The geography of England p. 46.47 (1744)
R. Dodsley


Air, Soil, Commodities.] The Air is healthful, and mild in the Vallies, but very sharp on the Hills. It has been remark'd of this County, that the Gout (generally an Attendant of the Wealthy) here attacks the Poor and Rich indiscriminately; which, as to the meaner Sort, is attributed to their great Use of sweet Cyder. The Soil is various, the Hills are barren, and the lower Grounds of themselves fruitful, but much more so by the commendable Industry of the Inhabitants, particularly in Denshiring, that is, paring and burning the Surface, which as it is probably derived from them into other Parts of England, so it carries the Name of the County, vulgarly sometime called Denshire, as Mr. Cambden asserts. The Eastern Part feeds Sheep, and produces good Corn where it is chalky, but where marley it is generally very pernicious to Sheep. And the Nature of the Soil is such, that in Spring and Autumn, after Rain, it sends up a strong Heat, like that which comes from a Hot Bed. The Southern Part is very justly stiled the Garden of Devonshire for its great Fruitfulness.