Tour through the Eastern Counties of England by Daniel Defoe

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


From High Suffolk I passed the Waveney into Norfolk, near Schole Inn. In my passage I saw at Redgrave (the seat of the family) a most exquisite monument of Sir John Holt, Knight, late Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench several years, and one of the most eminent lawyers of his time. One of the heirs of the family is now building a fine seat about a mile on the south side of Ipswich, near the road.

The epitaph or inscription on this monument is as follows:-

M. S. D. Johannis Holt, Equitis Aur. Totius Anglioe in Banco Regis per 21 Annos continuos Capitalis Justitiarii Gulielmo Regi Annoequr Reginae Consiliarii perpetui: Libertatis ac Legum Anglicarum Assertoris, Vindicis, Custodis, Vigilis Acris et intrepidi, Rolandus Frater Uncius et Hoeres Optime de se Merito posuit, Die Martis Vto. 1709. Sublatus est ex Oculis nostris Natus 30 Decembris, Anno 1642.

When we come into Norfolk, we see a face of diligence spread over the whole country; the vast manufactures carried on (in chief) by the Norwich weavers employs all the country round in spinning yarn for them; besides many thousand packs of yarn which they receive from other countries, even from as far as Yorkshire and Westmoreland, of which I shall speak in its place.

This side of Norfolk is very populous, and thronged with great and spacious market-towns, more and larger than any other part of England so far from London, except Devonshire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire; for example, between the frontiers of Suffolk and the city of Norwich on this side, which is not above 22 miles in breadth, are the following market-towns, viz.:-

Thetford, Hingham, Harleston, Diss, West Dereham, E. Dereham, Harling, Attleborough, Watton, Bucknam, Windham, Loddon, etc.

Most of these towns are very populous and large; but that which is most remarkable is, that the whole country round them is so interspersed with villages, and those villages so large, and so full of people, that they are equal to market-towns in other countries; in a word, they render this eastern part of Norfolk exceeding full of inhabitants.

An eminent weaver of Norwich gave me a scheme of their trade on this occasion, by which, calculating from the number of looms at that time employed in the city of Norwich only, besides those employed in other towns in the same county, he made it appear very plain, that there were 120,000 people employed in the woollen and silk and wool manufactures of that city only; not that the people all lived in the city, though Norwich is a very large and populous city too: but, I say, they were employed for spinning the yarn used for such goods as were all made in that city. This account is curious enough, and very exact, but it is too long for the compass of this work.

This shows the wonderful extent of the Norwich manufacture, or stuff-weaving trade, by which so many thousands of families are maintained. Their trade, indeed, felt a very sensible decay, and the cries of the poor began to be very loud, when the wearing of painted calicoes was grown to such a height in England, as was seen about two or three years ago; but an Act of Parliament having been obtained, though not without great struggle, in the years 1720 and 1721, for prohibiting the use and wearing of calicoes, the stuff trade revived incredibly; and as I passed this part of the country in the year 1723, the manufacturers assured me that there was not, in all the eastern and middle part of Norfolk, any hand unemployed, if they would work; and that the very children, after four or five years of age, could every one earn their own bread. But I return to speak of the villages and towns in the rest of the county; I shall come to the city of Norwich by itself.

This throng of villages continues through all the east part of the country, which is of the greatest extent, and where the manufacture is chiefly carried on. If any part of it be waste and thin of inhabitants, it is the west part, drawing a line from about Brand, or Brandon, south, to Walsinghan, north. This part of the country indeed is full of open plains, and somewhat sandy and barren, and feeds great flocks of good sheep; but put it all together, the county of Norfolk has the most people in the least tract of land of any county in England, except about London, and Exon, and the West Riding of Yorkshire, as above.

Add to this, that there is no single county in England, except as above, that can boast of three towns so populous, so rich, and so famous for trade and navigation, as in this county. By these three towns, I mean the city of Norwich, the towns of Yarmouth and Lynn. Besides that, it has several other seaports of very good trade, as Wisbech, Wells, Burnham, Clye, etc.

