Arthur Young.

The farmer's tour through the east of England : being the register of a journey through various counties of this kingdom, to enquire into the state of agriculture, &c. ... (Volume 3) online

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Vol. III. N






178 THE FARMER'S TOUR



1



LETTER XXIV.

I
Landed at Ride; the coaft a fine dry

one, where cultivation rifes immedi-
ately from the water. Making enquiries
concerning the hufbandry, I found it as {
follows in this neighbourhood.

The foil is in general a good loam, more
inclinable to fand than clay ; but fome
fields are quite clay : the rent on an ave-
rage 20 j. an acre. The courie of crops,

1. Summer fallow.

2. Wheat.

3. Barley or oats.

4. Clover and ray-grafs, one year, which j

" they dung as ibon as the fpring
corn is off.

5. Wheat.

Another :
I. Turnips 4. Wheat

i)fU ; 2. Barley 5. Barky or oats.

3. Clover and ray

For wheat they plough after clover but
once, but a fallow three or four times*

fow



THROUGH ENGLAND. 179

fbw two or two bufhels and a half an acre,
and get four quarters on an average, very
often five : for barley they give three earths,
fow four bufhels an acre, and reckon the
mean crop five quarters and a half: for
oats they ftir but once, fow five bufhels an
acre, the crop fix quarters.

They plant beans on their ftiff land9
dunged ; but, what is vile hufbandry,
while they are at the expence of fetting,
they do it promifcuoufly, and quite thick ;
they plant two bufhels and a half an acre,
and pay the women is. J^d. a bufhel for it;
they do not hand-hoe : this is a whole
fyftem of abfurdity ; for that money they
might have them fet minutely accurate in
rows, fave much feed, and admit good
horfe and hand-hoeing, like the farmers in
Kent. The goodnefs of their land, how-
ever, gives them better crops than they
deferve : they get five quarters an acre.

For turnips they plough four times,
hoe once, and harrow once; fome hoe
twice ; they feed all off with fheep \ the
value 3 /. an acre. Clover they mow twice ;
the firft for hay, of which they get a load
and a half an acre, and the fecond for feed.
N 2 A*



iSo THE FARMERS TOUR

As to manuring, they ufe much chalk,
a hard fort ; lay 30 waggon bids, each 40
bufhcls, per acre, and they reckon that it
lafls 12 years; thev fetch it 5 miles ; \ ut
go twice a day -, the carriage is 6j. a load,
and the price is.: it docs heft on ftifflai
but they have a general idea, that if land
has been once chalked, it will not bear it
w r ell a lecond time.

They fold their fheep both in winter and
fummer ; and on wheat after it is up.

They ufed to lay large quantities of
lime on their land, but have now left it
off : after liming they fay the land won't
take chalk.

Some few among them chop their ftub-
bles for litter. Their hay they all feed at
home.

Sea weed they bring into the farm-yard,
and mix it with the dung ,to carry on to
the bean land ; without mixing, they fay
it won't do : if carried on alone it breeds
couch — that is to fay, its ftrength forces
the roots to vegetate uncommonly.

They have one itinerant labourer that
does under-ground draining ; he goes
about from farm to farm, to fee who wants

4 to



THROUGH ENGLAND. 1S1

to have any done ; they are filled with chalk
ftones ; and the improvement is always
very great.

Their beft grafs they mow in general
for hay, but mod of the farmers keep
dairies, 10 or 12 cows in each. An acre
and half of grafs will iummer feed a cow.
The daily quantity of milk, from 4 to 6
gallons, fome few 7 ; but not more butter
than thofe that give lefs. There are
fcarcely any dairies here without Akkrney
cows, which are generally liked ; many of
them will give 7 or 8 lb. of butter per week.

Mod dairies are let ; the price 3/. 10;.
or 3/. 15/. ; but he that hires finds moft of
the firing. A dairy-maid will take care of
from 8 to 14. The winter food till calving
is ftraw, and then hay.

There are very few flocks of fheep here
large enough for folding ; but within 3
miles is one of 700. Wethers are kept by
fome merely for folding.

In their tillage they reckon 6 horfes necef-
fary for 100 acres of arable land ; they ufe 4
in a plough, and do an acre a day ; in bar-
ley fowing 2 ; the price 6 J". Some few
farmers cut ftraw into chaff. They break
N 3 up



rfe THE FARMERS TOUR

up their ftubbles for a fallow as foon as
wheat feed is over. Wheel ploughs are
only ufed.

