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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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 22 of 23)
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The burnet came up well, and now remains ;
but the fheep are undoubtedly fond enough
of it, to keep it down as low as the other
herbage. Sir Cecil has never feen it left
more than the white clover: he has alfo
found, in other trials, that they are fond of
burnet hay.

Experiment^ No. 10.

In forming a large Hope near the cafile,
the good earth was all removed, and thaj;
left a mere fhattered floney furface, with
little mold. The fpot was well harrowed,
and fown v/ith all forts of grafs feed ; and,
among the reft, with burnet. Not a blade
but that grafs came up, or is now to be feen :
the burnet plants are now fine, and fome of
them luxuriant; but quite infulated with bare
furface, fo poor, that not a weed is to be
feen. This proves, in the cleareft manner,

* that


that a crop of burnet may be had on land,
that will, literally fpeaking, produce nothing

Experiment, No. 1 1 .
Sir Cecil has formed various trials to de-
cide the beft fort of grafs feeds for laying
down of land. He is convinced, from an
experiment, in "v^ich the mode was varied,
that a variety of feed Ihould be fown, if the
field is defigned for pajlure. By this means,
a fucceflion of graifes is gained, which fup-
ply the cattle all fummer : whereas, if but
one fort is fown, it will, like ray-grafs, be
in perfeQion but at one feafon. The pro-
pofed improvements, therefore, of gather-
ing graifes by hand, can be of ufe only in
proportion to the cleannefs of the feeds fo
gained, unlefs they are defigned for mow-
ing ground, in which cafe that circum-
ftance is reverfed ; but, according to this
obfervation, the general aflertions, in favour
of feparated grafs feeds, fhould be much
more qualified with exceptions than they
have hitherto been. The ufual argument
in their favour, is to draw a parallel between
fowing a mixture of all forts of grafs feeds,
on the one hand, and on the other a mix-
G g 4 ture


ture of the different Ibrts of corn ; but the
comparifon, in the above refpeft, has no
fimilitude, unlefs it was proved, that wheat,
barley, and oats, were fed from May till
Od^fober, One fort of grafs would certainly
be excellent) while in perfedion ; but many
forts, fown feparately, would, at their re-
fpedive feafons, carry q^ ftubble-like an
appearance, as ray-grafs after Midfummer,
Experiment^ No. 12.

Nine years ago, the ant-hills, in a large
paflure, were cut in the fpring, and a hill
made of them with lime, each in layers :
they were well mixed together, and fpread,
the autumn following, on a grafs field. No
improvement could have turned out more
advantageous ; it has not wanted any ma-
nuring fmce, and has produced very great

Thcfe experiments, with Sir Cecil Wr ay* ^
general hulhandry, though on fo large
a fcale, have, by no means, been his
only employment : he has, within ten
years, conliderably raifcd the value of his
eftatc, built Swnmer-cajlky with cxtenfive
offices, formed a large lake, planted 70
acres, and richly improved above 300 ;



"which are undeniable proofs of no flight
fpirit, exerted in ornamenting and enrich*
ing a country, fo greatly capable of im -
provement ^.

The fize of farms, in this country, varies,
in the open fields, from 15/. to 40/. a year;
|ind, in the inclofures, from 60/. to 200/. a
year. The upper lands are all a light foil ;


* Confidering the general face of this country,
•which is uncommonly open, (called Lincoln-
.Heath, but by the inhabitants the Cliff, being a
high ridge of country, between a rich vale on
one fide, and the Wolds on the otiier) — the view
from Suni/ner-CaJlle is very fine, the vale is w^ell
wooded, and the lake formed fo as to unite very
happily with the adjoining wood, which is always
a material point. It is an extreme fine water,
above half a mile long, and of a great breadth ;
the colour very good, and the furrounding
fliores truly beautiful : the groves of wood, the
itraggling trees, and the fmall enclofures, everv
where vary the appearance ; the village on a ril-
ing ground en one fide, fome of the houfes tufted
with knots of wood, and the corn-fields, which
hang to the water •, all throw a variety into the
environs, which I have more than once obferved
to be wanted in many waters. A winding lake,
with fpreading lawns and extenfive woods, form-
ing a North American fccne, are now fo coiumcn,
that the variation of inclofures, full of rufi:ic bu-
Jinefs, cannot fail of pleafing j befidcs the un-


but the lower country all on clay. Thtf
open lets at 2 j. 6 d. an acre, and the enclofed
from 8 J-. to izs. The general courfe of the
open fields is,

