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though not so large a portion of it as its important neighbour.' On passing the bridge connecting this place with Newcastle, we could not but recollect the fatal catastrophe which had happened at the same spot in the year 1771, when a heavy fall of rain occasioned such a prodigious inundation in the river, as swept away the old stone bridge, which had braved the tempests of heaven and the rage of the waters for five hundred years, and carried off at the same time ten houses, in which were six living human creatures. Nothing could heighten the terrors of the scene so much as the cloud “ laments" which issued from the unfortunate suf: ferers, who for a long time had the horrible pros- . pect of inevitable destruction before their eyes, by the lingering fall of the house in which they were, nodding over the abyss of waters before it fell; and no human exertions availing to prevent the crash, or save the inmates.

The vast trade of Newcastle is visible on first entering it, from the bustle of its quays, and the animation of its streets. This chiefly consists of the coal-trade, which it has enjoyed for several centuries past. As early as the thirteenth century, the inhabitants of Newcastle exported this useful fossil to the continent, and in the ensuing one found a market for it in the metropolis. Singular to say, the backwardness in the articles of convenience, or the ignorance of our ancestors, was such, that even in the reign of Edward I. coals were considered in London as a nuisance, and on a petition of the inhabitants of the metropolis in 1307, a proclamation was issued by the king, forbidding the burning of coals to the trades which were supported by their use. This absurd prohibition continued in force for above half a century, when good sense at last triumphed; it was permitted to bring the article to London under the small duty of sixpence per ton for every ship that came from Newcastle. Increasing very rapidly from this time, the coal trade became an important object of attention to government, which issued, in 1421, several regulations respecting the length of the keels, in order to ascertain the quantity of coals shipped at the port, and the duty to be paid there. Improving with the gradual extension of commerce, Newcastle is now the first place in the world for the coaltrade; its exports are calculated at 589,600, and its home consumption at 100,000, Newcastle chaldrons. This immense produce is supplied from collieries in the neighbourhood of the place; the principal of which, their names, and depths, are as follow:










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Below Bridge.

Below Bridge.

St. Anthon's

Sherift-Hill 80



Brandling ditto 70
Bigg's-Main 90 Usworth


· Hebburn 132

Above Bridge.

Above Bridge.



Montagu ditto

60 South-Moor

70 Low-Moor 60


60 The stratification of these works is for the most part more horizontal than that of other great fields of coal, particularly below the bridge to the east of the town, where the general declination to the north-east may be about one foot in seven yards.

Brown and white freestone, here called post, and argillaceous schistus of various thickness and hardness, called blue, grey, or black metal, or metal-stone, (according to their hardness, and proportion of gritty and micacious particles) are the accompanying strata; their orders and thiekness, as well as of the beds of coal varying in the different works. The coal produced from these mines

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is, for the most part light, friable, full of bitumen, caking in burning, and leaving a cinder after repeated burnings with little ashes, and these of a reddish brown colour. This is the better sort; the inferior burns more quickly, makes less cinder, and leaves white ashes, but is not much esteemed. The whole of this is brought down from the works in waggons along rail-roads, and poured, by covered wooden channels. called staiths, (run up at the edge of the river near the works) into boats, or keels as they are here denominated, a clumsy oval vessel, carrying about twenty tons each. These convey the freight to the vessels. The coal-mines are chiefly, though not all, worked by companies of undertakers, who receive leases from the landed proprietors for that purpose. From

. these people the fitter receive the article, and deliver it to the ship-owner, who pays them in notes of six weeks date, and runs the risque of the sale in London. The number of people employed on the river in this vast trade are as follows; Colliers, 6700; Keelmen, 1547; Trimmers, 1000; Seamen, 9000.-The population of Newcastle, exclusive of Gateshead, is 28,294; of which 15,945. are females, and only 12,349 males. The houses amount to 3276, and the families to 6845; a calculation that gives 8 to a house, and

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45 to a family. The number of shipping cleared out from this


will at once give you an idea of the extent of its trade. There were 7840 vessels employed in exporting coal, coal-tar, and cinders; grind-stones, lead in all its forms; iron, wrought and cast; glass, pottery, bricks and tiles, particularly fire-bricks; colours, copperas, soda, butter, bacon, &c. and in importing timber, bar-iron, hemp and flax, seeds, corn, tallow, smelts, port-wine in vast quantities, and brandy; and West-India produce, brought by three or four ships yearly direct from Jamaica.

The manufactures of Newcastle, also, (including some other places on the river) are very numerous; they may be divided into two classes.--First; such as depend chiefly on the cheapness of fuel:

1. Glass-works; of these there are twenty-one on the river, at Newcastle, Lemington, and SouthShields; where crown and broad window-glass, and flint green and common wine-bottles are made.

2. Potteries; of these there are seven employed in the manufactory of Queen's-ware, and some others for coarse and common ditto.

3. Iron-works; which divide themselves into, Ist. the extensive wrought-iron work (the largest in the kingdom) called Crawley's, where every thing is made, from the heaviest anchor to the

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