Poor rates 2 s. 6d. to 3/. 8d. in the
pound. The poor have no employment
from manufactures.

The particulars of a farm.
100 Acres, all 10 Summer fallow

arable 6 Turnips

£. 1 00 Rent 6 Horfes

50 Wheat 2 Cows

20 Oats I Man

j 4 Beans 2 Labourers.

Another :
80 Acres in all 5 Horfes

£.60 Rent 8 Cows

20 Acres Wheat 20 Swine

10 Oats 1 Man

10 Beans I Boy

20 Fallow 1 Labourer.

20 Clover
At Newport I had the fatisfa&ion of con-
verting with Mr, Knowles the wheelwright,
well known for being the inventor of an
excellent draining plough, for which he
had a premium from the London fociety.
Jr\ the making a common plough, he ex^

plained



THROUGH ENGLAND. r8 3

plained to me his ideas of the method of
conftructing one in a perfect manner.
Among other circumftances he mentioned
the following.

He does not conceive that it is proper
for the line from the point of the fhare to
the junction of the rein with the beam, to
form a fegment of a circle ; on the contrary,
that it mould make a flight angle, nearly
at the centre, between the two.
' He attends particularly to making the
mould-board thinner in the bofom, againfl
which, the earth at firft forces.

Refpecting the breadth of the tail of the
plough, that of the mare is not his
rule, but nearly the breadth the farmer
approves for his furrow — generally 1 1
inches, although the fhare is but from 5 to
7 inches.

The fhare he makes of one iron, from
point quite to the heel of the plough, and
quite firelight^ not inclining towards the
land at heel.

The mould-board he cuts off at the tail,
fo that it can hang but little over the land.-

In the conftrudlion of all ploughs, he

thinks that the line of draught fhould dired

N 4 the



1 84 THE FARMER'S TOUR

the height of the wheels ; fo that if I is
the hories fhoulders, and 2 the heel of the
plough ; 3 fliould be the junction of the
traces and the carriage, forming a flight
angle, that the draft may be rather up-
wards ; it being in draft much better rather
to draw upwards than downwards :
I

3

A flraight line will do well, but the com-
mon error is reverfing it, thus ;

I

3



Mr. Knowles has invented a turnwreft
plough, with intention to remedy the de-
fects of the common Kentifi one. Plate
XXV. Fig. i. is a reprefentation of it.

13 A (crew which fixes the beam to a
point; nipping it to the iron (16) on which
it turns ; fwinging on the pivot (3).

(15) The fheath on which the fhare is
fixed.

A. Is the bottom of the plough.
The price, 4/.
His draining plough, 7/.

The



THROUGH ENGLAND. 185

The common ditto, 4/.

And he has alfo invented a wheel to
anfwer the purpofe of a perambulator ; the
price 1 /. 11s. bd. Likewife a machine
for facilitating the taking angles in furvey-
ing land.

Newport is a very regularly built town,
the ftreets cutting each other at right angles*

From thence to the fouthern parts of the
ifland the country improves greatly ; the
hills are bolder, and the vales exhibit a
finer variety of landfcape. The whole
country plealing.

About Godfall their courfe of crops is ;

1. Fallow 4. Clover 1 year

2. Wheat 5. Wheat.

3. Barley

Another :

1. Turnips 5. Barley

2. Barley 6. Clover

3. Clover 7. Wheat.

4. Wheat

Wheat yields from 3 to 5 quarters.

Barley, from 4 to 7.

Oats, 6 to 10.

Peafe, 3.

They hoe their turnips but once. They
mow their clover once for hay, and get 2
or 3 loads an acrej and then for feed.



186 THE FARMERS TOUR

They ufed to lime their lands much; but
like the farmers about Ride, have changed
it for chalk, of which they lay 20 loads an
acre.

In their tillage they affert that 10 horfes
areneceflary for 200 acres of arable land ;
ufe 2, 3, but generally 4 in a plough ; 8
fometimes, and do an acre a day 5 in bar-
ley feafon 2. The price $s. an acre;
fome land up to 8j. Wheel ploughs only
ufed.

Farms 200/. or 300/. a year.

Flocks rife to 1200; they reckon the
profit in lamb and wool.
Lamb fat, 1 6 s. to 2 o s.
Wool, 2 J".

They keep the fame flock regularly,
except when they change the breed of the
whole.

About Mr. WorJley\, in the way to the
fouth coaft, the courfes are ;

1. Turnips 3. Clover, 1 year

2. Barley 4. Wheat.

But what is more common, though it
ought not to be,

1. Turnips 5. Barley

2. Barley 6. Clover

3. Clover 7. Wheat.

4. Wheat



THROUGH ENGLAND. 187

Wheat yields on an average 4 quarters
an acre.

Barley, 5.

Oats after turnips, 7 to 10.

Thefe crops are great ; but the land is
a fine, mellow, fandy loam, at 20s. an acre.

They ufe large quantities of chalk : it is
a hard fort, and they lay 20 loads an acre,
which they carry four or five miles. Some
lands it agrees fo well with, that they are
always the better for it.*

Re-

* The country around Apeldore -Combe park
is uncommonly fine. From the hill, great prof-
pefts are feen on every fide •, the furrounding
hills wave in the nobleft manner, and form in
many places a linking outline to the fea :
in the vales are many beautiful fweeps of
inclofures, and feveral fine woods, all rich,
and diftinctly feen. The Needles (which arc
vaft rocks at the weft point of the ifland, 700
feet perpendicularly high) bound the view one
way in the boldeft manner, and, though four-
teen miles off, rife fo abruptly, that they appear
but three or four.

All the way to Steeple, the country is very
beautiful, many fine views every where break-
ing to the eye. At Steeple there is a fhore, and
edging of cultivation on a bold rocky fea-coaft,
beneath vaft hills to the land, that has an ap-
pearance extremely ftriking. The whole way
£S you advance, you fee here and there little

birds-



iS3 THE FARMER'S TOUR

Returning to Newport, a little on one fide
of the town, lies Carrijhrook caftle, where I
was fhewn the window, through which the
unfortunate Charles in vain endeavoured to
efcape. An old gate-way, of good mafonry,
is in its ftile curious ; the view down into
the vale on the village, with the church,
half obfcured with fcattered wood, and an
humble river, winding at the foot of the
hill, contrafted by the ruins of the caftle
on a bold eminence, form an agreeable

picture.

From

birds-eye landfkips, a cottage, with a hay-ftack
or two under a few trees, and fine broken wild
ground rifing above it. Thefe, and many other
very picturefque views, entertain the traveller, in
moving under the downs, among the inclo-
fures, which lead by Steeple. After ad-
vancing about two miles, let him go up the
hill, and return to Steeple, by the edge of the
lower range of down. You there look down on
the vale that fkirts the fea, in the moft pleafing
manner : the coaft forms an outline to the fea
amazingly fine ; the corn fields in fome places
feem to clip in the ocean ; in others an humble .
ihrubby vegetation forms the edging, hanging
on the fides of the hills. The variety of the
vale itfeif is great : the diverfity of the fpots of i
Ihrubby ground, broken with rocks, appear-
ing among the rich inclofures, whofe verdure
emulates the power of painting, gives a con-
trail: !



THROUGH ENGLAND. 1S9

From Newport to CoiVi's the country i s
much inferior, both in beauty and ferti-
lity ; indeed, all the northern half of the
ifland is fame degrees inferior to the
fouthern. As to hufbandry, the follow-
ing is the ftate of it about Coives ', and in
general through the northern part.

Farms rife from 2.0 1, to 200/. a year,
average 40/. to So/.

The foil is a ftoney loam on clay, much
of it furprifingly full of flints : fome fields
are brick earth, and a few clay ; the ave-
rage rent ioj. ditto of the fouth fide of
the ifland 1 5 s. of the whole us. 6d. The
courfe of crops,

1. Fallow 4. Clover, ray-grafs

2. Wheat and hop-clover,

3. Barley or oats two years.

gg,

trail that flrikes the beholder. Single trees in
one place, clumps in another ; farms, cottages,
and all the riant touches of a truly chearful
landfcape, cut the little hills into diitintSr. piclu-
refque views, with an outline to the whole, as
beautifully traced as fancy can conceive.

