Picture of George Head

George Head

places mentioned

East Riding

Next Selection Previous Selection


THE outline of the coast of the Holderness country, as may be seen by the map, very much resembles the figure of a boar's head—the town of Patrington, the metropolis of it, occupies its place in the snout. It is a neat country town; the church of magnificent dimensions, and a fine model of ancient architecture. The distance from Hull, from whence one or two coaches depart every afternoon, and return the next morning, is eighteen miles.

On leaving Hull, the number of windmills that meet the eye together is sufficient to give a character to the flat range of country which constitutes this district; standing still in one spot, within a mile of the town, I counted no less than twenty-five, all built of brick— beautiful structures, unusually high, and circular. This style is now so perfectly understood, and the bricks are so well made and assorted, that the buildings suffer not in the least from the stress and jar of the machinery; in short, they are models of windmills, each with an ornamental cap or dome of wood, cast-iron wind shaft, and fan tail.

On entering the Holderness country, it is difficult to reconcile the idea of being on a narrow strip of land hemmed in on three sides by the sea, with the appearance of expansion created by the magnificent width of the roads and vast size of the fields; the whole of the level is moreover drained by wide cuts, which, though not so broad as the main drains in Lincolnshire, are, nevertheless, of unusual dimensions. As regards the roads, the parochial authorities appear unwilling to keep pace in liberality with the original projectors of the thoroughfare; for though the space between the hedges exceeds that of most turnpike roads in England, the carriage way in the middle is hardly wide enough to allow two vehicles to pass abreast of each other. On both sides the greensward is regularly mowed and turned to account; the herbage being at the same time hardly inferior to that of the pastures; even in the village pound rich clover springs up, and entirely covers the surface within.

In many parts, large quantities of lime are used as manure, and capital, where it exists, is distinctly marked; yet there is no part of England where the depressed state of agriculture is more observable. Generally speaking, the noble pastures are running out and going to ruin; indeed, I was grievously disappointed in the condition of the land; for instead of seeing the high state of agriculture I had anticipated, I found fields overrun with coarse tore grass, in many parts blotchy and covered with thistles, and altogether exhibiting as striking a contrast as can possibly be imagined with those excellent pastures on the other side of the Humber, in Lincolnshire; here a harsh, dry herbage; there a soft, rich surface, thoroughly saturated and oily, where sheep ticks and fat worms alone fatten many thousands of rooks. I had previously fancied I was about to visit a land celebrated for heavy cattle, a sort of Patagonia bovina—meadows from whence the stately Holderness cows, as the larger description of beast is called in the south, find their way into the London cowkeeper's stalls; on the contrary, literally, I never saw a handsome beast all the time I was here. In fact, for some time past, the large breeds have been almost wholly replaced by the small Irish and Scotch stocks, which lesser animals are found, in the present exhausted state of the grass, to answer the purpose of the farmer better. And I believe that now the larger sort would hardly be able, except on a few of the richer proprietorships, to "pick up a living."

Although such is the temporary state of the land, there can be no finer picture of an arable district; spacious level fields, consisting of fifty, sixty, and as far as eighty acres, fenced by lofty, solid, impenetrable quick hedges, the farmhouses, magnificent models of what farmhouses should be, according to an Englishman's taste, where substance, not shadow, is the criterion of beauty; all these objects create vivid impressions in the mind of the stranger passing through the country. The farmhouses are indeed remarkable, for though the dwelling itself is of little pretension, merely well built and convenient, the out buildings may be termed gorgeous: embellished with a handsome cluster of stacks, and surrounded by a belt of thriving plantations, the whole together, seen from a distance, resembles a small village. The unusual breadth of the furrows in the enormous fields aforesaid, and the regularity and perfection of the quick hedges, contribute more and more to engender ideas of magnitude; and in addition to these appearances, the directing posts, which are placed at every rectangular crossing, are worthy, in point of size and the numerous list of places to which they refer, of the country about Staines and Hounslow.

The manner in which the pole wagons are driven is not common. Each of these vehicles, the common wagon of the country, is conducted by a wagoner, who, without the desire to imitate, in point of dress, the dragoon or jockey, nevertheless rides postillion; driving in this manner sometimes a pair of horses abreast; at other times four, or, now and then, unicorn fashion, three. This fellow, a heavy bacon-fed lout, rides the near wheel horse, sitting bolt upright on a saddle, provided as often with one stirrup as two, and frequently none at all; his costume, in the summer, is a straw hat, with a broad flapping brim, bound with green riband, and a large bunch of honeysuckles in his bottonhole.: he carries a whip, half gig, half carter's, holding it, as a soldier his musket, across his shoulder.

