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The natural history of Oxford-shire : being an essay toward the natural history of England online

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24-4- ^^^^ 5S(jimral Hijlory

at laft only fit for Ray-grafs^ mixt with Trefoil as above.

68. Laftly, theiryrtw^j and ^r^W/y light ground, hasalfo much
the fame tillage for wheat and barly^ as chy^ is'C. only they require
many times but /iroploughings, efpecially if {ov wheats except the
fallow be run much to vceeds^ and then indeed they fomtimes afford
itifiirring^ elfe none at all . Itsmoft agreeable grains zre^ white,
redt and mixt Lammas wheats, and mi/ceilan, i. e. wheat and rje to-
gether, and then after a years fallow, common or rathe-ripe barly t
fo that it generally lies ftill every other year, it being unfit for
hitching, i.e. Beans -Sindi Peas, though they fomtimes fow it with
winter Vetches ; and if ever with Peas, the fmall rathe-ripes are ac-
counted thebeft : Its moft agreeable manure is of (Vraw, from the
Clife or Mixen half rotten, which keeps it open, and fuffers it not
to bind too much, where fubjett to it ; but if otherwife, the rot-
tenefl dung is the befl:.

69. Whereof, as upon all other Lands before mention'd, they
lay about 1 2 loads upon a common Field acre, i. e. about 20 upon
a Statute acre ; but I find the bufinefs of manuring Land to have a
gTe:it latitude,}Aen doing it here many times not according to their

judgment, but according to the quantities they have, fo that where
the quantities of manure are but fmall and the /i//(7^e is great, the
cafe is much otherwife, than where both tillage znd jnanure ztc
in a contrary condition. But however the cafe flrand, I find this
a general Rule amongft them, that tliey dlw^ysfiil that Land firft
and befV, which is to bear three Crops ; one on the tillage, another
of beans 2nd peas, andathirdofZ'i^r/)', on the beans or peas hruOn ;
all which depend upon the fingle manure given it when it lay fallow
for wheat : though I have known this order frequently inverted
by the befV Husbandmen on their richeft Lands, fowing barly firft,
thenpeas or beans, and their wheat laft, for which they allege this
very good reafon,That wheat following the dung Cart on their beft
Land, is the more liable to fmut.

70. And fo much for the ordinary Manures of this County,
there being two others yet behind, viz^. Chippings oUlone, and woolen
rags, not altogether fo common, which I have therefore thought
fit to confider apart ,• the^rfi whereof I met with at Hornton near
Banbury, where the chippings of the (ione they hew at their Quarry,
proves a very good manure for their Ground thereabout, and is
accordingly niadeufe of, by reafon no doubt of a fait that /lone



holds, which being diffolved by the vreathei\ is imbibe d by the
Earthy as hinted before in Chap. 4. of this Effay.

7 r . The 2"* fort I firft obferved about Watlingto?!^ and the two
Britwe/s^ where they ftrew them on their Land with good fuccefs ;
& I have heard fince of feveral other places where they do the fame.
To this purpofe they purchafe Tajlers Qneds^ which y"t retain-
ing fomwhat ofthey^//of the FuUing-earth with which they were
dreft, do well enough ; but I judge them not fo good as other
old rags firft worn by men and women^ which muft needs befide be
very well fated with urinous fa Its, contrafted from the fireat and
continml per^iration attending their Bodies. And in this Opini-
on I am confirmed by SanSi. San£ioriH6, who is pofitive, that our
inf en ft ble evacuations, tranfcendallourfenfible onesput together^, to
that excefs, that of eight pounds weight of meat and drink, be taken
by a man in one day, his infenfible transpirations ufe to amount to five \
Now if fo, our deaths muft needs be fo filled with a well reftified
fait, left behind in the j«?erco/^/io/z of the ^e^wi- of our bodies, that
there can be nothing more rational, if well confidered, then that
they Qiould be a very fit manure for Land, when unfit for other

72. As to the quantities o^Corn fown on thtflatute Acre, they
differ much in proportion to the richnefs or m°annefs of the land;
about two bufiels of wheat 'Ax\6.vetches, two bufljels and [ofbarly,
oats, 2nd peas, and a quarter of ^f(2/7jfufficingthe poorer ; where-
as the richer Land will take up three bufiels or more of wheat or
vetches, three bufiels and I or upwards of barly, oats, peas, and
fomtimesfix bufiels of beans : Yet I have known fome able Huf-
bandmemit'ord more Seed to their poor than rich Land, givmg
this reafon, That the Seed in the rich does tillar, i. e. fprout into
feveral blades and fpread on the ground, whereas on the poor
Land its fprouts come all fingle, which therefore, fay they, re-
quires the more feed.

