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  Tour Through the Eastern Counties of England Daniel Defoe


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Whoever travels, as I do, over England, and writes the account of his observations, will, as I noted before, always leave something, altering or undertaking by such a growing improving nation as this, or something to discover in a nation where so much is hid, sufficient to employ the pens of those that come after him, or to add by way of appendix to what he has already observed.

This is my case with respect to the particulars which follow: (1) Since these sheets were in the press, a noble palace of Mr. Walpole's, at present First Commissioner of the Treasury, Privy-counsellor, etc., to King George, is, as it were, risen out of the ruins of the ancient seat of the family of Walpole, at Houghton, about eight miles distant from Lynn, and on the north coast of Norfolk, near the sea.

As the house is not yet finished, and when I passed by it was but newly designed, it cannot be expected that I should be able to give a particular description of what it will be. I can do little more than mention that it appears already to be exceedingly magnificent, and suitable to the genius of the great founder.

But a friend of mine, who lives in that county, has sent me the following lines, which, as he says, are to be placed upon the building, whether on the frieze of the cornice, or over the portico, or on what part of the building, of that I am not as yet certain. The inscription is as follows, viz.:-

"H. M. F.

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"Fundamen ut essem Domus
In Agro Natali Extruendae,
Robertus ille Walpole
Quem nulla nesciet Posteritas:

Faxit Dues.

"Postquam Maturus Annis Dominus.
Diu Laetatus fuerit absoluta
Incolumem tueantur Incolames.
Ad Summam omnium Diem
Et nati natorum et qui nascentur ab illis.

Hic me Posuit."

A second thing proper to be added here, by way of appendix, relates to what I have mentioned of the Port of London, being bounded by the Naze on the Essex shore, and the North Foreland on the Kentish shore, which some people, guided by the present usage of the Custom House, may pretend is not so, to answer such objectors. The true state of that case stands thus:

"(1) The clause taken from the Act of Parliament establishing the extent of the Port of London, and published in some of the books of rates, is this:

"'To prevent all future differences and disputes touching the extent and limits of the Port of London, the said port is declared to extend, and be accounted from the promontory or point called the North Foreland in the Isle of Thanet, and from thence northward in a right line to the point called the Naze, beyond the Gunfleet upon the coast of Essex, and so continued westward throughout the river Thames, and the several channels, streams, and rivers falling into it, to London Bridge, saving the usual and known rights, liberties, and privileges of the ports of Sandwich and Ipswich, and either of them, and the known members thereof, and of the customers, comptrollers, searchers, and their deputies, of and within the said ports of Sandwich and Ipswich and the several creeks, harbours, and havens to them, or either of them, respectively belonging, within the counties of Kent and Essex.'

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Tour Through the Eastern Counties of England
Daniel Defoe

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