The corn market in Holderness is held once a week at the "Hilyard Arms," at Patrington, whither the corn factors, three of whom entirely divide the country, arrive at four o'clock; consequently, during the winter, all the business is transacted by candle light. Each corn factor has a separate room at the inn, so that the farmers go from one to another, in order to drive their bargains, as it suits them. Although on these occasions the ceremony of dealing is somewhat protracted, yet I believe the buyers have the means of carrying matters pretty much their own way: in the mean time their visits tend to the good of the house, and, during market hours, the indications of general business are considerable; the staircase of the inn all the time being a thoroughfare, whereon the farmers are continually stumping up and down in their heavy boots, with a sample bag in one hand, and not unfrequently a glass of hot gin and water in the other.

These corn factors possess large magazines at the small port of Patrington Haven, a mile distant from Patrington, and situated at the mouth of a creek which communicates with the Humber, so that they have a direct water communication with the vast depositories of grain at Wakefield. In fact, these magazines may be called a branch establishment, tributary to that emporium. The village consists only of a few houses, in number quite inadeqate, apparently, to the size of the magazines; through the doors of the latter probably almost all the corn of this fine district makes a part of its circuitous way towards the consumer.

The Hilyard Arms is a respectable country inn, bearing a family emblazonment for its sign, the latter with a Greek pun or joke upon the name, viz., ηλζος ημζσυ παντος I was rather unfortunate, on the occasion of my visit, in having selected unwittingly the day appropriated to the ceremony of the Statutes, or hiring of servants; for, consequently, the house was filled from top to bottom with drunken men, who nevertheless conducted themselves, though noisily, with perfect good humour. Professedly none but respectable people were admitted to the public room, in which there being no private apartment vacant, I took up my quarters. The company chiefly drank hot toddy, and smoked tobacco, some perhaps in conformity with periodical custom, and others because they found it agreeable. In the mean time, such is the diversity of tastes in the world, that among the party was one of the neighbouring squires; as I was informed, a wealthy man, who having a comfortable house in the neighbourhood, somehow or other preferred, pro tempore, this clouded atmosphere to a more quiet retreat, and actually brought with him a couple of friends to participate, at the Hilyard Arms, in the recreation of a pipe and spittoon.

I retired to rest at an early hour, having, by the assistance of the landlord, procured an apartment in an adjoining house, the residence of a clockmaker, of whose profession I was not long doomed to remain in ignorance— as clocks were put up and going in every room of the house, as well as on the landing place of the stairs. The clock in the room appropriated to myself was, unluckily, of powerful action, and regularly, during the night, announced the hour by a weighty hammer, while the buzz of the descending weight sounded as the warning of a rattlesnake, or the hissing of a boa constrictor.


The distance from Patrington to Spurn Point, by the villages of Weeton, Skeffling, Easington, and Kilnsea, is a little more than twelve miles. Six miles of very good road, as far as Easington, are in an easterly direction; the same line then leads to the coast, half a mile farther, whence, turning to the south, it extends a mile and a half over deep heavy sand along the seashore. Here the traveller leaves the circuitous bend of the coast, and taking a direct course across a few spacious arable fields, again arrives on the seashore at Kilnsea. Spurn Lighthouse is four miles beyond Kilnsea, the intervening land being a narrow barren ridge a few hundred yards in breadth, and bounded by the sea on one side, and the river Humber on the other. On this ridge, for a considerable part of the way, rushes grow in abundance; and these afford a resting place, delusive or otherwise, as the case may be, for numerous flights of woodcocks on their first arrival in the country. On these occasions, the sport met with is, as I have been informed, of a very extraordinary description; not only for the number of the birds within so small a space, but from the nature of the cover, which encourages them to lie till almost trodden upon. The approach to the lighthouse is across a sand bank, covered with hard turf, barely coloured with herbage, and perforated with rabbit burrows in every direction. The whole of this sand bank, that is to say, every part exposed to the sea, appears to be receiving augmentation rather than sustaining diminution, for it is situated upon a point of confluence of currents, where the contributions of soil are greater, on the average, than the quantity carried away. Generally, hereabout, the ravages of the waves on the coast are considerable, in many places at the rate of a yard a year; however, as what is taken from one part is given to another, though the figure of the surface may be changed, the extent, after a lapse of years, probably remains the same. At all events the site of the lighthouse, for the present, seems quite secure; though, as a place of habitation, in dreary winter weather, at the end of a narrow spit of land, and menaced on three sides by the tumultuous ocean, the prospect must be dreary and awful.

