Picture of Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe

places mentioned

Appendix to the second volume

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THE same reasons which occasioned an Appendix to the last volume hold good still, and will hold, if ten volumes of the same kind were to be written; seeing no man can take so strict a view of England, but something will occur, which the nicest observer could not possibly see, or the most busy enquirer be inform'd of at one journey; and, which is still more, some things will be undertaken and begun in the smallest intervals of time, which were not heard of before; for example:

On a more exact enquiry into the particular state of the city of Bristol, I find it necessary to mention first, That there are but seventeen parishes in the city, tho' there are nineteen churches, including the cathedral and the church of St. Mark: There are, besides those churches, seven meeting-houses, two Presbyterian, one Independent, two Quakers, one Baptist; also one or two other meetings not to be nam'd.

As to the Exchange design'd to be built, and for which an Act of Parliament actually pass'd, ann. 1723, it was at first intended to be built where the Tolsey now is; but so many buildings both publick and private and one church, namely Christ Church, at the corner of Vine-street, standing so near, as that they would crowd the place too much, the first measures were chang'd, and now the intended place is the meal market, between Vine-street and St. Mary Port, being on the north side of the Tolsey; but the citizens do not seem so hasty to build, as they were to get the Act of Parliament pass'd to give them power to do it.

There are no less than fifteen glass-houses in Bristol, which is more than are in the city of London: They have indeed a very great expence of glass bottles, by sending them fill'd with beer, cyder, and wine to the West Indies, much more than goes from London; also great numbers of bottles, even such as is almost incredible, are now used for sending the waters of St. Vincent's Rock away, which are now carry'd, not all over England only, but, we may say, all over the world.

The ground is now so rais'd in Queen's Square, (that which was formerly call'd the Mead) that the highest tide does not flow over it, and all the sides of the square are now fully built and inhabited, except one house only.

There is in the great church of Ratcliff, or Redcliff, a very antient monument for one Mr. William Cannings, burgess and merchant of Bristol, who besides repairing or new buiding part of Ratcliff great church, gave to the vicar and church-wardens, and major part of the inhabitants of the parish, in trust for the poor, 340l . This was in the year 1474. 17th of Edw. IV. N.B. Such a sum at that time was equal to eight times that money in these days.

On one part of the monument is a Latin inscription, in an odd way of writing, and full of abbreviations; and, on the other side, in English, the following account of this worthy citizen, and of the regard paid to him at that time.

Mr. William Cannings, the richest merchant of the town of Bristow; afterwards chosen five times Mayor of the town, for the good of the common wealth of the same: He was in Order of Priesthood, and afterwards Dean of Westburgh; and dy'd the 7th of November, 1474: Which said William did build within the said town of Westburgh a college with his canons and said William did maintain, by the space of 8 years, 8 hundred handy crafts men, besides carpenters and masons, every day 100 men. ------ Besides King Edward the 4th had of the said William 3000 marks for his peace, in 2470 tuns of shipping. These are the names of the shipping with their burthen.

The Mary Canning , 400 The Mary Batt , 220
The Mary Redcliff , 500 The littleNicholas , 140
The Mary and John , 900 The Margaret , 200
The Galliot , 50 The Katherine Boston , 22
The Katherine , 140 A ship in Ireland, 100

No age nor time can wear out well-won fame,
The stones themselves a stately work doth show;
From senseless stones we ground may mens good name,
And noble minds by virtuous deeds we know.
A lanthorn clear sets forth a candle-light:
A worthy act declares a worthy wight.
The buildings rare that here you may behold:
To shrine his bones deserves a tomb of gold:
The famous fabrick, that he here hath done,
Shines in his sphere, as glorious as the sun:
What needs more words ? the future world he sought
And set the pomp and pride of this at naught;
Heaven was his aim! let Heaven be his station,
That leaves such works for others imitation.

Also here is the following inscription on the monument of Sir William Penn, Bart. the father of the great William Penn, one of the heads of the Quakers, who was a native of the city of Bristol: as follows.

