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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with it, but take in his neighbour's cattle
to eat it, for nothing ; and would give them
the fame attendance as his own. This is a
particular idea, which may very probably
be juft ; but experiment alone can prove it,

Mr. Bake-well very juftly confiders the

raifmg dung as one of the m.oft important

objedls of hufbandry ; and for this purpofe,

his vafl: flock of cattle is of noble afTiftance,

The proportion of his flock to his land,

will fliew, not only the excellence of his

management, but alfo the hardinefs of his

breed ; for no tender cattle could be kept

in fuch quantities. His farm in all con-

iifts of about 440 acres, no of which are

arable, and the reft grafs. He keeps 60

horfes, 400 large fheep, and 150 hearts of

all forts : and yet he has generally about

15 acres of wheat, and 25 of fpring corn;

the turnips not more than 30 acres. If the



degree of fatnefs, in which he keeps all
thefe cattle, be confidered, and that he
buys neither ftraw nor hay ; it muft at once
appear, that he keeps a larger ftock on a
given number of acres, than moft men in
England: the ilrongefl proof of all others,
of the excellence of bis hufbandry.

He makes his turnips go as far as poih-
ble, by carting every one to his ftalls, in
which manner, one acre goes as far as
three ; his ftraw, I before obferved, he
makes the very moft of, by giving it all to
his lean beafts, not in litter, — or as food in
quantities at a time, but keeps the cattle
hungry enough to make them eat clean j
giving but a fmall quantity at a time.

Of his hay he is alfo very choice ; and
the means he has taken to command as large
a quantity as pofTible, are perhaps to be
reckoned amongft the rareft inflances of
fpirited hufbandry ever met with among the
common farmers of England. It is that of
watering his meadows that lie along a fmall
brook which runs through one part of his
farm. This improvement was begun by
his father, now living, and carried on and
finlfned by himfelf.




Thefe meadows, amounting from 60 to
80 acres, were all like the reft of the coun-
try in ridge and furrow ; over-run with
ant-hills, and disfigured by various inequa-
lities of furface. They were all ploughed
up ; kept clean of weeds for a crop or two ;
tilled in a very perfed; manner, and laid
down again to grafs perfectly level, with a
view to improvement by water : This oper-
ation is a proof that unlevel paftures may be
ploughed down without any injury by bury-
ing good land and bringing up bad, ac-
cording to the common vulgar notion. As
foon as this work was done, he cleanied the
brook in a manner peculiar to himfelf ; his
defign was to keep the banks always clean
and neat, and the water every where of an
equal depth : and this he did, and conti-
nues to do when wanted, by throwing the
fand and earth, driven in heaps and ridges
by the ftream, Into the holes formed by it ;
never throwing any on to the banks, by
which method the water is always kept to a
level, with half the expence of the common
manner of throwing the earth out, which
enlarges the holes, but fills up none. When



this point was gained, the next bufinefs
was to examine every where the courfes of
the ditches ; all in a proper direction were
much deepened and enlarged, for convey-
ing the water to the meadows that do not
join the brook, and others done in the fame
manner for taking the water away after it
had flowed over the land. Befides thefe,
feveral new cuts were found neceffary to
be made near as large as the brook itfelf :
and, flrange to tell, not a few to prevent
the water running over the meadovrs of
his neighbours. They totally difapprove
the plan ; and have infifted on ail proper
precautions being taken by making cuts,
and raifnig mounds for the water, that none
of it may ruin them, which is the idea they
have of it ; notwithftanding many years
experience of its amazing efEcacy in the
fields of Mr. BakewelL

Befides all thefe cuts and ditches, nu-
merous Unices are fubftantially erected at
his own expence, to ftop the water and
make it overflow at pleafure ; and clofe to
each a fmall brick houfe, for holding the
doors, boards, bolts, &c. when not in ufe J
the whole perfedly well executed,

a By


By means of all thefe works, he floats at
pleafure from 60 to 80 acres of meadow,
and finds the improvement of the moil un-
doubted kind ; fully anfwering an annual
manuring of any other fort : fine level
crops of hay are now the view, inftead of
ridges, furrows, hills, holes, thiflles, and
other trumpery. Upon the whole, this
fyftem of watering is not only executed
with fpirit, but much exceeds any thing of
the kind, I have yet fetn in the hands of
landlords themfclves. Our farmer has ex-
pended large funis in thefe uncommon un-
dertakings — he richly merits the enjoyment
of their profit.

