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Among them we may have neighbours, for's of tenants, our own fons, or different relations: to whom, if we think a moment, we should be ashamed to deny a fhare in the produce of the labour of their native country, in which it is poffible they themselves might have borne a fhare.
The Utility of Great Farms.
SUPPOSING all farms are reduced to an equality, and all made fmall ones, the ground must be divided into little portions for the fupport of a miferable team, or of a few cows, or for raining fmall quantities of corn. No magazines could be formed against evil days; the produce of the dairy would be fmall, and the provifion for fodder ferve for little more than to fupport the live stock. A few hobbets of corn would be fent to market to pay the rent; the reft might ferve to maintain the family till the return of the harvest: and if the ftock fhould be confumed before that feafon, how would they wish for the reftoring of the great farms! Many of the little farmers are alfo day-labourers: to whom could they apply for work, the very fupport of them and their families? Never has there been a famine in England fince the introduction of great farms. Unavoidable fcarcities will happen, from caufes inevitable. But there has not been an inflance, for numbers of centuries, of the poor running into corners to die for want of food; of their feeing their infants perish before their eyes; and perhaps a plague might enfue, the confequence of famine, to thin the land of multitudes of the miferable furvivors.
I speak difinterestedly, for I have not on my estate a single great farmer. I find no merit in this affertio; had it been otherwife, I fhould have fupported him in all that was right, in common with my pooreft tenant, and
my poorest tenant perhaps in preference to him.
I would never grant a leafe to a great corn-tenant. I would preferve a power over his granary, which legiflature will not or cannot affume. Should he attempt by exportation to exhauft it, in years of fcarcity, and not leave a fufficient fupply for the country which produced the grain; fhould he attempt a monopoly; fhould he refufe to carry a proper quantity to the next market; or fhould he refufe to fell to the poor, who cannot attend the market, corn in fmall quantities, I would inftantly affurne the power of the landlord, and expel him from my eftate: a juft punishment for the tenant, who, through rapacity declines to comply with my defires, excited with no other view than to promote the good of the public.
The neceflity of great farms is ad mitted: but let it be remembered, that their fupport rests upon the labourers, who are equally requifite to the great farmer as beams are to a building. Let not the rapacity of the mifcalled great man direct all his force to the fupport of the opulent farmer, for the fake of increafed rent. will (as fad examples prove) depopulate his country by removing the sturdy labourers to the ground of wifer landlords, and leave his own weakened by their deferton; while, the fields of the former laugh and fing, but round his own, ingens erit folitudo.
I could with (was it in my power) to add even to the cottages of my labourers two or three fields, that they might have the comfort of a cow, to fupply their families with milk. They are too ufeful a clafs of men to be
neglected: to be left to the precarious poffibility of getting any of that invigorating fluid, fo neceliary for their infants, and even for the fupport of their own ftrength, to fuflain them through their labour. Give them a
1. * A hobbet confifts of eighty-four quarts. A meafure is Imalf a hobbet. A peck is half a measure. Thefe meafures are used in all the Flintshire markets; they extend allo to other Welsh counties, and even Herefordshire.
dry flated cottage, with an upper floor, 'and a kind landlord, and a British la bourer need not envy Cæfar.
Before I take leave of the fubject, fet me define the fize of a great and a fmall farm in this parish. Our greateft farm is rented at 110l. per annum, at the rate of about 14s. per acre. Our fmall farms have from twenty to ten acres; and the rent per acre from 125. to 7s. There may be in every parifh inftances of the exorbitant raife of rent: an evil moft frequently originating in the luxury of the landlord.
MINUTES of AGRICULTURE, from the REPORTS of the Agricultural Board: Continued from Vol. XCVIII, Page 399.
By Mefirs. LLOYD and TURNER.
Inclofures. The greater part of the low lands is pretty well inclofed, but hilly and expofed fituations are mostly open. The fize of the fields depends much on the extent of the farms. In general they are from fix to ten acres. The only tract like a common field, is an extent of a very productive barley land, reaching on the coaft from Aberairon to Llanrhyfted. This quarter is much intermixed, and chiefly in fmall holdings.
Inclofing, without a confequent improvement, is of little advantage. When both go hand in hand, the benefit is confiderable. Population, as well as product, are much increafed by it. An engroffment of farms in an improved fituation, totally dependent in ftock, or the dairy, may in fome measure difcourage population; but in an improving diftrict, or where much cultivation is required, the refult must be quite the contrary: at leaft, it has been invariably fo in this country. An instance may be more to the point than reafoning; and as the particulars of my own farm are more within my own knowledge than other holdings, that are perhaps a greater object of a statement, I fhall at prefent refer to it. The fpot I allude to, confits of three hundred
Ten years ago it was in the Occupation of two, in pretty equal divifions, giving but a fcanty maintenance to only two families of twelve perfons. Ever fince that time, it has given employment and maintenance to feven families, living on the fpot, confifting (including children) of 33 perfons; befide four or five labourers in the neighbourhood, who have conftant employment. The fame may be faid of every other improving spot as nothing has been attended to here more than the neceffary business of a common farmer. Within the memory of a labourer, who is now but fixtythree years of age, there were only two carts in the parish; fledges were then the only carriage. They did little more than to convey fome fmall quantity of dung to the adjoining spots. Lime was unknown; and fea fand, the only distant manure, was carried in bags on horfes. There are now in the fame parish fifty-three carts.
