button to main menu  Greenwood and Hodgson 19.7.1823

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Westmorland Gazette, 19 July 1823:-
  letter from C Greenwood
SIR, - The person calling himself "A Subscriber to Hodgson's Map of Westmorland," having appeared again, by remarking upon some passages in my notice of his former letter, which he terms unbecoming - induces me to submit the following digest upon his mode of reasoning; and in doing so, I will give a literal quotation of the unprovoked attack first made upon the proceedings of our Establishment by this Gentleman: "A Plan," he says, "projected from actual mensuration by the chain, must always leave far behind the productions of any eye-draft system, whatever may be its title." Now, does not this part of the quotation prove the writer to be not only extremely ignorant on the subject he wishes to treat, but even at a loss for a rational title to it? Where was his Goldsmith's Traveller? "A work," he continues, "to which the attention of individual is solely devoted, may fairly be presumed to excel that which is merely a general and wholesale series of publications." What inference, May I ask, did this friend of fair competition intend should be drawn from these observations? Was I to be silent and suffer a calumny thus pointed at me to pass unnoticed? If he could take upon himself to impose on the public his erroneous opinions, and that to our prejudice, it surely cannot be thought unbecoming in me to defend myself from the injury intended; and I trust I have satisfactorily shewn, that it is not reasonable to suppose an individual, and particularly one unused to the Survey of a County, could, as this Gentleman stated, produce a work excelling in accuracy the results of operations laboriously pursued, upon scientific principles, by Surveyors inured to the art, and of many years unremitting practice. - Surely I ought not to be told that explanations thus called for are unbecoming, nor do I intend any thing invidious by giving them: my object is to satisfy, and set at rest any doubts that may be started as to the fairness of my proceedings in this case, or my capability of producing a Map of Westmorland as accurate in its minutiae, and scientific in its construction and principle, as any that can be made; and were I to admit that the indispensable aid of Mathematical and Astronomical Instruments, in ascertaining the true scientific position and figure of any portion of our globe, is to be eclipsed and superseded by the use of a measuring chain, I should deem myself unworthy of that patronage I have so long courted, and I hope been found to merit. As I before asserted, I am quite prepared to go into detail and illustrate my subject by the exhibition of diagrams in the different stages of Survey; but does this reputed Subscriber of Mr. Hodgson's really think this can be done in the limited columns of a newspaper? Or that 'tis decent in him to convey his rude interrogatories and unqualified commands through the medium of a public print by anonymous letters? He asks me, why the carefully-checked admeasurements of the individual he tries to support, should not be as correct as those of the Gentlemen of my Establishment? I admit that I see no reason why the admeasurement of one individual should not be as correct as that of another: but what has this to do with the question? It is known to all scientific men, that considerable progress must be made in the Survey of a County - in determining its principal features, its true scientific position, and its area, considered as a plain, before much use of the chain is required. And, if I am asked, why a want of experience in these sciences did not operate against the accuracy of my first Map, I must reply, that I had the valuable assistance of a scientific Gentleman, under the patronage of Mr. Rennie, for several months (as will be seen by a reference to the Leeds Newspapers of 1815,) who introduced to me the indispensable use of proper instruments; and were I to detail all the unforeseen difficulties and expenses I had to contend with in entering this new field of operation, it would not be wondered at if I have discovered, that something more than the mensuration of the chain is necessary to the accomplishment of such a Survey of a County, as will be able to stand against the scrutinizing eye of Science. I have no need of "Goldsmith's Traveller" to illustrate my case, or the use of any ill-bred sarcasms; - ridicule cannot alter facts; and any thing treated as a wanton and unbecoming style, I shall deem undeserving of my notice. I shall conclude by observing, that if this Gentleman would sign his name to his future letters, he might prevent unfavourable suspicions as to whether he really is a Subscriber of Mr. Hodgson's, and actuated by no other sentiment than that of promoting the best means of obtaining a good County Map.
I am, Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
King's Arms Inn, Kendal, July 18th, 1823.
Also in the Kendal Chronicle 19 July 1823.


from - C Greenwood
to - the Editor, replying to A Subscriber
SURVEYING METHODS we are doing it right; we know better and have years of experience, and use mathematical and astronomical instruments, I was trained by a student of Mr Rennie; you are ignorant
ANONYMITY please sign your letters


Mr Rennie Several members of the Rennie family were civil engineers. The Mr Rennie referred to is probably John Rennie, 1761-1821, who was well known as a builder of canals, docks and harbours, bridges, etc. As the company engineer, he surveyed the route of the Lancaster Canal, which was built from 1792 onwards, running from the south into Kendal.
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