In another part of hufbandry, Mr. Bake^
zvell is extremely attentive ; which is the
raifing good fences : he has fubdivided fe-*
veral of his fields, and always does it bv
planting regular rows of white thorn on one
iidc of a ditch, the earth of which is laid
up in the manner of the country on a narrow
ridge on the oppofite fide ; and then a poll
and double rail on each fide the whole j
which is certainly doing it moil completely;
But what he h more minute in than any



farmer I ever faw, is the keeping his quickl
clean; they alKgrow in the middle of'af
well dug flip of land, with not a weed to
be found in them : this condud has fo good
an effect, that his thorns at three or four
years old much exceed thofe of the farmers
in general at twice that age. In all his old.
fences he mends gaps and decayed places in
the fame manner, clearing away all rubbifhj .
planting new quick, and fecuring it with •
a ditch, and a double rail and poft.

As the principal objedt of Mr. BakewelPs
attention was the keeping great ftocks of
cattle, he has found it neceflary to lay down
much arable land to grafs ; I walked over
feveral of the fields, and found the herbage
of an excellent fort, with a perfed: carpet-
>fng of white clover. I enquired into his
method of laying, and found it not com-
mon. He fows two crops of turnips fuccef- :
fively, for the purpofe of making the land
as clean as pofTible from weeds ; then, with :
the barley that follows, he fows lo lb. com- '
mon broad clover, and 7 a bufhel ray-grafs,
for the future meadow. I was much flruck
"with tliis ; which appeared to me' extreme

^ bad


bad hufbandry, and enquired into the efFedti
The firft year he has a very fine crop of
clover in the common manner ; the ipring
following he manures it richly with very
rotten dung, and always finds that half the
broad clover difappears that year ; the third
year it is quite gone; and the pafhire ever
after is not to be known from the beft com^
mon meadows ; the herbage confifting of
good graffes, and a thick covering of wqld
white clover.

Mr. Bakewell has compared this method
with fowing white clover and trefoile, in-
ftead of the broad fort, and finds that the
effect after the fecond year is exadly the
fame, but the two firft give him a much
greater profit under the common clover than
the white.

I fhall obferve upon this fyflem, that the
peculiarity confifts in the broad clover being
immediately fucceeded by white honey-
fuckle and natural graffes of a good fort r*
with the general management it is fucceeded
by couch, twitch, or other trumpery, in at
leaft as great plenty as by wild clover ; and
this I apprehend is owing to the preparation

VouL k of


of the land ; it certainly would be the famd
with Mr. Bakewell if he did not previoufly
make the land as clean as a garden : it \%
therefore a compendious eafy way, which
on certain foils and with excellent manage-
ment anfwers well, but in hands that will
not give fuch attention to it, I am perfuade^
it would be a moft pernicious prad:ice : 1
well remember it being the method in fome
parts between Tork and Beverley ; and the
grafs left are ftraggling plants of cloveri
with great plenty of couch and weeds.

Another part of rural ceconomy of ver/
great importance to every farmer, is the":
number of horfes he ufes in a ploughs
Horfes are kept at fuch an expence, that
the ufmg no more than neceflary is one of
the moft material concerns of the farmer;
The general pradtice of this neighbourhood
is to ufe from 4 to 7 in a plough, and ftif
little more than half an acre a dav : nevef
more than three roods, and this on a fandy
loam : on the contrary, Mr. Bakewell nevef
ufes more than two in a plough, and with-
out any driver. He has nothing but Rothef'*
■ham ploughs ; they anfwer perfedly well f





lid do an acre a day with eafe : this, at a
ery moderate computation, is doing four
mes the work of his neighbours, with the
me ftrength. But not one of them has
et followed him in this obvious improve-

Mr. Bnkewell has generally a fmall field
F potatoes, which he plants after the
lough, and keeps perfe(fl:ly clean of weeds :
t finds them to anfwer greatly.

This year he has a crop of the great
:otch cabbage, for the firft time, planted
L yune ; they appear thriving and healthy,
id will I doubt not anfwer perfedly well ;
e propofes to extend the culture for faving
ay, by which means he fhall be able to
eep larger ftocks of cattle.

For feeding colts, or any hcrfes that run
it, he has a contrivance which merits
otice. It is a fmall houfe on 4 wheels for
iving hay and oats. Plate L Fig. 2. is tha
^letch I took of it.



to 2.

two feet 6 inches.


to 3.

three ditto 6 ditto.


to 4.

one ditto 8 ditto.


to 5.

three ditto 3 ditto.
K 2. From


From 5 to 6. fix ditto 6 ditto.

6 to 7. four ditto 7 ditto.
9 to 10. two ditto I ditto.

10 to II. one ditto.

12 to 13. fix ditto.

14 to 15. two ditto.

