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33 From Jan. 1, 1785, to Jan. 1, 1786
31 55 From Jan. 1, 1786, to Jan. 1, 1787
39 57 [From Jan. 1, 1787, to Jan. 1, 1788
24 be ascertained till a person has measured it for a very long period. “ If I had only measured the rain," says he, “ for the four first years, from 1740 to 1743, I should have said the mean rain at Lyndon was 164 inches for the year; if from 1740 to 1750, 184 inches. The mean rain before 1763 was 204 ; from 1763 and since, 25; from 1770 to 1780, 26. If only 1773, 1774, and 1775, had been measured, Lyndon mean rain would have been called 32 inches."
[It is probable that the extension of his observations over thirteen years might have induced Gilbert White to have drawn some deductions His father, Samuel Barker, a profound Hebrew scholar and Greek critic, known by his Poesis Vetus Hebraica Restituta, was married to a daughter of the able and pious, but visionary and unorthodox, William Whiston: and it was in the house of his child at Lyndon, at the advanced age of eighty-five, that that energetic but wild spirit ceased to be active. In such parentage we probably see the germs of many of Thomas Barker's speculations : they were partly mathematical, partly critical, and partly theological. His observations chiefly relate to natural history and meteorology. Incited, perhaps, to the prosecution of the former by his connexion with the family of Gilbert White,-a connexion originally commercial through the intervention of his maternal uncle, who was long in partnership with Benjamin White, and subsequently cemented by his marriage with a sister of our author,-to the latter he must have been actuated by a strong impulse, operating on him throughout the greater part of a prolonged life. The tables of his Meteorological Observations made at Lyndon, for a continuous series of fifty-eight years, (a duration probably not exceeded by any single observer,) were published in successive volumes of the Philosophical Transactions. His earliest contribution to that store of valuable information which the world owes to the Royal Society, related to an extraordinary meteor, seen in his native county, which resembled a water-spout: this was communicated in 1749, during the life of his grandfather. Fifty years later he was still a correspondent of that Society, but not a Fellow of it. In not seeking to become a member of it, he may have been influenced by the recollection that his grandfather was refused admission into it; but Whiston does not appear to have felt any resentment towards the Society in consequence. He imputed the withdrawal of his name after proposal solely to Sir Isaac Newton, whom he reports to have said, that if Whiston were elected a member, he would no longer be president. The extreme notoriety of W biston's theological aberrations is fully sufficient to account for the opposition to him: he himself, somewhat captiously attributes it to his refusing to yield to Sir Isaac, then far advanced in years, that implicit deference which was usually paid to him by others.
Mr. Barker died in 1803, in the eighty-eighth year of his age.-E.T.B.
From Jan. 1, 1788, to Jan. 1, 1789
The village of Selborne, and large hamlet of Oakhanger, with the single farms, and many scattered
from his experience as to the mean rain at Selborne, and as to its quantity in comparison with other places. The table, as supplied in the text, furnishes materials for such a purpose. Within the period embraced in it, the average quantity of rain that fell at Selborne in each year was 36-41 inches: the largest quantity was in 1782, a year in which much rain fell everywhere in England, and when, at Selborne, it amounted to 50-26 inches: the smallest was in 1788, in which the registers kept elsewhere show equally a deficiency; in this year the Selborne rain was only 224 inches.
From the simultaneous observations which were made at Lyndon, in Rutlandshire, it appears that the average quantity of rain that fell there in each year from 1780 to 1793 was 24:171 inches; the quantity that fell in 1782 was 32-089; in 1788, 17.182. Mr. Barker's observations, however, having been carried op for nearly sixty years, we learn from comparing them, that the thirteen years through which the Selborne register was kept, were years in which the quantity of rain exceeded the usual average. In fifty-eight years the mean rain at Lyndon was 22.647 inches.
Daring eight of the years included in the Selborne register, observations of the same kind were also made, at the suggestion of Gilbert White, at Fyfield, in Hampshire, and at South Lambeth, adjoining to London. Looking to these eight years alone, a period too short to allow of any but comparative deductions being made from it, there will result the following average quantity of rain fallen, from 1784 to 1791, at
23.628 South Lambeth
22:15 Averaging fifty per cent. more than Lyndon, and upwards of fifty per cent. more than the neighbourhood of London, it may well be said that the quantity of rain that falls at Selborne is very considerable. The excess, as is stated in the text, is altogether attributable to local circumstances. In elevated countries the rain is always more frequent and more abundant than in plains; the clouds, which would pass over level surfaces, being checked in their course by hills, and pouring down upon them their contents. Trees also, as they rise into the air, affect the clouds in a similar manner, though not to the same extent, as hills and moun. tains : the greater their mass and elevation, the nearer do they approach to the form and influence which belong to a hill.-E. T. B.]
houses along the verge of the forest, contain upwards of six hundred and seventy inhabitants.
We abound with poor; many of whom are sober and industrions, and live comfortably in good stone or brick cottages, which are glazed, and have chambers above stairs: mud buildings we have none. Besides the employment from husbandry, the men work in hop
A State of the Parish of SELBORNE, taken Oct. 4, 1783.
313 in the rest of the parish 363 Total 676; near five inhabitants to each tenement. In the time of the Rev. Gilbert White, vicar, who died in 1727-8, the number of inhabitants was computed at about 500. Average of Baptisms for Sixty Years.
8.2 7.1 153
7.6 8:1 15.7 1760 to 1769
9:1 8.9 18• 1770 to 1779
10-5 9.8 20:3 Total of baptisms of males
465 Total of baptisms from 1720 to 1779, both inclusive, sixty years, 980. Average of Burials for Sixty Years.
4.8 508 10.6
4.6 3.8 894 1750 to 1759
4.9 5:1 10 1760 to 1769
6.9 6.5 13.4 1770 to 1779
5.5 6.2 11.7 Total of burials of males
It appears that a child, born and bred in this parish, has an equal chance to live above forty years.
Twins thirteen times, many of whom dying young have lessened the chances for life.
Chances for life in men and women appear to be equal.
gardens, of which we have many; and fell and bark timber. In the spring and summer the women weed
A Table of the Baptisms, Burials, and Marriages, from January 2, 1761,
to December 25, 1780, in the Parish of Selborne.
During this period of twenty years, the births of males exceeded those of females 10.
The burials of each sex were equal.
And the births exceeded the deaths 140. (Continuation of the Table of Baptisms, Burials, and Marriages, from
January 1, 1781, to December 31, 1834, in the Parish of Selborne.
the corn; and enjoy a second harvest in September
During the first fifty years of this period the baptisms of males exceeded
The burials of males exceeded those of females 32; and the baptisms
Average of Baptisms for Fifty Years.