Picture of Arthur Young

Arthur Young


places mentioned

1st to 10th July 1776: Westmeath, Carlow, King's and Queen's Counties

Next Selection Previous Selection

July 1st, left Slaine, taking the road towards Kells. Called at Gibbstown, where Mr. Gerard has one of the most considerable farms in the country. He very kindly shewed me it, and explained the management. His bullocks he buys in 0ctober at 10l. each, and sells them in summer with 4l. profit: the cows in may at 5l. 10s. and sells them before winter from 30 to 40s. profit. He mows 100 acres of hay for the sheep and bullocks, and keeps good after-grass besides. The bullocks in winter have nothing but hay and grass, and are always in the fields, there being no such thing in this country as foddering yards for winter seeding. Two bullocks require three acres. The fields being generally large, a proportion of stock is thrown to each, which are left to fat; but if any do not seem to thrive well, they are drawn from them and put into better food. The sheep Mr. Gerard buys in 0ctober, three years old wethers, at 25s. he begins to sell in april, and by august they are generally gone at about 35s. on an average. Fatting, in this manner, he thinks more advantageous than ewes and lambs. The winter sheep have hay in bad weather. The best cattle come from Galway, Mayo, and Roscommon. Mr. Gerard thinks the cross of the English breed in Ireland has done good, except in the hides, which are much thinner from them. A good hide is worth 3 or 4l. but in common from 30 to 40s. The soil of this neighbourhood is, most of it, a dry stoney loam, which wants no draining; and whenever red clover is sown and left, the white comes in perfect sheets, but the bottoms are strong land, wet and bad. All the dry lands would do perfectly well for turnips; Mr. Gerard tried them, and got fine crops, but the poor stole them in car loads, which made him leave off the practice. Under the boggy bottoms there is a very fine white marle, of a sort I have not seen in England; it is under four feet of black bog, and lies in a stratum, 14 feet thick, on blue gravel; it is always found under the black, not the red bog; it cuts with turf spades, quite like white butter, but in the air falls into a sandy powder to appearance: It is uncommonly light in the hand, and has a very great effervescence with acids, as I tried. Mr. G. has marled 100, acres, and found the benefit immense. Lays 2 or 300 barrels an acre, and always on tillage. He has made many covered drains with stones, the effect of which is great; and he has his fields fenced in the most perfect manner by deep ditches, high banks, and well planted hedges. One third of the county of Meath, he thinks, is let to sub-tenants; a farm of 1100 acres near him is so, and does not produce a tythe of what it ought to do. For stocking, &c. a grazing farm of 1000 acres, 2000l. does; 3000l. would do it well. Corn-acres are common here, which is to let the land for 3l. 15s. to 4l. an acre to the poor for three or four crops; who generally sow oats, but sometimes wheat.

REACHED Lord Bective's in the evening, through a very fine country, particularly that part of it, from which is a prospect of his extensive woods. No person could with more readiness give me every sort of information than his lordship. The improvements at Headfort must be astonishing to those who knew the place 17 years ago; for then there were neither building, walling, nor plantations; at present almost every thing is created necessary to form a considerable residence. The house and offices are new built; it is a large plain stone edifice. The body of the house 145 feet long, and the wings each 180. The hall is 31 by 24, and 17 high. The saloon of the same dimensions, on the left of which is a dining room 48 by 24, and 24 high. From the thickness of the walls, I suppose it is the custom to build very substantially here. The grounds fall agreeably in front of the house, to a winding narrow vale, which is filled with wood, where also is a river, which Lord Bective intends to enlarge; and on the other side the lawn spreads over a large extent, and is every where bounded by fine plantations. To the right, the town of Kells picturesquely situated, among groups of trees, with a fine waving country and distant mountains; to the left, a rich tract of cultivation. The plantations are numerous, more thriving I have no where seen; the larch, spruce, and beech, exceed the rest, but the bark of all is clear, and there cannot be a better sign of a tree's health and vigour. His Lordship transplants oaks 20 feet high without any danger, they appear to thrive perfectly well, but he takes up a large ball of earth with the roots. He confirmed what had been mentioned to me before, that the way to make our own firs equal to foreign, is to cut them in june, and directly to lay them in water for three or four months. This was done by his father 35 years ago, and the buildings raised of them are now fully equal to those built of Norway fir. Besides these numerous plantations, considerable mansion, and an incredible quantity of walling, his lordship has walled in 26 acres for a garden and nursery, and built six or seven very large pineries, each 90 feet long. He has built a farm-yard 280 feet square, surrounded with offices of various kinds.

His idea is not that of farming , but improving the lands about the house for beauty, and for preserving the plantations; if let, they would be destroyed. Other lands he keeps to bring into order for re-letting. He applies his grass to fattening cows, which he buys in may, from 3l. 15s. to 4l. 10s. and in five or six months sells them, with 35s. or 40s. profit. His mules are 16 or 17 hands high, and he finds them of incomparable use: they are in their prime at 20 years old, and good even at 35; he has had them 16 years, and in that time, with the work they have done, would have worn out three sets of horses, besides being kept upon less food. Of hay he gets 17 or 18 load an acre of 4 cwt. In the breed of his cattle, Lord Bective is very attentive: he sent into Craven for a prime bull, and got one, which cost 36 guineas at a year old, and is indeed a very fine beast. This is the breed, which from much experience he prefers, as well for milking as for fattening. The Holderness he has tried, (having a fine bull of it,) but is determined to have nothing more to do with them: the flesh is black and coarse; and though they give more milk than the others, yet it will not make a quantity of butter proportioned. The common cow of the country is as good as any for mere milking.

ALL Lord Bective's gates are iron, which cost him 5l. 5s. and as wooden ones come to 3l. 3s. he finds them the greatest improvement. In his tillage he pursues the practice of the country, which is, 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat. 3. Oats. 4. Oats, but does not take the last crop of oats. He limes 160 barrels an acre on his fallow, but the common quantity is only 80, by means of which, and better husbandry, he has 10 barrels an acre of wheat, and 20 of oats; while the common crops are seven of the one, and 12 of other. Marle he has found an excellent manure for dry soils.

THE general rent of the neighbourhood 20s. Of the whole county 18s. 6d. Land sells at 21 years purchase at rack rent. The cottars plant great quantities of potatoes, giving for rent 4l. 10s. the crop from 70 to 100 barrels. This culture has increased 20 fold within 20 years. All the hogs in the country are fattened on them half boiled. In july, august, and september, they have great numbers of Connaught labourers; they are called spalpeens: spal , in Irish, is a scythe, and peen a penny; that is, a mower for a penny a day, the case 80 years ago.

LORD Bective's father was one of the greatest improvers I have heard of. He bought 10,000 acres of bog and rough land in the county of Cavan, much of it at the rent of only 20d. an acre: he drained and improved the bog, though a red one, divided it, and brought it to be such good land, that it is now 15s an acre; part of it was dry rocky land, which he divided by walls.