Norwich from the North-East 1757. Click to enlarge.Norwich is the capital of all the county, and the centre of all the trade and manufactures which I have just mentioned; an ancient, large, rich, and populous city. If a stranger was only to ride through or view the city of Norwich for a day, he would have much more reason to think there was a town without inhabitants, than there is really to say so of Ipswich; but on the contrary if he was to view the city, either on a Sabbath-day, or on any public occasion, he would wonder where all the people could dwell, the multitude is so great. But the case is this: the inhabitants being all busy at their manufactures, dwell in their garrets at their looms, and in their combing shops (so they call them), twisting- mills, and other work-houses, almost all the works they are employed in being done within doors. There are in this city thirty-two parishes besides the cathedral, and a great many meeting-houses of Dissenters of all denominations. The public edifices are chiefly the castle, ancient and decayed, and now for many years past made use of for a gaol. The Duke of Norfolk's house was formerly kept well, and the gardens preserved for the pleasure and diversion of the citizens, but since feeling too sensibly the sinking circumstances of that once glorious family, who were the first peers and hereditary earl-marshals of England.

The walls of this city are reckoned three miles in circumference, taking in more ground than the City of London, but much of that ground lying open in pasture-fields and gardens; nor does it seem to be, like some ancient places, a decayed, declining town, and that the walls mark out its ancient dimensions; for we do not see room to suppose that it was ever larger or more populous than it is now. But the walls seem to be placed as if they expected that the city would in time increase sufficiently to fill them up with buildings.

The cathedral of this city is a fine fabric, and the spire steeple very high and beautiful. It is not ancient, the bishop's see having been first at Thetford, from whence it was not translated hither till the twelfth century. Yet the church has so many antiquities in it, that our late great scholar and physician, Sir Thomas Brown, thought it worth his while to write a whole book to collect the monuments and inscriptions in this church, to which I refer the reader.

The River Yare runs through this city, and is navigable thus far without the help of any art (that is to say, without locks or stops), and being increased by other waters, passes afterwards through a long tract of the richest meadows, and the largest, take them all together, that are anywhere in England, lying for thirty miles in length, from this city to Yarmouth, including the return of the said meadows on the bank of the Waveney south, and on the River Thyrn north.

Here is one thing indeed strange in itself, and more so, in that history seems to be quite ignorant of the occasion of it. The River Waveney is a considerable river, and of a deep and full channel, navigable for large barges as high as Beccles; it runs for a course of about fifty miles, between the two counties of Suffolk and Norfolk, as a boundary to both; and pushing on, though with a gentle stream, towards the sea, no one would doubt, but, that when they see the river growing broader and deeper, and going directly towards the sea, even to the edge of the beach - that is to say, within a mile of the main ocean - no stranger, I say, but would expect to see its entrance into the sea at that place, and a noble harbour for ships at the mouth of it; when on a sudden, the land rising high by the seaside, crosses the head of the river, like a dam, checks the whole course of it, and it returns, bending its course west, for two miles, or thereabouts; and then turning north, through another long course of meadows (joining to those just now mentioned) seeks out the River Yare, that it may join its water with hers, and find their way to the sea together

Some of our historians tell a long, fabulous story of this river being once open, and a famous harbour for ships belonging to a town of Lowestoft adjoining; but that the town of Yarmouth envying the prosperity of the said town of Lowestoft, made war upon them; and that after many bloody battles, as well by sea as by land, they came at last to a decisive action at sea with their respective fleets, and the victory fell to the Yarmouth men, the Lowestoft fleet being overthrown and utterly destroyed; and that upon this victory, the Yarmouth men either actually did stop up the mouth of the said river, or obliged the vanquished Lowestoft men to do it themselves, and bound them never to attempt to open it again.

I believe my share of this story, and I recommend no more of it to the reader; adding, that I see no authority for the relation, neither do the relators agree either in the time of it, or in the particulars of the fact; that is to say, in whose reign, or under what government all this happened; in what year, and the like; so I satisfy myself with transcribing the matter of fact, and then leave it as I find it.

In this vast tract of meadows are fed a prodigious number of black cattle which are said to be fed up for the fattest beef, though not the largest in England; and the quantity is so great, as that they not only supply the city of Norwich, the town of Yarmouth, and county adjacent, but send great quantities of them weekly in all the winter season to London.

And this in particular is worthy remark, that the gross of all the Scots cattle which come yearly into England are brought hither, being brought to a small village lying north of the city of Norwich, called St. Faith's, where the Norfolk graziers go and buy them.

These Scots runts, so they call them, coming out of the cold and barren mountains of the Highlands in Scotland, feed so eagerly on the rich pasture in these marshes, that they thrive in an unusual manner, and grow monstrously fat; and the beef is so delicious for taste, that the inhabitants prefer them to the English cattle, which are much larger and fairer to look at; and they may very well do so. Some have told me, and I believe with good judgment, that there are above forty thousand of these Scots cattle fed in this county every year, and most of them in the said marshes between Norwich, Beccles, and Yarmouth.