To the just memory of Sir William Penn, Knt. and sometime general; borne at Bristol, in 1621, son of Capt. Giles Penn, several years consul for the English in the Mediterranean: Descended from the Penns of Penn Lodge in the county of Wilts, and the Penns of Penn near Wickham in the county of Bucks; and, by his mother, from the Gilberts in the county of Somerset, originally from Yorkshire; addicted from his youth to maritime affairs: He was made captain at the years of 21, Rear-Admiral of Ireland at 23, Vice-Admiral of Ireland at 25, Admiral to the Streights at 29, Vice-Admiral of England at 31, and General of the first Dutch Wars at 32; whence retiring, in anno 1655, he was chosen Parliament man for the town of Weymouth 1660, made Commissioner of the Admiralty and Navy, Governour of the towns and forts of Kingsaile, Vice-Admiral of Munster, and a member of the Provincial Councell; and, in anno 1664, was chosen Great Captain Commander under his Royal Highness, in that signal and most prudently successful fight against the Dutch Fleet. Thus he took leave of the sea, his old element, but continued still his other employs 'till 1669, at what time, thro' bodily Infirmities (contracted by the care and fatigue of the publick affairs) he withdrew, prepar'd, and made for his end, and with a gentle and even gale, in much peace, arriv'd and anchor'd in his last and best port, at Wanstead in the county of Essex, on the 16th of September, 1670, being then but 49 and 4 months old. To whose name and merit his surviving lady hath erected this remembrance.

In travelling this latter part of this second tour, it has not been taken notice of, though it very well deserves mention; That the soil of all the midland part of England, even from sea to sea, is of a deep stiff clay, or marly kind, and it carries a breadth of near 50 miles at least, in some places much more; ?or is it possible to go from London to any part of Britain, north, without crossing this clayey dirty part. For example;

  1. Suppose we take the great northern post road from London to York, and so into Scotland; you have tolerable good ways and hard ground, 'till you reach Royston about 32, and to Kneesworth, a mile farther: But from thence you enter upon the clays, which beginning at the famous Arrington-Lanes, and going on to Caxton, Huntington, Stilton, Stamford, Grantham, Newark, Tuxford (call'd for its deepness Tuxford in the Clays) holds on 'till we come almost to Bautree, which is the first town in Yorkshire, and there the country is hard and sound, being part of Sherwood Forest.
  2. Suppose you take the other northern road, namely, by St. Albans, Dunstable, Hockley, Newport Pagnel, Northampton, Leicester, and Nottingham, or Darby: On this road, after you are pass'd Dunstable, which, as in the other way, is about 30 miles, you enter the deep clays, which are so surprisingly soft, that it is perfectly frightful to travellers, and it has been the wonder of foreigners, how, considering the great numbers of carriages which are continually passing with heavy loads, those ways have been made practicable; indeed the great number of horses every year kill'd by the excess of labour in those heavy ways, has been such a charge to the country, that new building of causeways, as the Romans did of old, seems to me to be a much easier expence: From Hockley to Northampton, thence to Harborough, and Leicester, and thence to the very bank of Trent these terrible clays continue; at Nottingham you are pass'd them, and the forest of Sherwood yields a hard and pleasant road for 30 miles together.
  3. Take the same road as it leads to Coventry, and from thence to West Chester, the deep clays reach through all the towns of Brickhill, Fenny and Stony Stratford, Towcester, Daventry, Hill Morton, or Dunchurch, Coventry, Coleshill, and even to Birmingham, for very near 8o miles.
  4. If we take the road to Worcester, it is the same through the vale of Aylesbury to Buckingham, and westward to Banbury, Keynton, and the vale of Evesham, where the clays reach, with some intermissions, even to the bank of Severn, as they do more northernly quite to West Chester.

The reason of my taking notice of this badness of the roads, through all the midland counties, is this; that as these are counties which drive a very great trade with the city of London, and with one another, perhaps the greatest of any counties in England; and that, by consequence, the carriage is exceeding great, and also that all the land carriage of the northern counties necessarily goes through these counties, so the roads had been plow'd so deep, and materials have been in some places so difficult to be had for repair of the roads, that all the surveyors rates have been able to do nothing; nay, the very whole country has not been able to repair them; that is to say, it was a burthen too great for the poor farmers; for in England it is the tenant, not the landlord, that pays the surveyors of the highways.

This necessarily brought the country to bring these things before the Parliament; and the consequence has been, that turnpikes or toll-bars have been set up on the several great roads of England, beginning at London, and proceeding thro' almost all those dirty deep roads, in the midland counties especially; at which turn-pikes all carriages, droves of cattle, and travellers on horseback, are oblig'd to pay an easy toll; that is to say, a horse a penny, a coach three pence, a cart four pence, at some six pence to eight pence, a waggon six pence, in some a shilling, and the like; cattle pay by the score, or by the head, in some places more, in some less; but in no place is it thought a burthen that ever I met with, the benef?t of a good road abundantly making amends for that little charge the travellers are put to at the turn-pikes.