JULY 3d, took my leave of Lord Bective, and went to Druestown, the seat of Barry Barry, Esq; but as I was not fortunate enough to find him at home, I could only observe in general, that he had a large lawn very well laid down to grass, and had made a pretty lake with a shrubbery on the banks of it. About this neighbourhood all the good land is applied to grazing, and lets from 25 to 35s. an acre, the rest 20s. But towards Fore I passed by much that was greatly inferior, for when laid down, (that is left to itself) no white clover, or very little came, and it seemed quite uninclosed; yet this I found was at 14 or 15s. I observed here that the cottars were not so well cloathed as hitherto.

REACHED Packenham-hall, pleasantly situated, with much old wood about it, where Lord Longford received me with the most friendly attention, and gave me very valuable information. For the following particulars of the neighbouring husbandry I am obliged to him. Farms rise from 20 to 100l. a year, in general 60 or 80l. but few larger. The soil heavy loam eight or nine inches deep upon from 12 to 18 inches of yellow till , under which, lime-stone gravel 10 feet deep on rock, also dry sound gravel, lets from 15 to 20s. Average rent of the county of Westmeath, exclusive of waste, 9s. including it 7s. The courses of crops most common:

1 Potatoes 1 Potatoes
2 Bere 2 Flax
3 Oats 3 Oats
4 Oats 4 Oats
5 Oats 5 Oats

and oats longer if the land will bear it, even till they do not get three barrels an acre, and then leave it to cover itself. Among the better farmer; 1. Fallow manured with lime-stone gravel. 2. Wheat or bere. 3. Oats. 4. Oats.

THEY sow one barrel of wheat, and get seven per acre; sow one and a half of bere, and get 15 or 16; of oats one and a half, the crop 10 or 11 at first, and decreases every year till nothing but weeds. The cottars all sow flax on patches of land, dress and spin it, it is woven in the country for their own use, besides some sold in yarn. The little farmers keep no sheep. The chief improvements of wastes are the bottoms adjoining to the bogs, which they drain and cover with gravel or earth, that produce good potatoes. No other way of laying land to grass, than sowing red clover and leaving it. Meadows for the year let from 3 to 4l. an acre, merely for the hay, upon which they get 10 load an acre. Grass mostly applied to fattening cows, which they buy in may at 4l. and sell in november at 6l. one acre of good land will fat them, but if not good one and a half. Milch cows give two or three gallon's of milk a day, and yield 40s; produce per year by butter and calf. Fed in winter with oat-straw, and hay. An ox hide, if it weighs 100lb. 3d. per lb. if not, 2d. halfpenny. A cow hide 2d. halfpenny if above 60lb. if less, 2d. Dearer than they were. The tillage is all done with horses, use four in a plough, and stir better than half an acre a: day. The price with harrowing 10s. an acre. The depth six inches; for winter corn they lay the lands in round ridges four or five feet broad. Keeping a horse the summer at grass 1l. 10s. The hire of a car, horse, and driver, 10d. a day. In hiring and stocking farms, they will take one of 50 acres, without any thing but four horses and six cows, depending for food upon what they bring; for labour upon themselves; and the cottars that come with them; and make none or scarcely any profit. Land sells at 21 years purchase rack rent; rents have fallen 25 per cent. since 1770. In 1768, 1769, and 1770, they were much above their value. Tythes are compounded, wheat, bere and barley 7s. oats 5s. meadow 2s. sheep 3d. No tea drank. Leases common are, 31 years to catholics, and three lives to protestants. Great part of the country let to middle men, who relet it to sub-tenants, generally with a profit greater than they pay the landlord. Carry their corn to the mill of Carrick five miles off. Rents of cabbins 20 to 25s. with a rood of ground, if land with it, which is generally the case, they pay 30s. an acre. For grazing a cow 25s. and for a horse 30s. No emigrations. Twenty to one of the lower people roman catholics.

EXPENCE of building a cabbin 40s. and for a farm of 50 acres 5l. They will hire farms and take all the buildings upon themselves. Both cottars and little farmers are in a worse situation than they were 20 years ago. All of them have turf for firing, and one week's labour in a year will supply a cabbin. Cutting turf 3d. a kish or cubical yard. A ditch six feet wide, and five deep, 20d. In burning lime, a kish of turf burns two barrels of lime. Sells at the kiln at 6d. a barrel.

Among Lord Longford's farms in this country are the following:

. Let .
276 acres,   75 rent, 1736 worth now 250
410     112   ditto   410
242   } 70 ditto   240
150 bog  
600   } 118 ditto   600
400 bog  
150     49   ditto   140
122     41   ditto   100
270     95   ditto   270
330     100   ditto   100
377     334   1773   334
60     16   1739   40
383     150   1749   300
655   } 225 ditto   700
1500 bog  
303     121   1750   300
325     236   ditto   320
457     186   1756   400

From which table may be seen the comparative value of lands in 40 years: it has more than doubled in 30.

GRASS land, gravelled, will let to the poor at 5l. for potatoes. Very good old grass, without any manure, 4l. 4s. and as much more for the second year for flax: after that, would yield 3l. for oats, and they will give 5l. for dunged stubble for potatoes. The expences, per acre, as follow:

. s. d.
Rent 5 0 0
Four barrels of feed, 1 0 0
Planting, 3 0 0
Taking up 1 10 0
  10 10 0

The crop 80 barrels. Prime cost 2s. 6d.

LORD Longford has some black bottom land, as it is called here, partially drained 10 or 12 years ago, some of it tolerably dry: other parts so wet, that a beast can scarcely venture on if with safety. One part is a reddish bog, three feet deep, which 12 years ago was burned a foot deep, and at the same time open drains made ten feet wide at top, and seven deep, the bog being formed by the drains into beds forty feet wide. The spontaneous rubbish heath chiefly, which is now coming fast again, but it never has been cultivated; where the fires were made are spots of fine white clover. This land at present would let for nothing, but it is highly improveable. His Lordship has had two acres and an half of turnips on it, and the crop was exceedingly good: he has always remarked in burning, that wherever there were many ashes, there are sure to be good turnips. The two acres and an half kept seven bullocks, each 8cwt. and sixty sheep, three months. On four acres of the same sort, he has now a crop of turnips sown; it was drained ten years ago. This summer he dug it over, levelled it, and burnt the spit in great heaps: this digging costs 3l. 10s. an acre; the burning 1l. It was harrowed with bullocks, which, with feed, &c. he reckons 10s. in all 5l. an acre, which expence he knows by experience is repaid by the turnips. In harrowing, if a bullock in a soft place sinks in, they flip the harness off, and set the others to drag him out by the horns, fixing the rope round the horns as in hoisting an ox into a ship. I remarked, upon this boggy bottom, a small plantation of Scotch firs, which do very well, but larch better. Willows do not thrive. A gentleman inclosed and drained four acres, which he planted with them, and they shot away for four years, but then all died. They do, however, very well in the turf itself, if the upper surface of spunge is cleared away. In improving any bogs, Lord Longford thinks the tillage should be renewed alternately with grass every six or seven years, or it will cover again with heath (erica) burning the best way.

