Flints Enlarge
May 1. 1807. Publish’d by Ja.s Sowerby London.
British Mineralogy
Silex Quartzum


  • Class 2. Earths.
  • Order 1. Homogeneous.
  • Gen. 4. Silex.
  • Spec. 1. Quartz.
  • Div. 2. Imitative.

Mr. Warburton was so good as to bring me a specimen of this curious flint coralloid found at the bottom of the chalk-cliff on the eastern side, at Rottingdean in Sussex, where it is said to be very abundant. It is almost always the nature of flint to be formed into some shape expressive of its having been in a state of solution. This is everywhere evinced by the various substances it has taken possession of, but the distance of time since this happened cannot be positively ascertained; for although it is in a sort of stalactitic form, running like a gelatinous substance, yet it is always in a hard state, and looks as if it were almost recent, although it may have been for many ages in the same state, I have a piece of Coral from the neighbourhood of Bristol, by favour of Thomas Meade, Esq., which has Flint and some Calcedony passing into its interstices.

We figure these things that a subject of such universal inquiry may no longer remain in obscurity. Animal remains, especially the more earthy, such as coral have left such various impressions* that it requires many specimens and much experience to recognise them.

The figure No. 1. is from Sussex. No. 3. I found with others of the same sort at the Isle of Dogs. No. 4. shows the inside of the same, and No. 5. was picked up in a gravel pit at Kennington.

  • * Some have considered these as parts of Mushrooms, such as Morels, &c. petrified, and I have one that has been compared to a bone with the marrow exposed, which it much resembles in form, sent me by the Rev. Dr. Sutton of Norwich. I have another which I found near Dulwich, which might very well be taken for a petrified Agaricus, showing, as it were, the impressions of the edges of the lamellæ three or four inches in diameter and eight or nine in circumference.
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