1. Fallow.

2. Corn of fome fort.

But, in a few towns, they have agreed
to vary it for,

1. Turnips 3. Wheat

2. Barley ^ 4. Peafe.

doubted efftft they have of making the water
appear larger, than if encompaffcd by one fweep
of lawn.

Thefe is a natural curiofity in this country,
which deferves being noticed : it is what are here
called the Trent fpr'ings. There are many fmall
pits cf water, which often rife and overflow with-
out any vifible reafon. They are fuppofed to be
occafioned by fubterraneous communications with
the river Trent, and to rife when there are floods
in that river. Sir Cecil Wray attributes them
merely to heavy rains on the Derhyjhire hills.
He has a friend on the Peak, with whom he cor-
rcfponds on the fubjed:, and finds that his
Iprings always rife a few days after ver}'- heavy
rains on thofe hills ; and, what is extraordinary,
fome without floods in Trent.

Another peculiarity here is a fmall pond, part
of which never freezes, though the rcfl: of it is
often feveral inches thick in ice : a pale runs
through it, which forms the boundary. The
expofure, foil, ^rc. all the fame. ^


Their crops of wheat rife, upon an ave-
rage, from two to three quarters per acre ;
of barley, from three and a half to five
quarters ; of oats, from two to four ditto >
peafe, from one and a half to three;
beans, on the clays, from two to four

Turnip-hoeing Is but juft coming in, and
very indifferently performed : they ufe the
crop for feeding fheep ; the price per acre
from 30 J*, to 3/.

Clover they do not commonly cultivate ;
but what they have they mow twice for
hay, and get, at the tv^ro cuttings, from
two to two tons and a half of hay an acre.

In their manuring, they have nothing
that can be commended : they chop their
ilubble, but it is only for thatch ; and
their hay they ftack more about the fields
than at home.

Flocks of fheep rife from 100 to 1000;

but different farmers chufe different flocks :

their diflindions are, fallo'W ficep^ walk.

JJjeep, and pajiure fieep. The profit of the

firfl: they reckon at,

Lamb, - - - ^.o 14 o

Wool, - - -026

Total, es p o 16 6


Of the fecond ;
I^amb, - - - ;f.o i6 o

WooI> - - • 030

Total, n «« o ig o

Lamb, - - - 100

Wool, ^ - - 036

Total, • * 136

The winter food, hay and turnips.

In their tillage, they ufe, on the Cliff,
four horfesto 100 acres of ploughed ground j
two in a plough, and do an acre a day : the
price 4J". an acre, and the depth four or five

Land fells from 30 to 35 years purchafe.

Poor rates from td. to (^d, in the pound ;
in 20 years have arifen a fourth.


In winter, 10^. a day.

Reaping, 4/. an acre.

Mowing fpring corn, i /. %d, and beer,

■■ grafs, IS. 6d. and beer.

Hoeing turnips, 4/.

Thraflnng wheat, is, Sd. per quarter.



Head-man's wages, to 12/. 12^.

Next ditto, 8/. 8 J.

Lad's, 5/. 5^.

Dairy-maid's, 3/.

Other ditto, 2/, ic/.

Women per day, in hay-time, 8 d.

Labour, in ten years, raifed a fifth.

From Lincoln to Sleafordy the road runs
chiefly over the heath, on which many new
enclofures are making : they let from 8 j-. to
12 J. an acre ; but the lower grounds taken
into the account, the average would be 12/.

All this trad of heath^land would yield
very fine fainfoine : it is by no means fo
much cultivated as it ought.