His Lordship has tried cabbages several times, and he finds that while they last they are better than turnips, but prefers the latter on account of the short duration of the former. Limestone gravel he has tried on a large scale; lays 1000 loads an acre, at 1l. 1 0s. expence, if it is in the field. The effect is prodigious wherever it is laid. On a bare rocky spot in the front of the house, where the earth had been cleared away, and there was no vegetation but of weeds; some gravel was spread, and it brought up an exceeding thick coat of white and red clover. It is also infallible in destroying moss.

JULY 4th, Lord Longford carried me to Mr. Marly, an improver in the neighbourhood, who has done great things, and without the benefit of such leases as protestants in Ireland commonly have. He rents 1000 acres; at first it was 20d. an acre, in the next term 5s. or 250l. a year, and he now pays 850l. a year for it. Almost the whole farm is mountain-land; the spontaneous growth heath, &c. he has improved 500 acres. His method has been to grub up the heath, and then to summer fallow it, and to manure with limestone gravel 1400 load an acre, at the expence of 2l. 2s. Upon this he sows wheat or bere, gets nine barrels an acre of wheat, and 19 of bere, then oats 12 to 15 barrels. After which he fallows again, and finishes the second or third course with red clover, sown with barley or oats after wheat. If this takes very well, he leaves it to turf itself. White clover comes as fast as the red wears out; for the first four or five years it supports only sheep; but as it improves, which it does very fast, he grazes it with black cattle. Lime he has tried instead of gravel, 160 barrels an acre at 1s. but it did not better than gravel at one-fourth the expence. In gravelling, the beginning of the pit is good for nothing; the deeper it is dug, it is so much the better. It will not do twice, but will last 8 crops, with 2 fallows. Just such an account would be given of marle in Norfolk, if they practised so bad a course of crops. Any manuring with so powerful an alcaly as marle leaves the ground after an exhausting course of crops, in much worse order than it found it. Would but the Irish farmers pursue the Norfolk system, of never letting two crops of white corn come together, they would not then find their gravel exhausted in eight crops; it would probably last 20, and in that management they might gravel again and again. He has the white light marle under boggy bottoms, and has used much of it, but does not find it answer so well as gravel.

HE is very attentive in fattening his wether sheep; he buys in October at 30s. or 32s. each, begins at christmas to seed them with bran and oats, one quart of each per diem, and continues it three months: has sold at 3l. 5s. but on an average at 40s. This he thinks better and cheaper than turnips which he has tried; but finds too dear in the expence of drawing, and if fed in the field, thinks half of them lost; the oats at 5s. 6d. a barrel; the bran at 1s.

. s. d.
90 Days oats 1l. say 3 bushels, at 5s. 6d. a barrel 0 4 1
Ditto bran 0 0 9
  0 4 10

IT was with regret I heard that the rent of a man who had been so spirited an improver, should be raised so exceedingly. He merited, for his life, the returns of his industry. But the cruel laws against the roman catholics of this country, remain the marks of illiberal barbarism. Why should not the industrious man have a spur to his industry whatever be his religion; and what industry is to be expected from them in a country where leases for lives are general amongst protestants, if secluded from terms common to every one else? What mischief could flow from letting them have leases for life? None; but much good in animating their industry. It is impossible that the prosperity of a nation should have its natural progress, where four-fifths of the people are cut off from those advantages which are heaped upon the domineering aristocracy of the small remainder.

IN conyersation with Lord Longford, I made many inquiries concerning the state of the lower classes, and found, that in some respects they were in good circumstances, in others indifferent; they have, generally speaking, such plenty of potatoes, as always to command a bellyful: they have flax enough for all their linen, most of them have a cow, and some two, and spin wool enough for their cloaths; all a pig, and numbers of poultry, and, in general, the complete family of cows, calves, hogs, poultry, and children, pig together.in the cabbin. Fuel they have in the utmost plenty; great numbers of families are also supported by the neighbouring lakes, which abound prodigiously with fish; a child with a packthread and a crooked pin, will catch perch enough in an hour for the family to live on the whole day, and his Lordship has seen 500 children fishing at the same time, there being no tenaciousness in the proprietors of the lands about a right to the fish; besides perch, there is pike upwards of five feet long, bream, tench, trout of 10lb. and as red as a salmon, and fine eels; all these are favourable circumstances, and are very conspicuous in the numerous and healthy families among them. Reverse the medal: they are ill cloathed, make a wretched appearance, and, what is worse, are much oppressed by many who make them pay too dear for keeping a cow, horse, &c. They have a practice also of keeping accounts with the labourers; contriving by that means, to let the poor wretches have very little cash for their year's work. This is a great oppression: farmers and gentlemen keeping accounts with the poor is a cruel abuse: so many days work for a cabbin—so many for a potatoe garden—so many for keeping a horse—and so many for a cow, are clear accounts which a poor man can understand, but farther it ought never to go; and when he has worked out this, the rest ought punctually to be paid him every saturday night. Another circumstance mentioned was the excessive practice they have in general of pilfering. They steal every thing they can lay their hands on—and I should remark, that this is an account which has been very generally given me: all sorts of iron, hinges, chains, locks, keys, &c.—gates will be cut in pieces, and conveyed away in many places as fast as built; trees as big as a man's body, and that would require ten men to move, gone in a night. Lord Longford has had the new wheels of a car stolen as soon as made. Good stones out of a wall will be taken for a fire-hearth, &c. though a breach is made to get at them. In short, every thing, and even such as are apparently of no use to them—nor is it easy to catch a thief; for they never carry their stolen goods home, but to some bog-hole. Turnips are stolen by car loads; and the ears of two acres of wheat pluckt off in a night. In short, their pilfering and stealing is a perfect nuisance! How far it is owing to the oppression of laws aimed solely at the religion of these people, how far to the conduct of the gentlemen and farmers, and how far to the mischievous disposition of the people themselves, it is impossible for a passing traveller to ascertain. I am apt to believe, that a better system of law and management would have good effects. They are much worse treated than the poor in England; are talked to in more opprobrious terms, and otherwise very much oppressed.

