button to main menu  Greenwood and Hodgson 30.8.1823

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Westmorland Gazette, 30 August 1823:-

  letter from Another Subscriber to Hodgson

SIR, - Much has been said in your Paper of late, on the above subject, which may be summed up thus. Mr. Greenwood it seems was formerly a private Surveyor at a petty Town in the West Riding of York; and having removed to London, he, by instructions, (during the long period of a few months,) of Gentlemen of scientific consequence, who was under the patronage of Mr. Rennie, was taught to become at once the most eminent and scientific Surveyor in the kingdom; and therefore determined to form a complete Atlas of England and Wales. This instruction and patronage, reminds me of the following anecdote. - A countryman on his return from London was asked by his neighbours if he had seen the King. "No." said the man, very proudly,) I've not seen him; but I have seen another man, who told me he had seen the King." Mr. G. had not seen Rennie or the king; but another person had. Speaking of the King, also reminds me of Mr. Greenwood's boast of exhibiting his Diagrams "in the Library of one of the first Princes of Europe." This insinuates that he had shewed them to the King; but I doubt Mr. G. ever had the honour of attending his Majesty in his Library. 'Tis true he might shew them to some of the Lords in waiting there - had his Majesty seen them, we should have had a more pompous announcement. No doubt our Gracious Sovereign patronises every work appearing national or useful: but surely neither his Majesty or any of the Nobility ever dreamt that when they gave the sanction of their illustrious names to Messrs. G. and Co., they granted them an "odious monopoly;" and issued a decree against the industry and talents of all the rest of his Majesty's subjects. On the 26th of June, Mr. Greenwood first insinuates that though Mr. Hodgson had industriously obtained signatures for his Map, he had not obtained them honourably, and directly challenges him with obtaining such signatures under false pretences. What was the inference hereon? but that Mr. Hodgson was a Knave, or the Gentlemen of Westmorland were Fools, and would not read his Prospectus? this is the only conclusion any reasonable man can draw. Mr. G. finding he had drawn too long a bow, states in his following letter, that there is not a man in Westmorland who has seen any statement from my pen challenging Mr. Hodgson with "dishonourable and insidious proceedings." Yet in his next letter he repeats his charge, stating the "most unfair advantages he has taken of us;" and "the most unfair, illiberal, and unhandsome manner" of his obtaining Subscribers: though in the very same letter he says it is evidently a mistake, that I have charged him with dishonourable proceedings. Who can reconcile these contradictions of Mr. Greenwood's.
Now, Mr. Editor, when any person, much less a Gentleman or scientific Surveyor, dares assert or insinuate, (I care not whether,) that his opponent has frustrated his plans by improper, if not by morally fraudulent proceedings; and afterwards in the face of his own printed letters, in both newspapers, has the impudence or audacity to say no man has "ever seen such a statement" from him. When with such unblushing modesty, he attempts to gull the ignorant Gentlemen of Westmorland, what are we to think of such a person, however instructed, however patronised, possessed of even the most immense talents, and bearing upon his own shoulders such a weight of abilities, like a prototype Atlas, support ten thousand worlds. Mr. G. and his Map may be compared to a father who boasts that his own bantling is UNEQUALLED; but who, except the fond parent, believes it.
I admit for the sake of argument, (though I deny the fact,) that Mr. Hodgson knew that the Greenwoods were engaged in surveying Cumberland and Westmorland at the time he commenced his undertaking; and I reply that notwithstanding this, the field was fairly and honourably open to both; and also to as many other Surveyor as chose to oppose THEM. This London Yorkshire Surveyor unblushingly asserts the principle, that because they (Greenwood and Co.) have the vanity merely to advertise their intentions of making a grand Atlas of the Kingdom, no other Surveyor has the right to publish the Map of any County from Land's End to the Tweed. I wonder why they did not (as by the same presumption they equally might) extend their exclusive jurisdiction of making Maps to John o'Groats; or even from the North to the South Pole.