ABOUT Sw'mehead^ the foil is very
rich, as may be judged from the
quantity of hemp grown all over this coun-
try : they neverthelefs manure for it at the
rate of ten load an acre of yard dung : al-
ways fow it after corn, about May-day, on
three fpring earths. It never requires any
■weeding, as the luxuriance of the growth
deftroys all weeds ; and it leaves the land
in fuch good order, that either flax or barley
follows it, which, by the way, is a very
ftrong proof of the great confequence of a
thick fhade to the ground, and fo deftroying
■weeds. Hemp is reckoned one of the moft
exhaufting crops ; but, from the thicknefs
of the Ihade, it makes amends for that cir-

The latter end of Auguji^ or the begin-
ning of September^ they pull it up by the
roots, and water it ; but fometimes they
fpread it over a pafture for a month, for the



dews to moiften it, and often turn it; this h
for ropes : what they water in the ditches is
for cloth. The crop, on an average, is worth
from 5 /. to 10/. an acre ; but leldom more
than 6 /. The expences may be calculated as

Jlent, - -^ " ;^. iioo

Three earths, - - 0150

Sowing, harrowing, &c. &c. ike. 080
Pulling, at IS, per loofheaves, o 10 o
Watering, - - - 080

Taking out, peeling and dreffing, 250

Total, - - 5 16 o

From hence it appears, that the profit by
hemp is very inconfiderable ; but the far-
mers efteem it a fallow.

Flax they fow either on grafs-land or af-
ter hemp ; they fow it at Lady-day^ on
three earths, and weed it thoroughly through
the fummer at a various expence, but not
lefs than 6j". an acre. The pulling it they
reckon at yj. an acre; but the watering
does not coft fo much as hemp. The dreff-
ing is I J. 2^. a ftone, and the crop about 20
ftone, at 10 J.; or 10/. an acre. It is reck-
oned to exhauft land much more than hemp,

Z which


which is very obfervable ; for the latter is
much the inoft luxuriant growth ; but I at-
tribute ks fuperiority to the thicknefs of the
fhade, which breeds a putrid fermentation
in the foil, and always enriches.

Land lets (reckoned by ftatute meafure)
from 1 2 J. to 2 4 J. fcr acre ; more at 20J.
than under : and farms rife in general from
50/. to 130/. a year. Moll; of the country
is applied to grazing * an acre of grafs will
carry fix or feven large iheep through the
fummer ; or it will fatten an ox of 70 ftonej
and keep a fheep in winter ; which proves,
upon the whole, that the foil is excellently
adapted to grazing. They buy in two fhear
wethers lean, at 2 5 J. and fell them fat at
35/. They clip 9 or i o /^. of wool from
each, w^orth 5 J", or 6^". on an average.

They fow a good deal of cole-feed for
winter fatting fheep : they eat it from Mi-
chaelmasXQ Candlemas^ and then let it ftand
for feed ; but the crop they reckon much
damaged by the feeding : for they do not
get, on an average, above three quarters an
acre. They reckon it to fatten fafter than
any thing ; but the fheep muft have had the
fummer's grafs. An acre, that is very good,

3 will


"Will fatten from 6 to i o fheep ; but their
crops are uncommonly ftrong ; the ftalks of
the plants are many of them as thick as a
man's wrift : they manure for it as in other
places for turnipSj and fow at Midfiimmer ;
but if the crop is for feed alone, they do not
fow till Augiijl,

The profit on fatting beafts is not high i
they reckon from 2 /. to 4/. apiece for fum-
mer feeding, riot a low profit.

In their tillage they ufe but 2 horfes in a
plough, and yet their foil is much of it very
ftrong : do an acre a day. Their courfes of
Crops arej

I. Fallow 4* Beans

2. Wheat




3. Wheat



t. Colefeed, eaten



2. Oats



Much worfe.

Anothef- :

i. Grafs, broken



up for flax



4. Turnips



§. Flax



Vol. L H h



This, it muft be confeffed, is as admirable
a fyftem for exhaufting land, as can any
where be met with.