The lighthouse is a circular brick building a hundred feet high, and contains a stationary light of eighteen Argand lamps, and one of coloured glass, all with plated reflectors.

The low light is contained in a wooden building, about a hundred yards from the other; the lantern, containing the lamps, moveable, so as to be let down or drawn up to the top.

A little distance at sea is the Bullsand floating light, which shows eight Argand lamps, and is moored by mushroom anchors.

Contiguous to the lighthouse is a cottage built for the residence of the captain of the Trinity house lifeboat, which latter, in continual readiness, floats close to the shore. A little removed, is a row of ten very small cottages, the abode of the crew. Each of these dwellings is provided with a square patch of barren land for a garden in front, and these, small as they are, are but half cultivated. The gardens of steril soil, and fenced with dry sticks and old barrel staves, instead of embellishing, rather add to the desolate appearance of the spot.

There is one more tenement in the group, called an inn. Here the landlady produced a good collection of agates, and other fine pebbles, picked up on the adjacent shore. The landlord, who looked anguished and rheumatic, though eatables were scarce, had in store abundance of liquid refreshment; however, all I required was a feed of oats for the animal I had ridden, and of these there were none. On further inquiry, recourse was had to a sack of hard, small, tick beans, a hatful of which was accepted, with a grateful neigh, as a substitute.


The village of Kilnsea, before alluded to, stands upon a projecting point of those low, soft, earthy cliffs, which, gradually rising from Spurn Point, here attain the height of about thirty feet. It was formerly, it is said, a town of some importance, but now contains about a score of houses; for the sea, by its inroads, has been long since carrying it fast away, and threatens, within a short period, to undermine and seize the remainder. As I approached it from the north, on my way from Patrington to Spurn Point, I thought I had never seen human dwellings so critically placed: the houses seemed huddled together on a bleak, bare spot, unrelieved by surrounding objects—a lone promontory on a crumbling foundation, against which the waves were continually beating with a heavy swell; indeed, the imagination could hardly picture a more abrupt and daring position. Before entering the village, and immediately contiguous, the road leading to it, in one particular part, had already gone; while, in a line diverging from the chasm, rails had been set up to direct the course of the night traveller, and prevent him from walking on straight forward into the sea. It seemed extraordinary that people could be found to endure a residence on so precarious a tenure—not that there is real danger to the inhabitant in keeping his post, for the cliffs yield at a regular progressive rate, thus affording sufficient warning of impending destruction; but because of the peculiarly melancholy reflection which I think must follow upon living on any spot in the round world doomed to premature decay. Notwithstanding, hitherto such has been the apathy of the villagers, that many have rested quietly for weeks together, with the spray of a sea storm rattling against their windows, and have thus been contented to remain till the ground has been torn almost from under their very beds.

As I rode through the village, I merely stopped my horse for a few minutes to converse with the people, intending, on my return, to view the environs with more attention; although, even then, probably I should have gone back to Patrington little less edified, had I not been led by a mere casual circumstance to inspect the ruins of the church.

On my way back from the lighthouse, along the narrow ridge of land before mentioned, the Humber on one side, and the sea on the other, I was within a mile of the village, when I observed a flock of gulls on the seashore, hovering over what appeared to me to be a dead cow; some, meanwhile, were busily feeding on the carcass. As I am particularly fond of watching the habits and occupations of birds and wild animals, I immediately struck off, out of my way down to the beach, in order to ascertain what it might be that the}' were then dining upon. It was a large porpoise: the unwieldy stranger, allured by unlucky destiny within these shallows, had paid the forfeit of his temerity in leaving the depths of the ocean thus to visit the eastern coast: whether urged by the universal passion of love in pursuit of a maiden monster of his own species—cleaving the foaming waters sportively in the recklessness of youth— hurling the vengeance of his wrath upon a rival—floundering and agonized by jealousy—rolling over and over again in turbulent and testy meditation—or, finally, whether an ignominious flight from an enemy—to whichever cause his fate be attributable, at all events there he lay, dashed to pieces upon the hard rocks, a victim to the animal passions—a black misshapen mass of putrid blubber. Three large gulls sat upon his swollen body, each of different species; but like men of opposite nations, united from motives of interest, and eager to profit by his disaster. One was the large-sized gull, with a white neck and black wings; another of light ash colour; and the third, the brown speckled cob; these had been all pecking and pulling till they had gorged themselves with savoury morsels to such a degree, as almost to be unable to fly away. The smell of the porpoise to me was by no means attractive; on the contrary, the odour very wonderfully accelerated the desire to quit the spot, and as quickly as I possibly could.

