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 1) online

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that gave 9 gallons a day. The annual
product 7 /. To I o cows they keep 2 fows,
Jn winter they keep them in the houfe.

Their fwine fat up to 25 ftone ; 16 the

flocks of fheep rife to 2ccp. The profit



they reckon at 5 J", a head : which is lb
fcandaloufly low, that it much behoves
more fpirited farmers to fet in earneft about
gaining a better breed ; for more profitable
Iheep might certainly be kept at the fame
expence ; this is proved clearly enough by
the fhecp of Mr. Eddifon above-mentioned,
who has gained a very good and profitable
breed by hiring a tup of Mr. Bakcwell of
Dijhley ; and he finds that his new fheep
are kept on the fame food and at as fmall
an expence as his old foreft ftock : an in-
flance of Vv-hich is his turning the f^me
number as before on to a ftinted common,
and finding them to thrive jufl: as well as

the inferior breed. The foreft llieep are

commonly kept in winter en v/hat they can
find, with fcarcely any afiiftance from hay
or turnips. The average fleece is 3 lb.

In their tillage they reckon 6 horfcs
neceflary for 100 acres of ploughed land :
ufe two in a plough, and do an acre a day ;
the depth about 5 inches, and the price 5 s,
an acre. Harrov.'ing i j. The annual ex-
pence of a horfe they reckon at 10/. They
in general know nothing of cutting ftraw
R 4 into


into chaff ; but Mr. Eddifon has pradifed it
for fome time.

Their jftubbles they plough before Chrijl-;
mas : The Kotheram plough the ouly ones

The hire of a cart, three horfes, and a
driver, a day, 6 s.

In the hiring and flocking farms, they
reckon looo/. neceffary for a fand farm of
200 acres, 100/. a year; and they divide
that fum in the following manner ; fuppo-
fmg the farmer a fpirited man, and to aim
at improvements.

10 Horfes,



12 Cows,



clo Young cattle.



500 Sheep,



A tup hired.






3 Waggons,



4 Carts,


- 30

• rioughs,



5 I , ;r of harrows.






^^■.■% -



mall implements,


Carry over, ^ 625


Brought over, 625

Furniture of houfe and dairy, 150

Rent, ^ ^ - - j;o

Town charges, ~ - 15

Houfekeeping, - - 100

J Man, - ^ - - 10

1 Boy, « - - . 5

2 Maids, - - - ^ 6
2 Labourers, «, - - 40
Extra labour, - - - 36
Seed, 40 Acres wheat, - 20

r 20 Barley, - - 10

20 Clover, - - 6

! 20 Turnips, - - i

Total, -. - ^. 1074

put fuch farms are often taken with three
^r four hundred pounds ; the confcquence
0f which is, the execrable hufbandry fo
^common here.

Mr. Eddifon^ mentioned as a good farmer
in this account, more than once has proved
himfelf fuch by fome other particulars. His
I improvement of a bog is, I believe, origi-
I nal ; it is certainly curious. The field con-
tains eight acres, was rented at 3 s. an acre :
Mr. Eddijon began the improvement of it


by cutting fome open drains, at the expence
of 5 d. and i o ^. per acre of 28 yards ; the
whole came to 7/. "] s. He then carted
on to it 1003 loads of fand and earth,
40 bufhels each ; they were carried 300
yards ; the expence 10 j-. 6 d, per .^o loads.
After this he carted on 400 loads of twitch
grafs, at i s, each, 20 /. This article of
improvement muft found fo very odd, that
a little explanation is neceifary : the country
is chiefly fand, and the weed moft common
on all the fands of this country is twitch.
The quantity of it is truly aftonifliing:
You hear the farmers talk of 2 or 300 loads '
of twitch picked off their land in a familiar
manner, as if it was not at all extraordi-
nary : — this is fo much the cafe that I was
induced, after I had been in the country a
ihort time, almoft to think it a neceflary
evil : but the whole is certainly owing to-
bad hufbandry, for I found that the heft
cultivated fields had the leaft of it ; and Mr.
Eddifon aflured me, that the clofes which
he had gotten into good order, were per-
fedly free from twitch : It is the running
two or three crops together that fills the
land with this weed : fome very capital flo-




i yens aflert that twitch is a very good friend
■ to the farmer ; and that they fhould not be
I able to get any corn if the land was not full
[of it. To attempt to reafon with fuch fel-
illows, is an abfurdity. I was inclined to

fcize a hedge-ftake, in order to break it
, about the bon,es of one who gave me this