73. In the choice of their y^e^ they have a double refpeft,
firft to the ^rd'z'w it felf, andfecondly tothe/Witgrew on. As
to the firfi, they take care that it be clear of all manner of feeds ;
that it be handfom round Corn, of an equal cize, which fome of
them c^ll Even fliooting Corn, or well brefled -^ fuch Corn being for
the moft part full of kernel, and the likelieft to give ftrongroo/5,

* S. Saafforii Medicifi^ Statica, JJh. \.[e^.x, Aphorifm.^. ' Ibid Aihorifm 6-


2/^6 The 5^tural Hijlory

And in refpeft of the foil^ they conftaiitly choofe Corn that grew
on landoi a quite different nature from that it is toht Joivn on ;
but in general, they defire it from land that is well in hearty and
rich in its kind. If they are to fow wheat upon tillage,zhey choofe
wheat fo wn before upon bean ftubs^ and when they fow upon peas
or bean slubs, wheai ^o\\'a before on tillage ; for Clay ground they
have their feed from Red-land or Chalk. , is^ vice verfa ; for the o-
ther foils^ that from 6'/^j is efteemed the befV, though that from
Red-land is little inferior ; for barly they count that beft which
comes of new broken /j«<^; and for the reft, none fo good as
thofe that come from the richeft/oi/y.

74. Before they fow, if the place be fubjeft to the annoyan-
ces oi Smutting^ Meldews^ Birds, (yc. they take care to prevent'
them either in the preparing or choice of their ^r^/';z. Againft

fmutting they both brine and lime their Corn, fome making their
brine of urin 2nd fait ; or elfe fow red-f raw' dtf beat, which is the
leaft fubjefl: to it of any. To prevent meldevcs, fome fow prety
early, judging Corn moft fubjeft to that annoyance when fown
late ; or elfe make choice of the long bearded Cone, that being the
Icaft fubjeft of any wheat yet known to the inconveniencies of
meldevps, and of being eaten by Birds, and therefore alfo fitteft
to be fown in fmall Inclojures, as noted before in the fixth Cha-

75. InSowing they have their feveral methods, Z//2;, the fingle
Cafi, the double Caji ; and as they call it about Burford, the Hackr
ney bridle, or riding Caff. The fingle Cafi fows a Land at one bout ;
the double Cafi is twice in a place, at two different bouts, viz.
once from furrow to ridge, and afterwards from ridge to furrow.
The Hackney bridle IS two calts on a Land at one time, and but
once about, though I find thefe two latter fomtimes confounded,
their na?nes being interchangably applyed in different parts of the
County. The ^rft way is feldom ufed amongft them, only by the
ancienteft Seeds-men ; the fecond is their ufual and moft certain
way ; the laf, though theneweft faChion, is but feldom ufed yet,
though fome have tryed it with good fuccefs, and perhaps may
hereafter bring it more in praftice, it having more fpeed than the
double Cafi to recommend it to ufe. They have alfo a way of fow-
ing in the Chlltern Country, whiK^ is called fowing Hentings, which
is done before the Plough^ the Corn being caft in a itraight line


Of 0XF0'BJ)-SH1\E. H?

juft where the plough nmft come, and is prefently ploughed in. By
this v^ay offovring they think they fave much feed and other
charge^ a dexterous Bcji being as capable of fowing this way out
of his hat^ as the mofl: judicious Seeds-man. But of this way
more hereafcer, when I come into Buckingham-fiire.