Being at this time close to the sea, I perceived that, though the tide was still flowing, there was sufficient time to proceed back to Kilnsea along the beach under the cliffs, instead of returning the same way by the path I had left. Accordingly, throwing the horse's bridle over my arm, I led him along over the shingle, at the same time searching, as I went, for agates and fine pebbles, of which, on this part of the coast, there are a great many. I had not proceeded far, thus occupied, when among the pebbles at my feet I perceived a bone, which it appeared to me immediately was a human one, and a few seconds afterward I saw another, and another still—a leg and a thigh bone; till, last of all, while I was reflecting on these appearances, I picked up what was sufficient to dissipate all doubt to what creature the bone belonged—a human scull.

I could not quite reconcile to my feelings to leave a poor fellow's scull to bleach on the seashore; yet, on the other hand, I did not know what to do with it, and as the relic was an inconvenient encumbrance, I did as one is apt to do in such a case—I gave way to a chain of false reasoning by way of coming to a conclusion suitable to my purpose. It was but half a scull, and therefore without the other half it was no scull at all; the occiput had entirely disappeared, and the sinciput was so far decayed as to split into parts as I held it in my hand, so that the human form and semblance had actually departed. I therefore gently deposited the pieces where I had found them, and satisfied my conscience by determining to inform the people of the village what I had done: accordingly, I told the first of the villagers I met, that the bones of some unfortunate seaman were lying on the shore: his reply was such as immediately to intimate that human bones at the village of Kilnsea were as coal at Newcastle; and a further explanation induced me forthwith to give my horse in charge to a boy to hold, and to follow as a guide the man to whom I had now addressed myself, in the direction of the church that had fallen into the sea.

On arriving at this spot, there was indeed a most extraordinary spectacle, and this I saw to advantage, as the rise of the tide had still left a sufficient space whereon to proceed under the cliff among the ruins. In one large heap lay piled, to a considerable height, the ruins of the church; large masses of the walls adhering closely cemented together, as well as fragments of the round spire. The latest avalanches of earth were heaped, in some places, under the edge of the cliff, in height almost level with the summit, and consisted of rich churchyard mould, in which were profusely scattered bones, sculls, fragments of coffins, remnants of garments, buttons, &c. Already had the sea taken to itself the sacred edifice, and now was tearing the churchyard fast away. The sight served in a moment to account for the human bones I had seen upon the beach, and I was informed by my guide that, in addition to what I now saw, those mutilated remains of shipwrecked mariners, which, from the state of decomposition in which they are usually found, are necessarily interred in their clothes, made their resurrection from time to time in the course of the destruction of the cliff—skeletons clad in the partial remnants of their garments, such as silk handkerchiefs round their necks, &c.

The general appearance of the cliff at this spot was neither more nor less than the perpendicular section of a burying ground, where bones and sculls were sticking in the soil after the manner of stones and ordinary pebbles in a quarry, and where the apertures of the graves appeared at regular intervals. For several minutes I remained fascinated by the horrible array in which these fragments of mortality were disposed, as the rapacious ocean, though doomed to suffer retribution in its turn, tore the dead and buried from their hallowed rest. It was a picture—ossibus scatens ; wherein, marshalled as it were in order, rows of fleshless sculls, awaiting the extinction of time, grinned stern defiance at the-decree of fate, that thus prematurely disturbed their repose.


The small town of Hornsea is a principal place of resort as a watering place for the citizens of Hull and the inhabitants of the surrounding country, although the inferior style of accommodation indicates that its visiters are chiefly those whose primary object is to enjoy the advantages of the healthful sea breeze, and bathing. Lodgings are only to be obtained in very small dwellings, and the two principal inns may be classed among ordinary public houses.

