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The Parish of Holy-wood from Sir John Sinclair's faiiflicai account of ScotlandOrigin of the Name'.
Ho Lywoob is evidently derived from the holy wood, or grove of oak trees, which 'surrounded a large Druidical temple still standing, within half a mile of the parishchurch. It is formed of twelve very large whin or moor stones as they are called, which inclose a circular piece of ground of about eighty yards in diameter. The oaks have rKVW all perished; but there is a tradition of theii existing in the last age. Many of their roots have been dug out of the ground by the present minister.; and he has still one of them in his posseflioa.'
Situation, Extent, aud Surface.—The parish lies in the division of the county of Dumfries, called Nithsdale, in the Presbytery and Synod of Dumfries. Itis-about ten English miles long, and one and an half broad, on an average. It is bounded by the parish of Dumfries on the east; by Terregles, Kirkpatrick-Irongray, and Kirkpatnick-Durham, on the south; by a small pars of Glencaira, and a large tract of Dunscore, on the west and north; and by Lirkmahoe on the north-east. Being situated in the middle os a .broad valley, it is in general flat and low land. The hills in the parish are neither high nor rocLy.
Rivers.—The River Nith runs along the whole of the east end of the parish, intersecting it, however, in one place for above a mile in length. The river Cluden, also a considerable one, runs along the south side of the parish above eight miles, and intersects it in three places, emptying itself into the Nith in the south-east corner of the parish, near the old College or Provestry of L.includen, which stands 011 the Galloway side of the river,in die parish oiTet r.egles.
Fish.—The Cluden abounds in sine burn trouts, a few pike of a middle size, and of excellent quality,some salmon, some sea trout, and herlings f. The Nith produces the
f Herlings are a small kind of trout, a little larger than a herring, and Jhaped like a salmon; its flush is reddish J-Jcc that of the salmon *>r J(aa same kinds os fish,but with this difference, that the herl'mgs, sea trout and salmon, are much more plentiful in it than in the Cluden. One peculiarity deserves particular notice: Though the two rivers join at the south-east corner of the parish, each has its own distinct species of salmon, 'she Cluden salmon are considerably thicker and shorter in their body, and greatly shorter in their head than those of the Nidi. The burn trouts abound in the spring and summer; the herlings and sea trout in July and August; and the salmon from the beginning of March to the beginning of October. The salmon is in the greatest: perfection in June and July. In the spring it sells for about one shilling a pound of sixteen ounces, and gradually decreases in price as the season advances, to 2^d. a pound. It is all fold in the town of Dumfries, and to the families in the adjacent country. Dumfries being so near, and many of the fishermen living in the town, the price in that market, and on the spot where it is caught in this parish, it always the fame. The prices of the other kinds of fish are always a little lower than that of salmon: and they rise and fall with it. About ten years ago, the price of •fish in this country was scarcely half of what' it is at present. The increased price is perhaps owing, in part, to the increased consumption, and luxury of the inhabitants, but principally to the great demand for this fish, to supply the ricn and populous manufacturing towns in Lancashire; for within these last ten years, very considerable quantities of fresh salmon have been sent, by land carriage, into that country, from the Solway Frith, and the mouths of all the rivers that run into it.
Soil.—The soil of this parish is of four different kinds, viz. :i considerable tract of land,abotit a fourth part of the parish in the east, along the river Nith, and on the south for about . seven miles up the river Cluden, is a deep, rich, light loam, and free from stones: 2d, Another fourth part, contiguous to the former, is a light, dry, fertile soil, lying on a bed of sandy gravel, producing heavy crops of corn and grafs in a showery season ; but it is greatly parched up in dry seasons: gt/, Another fourth pint, which joins this last, is a deep strong loam, interspersed with stones, upon a tilly'bed; it is naturally wet, stiiF to plough, and not so fertile as either of the two former; but, when drained,-limed, and properly wrought, more productive both of corn and grafs than either of them, in all varieties of seasons, excepting only a cold and wet summer. $th, The remaining part which is hilly, is somewhat similar to the last, only not so deep and arat; it produces a kind of grafs, neither very fine nor very coarse, which in some of the higher parts of the hills is mixed with heath, and a few other hard weeds.
trout, but considerably paler. They abound in all the rivers in this part of the country, aud have the name of hcr'i.ig in al! the adjoining juriihen.