j6. Thus having run through, iheTilhge^ Manures^ Quantities
and choice of Seed, and the feveralways of fowing the Soils of
this County^ I proceed to the Injlruments, ufed in their tillage : A-
mongft which, the Plough being the beil, becaufe the moftufeful
Engine in the World, deferves the firft place ; of which there
are two forts ufed in O^ford-JInre^ the Foot^ and Wheel-plough \
whereof the firft is ufed in deep and Clay Lands, being accord-
ingly fitted with a broad fin ftiare, and the Horfes going always in
2 firing and keeping the furrow, to avoid poching the Land ; and
the fecond'm the lighter and ftony Land, the //o?ye5 either going in
^ firing, or two a breaft, according as thought moft fuitable to
the tillage in hand "' : This Plough when ufed in ftony Land, is
armed with a roundpointed ftiare, having alfo near -the chep of the
Plough a fmall/« to cut the roots of the grafs, for in this Land
the broad fin jumps out of the ground. The pot plough does beft
at the henting, i. e. ending of a Land, it going clofe up to a hedge,
and not being fubjeft to over-throw ; whereas the wheel plough,
if care and difcretion do not meet in the holder, is apt to over-
throw there, the Land being ridged ; but goes much morelight-
fom and eafie for the Horfes than the foot plough doth, which is
the fum. of the Conveniencies and Inconveniencies of both.

77. After Ploughing and Sowing, they cover their Corn with
Harrows, whereof fome have 4, 5, or 6 bulls, or ffars apiece, each
of them armed with five tines, and of a fquare form as at moft o-
thex places. But zt Whitfield, near Sir Thomtti Tippings, I fav^ a
great weighty triangular Harrow, whofe tines ftood not in rows
after the manner of others, its ufe being in ground much fubjeft to
Quitch-grafs, whofe roots itfeems continually pafiing between the
tines of other Harrows, are not fo eafily dragged forth by them, as
this, whofe /iwcs-ftand not in rows, and is drawn with one of the
Angles fore-moft, after the manner of a Wedge : Yet 1 could not
find it anfwer'd expeftation fo well as to obtain in other places,
moft thinking the ^Tf^/y^/z^re Bull harrow, drawn by the fecond

™ On light Land fome count the treading of double Cattle advantagioustoit.


azj.8 The Natural Hiflory

hull on the near fide o^ the harrow ^ to take the Grafs much better
than that.

78. But the worft ground to harrow of all others is new hroken
Land^ the parts of its furrows being commonly fo faft knit to-
gether by the roots of the grafs, that though great charge and
trouble be aftorded \nl\\t harrovp'ing^ yet after all it will notfo
differfe the Ccrn^ but that it will come up as it fell, thick and in
ranks between the /MrroiTi', and fcarce any where elfe. To pre-
vent th-feinconveniencies. the Ingenious Mr, Sacheverel, late of
Bo/fcot, deceafed, contrived a way of ijoTriw^ the cartbhom the
turf as foon as a little dryed, thereby firft laying his ground even
and then fowing it; by which means hisyee^not only fell and
came up equally difperft in all parts alike, but he found that a
quantity confiderably lefs, did this way ferve the turn. Which
£x/eriOTf/7/ he often made with good approbation, the charge of
howing not exceeding that of harrowing^ which without it muft
be great, whereas after it, one crofs tine covers the Corn well e-

79. After harrowing, if It hath been fo dry a time, that the
ground has rifen in clods that cannot be broken with harrows, they
comm.only do it with a heetle, or higfiick *• But a much quicker
way is that I met with about Biffeter by a weighty Roll^ not cut
round, huto^angular, the edges whereof meeting with the clcds^
would break them effectually, and with great expedition. I was
Die wed alfo at Bolfcot another uncommon Rollj invented by the
fame Mr. Sacheverel above-mentioned, cut neither finooth nor to
angles^ but notched deep and pretty broad, after the manner of
a Ttfellaox Lattice^ fo that the protuberant parts remained al-
moft as big as the foot of a Horfe^ by which being large and weigh-
ty, he could fo firmly prefs his light Land fubjeft to Quich-grafs
and other weeds, and fo fettle the roots of the Corn, that it would
come up even and well ; whereas if it had been left hollow^ it
would certainly have been choaked, and came to little ; He affert-
ed, that it alfo excelled a fmooth Roll, efpecially if the Seafon
proved dry and windy, in that, when a Field is rolled fmooth,
the windh apt to blow the Earth from the Corn, whereas by this
the ground is laid fo uneven and full of holes, like Chequer-work,
that what the wind blows from the ridges, ftill falls into the hollows
between them, and on the contrary gives the Corn the better root.

