Tour through the Eastern Counties of England by Daniel Defoe

[Continued from Norfolk. See first page for publication details.]

Cambridgeshire (Isle of Ely)

Ely Cathedral by Joseph Mallord William TurnerFrom Lynn I bent my course to Downham, where is an ugly wooden bridge over the Ouse; from whence we passed the fen country to Wisbeach [Wisbech], but saw nothing that way to tempt our curiosity but deep roads, innumerable drains and dykes of water, all navigable, and a rich soil, the land bearing a vast quantity of good hemp, but a base unwholesome air; so we came back to Ely, whose cathedral, standing in a level flat country, is seen far and wide, and of which town, when the minster, so they call it, is described, everything remarkable is said that there is room to say. And of the minster, this is the most remarkable thing that I could hear it, namely, that some of it is so ancient, totters so much with every gust of wind, looks so like a decay, and seems so near it, that whenever it does fall, all that it is likely will be thought strange in it will be that it did not fall a hundred years sooner.

From hence we came over the Ouse, and in a few miles to Newmarket. In our way, near Snaybell [Snailwell], we saw a noble seat of the late Admiral Russell, now Earl of Orford, a name made famous by the glorious victory obtained under his command over the French fleet and the burning their ships at La Hogue - a victory equal in glory to, and infinitely more glorious to the English nation in particular, than that at Blenheim, and, above all, more to the particular advantage of the confederacy, because it so broke the heart of the naval power of France that they have not fully recovered it to this day. But of this victory it must be said it was owing to the haughty, rash, and insolent orders given by the King of France to his admiral, viz., to fight the confederate fleet wherever he found them, without leaving room for him to use due caution if he found them too strong, which pride of France was doubtless a fate upon them, and gave a cheap victory to the confederates, the French coming down rashly, and with the most impolitic bravery, with about five-and-forty sail to attack between seventy and eighty sail, by which means they met their ruin. Whereas, had their own fleet been joined, it might have cost more blood to have mastered them if it had been done at all.

The situation of this house is low, and on the edge of the fen country, but the building is very fine, the avenues noble, and the gardens perfectly finished. The apartments also are rich, and I see nothing wanting but a family and heirs to sustain the glory and inheritance of the illustrious ancestor who raised it - sed caret pedibus; these are wanting.


Being come to Newmarket in the month of October, I had the opportunity to see the horse races and a great concourse of the nobility and gentry, as well from London as from all parts of England, but they were all so intent, so eager, so busy upon the sharping part of the sport - their wagers and bets - that to me they seemed just as so many horse-coursers in Smithfield, descending (the greatest of them) from their high dignity and quality to picking one another's pockets, and biting one another as much as possible, and that with such eagerness as that it might be said they acted without respect to faith, honour, or good manners.

There was Mr. Frampton the oldest, and, as some say, the cunningest jockey in England; one day he lost one thousand guineas, the next he won two thousand; and so alternately he made as light of throwing away five hundred or one thousand pounds at a time as other men do of their pocket-money, and as perfectly calm, cheerful, and unconcerned when he had lost one thousand pounds as when he had won it. On the other side there was Sir R Fagg, of Sussex, of whom fame says he has the most in him and the least to show for it (relating to jockeyship) of any man there, yet he often carried the prize. His horses, they said, were all cheats, how honest soever their master was, for he scarce ever produced a horse but he looked like what he was not, and was what nobody could expect him to be. If he was as light as the wind, and could fly like a meteor, he was sure to look as clumsy, and as dirty, and as much like a cart-horse as all the cunning of his master and the grooms could make him, and just in this manner he beat some of the greatest gamesters in the field.

I was so sick of the jockeying part that I left the crowd about the posts and pleased myself with observing the horses: how the creatures yielded to all the arts and managements of their masters; how they took their airings in sport, and played with the daily heats which they ran over the course before the grand day. But how, as knowing the difference equally with their riders, would they exert their utmost strength at the time of the race itself! And that to such an extremity that one or two of them died in the stable when they came to be rubbed after the first heat.

