Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/322

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though not so large a portion of it as its important neighbour. On passing the bridge connecting this place with Newcastle, we could not but recollect the fatal catastrophe which had happened at the same spot in the year 1771, when a heavy fall of rain occasioned such a prodigious inundation in the river, as swept away the old stone bridge, which had braved the tempests of heaven and the rage of the waters for five hundred years, and carried off at the same time ten houses, in which were six living human creatures. Nothing could heighten the terrors of the scene so much as the "loud "laments" which issued from the unfortunate sufferers, who for a long time had the horrible prospect of inevitable destruction before their eyes, by the lingering fall of the house in which they were, nodding over the abyss of waters before it fell; and no human exertions availing to prevent the crash, or save the inmates.

The vast trade of Newcastle is visible on first entering it, from the bustle of its quays, and the animation of its streets. This chiefly consists of the coal-trade, which it has enjoyed for several centuries past. As early as the thirteenth century, the inhabitants of Newcastle exported this useful fossil to the continent, and in the ensuing one found a market for it in the metropolis. Singular