80. I have


So. 1 have heard of another fort of Roi/^ of a large diametet,
and weighty, fet the whole length with edged plates of ^ee/, pro-
minent from the body of the i?c// about an inch and half; thus
contrived for the quicker cutting of turf, which drawn firftone
way, and crofs again at right angles^ cuts the turf into fquares, in
bignefs proportionable tothediftanceof the edged J^lates on the
i?o//, requiring no farther trouble afterward, then to be pared
oft' the ground with a turfing Spade^ which feems to promife well
for the cutting out of Trenches^ Drains, ifrc But this I have not
feen, nor has it that I know of, been yet experimented by the in-
genious Inventor : However, I thought fit to ofter it to the confi-
deration of Improvers^ and the rather becaufe it affords me a
fmooth tranfition from the confideration of the Arable^ to the
Meddovp and Pajiure Lands,

8 1 . For the Meddove grounds of this County^ as they are numer-
ous, fo they are /"^r/i/^ beyond all^rer/erewce, for they need no o-
cher compo§l to be laid on them, than what the Floods fpontaneoufly
give them, and therefore the Reader muft not expedt any methods
or rules concerning that affair here : Ncr concerning the remedies
of annoyances, fuch as Sour-grafs^ Moffes^ Rufies, Sedges, (src. for
I find none of our meddows much troubled with them. As for
their Vp-lands, when they prepare them fox grafs^ they make them
as rich as they can with their moft fuitable/;i/y, and lay them alfo
dry to keep them from Rufies and Sedges ; if any thing boggy,
they ufually trench them ; but that proves not fufficient, for
the trenches of boggy grounds will fwell, and fill up of them-

82. To prevent which inconveniency, I know an ingenious
Husbandman, that having dug his trenches about a yard deep and
two foot over, firfl laid at the bottom green Blackrthorn buflies,
and on them a Jlratum of large round ftones, or at leaft fuch as
would not lie clofe ; and over them again, 2inother /iratum of Black::
thorn, 2ind upon them /iraw, to keep the dirt from falling in be-
tween, and filling them up: by which means he kept his trench
open, and procured fo conftant and durable a drain^ that the land
isfincefunka foot or 18 inches, and become firm enough to fup-
port carriages.

83. As for the Grafjes fown in this County, I have little more
to add concerning them, but what was faid before in the Chapter

I i ' of

250 T^he ih(jitural Hijlory

of Plarits, only that it has been found moil agreeable that SanSI-
foin, Ray-grafs^isrc. benotfown prefently afcer the^dir/)', OatSt
or whatever other Gr^iw it be fowed svith, but rather after the
Corn is come pretty high, fo that it may ftielter the fetd from the
heat of the vSi/w, which, as is apprehended at leaft, is fomtimes
prejudicial. And that in the Chihern Country^ after they have
eaten oft' their Ray-grafs or San6i-join^ they find it advantagious
to fbU It with Sheef^ as other Corn-Ian Js : which 1 thought good
to note, 'it being, as I am informed, but lately praSifed.

84. Amongft Arts that concern formation of Earths^ I (liall
not mention the making of Pots 2.tMarfi-Balden^ and Nuneham-
Courtney ; nor of Tobacco-pipes of the V/hite-earth of Shot-over,
fince thofe places are now deferted. Nor indeed was there, that
I ever heard of, any thing extraordinary performed during the
working thofe Earths^ nor is there now of a very good Tobacco-
pipe Clay ^o\md in the V^nCnofHor/fath^ fince the Printing of the
third" G/'dt/'/i^r of this Hijiory. Let it futiice for things of this
nature^ that the ingenious John Dwight, M. A. o^ Chrijl Church
College Oxon. hath difcovered the myfiery o^ the ftone or Co-
logne W^tes (fuchas D' Alva Bottles^ Jugs, Noggins^ heretofore
made only in Germany, and by the Dutch brought over into En-
gland in great quantities, and hath fet up a manufa^ure of the
fame, which (by methods ^ind. contrivances of his own, altogether
unlike thofe ufed by the G^n/z^f/y) in three or four years time he
hath brought it to a greater perfeftion than it has attained where
it hath been ufed for many Ages, infomuch that the Company of
Gla/s-fellers, London, who are the dealers for that commodity, have
contrafted with the /;2z/e«/or to buy only of his Englijb manufa-
Hure, and refufe the foreign.

