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Fen separately; then for draining Wildmore and West Ferri jointly. Respecting these he remarks, That the present drainage is made through · Anton's Gowt, about two miles and a half above Boston, and Maudfoster a little below it. The former of which, considered a most essential outfall, has a single pair of doors with a clear opening of fourteen feet two inches; an aperture not large enough to discharge the water usually conducted to it; and in time of flood it is over-rode by the Witham, which frequently keeps the doors shut for weeks together. The water which should discharge through them is forced back along Medlam drain, and West House sike, and is obliged to find a passage by other drains to Maudfoster. The sill of Anton's Gowt is two feet three inches higher than the sill of Maudfoster, and the surface of the water at different times considerably higher ; whence he infers, that no effectual drainage of these fens can be made by any alterations, while the out-fall still continues at Anton's Gowt. Viewing it therefore in all points, and after giving a scheme for the separate drainage of Wildmore-fen, he concludes, That the general surface of the low lands of these fens, being about one height, may be drained by one out-fafl.---That as their surface lies about pine feet above the sill of Maudfoster's Gowt, and the water on the sill at neap tides is only six feet, and at spring tides four feet nine inches, there will be a fall of three feet in the one case, and four feet three inches in the other; which he considers sufficient for the extent of level. He then proposes a cut to be made from Medlam-drain at Swinecoat's inclosure, thence to Collins's bridge, a length of eleven miles and a half; having a fall from three to four inches and one-tenth per nile. A straight cut was also to be made from the junction of How-bridge drain with Newham drain, to the drain proposed above to Collins's-bridge. This forms a line of thirteen miles, with a fall of two inches twotenths per mile, during neap tides. Other drains are intended to be made, when the inclosures 'are laid out.
It appears from this Report, that nearly twelve thousand acres of high lands drain 'their superfluous waters by the different becks,
which pass through these fens, the quantity per day is often sufficient to cover the whole surface three-tenths of an inch deep; and in wet seasons much more. To discharge this Mr. Rennie proposed a catch-water drain, to commence near the Witham in Coningsby, skirting the high lands to near Hagnaby corner, there to join Gote-sike drain through Fen-side drain; and thence by a new channel to Maudfoster Gowt. The length from the mouth of the river Bain to Maudfoster Gowt is twenty-one miles, and the rise is little more than fourteen feet. This will give a fall to the water at the said Gowt of eight feet, or about four inches and a half per mile, but it may admit of five. inches. He then proposes a new Gowt to be constructed near Maudfoster, with three openings, each fifteen feet wide; one of which to be appropriated, in times of flood, to the discharge of the waters conducted by the catch-water drain; but in ordinary cases these are to form a junction. This taking the water which fall or issue from 40,000 acres of land through Maudfoster, will cause so ample a scour, as to prevent the silt from accumulating to any great degree, and keep the out-fall in a proper and useful state. ·· By this scheme also the drains are to be made sufficiently capacious to admit of such vessels as are generally used in the fens, being navigated upon them; for this purpose locks are to be constructed, to permit them to pass into and out of the Witlam, and to form a communication with each other. Also, sluices with penstocks to adoiit of running water from the brooks to the fens, for the use of cattle during the summer monthis.
Respecting the drainage of the East Fen and the East Holland Towns Mr. Repnie observes, that some parts of these, at present, drain through Maud foster Gowt, and others have separate Gowts at Fishtoft and Butterwick; but part of the waters at Friskney ·are raised by an engine, and sent afterwards to sea by a small gowt. The general surface of East Fen is eight feet above the sill at Maudfoster, and but five feet six inches above that at Wainfleet; whence, as the distance is nearly equal from the centre, - in the one case, the fall would be but one inch, and five-tenths VOL. IX.
per mile ; and in the other much less; whence he concludes, that no efficient drainage, in the present state of Boston harbour, can be effected by either of those out-falls.