Here I fancied myself in the Circus Maximus at Rome seeing the ancient games and the racings of the chariots and horsemen, and in this warmth of my imagination I pleased and diverted myself more and in a more noble manner than I could possibly do in the crowds of gentlemen at the weighing and starting-posts and at their coming in, or at their meetings at the coffee-houses and gaming-tables after the races were over, where there was little or nothing to be seen but what was the subject of just reproach to them and reproof from every wise man that looked upon them.

N.B. - Pray take it with you, as you go, you see no ladies at Newmarket, except a few of the neighbouring gentlemen's families, who come in their coaches on any particular day to see a race, and so go home again directly.

As I was pleasing myself with what was to be seen here, I went in the intervals of the sport to see the fine seats of the gentlemen in the neighbouring county, for this part of Suffolk, being an open champaign country and a healthy air, is formed for pleasure and all kinds of country diversion, Nature, as it were, inviting the gentlemen to visit her where she was fully prepared to receive them, in conformity to which kind summons they came, for the country is, as it were, covered with fine palaces of the nobility and pleasant seats of the gentlemen.

The Earl of Orford's house I have mentioned already; the next is Euston Hall, the seat of the Duke of Grafton. It lies in the open country towards the side of Norfolk, not far from Thetford, a place capable of all that is pleasant and delightful in Nature, and improved by art to every extreme that Nature is able to produce.

From thence I went to Rushbrook, formerly the seat of the noble family of Jermyns, lately Lord Dover, and now of the house of Davers. Here Nature, for the time I was there, drooped and veiled all the beauties of which she once boasted, the family being in tears and the house shut up, Sir Robert Davers, the head thereof, and knight of the shire for the county of Suffolk, and who had married the eldest daughter of the late Lord Dover, being just dead, and the corpse lying there in its funeral form of ceremony, not yet buried. Yet all looked lovely in their sorrow, and a numerous issue promising and grown up intimated that the family of Davers would still flourish, and that the beauties of Rushbrook, the mansion of the family, were not formed with so much art in vain or to die with the present possessor.

After this we saw Brently, the seat of the Earl of Dysert, and the ancient palace of my Lord Cornwallis, with several others of exquisite situation, and adorned with the beauties both of art and Nature, so that I think any traveller from abroad, who would desire to see how the English gentry live, and what pleasures they enjoy, should come into Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, and take but a light circuit among the country seats of the gentlemen on this side only, and they would be soon convinced that not France, no, not Italy itself, can outdo them in proportion to the climate they lived in.


I had still the county of Cambridge to visit to complete this tour of the eastern part of England, and of that I come now to speak.

We enter Cambridgeshire out of Suffolk, with all the advantage in the world; the county beginning upon those pleasant and agreeable plains called Newmarket Heath, where passing the Devil's Ditch, which has nothing worth notice but its name, and that but fabulous too, from the hills called Gogmagog, we see a rich and pleasant vale westward, covered with corn-fields, gentlemen's seats, villages, and at a distance, to crown all the rest, that ancient and truly famous town and university of Cambridge, capital of the county, and receiving its name from, if not, as some say, giving name to it; for if it be true that the town takes its name of Cambridge from its bridge over the river Cam, then certainly the shire or county, upon the division of England into counties, had its name from the town, and Cambridgeshire signifies no more or less than the county of which Cambridge is the capital town.

As my business is not to lay out the geographical situation of places, I say nothing of the buttings and boundings of this county. It lies on the edge of the great level, called by the people here the Fen Country; and great part, if not all, the Isle of Ely lies in this county and Norfolk. The rest of Cambridgeshire is almost wholly a corn country, and of that corn five parts in six of all they sow is barley, which is generally sold to Ware and Royston, and other great malting towns in Hertfordshire, and is the fund from whence that vast quantity of malt, called Hertfordshire malt, is made, which is esteemed the best in England. As Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk are taken up in manufactures, and famed for industry, this county has no manufacture at all; nor are the poor, except the husbandmen, famed for anything so much as idleness and sloth, to their scandal be it spoken. What the reason of it is I know not.

