« PreviousContinue »
stant and unwearied a patron of science, of all kinds, as Sir Joseph Banks.
In return for the civility which Mr. Young experienced, he endeavours not only to give a true account of the fertility of Lincolnshire, but to exhibit its picturesque beauties; which, he contends, have not had justice done to them. He does not deny that its climate is insalubrious, and he confesses that it is a rich rather than a beautiful county: yet he observes that, upon the whole, it is a better county than general ideas have permitted some to consider it.'.
1 viewed specimens, which ought to retrieve the county from the condemnations I have heard. About Belton, there are fine views from the Tower on Belmont ; Lynn, and the Norfolk cliffs are visible, Nottingham castle, the Vale of Belvoir, &c. And in going by the Clift-towns to Lincoln, there are many fine views. From Fullbeck to Leadenham, especially at the latter place, there is a most rich prospect over the Vale of the Trent, to the distant lands that bound it. These views over an extensive vale are striking, and of the same features are those from the Cliff road, to the north of Lincoln, to Kirton, where is a great view both east and west to the Wolds, and also to Nottinghamshire. Near Gainsborough there are very agreeable scenes; from the plantation of H. Dalton, Esq. at Knaith, and from the Chateau battery of Mr. Hutton, at Burton, the view of the windings of the Trent, and the rich level plain of meadow, all alive with great herds of cattle, bounded by distant hills of cultivation, are features of an agreeable country. But still more beautiful is that about Trent Fall; from Sir John Sheffield's hanging wood, and the Rev. Mr. Sheffield's ornamented walk, following the Cliff to Alk. borough, where Mr. Goulton's beautiful grounds command a great view of the three rivers. As the soil is dry, the woods lofty, and the country various, this must be esteemed a noble scenery, and a perfect contrast to what Lincolnshire is often represented by those who have seen only the parts of it, that are very different. The whole line of the Humber hence to Grimsby, when viewed from the higher Wolds, presents an object that must be interesting to all. This, with the very great plantations of Lord Yarborough, are seen to much advantage from that most beautiful building, the Mausoleum, at Brock, lesby.'
Suspecting the inaccuracy of the maps, Mr. Y, does not pretend to exactness in stating the extent of the country: but he here estimates it to contain 2888 square miles, or 1,848,320 acres; its rental, at 16s. 91d. per acre, he estimates at 1,551,1891.
Under the usual heads into which reports for the Agricultural Board are generally divided, Mr. Young has arranged a great variety of curious and interesting information. When we use the epithet curious information, we do not mean his tale about A Clergyman (see p. 11) who was obliged to leap the farmer hedges to pass to his church, and forced to box and thresh a
farmer who stopped him ;' nor that of the Lord of the Manor's right at Thong Castor (see p. 21) to whip the parson in his pulpit on Whitsunday; nor that about the female clerk setting her goose in the pulpit, p. 437. At these particulars the reader will smile, and the author probably intended that he should
Even briefly to notice all the facts and details which particularly merit attention, in this report, would carry us beyond our limits. Had we space, we should select what the author mentions under the title Property in p. 17, and again, in p. 19.'; as also his Description of Sir Joseph Banks's library, or Office, at Reevesby Abbey, p. 20.-the observations on stucco, especially the general datum on which this operation should be conducted, viz. that it is the property of caustic lime coming in contact with flint to crystalize,' p, 24.-on the new way of tiling, p. 34-the excellent reasoning against small farms, p. 39.-on commutation of tithe, p, 55.-on poor-rates, p. 57. -on letting leases, p. 59-on the failure of wheat sown after barley, p. 97.-on the drill husbandry as a general practice, p. 141. on the benefit of potatoes as preparatory to corn, p. 144.-on the culture and manufacture of woad, as practised by Mr. Cartwright, p. 149, &c.-on parsley, cultivated as an artificial grass, p. 170.-on making hay, p. 195.-on the propriety of abandoning the use of hay seeds (containing the seeds of all manner of weeds) when laying down to grass, p. 207.- the short remarks on gardens and orcharde, p. 212, and the judicious observations of Sir Cecil Wray on his plantations, p. 213.-on the objection to wastes, as nourishing a bad race of people, p. 223.-the liberal proposal of Sir Joseph Banks respecting the inclosure of East and West Widmore fens, p. 233; and his experiment to ascertain the principle of Mr. Elkington's mode of draining, p. 243, &c.-on sticklebacks used as manure, p. 259.-and on the burning of dry straw on land for the same purpose, p. 267.-and on the practice of warping in Lincolnshire, p. 277. which is a mode of raising land, and making soil, by letting in water, suffering it to deposit its sediment, and then letting it off. This last is mentioned as a most important improvement, worthy the attention of other counties.