Another :

1. Fallow 4. Barley

2. Wheat 5. Oats, or

3. Hemp Wheat.

A man may travel many miles without
meeting withfo curious a colledion of courfes.

Their wheat produces 3} quarters /»6'r acre
on an average.

Barley, 3 quarters.

Oats, 4 quarters.

Beans, 3 quarters.

Thefe crops are by no means proportioned
to the goodnefs of the foil ; and it is not to
be wondered at, with fuch a fuccefiion of
crops as they pradife. Tythes are all gather-
ed ; every loth fhock of corn taken ; every
I oth lamb, and fleece, and fo much a head
for beafts, horfes, &c.

They reckon 1000/. neceffary to ftock a
grazing farm of 100/. a year.
In harveft, 3 J", to 4/. a day, and fometlmes-

In hay-time, i ^. 6^. and board.



In winter, is. and ditto.

Women in hay-time, i s. and board.

Reaping wheat, 6/. 6^. and js. an acre.

■ ' — barley and oats, 41. 6d. to ^s.

Mowing grafs, 2s. to2s, 6 ^. an acre.

Head-man's wages, 12/.

Next ditto, 9/. to lo/.

Lad's, 6 A

Maid's, 3/.

Rife of labour, a third in 20 years.




\\d, per pound,





- 3i







- 3t
" 7




id. per pint.
3 p^r peck.
s houfe-rent, 3 /. to 4 /.



i/. 5/.

From hence to hong Sutton the country

continues quite flat, but the foil improves.

Mr. Wallet oi Sutton is oneof the moft famous

H h :i grazierg


graziers in Etigland., particularly in fattiBg^^
the largefl: oxen ever feen in this kingdom,.
The rent of land runs at about i/. per acre,.
Rates IS. 2d. in the pound ; and ty the taken
in kind..

Mofl: of the country is applied to grazing
beafts and iheep.. Mr. Wallet buys annually
1400 wethers ;. and others in proportion to
their farms : they are bought lean: at 20J..
to 25J". a head, and fold fat from 30 j. to
40.f. and the wool comes to from ^s. to yj*
6 d. They are all bred on the Lincolnfl:ire
Wolds, about Caftor, Horncafde^ &c. and
the breeders all aim at getting the largefl
boned tups ; which the reader may remem-
ber is directly contrary to the 'pradice of
Mr. BakewelloiDWdcy.

Wethers are mollly kepta year and a half,,
fb as to clip them twice ; and fbme only 2
to a todd.

The great riches of this country are the
h\t marfhes ; many of which are fo wonder-
fully fertile, that they will fatten at the rate
of a large ox and 2 or 3 (heep per acre. And
it is certainly a common thing, to have the
keeping of beafts given them at certain times
of the year, merely to keep it down, that.
2 the


the flieep and regular flock may have a frefh
young bite: an inflance to be produced nq
"Where but in fait marlhes. And a great ad-
vantage is, thefe rich lands never being
known, however wet, to rot iheep.

Long button common is one of the moft
famous tra(Sts of land in this country; it con-
tains 3500 acres of fait marfh. The right
of commonage is unlimited; 30,000 fheep^'
1000 horfcs, and 300 bcafts, are annually
kept on it, and many of them fold from it
fat, which is certainly very extraordinary.
But the whole would let for 24/. an acre
without the expence of a fhilling.

From Barton on the Tlumbcr quite to Long
Sutton^ is a trad: of grazing land above 1 00
miles long, and from 3 to 10 miles wide*
It is the richeft tradt in England^ though not
let at the higheft rents, for they do not run
at more than from. 1 5 j. to 2 5 /. an acre. It
will fatten a large ex and a fheep per acre.

But the higher lands, as they are called
here, will fat a large ox and a fheep per acre,
and fome will do more.

Many graziers buy in their oxen In au-
tumn to eat ftraw in the winter ; they then
H h 3 fummec


fummer feed them, and if the beafts are very
large, then put them to oil cake and hay,
w^hich Hkewife enables them to fell at the
mofl profitable feafon.