Several of these turn-pikes and tolls had been set up of late years, and great progress had been made in mending the most difficult ways, and that with such success as well deserves a place in this account: And this is one reason for taking notice of it in this manner; for as the memory of the Romans, which is so justly famous, is preserv'd in nothing more visible to common observation, than in the remains of those noble causways and highways, which they made through all parts of the kingdom, and which were found so needful, even then, when there was not the five hundredth part of the commerce and carriage that is now: How much more valuable must these new works be, tho' nothing to compare with those of the Romans, for the firmness and duration of their work?

The causways and roads, or streetways of the Romans, were perfect solid buildings, the foundations were laid so deep, and the materials so good, however far they were oblig'd to fetch them, that if they had been vaulted and arch'd, they could not have been more solid: I have seen the bottom of them dug up in several places, where I have observ'd flint-stones, chalkstones, hard gravel, solid hard clay, and several other sorts of earth, laid in layers, like the veins of oar in a mine; a laying of clay of a solid binding quality, then flint-stones, then chalk, then upon the chalk rough ballast or gravel, 'till the whole work has been rais'd six or eight foot from the bottom; then it has been cover'd with a crown or rising ridge in the middle, gently sloping to the sides, that the rain might run off every way, and not soak into the work: This I have seen as fair and firm. after having stood, as we may conclude, at least 12 or 1600 years, as if it had been made but the year before.

And that I may not be charg'd with going beyond the most exact truth, I refer the curious to make their observations upon that causeway, call'd the Fosse, which is now remaining, and to be seen between Cirencester and Marshfield in Wiltshire, on the road to the Bath, or between the same Cirencester and Birdlip Hill in Gloucestershire, on the road to Gloucester; but more particularly, between Castleford Bridge, near Pontefract in Yorkshire, upon the River Aire, and the town of Aberford, in the road to Tadcaster and York.

In several parts of this causeway, the country being hard, and the way good on either side, travellers have not made much use of the causway, it being very high, and perhaps exposing them too much to the wind and weather, but have rather chosen to go on either side, so that the causway in some places, lies as flat and smooth on the top, as if it had never been made use of at all; and perhaps it has not, there being not so much as the mark of a wheel upon it, or of a horse foot for a good way together, for which I refer to the curious traveller that goes that way.

This very causeway have I seen cut into, so as to discover the very materials with which it was built; and in some parts of the same causeway, farther north, where the great road has taken some other way, I have seen the old causway dug down to carry the materials away, and mend the road which was then in use.

It is true the Romans being lords of the world, had the command of the people, their persons and their work, their cattle, and their carriages; even their armies were employ'd in these noble undertakings; and if the materials they wanted, were to fetch 20, nay 30 to 40 miles off, if they wanted them, they would have them, and the works were great and magnificent like themselves: Witness the numberless encampments, lines, castles and fortifications, which we see the remains of to this day.

But now the case is alter'd, labour is dear, wages high, no man works for bread and water now; our labourers do not work in the road, and drink in the brook; so that as rich as we are, it would exhaust the whole nation to build the edifices, the causways, the aqueducts, lines, castles, fortifications, and other publick works, which the Romans built with very little expence.

But to return to this new method of repairing the highways at the expence of the turn-pikes; that is to say, by the product of funds rais'd at those turn-pikes; it must be acknowledg'd they are very great things, and very great things are done by them; and 'tis well worth recording, for the honour of the present age, that this work has been begun, and is in an extraordinary manner carry'd on, and perhaps may, in a great measure be compleated within our memory. I shall give some examples here of those which have been brought to perfection already, and of others which are now carrying on.

First, that great county of Essex, of which our first tour gives an ample account. The great road from London, thro' this whole county towards Ipswich and Harwich, is the most worn with waggons, carts, and carriages; and with infinite droves of black cattle, hogs, and sheep, of any road (that leads thro' no larger an extent of country) in England: The length of it from Stratford-bridge by Bow, to Streetford-bridge over the Stour, on the side of Suffolk, is 50 miles, and to Harwich above 65 miles.

These roads were formerly deep, in time of floods dangerous, and at other times, in winter, scarce passable; they are now so firm, so safe, so easy to travellers, and carriages as well as cattle, that no road in England can yet be said to equal them; this was first done by the help of a turnpike, set up by Act of Parliament, about the year 1697, at a village near Ingerstone. Since that, another turnpike, set up at the corner of the Dog Row, near Mile-end; with an additional one at Rumford, which is called a branch, and paying at one, passes the person thro' both: This I say, being set up since the other, compleats the whole, and we are told, that as the first expires in a year or two, this last will be sufficient for the whole, which will be a great case to the country: The first toll near Ingerstone, being the highest rated public toll in England; for they take 8d. for every cart, 6d. for every coach, and 12d . for every waggon; and in proportion for droves of cattle: For single horsemen indeed, it is the same as others pay, viz. 1d. per horse, and we are told, while this is doing, that the gentlemen of the county, design to petition the Parliament, to have the Commissioners of the last Act, whose turnpike, as above, is at Mile-end and Rumford, empowered to place other turnpikes, on the other most considerable roads, and so to undertake, and repair all the roads in the whole county, I mean all the considerable roads.