Yarmouth is an ancient town, much older than Norwich; and at present, though not standing on so much ground, yet better built; much more complete; for number of inhabitants, not much inferior; and for wealth, trade, and advantage of its situation, infinitely superior to Norwich.

It is placed on a peninsula between the River Yare and the sea; the two last lying parallel to one another, and the town in the middle. The river lies on the west side of the town, and being grown very large and deep, by a conflux of all the rivers on this side the county, forms the haven; and the town facing to the west also, and open to the river, makes the finest quay in England, if not in Europe, not inferior even to that of Marseilles itself.

The ships ride here so close, and, as it were, keeping up one another, with their headfasts on shore, that for half a mile together they go across the stream with their bowsprits over the land, their bows, or heads touching the very wharf; so that one may walk from ship to ship as on a floating bridge, all along by the shore-side. The quay reaching from the drawbridge almost to the south gate, is so spacious and wide, that in some places it is near one hundred yards from the houses to the wharf. In this pleasant and agreeable range of houses are some very magnificent buildings, and among the rest, the Custom House and Town Hall, and some merchant's houses, which look like little palaces rather than the dwelling-houses of private men.

The greatest defect of this beautiful town seems to be that, though it is very rich and increasing in wealth and trade, and consequently in people, there is not room to enlarge the town by building, which would be certainly done much more than it is, but that the river on the land side prescribes them, except at the north end without the gate; and even there the land is not very agreeable. But had they had a larger space within the gates there would before now have been many spacious streets of noble fine buildings erected, as we see is done in some other thriving towns in England, as at Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Frome, etc.

The quay and the harbour of this town during the fishing fair, as they call it, which is every Michaelmas, one sees the land covered with people, and the river with barques and boats, busy day and night landing and carrying of the herrings, which they catch here in such prodigious quantities, that it is incredible. I happened to be there during their fishing fair, when I told in one tide 110 barques and fishing vessels coming up the river all laden with herrings, and all taken the night before; and this was besides what was brought on shore on the Dean (that is the seaside of the town) by open boats, which they call cobles, and which often bring in two or three last of fish at a time. The barques often bring in ten last a piece.

This fishing fair begins on Michaelmas Day, and lasts all the month of October, by which time the herrings draw off to sea, shoot their spawn, and are no more fit for the merchant's business - at least, not those that are taken thereabouts.

The quantity of herrings that are caught in this season are diversely accounted for. Some have said that the towns of Yarmouth and Lowestoft only have taken 40,000 last in a season. I will not venture to confirm that report; but this I have heard the merchants themselves say, viz., that they have cured - that is to say, hanged and dried in the smoke - 40,000 barrels of merchantable red herrings in one season, which is in itself (though far short of the other) yet a very considerable article; and it is to be added that this is besides all the herrings consumed in the country towns of both those populous counties for thirty miles from the sea, whither very great quantities are carried every tide during the whole season.

But this is only one branch of the great trade carried on in this town. Another part of this commerce is in the exporting these herrings after they are cured; and for this their merchants have a great trade to Genoa, Leghorn, Naples, Messina, and Venice; as also to Spain and Portugal, also exporting with their herring very great quantities of worsted stuffs, and stuffs made of silk and worsted, camblets, etc., the manufactures of the neighbouring city of Norwich and of the places adjacent.

Besides this, they carry on a very considerable trade with Holland, whose opposite neighbours they are; and a vast quantity of woollen manufactures they export to the Dutch every year. Also they have a fishing trade to the North Seas for white fish, which from the place are called the North Sea cod.

They have also a considerable trade to Norway and to the Baltic, from whence they bring back deals and fir timber, oaken plank, balks, spars, oars, pitch, tar, hemp, flax, spruce canvas, and sail-cloth, with all manner of naval stores, which they generally have a consumption for in their own port, where they build a very great number of ships every year, besides refitting and repairing the old.

Add to this the coal trade between Newcastle and the river of Thames, in which they are so improved of late years that they have now a greater share of it than any other town in England, and have quite worked the Ipswich men out of it who had formerly the chief share of the colliery in their hands.

For the carrying on all these trades they must have a very great number of ships, either of their own or employed by them: and it may in some measure be judged of by this that in the year 1697, I had an account from the town register that there was then 1,123 sail of ships using the sea and belonged to the town, besides such ships as the merchants of Yarmouth might be concerned in, and be part owners of, belonging to any other ports.