On mature consideration, Mr. Rennie thought the only effeetual place, through which the East Fen and the lower grounds in East Holland could be drained, is a little lower than where the present Gowt of Fishtoft is situated. He proposes therefore a new gowt of larger dimensions to be made about a quarter of a mile below the present. From the level taken, through an extent of sixteen miles, the fall appears to be at the lower part two inches and a quarter per mile, and in the higher part five inches. A new drain is to be cut from what are called the Deeps, and turning southward to empty into the river near Fishtoft, about five miles below Boston. This, with proper side drains, Mr. Rennie thinks would form a complete drainage for the whole of this district, a few acres of the Pits.or Deeps excepted. The high land waters he proposes should be sent, by a channel joining Fen drain at Shottles, to the Gowt at Maudfoster. The quantity of water descending from 38,424 acres will keep the Gowt open, and as there are but few obstructions from sands near Fishtoft, the out-fall will always be in good order; at least in the same state with the river itself at the proposed place.
This Report was printed April 7, 1800, and the estimates for carrying these grand schemes into effect is stated thus :
£. Draining Wildmore Fen separately..
29,702 0 0 Draining Wildmore and West Fens jointly...... 103,262 0 0 Draining East Fen and East Holland Towns
81,908 0 0
By a revision of the schemes in the above Report, after the former levels were proved, and new ones taken, Mr. Rennie
gave in to the Proprietors a second Report; in which, from baving again surveyed the fens in a more favourable season, hie is of opinion, that no material alteration can be made for the better, in the
$clieme for Wildmore and the West Fens; but that some improvements may be made, not in the principle, but in the disposition of some drains in the scheme proposed for draining the East Fen.
It was judged proper to be thus particular respecting these Reports, because the grand works therein specified are now carrying into execution, and when completed will not only occasion this part of the country to wear a more cheerful appearance, and be highly advantageous to the inhabitauts, but be a lasting monument of the spirit of the land proprietors, and the skill and ability of the engineer.
Amongst the many agricultural improvements, Irrigation, or the plan of watering meadows, so successfully practised in other counties, does not appear to have been pursued in this. Arthur Young mentions a solitary instance. But a plan of using water for fertilizing the soil is adopted, which is peculiar to this part of the kingdom, and principally practised in this county. This is called WARPING, and is a perfectly simple process. It consists in permitting the tide to run over the land at high water, and letting it off at low. It is very different from irrigation, for the effect here is not produced by water, but by mud, which is not meant so much to manure the land as to create a surface. The kind of land that is intended to be warped is of little consequence; for the warp deposited will, in the course of one summer, raise it from six to sixteen inches, and in hollow places niore, so as to leave the whole extent a level of rich soil, consisting of sand and mud, of vast fertility. Its component parts appear to be argillaceous and silicious earths, with portions of mica, marine salt, and mucilage. Whence this warp is derived has been a subject of dispute, because the waters at the mouth of the Humber, when the tide flows, are observed to be transparent. But whoever examines the Estuary further inland, and the tides as they roll up the Trent, Dun, Ouse, and other rivers, cannot be at a moment's loss to discover the cause. The soil of the rich lands through which Pp 2
they shape their course, is carried down by the currents, and meeting with the sea water, which is charged with saline, silicious, and other particles, unite, and are carried back by the refluent tide. When the waters remain at rest, they instantly deposit their contents. Young says, “ That in summer, if a cylindrical glass, twelve or fifteen inches long, be filled with it, it will presently deposite an inch, and sometimes more, of what is called warp."
POLITICAL CHARACTER of the county. It has been reinarked, that Lincolnshire, like Yorkshire and the county of Devon, from their extent and opulence, are neither of them under the influence of any individual, and that in cases of contested elections, the freedom of the people is not so liable to corruption as in small counties and property, borouglis. Another evil, however, arises from this extent of territory and number of freemen: an opposition seldom occurs, for the men of greatest riches and landed property obtain a preponderating influence, and the dread of ruinous expense prevents any opposition. This county returns twelve members to the United Parliament; two for the shire, two for the city, and two from each of the following boroughs:-Boston, Grantham, Great Grimsby, and Stamford. Spalding and Waynfleet returned members in the eleventh year of the reign of Edward the Third.