Essex, a county in the east of England, washed by the North Sea, and separated from Kent by the Thames estuary, from Suffolk by the Stour. Measuring 57 miles from east to west, and 44 from north to south, it has an area of 1657 sq. m. The low flat seaboard is close on 100 miles long, deeply indented by shallow creeks, and much of it fringed by desolate salt-marshes. Inland the surface becomes gently undulating or even hilly, with Danbury Hill (317 feet), Laindon Hill (378), and High Beech (350), and in the NW. nearly 500 feet. The rivers are the Thames, Stour, Lea, Stort, Colne, Blackwater, Crouch, Roding, and Chelmer - rivers that sometimes flood the low-lying lands. In 1884 an earthquake, proceeding from northeast to south-west, did almost £10,000 damage. Nearly 79 per cent. of the entire area is in cultivation. Epping Forest (q.v.) is a mere remnant of the once wide woodlands, whose total area is now reduced to less than 44 sq. m. Fishing is not very actively prosecuted; and the Colne has long been famous for its oysters. Brewing is an important industry, especially at Romford; but outside of the metropolitan area there are no great manufactures. Essex since 1877 has been included in the new diocese of St Albans, and since 1885 has returned one member to parliament for each of its eight divisions - South-west or Walthamstow, South or Romford, West or Epping, North or Saffron Walden, North-east or Harwich, East or Maldon, South-east, and Mid or Chelmsford. Chelmsford is the county town ; and towns other than the above are Colchester, Stratford, Barking, Braintree, Brentwood, Cogges-hall, Dunmow, Halstead, Harlow, Ilford, Ongar, Witham. Pop. (1801) 227,682; (1881) 576,434; (1901) 1,085,771. Essex was named after the East Saxons. Castle Hedingham and Audley End are famous mansions. Among Essex worthies have been Tusser, John Ray, Quarles, Sydney Smith, and Isaac Taylor. See works by Morant (1768), Suckling (1845), E. Walford (1882), and Barrett (1892).