LEFT Packenham-hall. Two or three miles from Lord Longford's, in the way to Mullinger, the road leads up a mountain, and commands an exceeding fine view of Loch Derrevaragh, a noble water eight miles long, and from two miles, to half a mile, over; a vast reach of it, like a magnificent river, opens as you mount the hill. Afterwards I passed under the principal mountain, which rises abruptly from the lake into the boldest outline; the water there is very beautiful, filling up the steep vale formed by this and the opposite hills. Reached Mullingar. It was one of the fair days. I saw many cows and beasts, and more horses, with some wool: the cattle were of the same breed that I had generally seen in coming through the country.

JULY 5th, left Mullingar, which is a dirty ugly town, and taking the road to Tullamore, stopped at Lord Belvidere's, with which place I was as much struck as with any I had ever seen. The house is perched on the crown of a beautiful little hill, half surrounded with others, variegated and melting into one another. It is a most singular place; spreads to the eye a beautiful lawn of undulating ground margined with wood; single trees are scattered in some places, and clumps in others; the effect so pleasing, that were there nothing further, the place would be beautiful; but the rest of the canvas is admirably filled. Lake Ennel, many miles in length, and two or three broad, flows beneath the windows. It is spotted with islets, a promontory of rock fringed with trees shoots into it, and the whole is bounded by distant hills.

Greater and more magnificent scenes are often met with, but no where a more beautiful or a more singular one.

FROM Mullingar to Tullespace, I found rents in general at 20s. an acre, with much relet at 30s. yet all the crops, except bere, were very bad, and full of weeds. About the latter named place, the farms are generally from 100 to 300 acres, and their course, 1. Fallow. 2. Bere. 3. Oats. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. Great quantities of potatoes all the way, crops frorn forty to eighty barrels. The road before it comes to Tullamore leads through a part of the bog of Allen, which seems here extensive, and would make a noble tract of meadow. The way the road was made over it was simply to cut a drain on each side, and then lay on gravel, which, as fast as it was laid and spread, bore.the cars: along the edges is fine white clover. Part of Tullamore is well built. I passed through it to Captain Johnston's at Charleville, to whom I am indebted for the following account of the husbandry of the neighbourhood. Farms around Tullamore, are commonly 100 to 300 acres, but some smaller, and some of 5 or 600. The soil is generally a dry, found, gravelly loam, lets from 12s. to 18s. average 16s. five miles every way around. Average of land let in the whole county 15s. exclusive of bog. He thinks that one-seventh of the county is bog or mountain; but the latter pays from 1s. 6d. to 3s. The course of crops: 1. Oats on lay, sow one barrel and an half, get ten to fifteen. 2. Fallow. 3. Wheat, sow three-fourths to one barrel, get four to seven barrels. 4. Oats. And then pease sometimes added. 1. Potatoes on grass with dung, or burn-bating. 2. Bere, three-fourths of a barrel, get twelve to twenty barrels. 3. Wheat. 4. Oats. 5. Fallow. Some pare and burn for.turnips; and then potatoes at 6l. an acre rent. They are exceedingly late in sowing, not finishing their wheat and bere till after christmas. They sow rape on low grounds by the edge of bogs, upon paring and burning for seed, get twelve to fifteen barrels an acre, worth from 12s. to 20s. a barrel. They sow it on the ground without covering after ploughing, and the rougher the land the better. Sow rye after it, and then oats, getting good crops; and lay down with grass seeds from lofts, or ray grass, or clover and trefoile. For turnips or fallow plough twice or thrice, lay on no manure, nor hoe, get very bad crops. If they pare and burn they plough twice. They eat them with sheep either drawn or on the land. Very little clover. Flax is sown very generally, from small patches to three or four acres, doing the whole themselves, both spinning and weaving. About good friday is the time of sowing; but later bad. The sky farmers, that is the petty ones, let potatoe ground for it, at 6l. an acre to cottars. Great quantities of potatoes in the trenching way, and all the dung is used for them. The farmers let the poor have land for nothing, upon condition of their dunging it, which all do that have not fields of their own. They pay from 4 to 6l. dunged, or for turnip land fed with sheep, which they prefer, the potatoes being drier and better. The apple potatoe is most esteemed, because they are great bearers, last through the summer, and have been kept even two years. Not much lime used, having been tried, but has not answered; limestone gravel on lay to be broken up, has a very great effect. The expence 10 or 15s. The grass is chiefly applied to heifers, or store bullocks; the first sold in small parcels at home, the latter at Ballynasloe or Bannagher. They buy them in at a year or two years old; the first 30 to 50s. the latter from 55 to 57s. keep them a year and four or five months, sometimes only a year: in a year they will make, by the first, 25 to 30s. and from 30 to 40s. by the others. Wherever the land is good enough, a few cows are bought in for fattening, in may at 1l. 15s. to 5l. and sold with 40s. a head profit. The poor people all rear calves. Many sheep bred; the best farmers breed and sell three years old wethers fat at michaelmas, from 18 to 24s. if in the spring from 24 to 44s. Clip from 5 to 7lb. of wool. The tillage is done by oxen, four in a plough, not half an acre a day; the sky farmers sometimes will put a horse and a cow in. Oxen are reckoned best. Hire of a boy, horse and car 1s. 1d. The sky farmer will take 40 or 50 acres, with three or four cows and a horse or two, and five guineas in his pocket. Tythes are compounded, 5s, for winter corn, 3s. for spring corn, 25s. for 1000 sheep, and 5s. for mowing-ground.

LAND sells for 20 years purchase rack rent, has fallen two years purchase in seven years, and the rent from 3s. to 5s. in the same time. County cess 6d. Very few middle men left. Cottages with half an acre, let for 20s. with two acres, which are common, 40s. No emigrations. Religion of the lower classes all roman. Not one cottar in six has a cow about towns; but in the country half of them have. Most have a pig, and much poultry. They are not more thieving than extends to a few turnips and cabbages for their own use, nor that to any excess. Many of the poor have reclaimed much bog, the premiums of the Dublin society having induced them to do it; these are now 50s. an acre: they perform it by gradual draining, either from cutting turf, or making bounds, or from drains purposely done: they get to peat, and burn it four to six inches deep, at 20s. an acre, sow bere, rye, or potatoes; the bere does best, and next year another crop of corn; and then another churning, and two more crops, the potatoes are wet, but will do for seed, and they will escape the frost in a box, when they are killed in the high lands. They pay nothing for the bog, having land adjoining. They lay the improved spots down to grass, sowing seeds, but the crop is generally very thin and poor, and after a year or two, burn it again; sometimes put a little dung or gravel on the grass, and plant it with potatoes. Some have put in potatoes upon a red bog, with no other preparation, than laying a poor, sharp, sandy gravel on it, and got tolerable crops.