Mr. Eddifon^ on coming to his farm,
found this bleffed commodity fo much the
ftaple of his farm, that he had ample ma-
terials for improvement. The twitch takes
root and forms a matted net-work of roots
on the bog, fo that it is bound quite into a
firm furface; and what is extremely re-
markable, the twitch vegetates in its nevv^
fituation no longer than juft to produce that
I effeiSt ; for a fine carpet of white clover pre-
fently rifes, and likewife other valuable
'graffes, fo that in the following crops of
hay the twitch is fcarccly perceptible, and
foon quite difappears. The effedt is fo
great that the meadow is now fuch as would
let for a guinea an acre ; I faw the crop of
hay, and found it a very good one. The
^icljoining clofe is now a bog, and almofl



fvvallows up the calves turned on it ; the
only ftock they venture on.

One fpot of about half a rood was covered
with ^6 bufhels of lime ; or above 400 pet^
acre. The efFe<ft was making the furface
found, but the grafs, the fecond and third
year, not fo good as that frgm twitch tho
iirft. — Lime alone, Mr. Eddifon docs no^
recommend as profitable, for want of the
twitch binding the furface firft. Mixed
with earth it is much better. The field is
now very well worth a guinea an acre ; Mr^
Eddifon would not take that rent for it ; the
white clover is very thick and luxuriant ia
many parts of it. In dry, burning feafonsi
he finds it of particular ufe, for it fi.ipport!^
cattle well v/hen he has no other foodi
This year he fed it from the 14th of Aprtl
to the 2 ift day of M^y ; which he values at
I o J-. an acre alone ; and it now yields a to4
of hay an acre, after that late feeding.

The expcnce of the improvement he cal-s
pulates in the following manner : !

1003 Loads


1003 Loads of faftd, at 10/.
y6J.per^o. - - iC* ^3 2 ^

400 Loads of twitch, at i x. 20 o o
Draining, - - * 770

Total, - - - 40 9 6
. Which is per acre, ^ £' S ^ ^

I The return, if it amounts to only i/. lOi-i
ifi^r acre, is a profit 30 per Cent, on the
.capital employed.

- There can be no doubt, from this very
tifeful experiment, but that twitch may be
employed to a very profitable purpofe ; but
as I much hope that few will be able t/jus
lo improve bogs, let me rj^mark, that there
is reafon to conclude it not altogether necef-
far)". The draining is here confiderable ;
I viev^-^ed the cuts, and found them numc-
jTous and deep; thefe, with 8 quarters of
lime on 7 a rood, worked a great improve-
ment, tho' not equal to that of fand and
twitch : but Mr. Eddlfoit obferved that
lime and earth did well ; that is, the in-
creafed weight did well : I am convinced
that weight alone will improve a bog ; the
draining begins the work, and then the



preffure of 125 load of fand per acre nearly
effedted the reft : 50 load of twitch makes
the weight yet greater, and confequently
muft be of great fervice : and when it rots,
it certainly becomes a good manure. The
white clover is by no means brought by the
twitch, but the fand; an efFed: found before.
The great utility of preffure on a bog, is
feen in that improved by the Duke of Bridg-
water^ at the head of his navigation, by
carrying large quantities of refufe ftone on it.

