Page images
PDF
EPUB

A small type and a thin paper have been preferred for the advantage of the traveller; who, it is presumed, will not fail to find the volume, an interesting companion of his travels. Some copies have been printed with the same types on a larger an more substantial paper.

W.P.

The following statement, drawn up by the Rev. W. D. Conybeare, will sufficiently explain the principles which have influenced the new arrangement he has given to the plan of the work, and the communications above alluded to.

It has been endeavoured to render the present volume useful not only as an account of the physical structure of England but also as a general manual of Geology. With this object an Introduction has been prefixed containing an elementary view of the general principles of that science, and a compendious șurvey of the various topics which a complete system of it ought to embrace.

The principles thus generally laid down are, in the body of the work, illustrated in the detail by their application to the geological phenomena of our own island; the full developement of these forms the principal object of the work, but to avoid partial and incomplete views we have subjoined, wherever it was possible, concise accounts of the comparative geology of other countries: these have necessarily been brief, but it is hoped sufficiently copious to answer their subsidiary object, No single and general work which has yet appeared will indeed be found to have entered so largely upon this branch of the subject.

Every source of information with regard to the geology of England has been consulted as far as the knowledge of the editors extended; but to mere compilations from the observa, tions of others unity of design and precision of statement must, generally be wanting, without the advantage of a personal examination of the districts described; to this advantage the present work must be understood as advancing a general claim, hence a great part, perhaps the greater part, of its materials are, in the strictest sense of the term, original.

The part now submitted to the public comprises a description of the various formations as exhibited within the limits assigned to this work, from the most recent to the lowest rocks associated in the coal-districts.

The second part will embrace the series commonly called Transition and Primitive, and thus complete that branch of the subject connected with the description and distribution of the several formations; but in addition to these many other topics demand attention in an attempt to give a complete delineation of the geology of any country; the derangements which those formations have experienced, the circumstances of the vallies apparently excavated in their mass, the accumulations of gravel derived from their partial destruction, &c. are most important classes of geological phænomena which require to be presented under proper heads in a connected view, in order to place in the full and clear light of their real evidence the inferences resulting from them; to the partial and uncombined views which have been too generally taken of these phænomena, much of the contradictory theories which have divided geologists must be ascribed ; a regular induction of them applied not to a limited district, but extending to the whole of this country, may therefore it is hoped contribute in some measure to lay a more secure and solid foundation : the manner in which it is proposed to handle these subjects will appear from the Introduction.

All other incidental matter arising from the general subject will likewise find its place in the second Part.*

The bulk and expense of the second Part will certainly not exceed and probably fall short of the present.

It is impossible to give a distinct pledge as to the period of publication ; delay will be avoided as far as it can be so without injuring the character of the work.

The present part + has been presented to the public without waiting for the completion of the second, chiefly because it contains the history of those formations which have been as yet fully examined in England alone, and of which a detailed description was required to fill an important chasm in the science of Geology. The remaining formations (those of the commonly called transition and primitive districts) are of less importance under this point of view, since they are more extensively exhibited in many other countries, have been long generally known and often described, and the precision which Dr. Mac Culloch has recently introduced into this branch of the subject has left nothing further to desire.

The degree of originality belonging to the present work will appear from the following statements.

* It is proposed, as an Appendix to the second part, to give a slight sketch of the processes connected with the working the different mines, and the metallurgical operations prosecuted in the mining districts, subjects which will be found useful in a manual intended as a companion for the English geological traveller.

+ The interval between the publication of the first and second part, will also be attended with an important incidental advantage in enabling the editors to subjoin, in the form of an appendix, the most material corrections and additions which during that interval may be collected,

The history of the formations above the Chalk having been already fully treated in the memoirs of Messrs. Webster and Buckland, little besides the task of compilation remained to the editors with regard to the subjects embraced in the first book.

With reference to the formations comprised in the second Book, the general history of the Chalk has long been known, but no attempt to trace its details was previously in existence. The sands beneath the chalk, as far as they are exhibited on the coasts of the Isle of Wight and Dorsetshire, had been ably illustrated by Mr. Webster, but all the materials connected with their distribution in other parts of the island are entirely new, including a tolerably full description of the Wealds of Kent, Surry, and Sussex.

The general outlines of the whole Oolitic series were (as has been fully stated in the Introduction) first sketched by Mr. Smith; but, with the exception of a few extremely brief notices inserted by that gentleman in his 6 Strata identified by their organic remains, and the descriptions in the Rev. Mr. Townsend's Vindication of Moses, nothing had been published on the subject; almost all the details in this part of the present work are therefore strictly original.

No general accounts of the New Red Sandstone and Magnesian Limestone formations were extant, and but little assistance was to be derived from the few and partial notices which had appeared. Mr. Winch's account however of the small portion of this tract which fell under his observation, deserves favorable mention.

