previous next


The natural resources of the island were undeveloped. The tin mines of Cornwall, which two thousand years before attracted the ships of the merchant princes of Tyre beyond the Pillars of Hercules, were indeed worked to a considerable extent; but the copper mines, which now yield annually fifteen thousand tons, were entirely neglected. Rock salt was known to exist, but was not used to any considerable extent; and only a partial supply of salt by evaporation was obtained. The coal and iron of England are at this time the stable foundations of her industrial and commercial greatness. But in 1685 the great part of the iron used was imported. Only about ten thousand tons were annually cast. Now eight hundred thousand is the average annual production. Equally great has been the increase in coal mining. ‘Coal,’ says Macaulay, ‘though very little used in any species of manufacture, was already the ordinary fuel in some districts which were fortunate enough to possess large beds, and in the capital, which could easily be supplied by water carriage. It seems reasonable to believe that at least one half of the quantity then extracted from the pits was consumed in London. The consumption of London seemed to the writers of that age enormous, and was often mentioned by them as a proof of the greatness of the imperial city. They scarcely hoped to be believed when they affirmed that two hundred and eighty thousand chaldrons —that is to say, about three hundred and fifty thousand tons –were, in the last year of the reign of Charles II., brought to the Thames. At ’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Cornwall (United Kingdom) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Macaulay (1)
Hercules (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1685 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: