Buckinghamshire, a county of the south Midlands, 53 miles in greatest length, and varying from 8-1/2 to 27 miles in breadth, lying between Northamptonshire on the N. and Berkshire on the S., and having Oxfordshire on the W., and Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Middlesex on the E. The county contains about 730 square miles, and is of varied aspect, having the range of the Chiltern Hills crossing in a north-easterly direction from Oxfordshire, and the fertile valley of Aylesbury to the N. It is chiefly agricultural, and in the vale of Aylesbury a great deal of fattening of cattle and breeding of sheep is carried on, while the Aylesbury ducks are not without renown. The northern part is well-wooded, though the forests of the south, which gave the county its name - from the prevalence of beech-wood - have been in a great measure cleared away. Two great roads pass through Buckingham, the road from London to Chester and Holyhead, and the western road from London to Bath and Bristol - both of which were of considerable importance in the coaching days, though now superseded by the railways. The Grand Junction Canal passes through the county, and of its rivers the Thames - receiving the Colne and the Thame - separates it from Berkshire and Surrey, and the Ouse, with its tributary Ousel, is in the north. The manufactures of Buckinghamshire are not, very important, the chief being those of lace and straw-plait, and from returning fourteen members to Parliament in the early part of the present century, it now returns only three. The old roads Watling Street, Icknield Way, and Akeman Street pass through the county, and it has not been entirely devoid of historical interest. Hampden is buried at Chalfont St. Giles, and here too Milton lived and wrote, while Stoke Poges is said to have inspired Gray's Elegy, and Olney is full of reminiscences of Cowper. At Slough Herschel's telescope was erected, and Hughenden calls to our mind Lord Beaconsfield and Edmund Burke, and the poet Waller. The Duke of Buckingham's seat at Stowe is celebrated for its grounds, and was formerly not less so for its art collections, which were, however, sold in 1852; and there are other important seats.