Mr. JVaikt\ beafts generally rife from
loo to 1 20 ftone ; when they are put to oil
cake, which is always after the fummer's
grafs, they eat 24 lb. of cake a day, and as
much hay : he keeps them loofe in a yard,
and gives the cake in mangers under open
fneds ; and he finds from experience that
they ihould always have good hay : he has
tried them with a fecondary fort ; and, in
compliance with tlie advice of others, with
barley^raw ; but nothing equals good hay :
the beaft will thrive in proportion to its

The oil cake neCefTarily forms three forts j
that is, the large pieces ; the fmaller ones ;
and the dull. Attention Ihould be given to
this circumftance ; beafts will often at firft
refufe the pieces, but eat the dufi: ; then the
fmall pieces, and afterwards the larger ones :
but then they will no more touch either the
fmaller, or the duft. If this management is
liot attended to, it will fom.etimes be diffi?

cult to bring them to cake at all.



As to the ihape and make of oxen for
fatting, Mr. Wallet adheres to the old Idea
of large hones heing the defiratile circum-
ftance — He thiaks that a beaft cannot come
to a great degree of fatnefs without having
room to lay the fat on-, which is bone: and
he thinks that this extends to the profit made
by a given quantity of grafs, which will be
greater by fatting the large boned cattle than
. the fmaller. In the year 1763, he killed an
ox that weighed 145 flonc, 14//'. to the
ftone *.

In the fummcr fattin? of beads, Mr. Wal^
let is of opinion that 10 fields, each of 10


* IVTr. TVdUet has a piclure of this ox, and fpeak^ of
it as the largeft heart ever killed \n Engli:rid ; but th^tj^is
is a great iTiiftake, \v\\\ appear from the following par-
ticulars of one hilled at Ntivhy in Lincolnjhirf, in
the year 1692, with which S\\ Ce^'tllVray favoured mc.

/.- lb.
One fore quarter • —

The other ; — —

The two hind quarters —

Hide — —

Tallow — —

Head — —

Feet — —

Heart, liver, and lights —

l/^lh. the ftone.



















acres, are far preferable to one of loo ; and
|:hat the beafts by being changed will waftc
much lefs grafs.

From Long Sutton I took the road to Lynn,
by Leverington, I am indebted to Spelman
Swaine, Efq. for the following account of
hufbandry in that neighbourhood.

Farms rife from 15/. or 20/. a year to 300/.
but are about 50/. in general. The foil all
a ftrong clay except the marfh lands, which
are fea filt; that is, a dark coloured richfand.
Rents rife from i6j". to 2oj". an acre; the
average 1 8 j". All the way from Long Sutton
to Leverington, it runs at 20 j. an acre.

The courfe of arable crops is,

1. Fallow 4. Wheat

2. Wheat 5. Colefeed

3. Beans 6. Oats.

They plough five times for wheat, fow
two bufliels an acre, and reap on a medium
3 I quarters. They fow no barley, thinking
the land too good for it, but fubflitute barley-
big in its Head ; fow 3 bulhels ; the crops
rife to 7 1 quarters ; but 5 ^ the average.
For beans they ftir thrice, fow them either
at random or in the third or fourth furrow,



to come up in drills : in the firft method
jthey uie .4 bufhels of feed, and feed off the
weeds by fheep ; they crop 3 quarters or 34.
In the dill way they fowbut 10 pecks, horfe-
hoe once or twicc^ as neceffary to keep them
clean ; and get from 3 4- to 47 quarters ^^r
acre, fometimes 5. Wheat after, and as
clean as a garden.

Colefeed is much cultivated in the fen§;
jthe preparation for it is by paring and burn-
ing. They feed it off between Chrijlmas
and Candlemas^ and either fow the land with
oats, or let the colefeed ftand for a crop ; it
yields 4 or 4,^ quartei's per acre; 9 have
been known on an extraordinary piece of
land. The feed of colefeed in thefe rich
iands is worth from '^os. to 40 j-. an acre ;
it will feed 12 flieep from Michaelmas to^ at 3 ^. a week. But the feed crop
is better when not fed at all ; it fhould how-
ever be Ibwn at Lammas.