Mr. JOHNSTON has cultivated cabbages for several years. In 1772 he had one acre, in 1773 two and a half, and since that, between one and two acres every year; the great Scotch sort which he sows in february, and plants in four feet rows, and 18 inches from plant to plant, the beginning of june. If they are not in the ground then, the crop will not be good. Ploughs for them twice, and dungs richly in the furrows. Horse hoes twice or thrice, and hand weeds; they rise from five to 12lb. but have always began to burst in september. Has used them for fattening sheep, that would not fatten on grass; also for bullocks, which throve perfectly well. The leaves (with great care in picking) were given to milch cows, but the butter tasted. Finds that the principal use of them is for bringing on cattle that will not finish at grass, and to be used all before christmas. Barley, that has been sown upon cabbage land which succeeded potatoes, a vast crop, 24 barrels an acre. Turnips Mr. Johnston has had for these ten years, from one to four acres, and has always applied them to fattening sheep, for which purpose he finds them excellent; and best to feed in the field, because last in the ground for the sheep to bite at, provided there is some grass for them to lie on. Has deviated from the common late sowing of wheat, putting his in the beginning of september, and finds his harvest so much earlier, that his is in the haggard (reek yard) when others are cutting. His tillage he performs with only two horses. Mr. Johnston is a great friend to the Irish cars: he carries 10 to 12 cwt. of turf, three statute kishes of hard stone turf, each horse 10 turns a day, or 20 miles, and fed on grass alone.

JULY 6th went to Rathan, where Lord Shelburne has placed a Norfolk bailiff, Mr. Vancover, for the management of a farm, who brought with him a plowman, plough, harrow and tackle. The design does honour to the nobleman who formed it; and Mr. Vancover is not likely to disappoint him; he is a sensible, intelligent, active man, who went through all the manual part of farming in a seven year's apprenticeship to a great farmer in Norfolk. I found him just what I could wish, disgusted neither with the country nor the people, pleased and animated with the prospect of improvement before him, and had no doubt of success. He was going on perfectly well; ploughing off the turf of a boggy bottom, adjoining to a great bog; burning it in small heaps, and intending immediately to plough and sow turnips, of which he will have 12 acres this year, and purposes having many more the year after; he has cut some very long drains into the bog, and expects to make it excellent land, though instead of ploughing it first for burning, he must dig it; I am clear he will not be disappointed: he has a fine field to work upon, for Lord Shelburne has 4000 acres of bog here. The high parts of the farm, are a rough lime stone land, but very dry and sound; he designs in winter, grubbing the rubbish, burning all the stone into lime, and ploughing it for turnips the following year. Let me observe, that this is the right conduct of rough land, which should always be brought into turnips first, and not fallowed for wheat, as all the Irish improvers do, who follow their wheat with so many crops of spring corn, that their soil is presently exhausted. If turnips are had, dung is gained, and the land in order, which paves the way to every thing else. Too much cannot be said in praise of this undertaking of Lord Shelburne's. An opening is made to a new field in husbandry, which I foresee may prove of infinite consequence to the kingdom in general. Mr. Vancover being acquainted with several modes of improvement in England, and perfectly versed in the Norfolk husbandry, is placed with great judgment where he can exert both. Perhaps I was the better pleased with this improvement, from being instrumental in procuring his lordship the person who is executing it. Near this place is a farm of 150 acres, and 1500 bog, to be let on a lease for ever, at 130l. a year. Went from Rathan to the Glebe, a lodge belonging to Dean Coote, and from thence to Shaen castle, near Mountmellick, his residence; passed near large tracts of mountain, waste and bog; and not far from a great range of the bog of Allen. Saw but little good corn; they were burning some boggy bottoms in order to fallow for bere; but it should be for turnips.

FOR the following particulars I am indebted to the obliging attention of the dean. About Shaen castle farms of 40 or 50 acres are very common, some few rise to 3 or 400. The soil is either lime-stone, limestone gravel, or moor; lets at 13s. an acre on a medium. The course. 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat, sow one barrel, produce 5. 3. Peas, sow 3 barrel, and get 5 to 10. 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat. 3. Oats, sow two barrels, get 8 to 15. Also, 1. They burn moors for turnips: no hoeing; draw them for sheep. 2. Barley or bere, sow one barrel of bere, get 8 to 18. Sow of barley one barrel, get as much as of bere. 3. Oats. 4. Oats; after which they leave it to graze itself. Also on moory lands, rape or rye, instead of, or after turnips. Flax is sown by all poor people and little farmers for their own use. Potatoes are so much planted, that all the dung of the country is applied to them; some few plant them with the plough, but it does not well, unless the land is summer fallowed; the chief culture is in the gardens of the cabbins, for they hire no land of the farmers for potatoes. No sheep folding. Lime-stone gravel is much used for tillage land, and the benefit found great for six or seven crops.

THE grass is applied to fattening, dairying, and sheep. Dairies from 30 to 40 cows are common here; they keep them in their own hands. An acre and an half of middling grass for a cow. Some make butter, but none if the cheese is good. 1cwt. of cheese is the produce per cow, price from 25 to 30s. per cwt. with 1l. 1s. for the calf, at five or six weeks old: rear very few. The fattening system is to buy in at 3l. to 6l. in april, may and june, and sell out with 30s. or 42s. profit to christmas. Flocks of sheep rise to 5 or 600; the profit, lamb at 5 to 9s. and the ewe's wool 41b. In the winter they are on the walks, unless in frost and snow, when they get some hay or turnips. Wool 15 to 17s. a stone, but within 15 years was 10s. 6d. It is bought up by combers, who keep spinners in the country to spin it into yarn, which is sold to factors for foreign markets. They are much troubled with the rot upon the moors, and a wet season will rot them even upon lime-stone land. Plough mostly with horses, often using four, for the second time of fallowing six: they do of an acre; four bullocks, which gentlemen and good farmers use, will do , price 7s. an acre. For winter corn they throw the lands narrow, and arched up: no shovelling furrows, but strike them with the plough. Keeping a horse 3l. 3s. a year, and a working bullock 40s. Break their fallows from november to february. Hire of a horse, boy, and car from 1s. 1d. to 1s. 4d. In hiring and stocking farms 3l. an acre they reckon necessary. Land sells at 20 years purchase; has fallen in five or six years 2s. to 6s. an acre, in general 5s. Tythes are compounded for, wheat 7s. bere 6s. barley 5s. oats 3s. 6d. mowing ground 3s. pease 2s. 6d. No tea in the cabbins, nor yet a bellyful of potatoes. They have an acre of land and a cottage for 1l. 1s. to 1l. 10s. and about ? of that in potatoes, they buy when they have not of their own, both oats, meal, or potatoes; a barrel of potatoes will last a man, his wife, and four children a week; one barrel of oats will yield 1 cwt. of oatmeal, which sells at 8s. 6d. to 10s, and will in stir-about last them a week, that is the same time as a barrel of potatoes. They in general keep a cow at 1l. 1s. to 1l. 10s. but they must buy 12 or 14s. of hay for her. They also keep a pig on offal. Stealing is very common, they take every thing they can lay their hands on, yet are not so poor here as in Clare and Tipperary. Corn all carried to Dublin for the premium. Population evidently increases; No emigrations. Religion of the lower classes all catholic. A poor man's firing 14s. or 15s. Expence of building a cabbin 3l. 3s; of stone and slate 20l. all for a farm of 50 acres of stone and slate 300l.

