Westmorland Gazette, 9 August 1823:-
letter from C Greenwood
TO THE EDITOR OF THE GAZETTE.
SIR, - Mr. Hodgson has taken great pains to prove our having commenced the Survey of Yorkshire nine years ago, and with the addition of my endeavours to prove the same thing, I cannot doubt but that our main object is so far attained. but this does not shew we had then determined upon the whole Series; and yet it does shew we were then commencing the undertaking in which we are now engaged. If a man determines upon a walk with the intention only of proceeding a mile, and when that mile is accomplished, he is induced to advance nine further, would not his commencement have been the beginning of the whole ten miles, even though the ten were not thought of when he started? Will Mr. Hodgson find any difficulty in understanding this?
Quoting half paragraphs from my letters, and adding to them notes of explanation, is unfair. If Mr. Hodgson will let them remain in their original shape, they will bear the test of his criticism, and all the efforts of his inventive genius in the splendour of his abilities cannot defeat them. If my assertions want support in his estimation of things, they can have it, because they convey facts. If Mr. Hodgson finds himself obliged to make statements he cannot support, to serve a bad cause, it is no reason he should suspect mine, which I can support; and no one of which he has yet disproved. He has stated that I say, (speaking of our forthcoming Map of Westmorland,) "will it be more correct than those we have already published? Certainly it will!!!" Then he goes on to say, "this is quite enough for him to conclude that he shall be enabled to execute a Map of Westmorland, to say the least of it, equally accurate with ours." Could any one but himself draw such a conclusion? But such is his reasoning. The observation I will repeat; - "Within a few months our Map of Westmorland will be in the hands of Subscribers, and I shall have no hesitation in saying it will be the most correct County Map ever published. If it is asked, will it be more so than those proceeding it? I shall say, certainly it will because the accumulation of experience produces a progressive improvement; and may I not say, in afield so extensive, even up to this moment, we derive additional benefit by the addition of instance for comparison. Would it not, therefore, be presumption in us to assume, that our first Maps could be equally accurate with these we are now publishing?"
I have not perhaps expressed myself in the words I did before but the meaning is the same. In the first County, as I have before stated, it was thought necessary to supply me with superior information to any I could possess, as a private Surveyor. And I had the assistance and instruction of a Gentleman of eminence, in the Science. In the absence of similar advantages, how can Mr. Hodgson pretend to an equality with us; even in our first Map?
I have carefully avoided touching on the merits or demerits of Mr. Hodgson's professional abilities, and I have recommended him to pursue a similar course respecting others of whose practice he can know nothing. I deny having represented the mensuration of the Chain as the only operation in his Survey. When it was stated in the first instance, that a plan projected from the mensuration of the Chain must leave far behind other systems, the writer could not define, I made observations upon that statement only. Of the operations of Mr. Hodgson's Survey I know nothing, excepting what he himself states about it. Pulling the Chain about the County is no proof of the accuracy of his Survey; or is the application of himself only, in my opinion, any recommendation of it. Who is himself, and by what distinguished?
No doubt, as he complains much of my want of modesty, he is the very model of that virtue. As for instance, his stating that his prospectus, like ours, was laid before the public at the very time he "concluded to commence;" and that he cannot but feel truly gratified with the distinction made in his favour. Now, if Mr. Hodgson had commenced to conclude making such observations, his modesty would not have suffered by it. How does he expect such a representation will be received by the bulk of these Gentlemen, whose names he procured, and who are now aware in what manner? I will take the liberty of informing Mr. Hodgson, that the sentiments of those of his Subscribers I have seen, do not appear to be wrapped up in that unexplained zeal and enthusiastic partiality of himself and his proceedings, he so profusely represents. The Scale of his Map, which I have understood he engages, shall be one inch and a third, he represents to his Subscribers as being one third larger than ours. I would recommend him to correct this statement, and call it only a fourth; as I should think he will have no objection to admit that there are four thirds of an inch on one inch and a third. His Scale, therefore, will only be larger than ours by a fourth. I am not aware that a Map of Westmorland would be more acceptable if its Scale was extended to more than an inch to a mile - that being amply sufficient for the introduction of every minutiae in a County like Westmorland. To a larger Scale, as a Subscriber, I should object, because it increases unnecessarily the size of the Map, and so far as this goes, I will engage, that our Map shall be equally comprehensive with any other likely to be made, or the Subscribers shall be at liberty to decline receiving it.
I am, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
King's Arms, Aug. 7, 1823.
Also in the Kendal Chronicle 9 August 1823.
from - C Greenwood
to - the Editor, replying to T Hodgson
who knew or did what when
ours will be most correct
I didn't say you only used the chain; TH hasn't had the
same training as us
his is only one fourth bigger; anyway one to one mile is
The disagreement over the relative map scales becomes
hilarious. As someone eventually points out 1 1/3 is a
'third more' than 1, Thomas Hodgson's claim: 1 is a 'fourth
less' than 1 1/3, but this cannot make 1 1/3 a 'fourth more'
than 1, C Greenwood's claim is nonsense. The expression
hinges on what is taken as the base of the relationship. Mr
Greenwood's defence of his mistake throws light on either
his abilities, that he wasn't too good at arithmetic, or his
character, that he wouldn't admit mistakes. The argument
rages through several letters from several