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LONDON is the largest and wealthiest, as well as the most populous

of the cities of the world. It is at once the centre of liberty, the seat of a great imperial government, and the metropolis of that great race whose industry and practical application of the arts of peace are felt in every clime, while they exert an almost boundless influence over the moral and political destinies of the world. About to become the theatre of an event of the highest moral importance, it is desirable that the stranger in our giant city should be made acquainted with its organization and structure-with its trade and commerce-with the sources of its social and political greatness-with its many treasures hidden from the eye of the superficial observer. The aim of the present volume is to endeavour to effect this object—and in such a manner as not only to satisfy the mind of the learned and scientific inquirer, but to afford to the man of business and the sight-seer the advantages of a book of reference to those numerous depositories of art and science which abound in the metropolis, and which render such effectual aid towards the refinement of domestic life, by furnishing alike the means of instruction and amusement. The work-which is accompanied by a map scientifically laid down from the meridian of St. Paul's-will be found to contain valuable information on the following subjects:Almshouses. Breweries.

Architecture of London, ancient and mo- Canals.


Architects: the great men, Jones, Wren, and Chambers, who have contributed most to the architecture of London. Arts, Manufactures, and Trades. Assurances.


Banks-Bank of England.
Baths and Washhouses.

Cathedrals and Churches.

Charitable Institutions.
Climate of London.




Customs Duties.

Docks, Commercial and Royal.

Botanical Features and Landscape of the Ducal Residences.

Neighbourhood of London.

East India House and Institution.



SECTION 1. HYDROGRAPHY.-The hydrographical basin of the Thames is formed by a valley of denudation, rather irregular in its form, but whose main direction is from west to east, with a subsidiary valley, that of the Lea, running nearly north and south. The length, from the Isle of Grain and Shoebury Ness to the sources of the river, is about 230 miles; the breadth is less easily defined. In no case, however, does it much exceed 60 miles; and its average width may be taken as being about from 26 to 30 miles. The area thus drained is supposed to be 6027 square miles, though some geographers estimate it at 6500 square miles. For 188 miles of its course the river is navigable; no less than 70 miles being under the influence of the tides. The commercial importance of the river as a means of transport is, moreover, much increased by the canalization of several of its affluents; and by the execution of numerous artificial canals, which place it in connection, by water, with almost every town of importance in the south of Great Britain.

Course.-Geographers are not unanimous in deciding upon any particular spot as the source of the Thames. Indeed, the streams which dispute the honour of giving rise to it are so equal in their insignificance that the decision is of little moment. Four of them, the Leech, the Colne, the Churn, and the Isis, which rise in the Cotswold range of hills, unite near Lechlade, from which point the river becomes navigable, and is known for a considerable portion of its course by the name of the Isis. Lechlade is about 146 miles from London, and 204 from Sheerness; its elevation above low-water mark at London Bridge is 258 ft., thus showing the average fall of the river from that point to be 21 in. per mile, or about 1 in 3017.

At Lechlade, the Thames and Severn Canal locks into the Isis, thus putting the south-east and south-west coasts of England in connection with one another. This canal is 40 ft. wide on the water line, 30 ft. on the floor, and 5 ft. deep; it is navigable by boats of 70 tons burthen. The navigation of the Isis was intended for boats of 100 tons, so that it is often necessary to tranship goods passing from the river to the canal, or vice versa.

After passing Lechlade, the Isis follows a circuitous course: leav ing Farringdon on the south, and Bampton on the north, it runs through the grounds of Blenheim to Oxford, having received, near Woodstock, the Evenlode. At Oxford, the Charwell falls into the river; it is a stream of some importance, which rises near Culworth in the Buckinghamshire hills, and receives, at Islip, a stream from the neighbourhood of Grandborough. The Oxford Canal joins the Thames here also, opening a water-carriage to Birmingham and Warwick, by means of a canal of small section, 28 ft. wide on the

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water-line, 16 ft. on the floor, and 4 ft. 6 in. deep; the locks being only 74 ft. 9 in. long, by 7 ft. wide. The Isis then continues its course southerly, through Nuneham Park to Abingdon, where it receives the Windrush, and near which town also the Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal locks into it at a point where the river is 180 ft. 4 in. above the mean level of the sea at the Nore. This also is a canal of small section. The course of the river thence becomes more circuitous, with a general inclination towards the southeast (in the course of which the Ock, from the vale of White Horse, joins the main stream), to near Dorchester in Oxfordshire, where it joins the Thame, and from this point the united streams take the definite name of the Thames. The Thame rises in the same range of the Buckinghamshire hills from which the Charwell takes its source; it winds through the vale of Aylesbury, and receives at Wendover its most considerable affluent.

The Thames thence runs southerly through a gorge in the Chiltern Hills, which slope down abruptly towards the narrow valley of the river; it passes Bensington, Wallingford (where it receives a small stream), Pangbourne (where another joins it), Streatley, Maple Durham and Purley Hall to Henley. Near Reading, it receives the Kennet, which is formed by the meeting of two rivulets at Marlborough, and is augmented by subsidiary streams at Newberry and at Upton, before it joins the main river. The town of Reading itself is situated upon the Kennet, at a distance of 11⁄2 mile from the junction with the Thames. This portion of the river is rendered navigable for boats 109 ft. long, by 17 ft. wide, and 4 ft. draught of water. Above Reading, the Kennet is canalized for a distance of 18 miles, at which point the Kennet and Avon Canal locks into it. Boats of from 50 to 70 tons navigate on this canal, for the width of the water-line is 44 ft., of the floor-line, 24 ft., with a minimum depth of 5 ft.; the locks are 80 ft. long between gates, by 14 ft. in width. The Kennet and Avon Canal joins London directly with Bath and Bristol.

At Maidenhead the Loddon, which rises near Basingstoke and Odiham in the chalk-hills of Hampshire, joins the Thames. That river then passes round the Castle Hill to near Woburn Park and Ham, by Datchet, Staines, and Chertsey. At Staines the Colne, from the neighbourhood of Watford, falls into the Thames; and at Ham it receives the Wey, which rises near Alton, in Hampshire, runs through Farnham, and, at Guildford, receives a stream taking its source in the Bramshot Hills near Horsham, and passing through Godalming. About 1 mile from the embouchure of the Wey in the Thames, the Basingstoke Canal locks down into the form The Wey itself, and its tributary from the Surrey Hills, is render navigable as far as Godalming; at which town a canal commences, joining the Wey and the Arun, and placing London in connectio

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