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reduced it to constant arable and pasture-grounds, and at the immense labour and expense of above 400,000l. In the soil of all, or most of the said 180,000 acres of land, of which 90,000 were drained, even in the bottom of the river Ouse, and in the bottom of the adventitious soil of all Marshland, and round about by the skirts of the Lincolnshire Woulds unto Gainsburg, Bautry, Doncaster, Baln, Snaith, and Holden, are found vast multitudes of the roots and trunks of trees of all sizes, great and small, and of most of the sorts that this island either formerly did, or that at present it does produce ; as firs, oaks, birch, beech, yew, thorn, willow, ash, &c. the roots of all or most of which stand in the soil in their natural position, as thick as ever they could grow, as the trunks of most of them lie by their proper roots.
Most of the large trees lie along about a yard from their roots, (to which they evidently belonged, both by their situation and the sameness of the wood,) with their tops commonly north-east; though indeed the smaller trees lie almost every way, across the former, some over, and others under them; a third part of all being pitch-trees, or firs, some of which are 30 yards in length and upwards, and sold for masts and keels for ships. Oaks have been found of 20, 30, and 35 yards long, yet wanting many yards at the small end; some of which have been sold for 41., 8., 101., and 15l. a piece; they are as black as ebony, and
durable in any service they are put to. As for the ashes, it is commonly observed, that the constituent parts of their texture are so dissolved, that they become as soft as earth, and are commonly cut in pieces by the workmen's spades, which, as soon as flung up into the open air, crumble into dust; but all the rest, even the willows themselves, which are softer than ash, preserve their substance and texture entire to this day. I have seen some fir-trees that, having lain horizontally, after they fell, have shot up large branches from their sides, which have grown up to the bulk and height of considerable trees.
It is evident, that many of those trees have been burnt, especially the fir-trees, some quite through, and some on one side ; some have been found chopped and squared, some bored through, others half split with large wooden wedges and stones in them, and broken axe-heads, somewhat like sacrificing axes in shape: and all this in such places, and at such depths, as could never have been exposed since the destruction of this forest, till the time of the drainage. Near a large root, in the parish of Hatfield, was found eight or nine
coins of some of the Roman emperors, much consumed and defaced by time; and it is very observable, that on the confines of this low country, between Burningham and Brumby in Lincolnshire, are several great hills of loose sand, under which, as they are yearly worn and blown away, are discovered many roots of large firs, with the marks of the axe as fresh upon them as if they had been cut down only a few weeks ; as I have often with pleasure seen.
Hazel-nuts and acorns have frequently been found at the bottom of the soil of those levels and moors, and whole bushels of fir-tree apples or cones, in large quantities together; and at the very bottom of a new river or drain (almost 100 yards wide, and four or five miles long,) were found old trees squared and cut, rails, stoops, bars, old links of chains, horse-heads, an old axe, somewhat like a battle-axe, two or three coins of the Emperor Vespasian, one of which I have seen in the hands of Mr. Cornelius Lee of Hatfield, with the Emperor's head on one side, and a spread. eagle on the other : but what is more remarkable is, that the very ground at the bottom of the river was found in some places to lie in ridges and furrows; thereby showing that it had been ploughed and tilled in former days.
My friend, Mr. Edward Canby of this town, told me that about 50 years ago, under a great tree in this parish, was found an old-fashioned knife, with a haft of a very hard black sort of wood, which had a cap of copper or brass on the one end, and a hoop of the same metal on the other end, where the blade went into it. He also found an oak-tree within his moors, 40 yards long, four yards diametrically thick at the great end, three yards and a foot in the middle, and two yards over at the small end ; so that, by moderate computation, the tree seems to have been as long again. At another time he found a fir-tree, 36 yards long, besides its computed length, which might well be 15 yards more. So that there has been exceedingly great trees in these levels; and what is also very strange, about 50 years ago, at the very bottom of a turf-pit, there was found a man lying at his length, with his head upon his arm, as in a common posture of sleep, whose skin being tanned, as it were, by the moor. water, preserved his shape entire, but within, his flesh, and most of his bones were consumed.
To illustrate and render more intelligible this strange subject of subterraneous trees, we may here advert a little to what has been observed in other places and countries. Cam
den and others have told us, and it is a very common and well known thing, that most of the great rnorasses, mosses, fens, and bogs, in Somersetshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Westmoreland, Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Lincolnshire, and other counties in England, are full of the roots and trunks of large trees, most of which are pitch or fir, and that they have the same positions and irnpressions of the fire and axe on them as those above mentioned.
Giraldus Cambrensis tells us, that in King Henry the Second's days, by the force of extraordinary storms, the sands were so much driven off the sea-shore in Pembrokeshire, that under them were discovered great numbers of roots and trunks of trees in their natural positions, with the strokes of the axe as fresh upon them as if they had been cut down only yesterday, with a very black earth, and some blocks like ebony. And the like were discovered also at Neugall, in the same county, in 1590; and in Cardiganshire, and in other places since.