Though we can only hint at these particulars, and are totally silent on many others, we will not quit this part of the volume without suffering the author to speak for himself on the great utility of the Lincolnshire drainages:
There is not probably a county in the kingdom that has made equal exertions in this very important work of draining. The quantity of land thus added to the kingdom, has been great ; fens of water, mud, wild fowl, frogs, and agues, have been converted to rich
pasture and arable, worth from 20s. to 40s. an acre. Health improved, morals corrected, and the community enriched. These, when carried to such an extent, are great works, and reflect the highest credit on the good sense and energy of the proprietors. Without going back to very remote periods, there cannot have been less than 150,000 acres drained and improved, on an average, from 5. an acre to 255.; or a rental created of £.150,000 a year. But suppose it only £100,000, and that the profit has on an average been received during the period of thirty years; the rental has in that time amounted to three millions, and the produce to near ten; and when, with the views of a political arithmetician, we reflect on the circulation that has attended this creation of wealth through industry; the number of people supported; the consumption of manufactures; the shipping employed; the taxes levied by the state; and all the classes of the community benefited; the magnitude and importance of such works will be seen; and the propriety well understood of giving all imaginable encouragement and facility to their execution. These are the results of that government which so many, living and fatten ing under its protection, wish to exchange or hazard, for speculative legislation of a more popular cast. Early in the days of republican France, decrees issued for draining marshes; I do not ask, what progress has been made? But I would demand, if any drainages equal to this have been executed in that kingdom during a century? From Bourdeaux to Bayonne, in one of the finest climates of Europe, nearly all is marsh. What Frenchman has been so actuated by the blessings of republican security, as to lay out one louis on that or any other marsh or bog? These undertakings prove the reliance of a people on the secure possession of what their industry creates ; and had it not been for common-rights, all England would long ago have been cultivated and improved; no cause preserves our wastes in their present state, but the tenderness of government in touching private property. A farming traveller must examine this country with a cold heart, who does not pray for the continuance of a system of legislation which has tended so powerfully to adorn, improve, and culzivate the country, and to diffuse prosperity and happiness through the whole society.'
In the chapter on Live Stock, containing more than 100 pages, the information is abundant; and it is valuable, because facts are given, with few comments. On the agitated question of the comparison of the new Leicester with the Lincoln breed of sheep, Mr. Young guards his readers against private interest, prejudice, and the habits of mankind. He observes, in general,
The new Leicesters are spreading very rapidly over the county, probably faster than they have done in any other, one or two only excepted, which may be attributed to the general goodness of the soil; for this breed makes a much more respectable figure than it has done in various trials made in countries inferior to it in soil; and the breed driving out the Lincoln so much as it has done in the poorer parts of
this county, is a fact that unites with this circumstance. The true Lincoln is a larger sheep, and with a longer wool, and therefore demands better pasturage; where it finds such, there the old breed remains; subject, perhaps, to little more change than fashion may cause. Upon inferior land the Leicester establishes itself; and upon land still inferior in other counties, experiments prove unsuccessful for the same reason; that of the necessity of having a smaller size and shorter wool?
In p. 330, an idea is thrown out concerning the rot in sheep, that they took the rot only in the morning, before the dew was well off the ground.