IN conversation upon the subject of a union with Great Britain, I was informed that nothing was so unpopular in Ireland as such an idea; and that the great objection to it was increasing the number of absentees. When it was in agitation, 20 peers and 60 commoners were talked of to sit in the British parliament, which would be the residence of 80 of the best estates in Ireland. Going every year to England would, by degrees, make them residents; they would educate their children there, and in time become mere absentees: becoming so they would be unpopular, others would be elected, who, treading in the same steps, would yield the place still to others; and thus, by degrees, a vast portion of the kingdom now resident would be made absentees; which they think would be so great a drain to Ireland, that a free trade would not repay it. I think the idea is erroneous, were it only for one circumstance, the kingdom would lose, according to this reasoning, an idle race of country gentlemen, and in exchange their ports would fill with ships and commerce, and all the consequences of commerce; an exchange that never yet proved disadvantageous to any country.

THE dean's improvements of bog ground are extensive; he drained very completely, and then ploughed or dug it for burnings upon which sowed meslin, which succeeded very well, yielding 13 barrels an acre. Then oats ploughed for, and got 10 barrels; sowed hay seeds, ray grass (lolium perenrne) and clover (trifolium pratense) before the improvement began it was not worth 1s. 6d. an acre, but made it 14s. Another part of the bog was levelled and burnt, the ashes spread, and turnip seed harrowed in, did very well, fed sheep with them; after which, clay and limestone gravel spread on it, 1000 load, or 40s. an acre, and grass seeds sown, which made it worth 1l. 1s. an acre. Turnips, Dean Coote has had these 20 years, both in the drill and broad-cast, and found the drill method much the best, but owing, I apprehend, to the hoeing of the broad-cast not being well performed. Used them always for seeding sheep, and found the eating equal to a coat of dung. He folded his sheep for two years, but could not bring his people to continue it without too much trouble. Lime he has tried much on the lime-stone ground, but did not find it answer at all. Would recommend in the improvement of bogs, to begin with one great drain round the intended improvement, 12 feet wide at top, cut to the gravel, and four feet wide at bottom; then to cut cross drains into that, which also ought to go down to the gravel: leave it for a year, if it is bad; then turn it up with the spade or plough, burn it, and sow turnips or rape, and do the same again next year, with a second burning, after which oats may be had, and laid down to grass, which will be good, but much better if gravelled. Dean Coote bas received from the Dublin society several gold medals for the improvement of bog, culture of turnips, &c.

JULY 8th, left Shaen Castle, and took the road towards Athy; breakfasted with Dean Walsh, at General Walsh's, in that gentleman's absence. The general is a considerable farmer, and a yet greater improver; he has built 12 new farm houses, also 30 cabbins that have 90 cows, and each two to four acres, at 20s. an acre. He has tried potatoes with the plough, instead of the trenching way, he manured two acres of strong land with 400 load of dung, which he ploughed in, and then dibbled the sets in, 15 inches square, he hand-hoed them twice, and got 176 barrels per acre. The common crops do not exceed 90 barrels. He has generally seven or eight acres of turnips, and two or three of cabbages, with which he seeds both cattle and sheep, and with great success. He practices tillage principally to bring his land into order, and throws it into the following course: 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat. 3. Clover or trefoile, two years.

WHEN he sows barley on potatoe lands he gets 20 barrels an acre. One article in the management of his estate cannot be too much praised: wherever he lets a farm that has only a common ordinary cabbin on it, he obliges the new tenant to build a good house of stone and slate, allowing him considerably towards the expence. The common course of crops here is, 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat, yielding from seven to nine barrels. 3. Barley, 15 barrels. 4. Oats, 15 to 20. 5. Left for grass.

THE poor here have all of them potatoes, as far as their dung will go: when they hire grass land to plant them on, the account of an acre is as follows:

. s. d.
10 barrels of seed, at 3s. 4.d. 1 13 4
Planting, cutting, &c. 1 10 0
Second trenching 0 15 0
Weeding 0 2 6
Taking up, 40 men a day at 7d. 1 3 4
Rent 3 10 0
  8 14 2

The average crop 80 barrels, which is 2s. 2d. a barrel prime cost. They have them the year round in plenty; they are cheaper than oatmeal, and are liked better. They sow very little flax, some none at all. Many of them are master of a car and horse, with which they work for hire; also one or two pigs, and much poultry by means of their potatoes.

LEAVING General Walsh's, passed a fine wood on the right, within a wall. See much good wheat and bere to Athy. Going through that town the road leads on the banks of the river Barrow, which winds through the vale to the right; the verdure beautiful, and the country pleasant. Pass over much light dry sandy gravelly loam, as fine turnip land as I ever saw, but not one cultivated in the country. It is this soil all the way from Athy to Carlow; lets from 16s. to 20s. an acre. The courses are: 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat, yielding five or six barrels. Also, 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat. 3. Oats, and grass seeds, or left to turf itself. They use lime with success: they have gravel, but that does best for strong lands, and this upon land formed for 20 barrels an acre of barley after turnips. These people by the Norfolk husbandry would make a crown where they now receive sixpence.

CALLED on Mr. Vicars at Ballynakill, a considerable grazier, who farms near 2000 acres in different counties. His husbandly consists chiefly of feeding sheep and bullocks: one sheep system is to keep ewes for breeding, the sale being three year old wethers, some of the oldest ewes and the wool. The wethers sell from 20 to 28s. each, and the quantity of wool 2 to a stone (the stone of wool in lreland 16lb.) Another system is to buy in ewes in autumn, and to sell the lambs fat, and then the ewes. Grazing, in this country, consists in buying bullocks in October, at 5 or 6l. each; give them some hay in bad weather, and sell them fat, with 40 or 50s. profit. Cows are bought in in may, and sold fat from harvest to autumn. Many dairies, not let to labourers, but kept for making butter; a cow will make 1 cwt. at 2l. 10s. and the calf 4s. The cabbins let here at 20s. each. and 30s. they pay for the pasturage of a cow, which they all keep. The account of potatoes is:

. s. d.
Rent 5 0 0
Eight barrels of seed, 4s. 6d. 1 16 0
Putting in 2 10 0
Taking up 1 10 0
  10 16 0

The average crop 60 barrels, prime cost therefore 3s. 6d. Average rent of the whole county of Carlow, 15s.