Mr. Stanley, governor of the ifland, has built
a very elegant cottage, in a beautiful fituation,
beneath the downs : under one of the windows
of the principal room, a fpring, clear as
cryftal, rifes into a large ftiel] or ftone, which is
always full : it comes in at one aperture, and
flows out atanoi] .



190 THE FARMER'S TOUR

Alfo,

i. Turnips 3. Clover, &c. 2 yean

2. Barley 4. Wheat.

This good courfe does not extend to
more than one field in a farm ; the other"
bad one is mod common.

For wheat they plough from three to
-five times ; early in feed-time they fow two
buihels, but late three ; the crop two quar-
ters and a half per acre. For barley they
give two or three ftirrings, fow four buih-
els, and reckon the average produce at
four quarters. They plough but once for
oats, fow four bufhels and a half, and get
four quarters in return. For peafe they
give but one earth, fow four buihels of the
white fort, but only three or three and a
half of hog peafe ; never hoe them ; the
crop three quarters and a half: they have
no beans. For turnips they ftir three of
four times ; fome farmers hoe once, others
not at all ; all feed by fheep on the land ;
the value 42 j. per acre. They both feed
and mow their clover ; they get frOm one
to two loads of hay an acre, and then feed
much of it. Tares they fometimes fow
after clover, to cut green for foiling horfes,
and a fmall quantity is ploughed in as a

manure*






THROUGH ENGLAND. 191

manure. In the fouthern part of the ifland
they low them for feeding their fheep.

Sainfoine is alfb cultivated in the fouthern
.part ; alio a little buck-wheat on the fandy foils.
In their manuring they are pretty atten-
tive, though not perfect : they have no
folding. Paring and burning was once
very common ; but they think it did much
mifchief : and indeed no wonder ; for
after this operation, they ploughed and
fowed corn perpetually, till they had totally
exhaufted the land, and then attributed the
mifchief to the paring and burning.

They lay on fcarce any lime at prefent,
though much was once ufed in common,
1 and with fuccefs. An inftance of its ex-
cellence I heard here : feven or eight years
; ago a field was limed with one bulhel per
\ rod : the foil fo poor before liming as to
: bear nothing ; but fince that has conftantly
: yielded good corn and clover. The price
of lime 3 J 1 , a quarter.

Chalk has long been ufed ; it is all a
; hard fort ; they lay from 14 to 20 waggon
loads per acre, as much as five or fix
horfes can, draw, which is three tons :
the colours are white and blue : the land
will be better for it 40 or 50 years. In
1 Sommerton



192 THE FARMER'S TOUR

Sommcrton farm, farmer Barter 50 years
ago chalked part of a field of brick earth,
and it is now vifible to an inch in both corn
and clover ; it alfo did as well on gravel :
but it is very obfervable, that this chalk
came in ballaft from Ke?it \ their own is not
fo good.

To go three miles for chalk, the car-
riage is 5 J", a lbad, and 3 d. the coft.

The management of their farm-yard
manure is very bad : they chop no ffcub-
bles, nor do they coniine their cattle to
the yard in winter, but let them con-
stantly run in and out, and they always
are in the fields at night. However, they
ftack their hay at home.

Large quantities of town dung are bought
by the befl farmers, from Cowes, Newport
and Portjmottth'y the laft comes to 3sf. a
cart-load, freight and coft : this is a noble
convenience.

The farmers in this iflaml are by much
the neateft people for /lacking that ever I
faw: all their hay and corn ftacks, (and
they have very little barn room on the
largefl farms) are round, drawn up as re-
gularly as pofhble to a point, which is

ornamented



THROUGH ENGLAND. 193

ornamented with a little knob of ftraw;
the thatch regularly cut round, and the
outfide bound in circles one foot diftant
from each other with brambles. It
is furpriiing, with what exactnefs they
build, and with what neatnefs they thatch
them : they are really beautiful, nor can
you eafily imagine how much thefe ftacks
ornament the country ; not a landfcape is
to be ieen, without thefe chearful marks
of, I may fay, elegant plenty ; and it is
obfervable, that almoft every little farmer,
and farming man, are thatchers. The
IJle of Wight is certainly the place for an
accurate extenfive hufbandman to hire a
fervant from, with a view to fpread the art
of neat thatching.

