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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the account of this country grazing in the
following manner for two acres of grafs ;

2 Improve-


Improvement of an ox, - jT, 3 o c
Ditto, of 2 1 fheep, - - i o o
Suppofe the winter fatting one
fheep to the two acres, and the
profit, - - -08


Total, - - 48

Which is per acre, - -240
Rent, - - lie
Town charges, - 026
Labour, - -010


Remains profit, - - ^.0196

This may not be exad to the truth ; but
if the graziers do not make this by their
bufinefs, they are very badly off indeed;
nor could they afford to carry on the bufi-
nefs, intereil of money and accidents con-

There cannot be a finer fight than the
view of the clofes throughout this country.
You fee in every one the preceding pro-
portion of ftock, and as they are in general
large, the quantity of great oxen and fheep
E 3 is


is very noble ; it is very common to fee from
40 to 60 oxen, and 200 flieep in a fmgle
field ; and the beafts are all of a fine large
breed, well made, good fkins, and form
all together an appearance greatly ftriking.
This effedt is owing in no flight degree to
the nature of the country, which is wholly
compofed of gentle hills, fo that you look
over many hundred acres at one flroke of
the eye, and command all the cattle feeding
in them in a manner nobly pidturefque.
Stock in a fiat is loft ; but to fee numerous I
herds of fine beafts fpread over the fides of
waving hills, is a fight that cannot fail of
delighting the fpedator.

Sir James Langham at Crofswicky near
Hafelbeech^ has one clofe joining to his
park of 2 1 2 acres : it is always ftocked with
upwards of 100 great oxen and 400 large
flieep. I never beheld a more noble view.
The field waves over the fide of a hill, and
the herds fpread to the eye more like thofe
of a patriarch of old, than a modern farmer.

But having thus ftated the grazing huf-
bandry of this country in general ; let me
obferve, that all this fine grafs on fo excel-



lent a foil, lies all in the broad ridge and
furrow, amazingly over-run with thirties,
full of ant-hills, ^and with numer-
ous wet places, but none drained : in a
word, the management as bad as can be
conceived. I have not a doubt but that an
eighth of the whole is wafte land; the
thirties are fo numerous that it is the com-
mon cuftom of the country to mow them
as regularly as a crop of hay, and 3^. the
annual expence of it per acre : now if it be
confidered, that thefe weeds draw the nou-
rifliment from the grafs, but yield no food
for cattle, it will certainly be allowed that
thefe farmers are ftrangely deficient in their
hufbandry in not extirpating them. The
ant-hills are in amazing numbers, and thefe
boobies infift very gravely, that they are an
advantage to the fields, by varying the bite
of the cattle ; and yielding a food nearly as
valuable as the rert of the clofe. There are
opinions fo truly abfurd, that to attempt a
refutation in form, would be prepoflerous.
But I will venture to aflert, that if this
country was managed to the heft advantage,
it would yield the landlord thirty fliiHings
E 4 an


an acre rent, with more profit to the tenant
than it now pays 20s,

Hogs fat throughout this neighbourhood
to a vaft fize ; thofe of the parifh of Nafeby
fat on an average to about 20 icore, but
fome have lately rifen to 36 fcore. About
Dav entry in this county, they alfo fat to a

very great fize-' even to 40 fcore. They

buy the Nafeby hogs, and keep them a year
longer than their own farmers. They fat
with beans totally ; and reckon that a large
hog will eat 3 or 4 cjuarters. The general
management of the flock fwine they are
very attentive to in every point but that of
feeding them with clover : many of the
farms have cifterns for containing all the
dairy wafh ; which they mix ip them with
bran, grains, &c. The breed is all white ;
they think any black or other mixture, an
indication of a much worfe breed.

The flocks of ftock fheep are kept only
in the open country^ and rife to 200 ; but
the fatting and breeding flocks in the inclcH
furea, rife to many thoufands. The winter
keeping is grafs alone, except for lambs •
^heir winter ftock, one ^eep per acre fat


and lean. Their fleeces generally about
9 pound from a wether.