But to come back to the counties which I am now speaking of, some very good attempts have been made of this kind on the northern roads, thro' those deep ways I mention'd, in the high post road; for example.

That an Act of Parliament was obtained about 30 years since, for repairing the road between Ware and Royston, and a turnpike was erected for it at Wade's-mill, a village so called, about a mile and half beyond Ware: This proved so effectual, that the road there, which was before scarce passable, is now built up in a high, firm cause way; the most like those mentioned above, of the Romans, of any of these new undertakings. And, though this road is continually work'd upon, by the vast number of carriages, bringing malt and barly to Ware, for whose sake indeed, it was obtained; yet, with small repairs it is maintain'd, and the toll is reduced from a penny, to a half-penny, for the ease of the country, and so in proportion.

Beyond this, two grants have been obtained; one for repair of those wretched places, call'd Arrington Lanes, and all the road beyond Royston, to Caxton and Huntington; and another, for repairing the road from Stukely to Stilton, including the place called Stangate-Hole, and so on, towards Wansford and Santry Lane and Peterborough; by which these roads, which were before intollerable, are now much mended; but I cannot say, they are yet come up to the perfection of that road from London to Colchester.

One great difficulty indeed here, is, that the country is so universally made up of a deep, stiff clay; that 'tis hard to find any materials to repair the ways with, that may be depended upon. In some places they have a red sandy kind of a slate or stone, which they lay with timber and green faggots, and puts them to a very great expence; but this stone does not bind like chalk and gravel, or endure like flint and pebbles, but wears into clay from whence it proceeds; and this is the reason why they cannot expect those roads can reach up, however chargeable the repairs are to the goodness of the roads in Essex.

We see also a turnpike set up at a village very justly called Foul Mire near Cambridge, for the repair of the particular roads to the university, but those works are not yet brought to any perfection.

There is another road, which is a branch of the northern road, and is properly called the coach road, and which comes into the other near Stangate Hole; and this indeed is a most frightful way, if we take it from Hatfield, or rather the park corners of Hatfield House, and from thence to Stevenage, to Baldock, to Biggleswade, and Bugden. Here is that famous lane call'd Baldock Lane, famous for being so unpassable, that the coaches and travellers were oblig'd to break out of the way even by force, which the people of the country not able to prevent, at length placed gates, and laid their lands open, setting men at the gates to take a voluntary toll, which travellers always chose to pay, rather than plunge into sloughs and holes, which no horse could wade through.

This terrible road is now under cure by the same methods, and probably may in time be brought to be firm and solid, the chalk and stones being not so far to fetch here, as in some of those other places I have just now mention'd.

But the repair of the roads in this county, namely Bedfordshire, is not so easy a work, as in some other parts of England. The drifts of cattle, which come this way out of Lincolnshire and the fens of the Isle of Ely, of which I have spoken already, are so great, and so constantly coming up to London markets, that it is much more difficult to make the ways good, where they are continually treading by the feet of the large heavy bullocks, of which the numbers that come this way are scarce to be reckon'd up, and which make deep impressions, where the ground is not very firm, and often work through in the winter what the commissioners have mended in the summer.

But leaving these undertakings to speak for themselves when finish'd; for they can neither be justly prais'd or censur'd before; it ought to be observ'd, that there is another road branching out from this deep way at Stevenage, and goes thence to Hitchin, to Shefford, and Bedford. Hitchin is a large market town, and particularly eminent for its being a great corn market for wheat and malt, but especially the first, which is bought here for London market. The road to Hitchin, and thence to Bedford, tho' not a great thorough-fare for travellers, yet is a very useful highway for the multitude of carriages, which bring wheat from Bedford to that market, and from the country round it, even as far as Northamptonshire, and the edge of Leicestershire; and many times the country people are not able to bring their corn for the meer badness of the ways.

This road, I hear, will be likewise repair'd, by virtue of a turn-pike to be plac'd near Hitchin on this side, and at the two bridges over the Ouse, namely Barford Bridge and Bedford Bridge, on the other side; as also at Temsford, where they drive through the river without the help of a bridge.