Rev. ARTHUR YOUNG.
Management of Woodland.-Suffex has long been celebrated for the growth of its timber, principally oak. No other county can equal it in this refpect, either in quantity or quality. ft overspreads the Weald in every direction, where it flourishes with a great degree of luxuriance. The foil, which
is beft adapted for raising this plant, is a ftiff strong loam, upon a red brick earth or clay bottom. Large quantities of beech are raifed upon the chalk hills, which tree alio flourishes, in great perfection. The great demand for oak bark, has, of late years, been the cause of the large falls of oak, which ha, in confequence of the high price of bark, rifen fo amazingly, that the fee fimple of extenfive and well wooded tracks, has been paid by the fall of timber and underwood in two or three years. Upon fome eftates in the western part of the county, the value of oak has increased 100 per cent. in twelve years. When, to this amazing increase in the value of wood, is added the more eafy communication to fea-ports than formerly from the improvements, which have taken place in the roads, it is not surprising that the late falls have been fo large, and that greater fupplies have been brought to the dockyards, than the country will be able in future permanently to fupply. The quantity now ftanding, of a fize fit for the royal navy, compared to what it has been within half a century, is inconfiderable; and as there is no regular fucceffion in referve, it must follow that the fupply will annually grow lefs.
In order to form fome idea what the increase in the quantity felled is now, and the proportion it bears to what it did twenty years back, the account is inferted of the export coaftwife, from one poft in this county, of the total quantity of timber and bark in two periods of five years each; the first from 1763 to 1767, the other from 1788 to 1792. In other parts of the county the fame proportion prevails.
Load of Timber Ton Bark. 1763 to 1767 4769 454 1788 to 1792 19,884 2,646 A load of timber is 50 cubical feet. At a very early period of our hiftory, we find the export of this moft valuable commodity to be very confiderable. In the reign of our fixth Edward, the hoys that were laden with
timber went out of Rye harbour to the number of thirty-feven one tide, and never an English mariner among them. The whole country round this place, for miles, was a foreft; for not many years after this, anno 1591. a man was ordered to depart the town of Rye, for executing the profeffion of an hufbandman, that place not being fit for fuch an artificer. A fur proof of their being ftill in the woods.
The large fums of money that have lately been gained by timber, has ge nerated an affertion, which is ftrongly believed, that no land pays the proprictor equally with woodland, and that grubbing and converting it to tillage is fo much money loft. No tythes, rates low, and outgoings trifling, are great advantages, which it poffeffes over other lands; but when we take into account the fact, that the woods are fo thickly scattered over` a country, naturally one of the most inclined to wet; and that it excludes from thefe lands the beneficial effects of winds and fun, thereby rendering the furface fill wetter; that all the inclofures are unufually fmall, for the benefit of the timber; and that round every diftin&t field is a wood feveral rods wide, and crowded with trees; the confequent lofs from having culti vation enveloped in a wood, must be highly injurious to corn particularly: and the landlord muft feel this in the low rents of this arable and pasture; and the effect on the tenant is fuffici ently confpicuous in his general method of living; and, until the woods fhall be grubbed up, farms enlarged, and the petty inclofures laid open, no flourishing fyftem of hufbandry will ever take place in the wet foils of Suffex.
It is ufual to cut the underwood from thirteen to feventeen years growth; it is applied to a great variety of pur pofes; it makes poles for hops, faggots for the lime-kilns, and cordwood for coal. Of all forts of underwood, afh pays beft, fince a small piece is of ufe, and fitter for a greater variety of workmanfhip than any other wood
great extent in this diftrict; the toy and hardware trade, &c. of Birmingham and its vicinity, and the ribbon and tammy trade, &c. of Coventry, and its neighbourhood, are well known. The good and bad effects which commerce and manufactures are likely to have on the agriculture of this diltrict, depend on many circumftances; but their effects have hitherto, in my opinion, been good, by furnishing ma nure, fuch as foot, horn-duft, maltduft, rags, foap-afhes, coal-afhes, the refufe of dyers, &c. and all the varieties of putrid manure for the improvement of land, by confuming its' produce, and by giving employment to fuperfluous hands. As this subject is, in fome degree, connected with the inclofure of common fields, I beg leave to fay a few words upon the fubject.