Mr. Eddifo}i\ method of improving foreft
lands is, firft, to pare and burn the ling,
and fow turnips, which he hand-hoes clean ;
after thefe he takes another crop, which are
worth from 40 .f. to 3 /. an acre : then bar-
ley or oats ; and then turnips again. After
this crop he fows barley or oats with ray-
grafs and clover : this fyftem of tillage fo
completely eradicates the ling and fern, that
none of it rifes again. The grafs thus gained
would let for from loj-. to 15/. an acre.

In feeding his teams, this attentive farmer
has prad:ifcd a method which promifes to be
very fuccefsful ; he has built a whin mill.
See Plate III. fig. i.

I . The path of the horfe.

2. The


2. The groove in which the whins are
laid ; and on which the wheel rolls.
' 3. The wheel.

4. A poft fixed in the center of the floor,
to which the wheel is faftened.

When there is only a wafte to have re-
^ourfe to, nothing mull be taken but the
young fhoots of the whins ; and with fuch
trouble one man can feed 6 horfes. But
' if an acre was well cropped with them, he
•is confident it would winter 6 horfes ; at 3
or 4 years growth, the whole crop fhould
•be taken, cut clofe to the ground, and car-
ried to the mill ; in which the whins are to
be bruifed, and then given to the horfes.
They all prefer them even to corn ; and will
cat neither that nor hay while you let them
have whins : they are further a very whole-
fome food, and remarkably hearty. In
hard drawing work, they will do as much,
and (land it as well as any horfes fed in the
I common manner. Four acres fliould be
■' planted ; that one may be ufed each year at
the proper age to cut. Feeding in this
manner he reckons worth 5 J", a week per
horie ; it is a faving of all the corn and nine
tenths of the hay.



Six horfes fed 25 weeks,

at 5J-* ^ - - ^.37 10

The fourth ^ - ■* ;C- 9 7 6

which is the producH: per acre, per anmim^
cf whin land thus applied. I aiked him
particularly about the number of horfes.
He told me at firft 10; but upon my calcu-
lating the value, he replied, " I dorCt think
I am above the mark., but to obviate objec^
fions^t fet it down at Jtx, " — This improve*-
ment, it muft be allowed^ is of a moft im^
portant kind ; and certainly reduces the ex*
pence of horfe-keeping more than any other
pradice ever heard of. The pooreft land
does well for whins ; 2 j". an acre rent will
yield vaft crops ; and after the firft planting,
which cofts but little, for the feed is cheap^
will require no other expence or trouble
than the cutting for the horfes. A horft
may certainly be thus well kept the fii^
winter months for 2 x. 6 d, labour excluded^

Mr. Eddifon keeps his cattle in the farm^
yard during winter; and gains thereby li
loads of dung for every head of cattle win-
tered, horfes or horned cattle.

A method of feeding with hay, pradifed


yy him, is worthy of attention : he has
sreded a houfe, of which Plate III. Fig. 2.
s a reprefentation : the horfes feed on the
mtfide from racks, which are filled on the
,nride either from a chamber over the body
)f the houfe, or from the houfe in general,
n cafe it is all filled with hay : In a field it
s but an improvement of bad hufbandry — ■
)ut fuch a houfe in the center of a farm-
yard would be of excellent ufe.

a. The body of the houfe.

b. The roof.

c. c. The projeding roofs, under which
he horfes feed.

d. d. The racks.

I proceed with great pleafure to the
egifter of Colonel St. Leger\ hufbandry,
vhich is not only truly experimental, but
.^mbraces fo many objedis, that it cannot
•ail of being particularly valuable to the


Experiment^ No. i.

In 1765, three acres of a thin lime-fione
Toil, let at ^s, an acre, were fown with
fainfoine the beginning of Aprily 4 bufhels

Vol. I. S of


of feed per acre, and 2/6. of trefoile, amon^
barley. The land had been twice cropped
with turnips, both times fed by ftieep.
After the barley was harvefted, the fain-
foine, &c. was kft unfed by any cattle.