But to leave what may be, I return to what is. The next turnpikes are on the great north west road, or, as I have distinguish'd it already, the Watling-street Way; which, to describe it once for all, begins at Islington near London, and leads to Shrewsbury, West Chester, and Hollyhead in Wales; with other branches breaking out from it to the north, leading to Nottingham, Darby, Burton on the Trent, and Warrington, and from them all, farther north, into the north west parts of Great Britain; for they are the grand passes into Yorkshire, Darbyshire, and Lancashire, and thro' them to Westmoreland, Cumberland, Durham, and Northumberland; of all which I shall give a farther account in my next letters.

Upon this great road there are wonderful improvements made and making, which no traveller can miss the observation of, especially if he knew the condition these ways were formerly in; nor can my account of these counties be perfect, without taking notice of it; for certainly no publick edifice, almshouse, hospital, or nobleman's palace, can be of equal value to the country with this, no nor more an honour and ornament to it.

The first attempt upon this road was at Brickhill in Buckinghamshire, and the turn-pike was set up on the hill, near the town call'd Little Brickhill, by vertue of which, they repair'd the road from thence to Stony Stratford, for about ten miles, and with very good success; for that road was broad, and capable of giving room for such a work; and tho' materials were hard to come at, and far to fetch, yet we soon found a large firm causway, or highway, and of a full breadth, reaching from Fenny Stratford to Stony Stratford, which is six miles, and where the way was exceeding bad before.

This encourag'd the country to set about the work in good earnest; and we now see the most dismal piece of ground for travelling, that ever was in England, handsomly repair'd; namely, from the top of the chalky hill beyond Dunstable down into Hockley Lane, and thro' Hockley, justly called Hockley in the Hole, to Newport Pagnall, being a bye branch of the great road, and leading to Northampton, and was call'd the coach road; but such a road for coaches, as worse was hardly ever seen.

The next (to come southward) was the road from St. Albans to South Mims, a village beyond Barnet: Soon after this road parts from the great coach road to the north, which I mention'd before, beginning at Hatfield.

This road, from Mims to St. Albans, is so well mended, the work so well done, and the materials so good, so plentifully furnish'd, and so faithfully apply'd, that, in short, if possible, it out-does the Essex road mention'd before; for here the bottom is not only repair'd, but the narrow places are widen'd, hills levell'd, bottoms raised, and the ascents and descents made easy, to the inexpressible ease and advantage of travellers, and especially of the carriers, who draw heavy goods and hard loads, who find the benefit in the health and strength of their cattle.

From hence, to come still more towards London, another undertaking reaches from the foot of Barnet Hill, call'd formerly the Blockhouse, to Whetstone, and so over the great heath, call'd Finchley Common, to Highgate Hill, and up the hill to the gatehouse at Highgate, where they had their turn-pike; as also at the Blockhouse; and this work is also admirably well perform'd, and thro' a piece of ground, which was very full of sloughs and deep places before.

But from Highgate to London still requir'd help; the road branch'd into two, at the top of Highgate Hill, or just at the gatehouse there; one came to London by Islington, and there branch'd again into two, one coming by the north end of Islington, and another on the back of the town, and entring the town at the south west end near the Angel Inn, there dividing again, one branch entred London at Goswell-street and Aldersgate street; and this was the principal road for waggons and pack-horses: The other going directly to St. John-street and into Smithfield; and this way was the chief road for cattle to Smithfield Market.

The other road parting off at Highgate, came down the hill by the late Sir William Ashurst's house, of which I made mention in its place, and thence passing through Kentish Town, entred London by two ways: one by Grays Inn Lane, and the other by Clerkenwell.

All these roads were to the last extremity run to ruin, and grew worse and worse so evidently, that it was next to impossible, the country should be able to repair them: Upon which an Act of Parliament was obtain'd for a turnpike, which is now erected at Islington aforesaid, as also all the other branches by the Kentish Town way, and others; so that by this new toll, all these roads are now likely to be made good, which were before almost a scandal to the city of London.

Another turnpike, and which was erected before this, was on the great north road, beginning at Shoreditch, and extending to Enfield Street, in the way to Ware; though this road is exceedingly throng'd, and raises great sums, yet I cannot say, that the road itself seems to be so evidently improv'd, and so effectually repair'd, as the others last mention'd, notwithstanding no materials are wanting; even on the very verge of the road itself, whether it be, that the number of carriages, which come this way, and which are indeed greater than in any other road about London, is the occasion, or whether the persons concern'd do not so faithfully, or so skilfully perform, I will not undertake to determine.