To all this I must add, without compliment to the town or to the people, that the merchants, and even the generality of traders of Yarmouth, have a very good reputation in trade as well abroad as at home for men of fair and honourable dealing, punctual and just in their performing their engagements and in discharging commissions; and their seamen, as well masters as mariners, are justly esteemed among the ablest and most expert navigators in England.

This town, however populous and large, was ever contained in one parish, and had but one church; but within these two years they have built another very fine church near the south end of the town. The old church is dedicated to St. Nicholas, and was built by that famous Bishop of Norwich, William Herbert, who flourished in the reign of William II., and Henry I., William of Malmesbury, calls him vir pecuniosus; he might have called him vir pecuniosissimus, considering the times he lived in, and the works of charity and munificence which he has left as witnesses of his immense riches; for he built the Cathedral Church, the Priory for sixty monks, the Bishop's Palace, and the parish church of St. Leonard, all in Norwich; this great church at Yarmouth, the Church of St. Margaret at Lynn, and of St. Mary at Elmham. He removed the episcopal see from Thetford to Norwich, and instituted the Cluniack Monks at Thetford, and gave them or built them a house. This old church is very large, and has a high spire, which is a useful sea-mark.

Here is one of the finest market-places and the best served with provisions in England, London excepted; and the inhabitants are so multiplied in a few years that they seem to want room in their town rather than people to fill it, as I have observed above.

The streets are all exactly straight from north to south, with lanes or alleys, which they call rows, crossing them in straight lines also from east to west, so that it is the most regular built town in England, and seems to have been built all at once; or that the dimensions of the houses and extent of the streets were laid out by consent.

They have particular privileges in this town and a jurisdiction by which they can try, condemn, and execute in especial cases without waiting for a warrant from above; and this they exerted once very smartly in executing a captain of one of the king's ships of war in the reign of King Charles II. for a murder committed in the street, the circumstance of which did indeed call for justice; but some thought they would not have ventured to exert their powers as they did. However, I never heard that the Government resented it or blamed them for it.

It is also a very well-governed town, and I have nowhere in England observed the Sabbath day so exactly kept, or the breach so continually punished, as in this place, which I name to their honour.

Among all these regularities it is no wonder if we do not find abundance of revelling, or that there is little encouragement to assemblies, plays, and gaming meetings at Yarmouth as in some other places; and yet I do not see that the ladies here come behind any of the neighbouring counties, either in beauty, breeding, or behaviour; to which may be added too, not at all to their disadvantage, that they generally go beyond them in fortunes.

From Yarmouth I resolved to pursue my first design, viz., to view the seaside on this coast, which is particularly famous for being one of the most dangerous and most fatal to the sailors in all England - I may say in all Britain - and the more so because of the great number of ships which are continually going and coming this way in their passage between London and all the northern coasts of Great Britain. Matters of antiquity are not my inquiry, but principally observations on the present state of things, and, if possible, to give such accounts of things worthy of recording as have never been observed before; and this leads me the more directly to mention the commerce and the navigation when I come to towns upon the coast as what few writers have yet meddled with.

The reason of the dangers of this particular coast are found in the situation of the county and in the course of ships sailing this way, which I shall describe as well as I can thus:- The shore from the mouth of the River of Thames to Yarmouth Roads lies in a straight line from SSE. TO NNW., the land being on the W. or larboard side.

From Wintertonness, which is the utmost northerly point of land in the county of Norfolk, and about four miles beyond Yarmouth, the shore falls off for nearly sixty miles to the west, as far as Lynn and Boston, till the shore of Lincolnshire tends north again for about sixty miles more as far as the Humber, whence the coast of Yorkshire, or Holderness, which is the east riding, shoots out again into the sea, to the Spurn and to Flamborough Head, as far east, almost, as the shore of Norfolk had given back at Winterton, making a very deep gulf or bay between those two points of Winterton and the Spurn Head; so that the ships going north are obliged to stretch away to sea from Wintertonness, and leaving the sight of land in that deep bay which I have mentioned, that reaches to Lynn and the shore of Lincolnshire, they go, I say, N. or still NNW. to meet the shore of Holderness, which I said runs out into the sea again at the Spurn; and the first land they make or desire to make, is called as above, Flamborough Head, so that Wintertonness and Flamborough Head are the two extremes of this course, there is, as I said, the Spurn Head indeed between; but as it lies too far in towards the Humber, they keep out to the north to avoid coming near it.