The following year it was mown for
hay ; the produce two loads an acre, but
chiefly trefoile. In the after-grafs the
fainfoine principally came, and it was
worth I o J", an acre.

This year the trefoile difappeared ; and
two loads and an half of fainfoine per acre
•^ere cut. The after-grafs again was worth


The latter end of 'January the field was
harrowed with three horfes, twice in a
place, acrofs, to clean the fainfoine plants
from natural grafs, and fome weeds that
had rifen : the efi'edt was completely an-i
fwered, and without any damage to the
crop. Two loads an acre were cut; the
after-grafs valued at 10/. an acre.

A 1769-







This year it produced one load and aa
half of hay ; and an after-grafs of 10/.

This year one load an acre is cut.

The reafon of the produd: declining is
the want of manure ; fainfoine will not
yield large crops on this foil without being
tefrefhed once in four years with a manur-
ing of fome fort or other. It is to no other
taufe that the crops have fallen off; for
; there is great plenty of roots.

A flight calculation will fhew the profit
of this experiment.

Expences per acre.


1765. beed 4 buihels, at ^s.




2 lb. Trefoile,






Harrowing, at i J".



3 Earths,








1766. Mowing, mak-

ing, &c. ;^.



Rent, -




— — ^j

Carry over,



iS s


Brought over, jf.2 13 6
1767.01110, - - - o 12 6

1768. Four harrow-

ings, - ^.040

Mowing, Szc, 076
Rent, - 050

— o 16 6

1769. Mowing, &c. and rent, o 12 6
J770. Ditto, - - - o 12 6

Total in 6 years, - S 1 ^

Produce. '

1766. Two loads of hay, at 30 j. 3 o o
After-grafs, - - o 10 o

1767. Two and half

loads, - 3 ^5 o
After-grafs, o 10 o \

1768. Two loads and after-grafs, 3 10 o

1769. One and a half

load, - 250
After-grafs, 076

2 12 d

1770. One load, i 10 o
After-grafs, fup-

pofe, - 050

— „i^ I I f o

I -^

Total produd, ^.15 12 6



' ^otal produ£t, - - ^.1512 6

Expences, - - ^ S 1 ^

Profit in 5 years, 10 5 o

Which is per annum^ £,2 i o

The profit would have been much greater
had the land been manured at the end of
the third year ; but ftill the profit is extra-
ordinarily high for fuch poor land, that
under any other management would yield
. a moft infignificant advantage, as may be
gathered from the rent of 5 s. — And let me
further obferve, that the rent at which this
fort of land under fainfoine will let, which
is 25 J", an acre, though it feem.s fo amazing
; a rife, is yet fl:rongly confirmed by this
eftimate ; for this field was undoubtedly
worth that rent ; and v/ould appear yet
more fo, had it been manured.
b This trial is a ftriking proof of the great
M excellency of fainfoine on thefe lime-fl:one
foils : they are in every other application
moft unprofitable land ; but by means of
this excellent grafs, are advanced without
expence to a par with the richeft meadows.

S 3 Expe^


'Experiment^ No. 2.

In 1 764, fix acres of the fame foil as the
preceding trial were cropped with wheat ]|
it had been fo badly managed that the land
was quite run out of heart,


This ftate pf it determined Colonel ^U

Leger to give it a complete fallow : it had;

five earths ; and was manured with 50 load^

pf old rotten dung. .,.

1766. • *;

In this preparation barley was fown, 3

bufhels per acre ; and with it 4 bufhels per

acre of fainfoine, and 2 lb. of trefoile. ThQ

barley produced 4 quarters per acre.

The crop was mown for hay : it prOf
duced (chiefly trefoile) two loads an acre^
The after-grafs was worth 10 s, an acre.
Gut it again ; produce the fame as laft

Cut it the third time ; produce the fame.




t "J 770.