They have fcarcely any turnips, and no

The only draining carried on in this neigh-
bourhood is that of the fens by a£t of par-
liament \ much cf it that was let at only 4^.



or ^s. an acre, has been advanced at once
to 10 J", or 1 2 J,

They attend very little to raifing manure
in this country, Avhich may be excufed con-
fidering the fertility of the foil ; they chop
fome of their Hubbies for ftacks, but never
for litter ; and their pigeons dung they fell
to Camoridge, I think a good farmer ihould
fee his land a dunghill before he begins fuch
a practice. Their hay they flack about the
fields ; but this piece of bad management is
to be charged to the account, not of the
tenantt^, but the landlords, who very v^^ifely
infift that the hay of each field fhall be fed

I muft be allowed to comment a little on
this piece ofbarbarifm: they are tenacious
of the pradllce, under the idea of its improv-
ing the land. But a falfer notion cannot be
entertained ; the dung of the cattle, I have
remarked more than once, is of little confer
quence, if it does not fall fo thick as to oc-
cafion a fermentation in the foil ; the benefit
of folding fheep lies in this circumftance :
hence the winter feeding docs not at all en-
rich the foil : but it does fomething elfe,
which is truly mifchievous: it treads and
3 poaches


poaches it in wet weather to a great degree;
which in a ftiff clay foil is pernicious : on a
loofe blowing fand it would be of ufe, but on
heavy land there cannot be a worfe pradlicc.
I Ihall therefore venture to recommend to the
landlords to expunge fo prepofterous a co-
venant from their leafes ; and only bind their
tenants from felling hay from off the farms
at large.

Their good grafs land will fatten an ox
and two flieep per acre. The only breed is
the Liincobijfnre. The beftcows will give on an
average 6 gallons of milk a day ; or 7 or ^Ib,
of butter a week. The winter food hay only,
which they give in the field. The profit on
fummer feeding an ox from 40J. to ^os.

The flocks of fhcep rife to 5 or 600; both
fatting and breeding flocks are kept. The
profit of the latter they reckon at,

Lamb — — o 15 o

Wool — — 040

o 19

The wether flocks they buy in fo as to keep
them for clipping twice; the two fleeces
pay IOJ-. They buy at 25/. or 27J. and fell



at from 35/. to 40/. In the winter they put
them to colefeed in the fens, or in Norfolk
on turnips.

In their tillage they reckon 6 horfes necef-
fary for 100 acres of arable ; ufe two in a
plough, and do an acre a day. They ftir
3 4- or 4 inches deep : the price per acre 3 i.
or 3 J. 6d, The annual expence of keeping
a horfe they reckon at 7/. The fummer
joifl IS. 6d.x.o 2s. di week. No ftraw is cut
into chaff.

In the hiring and flocking farms, they
reckon that above 1 800/. is neceffary for one
of 300 acres, 200 grafs and 100 arable, all
at I /. an acre : and they divide the fum in
the following manner :
Rent, - - - ^.150 o o

Tythe, - - 27 o o

Town charges, - - 20 o o

40 Oxen, of 70 flone, at 8/. 320 o o
30 Ditto, of 50 flone, at 6/. 180 o o
20 Young cattle, at 4/. - 80 o o
400 Sheep; 100 lambs, at 16 s.

and 300 wethers, at 27 J. 480 o o
Swine, - - 200

Carry over, 1^59 ^ °


£5rought over,

■ - k


(> Horfes, at 16/.



2 Waggons,



1 Cart,



3 Ploughs,




2 Pair of harroTTS,



I Roller, ■ -











Seed, 30 acres wheat.


10 Barley




— - 30 Oats, beans,






2 Men,




I Boy,



2 Maids,




z Labourers,



Extra labour,






Oil-cake for 20 of the beafts


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 22

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 22 of 23)