In like manner the ships which come from the north, leave the shore at Flamborough Head, and stretch away SSE. for Yarmouth Roads; and they first land they make is Wintertonness (as above). Now, the danger of the place is this: if the ships coming from the north are taken with a hard gale of wind from the SE., or from any point between NE. and SE., so that they cannot, as the seamen call it, weather Wintertonness, they are thereby kept within that deep bay; and if the wind blows hard, are often in danger of running on shore upon the rocks about Cromer, on the north coast of Norfolk, or stranding upon the flat shore between Cromer and Wells; all the relief they have, is good ground tackle to ride it out, which is very hard to do there, the sea coming very high upon them; or if they cannot ride it out then, to run into the bottom of the great bay I mentioned, to Lynn or Boston, which is a very difficult and desperate push: so that sometimes in this distress whole fleets have been lost here altogether.

The like is the danger to ships going northward, if after passing by Winterton they are taken short with a north-east wind, and cannot put back into the Roads, which very often happens, then they are driven upon the same coast, and embayed just as the latter. The danger on the north part of this bay is not the same, because if ships going or coming should be taken short on this side Flamborough, there is the river Humber open to them, and several good roads to have recourse to, as Burlington Bay, Grimsby Road, and the Spurn Head, and others, where they ride under shelter.

The dangers of this place being thus considered, it is no wonder, that upon the shore beyond Yarmouth there are no less than four lighthouses kept flaming every night, besides the lights at Castor, north of the town, and at Goulston S., all of which are to direct the sailors to keep a good offing in case of bad weather, and to prevent their running into Cromer Bay, which the seamen call the devil's throat.

As I went by land from Yarmouth northward, along the shore towards Cromer aforesaid, and was not then fully master of the reason of these things, I was surprised to see, in all the way from Winterton, that the farmers and country people had scarce a barn, or a shed, or a stable, nay, not the pales of their yards and gardens, not a hogstye, not a necessary house, but what was built of old planks, beams, wales, and timbers, etc., the wrecks of ships, and ruins of mariners' and merchants' fortunes; and in some places were whole yards filled and piled up very high with the same stuff laid up, as I supposed to sell for the like building purposes, as there should he occasion.

About the year 1692 (I think it was that year) there was a melancholy example of what I have said of this place: a fleet of 200 sail of light colliers (so they call the ships bound northward empty to fetch coals from Newcastle to London) went out of Yarmouth Roads with a fair wind, to pursue their voyage, and were taken short with a storm of wind at NE. after they were past Wintertonness, a few leagues; some of them, whose masters were a little more wary than the rest, or perhaps, who made a better judgment of things, or who were not so far out as the rest, tacked, and put back in time, and got safe into the roads; but the rest pushing on in hopes to keep out to sea, and weather it, were by the violence of the storm driven back, when they were too far embayed to weather Wintertonness as above, and so were forced to run west, everyone shifting for themselves as well as they could; some run away for Lynn Deeps, but few of them (the night being so dark) could find their way in there; some, but very few, rode it out at a distance; the rest, being above 140 sail, were all driven on shore and dashed to pieces, and very few of the people on board were saved: at the very same unhappy juncture, a fleet of laden ships were coming from the north, and being just crossing the same bay, were forcibly driven into it, not able to weather the Ness, and so were involved in the same ruin as the light fleet was; also some coasting vessels laden with corn from Lynn and Wells, and bound for Holland, were with the same unhappy luck just come out to begin their voyage, and some of them lay at anchor; these also met with the same misfortune, so that, in the whole, above 200 sail of ships, and above a thousand people, perished in the disaster of that one miserable night, very few escaping.

Cromer is a market town close to the shore of this dangerous coast. I know nothing it is famous for (besides it being thus the terror of the sailors) except good lobsters, which are taken on that coast in great numbers and carried to Norwich, and in such quantities sometimes too as to be conveyed by sea to London.

