Cheshire, a county palatine, in the province of York and diocese of Chester. It is bounded on the North by the rivers Mersey and Tame, on the East by the counties of Derby and Stafford; on the West by Flintshire, Denbeighshire and the estuary of the Dee. Its form is an oval about 50 miles in length and nearly 30 at a medium breadth. It is divided into 7 hundreds, exclusive of Chester, which is a county in itself; and contains 1 city 12 towns 670 villages, about 35,600 houses and 191,750 inhabitants.
Cheshire is in general a flat country, though it has some considerable hills near its Eastern borders with those of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. The principal part of it consists of arable, meadow and pasture land. The soil is very various, but clay sand and peat seem to predominate. There are few large woods in the country but the generality of farms abound with hedge-rows of timber trees, partiuclalry oaks. The dairy is the great object of attention with the Cheshire farmer, but the country has for many ages been celebrated for its cheese, yet it is a singular fact that it was formerly as celebrated for wheat.
The principal mineral productions are salt and coal. The former is more abundant in this country than in any other part of England. The immense trade carried on in this article and the vast revenue derived form it render it an object of very considerable local and national importance. The principal salt works are at Nantwich, Middlewich, Winsford and Northwich.
Next to salt the cotton business seems to be the most considerable. This flourishing branch of trade has latterly been extended from Lancashire and some of the other bordering counties over many parts of Cheshire. Manufactures of leather, ribbons, thread, gloves, buttons and shoes are also carried on at Nantwich, Macclesfield, Congleton and other places..
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