Relative to the proportion of horfes to
arable land, a juft idea cannot be formed,
becaufe the breeding of black horfes is here
a confiderable branch of bufinefs ; they keep
all mares, and fell the colts at 2 year old at
Har borough fair; 10 or 12/. a common
price : they are now fo curious in their
breed, that many farmers have their mares
covered at two guineas each.

They ufe from 3 to 5 in a plough at
length, and do an acre a day, the depth
about 4 inches : they do not plough up
their ftubbles till after Chrijimas.

Land fells from 30 to 32 years purchafe.
Tythes are taken in kind. Poor rates i s.
in the pound ; the employment of the
women and children fpinning jerfeys. All
drink tea, but no drams.

There are very few leafes.

Befides this general hufbandry, here is
another not fo common ; it is that of culti-
vating woad for the dyers. This is done by
travelling people, called woad-men, who
hire clofes of old grafs for two years to take

a crop


a crop of woad. They give 4/. 4/, an acre
per ann. for the two, if the land is choice ;
but ^c^i much at 3 /. 12 /, They plough it
up as deep as pollible, and fowing the
■woadj keep it perfectly clean by hand weed-
ing; ill expences are fuppofed to run at
about 12/. per acre, and the produce is
about a ton, in value 25 /. When they have
taken up the crop, the old tenant re-enters
the land, and ploughs for two years more,
for which he pays two guineas an acre, but
is to lay down the land to grafs with the
fecond crop^ The firfl he takes is barley,
and the fecond oats, with which oats he
fows about I o pound o-f white clover, and
4- a bufliel of ray grafs per acre, fometimes
on a fmgle ploughing, and fo leaves tlie
turf to come again; always in the old fonu
of ridge ajid furrow.

There is throughout this countq^ a cur^
rent idea that woading land is very perni-
cious ; and is never allowed of but through
eagernefs to get a fudden extra rent, which
if the ftanding rate is 20^. an acre, will
amount in the whole to 8 /. 8 s. per acre, if
the woad-men pay four, So that ^ landlord



ralfes 80c/. for every 100 acres thus ma-
naged, and this they reckon may be done
every twenty-two years. Now as the tenants
after woading, pay the fame rent as before,
one cannot wonder at landlords making ufe
of fuch an eafy method to raife money : but
it is the tenants that quarrel moft at it ;
they aflert the land to be yj. an acre the
worfe for it ; here then lies the enquiry.

The fyftem ftated above, of taking two
crops of fpring corn, and laying down with
the laft, perhaps on one or two beggarly
ploughings, and fcattering a fmall portion of
white clover with 4 a bufhel of ray-grafs,
and this on land which they are immediately
to pay 20s. an acre for— — r-is all together as
barbarous a management as ever I heard of
. f it is truly congenial with burning their
dunghills. Under fuch a condu6t, it is
no wonder that woading is thought perni-
jcious ; I fhould apprehend that a landlord's,
thus breaking up a confiderable part of a
farm, would be fufficient to ruin a rich,
tenant ; the true cafe of woading therefore
does, not in the leaft appear from the prac-*
tice of this country, which is utterly con-
trary to all common fenfe,

3 Let


Let me obferve, that all the grafs here
lies in ridge and furrow ; and throughout
nine tenths of the fields I rode over, the
furrows in various places, for the breadth
of a yard at leaft, nothing but rub^ijDb and

rufhcs the number of ant-hills incredi-

|)Ie and all the gtafs, even that of 25 s,

an acre, fo full of thiftles, that it is a regu-
lar work to mow them annually. Such

being our data, may we not affert, that
ploughing fuch land might be admirable
husbandry ? There cannot be a doubt of it ;
and as the woad-men will pay fo good a
rent for it, certainly it is highly advifeable
to woad it. But I fhall beg leave to recom-
mend a different fyflem of after manage-