Though very valuable materials were extant in the descriptions of the Northumberland and Derbyshire Coal-fields by Messrs. Winch, Whitehurst, and Farey, yet a regular and connected account of the Coal-districts of this country remained a desideratum. The editors are inclined to rest the claims of the present work to public notice very principally on the information now for the first time brought together on this most important subject.

The articles pointing out the relations of the English formations to those of the continent, are also among the most original, and it is hoped most useful portions of the volume. While it was passing through the press a very able memoir on this subject by Professor Buckland appeared, which was shortly followed by a series of essays in the Annals of Philosophy by Mr. Weaver, containing an excellent outline of the researches of Friesleben, Raumer, &c. in the north of Germany. We have availed ourselves of both these sources, but the general outlines of the plan were previously laid down, and the greatest part of its details have never before been collected together.

A method as systematic as the nature of the subject would admit has been adopted, and the various particulars relating to the several formations are disposed under an uniform series of general heads, which it is trusted will greatly facilitate reference. A constant order has also been pursued in tracing the local distribution of each formation, beginning with its northern extremity and proceeding regularly to the southern ; thus we have avoided that frequent transition to distant geographical sites so embarrassing to the student.

The outline map which accompanies this work is chiefly compiled from Mr. Greenough's; we have not however introduced his division of the different varieties of slates in the disa tricts of Cumberland, Wales, and Devon, regarding this point as not sufficiently ascer ed; and a different division has been adopted of a part of the formations described in our third Book, we having included the limestone shale of Derbyshire under the colour of the mill-stone grit, and considering it as associated with this formation; whereas Mr. Greenough has associated it with the subjacent carboniferous limestone. This change of system produces an apparent difference through this portion of the map, where no real difference exists, for the whole question of this division is ove of convenience only.

The sections will be found more comprehensive than any hitherto published of the island, and the only ones in whichthe relations of the older and inclined formations to the recent and more horizontal deposits are exhibited with distinctness and truth; we have purposely avoided pursuing the same lines with the various sections published by Mr. Smith, except in one limited instance, where a portion of one of the sections traverses the Weald of Surry and Sussex in a line nearly coincident with an earlier section of this observer.

The sections 5 and 6 are copied from two of Mr. Webster's. The dotted curves in the former, indicate the general lines of curvature to which (according to the very ingenious view of that writer) all the different inclinations exhibited by the strata there. represented, may be reduced.

*** The two first chapters of the second book, and a part of the third chapter (altogether extending from page 59 to 185) not having been corrected by Mr. Conybeare, though principally. derived from his M.S. some errors have crept into this part of the work; the most material of these are pointed out in the list of Errata, and the reader is requested to correct them with his pen,

26,

Page 60, line 3, for Java read Jura

25, · whole of this reposes, read whole of this series reposes 61 3, – coal transition, read coal and transition 66 13,- The great majority (perhaps eight tenths) of read In a

great majority of instances (perhaps eight tenths) 67

10, Pleacente read Picacente 69 29, but' to formation,' line 32, should follow • bottom of

the series (C).' line 26 of p. 68. 74 Mr. Miller is of opinion that the specimens 2, 3, & 4, quoted line

22 a 26 inclusive, belong to a single species, being derived

from different parts of the animal. 75 line 6 from bottom, for there read thus 76 12, for and contracting; according to the impressing it re

ceived from read and contracting according to the

impression received; from 22,- pass direct to the inter-funnel-shaped cavity, read pass

directly to the internal funnel-shaped cavity -79 14,

upper bed read upper beds 17,

passes that, read passes, and that

stratum read strata 80

14,

Nodder read Nadder 8 from bottom for chalk, traced, read chalk which we have

already traced 81 20, for Stowe read Stour.

26, — chalk, placed read chalk, though placed
107 8 from bottom, for advancing east, read advancing from east

last line, for connected read concealed.
109 2, for this read their
121 16, the separate read these separate heads

11 from bottom for constituent read imbedded
125 2, for costata read costatus; for tuberculata read tuberculatus

10,— laris, read lævis.
129 17, spinalosus read spinulosus.

18, costata read costatus; for obliqua read obliquus.
4 from bottom for concurra read concava.
3

locris read lævis.
130 13

conalus read conulus, 132 15

masked read marked 143 1, for Ragston hills road Ragstone or Greensand hills 145 26 27, for repaired, and forced, read filled up and thus forced

10 from bottom for formations we, read formations which we

24, for form read from. 163 18, Newmarket, between the chalk marle ard the iron,

149

sand which occurs on the west of this county. Near Gamlingay, read Newmarket. Between the chalk marle and the irun sand, which occurs on the west

of this county near Gamlingay 167 21, after encrinites, &c. add are among these remains.

23, for in average breadth, extending read of average breadth,

and extending 169

15, for Moroan read Morvan 177

but it read this clay, 20, 21, for formation. The beds, read formation, because

the beds 178 9, for Bagley wood, near Farringdon, read Bagley wood;

and near Farringdon

- 16,

« PreviousContinue »