* 'Harrowed it the beginning of January
eight times ; four times one way, and then
Cour more acrofs. After the harrowing,
manured it with farm-yard compoft mixed
with afhes, 5 loads an acre. The crop of
\ tay 2 loads an acre ; it would have been
much more confiderable, had the harrow-
ing been later ; the fucceeding frofls and a
I cold fpring kept It backward. It promises
\ liovjfever extremely well ; and wll] l?ift good
eleven years longer^.

'Experiment^ No. 3.

Six acres of the fame land, the rent 4 s,
^^r acre, were fallowed in the year 1766
for turnips; and manured with 10 loads
fer acre of rotten dung : they were fed on
jhe land, and in

followed by barley, 3 bufh^ls an acre feed,
4 bufhels of fainfoine, and 2 lb, of trefoile.
The firft year the crop of hay amounted to
2 loads an acre ; and the after-grafs, 10/.
and has continued ever fmce to produce the
(ame quaijtity. What a vaft profit is it to
S 4 gaia


gain 3/. 10 s. per ann. from land of 4^. an
acre ! I do not think the whole range of
hufbandry can produce any improvement
greater than this ! And let me obferve, that
the valuation of 30 s, a load for fainfoine
hay is extremely low ; — I know fcarcely any
country in which it would not be worth
more money. This crop will laft 12 years
longer ; but it muft be manured once in four
years. ,:

Colonel ^f. Leger finds from repeated
experience, that the proper foil for fainfoine
js the fine dry loams on lime-flone ; but it
will not grow on rocks in folid ftrata, with-f
out thofe numerous interftices which are ge-
nerally found in beds of lime-ftone : This
is owing to the folid rock not admitting
the roots to (lioot deep through it ; they can
only fpread on a fmooth furface ; whereas
in lime-ftone it runs along on the folid
parts till it meets with crevices, and imme-^
diately fallows them in the fearch of nou-»';
rifhment. None is ever fown here without
a rock under the furface of loam. It will
do very well where the foil is not abo\e 4
inches deep, but thrives better where it ha$
9 or 10. The culture Mr. St. Le^er recom-


liicnds is, to take two crops of turnips fuc-
ifliffively ; to manure the land for the firft,
and to prepare it well by ploughing : both
crops to be well hand-hoed ; and fed on the
land with flieep. Then 3 bufhels of barley
; or oats to be fown, and with them 4 bufheh
of fainfoine, and 2 lb. of trefoile. This is
a pradice in w^hich the Colonel is original,
and it is undoubtedly a moft excellent one ;
for the fainfoine the firft year is of little
account, but the trefoile yields its full pro-
duce ; and then dying away, the fainfoine
fucceeds in vigour. I am fenfible it may
be objeded to this, that the growth of the
trefoile muft be prejudicial to the young
fainfoine ; but in anfwer to this it is very
juftly obferved by Colonel St, Leger^ that
the enquiry is not, whether the land
fhould be occupied by fainfoine alone, but
whether weeds or trefoile be preferable.
For he has regularly found in all crops, that
the land will be occupied by fomething ; if
you don't fow for a crop, the foil will feed
I itfelf with weeds ; and the latter will be to
, the full as prejudicial to the young plants,
as any crop of trefoile can be.

After tbree crops are taken, the land is to



be harrowed twice acrofs, and then manured
with fine fiftedcoal afhes, about 2oobufhQls
fer acre : or elfe with foot, 70 bufhels per
acre. If neither of thefe can be had, rotten
dung mixed with earth will be a very goodi
compofl, 8 loads an acre, at 4/. a load, all
expences included. If near a town, fcaven-
gers manure is beft of all, 8 loads an acre,
all at the expence of about 30 j. an acre,
ThjS manuring muft be repeated once in-
four years ; and always preceded by har-
rowing. There is no other objection to"'
mowing it twice in a feafon, except the
after-grafs not yielding a bulk fufficient for

If it is fown without trefoile, then it may'
be fed through the firfl year; but if th^
trefoile is fed, it will not die, t

This gentleman is very well convinced,
that it is weeds and grafs only that kill fain-
foine ; if kept perfe<5lly clean, it will prove
a true perennial.