There are many covered drains made
in this part : they dig them two feet two
inches deep, five wide at bottom, and
twelve at top ; fill them with chalk or
(tones picked off the land fix inches deep,
then fern or heath, (ling.) The labour
is %d. a rod, an extravagant price; and
4</. ftones, &c. in all is.

They know nothing of plafhing hedges,
but cut up all the live wood in repairing

Vol. III. O an



i 94 THE FARMER'S TOUR

an old one ; but many hedges are kept
regularly clipt: there are very few ditches.

Good grais they apply to fatting beafts,
or dairying: one acre in the -fouth will
fummer keep a cow ; but in the north part
of the iiland it takes one and a half. Their
breed is the long-homed, but they have
many Alderneys : three or four gallons are
the common quantity of milk a day. Cows
lett at 3/. 10 s. and the whole produce
5/. 5/. To ten cows they keep about
fifteen hoga ; they keep them in winter on
ih'aw till calving. In rearing calves, fome
farmers let them fuck two months, but
others only a week, and then give thcru
flet milk.

Their fwine fatten from 10 to 24 fcore.

They have here no Hocks of fheep, butj
in the downs, which are a ridge of moun-
tains that run through the center of t
iiland from eaft to weft : they keep from
iooo to 1500; the profit in general is
the lamb and wool.

Lamb, - - - jT. o 10 I

Wool, - -02



Total, - o 12 i

Bu



THROUGH ENGLAND. i



95



$ut many fat the wether lambs. In the
northern part they buy in ewes in No-
<v?nber ; Wilt/litre, Dorfetfoire, or fome of
their own breed : the price from iox. to
2 ox. average i$s. The lamb they fell fat
about Whltfuntide at 1 5 x. and the wool of
the ewe is worth 2 J", which ijs. is their
profit ; for they make nothing by the ewe,
except the wool. Their winter food is
chiefly grafs, with a few turnips : the
down flocks are winter kept on hay and
turnips : the rot in fheep they attribute
wholly to fprings and fogs.

In their tillage they reckon eight or ten
horfes necefTary for 100 acres of arable
land ; they ufe from four to fix in a plough,
and do from one acre to two in a day :
the depth in general from three to fix
inches ; but they now and then plough
1 a little twelve inches deep : the price from
4x. to 1 ox. an acre. The total expence of
keeping a horfe, including decline of value
and {hoeing, they calculate at 15/.

Very little ftraw cut into chaff.

There are no ox teams in the iflandj

except a few about Brading, where the

farmers like them much for a part of their

O 2 ftrength :



196 THE FARMER'S TOUR

ftrength : they ufe fix or eight in a plough.
They break up their flubbles before
Chrijhnas.

In the hiring farms on this fide the downs,
they reckon iooo/. neceffary for one of
200/. a year; but on the other fide 700/,
or 800/. will do.

Land fells at 30 to 32 years purchafe.

Tythes are both gathered and com-
pounded, from 2 J", to 4 s. in the pound ;
average 3/. 6d.

Poor-rates is. to 51. 7000/. a year is
raifed in the whole ifland by poor rates,
which the inhabitants think fo great a
burthen, that they have had fome meet-
ings to confider of an application to par-
liament for an houfe of induftry. The
poor have no employment from manu-
factures ; but all drink tea twice a day.

AH the farmers have leafes.

LABOUR.

In harveft, 40/. a month and board.
In hay-time, is. 6d. and beer.
In winter, 1 jf. id. I and beer.
Reaping, j\s. 6d.
Mowing corn, 1 /. 3 d %

Mowinj



THROUGH ENGLAND. 197

Mowing grafs, is.

Hoeing turnips, $s.

Thrafhing wheat, is. to 2 s, 6d. a quarter.

— " Barley, ix. to ix. 6d.

— Oats, Sd. to ix.

Peafe, is. 6d.

Head-man's wages, 7/. ys. to id/, iox.

Next ditto, 5/. $s. to 7/. js,

Lad's, 30 s. to 3/. ioj-.

Dairy maid's, 4/. 4/.

Other ditto, 3/.

Women per day in harveft, 1 s. and beer.

In hay-time, 6d. to Sd,

In winter, 6d.

Value of a man's board, warning and lodg-
ing, 5 J", a week.

Labour in general is railed a feventh in 2Q
years.

PROVISIONS.