Of all parts of England, the eastern coast exhibits the most apparent phenomena of diluvial action—of all parts of the eastern coast that of Holderness—and of all parts of Holderness, the country in the immediate vicinity of Hornsea. Here, the earthy cliffs form a concrete mass of heterogeneous matter, studded with shells and fossils; seaward, a black line or reef of peat, resembling rocks, marks the ancient position of a forest below high-water mark, now washed by the waves of every succeeding tide. The most ample opportunity is afforded the geologist to enrich his collection of fossil curiosities, upon a line of coast where, for many miles, it is impossible to walk a yard without serious reflections, such as necessarily obtrude themselves on the mind, on reviewing manifest tokens of the deluge.

While it is evident, that here is the theatre of a violent convulsion of nature, it is curious to observe, how dark and impenetrable is the veil, on the mysterious history of the world, notwithstanding the recent advances of science, yet spread before human understanding; and how trifling, in comparison with the lapse of ages that have intervened, is the portion of direct knowledge gained on the subject. With such a sight as the present before one's eyes, the mind, fortified both by Christian and heathen testimony, gathers strengthened confidence on those sacred chronicles that in inspired language record the event. A modern author remarks, with reference to this identical part of the coast:—

" The alterations in the form of land, occasioned by diluvial agency, must have been considerable, but are not yet well understood; the operation of natural causes since that period deserves to be maturely considered, for these have materially changed the face of the globe. The lakes which were left, on the retiring of the diluvial currents, appear to have been continually diminished in depth, and contracted in extent, by depesites of vegetable matter, decayed shells, and sediment brought into them by land floods. In this manner many inland lakes have been extinguished in Holderness, and nothing remains to denote their former existence, but the deposites by which they have been filled. It is remarkable that the observers of this coast have bestowed very little attention on the lacustrine deposites which appear so frequently on the cliffs, and exhibit, so convincingly, the proof of long-lapsed time since the date of the fundamental diluvial formation."—Phillips's Geology of Yorkshire," part i., page 25.

On the same subject, upward of two thousand years before, Ovid, in general terms, had thus expressed himself:

"Frigida pugnabant calidts, humentia siccis,
Moliia com duris, sine pondere, habentia pondus.
*   *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
*     *     sic toties versa est fortuna locorum,
Vidi ego quod fuerat quondam solidissima tellus
Esse fretum; vidi fractas ex aequore terras;
Et procul a pelago conchse jacuere marine;
Et vetus inventa est in montibus anchora summis.
Quodque fuit campus, vallem decursus aquarum
Fecit; et eluvie mons est deductus in aequor."


For hot and cold were in one body fix'd,
And soft with hard, and light with heavy mix'd.
*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
The face of places and their forms decay,
And that is solid earth that once was sea;
Seas, in their turn, retreating from the shore,
Make solid land what ocean was before:
And far from strands are shells of fishes found,
And rusty anchors fix'd on mountain ground;
And what were fields before, now wash'd and worn
By falling floods from high, to valleys turn.

To the submersed forest at Hornsea my attention was attracted by the appearance of the reef of peat before mentioned, of which I then gathered a handful, a substance which yielded like dough, and kneading it into a ball, retained it in my possession: dry, it became uncommonly hard and sound, and when cut by a knife, the divided surface assumed a polish such as made it difficult to distinguish whether it were wood or stone. As it exists in considerable abundance, it might perhaps be applied with effect, either to the purposes of modelling, or other use, requiring matter soft and malleable when moistened with water, but hard when dry.

Besides the numerous specimens of fossils abounding everywhere, a great number, containing elephants' teeth among the rest, are to be seen at some shops in the town. Among these were some nautili of an unusual size—at the larger extremity as big as a man's leg; nevertheless I might have been the purchaser of this, or of an elephant's fossil tusk of equal dimensions, each at the small charge of ten shillings. However, both being importable, I left them behind.