If the woad-men can be prevailed on to
plough down the ridges, they ought ; but
of this I am not a judge. The tenant
fliould, after the crop is taken off, have it
but one year, and lay down to grafles in
that. He fhould be obliged to lay the
whole furface of the field perfeBly level.
With his crop of barley or oats, the land-
lord fhould, at his own expence, fow the



grafs feeds. This I apprehend is effentiallj
ncceflary ; for tenants will never be curioua
in- their feeds — —nor few enough of them.
Let him fow i6 pound an acre of Dutch
dover, 8 pound of trefoile, 5 pound of rib
grafs— and 2 or 3 bufhels of clear hay feeds
—not the fweepings of a hay-loft, but
drefled feeds from Torkjkh-e or high Suffolk^
The field with fuch management would be-
come an excellent pafture the very firfl year ;
and would foon much exceed the ftate of it
before woading. — But another very necef-
fary operation remains ; which is that of
draining. The only reafon given for the
prefent ridge and furrows is their being

dry the tops of them certainly are fo ;

but the furrows are as furely worthlefs. In-
ftead of fuch, the whole fhould be hollow
drained with a draining plough, and filled
with bulhes or ftone, and the earth then
thrown in again. This (with a plough) is

not expenfive it lafts for ever, and

would leave the fields as fine paftures as any
in "Europe^ for none can be of a better foil.
The profit to the landlord of the woading

would more than pay all the expences



of which a flight calculation will prove the


Extra rent for woading, - jT, 6 6 o

Ditto for one crop of corn, - i i o


J 6 pound of clover.



8 pound trefoile.

2 8

5 pound rib grafs, -

2 6

3 bufhels hay feeds.


Suppofe 5 extra ploughings, at

the landlord's expence.



Draining fuppofe




10 2

Extra jrent,




10 2

Remains clear profit, - - >C, 21610

Here is an end of hills and holes

rufhes ant-hills thiftles nettles

■—and all the et cetera's of flovenlinefs ; —
a little attention after this will preferve the
land in the fame hufbandlike and neat
order that paflures are in other counties.


From Mdfummer to Michaclmasy 6 s, i week

and board.
In winter, 5 or 6j. and beer.
Hoeing turnips, 5/.
Hedging and ditching, u. 8^. to zs, per

Threiliing wheat or rye, 2s, to 2 J. 6J.fer


— barley, is. SJ.

< oats, 9//. or 10^-

beans, u. 6^/.

Making faggots, lOi/. afcore.

Head-man's wages, 8 /.

Next ditto, 5/. 5^.

Lad's, 3/. IOJ-.

Maid's, 3/. 3 J. to 3/, 10 J,

Women per day in harvefl, 6 ^. and board.

In hay-time, 6^. to 8^. and beer.

Only ten years ago, labour in winter was
but from 6 //. to 8 ^. a day, and no board.


A waggon, 20/.

A cart, 10/. IOJ-.

A plough, 1 5 J.

A pair of harrows, 1 5 r.

A roller,


A roller, i /. is.
Harnefs, p^r horfe, I /. 5/.
A fcythe, 3J-. 6d,
A fpade, 3 j". 6 ^.
Laying a (hare, 11//.
Ditto a coulter, 1 1 </.
Shoeing, u. 8</.
A remove, id,^


Bread, maflin, two parts wheat to one rye,

per pound, - id,

Cheefe, - - 34.

Butter, - - 5

Beef, - - 3t

Mutton, - - 34.

Veal, - - 2~

Pork, - - 3

Milk, a pint, - o^

Potatoes per peck, 4

Candles per pound, 6 4.

Soap, - - 64.

Houfe-rent, - 20j. to 40 j-.

Firing, - - 40 J. *

Tools, - " 5 s,


Bricks ^^r 1000, i/. is.

Oak timber />£•/• foot, is, 2d,



Afli timber, per foot, 9V.

Elm, IS,

A carpenter, i s, 1 d. and beer;

A mafon, is. 6d. and board.

A thatcher, is. and board.

Mud walls, the workmanfliip 7^. to 8^« a


In Nafcby field are 6000 acres — ^300 cows

*^-3G0 horfes, and 3000 fheep; in CUpjion

field nearly as much*;


* Mr. AJhhy has built at 'Hafelheech, a very
good houfe in a fine fituation ; from whence he
commands an extenfive profpeft ; and from the
oppofite hills, the houfe (of white ftone) appears
beautifully f.irrounded by a full grown dark
wood. One inttance amono; many others of the
jidvantage of placing a white building on an ele-
vated fituation in front of a dark fhade.