After so many encouraging examples on this great Watling-street road, as I have mention'd above, they have now begun the like on the same way farther down, and particularly from Stony Stratford to Daventry and Dunchurch, and so on to Coventry and Coles-hill; all those parts of it are at this time repairing, and they promise themselves that in a few years those roads will be compleatly sound and firm, as Watling-street was in its most antient and flourishing state; but this must be mention'd, like any publick edifice, which is now building, and perhaps may require some time to finish.

I come next to mention other works of the same kind in remoter places, also more westerly, but within the compass of this midland circuit; as particularly the road from Birdlip Hill to Gloucester, formerly a terrible place for poor carriers and travellers out of Wales, &. But now repair'd very well.

Likewise the road from Sandy Lane Hill in Wiltshire to the Bath, which began to be repair'd by the direction of her late Majesty Queen Anne.

Also another piece of bad road near Beaconsfield in Oxfordshire.

By the same happy example, turnpikes are erected at the west end of the town, for repairing that horrid road, formerly also a part of the Watling-street Way, from St. Giles's Church to Paddington, and thence to Edgworth, obtain'd first by the interest and motion of his grace the Duke of Chandos.

On the other side of the river is another turnpike erected, or rather two turnpikes, one at the north end of the town of Newington, call'd Newington Buts, which has two or three colateral branches, viz. one at Vaux-Hall, at the bridge near the Spring Carden corner, and another at Croydon, besides smaller toll-bars on the bye-lanes. This undertaking has been very well prosecuted, and the great Sussex road, which was formerly unsufferably bad, is now become admirably good; and this is done at so great an expence, that they told me at Strettham, that one mile between the two next bridges south of that town, cost a thousand pounds repairing, including one of the bridges, and yet it must be acknowledg'd, that the materials are very near hand, and very good all the way to Croydon.

The other turnpike on that side is placed near New Cross on the road into Kent, a little before the road to Lusum parts from the road to Deptford Bridge; so that all the road to Lee and Eltham, the road to Bromley and Tunbridge, as well as the great road to Rochester and Canterbury, are taken in there; and this undertaking, they tell us, is likewise very well perform'd.

So that upon the whole, this custom prevailing, 'tis more than probable, that our posterity may see the roads all over England restor'd in their time to such a perfection, that travelling and carriage of goods will be much more easy both to man and horse, than ever it was since the Romans lost this island.

Nor will the charge be burthensome to any body; as for trade, it will be encourag'd by it every way; for carriage of all kind of heavy goods will be much easier, the waggoners will either perform in less time, or draw heavier loads, or the same load with fewer horses; the pack-horses will carry heavier burthens, or travel farther in a day, and so perform their journey in less time; all which till tend to lessen the rate of carriage, and so bring goods cheaper to market.

The fat cattle will drive lighter, and come to market with less toil, and consequently both go farther in one day, and not waste their flesh, and heat and spoil themselves, in wallowing thro' the mud and sloughs, as is now the case.

The sheep will be able to travel in the winter, and the city not be oblig'd to give great prizes to the butchers for mutton, because it cannot be brought up out of Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, the sheep not being able to travel: the graziers and breeders will not be oblig'd to sell their stocks of weathers cheap in October to the farmers within 20 miles of London, because after that they cannot bring them up; but the ways being always light and sound, the grasiers will keep their stocks themselves, and bring them up to market, as they see cause, as well in winter as in summer.

Another benefit of these new measures for repairing the roads by turnpikes, is the opening of drains and water-courses, and building bridges, especially over the smaller waters, which are oftentimes the most dangerous to travellers on hasty rains, and always most injurious to the roads, by lying in holes and puddles, to the great spoiling the bottom, and making constant sloughs, sometimes able to bury both man and horse; 'tis very remarkable that the overseers of these works take effectual care to have bridges built in such places, and currents made or opened for the waters to pass, by which abundance of labour is sav'd in constantly tending the waters on such occasions; but of this also we shall say more presently.

To give an eminent instance of it, we refer the curious to take the road from Blackman-street in Southwark, to Croydon, for an example, where, if we are not mistaken, he will find eleven bridges wholly new-built in ten miles length, by which the whole road is laid dry, sound, and hard, which was before a most uncomfortable road to travel.

This improving of the roads is an infinite improvement to the towns near London, in the convenience of coming to them, which makes the citizens flock out in greater numbers than ever to take lodgings and country-houses, which many, whose business call'd them often to London, could not do, because of the labour of riding forward and backward, when the roads were but a little dirty, and this is seen in the difference in the rents of houses in those villages upon such repair'd roads, from the rents of the like dwellings and lodgings in other towns of equal distance, where they want those helps, and particularly the encrease of the number of buildings in those towns, as above.

