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In Sussex the roads were especially bad. In 1702, the year of Queen Anne’s accession to the throne, Charles III. of Spain paid a visit to London, travelling by way of Portsmouth. Prince George of Denmark went from Windsor to Petworth to meet him, and an account of this 40-mile journey by road says:—

“We set out at six in the morning … and did not get out of the carriages (save only when we were overturned or stuck fast in the mire) till we arrived at our journey’s end. ‘Twas a hard service for the Prince to sit fourteen hours in the coach that day without eating anything, and passing through the worst ways I ever saw in my life…. The last nine miles of the way cost us six hours to conquer them.”

Defoe tells how the transport of timber from the neighbourhood of Lewes to Chatham by road sometimes took two or three years to effect. He saw there twenty-two oxen engaged in dragging “a carriage known as a ‘tug'” on which the trunk of a tree had been loaded; but the oxen would take it only a short distance, and it would then be thrown down again and left for other teams to take it still further short distances in succession. He also speaks of having seen, at Lewes, “an ancient lady, and a lady of very good quality,” going to church in a “coach” drawn by six oxen, “the way being stiff and deep that no horses could go in it.”

There would seem to have been difficulties not only in going to church in Sussex but even in getting buried there, for in the “Sussex Arch?ological Collections” mention is made of the fact that in 1728 Judith, widow of Sir Richard Shirley, of Preston, Sussex, directed in her will that her body should be brought for burial to Preston, “if she should die at such time of the year as the roads thereto were passable.”

An authority quoted in the article on “Roads” in Postlethwayt’s “Dictionary” (1745), in referring to “that impassable county of Sussex,” bears the following testimony thereto: “I have seen, in that horrible country, the road 60 to 100 yards broad, lie from side to side all poached with cattle, the land of no manner of benefit, and yet no going with a horse but at every step up to the shoulders, full of sloughs and holes, and covered with standing water.”

On the other hand the bad roads were regarded by many of the inhabitants of Sussex as a distinct advantage. They


afforded increased facilities for the smuggling operations practised there down to the beginning of the nineteenth century, by rendering pursuit more difficult.

Arthur Young is an especially eloquent witness as to the conditions of travel in England about the year 1770. In making his tours through the country, with a view to investigating and reporting on the state of agriculture, he passed over all sorts of roads, and, though some of them were “good,” “pretty good,” and even “very good”—these compliments being more especially paid to roads constructed by the country gentry at their own cost—he experiences a difficulty in finding words sufficiently strong in which to express himself when he attempts to describe the roads that were really bad; and this {69}was the case in regard to many of the turnpike roads on which alleged 长沙桑拿水会 improvements had been carried out.

The following examples of his experiences are taken from his “Six Months’ Tour through the North of England”:—

“From Newport Pagnel I took the road to Bedford, if I may venture to call such a cursed string of hills and holes by the name of road; a causeway is here and there thrown up, but so high, and at the same time so very narrow that it was at the peril of our necks we passed a waggon with a civil and careful driver.”

“From Grinsthorpe to Coltsworth are eight miles, called by the courtesy of the neighbourhood a turnpike; but in which we were every moment either buried in quagmires of mud or racked to dislocation over pieces of rock which they call mending.”

“From Rotherham to Sheffield the road is execrably bad, very stony and excessively full of holes.”

“Those who go to Methley by Pontefract must be extremely fond of seeing houses, 长沙桑拿论坛交流 or they will not recompense the fatigue of passing such detestable roads. They are full of ruts, whose gaping jaws threaten to swallow up any carriage less than a waggon. It would be no bad precaution to yoke half a score of oxen to your coach to be ready to encounter such quagmires as you will here meet with.”

“To Coltsworth. Turnpike. Most execrably vile; a narrow causeway, cut into rutts that threaten to swallow one up.”

“To Castle Howard. Infamous. I was near to being swallowed up by a slough.”

“From Newton to Stokesby, in Cleveland. Cross,[15] and extremely bad. You are obliged to cross the moors they call Black Hambledon, over which the road runs in narrow hollows that admit a south country chaise with such difficulty that I reckon this part of the journey made at the hazard of my neck. The going down into Cleveland is beyond all description terrible, for you go through 长沙桑拿休闲娱乐会所 such steep, rough narrow, rocky precipices that I would sincerely advise any friend to go an hundred miles about to escape it.”

“From Richmond to Darlington, by Croft Bridge. To Croft Bridge, cross, and very indifferent. From thence to Darlington is the great north road and execrably broke into {70}holes, like an old pavement; sufficient to dislocate ones bones.”

“To Lancaster. Turnpike. Very bad, rough and cut up.”

“To Preston. Turnpike. Very bad.”

“To Wigan. Ditto. I know not in the whole range of language terms sufficiently expressive to describe this infernal road. To look over a map, and perceive that it is a principal one, not only to some towns, but even whole counties, one would naturally conclude it to be at least decent; but let me most seriously caution all travellers who may accidentally propose to travel this terrible country to avoid it as they would the devil; for a thousand to one but they break their necks or 长沙夜网论坛注册 their limbs by overthrows or breakings down. They will here meet with rutts which I actually measured four feet deep, and floating with mud only from a wet-summer; what therefore must it be after a winter? The only mending it receives is the tumbling in some loose stones, which serve no other purpose but jolting a carriage in the most intolerable manner. These are not merely opinions but facts, for I actually passed three carts broken down in these eighteen miles of execrable memory.”

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