It is scarce possible to talk of anything in Cambridgeshire but Cambridge itself; whether it be that the county has so little worth speaking of in it, or, that the town has so much, that I leave to others; however, as I am making modern observations, not writing history, I shall look into the county, as well as into the colleges, for what I have to say.

As I said, I first had a view of Cambridge from Gogmagog hills; I am to add that there appears on the mountain that goes by this name, an ancient camp or fortification, that lies on the top of the hill, with a double, or rather treble, rampart and ditch, which most of our writers say was neither Roman nor Saxon, but British. I am to add that King James II. caused a spacious stable to be built in the area of this camp for his running homes, and made old Mr. Frampton, whom I mentioned above, master or inspector of them. The stables remain still there, though they are not often made use of. As we descended westward we saw the Fen country on our right, almost all covered with water like a sea, the Michaelmas rains having been very great that year, they had sent down great floods of water from the upland countries, and those fens being, as may be very properly said, the sink of no less than thirteen counties - that is to say, that all the water, or most part of the water, of thirteen counties falls into them; they are often thus overflowed. The rivers which thus empty themselves into these fens, and which thus carry off the water, are the Cam or Grant, the Great Ouse and Little Ouse, the Nene, the Welland, and the river which runs from Bury to Milden Hall. The counties which these rivers drain, as above, are as follows:-

Lincoln, Warwick, Norfolk, * Cambridge, Oxford, Suffolk, * Huntingdon, Leicester, Essex, * Bedford, * Northampton Buckingham, * Rutland.

Those marked with (*) empty all their waters this way, the rest but in part.

In a word, all the water of the middle part of England which does not run into the Thames or the Trent, comes down into these fens.

In these fens are abundance of those admirable pieces of art called decoys that is to say, places so adapted for the harbour and shelter of wild fowl, and then furnished with a breed of those they call decoy ducks, who are taught to allure and entice their kind to the places they belong to, that it is incredible what quantities of wild fowl of all sorts, duck, mallard, teal, widgeon, etc., they take in those decoys every week during the season; it may, indeed, be guessed at a little by this, that there is a decoy not far from Ely which pays to the landlord, Sir Thomas Hare, 500 pounds a year rent, besides the charge of maintaining a great number of servants for the management; and from which decoy alone, they assured me at St. Ives (a town on the Ouse, where the fowl they took was always brought to be sent to London) that they generally sent up three thousand couple a week.

There are more of these about Peterborough, who send the fowl up twice a week in waggon-loads at a time, whose waggons before the late Act of Parliament to regulate carriers I have seen drawn by ten and twelve horses a-piece, they were laden so heavy.

As these fens appear covered with water, so I observed, too, that they generally at this latter part of the year appear also covered with fogs, so that when the downs and higher grounds of the adjacent country were gilded with the beams of the sun, the Isle of Ely looked as if wrapped up in blankets, and nothing to be seen but now and then the lantern or cupola of Ely Minster.

One could hardly see this from the hills and not pity the many thousands of families that were bound to or confined in those fogs, and had no other breath to draw than what must be mixed with those vapours, and that steam which so universally overspreads the country. But notwithstanding this, the people, especially those that are used to it, live unconcerned, and as healthy as other folks, except now and then an ague, which they make light of, and there are great numbers of very ancient people among them.

I now draw near to Cambridge, to which I fancy I look as if I was afraid to come, having made so many circumlocutions beforehand; but I must yet make another digression before I enter the town (for in my way, and as I came in from Newmarket, about the beginning of September), I cannot omit, that I came necessarily through Stourbridge Fair, which was then in its height.