14 to 16. live ditto 9 ditto.
2, projects 21 inches from 17.
From the ground to 10, four feet one inch;

The wheels 7 ' inches diameter : Th('
coft complete 3/. 10 J. Four horfes eat ha^
and oats in it at once> for the four projec-
tions from the center are equal : it is movec
every day, that they may not poach an(
tread the grals, ever the effed of a iixei
rack and manger, or houfe. In dry time
it may be fet on wet land, and in wt
times on dry land. Another very grea
ufe is, when the teams go double journey
at plough, they are baited in the field verj
handily without bringing home,

Mr. Bakeiaell is particularly curious iij
providing proper watering places for hi!
paflures ; and in this he has a contrivanci
which I do not remember to have feei;



pradifed by any body elfe. He has from ex-
perience obferved many inconveniences to
attend ponds in which the cattle are allowed
to go in and lie down ; for in hot weatherj
they not only make the water muddy,
but colts going in when quite hot, and ly-
ing down, are apt to catch very dangerous
colds : to prevent this, he firft railed off the
ponds, leaving them only room to come
with their heads at the water ; but this he
has lately changed to a better way, v/hich
is to let the watering contain no more
water at a time, than a fmall trough would
hold. Plate I. Fig. 3. will explain the na-
ture of the work.

From I. to 2. is the bottom of the banks:
the fpace between thofe lines, and
alfo 3 and 4, form a fmall paved
trough, about 2 feet long and i
broad, through which the water
runs, or remains, if the fupply
comes from a ftagnated pool.
From 5. to 6. a ridge of ftone work, whick
feparates the water from the horfe-
From 7. to 8. the top of the bank.

K 3 From


From 8. to 9- ^ the length of the banks.
9. to 10. 3

1 1, Pofts and rail s^

12. The way down to the water ; paved.

I cannot conclude thefe obfervations on
this very fpiritcd farmer's undertakings,
without exprefhng the fatisfadion I felt at
viewing them : No where have I feeix
works, that do their author greater honour :
they are not the efFed of a rich landlord's
determining to be a good farmer on his
own land, but the honeft, and truly meri-
torious endeavours of a tenant, performing
great and expenfive works on the property
of another. It is true, he is fortunate in a
generous and confiderate landlord ; and
inuch do I wifh, that fuch excellent
farmers may always meet with the fame en-
couragement. A truly good farmer cannot
^e too much favoured, a bad one cannot have
his rent raifed toe high. Let me exhort the
farmers of this kingdom in general, to take
Mr. Bakewelt as a pattern in many points of
great importance; they will find their
account in it, and the kingdom in general
bp benefited not a little.



FROM Dijbley to Nottingham the land
is chiefly inclofed and good ; lets at
fibout 1 6 J", on an average*.

About four miles north of the town, at
Arnold^ fome uncommon improvements
have been lately carried on, particularly in
the carrot culture, — -■ — Cotting beafts

50 Grafs

60 Sheep

^. 100 Rent

20 Acres of wheat

8 Horfes

10 Barley

9 Cows

16 Oats

4 Peafe


4 Peafe and beans 3 Men

3 Turnips i Boy
20 Fallow I Maid

4 Clover I Labourer.

Another :

50 Acres in all 2 Barley

30 Arable 6 Oats

20 Grafs I Peafe and
£. 50 Rent beans

4 Horfes 2 Turnips

4 Cows 6 Fallow

6 Young cattle 2 Clover

2 Fatting beafts 2 Men


Sheep I Boy

4 Acres wheat i Maid.

Another :
40 Acres in all 12 Cows

4 Arable 2 Young cattle

36 Grafs I Boy

£. 40 Rent 2 Maids.

I Horfe
The principal farmer in this neighbour-
hood is Mr. KendaU of the Peacock inn^
near Alfreton ; he has in feveral* inftances
deviated from the common practices of the
country, and much improved on them.

L 4 The


The farmers of this country know no-
thing of fainfoine, notwithflanding the foil
is a fine dry hazel loam, on ftone quarries :
Mr. Kendal introduced it 9 or 10 years ago,
and has found great fuccefs from it ever
llnce ; but has not been followed by any
one neighbour. His firft trial was on fix
acres, which remains yet in perfection.
He has fince fown more, fo that he has 20
acres in all. His method being uncommon,
I fhall ftate it. He does not fow it broad-
call:, but in drills equally diftant, 2 feet
afunder, ftruck on a field fown with broad-
call barley and clover, with a hand-hoe,
and being fown with 6 pecks of fainfoine
feed, it is covered by one harrowing. The
clover lafts thick but one year ; the fecond,
much of it is gone, and all difappears the
third ; then the fainfoine gets up and flour-
ilhes well : He always mows it once. The
firft year he gets of clover and fainfoine 3
loads of hay an acre ; lefs the fecond year ;
but afterwards the crop is about 2 loads. It
keeps itfelf clean of rank weeds without
any hand-hoeing, but much natural grafs
comes. The aftergrowth he eats with
iheep and beafts, and finds no damage to



