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THE COUNTY OF SUFFOLK.
SITUATION, BOUNDARIES, EXTENT, CLIMATE,
AND FACE OF THE COUNTRY. SUFFOLK is a maritime
county, bounded on the east by the German Ocean; on the west by Cambridgeshire ; on the north by Norfolk, from which it is separated by the rivers, the Little Ouse, and the Waveney; and on the south by Essex, from which it is divided by the river Stour.
It extends fifty-eight miles in length from east to west ; and the mean breadth from north to south is about thirty miles.
The climate of this county is unquestionably one of the dryest in the kingdoin ; with which circumstance two others unite: the frosts are severe, and the north-east winds in the spring, sharp and lent. On the whole, however, it may be reckoned favourable.
Suffolk is in general a level country; bordering on the sea coast, it is mostly sandy; and is distributed into arable, heath and marsh land. The inland part of the county is chiefly a strong clayey loam, and is generally fertile; that part called High Suffolk is extremely stiff and tenacious. The north western part of the county is open and sandy, and is chiefly in warrens and sheep walks, interspersed with some poor arable land.
NAME AND ANCIENT HISTORY. Suffolk, which signifies South-folk, or Southern people, was so called by the Saxons, on account of its being inhabited by the southern branch of the East Angles, and to express its situation, with respect to the northern people of that nation, in the county of Norfolk.
This county, at the invasion of the Romans, was part of the territory inhabited by the Iceni; and Mr.
Camden, from the similitude of the names of several villages, is of opinion, that it was the district, in which they principally resided. Here were two Roman stations on the western side of the county, upon the military way called Ermine-street, and the remains of fortifications, barrows, and Roman coins, have been found here in as great plenty as in the other parts of England. After the Romans forsook the island, the Saxons were invited over by Vortigern, the Britisha king, to assist him and his people against the Scots and Picts, and by their help he soon drove out the enemy; but they themselves refusing to retire, settled in the kingdom; and under them, the Icenian territories became the kingdom of the East Angles. In the time of the Danish invasions, Hungar and Hubba, two Danish generals, advanced with an army into this county; on which Edmund, king of the East Angles, first retired to · Thetford, which they soon plundered, and he flying into Framlingham Castle, they besieged and took it. lle, however, escaped into a wood, where being found, they tied him to a tree, and shot him to death with arrows. After the Danes were gone, his body was interred in the church of Bury, from him called St. Edmund's Bury. Afterwards Swaine, king of Denmark, advanced into this county, and spared neither the towns nor the churches, unless redeemed by the inhabitants with great suins of money. When William the Conqueror was settled on the throne, he divided the manors of this county among his officers.
POPULATION, &c. The population of this county consisted according to the late population act, of 210,431 persons, viz. 101,091 males, and 109,340 females, of which number 55,744 were returned as being employed in trade and manufacture, and 34,004 in various trades and manufactures. Suffolk sends sixteen members to
the Imperial Parliament, viz. two for the county, and two for each borough,
CIVIL AND ECCLESIASTICAL DIVISIONS. The niost general division of this county is into two parts; the first called the Franchise, or liberty of St. Edmund, comprehends the western part of the county; and the second, called Geldable Land, contains the eastern part; and each part furnishes a distinct grand jury at the county assizes. There are tro other general divisions of this county, into High Suifolk and Low Suttoik; and it is farther divided into twenty-one hundreds, viz. Babergh, Blackbourne, Cosford, Hartismere, Hoxne, Lackford, Piomsgate, Resbridge, Siow, Thredwestry, ThredJing, Blything, Bosmere and Claydon, Carlford, Colneis, Loes, Mutford and Lothingland, Samford, Thingoe, Wangford and Wilford. It has no city, but contains seven boroughs, viz. Aldborough, Dunwicli, Eye, Ipswich, Orford, Sudbury, and Bury St. Eenwunds; and twenty-one other market towns ; viz. Beccles, Bildeston, Brandon, Botesdale, Bungay, Clare, Debepliam, Framlingliam, Hadley, Haverhill, Ixworth, Lavenham, Lowestoft, Mendiesham, Mildenhall, Needham, Neyland, Saxmundham, Southwold, Stow-Marhet, and Woolbridge; containing 32,805 houses, occupied by 43,481 families. Sute kolk is now included in the Norfolk circuit, the province of Canterbury, and the diocese of Norwich.
Water is very plentiful all over this county, for there are not only rivers in almost every part, but a gieat number of fine springs and rivulets. The principal rivers are the Stour, the Lesser (use, the Haveney, the Deben, the Ald, and the Blithe.
The Stour, which is one of the principal rivers, rises not far from llaverhill, on tbe borders of Cambridgeshire, and passes with some windings in a southern or eastern direction to Sudbury, and from thence, after being joined by the Brett, near Neyland, eastward to its mouth, dividing Essex from this county to Harwich.
This river passes through a very pleasant part of the two counties it traverses. At Manningtree it receives the tide, and increasing greatly in breadth presents a beautiful object at high water to the fine seat and grounds of Mistly Thorn, the effect of which is, however, considerably lessened by its muddy channel and contracted stream, during the ebb. “At Harwich it meets the Orwell from Ipswich, and both rivers fall into the sea beneath the batteries of Landguard Fort, on the shore of this county.
The Little Ouse rises near Blow-Norton, on the northern edge of this county, and running by Thetford, Branden, and other places, falls into the Great Ouse.
The Waveney likewise rises near Blow-Norton, not far from the spring head of the Little Ouse, but suns a contrary way, that is, east-north-east, passing by Dis, Harleston, and Beccles, till at length it falls into the Yare near Yarmouth.
The Deben rises near Mendlesham, and running south-east, and passing by Debenham and Woodbridge, two other market towns of this county, falls into the German Sea, eleven miles south-east of Woodbridge.
The Orwell finds its source, in the centre of this county, near Stow-Market, pursuing a south-east direction to Ipswich, and from thence making a curve almost to the south to meet the Stour, opposite to Harwich,
The banks of this river are in general picturesque, and more particularly so when it becomes an æstuary below the ancient town of Ipswich, to which place it is navigable by ships of considerable burthen. The banks are then steep, beautifully fringed witla
wood, and adorned with several fine seats. The navigation of this channel from Ipswich Quay is de. lightful at high water, terminating at the point where Landguard Fort fronts the ports of Harwich.
The Ald rises near Framlingham, and running south-east passes by Aldborough and Orford, and falls into the German Sea, a few miles from the lastmentioned town.
The Blithe has its source near Laxfield, from whence running east-north-east to Hazleworth, it passes from thence, almost directly east, to Southwold, where it falls into the German Şea.
There are other less considerable rivers in this county; as the Ore, the Berdon, the Bret, the Bourn, and the Larke.