If it is a diversion worthy a book to treat of trifles, such as the gaiety of Bury Fair, it cannot be very unpleasant, especially to the trading part of the world, to say something of this fair, which is not only the greatest in the whole nation, but in the world; nor, if I may believe those who have seen the mall, is the fair at Leipzig in Saxony, the mart at Frankfort-on-the-Main, or the fairs at Nuremberg, or Augsburg, any way to compare to this fair at Stourbridge.

It is kept in a large corn-field, near Casterton, extending from the side of the river Cam, towards the road, for about half a mile square.

If the husbandmen who rent the land, do not get their corn off before a certain day in August, the fair-keepers may trample it under foot and spoil it to build their booths, or tents, for all the fair is kept in tents and booths. On the other hand, to balance that severity, if the fair-keepers have not done their business of the fair, and removed and cleared the field by another certain day in September, the ploughmen may come in again, with plough and cart, and overthrow all, and trample into the dirt; and as for the filth, dung, straw, etc. necessarily left by the fair- keepers, the quantity of which is very great, it is the farmers' fees, and makes them full amends for the trampling, riding, and carting upon, and hardening the ground.

It is impossible to describe all the parts and circumstances of this fair exactly; the shops are placed in rows like streets, whereof one is called Cheapside; and here, as in several other streets, are all sorts of trades, who sell by retail, and who come principally from London with their goods; scarce any trades are omitted - goldsmiths, toyshops, brasiers, turners, milliners, haberdashers, hatters, mercers, drapers, pewterers, china- warehouses, and in a word all trades that can be named in London; with coffee-houses, taverns, brandy-shops, and eating-houses, innumerable, and all in tents, and booths, as above.

This great street reaches from the road, which as I said goes from Cambridge to Newmarket, turning short out of it to the right towards the river, and holds in a line near half a mile quite down to the river-side: in another street parallel with the road are like rows of booths, but larger, and more intermingled with wholesale dealers; and one side, passing out of this last street to the left hand, is a formal great square, formed by the largest booths, built in that form, and which they call the Duddery; whence the name is derived, and what its signification is, I could never yet learn, though I made all possible search into it. The area of this square is about 80 to 100 yards, where the dealers have room before every booth to take down, and open their packs, and to bring in waggons to load and unload.

This place is separated, and peculiar to the wholesale dealers in the woollen manufacture. Here the booths or tents are of a vast extent, have different apartments, and the quantities of goods they bring are so great, that the insides of them look like another Blackwell Hall, being as vast warehouses piled up with goods to the top. In this Duddery, as I have been informed, there have been sold one hundred thousand pounds worth of woollen manufactures in less than a week's time, besides the prodigious trade carried on here, by wholesale men, from London, and all parts of England, who transact their business wholly in their pocket-books, and meeting their chapmen from all parts, make up their accounts, receive money chiefly in bills, and take orders: These they say exceed by far the sales of goods actually brought to the fair, and delivered in kind; it being frequent for the London wholesale men to carry back orders from their dealers for ten thousand pounds' worth of goods a man, and some much more. This especially respects those people, who deal in heavy goods, as wholesale grocers, salters, brasiers, iron- merchants, wine-merchants, and the like; but does not exclude the dealers in woollen manufactures, and especially in mercery goods of all sorts, the dealers in which generally manage their business in this manner.

Here are clothiers from Halifax, Leeds, Wakefield and Huddersfield in Yorkshire, and from Rochdale, Bury, etc., in Lancashire, with vast quantities of Yorkshire cloths, kerseys, pennistons, cottons, etc., with all sorts of Manchester ware, fustiains, and things made of cotton wool; of which the quantity is so great, that they told me there were near a thousand horse-packs of such goods from that side of the country, and these took up a side and half of the Duddery at least; also a part of a street of booths were taken up with upholsterer's ware, such as tickings, sackings, kidderminster stuffs, blankets, rugs, quilts, etc.