Bread, I d. § per lb,

Cheefe, 2 to 3

Butter, 8

Beef, 3 |

Mutton, 3 %

Veal, 4

Pork, 3 § to 4

Bacon, 4 \

O 3 Milk,



198 THE FARMER'S TOUR

Milk, \d, perip'mU
Potatoes, i j. a peck.
Labourer's houfe-rent, 2/. to 3/.
Firing, 20s. Many Ileal all,

T/je particulars of a farm,
400 Acres in all



300 Arable

40 Grafs

60 Wood
200/. Rent

75 Wheat

30 Barley

45 Oats

75 Summer fallow
6 Turnips

Another :



30 Clover
18 Horfes
20 Cows
200 Sheep
20 Kogs
8 Men

2 Boys

3 Maids
6 Labourers.



1000 Acres in all
300 Down
400 Arable
300 Grafs
500/. Rent
120 Wheat
120 Barley
20 Oats



40 Turnips
60 Clover
10 Tares
10 Wood
1200 Sheep
20 Horfes
16 Draft oxen
24 Cows



60 Summer fallow 40 Young cattle



THROUGH ENGLAND. iqq

60 Swine 3 Maids

15 Men 6 Labourers.*

5 Boys



* John Stevens*, Efq. of Weft Cozves, to whom
I am obliged for the above account of huf-
bandry, has an agreeable feat on a riling
ground near the fea, wlrch commands a noble
view of the channel from Fortjhiouw quite
to Lymington, and the mouth of the SoUfb-
a""pton river. The high lands in Sujfex., the
h lis in Hampjbire, and the woody coait of the
Nezv Foreft, all bound the view, and form for
one ftroke of the eye the nobleft river perhaps
the world can exhibit : the breadth from three
to feven miles, and the length from twenty -five
to thirty. This beautiful expanfe of water i~>
fcarcely ever free from the enlivening addition
of all forts of mips, from the large I men of- war
down to fome hundreds of fifhing-boats. Every
moment gives a new view of fleets, and the a
tudes of the fmgle mips offer a variety uncom-
monly entertaining. Upon the whole, it much
exceeds any fea profpecl: : the unenrertaiv
range of a boundlefs ocean ftrikes at firft a fp lb-
lime idea •, but the repetition of the view ha,s,
"charms : whereas this profpect fatisT.es in no-
thing. You either command diftindtly a nobk
lake land-locked in a moft various manner, or,
as you vary your ppfition, a winding r:
cannot be exceeded in beauty.

The home views, about Mr. ' gf-afs-

plot, are admirably pleafing: the tawjp of

Cowes in a bottom, hid by wood, is marked

by the courfe of the fhipping that are corutantly

O x m<>-



soo THE FARMER'S TOUR

moving to and from ir. Above the town a
hill of uncultivated land rifes finely, and forms a
flrong projection to the fea, finifhing in a fpace
of wild woody ground : the whole a very bold
ihore. From one of the feats, you look through
the ftems of four large trees on to a very pretty
jandfcape : a river at the bottom of a vale, a
few houfes on its banks, backed with a rifing
hill cut into inclofures, and variegated with
woods, trees, hedges, &c. — the fcene piclurefque.
There is another landfcape, a true bird's-eye
one, caught through the branches of two old
oaks, that cannot but pleafe : it is a rich fcenery
of inclofures, that ftretch one beyond another
on the hills, till they rile to the diftant mountains,
and are loft in fpreading woods.

At the diftance of a mile or two from Cozves is a
fpot called Gurnard-Bay ; from the hills by which,
is a very fine and romantic view : the water breaks
boldlyinto the land in various bays and creeks. In
front, the view is bounded on the other fide the
water by New Fcrcfi, with the diftant hills be-
yond. The Dorfeif/oire hills rife in fine varieties*,
in particular one large and two fmall and irregu-
lar ones. To the left, the ifland projects in four
promontories, which are diftindtly feen one
beyond another : the furtheft is a hill in a dark
fhade •, the next, higher grounds, vari-d in in-
clofures •, nearer to you another, in which the
corn fields, cut by fine hedges, break boldly to
the very water : the ploughmen fcem to treaci
the main. A piece of wild broken groundj


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Online LibraryArthur YoungThe farmer's tour through the east of England : being the register of a journey through various counties of this kingdom, to enquire into the state of agriculture, &c. ... (Volume 3) → online text (page 8 of 19)