Ills crop from the latter. Nothing fattens

^ll forts of cattle better : his cows give more

milk on it than on any other grafs, but it

taftes. Upon this culture of fainfoine, I

fhall obferve, that Mr. Kenda/ h^s much

merit in introducing it at all, but he would

certainly have found greater fuccefs, had he

fown it broad-caft over the whole field, 4

bufhels to the acre ; and omitted the red

clover. It is impoffible that the young

fainfoine fhould be choaked up in three

loads an acre of clover without damage. It

is certainly a prefent profit, but the quef-

tion is, if it be not to a future lofs. I

would however recommend the trial to him.

Potatoes he cultivates in large quantities.

In 1768, he had 8 acres : In 1769, 14

acres; and 16 this year. The following

is his method of cultivating them. He

firfl ploughs the land at Chrifimas ; then

lets it lie rough all winter. Harrov/s it in

the fpring, and ploughs again ; in this earth

he opens double furrow b i foot from each

other; and then leaves an interval 9 i^^t

wide ; and fo on throughout the field. The

potatoe flices, 8 bufliels to the acre, are

dropt after the plough, 5 inches deep, and

2 I foot


I foot afunder. After this the intervals are
ploughed twice or thrice for turnips, which
are fown broad-caft and harrowed in^ The
potatoes are earthed up tliie ploughings,
befides which, they have fome earth thrown"
with fpades from the edges of the turnip
bed,, to the fpace between the rows. The
crop is taken up with forks ; the produce
in this manner, without dung, amounts ta
loo buihels at i x. or 5/. per acre. The
turnips arc hand-hoed once or twice, and
are always wortli 2 /. an acre.

But befides this way, he plants fome
acres every year in the comir^on method all
over the land, in which way he gets very
large crops, up to 30 /. an acre, at i j. a
biifhel ; which is 600 bufhels per acre.

He ufes all his crops for fatting brawns.
Firft, they are waflied, — and then boiled iia
a copper, 20 bufliels at a time ; it is filled
with potatoes, and then as much water put
to them as the copper will hold. When
tJoiJed foft, they are all ladled into large
tubs to cool, in which they are mixed with
barley or rye meal ; in the proportion of 2
buihels of meal to 2 o of potatoes : and as;
foon as the mixture is cool, it is ready ta



give to them. It fattens tliem better than
any other food; fafter than corn alone.
His lean fw'ne he alfo keeps on pota-
toes, but only boils them, mixing no corn
with it.

Sometimes he fallows the fpaces between
the rows for wheat, and gets the beft crops
thus in the country.

Cabbages Mr. Kendal has cultivated with
fuccefs. In 1768, he had half an acre ; in
1769, two acres; and this year has one
acre. He ploughs for them at Chrtjimasy
and again in March, when he- plants the
ground with beans in fmgle rows 4 feet
afunder ; foon after he plants a row of cab-
bages between them : the culture he gives
while the crops are growing, is to earth up
both ; and keep them quite clean of weeds.
When the beans are reaped, then the cab-
bages fpread ; fome of them rife in weight
to 23 Ih. He gives them to his cows, and
the effeifl is th^ir yielding vaflly more milk
than on any other food, and the cream and
butter have not the leaft bad tafte. He gets
Jn quantity 20 cart loads per acre, worth
3 about


about 6 /. He gives half a cart load per diem
to 7 or 8 cows that run in the pafture.

The following particulars of Mr. KendaV%
farm will fhew that he pradifes on a large

420 Acres in all
250 Arable
170 Grafs
£.420 Rent
lb Horfes
9 Cows

16 Young cattle
4 Fatting beafls
120 Sheep
50 Acres wheat

30 Oats

ID Peafe and

16 Turnips and

20 Sainfoine

6 Men

6 Boys

2 Maids

4 Labourers.

20 Barley

About half a mile from the Peacock^ is a
very unufual thing in the hands of a com-
mon farmer ; about a rood of lucerne, on
very good land, in equally diftant rows, 2
feet afunder, but fo over-run with weeds
that the experiment can be of no value ; the
lucerne, from its great luxuriance of growth
in the midft of fuch enemies, would evi-
dently thrive to uncommon profit on this



land. How fuch a trial fhould come into
the head of a little farmer, I cannot con-

Taking the road to Derby, you come in
about two miles to a fpot that commands
a very beautiful landfcape to the right : It
is a winding valley bounded every where
by hills ; the whole cut into inclofures,
waving one beyond another, and finely
fcattered with trees. Several villages ap-
pear, and a fmall winding river breaks
upon the eye in feveral places.