"---- I am, Sir, Oracle;
And when I ope my lips let no dog bark."
In July last, Messrs. Greenwood, in their prospectus, engaged that in the course of this Autumn their Map would be published; and have since said that it would appear in a few months. But now they inform the public that they will delay the publication of their Map until Mr. Hodgson's appears, under the flimsy pretence that by this means "an opportunity will offer for fair investigations."
Now what will the ignorant Gentlemen of Westmorland say to this? What would any reasonable man think? I will suppose, for instance, two mechanics each engaged in making a machine; and one says, he declines producing his, until he has seen his brother's work. Would not the public believe, (though I will not by any means insinuate this is the case between scientific Surveyors,) that the first machine would be the original, and that the delay and inspection would give the cunning mechanic an opportunity of copying his opponent's, and correcting his own.
Mr. Greenwood says, "ridicule cannot alter facts; - this I admit and have not yet attempted the use of that all-powerful weapon, being a Rustic, "wanting the polish and refinement" of the "information and experience of the Yorkshire Citizen; not having the clearness of comprehension to understand his contradictions, and especially his last assertion, that Hodgson's Map is not one third larger than his. It is, Sir, evident to any one that Mr. Hodgson is correct when he states that his Map is one third more in extent than Greenwood's. For instance I will place down four pieces of money, extending to 40 inches and call it Hodgson's Map; I will then take three pieces of money extending to thirty inches and call it Greenwood's Map, I will then deduct these three or 30 inches from the four or 40 inches, and then remains one piece or 10 inches to Hodgson; which 10 is one third of (30) Greenwood's Map. Therefore, H's is one third (of G.'s observe,) larger than G.'s; though it is true H.'s is only one fourth its own size larger than G.'s; but this fourth is equivalent to one third of Greenwood's Scale.
I am astonished that Mr. Greenwood, with all his mathematical studies, could not comprehend this. Then as to his grand expression, "four-thirds of an inch. Mr. G. is entitled to some originality in this sort of arithmetic; I am sure that Cocker never made such discoveries. I have heard of 1/s, 2/3 and even of 3/3, or the whole, but never heard of 4/3, or even conceived it possible for any number of fractions to be larger than the unit, or of any part or number of parts being greater than the whole.
"When," as Mr. Greenwood says, (most sublimely), "the INTERSECTION of the cross hairs in the Telescope on our large instrument is fixed on the Tower, Obelisk, or other prominent feature in the County!!!" I hope Mr. G.will give timely notice of the hour and place: no doubt he will be remunerated by the attendance of as many spectators as the Bottle Conjuror ever drew together on his ludicrous attempt. I will exclaim in the style of John Gilpin -

Long live this scientific man,
And all his company;
And when they next a county scan,
May I be there to see.
I will conclude with the following parody upon Mr. Greenwood's beautiful little Dialogue, which I hope will be continued for public edification.

Greenwood. - Retire, Sir, retire.
Hodgson. - Why, friend, why?
G. - Neither you, or any other Surveyor has a right to survey a county in England, because me and my unequalled establishment are going to do them all!
H. - Who art thou and thy establishment, friend?
G. - The great Greenwood and Company; the sole scientific Surveyors.
H. - I suppose then thou art the man who promised two Maps of Yorkshire to my friends at Sheffield, for the assistance they rendered you?
G. - I am.
H. - Didst thou ever send them?
No answer.
H. - Thou hast got a great Telescope?
G. - Yes, so large that when Towers, Obelisks, and other prominent features of a county are put into it, the intersection of the cross hairs in it can be fixed upon them; and such Diagrams, that the Guards of a mail-coach told me they were too big for his coach.
H. - Hast thou any other instruments but this?
G. - Yes, all sorts!
H. But dost thou ever use them?
No answer.
H. - Well, friend, if thou wouldst rather not answer this question, I will bid thee farewell: proceed with thy plan, and I shall with mine.
Your's &c.
Kendal, August 27th, 1823.
Also in the Kendal Chronicle 30 August 1823.


from - Another Subscriber
to - the Editor, aimed at C Greenwood
you never saw the king, you do not have a monoploy; mapping Westmorland is open to anybody
SUBSCRIBERS CG charges TH with cheating, implies the Gentlemen of Westmorland are stupid
THE MAPS CG is proposes delaying publication until after TH
MAP SCALE one and one third is one third more than one, though one is one fourth less than one and one third
SURVEYING METHODS CG has instruments, does he use them


Cocker Cocker is mentioned as an authority on arithmetic in paragraph 8.
Edward Cocker lived in St Paul's Churchyard, London, about the 1650s, he taught writing anf arithmetic. One of his books was
    Cocker, Edward & Hawkins, John: 1678: Arithmetic, being a Plain and Easy Method
which was very influential, and went through over a hundred editions over the next century. It gave rise to the expression 'according to Cocker' in every day speech.
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