85. He hath difcovered alfo the my{iery of the He ffian wares,
and makes VeiTels for reteining the penetrating Salts and Spirits
of the Chymijls, more ferviceable than were ever made in England,
or imported from Germany it felf.

86. And hath' found out ways to make an £r2r/^ white and
tranfparentas/'rrc<?//^«e, and not diftinguifliable from it by the
Eje, or by Experiments that have been purpofely made to try
wherein they difagree. To this Earth he hath added the colours
that are ufual in the coloured China-ware, and divers others not
feen before. The (kill that hath been wanting to fet up a manufa-


6jure of this tranfparent Earthen-ware in England-) like that df
China^ is the glazing of the white Earth., which hath much puz-
zel'd the Proje^or, but now that difficulty alfo is in great meafure

87. He hath alfo caufed to be modelled Statues or Figures of
the faid tranfparent Earth (a thing not done elfewhere, for China
affords us only imperfefl: mouldings) which he hath diverfified
with great variety of colours^ making them of the colours o^ Iron,
Copper-, Brafsj zndpar ty -colour' d, as fome Achat-ftones. The con-
fiderations that induced him to this attempt, were xht Duration
of this hard burnt £^r//' much above ^rj/5, or marble, againft all
Air and Weather ; and the foftnefs of the matter to be modelled,
which makes it capable of more curious work, t\\^[^fiones that are
wrought with chifels, or metals that are caft. In iliort, he has fo
far advanced the Art Plafiick.,th^t 'tis dubious whether any man
fince Prometheus have excelled him, not excepting the famous Da-
mophilus, and Gorgafu^ of Pliny ".

88. And thefe Arts he employs about materials of Englifi
growth, and not much applyed to other ufes ; for inftance, He
makes the ftone Bottles of a Claj in appearance like to Tobacco-pipe
clay-, which will not make Tobacco-pipes, though the Tobacco-pipe
clay will make Bottles ; fo that, that which hath lain buryed and
ufelefs to xht Owners, may become beneficial to them by reafon of
this manufa^ure, and many working hands get good livelyhoods ;
not to fpeak of the very confiderabley^m of EngUflj Coyn annual-
ly kept at home by it.

89. About Nettle-bed they make a fort o^brick^o very ftrong,
that whereas at moft other places they are unloaded by hand, I
have feen thefe fhot out of the Cart after the manner of Jlones to
mend the ///^/)-Tr^_;j, and yet none of them broken ; but this I
fuppofe muft be rather afcribed to the nature of the Claj, than to
the skill 0^ the Artificer m making or burning them, and (liould
therefore have been mentioned in the Chapter of Earths.

90. At Caverflam, near the Right Worftiipful Sir Anthony
Cravens (and at fome other places) they make a fort of brick.
22 inches long, and above fix inches broad, which fome call
Lath-brich, by reafon they are put in the place of the Laths or
Spars (fupported by /^i//^ri) in (7j/?i for drying w/W/, which is

» Ujt.mft. lib. ■>,<,. cap. 11.

li 2 the

25Z The ^^{j^tural Hijlory

the only ufe of them, and in truth I think a very good one too ;
for befidethat they are no way liable lofire, as the wooden Laths
are, they hold the heat fo much better, that being once heated^ a
fmall matter of /re will keep them fo, which are valuable advan-
tages in the Profeffwn of Maulting.