Sir James Langham^ at Crofswick in the vale,
has made many great improvements : the houfe
contains feveral fpacious and well proportioned
apartments, fitted up in the modern manner;
the new chimney-pieces are elegant, and the
ftuccoed ceilings in a neat tafte. There are fe-
veral very good pictures, by maftcrs of the
Flemijb fchool. — The grounds are totally altered j
the woods are in fome places opened fo as to lee
m views of the country, and alfo of a winding
lake now making. Contiguous to the park, and

Vol. L F feparateji


The country from Hafelbeech to Kettering
is chiefly grazing inclofures ; generally
large ones. I counted 70 large oxen in one,
befides a great number of fheep ; and thefe
graziers, like thofe of Hafelbeech^ never
change their flock till fat. The peculiar
beauty of this country is the pofleflion of
fuch rich land on hills— mofl of the paftures
are fpread over high ground that contain
very few level acres : in fuch, the cattle
appears to wonderful advantage ; and fome-
times thefe paftures really exhibit fcenes
of this fort, that are truly noble ; abfolutely
unrivalled by the richeil lands in Europe if
on a flat.

About Ghndon near Kettering^ farms rife
from 60 to 500/. a year; but are generally
about 150/. The foil is a red earth; the
red loam, light, and rich, and of a good

feparated from it by a funk fence, in full view
of the houfe, is the noble pafture above-men-
tioned ; in which you fee above an hundred large
oxen, and 400 fatting fheep j a flroke of the eye
commands above tv/o thoufand pounds worth of
live flock, feeding on the waving flopes of a hill
moft happily fituated to enrich the views from
tlie houfe.

depth ;


depth ; excellent turnip land — it will yield
noble crops of that root without any dung*
The average rent about ioj-. an acre: the
courfes of crops are,

1. Fallow

2. Wheat

3. Peafe.

Alfo, 1. Fallow

1. Wheat
3. Beans.

For wheat they plough three times, Co'^
from 2 to 3 bufhels, and gain about 15 in
return. They plough four times for barley,
fow 4 bufhels about Lady-day^ and gain 4
quarters on a medium. They ftir but once
for oats, fow 5 bufhels, and gain 2 quarters
on an average. They alfo give but one
ploughing for peafe, fow 5 bufhels, never
hoe ; and get about 4 quarters In return.
For beans they plough but once, fow from
4 to 5 bufhels in February, never hoe, and
gain upon an average 4 quarters.

They give two or three earths for turnips,
hoe them once, and feed all off with fheep ^
the average price 42 s.

They do not fow any clover.

F 2 Tares


Tares they fow for a crop of feed, which
they give their horfes. Lentils they fow
alfo for feed, i ^ bufhels per acre, and get
3 quarters.

All fheep are folded, even the fatting
ones, but it is only in the open fields. The
farm-yard dung they lay on to fallows in
yu?iey for wheat the Michaelmas following*

Draining they pradife with much more
fpirit than common : their wet paftures they
drain with very large ploughs, drawn by
10 or 12 horfes ; they cnt i6 inches deep;
1 6 wide at top, and as much at bottom.
The ploughs belong to the pariflies ; if they
omit it, their Iheep are fure to rot. Theif
hedges are managed in the plafhing methodj,
but the ditches very fmall.

Good grafs land lets at 22.r. an acre 2
they ufe it for cows and fheep. An acret
will carry a cow through the fummer, and
be of afliftance to the Iheep befides. Th^
breed of cattle is all long horned. Thieir
cows give about a gallon and a half of
milk a day; and tlie annual produd $h
each. They keep from lo to 20 fwine tm
every 10 cows. A dairy maid will takej



care of 10 ; the winter food hay, and fome-
times a few turnips ; generally keep them
in the fields, but fometimes in ftalls. Calves
fuck from 3 days to a week.

Hogs they fat to 35 fcore, but not com*
mon ; generally about 25.

