ENGLAND and WALES form one and the same country, as to all matters, except with regard to some particulars connected with the administration of justice. Wales is, for these purposes, considered as being divided into North Wales and South Wales; but in all other respects, the several counties of Wales are considered in the same light as the several counties in England; and I have now to speak of the DIVISIONS of this whole country :-FIRST, Of the divisions which have been made for the purposes of municipal government; SECOND, Of those which have been made for the purposes of the administration of justice in the superior courts; Third, Of the ecclesiastical divisions, or those which have been made for purposes connected with the affairs of the church as by law established ; and, FOURTH, Of the divisions, which have been made for the purpose of electing members to represent the people in parliament.
MUNICIPAL DIVISIONS. The country is divided into coUNTIES, each having its lord lieutenant, its sheriff, its militia, its justices of the peace, and its inferior peace officers. Each county is divided into HUNDREDS, LATHES, RIDINGS, WARDS, or WAPENTakes, one of which names is used in some counties, and others of them in other counties, but always meaning the same thing; namely, the greatest subdivisions of the county. These greatest subdivisions are again divided into PARISHES. In some few cases there is a second subdivision before the parishes come ; but, in all cases, the PARISHES come at last. The lord lieutenant is the commander of the militia, and is at the head of the justices of the peace; the sheriff is, throughout the county, the chief executor of the behests of the law; and the justices, who are in their several vicinages, the conservators of the peace, assemble, once in every three months, in general COUNTY-SESSIONS, to inquire into and punish offences coming within their jurisdiction. The cities and ancient boroughs, in the several counties, have their corporate justices of the peace, with sometimes an exclusive, and sometimes, with the county justices, a concurrent jurisdiction. The PARISIES have each its churchwardens, and overseers, and surveyor of the highways. The business of the first is to take care of the building of the church; that of the third to keep the roads of the parish io repair; but it is the second whose office is of the greatest importance, namely, that of administering relief to the poor, and of collecting, from the land and louse holders of the parish, the money necessary for that purpuse; and the law makes it the bounden duty of an overseer, of the poor, to take care, that, within the limits of his parish, no human being suffer from want of food, raiment, or shelter. The counties are 62 in number, 40 in England and 12 in Wales. A list of the naines of them will be found under the next head; and, in their proper order in the book, all the particulars as to extent, population, hundreds, cities, towns, parishes, &c. relating to each will be amply stated.
JUDICIAL DIVISIONS. Each COUNTY has, as we have seen, a complete government in itself; and it pays all the expenses by taxes raised within itself, for the purpose of sustaining this government and of carrying it on. The general or royal government interferes only in the appointiog of the lords lieutenant, the sheriffs, the county-justices of the peace, and the officers of the militia, and in the administration of justice in the civil causes, and in the case of grave crimes. For this purpose, JU DGES, commissioned by the king, are sent into the several counties twice in every year. Two judges go into each county, and each two are commissioned to take a certain number of counties, lying contiguous to one another, and to go from county to congty, until the business be ended. The counties are, for this purpose, divided into CIRCUITS, or ROUNDS, eight in number; and to know the particulars of which division is a matter of occasional importance to every man in the kingdom. These par, ticulars are all contained in the following Table, which exhibits, FIRST, The names of the whole of the English counties in alphabetical order, and of the Welsh in the same order; SECOND, The cities and towns at wbich the judges hold their sittings, which, in this case, are, in the old Norman language, called ASSIZES, while the towns at which the judges sit are called ASSIZE-TOWNS ; TURD, Against the name of each county, the name of the circuit within which it is embraced ; FOURTH, The names of all the circuits, in alphabetical order: Fifth, The names of the counties embraced in each circuit. Thus the reader has the whole of this matter under his eye at one view ; observing only, that, in some few of the counties, the ASSIZES are held alternately at different towns.