This probably has not been the least reason why such tolls are erected now on every side of London, or soon will be, and I doubt not but in time it will be the like all over England.

There are indeed some very deep roads in many places of England, and that south by Trent too, where no such provision is yet made for repair of the roads, as particularly in and through the vale of Aylesbury, and to Buckingham, and beyond it into Oxfordshire; also beyond Northampton to Harborough and Leicester; also in Lincolnshire, beyond what we nam'd to be from Huntington to Stilton, the road from Stamford to Grantham, Newark, and Tuxford, in the clays, all which remain very deep, and in some seasons dangerous.

Likewise the roads in Sussex, and that in particular which was formerly a Roman work, call'd Stony-street or Stone-street: Mr. Cambden mentions it as going from Leatherhead to Darking, and thro' Darking church-yard, then cross a terrible deep country, call'd the Homeward, and so to Petworth and Arundel: But we see nothing of it now; and the country indeed remains in the utmost distress for want of good roads: So also all over the Wild of Kent and Sussex it is the same, where the corn is cheap at the barn, because it cannot be carry'd out; and dear at the market, because it cannot be brought in.

But the specimens above, will, we doubt not, prompt the country gentlemen in time to go through with it all over England; and 'tis to give a clear view of this important case, that we have given this account of them.

The benefit of these turnpikes appears now to be so great, and the people in all places begin to be so sensible of it, that it is incredible what effect it has already had upon trade in the countries where it is more compleatly finish'd; even the carriage of goods is abated in some places, 6d. per hundred weight, in some places 12d. per hundred, which is abundantly more advantage to commerce. than the charge paid amounts to, and yet at the same time the expence is paid by the carriers too, who make the abatement; so that the benefit in abating the rate of carriage is wholly and simply the tradesmens, not the carriers.

Yet the advantage is evident to the carriers also another way; for, as was observ'd before, they can bring more weight with the same number of horses, ?or are their horses so hard work'd and fatigued with their labour as they were before; in which one particular 'tis acknowledg'd by the carriers, they perform their work with more ease, and the masters are at less expence.

The advantage to all other kinds of travelling I omit here: such as the safety and ease to gentlemen travelling up to London on all occasions, whether to the term, or to Parliament, to Court, or on any other necessary occasion, which is not a small part of the benefit of these new methods.

Also the riding post, as well for the ordinary carrying of the mails, or for the gentlemen riding post, when their occasions require speed; I say, the riding post is made extreamly easy, safe, and pleasant, by this alteration of the roads.

I mention so often the safety of travelling on this occasion, because, as I observ'd before, the commissioners for these repairs of the highways have order'd, and do daily order, abundance of bridges to be repair'd and enlarg'd, and new ones built, where they find occasion, which not only serve to carry the water off, where it otherwise often spreads, and lies as it were, damm'd up upon the road, and spoils the way; but where it rises sometimes by sudden rains to a dangerous height; for it is to be observ'd, that there is more hazard, and more lives lost, in passing, or attempting to pass little brooks and streams, which are swell'd by sudden showers of rain, and where passengers expect no stoppage, than in passing great rivers, where the danger is known, and therefore more carefully avoided.

In many of these places the commissioners have built large and substantial bridges for the benefit of travelling, as is said already, and in other places have built sluices to stop, and open'd channels to carry off the water, where they used to swell into the highway: We have two of these sluices near London, in the road thro' Tottenham High-Cross and Edmonton, by which the waters in those places, which have sometimes been dangerous, are now carry'd off, and the road clear'd; and as for bridges I have been told, that the several commissioners, in the respective districts where they are concern'd, have already built above three hundred new ones, where there were none before, or where the former were small and insufficient to carry the traveller safe over the waters; many of these are within a few miles of London, especially, for example, on the great road from London to Edgeworth, from London to Enfield, from London to St. Albans, and, as before, from London to Croydon, where they are very plain to be seen, and to which I refer.

And for farther confirmation of what I have advanc'd above, namely, that we may expect, according to this good beginning, that the roads in most parts of England will in a few years be fully repair'd, and restor'd to the same good condition, (or perhaps a better, than) they were in during the Roman government, we may take notice, that there are no less than twelve Bills, or Petitions for Bills, depending before the Parliament, at this time sitting, for the repair of the roads, in several remote parts of England, or for the lengthening the time allow'd in former Acts; some of which, besides those hereafter mentioned, give us hopes, that the grants, when obtain'd, will be very well manag'd, and the country people greatly encourag'd by them in their commerce; for there is no doubt to be made, but that the inland trade of England has been greatly obstructed by the exceeding badness of the roads.

