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Dave Ogden
02-10-2004, 1:39 AM
Many historians, me included, look to writers such as Elihu Burritt for the origins of the name, "The Black Country". Elihu et al, were writing in the mid 19th C . Recently I've re-read Dr. Plot's excursions around Staffordshire and he states that as he crossed the River Tame at Bentley to travel towards Wednesbury, he entered a "black land, a land where the earth was black.........." . This book was published in April 1686!
It seems that our nominal "Black Country" has much earlier references than previously thought. The timeline has gone back by @150 years at a stroke!
Has anyone come across an earlier reference?

NanaZino
14-11-2004, 6:27 AM
Sure haven't heard of anything earlier than that, and your info certainly predates the theory that the name had to do with all the smoke and soot associated with the processing of that black stuff during the industrial revolution.

NFurniss
06-07-2005, 6:12 PM
Many historians, me included, look to writers such as Elihu Burritt for the origins of the name, "The Black Country". Elihu et al, were writing in the mid 19th C . Recently I've re-read Dr. Plot's excursions around Staffordshire and he states that as he crossed the River Tame at Bentley to travel towards Wednesbury, he entered a "black land, a land where the earth was black.........." . This book was published in April 1686!
It seems that our nominal "Black Country" has much earlier references than previously thought. The timeline has gone back by @150 years at a stroke!
Has anyone come across an earlier reference?
Dave,
It would appear that the term 'Black Country', can have two different interpretations; the one referring to the colour of the soil and the other to the soot in of the atmosphere. Black aluvial deposits are features of many locations. The question arises as to why Dr. Plot made a particular note of the black land in Staffordshire.
Nick Furniss