With this fyftem of management, crops
of hay of 2 loads each may be expedied,
and an after-grafs worth i o j". an acre.

When you break up a fainfoine lay, it
fiiould be by paring and burning for tur-


! pips ; and if the land Is to be again laid
down to fainfoine, then fow barley — -then
peafe ; then two more crops of turnips both
well hand-hoed, and after them barley and
the fainfoine. It is a common notion that
this grafs will not do again on the fame
land ; but Colonel Sl Leger attributes this
idea to the land being again fown too foon
after the laft crop ; in which cafe he con-
ceives it jnay fail, from the crevices in the
flrata of rock being all fo full of the old
roots, that the young ones cannot find an
entrance ; but if you keep the land in the
above courfe of tillage, they will all be rot-
ten and prove a manure for the new roots,
inflcad of being any prejudice to them.
That fainfoine will fucceed on old fainfoine
land, he knows by experience ; for the fix
acres reglftered above, Experiment, No. 2,
were cropped with it, fome years before he
ibwed them.


Experimcfit^ No. 4.

Two acres of a rich loamy foil two feet
; 4eep with no rock in it, the rent i /. is,
. fer acre, were well limed and dunged at the
, expence


cxpence of 5 /. an acre for turnips, which
were fed on the land ; it was then by
ploughing and harrowing, made as fine as
a garden, in April, and burnet fown on it,
1 2 lb. of feed per acre, at 2 j-. a lb. without
corn. It came up very well and thick. By
the latter end of May, it wanted weeding.
As this was the firll trial of burnet in thi^
part of the country, and the character of
the plant at that time very high ; Colonel
St. Leger very laudably determined to givi
it as fair a trial as pofTible, that he might
be able to afcertain its real value ; if ufeful^
to extend the culture in the neighbourhood ;
but if it proved otherwife, to prevent it;
The weeds throughout the fummer came ii|
fuch quick fucceffion of crops, that it re-
quired perpetual attention to keep the burnet
clean ; it was however done ; and the ex-i
pence of this alone, amounted to 10/. an
acre : It yielded nothing the firft year, nei^
ther hay nor food.

It was left the following year for feed,
and mown the latter end of June : the crop
very confiderable in quantity. Ten pounds
worth of it were fold at i j-. a lb. but for
want of a further market the reft was of no







Halue. The draw from the two acres
amounted to 5 loads, but it was coarfe; in
the following winter it was given to the
cattle in the farm-yard; they eat it, but
not without wafte ; preferring oat-flraw.
The after-grafs arofe well, and was a con-
Cderable crop at Michaelmas '^ all forts of
cattle were tl>en turned in : all eat it at firft,
but foon fell to the young fhoots of the
hedges ; nor would they touch it any more,
but pined and fell off in their looks ; they
,were taken out; and the growth left for

It vegetated through moft part of the
winter. In February fome fatting fheep
were turned in ; but they would not touch
it, they were therefore taken out, and the
, burnet left for hay : It was mown the latter
end of May ; the produce two loads an
, acre : It was of a good quality ; and the
horfes and cattle eat it very well and freely ;
the value calculated at 25 j-. a load. Va-
rious cattle were again turned into the after-
grafs ; but they all again refufed to eat it.
Mr, St, Leger being convinced from thefe
I trials, that it was good for nothing but hay,
and fainfoine In that relped^ far exceeding
2 it,


it, detefmiried to plough it up ; and li
equally determined never to Have afiy thing
more to do with it. He fowed wheat on the
ground, atid had 24 bufhels an acre.

Thefe two acres were the half of a field
of 4 : the foil exactly the fame; both parts
were equally manured and ploughed for the
turnips. After the turnips, this half wa^
fown with barley, which yielded 7 quarter^
an acre ; and were fold at i /. a quarter
With the barley, clover was fown for i

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

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 1) → online text (page 13 of 23)