From William Kemp to Adam Sedgwick   20 September 1848

Septr. 26—1848

Copy of a letter | To Professor Sedgewick


I trust you will excuse me troubling you with the following notice. It escaped my mind during your short visit that I had a specimen by me which I consider a very interesting one. The fragment was dug from graywacke schist in the neighbourhood of Hawick about 5 years ago. The piece is finely marked upon one side as if some small particles had impinged upon it when in a plastic state, There is no foarign substance adhearing to any part of it, neither does those markings seem to have been caused by rain being small and too sharply defined for rain drops. If the agency of hail can be admitted we have to seek no farther. The surface has been struck in a slanting direction, which has raised a burr upon the one side like a Blacksmith’s rasp. The points of the raised edges hangs bending a little over the hollows, demonstrating as it were that there had once been the sea shore, and at the receeding of the tide a sharp hail blast had pitted the muddy clay, and again the sun had shone forth partly baking the clay before the return of the tide, which had spread a covering over these fragile markings through the unknown ages of the past as distinct as the hour in which they were formed.

Sir, I fear you will think there is too much of imagination here, but by looking upon that specimen very few could doubt my assertion. I have hesitated to trouble you with this, but I thought it would be remiss to withhold it.

&c &c | Wm. Kemp.

Copy | Letter To | Professor Sedge- | wick | Septr. 24—1848

Please cite as “KEMP85,” in Ɛpsilon: The William Kemp Collection accessed on 29 February 2024,