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several objections made from sundry cities and colonies; the Florentines desiring that the Glanis might not be put out of its accustomed chanel, and turned into the river Arnus, in regard much prejudice would thereby befal them. In like manner did the inhabitants of Terano argue; affirming that, if the river Nar should be cut into smaller streams, the overflowings thereof would surround the most fruitful grounds of Italy. Neither were those of Reate (a city in Umbria) silent, who refused to stop the passage of the lake Uelinus (now called Lago de Terni), into the said river Nar. The business, therefore, finding this opposition, was let alone. (!) After which, Nerva or Trajan attempted likewise, by a trench, to prevent the fatal inundations of this river; but without success."

58. The earlier works of the Dutch were well followed up by the contemporaries of Dugdale. He describes their works" within the space of these last fifty years" to have included the "draining of sundry lakes, whereof sixteen were most considerable, by certain windmills, devised and erected for that purpose. The chiefest of which lakes, called the Beemster (containing above eighteen hundred acres), is made dry by the help of LXX of those mills, and walled about with a bank of great strength and substance." "The other lakes, so drained, as I have said, do lie about the cities of Alcmare, Horne, and Purmerende; and are vulgarly called de Schermere, de Waert, de Purmer, and de Wormer." "Neither have the attempts of these people, by the like commendable enterprises, in South Holland, about the cities of Leyden, Dort, and Amsterdam, had less success, there having been divers thousands of acres, formerly overwhelmed with water, made good and firm land, within these few years, by the help of these engines."

We shall have more to say by-and-by of the Dutch draining, as further extended within our own times, but meantime pass on to a notice of our own works in a similar department.

59. Dugdale shows, by "circumstantial testimonies," that the Romsey marshes were reclaimed by the Romans, and then quotes the ordinances of Henry III., "that all the lands in the said marsh be kept and maintained against the violence of the sea, and the floods of the fresh waters, with banks and sewers." The execution of these ordinances appears to have provoked much litigation, and Edward I. found it necessary to issue letters patent for the repairing of the banks and ditches. Further disputes followed, and led to new letters patent two years afterwards. Edward II., Edward III., Richard II., and several succeeding sovereigns, repeated their patents for the like purpose. Similar Royal commissions were instituted for preserving the lands in East Kent, "for the digging of a certain trench, over the lands, lying between Gestlinge, and Stonflete, and from Stonflete to the town of Sandwich; to the intent that the passage of the water called Northbroke, which was at Gestlinge, should be diverted; so that it might run to Sandwich." Also "for the repair and safeguard of the banks and ditches, from the overflowing of the tide, betwixt Dertford, Flete, and Grenewich," and thence to London Bridge. The banks, &c., in Surrey, "betwixt Lambehethe and Grenewiche;" of Middlesex, "betwixt the hospital of S. Kathrine's, near the Tower of London, and the town of Chadewelle;" some parts "within the precincts of Westminster;" "betwixt a place called the Neyt and Temple Bar, in London, then broken and in decay by the force of the tides," were also to be repaired by Royal letters patent;

besides the marshes in the suburbs of London, in Essex, and in Sussex. On the coasts of Somersetshire, Gloucestershire, and Yorkshire, &c., works of repair were also provided for under the care of Commissioners, severally appointed by letters patent from the kings. Of Somersetshire, Dugdale observes, "that the overflowings, both of the sea and fresh rivers in some parts of this county, were heretofore likewise exceeding great. I need not seek far for testimony; the rich and spacious marshes below Wells and Glastonbury (since, by much industry, drained and reduced to profit) sufficiently manifesting no less. For, considering the flatness of those parts, at least twelve miles eastward from the sea, which gave way to the tides to flow up very high; as also that the filth and sand, thereby continually brought up, did not a little obstruct the out-falls of those fresh waters which descend from Bruton, Shepton Malet, and several other places of this shire, all that great level about Glastonbury and below it (now for the most part called Brentmarshe) was, in time past, no other than a very fen; and that place, being naturally higher than the rest, accounted an island, by reason of its situation in the bosom of such vast waters."

60. The history of the works of embanking and draining in the counties of Lincoln and Cambridge affords evidence of the skill and labour which had then been applied to these objects. The good abbots appear to have acted as conservators of the low lands in Lincolnshire. Thus, in the isle of Axholme, "one Geffrey Gaddesby, late abbot of Selby, did cause a strong sluice of wood to be made upon the river of Trent, at the head of a certain sewer, called the Maredyke, of a sufficient height and breadth for the defence of the tides coming from the sea; and, likewise, against the fresh

waters descending from the west part of the before specified sluice to the said sewer, into the same river of Trent; and thence into Humbre:" "John de Shireburne," Geffrey's successor, pulled down this timber sluice, and "did new make the same sluices of stone, sufficient (as he thought) for defence of the sea tides, and likewise of the said fresh waters;" but jurors, appointed under patent of Henry V., reported these stone sluices were "not strong enough for that purpose, being both too high and too broad; and that it would be expedient, if the then abbot would, in the place where those sluices of stone were made, cause certain sluices of strong timber to be set up, consisting of two flood-gates, each flood-gate containing in itself, four foot in breadth, and six foot in height." They also recommended "one demmyng" to be made, "without the said sluice, towards the river of Trent."

61. It was upon districts such as those we are now considering that the art of draining was first practised. Here the matter was one of obvious necessity. In wet fields and moist pastures, our ancestors found no positive demand for improvement; the evil was seen and recognised in its full extent, but the only tangible effect was to depreciate the value of the land, and induce a preference for districts where nature provided a more sufficient drainage. But on the sea-coast, and especially in the neighbourhood of the outfalls of rivers, the evil of neglect was too apparent to be disregarded; the ocean spread over its common bounds, and the waters of the river, choked up with silt, passed their limits, the pasture fields became swamps,-in some cases the land disappeared by degrees, and the inheritance of ages became merged in the boundless waters.

62. The first work was to cut channels at intervals

through the threatened district (selecting the lowest levels for them, where a choice was afforded), in which the excess of water might be collected and conducted to a main drain cut parallel to, or at an angle with the coast or river, the transfer of the water from one to the other, and from the main to the sea or river, being, when necessary, regulated by sluices. The earth removed from these collecting and main drains, being cast up on either side of them, at once increased their available depth, formed boundaries to the passing water, and raised causeways for the passage of men and animals. Thus arose the combined arts of draining and embanking.

63. The maps of the fens of Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire exhibit a multitude of illustrations of the works here referred to; but we may select those executed in one district as examples of the whole. This district consists of the lowland or level about the river Ancholme in Lincolnshire, and is situated on the south side of the river Humber, about ten miles below its junction with the river Trent, containing about 50,000 acres of land. It is bounded on the east by a ridge of chalk hills, which extend from the Humber nearly 24 miles N. and S. From this ridge the Ancholme receives the drainage of about 100,000 acres. A lower ridge of oolite and sandy limestone divides it on the W. from the Trent Valley, and contributes to the Ancholme the drainage of some 50,000 acres more, and on the S. a low diluvial ridge divides the district from the Witham Valley. The Ancholme thus receives the drainage of a total of 200,000 acres. The valley varies from one to three miles in width, and the total bulk of waters daily poured through the river is estimated at 140 millions

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