The flocks of fheep rife to 500 : the
profit by lamb and wool about 9 or 10 s»
The winter keeping, of the breeding flock,
is in the fields alone : but the lambs on
turnips. Folding is valued, from being
fometimes let; the price 3 or 41. for 200
a week. The average fleece, 5 /k
pfe- In their tillage they reckon 9 or i o horfes
neceflary to 100 acres of arable land, They
ufe from 3 to 5 in a plough, do an acre a
day. The depth 2 i or 3 inches ; at from
6 to 10 J", an acre. The annual expence of
a horfe they reckon at 10/, While in
work they allow them a peck of oats a day,
and cut ftraw into chaffs for them ; they do
not break up their fl:ubbles till after Chriji^
mas ; they ufe both wheel and fwing

The hire of a cart, 3 or 4 horfes, and
driver, a day, 9 s,

F 3 In


In the hiring and Hocking farms, they
reckon that looo/. is neceflary for one of
100 /. a year ; but fome are taken with half
that fum.

Tythes run at 4 or 5 s. au acre for all
the farms.

Poor rates rife to ^ s. in the pound ia
towns ; but in villages about i s. Their
employment fpinning worfted. All drink
tea twice a day.

The farmers carry their corn from 2 to
II miles.


From Midfummer to Michaelmas^ 4/. and

In winter, i s. a' day.
Thrafhing wheat, is. 6d. to 2/. 6d. z.


— — barley, is,

. oats (if reaped) 6 ^. a quarter.

peafe, 9 ^/. to i j.

beans, ditto.

Making faggots, 4^^. a fcore.
Amount of a year's earnings, 17/.
Head-man's wages, 7/. 7 J.
Next ditto, 5 /,



Lad's, 3/.

Maid's, 3/. to 4/.

Women per day in harveft, ij-. and board.

In hay-time, 6^. and 8^.

A waggon, 26 /.
A cart, 9/. to 10/.
A plough, I /. I J.
A harrow, i /. 5 /.
Harnefs per horfe, 2/. 16 J".
Laying a Ihare, i s.
Ditto a coulter, i s.
Shoeing, 2s.


Bread, per pound

4^. part barley.












4 ^. a pint.


3 ^. a peck.


6 a pound.


6 ditto.

Labourer's houfe-rent, 20J. to 40 J".

— firing, I

/.to 3/.

F 4 Coals*


Coals, 40 J", a chaldron.
Labourer's tools, 5J'.

A carpenter a day, i j*. 4^.
A mafon, is. 4^.
A thatcher, is. 2d,

The general oeconomy of the country,
will be nearly feen from the following
particulars of farms.

C 50 Rent
8 Horfes
8 Cows
10 Fat beafts
10 Young cattle
130 Sheep
20 Acres wheat
20 Barley

10 Acres oats

5 Peafe and beans

6 Turnips
10 Fallow

3 Men
I Boy

1 Maid

2 Labourers.

Another :
80 Acres arable 8 Acres oats

20 Grafs

fi. 40 Rent

6 Horfes

6 Cows

2 Young cattle
100 Sheep

20 Acres wheat

6 Barley

10 Peafe, &c.

5 Turnips
30 Fallow

2 Men

I Boy

I Maid

I Labourer.



Mr. Booth of Glendon, near Kettering,
has greatly improved on this fyftem of
hufbandry, which will appear fufficiently
clear by ftating the particulars of his ma-
nagement. His courfe of crops is,

1. Turnips

2. Barley

3. Clover 2 or 3 years

4. Oats.

He cultivates very little wheat, but when
he does fow it, ploughs four times; fows
2 bufhels per acre, and gains fomething
more than the common farmers. For bar-
ley he ploughs from once to four times,
generally three : Sows 2 t bufhels about
Lady-day, and gets feven quarters in re-
turn ; a vaft improvement on the farmer's
three. He ploughs the clover land but once
for oats, fows 3 i bufhels, and reaps on a
medium nine quarters. Peafe he has tried
in drills, and hand-hoed ; they turned out
but middling, not above i i. quarter per
acre. For beans he gives three or four
ploughings ; fows 4 bufhels per acre, and
reaps 5 quarters. Colefecd he has culti-
vated for fheep ; eats it off in November^
and then ploughs up the land.