In the Duddery I saw one warehouse, or booth with six apartments in it, all belonging to a dealer in Norwich stuffs only, and who, they said, had there above twenty thousand pounds value in those goods, and no other.

Western goods had their share here also, and several booths were filled as full with serges, duroys, druggets, shalloons, cantaloons, Devonshire kerseys, etc., from Exeter, Taunton, Bristol, and other parts west, and some from London also.

But all this is still outdone at least in show, by two articles, which are the peculiars of this fair, and do not begin till the other part of the fair, that is to say for the woollen manufacture begins to draw to a close. These are the wool and the hops; as for the hops, there is scarce any price fixed for hops in England, till they know how they sell at Stourbridge fair; the quantity that appears in the fair is indeed prodigious, and they, as it were, possess a large part of the field on which the fair is kept to themselves; they are brought directly from Chelmsford in Essex, from Canterbury and Maidstone in Kent, and from Farnham in Surrey, besides what are brought from London, the growth of those and other places.

Enquiring why this fair should be thus, of all other places in England, the centre of that trade; and so great a quantity of so bulky a commodity be carried thither so far; I was answered by one thoroughly acquainted with that matter thus: the hops, said he, for this part of England, grow principally in the two counties of Surrey and Kent, with an exception only to the town of Chelmsford in Essex, and there are very few planted anywhere else.

There are indeed in the west of England some quantities growing: as at Wilton, near Salisbury; at Hereford and Broomsgrove, near Wales, and the like; but the quantity is inconsiderable, and the places remote, so that none of them come to London.

As to the north of England, they formerly used but few hops there, their drink being chiefly pale smooth ale, which required no hops, and consequently they planted no hops in all that part of England, north of the Trent; nor did I ever see one acre of hop-ground planted beyond Trent in my observation; but as for some years past, they not only brew great quantities of beer in the north, but also use hops in the brewing their ale much more than they did before; so they all come south of Trent to buy their hops; and here being quantities brought, it is great part of their back carriage into Yorkshire, and Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, and all these counties; nay, of late, since the Union, even to Scotland itself; for I must not omit here also to mention, that the river Grant, or Cam, which runs close by the north-west side of the fair in its way from Cambridge to Ely, is navigable, and that by this means, all heavy goods are brought even to the fair-field, by water carriage from London and other parts; first to the port of Lynn, and then in barges up the Ouse, from the Ouse into the Cam, and so, as I say, to the very edge of the fair.

In like manner great quantities of heavy goods, and the hops among the rest, are sent from the fair to Lynn by water, and shipped there for the Humber, to Hull, York, etc., and for Newcastle-upon- Tyne, and by Newcastle, even to Scotland itself. Now as there is still no planting of hops in the north, though a great consumption, and the consumption increasing daily, this, says my friend, is one reason why at Stourbridge fair there is so great a demand for the hops. He added, that besides this, there were very few hops, if any worth naming, growing in all the counties even on this side Trent, which were above forty miles from London; those counties depending on Stourbridge fair for their supply, so the counties of Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Northampton, Lincoln, Leicester, Rutland, and even to Stafford, Warwick, and Worcestershire, bought most if not all of their hops at Stourbridge fair.

These are the reasons why so great a quantity of hops are seen at this fair, as that it is incredible, considering, too, how remote from this fair the growth of them is as above.

This is likewise a testimony of the prodigious resort of the trading people of all parts of England to this fair; the quantity of hops that have been sold at one of these fairs is diversely reported, and some affirm it to be so great, that I dare not copy after them; but without doubt it is a surprising account, especially in a cheap year.

The next article brought thither is wool, and this of several sorts, but principally fleece wool, out of Lincolnshire, where the longest staple is found; the sheep of those countries being of the largest breed.

The buyers of this wool are chiefly indeed the manufacturers of Norfolk and Suffolk and Essex, and it is a prodigious quantity they buy.