Air, GUmate,&c ■—The air is dry,and remarkably whole,, some. The singular healthiness of the inhabitants, may, however, be attributed to the following causes. They do not live in towns or even villages; they are not employed in sedentary occupations ;(being either country gentlemen or farmers ; they live in houses detached from each other; they are engaged in active employments in the open air; they are industrious, sober and cheerful. The dryness of the air, is owing to the peculiar local situation of the parilh. The clouds intercepted by the hills on every side, float in fogs on the top of them, while the inhabitants enjoy a clear and dry air in the valley. At other times when the clouds break into rain on the hills, or the fides of the valley, while the skirts of the showers only reach its central parts. Add to these circumstances, that the two rapid rivers carrr off the superfluous water from the land, and the moisture from the air.
Seed-time, and Harvest.—The time of sowing wheat is •from the middle of September to the middle of October; oats, pease, beans, hemp, and flax, from tiie ieth of March to the middle of April; potatoes and barley from the middle of April to the 10th of May : and turnips from the icth to the 2.4th of June. The harvest generally begins about or before the middle of August : and the crop is got totally into the barns, and barn-yards, by the end of September. In cold and wet seasons, like the last, it is-, however, somewhat later.
Epidemical Diseases.^—No local distempers, or sickness of any kind are prevalent in the parish. In the months of Jebniaryand March,indeed,seme fevers appear among the people of low circumstances, especially in that district of the parish, which lies in the nanowest part of the valley; but these seem chiefly owing to poor living, and bad accommodation during the winter season, and perhaps to the dampness of the preceding months.
ManusaSurts.—It was before mentioned, that there are neither towns nor villages in the parish, but that the inhabitants live in detached houses: manufactures,*therefore, cannot well exist in this district. The dearness of fuel is another obstacle: Peats are bad, scarce, and consequently dear; and coals are either carted twenty-four miles land carriage, ■or brought from England by water. These last would be moderately cheap, were it not for the high duties laid on them, which are as fatal to the improvement of this, as they are to many other parts of Scotland ; nor can this part of the country ever greatly improve, until these duties be abolished.
To be concluded in out" next.
Intelligence respeB'mg Arts, Literature, C5*<v
In no one department, nas liritain made more remarkable advances of late, than in what regards mechanical inventions, as applied to useful arts. Mr. Arkwright's contrivance for spinning cotton, has been attended with such happy effects, as to have opened the eyes of mankind to the benefits that may be derived from inventions of this fort. It is now clearly demonstrated,that by means ofmachinery, yarn can not only be spun much cheaper than by hand, but also it can be made of a much better quality. In consequence of this invention, mustins have already been made of a quality equally fine as any that can be brought from India, that can be fold as cheap as Indian goods of the fame quality ; so that we want only thefine cotton wool in abundance, at a low price, to outrival the inhabitants of Alia in this their favourite manufacture.
It is surprising that mannsacturers should have been so backward in applying this machinery to the spinning of woollen yarn. This however is now coming into practice. One machine of this sort is already established in die weft of Scotland for spinning wool, and others will soon follow the example. One only objection we can conceive to lie against the spinning of wool for the manufacture of cloth by Machinery, viz. that it is more easy to make yarn thus,' that is much twisted, than such as is of a more loose contexture : a quality much to be prized in all woollen goods that are to be subjected to the operation of fulling. This inconvenience however may be easily got over by a very simple mechanical contrivance, which we shall describe in some number of this work, as soon as a plate for illustrating it can be got ready. By this very simple machine, any kind of yarn may be untwisted, during the operation of reeling, to any degree that shall be thought necessary for the purpose required.
Machines, upon the fume principle with those abovenarned, though somewhat different in the mode of applying it, have also been adopted for the spinning oslinen yarn. The first of these that we have heard of was erected near Darlington in England; one machine of the fame sort is just finiilicd in the neighbourhood of Dundee, in Scotland, with some essential improvements, by means of which the work is performed in a much betted method than formerly. To' encourage the exertions of ingenuity,the Honourable Board for encouragement of manufactures, &c. in Scotland, have conferred, we hear, a premium of three hundred pounds on the inventer of these improvements.
Another machine of the fame kind isnowerecting, and nearly finished, on the water of Leven in Fife; so that we hope to fee the benefits of these two improvements sooa extended to other places. .■ . ■ . «*;
^ Intelligence from Germany.
Among other articles of intelligence lately received from Germany by the Editor, he is informed that the discovery respecting metals announced in the first numberorthiswork, was made nearly at the fame time by two different persons, viz. in Hungary, by a professor of chemistry named Ruprecht, and also by a learned Neapolitan, whose name has not been