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LXIII. The History and Antiquities with Drawings and coloured Prints, of Staffordshire. Compiled from the 101. 105. Nichols and Son, Payne. Manuscripts of Huntbach, Loxdale, Bithop Lyttelton, and other Collections of' Dr. Wilkes, the

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* Sce a lift of plates in voli i. in M. Epitome, vel. ij. p. 310. Vol. V.-No. XLIX.


tory, &c.

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19. South-east View of Sandwell, in 6. South-east View of Himley Hall.

cluding West Bromwich Church, 7. South-east Viecu of Pattekull &c.

Hall, 20. Plot's original Plate of Dudley Cafle.

EXTRACTS. 21. South-west View of Dudley Cafle. 22. Portrait of Dr.'Wilkes.

SUBTERRANEOUS FIRE IN THE OLD 23. Modern Views of the old and new COAL-PITS AT WEDNESBURY (ex Churches at Wolverhampton.

tracted from Dr. Wilkes's MSS.) 24. Curious stone Pulpit, font, and

STEAM-ENGINE. Arms, in the faid old Church. “1739, MAY 31.-We have long 25. Monuments of Colonel John Lane

had a wildfire in the old coal.pits in and his Ancestors, and of Admiral Wenesbury field, where the gob or Levefon.

broken coal takes fire, and burns as 26. Views of Tettonhall and ByJhbury

• long as the air can come to it, but

goes out of itself when it comes to Churches,

• the folid wall of coal. This evening, 27. South-east View of Wrottesley Hall, as I rode over part of the field where 28. S.W. View of Penn Hall.

this fire was burning many acres to29. Sedgky Park.

'gether, the air being calm, and the 30. Friars Minors, &c.

• weather having been dry for about a 31. South-west Vicw of the old Hall,

fortnight, I saw on the furface of the with Himley Church and Rectory

ground, where the smoke issued out House.

of the earth, as fine flowers of brim

• stone as could be made by art. They 32. South-west View of Himley Hall.

feemed to lie a handful or two in a 33. North-call Victe of the fame.

• place, but there was no posibility of 34. Plot's criginal Plate of Preštwood. 'going to them.' 35. North-eart View of Prestwood. « « This subterraneous fire, which 36. Two Views of Stourton Castle. • is frequent about this town, and 37. Pattingham and PatteullChurches, 'commonly called wildfire, breaks out 38. Monuments of the Atleys in Pato spontaneously amongst the vast heaps tehull Church,

of nack or small coal left behind in the 1. Front View of Drayton Manor old

•, in which is a great quanHouse.

tity of sulphur, and frequently smokes :2. North-eak View of Shenston Church

'out through the surface; and, by and Old Hall,

its great height, it acts upon the le3. North-wejt View of Walsall Church. peculiar natures; some parts are re

veral strata above, according to their 4. Barr Chapel and Gothic Gate.

duced to cinders, others hardened to 5. South-eafi View of Handsworth a very great degree. Clay thus har. Church.

dened is here called pock-stone, of 6. Profpect Hill

, the Residence of which the roads about this town are M. Eginton, Glafs-ftainer.

almost entirely composed; and the 7. Dudley Castle, principal Entrance to.

'foundation of the church is laid with

the same material. This circumstance 8. Dinstall Hall. 9. Tettenhall Church.

is an evident proof that this colliery

has been worked for several ages. 10. St. Kencim's Church.

There is another fire in these mines, 11. Brome, New Church,

• which they call a blowing fire; be 12. Brome, Old Church.

• cause, when it takes fire, it goes off 13. Codfall Church.

with a vast explofion, driving every 1. North-west View of Hints. 'thing before it, even the engine from 2. South-east View of Canwell Hall. the mouth of the pit. This is owing 3. View of Barr Halls, Church, Esc. to a fulphureous exhalation, which 4. Painted Window and Altar-piece "lation of air ; for, where proper means

stagnates for want of a proper circu. in Barr Chapel.

are made use of for that purpose

, no s. View of Tettenhall,

! such event is known.'

« Dr.


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“ Dr. Wilkes says he had in his overcome, furnaces for making iron * poffeffion a piece of old iron, part with pit-coal are now very numerous

of a pike or maundrel, which was in this vicinity; and in this parish are *then found here enclosed in a soft various manufactures in iron, but the coal; by which it is certain that coal principal is that of gun-barrels and grows or increases, and that the lack locks." P.85. or small coal left behind in the pit may pollibiy in time become as good coal as it was before it was thus


" AMONG the local customs which “ Dr. Wilkes also says, Mr. Thomas have prevailed here, may be noticed Savary (the original inventor of the that which was popularly called Pro. steam-engine) set one of these engines ceffioning. Many of the older inhabitants down about the year 17., in the li can well remember when the sacrift, berty of Wednesbury, near a place resident prebendaries, and members of called then the Broad Waters, which is the choir, assembled at morning prayers now dry land again. For, this place on Monday and Tuesday in Rogalion being low ground, the water rose so week with the charity-children, bear. haftily many years ago, and in such ing long poles clothed with all kinds quantities from the coal-pit, that it of flowers then in stason, and which covered some acres of land, buried were afterwards carried through the many stacks of coals that were on the streets of the town with much folembank, and so continued till drained nity, the clergy, singing-men, and boys, again about fifteen or twenty years dreiled in their sacred vestments, clorago. This water was stored with seve- ing the procession, and chanting, in a ral sorts of fish by Mr. Lane's family, grave and appropriate melody, the of Bently, which became very large, Canticle, Benedicite, omnia opera, &c. and remarkably good. The engine “ This ceremony, innocent at least, thus erected could not be brought to and not illaudable in itself, was of high perfection, as the old pond of water antiquity, having probably its origin was very great, and the springs very in the Roman offerings of the Primitive, many and strong that kept up the body from which (after being rendered conof it; and the steam when too strong formable to our purer worship) it was tore it all to pieces; so that after much adopted by the first Christians, and time, labour, and expense, Mr. Savary handed down, through a fuccellion of was forced to give up the undertaking, ages, to modern times. The idea was, and the engine was laid aside as ufe- no doubt, that of returning thanks to less; so that he may be said to have God, by whose goodness the face of discovered a power sufficient to drain nature was renovated, and freh means any kind of mine, but could not form provided for the sustenance and coman engine capable of working and fort of his creatures. It was disconmaking it useful.

tinued about 1765. " Plot says: “The last effort that 66 Another custom (now likewise difwas made in this country for making continued) was the annual procession iron with pit-coal, and also with raw on the oth of July (the eve of the great * coal, was by Mr. Blewstone, a High fair) of men in antique armour, preGerman, who built his furnace at ceded by musicians playing the Fair. Wednesbury, so ingeniously contrived tune, and followed by the steward of. "(that only the flame of the coal should the deanry manor, the peace-officers, "come to the ore, with several other and many of the principal inhabitants.

conveniencies), that many were of Tradition fays, the ceremony origina'opinion he would succeed in it. But ted at the time when Wolverhampton experience, that great baffler of fpe was a great emporium of wool, and 'culation, showed it would not be; resorted to by merchants of the staple * the fulphureous vitriolic steams that from all parts of England. The ne

illue from the pyrites, which accom- ceflity of an armed force to keep peace • panies pit-coal, afcending with the and order during the fair (which is * Aame, and poisoning the ore suffi- said to have lasted fourteen days, but ciently to make it render much worse the charter says only eight) is not im. iron than that made with charcoal.' probable. The men (twenty in num“ These difficulties being at length ber) were furnished by the proprietors

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