Description from Pigot & Co.'s Directory of Rutlandshire, 1828-9
THE smallest county in England, being only 18 miles in length, at its greatest breadth 16, and containing 130,566 acres, is bounded on the west and south-west by Leicestershire, on the south-east by Northamptonshire, from which it is separated by the river Welland, and on its north and north-eastern sides by Lincolnshire. It is reputed to have received its name from the red colour of its soil, which yields in many parts a sort of ruddle, used for the purpose of staining the fleeces of sheep. The air is pure, and the face of the Country beautifully varied by gentle hills and pleasing vales, the eminences forming a chain from east to west, alternately rising and falling, the vallies being commonly half a mile in breadth. It is watered on its southwestern side by the Eye, on the south-east from Northamptonshire by the, Welland, while its centre is irrigated by several streams flowing from the hills, which fall into the Wash and the Chater, small rivers, which rising on the Leicestershire border, empty themselves into the Welland, the former below, and the latter above Stamford, in Lincolnshire; The productions of the county are, grain, corn and sheep. Its wheat in particular is highly esteemed, and is chiefly sold for seed ; but its manufactures are of very little consequence. Rutlandshire is in the province of Canterbury and diocese of Peterborough, and is included in the midland circuit. It is divided into five hundreds, viz. ALSTOE, EAST, MARTINSLEY, OAKHAM-SOKE, and WRANDIKE; these contain two market-towns (Oakham and Uppingham) and fifty-three parishes. Two members are returned to parliament for the shire; those elected in 1826 were, Sir G.N. Noel, Bart. and Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Bart. According to the parliamentary census of 1821, the whole county contained 3,675 houses, occupied by 3,936 families, consisting of 9,223 males and 9,264 females ; total, 18,487 inhabitants. From the year 1700 to 1821 this county had only increased its population about 2,300 persons.