But it is time to conclude this letter : you
muft allow me to afliire you how much I
am, ^i".



jr\ E RB T h a. confiderable town, con-
filling of five parlfhes ; well built and
full of manufadures ; the principal are
thofe in the flocking branch, which employs
many hands ; who earn in general from i s,
to 2s. a day, but is. 4 <^. on an average.
The filk mill employs many women and
children, whofe earnings are fome of them
fo low as 2 ^/. a day. There is alfo a por-
cellane manufadlory, fomething in the ftile
of the M''orceJiery but inferior. Land about
Derby lets at an high rate ; fuch as is at all
convenient, fo high as 50^". and 3/. an
acre ; but Mr. Miindy has a very confider-
able efbite lying a part of it within a mile
of the town, of which none rifes fo high
as 30 J-.; but little to 25 x. and is upon an
average tythe-frcc at 16 x. grafs and arable;
no twith (landing its being cut by turnpikes
— clofc to market — and alfo to manure for
purchafe ; tlie foil exceeding good. All
thcfe circumftaiiccs confidered, there can-
not be a doubt of the value being a guinea



an acre, for all fuch land within three or
four miles of Derby. I fufpedled their
fields being under-let, from the fufficient
crops of thiftles and nettles to be feen
through their richeft grafs ; 5 j. an acre
more rent, would prefently wipe out fuch
a difgrace to their management. Their
arable inclofures are new ones ; and they
are fo capitally ftupid as to adhere to the
old courfe, to which they were tied down
when the land was open field ; that is,

I. Fallow — 2. Wheat — 3. Beans orPeafe;
which is the old barbarous ftory that has
travelled with me regularly from Bucking-
bamjkire, I will venture to aflert, that
they could not have pitched upon a more
unprofitable courfe for incloiures. The
beans are fown on one ploughing, and
never receive any hoeing; you might as
well recommend an Orrery to their infpec-
tion as a hand-hoe ; fome turnips are Town,
but not hoed. With this management,
they are able to pay 16 j. an acre tythe-free;
at which I mult confefs I am furprized, for
I fhould eftcem 10/. tied down to fuch a
condud, a very high rent. Let me afk
any modern farmer accuftomed to the prac-


tice of the beft hufbandry, whether he could
not pay 30 j-. an acre by means of the fol-
lowing courfes, much eafier than i6j". by
that of the Marton farmers.

1. Turnips, twice 3* Clover
completely hand- 4. Wheat on one
hoed ploughing.

2. Barley


1. Beans, thrice 3. Clover
completely hoed 4. Wheat on one

2. Barley or oats ploughing.
Never any fallow : I will engage that

he would grow rich with thefe courfes^
at 30 J-. an acre, much fooner than he
would get 50 /. clear, at 16 j. an acre, "with
fallow, wheat, beans.

But is it not furprizing that landlords
will overlook their interefl: fo much, as to
fit down contented with their eftates being
fo cultivated ?

They fay their tenants are blockheads —
flovens— and that they know nothing of
their bufmefs. I very readily fubfcribe to
the whole ; but thefe epithets do- not add

one fhilling to their rents nor will they

extirpate a fmgle thiftle. Let them raife



their rents to a common height, fuppofin^
the hufbandry good : if the farmers chufe
to pay it from their prefent culture, it
will only prove that the rate per acre is ftill
too low. If they do not, or cannot, then
bring farmers from other countries who
know what husbandry is.

** But the world will clamour — we fhall
be abufed at fuch an alehoufe— and thought
very hardly of at another." — Here lies the
facft ; and to do thefe very moderate gentle-
men jullice, I allow this is a rational plan,
becaufe they do not lofe the money, with-
out (what they pleafe to think) the rrioney^s
worth. If rents were raifed, they w^ould
have hats off with God blefs your honour,
but twice where they now have it thrice:
and on rent day, a bow 6 inches lower than
common with a long fcrape, is far prefer-
able to a blunt entrance ; and then it founds
very prettily in riding through their fields
to hear, How rare a landlord the f quire is ;
and what crowns the whole, half a dozen
tenants meeting at a hedge alehoufe, and
nothing difrefpedful to their landlord pafT-
ing. This is certainly popularity ; and as

Vol. I, M great


great minds have in every age been much
flattered by poffeffing it, we are not to;
wonder that landlords find it more capti-

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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 8 of 23)