9 1 . And which brings me to the Arts relating to Stone, they
have lately alfo about Burford^ made their Maiilt kjlls of fione ;
the firft of them being contrived after an accident by /re, by Va-
lentine Strongs an ingenious Mafon of Teynton^ much after the
manner of thole of brick., which for the benefit of other Coun-
ties where they are not known, I have caufed to be delineated fo
far forth at leaft, as may be direftion enough to an ingenious
Work-man, in Tab. 13. Fig. 1,2. whereof the firft F/^wre (liews
the front of fuch a Kill, and the Letters

a. The Kill bole.

b. TheVWhrsthatfupport the principal ]oi{\:s.

c. The /loping avpay of the in fide of the Oaft.

d. Tbe ends of the ]o\?is.

e. The /paces between tbe Joifts/or the Laths.

And the fecond Figure, the fquare above, immediatly fupporting
the Oa/i-hair ^nd the Mault, wherein the Letters

f f fiew the Flame- ftone.

g g. The Pillars on which the principal Joifts lie.

h h. The principal ]oii\is.

i i. T^e^or/er Joifts.

k k. The Laths between the Joifts.

1 1. The (faces between //^e Laths.

Which firft Kill of Valentine Strong, built after this manner in
Jione^ fucceeded fo well, that it hath fince obtained in many o-
ther places ; nor do I wonder at it, for befide the great fecurity
from fire, to which the old Kills were very fubjeft, thefe alfo dry
the maultwkh much lefs fuel, and in a (bortertime, than the old
ones would do ; infomuchthat I was told by one Mr. Trindar, an
ingenious Gentleman of Wejl-well, who fliewed me a fine one of
his own at Holwell, that whereas he could formerly dry with the
ordinary TTi// hut two Quarters inaday, he can now dry fix, and
with as UtikfueL Now if Mault-kill^ or Oa/is made with ordi-

of XFO %p^S H1%E, 253

mryfipne prove foadvantagious, what would one of them do, if
\\\tJo'ifts and Laths at leaft vrere made of the Cornijh \t arming- jiom^
that will hold heat well eight or ten hours ? or of Spani/h Ruggi^
o/^'s, which are broad//^/ej like tiles, cut out of a Mountain of
red fait near Cardona^ which being well heated on both fides, will
keep warm 24 hours"?

92. To which may be added xXxt Invention of making G/jj^es-
of ftones^ and fome other materials^ at Henly upon Thames^ lately
brought into England by Seignior de Co^a a Montferratees, and car-
ryed on by one Mr. Raven/crofts who has a Patent for the fole
making them ; and lately by one Mr. BiJJjop. The materials they
ufed formerly were the blacked Flints calcined, and a white Chri-
Jlalline fand, adding to each pound of thefe^ as it was found by
folution of their whole mixture, by the ingenious Dr. Ludwell
Fellow of Wadham College^ about two ounces of A'i/fr, Tartar^ and

93. But the Glaffes made of thefe being fubjeft to that unpar-
donable fault called Cr/^e///>7g', cauled by the two great quanti-
ties of the Salts in the mixture, which either by the adventitious
Niter o^ the Air from without, or warm liquors put in them,
would be either increafed or difolved ; and thereby indure a Sca-
brities or dull roughnefs, irrecoverably clouding the tranfparency
of the glafs - they havechoien rather fince to make their glaffes
of .a great fort of white /'f/'/'/fj, which as I am informed they
have from the River Po in Italy ; to which adding the aforemen-
tioned /j//5, but abating in t\\t proportions, they now make a fort
of Pebble glafs^ which are hard, durable, and whiter than any
from Venice, 'and will not Crixef but endure the fevereft trials
whatever, to be known from the former by a Seal fet purpofely
on them.

94. And yet I guefs that the dift'erence, in refpeft o^Crizeling^
between the prefent Gla/s and the former, lies not fo much in the
Calx, the Pebbles being Pyrites (none but fuch I prefume being fie
for vitrification^ as well as the Flints; but rather wholly in the j-
batement of the falts, for there are fome of the Flint glaffes ftritl:-
ly fo called (whereof I have one by me) that has endured all try-
alsas well as thefe/j/?. But if it be found other wife, that vehite
Pe^Z'/ej are really fitter for their turns thzn black. Flints, I think

• See Mr. IViUtighby's Voyage through Spain, p. 471.


254- ^'^^ J^atural Hijlory

they have little need to fetch them from Italy ^ there being enough
in England of the fame kind, not only to fiipply //»/?, but per-
haps Foreign Nations, Which is all concerning Arts relating to

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