Farther within the land, and between this place and Norwich, are several good market towns, and innumerable villages, all diligently applying to the woollen manufacture, and the country is exceedingly fruitful and fertile, as well in corn as in pastures; particularly, which was very pleasant to see, the pheasants were in such great plenty as to be seen in the stubbles like cocks and hens - a testimony though, by the way, that the county had more tradesmen than gentlemen in it; indeed, this part is so entirely given up to industry, that what with the seafaring men on the one side, and the manufactures on the other, we saw no idle hands here, but every man busy on the main affair of life, that is to say, getting money; some of the principal of these towns are:- Alsham, North Walsham, South Walsham, Worsted, Caston, Reepham, Holt, Saxthorp, St. Faith's, Blikling, and many others. Near the last, Sir John Hobart, of an ancient family in this county, has a noble seat, but old built. This is that St. Faith's, where the drovers bring their black cattle to sell to the Norfolk graziers, as is observed above

From Cromer we ride on the strand or open shore to Weyburn Hope, the shore so flat that in some places the tide ebbs out near two miles. From Weyburn west lies Clye, where there are large salt- works and very good salt made, which is sold all over the county, and sometimes sent to Holland and to the Baltic. From Clye we go to Masham and to Wells, all towns on the coast, in each whereof there is a very considerable trade carried on with Holland for corn, which that part of the county is very full of. I say nothing of the great trade driven here from Holland, back again to England, because I take it to be a trade carried on with much less honesty than advantage, especially while the clandestine trade, or the art of smuggling was so much in practice: what it is now, is not to my present purpose.

Near this town lie The Seven Burnhams, as they are called, that is to say, seven small towns, all called by the same name, and each employed in the same trade of carrying corn to Holland, and bringing back, - etc.

From hence we turn to the south-west to Castle Rising, an old decayed borough town, with perhaps not ten families in it, which yet (to the scandal of our prescription right) sends two members to the British Parliament, being as many as the City of Norwich itself or any town in the kingdom, London excepted, can do.

On our left we see Walsingham, an ancient town, famous for the old ruins of a monastery of note there, and the Shrine of our Lady, as noted as that of St. Thomas-e-Becket at Canterbury, and for little else.

Near this place are the seats of the two allied families of the Lord Viscount Townsend and Robert Walpole, Esq.; the latter at this time one of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury and Minister of State, and the former one of the principal Secretaries of State to King George, of which again.

From hence we went to Lynn [King's Lynn], another rich and populous thriving port-town. It stands on more ground than the town of Yarmouth, and has, I think, parishes, yet I cannot allow that it has more people than Yarmouth, if so many. It is a beautiful, well built, and well situated town, at the mouth of the River Ouse, and has this particular attending it, which gives it a vast advantage in trade; namely, that there is the greatest extent of inland navigation here of any port in England, London excepted. The reason whereof is this, that there are more navigable rivers empty themselves here into the sea, including the washes, which are branches of the same port, than at any one mouth of waters in England, except the Thames and the Humber. By these navigable rivers, the merchants of Lynn supply about six counties wholly, and three counties in part, with their goods, especially wine and coals, viz., by the little Ouse, they send their goods to Brandon and Thetford, by the Lake to Mildenhall, Barton Mills, and St. Edmundsbury; by the River Grant to Cambridge, by the great Ouse itself to Ely, to St. Ives, to St. Neots, to Barford Bridge, and to Bedford; by the River Nyne to Peterborough; by the drains and washes to Wisbeach, to Spalding, Market Deeping, and Stamford; besides the several counties, into which these goods are carried by land-carriage, from the places, where the navigation of those rivers end; which has given rise to this observation on the town of Lynn, that they bring in more coals than any sea-port between London and Newcastle; and import more wines than any port in England, except London and Bristol; their trade to Norway and to the Baltic Sea is also great in proportion, and of late years they have extended their trade farther to the southward.

Here are more gentry, and consequently is more gaiety in this town than in Yarmouth, or even in Norwich itself - the place abounding in very good company.

The situation of this town renders it capable of being made very strong, and in the late wars it was so; a line of fortification being drawn round it at a distance from the walls; the ruins, or rather remains of which works appear very fair to this day; nor would it be a hard matter to restore the bastions, with the ravelins, and counterscarp, upon any sudden emergency, to a good state of defence: and that in a little time, a sufficient number of workmen being employed, especially because they are able to fill all their ditches with water from the sea, in such a manner as that it cannot be drawn off.

There is in the market-place of this town a very fine statue of King William on horseback, erected at the charge of the town. The Ouse is mighty large and deep, close to the very town itself, and ships of good burthen may come up to the quay; but there is no bridge, the stream being too strong and the bottom moorish and unsound; nor, for the same reason, is the anchorage computed the best in the world; but there are good roads farther down.

They pass over here in boats into the fen country, and over the famous washes into Lincolnshire, but the passage is very dangerous and uneasy, and where passengers often miscarry and are lost; but then it is usually on their venturing at improper times, and without the guides, which if they would be persuaded not to do, they would very rarely fail of going or coming safe.

[Continues to Cambridgeshire.]