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In the summer of 1794 William George Maton, together with his friends Charles Hatchett and Thomas Rackett, embarked on a tour into Cornwall visiting the more southerly parts of Dorset and Devon en route. Rackett and Maton completed a second tour two years later, covering the rest of Dorset and Devon together with Somerset. An account of the tours was subsequently published by Maton, providing a contemporary description of SW England during the latter part of the eighteenth century. This was perhaps the first description of the region by scientifically aware travellers. They explored valleys, descended mines, visited...

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