William Humphries

Died:Dec 30 1826 (at age ‎~74‏)In:  Baldock

Immediate family

Sarah Taylor (Humphries)
His wife
William Humphries
His son
Thomas Theophilus Humphries
His son
Sarah Humphries (Dimock)
His daughter
Elizabeth Humphries (Ainger)
His daughter
Mary Ann Humphries (Ainger)
His daughter


?schoolmaster from Baldock, Herts


from Harpenden, HertsGentleman's Magazine:-Vol. 80-i (1810) :pp. 213-214.. L:. "Hedge-hogs sucking Cows." William Humphries. [ Orig. "W. Humphries" ; dated from Harpenden, whence William Humphries corresponded with the GM ; Humphries had earlier contributed an item on hedgehogs to GM 79-ii(1809): 604- 605. ] Cow sucking Hedge-hogs. (from The Gentleman's Magazine for Feb., 1810)Mr URBAN, Harpenden, Feb. 17, 1810I CONSIDER the fact of Hedge-hogs sucking Cows so well established; by the evidence already produced, that further discussion of the subject seems unnecessary; but, since the difficulty attending the performance of it appears to constitute theprincipal objection to its credibility, I will endeavour to point out the manner by which this is effected.There are then two practical methods by which the milk of most animals may be extracted; the one by manual compression, as in the customary operation of milking; the other by the power of suction; which, among its various uses, is not unfrequentlyresorted to in medical cases, under certain circumstances of too great depression or enlargement of the mammae; and, indeed, this latter method seems evidently the design of Nature, by which she directs this sagacious animal to procure thatdelicious part of his food; which he does in the following manner: Having found the cow lying down, he gently fixes on the extremity of the dug, the orifice of which he carefully encloses, and the internal air being rarefied, then, by the power ofsucking, he extracts the milk from the udder. But this circumstance may be more familiarly explained by forming a tube to represent the dug (larger than the mouth can contain), and immersing one end of it into a vessel of water, and applying thelips to the other; the water in the vessel would be drawn through the bore of the tube by the action of the mouth and lungs, in a manner something similar to the extraction of the milk from the udder, through the lacteal passage, by acorrespondent power in the Hedge-hog.If the fact of sucking be not already sufficiently proved, additional evidence has recently occurred at a dairy-farm in Essex, the respectable occupier* of which, while inspecting his Cows, observed one of them bleeding from laceration; andsuspecting the injury to be occasioned by a Hedge-hog, ordered his herdsmen to examine the pasture in which they had been grazing, who soon returned with an old female and her two young ones.Although this does not exactly amount to a positive proof of the point in dispute, yet appears to be so strong a presumption in its favour, that were it not possible to procure better information on the subject, the mind would probably be disposedto acquiesce in it, as a confirmation of the truth of the fact.Thus, Sir, I have endeavoured to prove not only the fact of Hedge-hogs sucking Cows, but also how the act itself is performed; and should I still be unsuccessful in producing rational conviction in the minds of your Readers, the most amplesatisfaction may be obtained by application to those respectable, experienced persons referred to in a former communication."Claudite jam rivos--sat prata biberunt".Yours &c. W. HUMPHRIES.P.S. Since writing the above, I have received the fullest corroboration of the subject of this and a former Paper, from a person who has resided several years on Mr. Fountain's large dairy-farm, near Aylesbury, on which not less than 140 Cowsappear to be constantly kept; and, considering how much this enquiry depends on the veracity of nocturnal Herdsmen, it may prove extremely difficult to obtain more satisfactory information than is already before the publick.W.H. *Mr. Maddison, sen. West Ham Abbey.Vol. 80-ii (1810) :pp. 129-130.. L:. "Injury to Plane Trees." William Humphries. [ Orig. "W. Humphries" ; dated Harpenden, whence William Humphries corresponded with the GM ] Vol. 80-ii (1810) :pp. 206.. L:. "Hedgehogs." William Humphries. [ Orig. "W. Humphries" ; dated from Harpenden, whence William Humphries corresponded with the GM ; Humphries had earlier contributed an item on hedgehogs to GM 79-ii (1809): 604-605.]
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