A particular example of this, I have mention'd already, viz. the bringing of fat cattle, especially sheep to London in the winter, from the remoter counties of Leicester and Lincoln, where they are bred; by which the country grasiers are oblig'd to sell their stocks off, at the latter end of the summer, namely September and October, when they sell cheap, and the butchers and farmers near London engross them, and keeping them 'till December and January, sell them, tho' not an ounce fatter than before, for an advanc'd price, to the citizens of London; whereas were the roads made good and passable, the city would be serv'd with mutton almost as cheap in the winter as in the summer, or the profit of the advance would be to the graziers of Leicester and Lincolnshires, who were the original breeders. This is evidenc'd to a demonstration in the counties of Essex and Suffolk, from whence they already bring their fat cattle, and particularly their mutton in droves, from sixty, seventy, or eighty miles, without fatiguing, harrassing, or sinking the flesh of the creatures, even in the depth of winter.

I might give examples of other branches of inland commerce, which would be quite alter'd for the better, by this restoring the goodness of the roads, and particularly that of carrying cheese, a species of provision so considerable, that nothing, except that of live cattle, can exceed it.

This is chiefly made in the three north west counties of England, viz. Cheshire, Gloucester, and Warwickshires, and the parts adjacent, from whence the nation is very meanly supply'd, by reason of the exceeding distance of the country where the cheese is made, from those counties where it is chiefly expended.

The Cheshire men indeed carry great quantities about by long sea, as they call it, to London; a terrible long, and sometimes dangerous, voyage, being thro' the Irish Channel, round all Wales, cross the Bristol Channel, round the Land's End of Cornwall, and up the English Channel to the mouth of the Thames, and so up to London; or else by land to Burton upon Trent, and so down that river to Gainesborough and Hull, and so by sea to London.

Again, the Gloucestershire men carry all by land-carriage to Lechlade and Cricklade on the Thames, and so carry it down the river to London.

But the Warwickshire men have no water-carriage at all, or at least not 'till they have carry'd it a long way by land to Oxford; but as their quantity is exceeding great, and they supply not only the city of London, but also the counties of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Hertford, Bedford, and Northampton, the gross of their carriage is by meer dead draught, and they carry it either to London by land, which is full an hundred miles, and so the London cheese-mongers supply the said counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, besides Kent, and Sussex, and Surrey by sea and river navigation: or the Warwickshire men carry it by land once a year to Sturbridge Fair, whence the shop-keepers of all the inland country above-named, come to buy it; in all which cases land-carriage being long, and the ways bad, makes it very dear to the poor, who are the consumers.

But were the ways from Warwickshire made good, as I have shewn they are already in Essex, and some other places; this carriage would be perform'd for little more than half the price that it now is, and the poor would have their provisions much cheaper.

I could enlarge here upon the convenience that would follow such a restoring the ways, for the carrying of fish from the sea coasts to the inner parts of the kingdom, where, by reason of the badness of the ways, they cannot now carry them sweet; This would greatly encrease the consumption of fish in its season, which now for that very reason, is but small, and would employ an innumerable number of horses and men, as well as encrease the shipping by that consumption.

By this carriage of fish, I do not only mean the carrying herrings and mackerell to London, as is practis'd on the coast of Sussex and Kent in particular, and bringing salmon from the remote rivers of Severn and Trent; but the carrying of herrings, mackerell, and sprats in their season, and whitings and flat fish at other times, from the coasts of Yarmouth, Swole, Ipswich, Colchester, Malden, &. and supplying all the inland counties with them sweet and good, which 'tis plain they might do, were the roads made good, even as far as Northampton, and Coventry, and farther too.

I might give examples where the herrings, which are not the best fish to keep neither, are, even as it is, carry'd to those towns, and up to Warwick, Birmingham, Tamworth and Stafford, and tho' they frequently stink before they come thither, yet the people are so eager of them, that they buy them, and give dear for them too; whereas were the roads good, they would come in less time, by at least two days in six, and ten-fold the quantity, nay, some say, an hundred times the quantity, be consum'd.

These, and many others, are the advantages to our inland commerce, which we may have room to hope for upon the general repair of the roads, and which I shall have great occasion to speak of again in my northern circuit, which is yet to come.

Daniel Defoe, A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain, divided into circuits or journies (London: JM Dent and Co, 1927)

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