"A county in the east of England, lying on the German Ocean, bounded by Suffolk, Cambridge, Hartfordshire and Middlesex; and separated by the Thames from Kent. It is about 54 miles long, and 48 broad, and is divided into 18 hundreds. Its surface is level, yet sufficiently varied not to be monotonous; but, excepting at a few points, the coast is flat and marshy. The rivers are the Thames, the Stour, the Lea, the Chelmer, the Blackwater, and the Coln. The soil is varied, but on the whole it is an admirable corn county. It has also excellent pastures; and some woods of considerable extent, such as Epping Forest. It produces in addition to farm produce, oysters called natives, and some few textile manufactures. Chelmsford is its county town, Colchester is a place of some importance."
[Barclays Complete & Universal English Dictionary, 1842-1852]