PASSED on to Mr. Browne at Brownshill, who has built a very good and convenient house, in an open situation, commanding an extensive prospect; gained here several articles of information relative to the same neighbourhood as Mr. Vicar is in. They plough chiefly with oxen, four in a plough, but do not half an acre a day, which is a quantity four horses will do easily. Tillage is very much increased here, and almost intirely owing to the inland premiums; the people also increase much. Tythes are, Wheat 5s. Bere 4s. Barley 3s. Oats 2s. 6d. Mowing-ground 3s. and of sheep in kind. Throughout the county of Carlow the hiring tenant is in general the occupier, except in small pieces. In front of Mr. Browne's house is a mountain, which I remarked was cultivated very high up the side; and upon enquiry found that it was done by cottars, who pay the high rent of 10s. an acre in order to improve: they pare it with a plough, and burn the furrow, lime and fallow it for wheat, of which they get six barrels per acre; after which they sow oats, and get to barrels, laying down with grass seeds. Some they reclaim with potatoes. Much of the mountain is wet, so that they are forced to drain it with open cuts,

MR. BROWNE keeps 800 sheep, which consist of 200 ewes; 100 ditto, two years old; 100 ditto, three years old wethers; 200 ditto one year old, ditto hoggits; 200 lambs: and he sells every year

  . s. d.
120 three years old wethers, at 25s. 150 0 0
80 culled ewes, at 16s. 64 0 0
220 stone of wool, at 16s. 176 0 0
  390 0 0

In the winter they eat 25 tons of hay.

HEARD of a very spirited farmer at Carlow, a Mr. Hamilton, on whom I should have called, but was told that he was absent. He has gone so much into the turnip husbandry as to have 100 acres in a year, and eight or ten acres of cabbages; sows them much on pared and burnt land; keeps by their means a vast stock of cattle; stall-feeds many bullocks, buying straw for litter in order to make dung; besides which he buys all the dung he can, and burns much lime, taking in short every means to keep his lands clean and in good heart. Such an example ought to be powerful in creating imitators, but I could not find it had any such effect among the common farmers.

JULY 9th, left Brownshill, and taking the road to Laughlin-bridge, called on Mr. James Butler at Ballybar, a very active and intelligent farmer upon a considerable scale. He has generally four or five acres of cabbages, which he uses for his fat wethers of four years old; the produce of them he finds greater, and the sheep like them better than turnips. He has sometimes 20 acres of turnips, and hoes them all. This year none.—It is a sign the cultivation is not well understood in a country, when a man has one year 20 acres, and another none. A principal part of the advantage of the consumption is lost, if the cattle system is not regularly arranged with an eye to the turnip crop. Mr. Butler buys every year forty-year old beasts, at from 30 to 40s. Keeps them till three years and an half old, and then sells them fat. Also 20 bullocks, at 5l. which he sells fat at 8l. His cows he buys in may, from 3l. to 3l. 10s. each. The profit 40s. a head. The best grass will carry a bullock an acre. His sheep system is to buy three year old wethers in october, at 25s. each, he begins to sell in the spring, and continues through the summer, at 34s. In the winter they have hay. His improved course of crops is: 1. Turnips, or cabbages. 2. Barley, yielding 20 barrels an acre. 3. Clover, and upon that grasses afterwards to lay down. The courses general are, 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat 7 barrels an acre. 3. Barley. 4. Oats. 1. Potatoes. 2. Wheat. 3. Barley, 14 barrels an acre. 4, Oats, 12 ditto. 5. Fallow, and then as above. Their lands let at 30s. an acre, being a very good stoney loam. Most in this neighbourhood were grazing ones, carrying bullocks and sheep; but since the premiums on land-carriage corn, they have been broken up, and are now as one to 20. The number of sheep particularly is so much lessened, that only four persons, Mr. Bunbury, the two Mr. Bernards, and Mr. Keef, had, 20 years ago, more sheep among them than there are now in the whole county.

HAVING taken a short walk with Mr. Butler, passed on to Captain Mercer's mill at Laughlin-bridge. I had been told that this was one of the most considerable mills in Ireland; and had a letter of recommendation to Mr. Mercer, which through carelessness I had lost. I did not care, however, to pass without seeing the mill, drove down to it, and was in the awkward situation of explaining myself to be a traveller — what I wanted — from whence I came — and so forth: but the good-nature and politeness of Mr. Mercer presently dissipated the disagreeableness of those first explanatory moments. He shewed me the mill, and explained every thing with the utmost civility. It is very large and convenient, grinds 15,000 barrels a year, and if there was a brisker demand could do yet more. I found the same necessity of kiln-drying here as at Slaine, and made the same observation, that the wheat was none of it of a fine bright colour, like what is common in England. The farmers also dress their corn in so slovenly a manner, that there is the same necessity of dressing it over again, for which very powerful machines are contrived. The whole is very well calculated for saving labour in every operation, and only eight hands are employed. After the mill was built, Mr. Mercer made many alterations of his own, to render it more simple and effective, which have fully answered his expectations. The barrel of bran here is four stone, and sells for 8d. Mr. Mercer has tried feeding cattle with it, but could never make more than 6d. by it: has also fattened hogs with it; but in no use will it pay more than 6d.

NOTHING interesting from hence to Kilfaine. I saw some very good crops of wheat, but the country is bleak, and wants wood. Reached Gervas Parker Bushe's, Esq; at that place in the evening, who received me with a politeness equalled only by the value of his intelligence.

JULY 10th, accompanied Mr. Bushe, in a ride thro' the neighbourhood, to view the country, which is a great corn one. Called at several farms, and made enquiries into the culture, &c.

VIEWED Mount Juliet, Lord Carrick's seat, which is beautifully situated on a fine declivity on the banks of the Nore, commanding some extensive plantations that spread over the hills, which rise in a various manner on the other side the river: a knole of lawn rises among them, with artificial ruins upon it, but the situation is not in unison with the idea of a ruin, very rarely placed to effect, unless in retired and melancholy spots. The river is a very fine one, and has a good accompanyment of well-grown wood. From the cottage a more varied scene is viewed, chearful and pleasing; and from the tent, in the farther plantation, a yet gayer one, which looks down on several bends of the river.

IT was impossible for anyone to take more pains, that I should be well informed of every particular concerning husbandry, than Mr. Bushe; the following particulars I owe to his most ample intelligence. About Kilfaine, farms rise generally from 100 to 200 acres, among many very small ones, but scarcely any so high as 400; the soil a dry found gravelly loam, with many stones., much inclinable to sand. As fine turnip land as any in the world; as to rent, there are three-fifths of it good land, at 20s. an acre; one-fifth worse, and fit for pasture, 15s. and another mountain and land of little value: the first nothing; the other 5s. average 3s. and general average 16s. The courses of crops are, 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat, sow one barrel, and get on an average six. 3. Barley, the crop ten barrels. 4. Oats, the crop eight ditto: or, 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat. 3. Oats. 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat, which surprized me much, for it is very contrary to the spirit of successive crops. 1. Potatoes. 2. Wheat. 3. Barley. 4. Oats. 1. Potatoes. 2. Bere crop ten barrels. 3. Barley. 4. Oats.