Here I saw what I have not observed in any other county of England, namely, a pocket of wool. This seems to be first called so in mockery, this pocket being so big, that it loads a whole waggon, and reaches beyond the most extreme parts of it hanging over both before and behind, and these ordinarily weigh a ton or twenty-five hundredweight of wool, all in one bag.

The quantity of wool only, which has been sold at this place at one fair, has been said to amount to fifty or sixty thousand pounds in value, some say a great deal more.

By these articles a stranger may make some guess at the immense trade carried on at this place; what prodigious quantities of goods are bought and sold here, and what a confluence of people are seen here from all parts of England.

I might go on here to speak of several other sorts of English manufactures which are brought hither to be sold; as all sorts of wrought-iron and brass-ware from Birmingham; edged tools, knives, etc., from Sheffield; glass wares and stockings from Nottingham and Leicester; and an infinite throng of other things of smaller value every morning.

To attend this fair, and the prodigious conflux of people which come to it, there are sometimes no less than fifty hackney coaches which come from London, and ply night and morning to carry the people to and from Cambridge; for there the gross of the people lodge; nay, which is still more strange, there are wherries brought from London on waggons to ply upon the little river Cam, and to row people up and down from the town, and from the fair as occasion presents.

It is not to be wondered at, if the town of Cambridge cannot receive, or entertain the numbers of people that come to this fair; not Cambridge only, but all the towns round are full; nay, the very barns and stables are turned into inns, and made as fit as they can to lodge the meaner sort of people: as for the people in the fair, they all universally eat, drink, and sleep in their booths and tents; and the said booths are so intermingled with taverns, coffee-houses, drinking-houses, eating-houses, cook-shops, etc., and all in tents too; and so many butchers and higglers from all the neighbouring counties come into the fair every morning with beef, mutton, fowls, butter, bread, cheese, eggs, and such things, and go with them from tent to tent, from door to door, that there is no want of any provisions of any kind, either dressed or undressed.

In a word, the fair is like a well-fortified city, and there is the least disorder and confusion I believe, that can be seen anywhere with so great a concourse of people.

Towards the latter end of the fair, and when the great hurry of wholesale business begins to be over, the gentry come in from all parts of the county round; and though they come for their diversion, yet it is not a little money they lay out, which generally falls to the share of the retailers, such as toy-shops, goldsmiths, braziers, ironmongers, turners, milliners, mercers, etc., and some loose coins they reserve for the puppet shows, drolls, rope-dancers, and such like, of which there is no want, though not considerable like the rest. The last day of the fair is the horse-fair, where the whole is closed with both horse and foot races, to divert the meaner sort of people only, for nothing considerable is offered of that kind. Thus ends the whole fair, and in less than a week more, there is scarce any sign left that there has been such a thing there, except by the heaps of dung and straw and other rubbish which is left behind, trod into the earth, and which is as good as a summer's fallow for dunging the land; and as I have said above, pays the husbandman well for the use of it.

I should have mentioned that here is a court of justice always open, and held every day in a shed built on purpose in the fair; this is for keeping the peace, and deciding controversies in matters deriving from the business of the fair. The magistrates of the town of Cambridge are judges in this court, as being in their jurisdiction, or they holding it by special privilege: here they determine matters in a summary way, as is practised in those we call Pye Powder Courts in other places, or as a Court of Conscience; and they have a final authority without appeal.

I come now to the town and university of Cambridge; I say the town and university, for though they are blended together in the situation, and the colleges, halls, and houses for literature are promiscuously scattered up and down among the other parts, and some even among the meanest of the other buildings, as Magdalene College over the bridge is in particular; yet they are all incorporated together by the name of the university, and are governed apart and distinct from the town which they are so intermixed with.

As their authority is distinct from the town, so are their privileges, customs, and government; they choose representatives, or members of Parliament for themselves, and the town does the like for themselves, also apart.