About forty years ago, the fouthern and eastern parts of this county confifted moftly of open fields, which are now chiefly inclofed, at an expence, on the average, of about 45s. per acre, when frugally managed; which,
The time of felling oak is always ruled by the barking; when that flows, which is in April, (although the bark this year did not run before May) the tree is felled. Bark from young trees, is in quality much fuperior to that which is peeled from older ones; it forms more fap; and there is no fuch wafte, as the hard and dead part of an old tree is dreffed, which is not the cafe with the younger. In a wood, well planted with timber, underwood never comes to any fize, and greater-loffes are fuftained by the coppice wood being damaged, than can be equalled by the advantage of the growing timber. Woods that are full of timber, have feldom any tellows in many inftances, was not the cafe; remaining fince they are overfhadowed, and find the greatest difficulty to fight their way through the branches and roots of the other trees; the effect of this is, that a good fucceffion of, young oak feldom follows a fall of old timber. Timber, from ftubs, is by fome people preferred, to the growth from feed; for when a good ftub is cut, the fucceeding fhoot fprings up full three feet the first year, when, an acorn will hardly make its appearance out of ground. And very fine oak timber, of two load to a tree, has been cut from ftubs. Hedge-row timber is much to be preferred for moulding, and the foreft oak for plank and thick ftuff, from four to ten inches in thickness.
and, from the best information which I can obtain, thefe inclofures have produced at improvement of near one. third of the rents, after allowing intereft for thofe expences, and, in many inftances, much more, upon a twenty-one year's leafe. There are fill about 50,000 acres of open field" land, which, in a few years, will probably be all inclofed. Many of the open fields, which have been inclosed, are converted into pafture, particularly in the fouthern and eaftern parts of the country, which are let at high rents, (from 15s. to 35s. per acre) and on which a much improved breed of catthe and fheep are kept and fattened. If the increafed produce of thefe inclofures, and of thofe in the neighbouring counties, be taken into confideration, and also the advanced price of butcher's meat, it seems to prove, that either population or luxury, or perhaps both, muit, on the whole, be immenfely increased. Thefe lands,
being now grazed, want much fewer hands to manage them than they did in their former open ftate. Upon all inclosures of open fields, the farms have generally been made much larger, from thefe caufes, the hardy yeomanry of country villages have been driven for employment into Birmingham, Coventry, and other manufac turing towns, whofe flourishing trade has fometimes found them profitable employment.
It may be granted, that the fewer men and hurles any given tract of land requires for its proper manage ment, the greater will be its produce for market; and that the fupernumerary labourers, which must have been fed and employed in the cultivation of fmall open field, and other small farmas, are employed, with much more advantage to the public, in the different manufactories of this county; but if trade in general should, for any great length of time, continue bad, the board will be much better able to judge of the confequences than myfelf, and will alfo fee how much the peace and profperity of this country depends on its trade, in the train in which things now are; and it feems fortunate, at this period, that the creation of a new kind of property gives employment to fo many thoufands of the laborious poor, I mean inland canals, by which, on the return of peace, commerce will no doubt be confiderably increafed, the cultivation of waite lands be promoted, and manufacturing towns flourish. We may then think ourselves happy, that Birmingham and Coventry are within this diftrict; and, on the whole, find advantageous employment for an immenfely increased population.
Wofte Lands. The wafte lands in this county, including the roads, I have eftimated at 120,470 acres; and, like all other lands, the rft ftep to be taken for their improvement is draining, where neceflary. If that is effectually done, or if naturally dry, the propriety of its future ufe, for the purposes of agriculture or planting,
muft depend on its fituation, as to roads, markets, and m nore; and more especially thofe forts of manure, lime or marl, which, in the firt infiance, are moft neceffary for bringing it into a fpeedy fate of production, and on its being tychable or tythe-free. If, from theie circumflances, converting it to woodland should be found most proper, the nature of the foil will belt point out the kind of timber and underwood proper to be planted; bat, however this may be, all the new hedges or fences, which are hereafter to be made, for the fubdivifion of wafte lands or open fields, ought, in my opinion, to be abundantly planted with all the different forts of foreit-trees, adapted to the nature of the foil This I mention, becaufe it has been much neglected in Warwickshire, and many other counties; an opinion having prevailed, that the injury done to hedge-rows, and to the adjoining grounds, by fuch_planting, is more than equal to the value of the timber that can be fo raised. I have before fuppofed the average fize of the new inclofures that have been made in this county to be fifteen acres; if so, each clofe, by fencing one fide and one end, has 550 yards in length, on which timber might have been planted with the quick, &c. and if five yards and a half be allowed for two trees to be thus planted (which is, I think, fufficient fpace for a few years, when properly pruned and trained) then each clofe of that fize would have zoo trees growing on its fences for fome years, which might be profitably reduced by taking out the underlings, fo as to leave near co trees for timber, which, in fome inftances, perhaps many, would in 100 years or lefs, be worth the fee fimple of the land they furround, without much, if any, injury to the occupiers; because, in clofes of that size, their fhelter and protection from cold winds, &c. may probably be equal to every damage done by their growth. From these, and other confiderations, it may