Cornhill Magazine,  9 (1864), 84–96.


[Coke Richardson]




Mining, Pollution, Environmentalism, Physical Geography, Geology, Palaeontology, Stratigraphy, Mapping, Race, Comparative Philology

People mentioned:

John Phillips

Publications cited:

Phillips 1829–36

    After describing the beautiful scenery that abounds in Yorkshire, complains that many of the 'rivers are spoiled, so far as angling is concerned, by the reprehensible practices of the servants of the lead-mining companies', by which 'the waters of the river[s] are immediately changed from clearness like crystal to a murky leaden hue, and shortly afterwards the fish are drugged and stupefied, and half of them lie dead and floating on their backs' (84n.). Notes that the crumbling coastline of East Yorkshire is showing signs that 'the sea is stealthily but surely winning back its own', and that the county may become 'again, as geologists tell us it once was, the Vale of York, ocean covered, Creyke an island, and Black Hambleton a sea cliff, as Whitby is at this moment'. Indeed, 'nowhere are relics of the past to be found in greater richness or profusion than in Yorkshire', where at a 'period which in geological reckoning is of a very recent kind, the elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, hyæna, &c., must have prowled about in the valleys and on the mountains, since their bones, teeth, &c., are continually found deeply imbedded in certain strata'. In the 'celebrated Kirkdale cave [...] a discovery was made some years ago of a perfect treasure of these reliquiæ'. (86) Also goes on to describe the different races which predominate in the three Ridings of the county (Saxon in the North; Celtic in the West; Danish in the East), as well as the distinctive dialects which afford 'Irrefragable proof' of the 'early [...] habitation' of the Yorkshire Ridings (90).

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