In p. 377, we are told that Mr. Cartwright has discovered that common groundsel, given plentifully to horses in the stable, will cure greasy heels.' Would not any succulent vegetable, given plentifully, produce the same effect? He also mentions Mr. Fisher of Kirkby, who has a good breed of pigs, and fattens them on boiled linseed mixed with barley-meal, and finds it answer very well.'
The article Poultry is short. It mentions only Geese, of which such great numbers are raised in Lincolnshire. Respecting them, a few lines suffice:
Geese plucked five times a year; at Pinchbeck it is at Lady-day, Midsummer, Lammas, Michaelmas, and Martinmas. The feathers of a dead goose worth 6d., three giving a pound. But plucking alive does not yield more than 3d. a head per annum. Some wing them only every quarter, taking ten feathers from each goose, which sell at 5s. a thousand. Plucked geese pay in feathers 15. a head in Wildmore Fen.?
Mr. Young has been attentive in collecting the different prices of Labour, and has exhibited them in a table; also the prices of Provisions.
The Roads in this county, taken in general, the author pronounces to be below par; and the report is as little flattering under the article Manufactures.
The section in which the condition of the Poor is discussed contains some judicious remarks by the worthy Major Cartwright; followed by an excellent observation from the Reporter; Men are apt to complain heavily of poor's-rates in many counties, yet take no steps to remedy them. One great means of keeping rates down is increasing benevolently the comforts of the poor.' P. 411.
We are sorry to find a bad account of the Women of Lincolnshire; who are said to be very lazy, and to do nothing but bring children and eat cake. The men milk their cows. P. 413. It is observed, however, that
It is impossible to speak too highly in praise of the cottage system pf Lincolnshire, where land, gardens, cows, and pigs, are so general in
the hands of the poor. Upon views only of humanity and benevo lence, it is gratifying to every honest heart to see that class of the people comfortable, upon which all others depend. This motive alone ought to operate sufficiently to make the practice universal through the kingdom. But there are also others that should speak powerfully to the feelings even of the most selfish. Wherever this system is found, poor's-rates are low; upon an average of the county, they do not amount to one-third of what is paid in Suffolk; and another ohject yet more important, is the attachment which men must inevitably feel to their country, when they partake thus in the property of it. It would be easy to expatiate on such topics, and indeed they can hardly be dwelt upon too much. But the great object which ought to employ every heart and hand, is to devise the means of rendering the system universal. This comes with peculiar propriety within the scope of the Board of Agriculture; nor do I see the use of surveying the whole kingdom, and attempting to discover every local circumstance that merits attention, if measures are not founded on the knowledge thus gained; if the Board does not follow such clues, or sift such subjects to the bottom, nor ascertain the best means of rendering universal, systems which have so much to recommend them.'
These ideas suggest a system much preferable to that well meant, but not perhaps well-considered, plan of making the earth groan under immense Poor-Houses, called Houses of Industry. The account given of them in Mr. Y.'s Survey of Suffolk is sufficient to make any man of sense doubt the propriety of the practice. The Poor will neither be improved nor be made grateful by being crowded together, like invalids or culprits, in large buildings, by whatever name they may be called. Let them appear as members of the community, and not as dissevered parts.
This agricultural survey concludes with a section on Religion; in which the author seriously and commendably reprobates the general neglect of public worship, and urges the observance of the Sabbath as conducive to cleanliness, order, and virtue.
Of the contents of a short Appendix, the chief is Major Cartwright's account of an oiled canvas covering for corn-stacks, with a letter to him from Mr. Gower, explaining the mode practised in China in preparing canvas, silk, &c.
The volume contains a map of the soil of Lincolnshire, and various other maps and plates.
ART. XIII. Contributions to Physical and Medical Knowledge, principally from the West of England, collected by Thomas Beddoes, M. D. 8vo. pp. 539. 85. Boards. Longman and Rees. 1799. T is the object of Dr. Beddoes, in this collection, to combine and preserve many valuable facts, which might be lost to the