The town is governed by a mayor and aldermen; the university by a chancellor, and vice-chancellor, etc. Though their dwellings are mixed, and seem a little confused, their authority is not so; in some cases the vice-chancellor may concern himself in the town, as in searching houses for the scholars at improper hours, removing scandalous women, and the like.

But as the colleges are many, and the gentlemen entertained in them are a very great number, the trade of the town very much depends upon them, and the tradesmen may justly be said to get their bread by the colleges; and this is the surest hold the university may be said to have of the townsmen, and by which they secure the dependence of the town upon them, and consequently their submission.

I remember some years ago a brewer, who being very rich and popular in the town, and one of their magistrates, had in several things so much opposed the university, and insulted their vice-chancellor, or other heads of houses, that in short the university having no other way to exert themselves, and show their resentment, they made a bye-law or order among themselves, that for the future they would not trade with him; and that none of the colleges, halls, etc., would take any more beer of him; and what followed? The man indeed braved it out a while, but when he found he could not obtain a revocation of the order, he was fain to leave off his brewhouse, and if I remember right, quitted the town.

Thus I say, interest gives them authority; and there are abundance of reasons why the town should not disoblige the university, as there are some also on the other hand, why the university should not differ to any extremity with the town; nor, such is their prudence, do they let any disputes between them run up to any extremities if they can avoid it. As for society; to any man who is a lover of learning, or of learned men, here is the most agreeable under heaven; nor is there any want of mirth and good company of other kinds; but it is to the honour of the university to say, that the governors so well understand their office, and the governed their duty, that here is very little encouragement given to those seminaries of crime, the assemblies, which are so much boasted of in other places.

Again, as dancing, gaming, intriguing are the three principal articles which recommend those assemblies; and that generally the time for carrying on affairs of this kind is the night, and sometimes all night, a time as unseasonable as scandalous; add to this, that the orders of the university admit no such excesses; I therefore say, as this is the case, it is to the honour of the whole body of the university that no encouragement is given to them here.

As to the antiquity of the university in this town, the originals and founders of the several colleges, their revenues, laws, government, and governors, they are so effectually and so largely treated of by other authors, and are so foreign to the familiar design of these letters, that I refer my readers to Mr. Camden's Britannia and the author of the Antiquities of Cambridge, and other such learned writers, by whom they may be fully informed.

The present Vice-Chancellor is Dr. Snape, formerly Master of Eaton School near Windsor, and famous for his dispute with, and evident advantage over, the late Bishop of Bangor in the time of his government; the dispute between the University and the Master of Trinity College has been brought to a head so as to employ the pens of the learned on both sides, but at last prosecuted in a judicial way so as to deprive Dr. Bentley of all his dignities and offices in the university; but the doctor flying to the royal protection, the university is under a writ of mandamus, to show cause why they do not restore the doctor again, to which it seems they demur, and that demur has not, that we hear, been argued, at least when these sheets were sent to the press. What will be the issue time must show.

From Cambridge the road lies north-west on the edge of the fens to Huntingdon, where it joins the great north road. On this side it is all an agreeable corn country as above, adorned with several seats of gentlemen; but the chief is the noble house, seat, or mansion of Wimple or Wimple Hall, formerly built at a vast expense by the late Earl of Radnor, adorned with all the natural beauties of situation, and to which was added all the most exquisite contrivances which the best heads could invent to make it artificially as well as naturally pleasant.

However, the fate of the Radnor family so directing, it was bought with the whole estate about it by the late Duke of Newcastle, in a partition of whose immense estate it fell to the Right Honourable the Lord Harley, son and heir-apparent of the present Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, in right of the Lady Harriet Cavendish, only daughter of the said Duke of Newcastle, who is married to his lordship, and brought him this estate and many other, sufficient to denominate her the richest heiress in Great Britain.

Here his lordship resides, and has already so recommended himself to this county as to be by a great majority chosen Knight of the Shire for the county of Cambridge.

[Continues to Essex (part2).]