Dr. Plot mentions the like roots and trees, found in Shebben-Pool, the old Pewit-Pool, and at Layton, and other places in Staffordshire ; and from their natural situations he rightly concludes, that they certainly grew there.
Dr. Leigh, in his History of Cheshire, observes, that in draining Martin Meer, there was found multitudes of the roots and trunks of large pitch-trees, in their natural positions, with great quantities of their cones, and eight canoes, such as the old Britons sailed in; and in another moor was found a brass kettle, beads of amber, a small mill-stone, the whole head of a hippopotamus, and human bodies entire and uncorrupted, as to outward appearance. Many places, too, of the soil of Anglesea and Man, as also of the bogs of Ireland, are full of roots and trees.
As to other countries, Verstegan tells us, that in many places of the moors and morasses of the Netherlands, large fir-trees are commonly found, with their tops lying to the north-east, just as they do in the levels of Hatfield Chase. And Helmont mentions the Peel there, a moss more than nine miles broad. Also M. de la Fer says, that trees and roots are also frequently found in the low grounds, and in the levels and morasses, of France, Switzerland, and Savoy. And, lastly, Rammazzini assures us, that in the territories of Modena, which are several miles long and broad, and at present a most fruitful dry country, though, in the time of the Cæsars it was nothing but a great lake, are found at 30, 40, and-50 feet deep, the soil of a low marshy country, full of
sedge, reeds, shrubs, roots, trees, nuts, ears of corn, leaves of trees, branches, and boughs of oaks, elms, walnuts, ashes, willows, and the very trees themselves, some broken, some whole, some standing upright, some lying at their length, &c. with old coins of the Roman emperors, old marbles and stones squared, cut, carved, and wrought by the hands of
M. de la Pryme then proceeds to show that all these forests were cut down or destroyed by the Romans and other military people; but the geology of our days takes different views, and his
is chiefly valuable for the facts which it has assembled.
Concerning some Remains lately observed in Lincolnshire. By
Mr. T'HORESBY. - [1702.] NEAR the river Welland, that runs through the town of Spalding, in Lincolnshire, at the depth of about eight or ten feet, there were found jettys, as they call them, to keep up the old river bank; and the head of a tunnel, that emptied the land-water into the old river ; also, at a considerable distance from the present river, I guess 20 or 30 yards, there were dug up, at the like depth, several old boats ; all which show, that anciently the river was either much wider than now, or ran in another place, or both. On the north-west side of the river, and more upwards in the town, were dug up, at about the same depth, the remains of old tan vats or pits, a great quan. tity of ox-horns, shoe-soles, and the very tanners' knobs, &c.; which shows that the surface of the country lay anciently much lower than now, and has been raised by the sea throwing in sand on the maritime parts, which are now mostly inhabited, and by the moor or rotten sedge in the fenny parts next the high country: the whole level is about 50 miles in length, and 30 miles in width in the broadest parts. No record or tradition whatever informs us when these mutations happened.
At the laying of the present new sluice or gout, as they call it, at the end of Hamorebeck, at its fall into Boston haven, on taking up the foundation of the old sluice, they met with the roots of trees, many of them issuing from their several trunks, spread in the ground; which, when they had taken up, and the roots and earth they grew in, they met with a solid gravelly and stony soil, of the high-country kind, but black and discoloured by the change it had suffered; upon which hard earth they laid the foundation of this new sluice; which
was certainly the surface of the old country before it was covered by the sea, and was much deeper than that at Spalding, as the land is there at present higher.
Concerning Green Weeds growing in Water, and some Animalcula found about them. By M. LEUWENHOEK.-[1703.]
I HAVE often heard the common people say, that that green stuff or weeds, observed to drive upon the water, spring out of the ground from under the water. But as often as I have observed the said green weeds, I have always found that they are produced from the seeds of the same kind, as all other trees and plants are.
I took several of these weeds, and put them into a glass tube of a finger's breadth, filled with water, and also in a lesser tube, and let the roots of the weeds subside leisurely; then viewing them with my microscope, I observed a great many, and different kinds of animalcula, of which two sorts had long tails, by which they seemed to be fastened to the roots of the weeds. These animalcula were shaped like a bell, and they moved the round cavity of their bodies in a manner that they put the small parts of the water into such a motion that I could not see the instruments they used to produce it.
And though I saw 20 of these animalcula together, gently moving their long tails and outstretched bodies, they contracted their bodies and tails in an instant, and then gently extended them again ; and this kind of motion they continued a great while.
HIKLMNOPQR represent a small part of the said root, as it appeared in the microscope, through the whole length of which were to be seen its vessels with their divisions ; which roots, I imagine, were of no further use, and in a manner withered; they were also overgrown with a great many particular long particles, and mostly with little figures like flowers, as are represented in the fig. between K and L. The animalcula before mentioned are to be seen like little bells, at I S T and N VW; I saw above a hundred of these animalcula, with their tails fastened to the root, and living, between HIKL M, but other roots had none of them,
In several of these roots I observed one, and some few times two, sheaths or cases fastened in them, of several sizes; the largest is represented by R XZY. Out of the same sheath appeared a little animal, the fore-part of whose body