THEY plough three or four times for wheat, sow from the end of september to the middle of november.The first ploughing is not till may or june, and sometimes, as I have seen, not till july, which is terrible management. They never sow barley till april, and often may. Pease they only sow on land which they think is not in heart for oats, and the crops miserable, as may be supposed. They sometimes burn low rushy bottoms, and sow rape on them, but not often. No such thing as turnips among the common farmers, though they have an excellent turnip-soil. Mr. Bushe has some every year, with which he seeds his sheep. No clover. Mr. Bushe has had it for some time, and found the greatest advantage from it. A little flax for their own use. Potatoes very generally cultivated, and take all the dung of the farm; the poor, who raise what dung they can, have land of the farmers gratis, if they manure it well, in order to plant potatoes, which here is the most general culture of that root. The account.

  . s. d.
Dunging 240 load 1 0 0
12 barrels of seed, at 3s 1 16 0
Planting with a plough 0 16 0
Weeding 0 4 0
Taking up 1 8 0
  5 4 0

Plough them in, and then trench the furrows. Crop 40 barrels. The best sort are the yellow potatoe, also the wife for produce. The Turk , which is the English Howard or Cluster , they plant on poor land, and never bestow any dung on it, yet get great crops; but they reckon it a very bad sort. They are beginning to cultivate the mountains; the inclosures creep up the sides gradually; pay 2s. to 4s. an acre, but improve to be worth 8 or 10s. They do it with limestone gravel, or begin with potatoes, and dung; the gravel they carry two miles to three. Lime is a common manure; lay 80 barrels an acre; does best on light land, and gravel on stoney. Burn it themselves. One barrel of culm, at 2s. burns 5 barrels of lime; 16 miles from the coal-pits. Quarring and burning 3d. a barrel. Drawing stone to the kiln 1d. or 1 d. ditto. Limestone gravel is very general, and the benefit prodigious. They have some they call lime-stone which is a sort of sand-stone that breaks very easily. Lay 200 to 300 loads, 6 or 7 cwt. each, an acre. Four horses will draw 120 load a day, each load 1 a barrel, and the distance 40 perch, this is 180 barrels, or 720 bushels, which is 24 loads, at 30 bushels each; which, I believe, is more than four horses usually perform in England, and is a proof, that giving every horse his own work expedites it. Raising and screening the sand from large stone, 1d. a car load. It will last in strong heart several years, and be perceived 15. As to laying land to grass, they in general do it only by leaving the soil to cover itself with the spontaneous growth. Grass land for meadow is very valuable. About the town of Kilkenny, 3l. to 5l. an acre; and at a distance there is a custom of the little tillage-farmers hiring the crop of hay of a gentleman or farmer, and giving him, merely for the hay, 3l. to 5l. an acre, they taking all the expences upon themselves, and not having the after-grass. Dairies common on the hills on coarse grass, at 10s. or 12s. an acre. A good cow will give three gallons and an half of milk a day. As they sell all the butter-milk, they have little notion of keeping hogs, on account of dairies. In winter, the cows that give milk have hay; the others straw: all run abroad. Few grazing farms, but in the barony of Cranagh there are some. Value of a cow's hide 15s. to 18s. per cwt. Sheep are kept in small parcels; they sell store wethers two or three years old, at 16s. to 20s. in june or july. Wool about 3 to a stone. The price of wool 16s. but 20 years ago, 12s. No such thing as folding. They plough generally with four horses, and do above half an acre a day, laying their lands on 6 feet ridges. They give their horses oats. Hire of a car, a horse, and a driver, 1s. 4d. In hiring and stocking a farm, they reckon a year's rent necessary; if they have less, they never know whether they are to sink or swim. Land sells at 21 years purchase; not quite so well as it did 5 or 6 years ago, the rents fallen since march 1775, a seventh. County cess not a shilling an acre. Tythes compounded generally, wheat 8s. bere 7s. barley 7s. oats 4s. mowing ground 4s. pease 4s. No manufactory of consequence; but blankets are made at Kilkenny. The leases are all for 21 or 31 years, as the whole country is roman catholic. Much land is in the occupation of under tenants, who hire of middle men, but generally under old leases; when land was at its heighth, many hired on speculation, but the fall has put a great stop to it. A cabbin and an acre let at 3l. 3s. and if more land 40s. or 42s. an acre; the cottars have many of them a cow, and some two, and a pig and some poultry. In respect to their condition, they have their belly full of potatoes, and their children eat them all day long; all cattle lay with them in the cabbins. Scarcity of fuel is the worst circumstance. No emigrations. The general state of the poor will appear from the following account of Mr. Bushe's hay-makers; he was obliging enough to make them all appear in array, and answer to the questions I put to them. The following are the averages of the particulars they gave me.

No. of souls in each cabbin 6
Acres of land 5
Cows 1
Horses
Hogs 1

6 souls per cabbin, are a population one would not imagine could be resident in such mean habitations, but they swarm with children to the eye of the most inattentive observer. They have a practice here which much deserves attention: three, four, five, seven, &c. little farmers will take a large farm in partnership. They must be equal in horses, cows, and sheep, and tolerably so in other circumstances; they divide every field among themselves equally, and do all the labour of it upon their separate accounts; assisting each other mutually: they never throw the whole into one stock and divide the profit, from suspicions, I suppose they have of one another. Price of implements. A car 1l. 10s. a boarded one 2l. 2s. A plough 1l. 5s. A pair of harrows 15s. Building a labourer's cabbin in the common manner 5l. Ditto, of stone and slate, 30l. For a farm complete of 50 acres, of stone and slate 100l. to add 50 acres 30l. more. Poor's siring 1l. 10s. but hedges much broken.

MR. BUSHE is very attentive in the culture of his domain; he puts his potatoes in with the plough, and finds they answer much better than the common manner; making them and turnips the preparation for barley, with which he sows clover, and upon that wheat: this is the Norfolk husbandry, and there cannot be better. It should be extended over all the arable land wherever it is practiced. He has this year a very fine crop of wheat sown upon one earth on an old lay, and no damage from the red-worm. In the spring he confines his cattle to the farmyard for making dung, and mixes it in composts with sand and lime. He has an oeconomical practice which deserves attention. It is the stew-hole in his kitchen being a perpetual lime-kiln. It is a fire kept night and day at less than no expence, for the lime more than pays the culm. It is not at all unwholesome, and the fire, for culinary purposes, is excellent.

Arthur Young, A Tour in Ireland, made in the years 1776, 1777, and 1778 (London: T. Cadell, 1780)

Next Selection Previous Selection