LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The “Pope” of Holland House
Henry Warburton to John Whishaw, September 1812

Chapter I: 1813
Chapter II: 1814
Chapter III: 1815
Chapter IV: 1816
Chapter V: 1817
Chapter VI: 1818
Chapter VII: 1819
Chapter VIII: 1820
Chapter IX: 1821
Chapter X: 1822
Chapter XI: 1824-33
Chapter XII: 1833-35
Chapter XIII: 1806-40
Chapter XIV: Appendix
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18, Cadogan Place,
Sept., 1814.

My dear W.,—I reached Norwich on Monday evening last, where I found your three letters, which I have not answered as I returned on Tuesday morning through Bury to town; I arrived at my den last night. You will be curious to follow me from Woodbridge. I went on an etymological scent to Cretingham, in search of the boundary of the chalk; which, however, I did not find, although I discovered its rubbish. I have told you of the blue clay and the crag pit and the elephant beds which I traced in the southern part of my excursion. These were continued without much variation, with some interrup-
tions to Yarmouth. At Southwold I found an elephant grinder; and understood that after the fall of the cliff, bones were numerous. Many of the shells of the crag pit north of Aldborough retain not only their nacre, but also their colour. But to return to my chalk rubbish. From Cretingham to Aldborough, thence to Yarmouth, all over the country south of Norwich, and thence as far south in the interior as Braintree, in Essex, the surface is covered by the rubbish of chalk, some of the organic remains of the beds immediately below the chalk being also intermixed. This rubbish about Lowestoft is nearly 100 feet thick. There is a doctrine, you know, that maintains that the earth was made like an onion, with numbers of beds lying contiguous one over the other. Their continuity has been since broken, and the lower beds have thus been disclosed. Without going to this length, it is pretty clear that these beds were once much more extensive than they are at present, and I have found the rubbish of one of them. I thought on looking at the rubbish that covers the hills in Cambridgeshire, that there had been a torrent from the west, and I am inclined from what I have seen in my last tour the more to believe it, as that is the direction in which the chalk is defective.

On a lower level, at a more remote period, and in the bed, or nearly so, to which the elephant’s bones belong, I have found, mixed with chalk, numerous fragments and boulders of primitive beds, some two feet in diameter. This about Lowestoft. In what direction these and the bones have come I cannot venture to conjecture.

From H. Warburton

So much for Geology: for fear of missing what was curious, as no one could give me any information concerning the country I have traversed, I have been much longer about it than would otherwise have been necessary.

My praise of the agriculture of these counties ought to end with Woodbridge. Thence to Yarmouth I saw very little to admire, and much to blame. The neighbourhood of the little corporate towns seems to be always inferior to the rest of the country. The owners of the boroughs have, I suppose, more interest in the prevention than in the encouragement of wealth and population. Dunwich may vie with Old Sarum. In spite of its two members it scarcely yielded me a dinner of eggs and bacon. The number of voters is reduced to 24; a few moss-grown houses, instead of more than a hundred which it formerly contained. The sea has done much in the work of destruction, which the patrons have never wished to repair. At Yarmouth I recovered, in sight of that magnificent opulence which I had begun to forget: more visible in the suburbs than in the town, but in the town very wonderful. There are more than 250 sail of shipping in the roads, the wants of which alone would make a town. I was glad to find at Acle and at Norwich so much complaint against the steamboat, it was likely to ruin the coach trade.

For England there is a moderate appearance of wealth at Norwich. I should conceive that accident had placed the woollen trade there, and that the superior activity and power of the coal districts is causing it to decay. The Flemish refugees, you
know, brought it there. I was rather surprised at the silence and little appearance of bustle in so great a town. It is very possible that there may be somewhat less of a disposition to spend in display their wealth among these Anglo-Belgians. I understood that the woollen trade had improved here since the peace. Send
Malthus to Long Melford and Sudbury when he praises an agricultural population; except a little straw plaiting, the wants of the surrounding farmers seem alone to maintain these towns. I hardly believed that there existed such, on so great a scale so near London.

I shall call and see you to-morrow.

H. W.