The large tract of reclaimed land, at the mouth of the Humber, called "Sunk Island," is divided from the main land by a narrow creek, navigable for small craft as far as Patrington Haven. On the occasion of my present visit, ten large lighters, which had arrived for the purpose of carrying away grain from the corn factors' magazines on this spot, already alluded to, having previously delivered their cargoes of coal, were resting on their quarters in the mud. Sunk Island seems to be the point whereupon the Humber, overcharged with the soil of the crumbling cliffs on the coast, and from the low, rich land traversed in its inland course, borne backward and forward by the waves at every tide, makes its grand deposite. The period of the island's first appearance was, I believe, about the same, when those embankments of the Don which now contain (he Dutch River, adverted to in a former chapter, were raised by Van Muden, and by which consequently the drainage of that part of the country was rendered more perfect. If so, an accumulation of soil at the mouth of the Humber may have been in part the consequence of those operations; but whether or not the effect produced be attributable to such a cause I have not the means at present to inquire. The extent is now estimated at ten thousand statute acres, while the gradual increase appears to be about a hundred acres annually.

It is rather extraordinary, that notwithstanding the inconsiderable breadth of the creek, or watercourse, before mentioned, there is no regular direct passage across from Patrington Haven to the island, not even a wooden foot bridge; so that people are obliged to avail themselves of a circuitous road, and that road on sufferance, unless when the tide happens to be sufficiently high to make use of a boat. However, the long leases, under which the lands in the island were previously let, have now fallen into the hands of government, so that the question of communication, which has long remained in abeyance, will soon probably be set at rest, and the point determined, which party is to bear the expense.

One single opportunity was afforded me of seeing the island, and though I merely walked across it, unaccompanied by anybody, I was nevertheless particularly pleased by the beautiful specimen of drainage that appeared on every side. The long, straight, ten-feet ditches were indeed remarkable, extending point blank farther than the eye could distinguish, till they vanished in a point. As the tide was now low on the ebb, I was obliged to walk a full mile to the westward from Patrington Haven, before I could get across; then crossing a small bridge I came upon the main bank, which extends by a track, partly circuitous, the length of about six miles, to the shore of the Humber. The land on both sides of the main bank, as to general appearance, resembles the larger tracts of marsh land in Kent and Essex— wild and solitary. A stranger has much difficulty to find his way towards the straggling patches of hay stacks and barns; although the "Sunk farmers," as they are here called, like the farmers of other marsh districts, have abundance of plank bridges across the ditches, the situation of these, as in similar cases elsewhere, is only known to the owners and inhabitants. Not being able conveniently to go from point to point, I was contented to restrain my course to the main bank aforesaid, on the top of which an excellent hard road extends the whole way to the great sea wall, washed by the Humber. On the outside of the sea wall there is an extensive salt marsh, evidently rapidly accumulating; in fact, several hundred acres of land are already sufficiently raised for the purpose of enclosure: of the last plot enclosed a few years ago, namely, eleven hundred acres, the greater part is still under the plough; and generally, although the pastures predominate in great proportion, I observed considerable quantities of arable land. The small number of cattle was particularly remarkable, compared with the extent of the pastures; indeed, I cannot remember to have seen land generally so short of live stock— neither were the few upon it looking well. The farmers, as regards the sheep, have hardly yet recovered, I believe, a grievous visitation of the rot: however, the bad appearance of the cattle is to be attributed, probably, to the same causes before cited, as relating generally to the Holderness district.

I returned by the sea wall, within a quarter of a mile of Patrington Haven, when, the tide being low, I had no other resource than to take off my shoes and stockings, and wade across the creek up to my knees in the mud.

As I passed by the public house at Patrington Haven, on my way back to Patrington, an old farmer sallied forth out of the door, and as he proceeded along the road, the way I was going, leading his pony by the bridle, we entered into conversation, that is to say, that sort of colloquy, wherein the whole brunt of the discourse is borne by one party. His face was at a high state of temperature, and showed him to be contented and happy; at the same time he was so extremely communicative, that within the distance of a mile I learned much of his history. He said he had originally paid for his farm in Holderness twenty thousand pounds, and held another farm besides in Lincolnshire, on which latter, rented at five hundred a year, he had placed one of his sons. His landlord allowed an abatement successively from eight hundred to six hundred, and thence to the present rent— this without scrip or scroll; he had fourteen children— nine boys and five girls. Another boy had departed for America, with fourteen Whitby farmers; he had despatched this youth, for the purpose of seeing and reporting on the country, for the benefit of the rest of the family, in case they also, or any of them, might choose to go; he had just then received a letter from America, giving a favourable account, that his son had engaged himself in agricultural labour at twelve dollars a month.

George Head, A Home Tour through the Manufacturing Districts of England in the Summer of 1835 (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1836) Conversion to HTML and placename mark-up by Humphrey Southall, 2009.

Next Selection Previous Selection