2 For


For turnips he gives 5 or 6 earths ; hoes
them twice, and feeds them ofF with fheep.
All his clover he feeds with rams. Tares
he cultivates for hay, which he gives to his

In refped to manure ; he has tried lime,
lays 6 quarters per acre for turnips, to
which it w^as vifibly of fervice, and alfo
to the barley. His farm-yard dung he
carts on to comport heaps ; mixes it with
ant-hills, and fpreads the whole on his
meadows. He cuts the hills with a plough,
(See Plate I. fig. i.) Pigeons dung he
lays on both grafs and corn, 2 cart loads
per acre ; it is very ftrong, but lafts only
2 crops ; it is bell fpread in the fpring on
poor wheat.

Mr. Booth drains his wet paftures in the
fame manner as the farmers.

In his fences he is very curious ; there is
Ji very bad pradice in this country of leav -
ing old thorn flubs of a large fize, to the
height of about two or three feet, fo that
the bottoms of the hedges are quite ragged
— Thefe Mr. Booth cuts off clofe to the
ground, and fees if the roots will flioot out



again ; if they do, he leaves them, if not,
takes them out and plants frefh quick in
the places ; and fecures fuch places by a
dead hedge on each fide.

Mr. Booth is curious in his breed of
cattle, which are the Lancajhire fort : he
has feveral fine bulls for breeding, which
he values much. His cows give 2 gallons
of milk each per day; this, and many
other inftances I have met with, feems to
prove that the curious breeds of ftock for
fatting, are no friends to the dairy. In
winter he feeds on hay alone ; keeps them
in the fields.

His fheep are of a much finer breed than
common among his neighbours ; the aver-
age fleece about 8/^.

In his tillage he is very foiicitous to
plough deep ; ufes fo many as 8 horfes in
a plough, for three or four earths ; but
afterwards only 2. Confidering the light-
nefs of the foil, I am much furprized that
fuch a number fhould ever be ufed, and the
more as Mr. Booth has a Rotheram plough,
which much exceeds the common ones of
|.he country : a flrong plough of tliat con-r



ftrudion, would with 4 horfes ftir a great
depth. He does an acre a day : The firft
earth 12 inches deep, but afterwards fron^
4 to 6.

The particulars of his farm are as follow :
^.350 Acres 20 Acres oats

^.350 Rent 25 Turnips

10 Horfes 14 Clover

15 O3WS I Man

500 Sheep 2 Boys

20 Acres barley 20 Labourers.

This gentleman has for feveral years
cultivated cabbages as food for cattle. He
has three pieces of ground, which in their
turn are appropriated to them, for he dif-
approves planting cabbages two years to-
gether in the fame ground; one year in
three being the proper introduction.

He uuially fows three or four forts, viz.
a large round heavy cabbage, which he
procured fome years ago from Holland,
very fweet, and (Keep very fond ctf it —
the Savoy — the Anjou kale — and the
boorcole. The feed is fown at two different
feafons, that they may not come into ufe
together ; the early raifed ones are apt to
burft, and when the wet weather fets in,



it decays them ; but as they grow much the
largeft, Mr. Booth is tempted to plant
them ; befides, they are put into the ground
at a much lefs charge, as they are planted
out early in the feafon, before the dry wea-
ther fets in, and whilft the ground is moift,
fo that they feldom want watering ; whereas
thofe fown in the fpring, are almcfc con-
ftantly watered at the planting ; and fome-
times, if the weather is very dry, a fecond
time. Mr. Booth has obferved, that if the
land is not in very good tillage and made
fine, the roots of the plants lye hollow, by
which means they frequently die ; and take
much more water to make the plant ftrike.
He fows in Aiigiijl in a garden, on a bed
of fine rich earth ; and when they have got
eight leaves, he pricks them out in warm
beds under a Ibuth wall if he can, at the dif-
tance of about 4 inches fquare, where they

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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 5 of 23)