Picture of Arthur Young

Arthur Young

places mentioned

11th to 20th July 1776: Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow and Dublin

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JULY 11, left Kilfaine: Mr. Bushe accompanied me to Woodstock, the seat of Sir W. Fownes. From Thomastown hither is the finest ride I have yet had in Ireland. The road, leaving Thomastown leads on the east side of the river, through, some beautiful copse woods, which, before they were cut, must have had, a most noble effect, with the river Nore winding at the bottom; the country then opens, and you pass most of the way for six or seven miles, to Innisteague, on a declivity shelving down to the river, which takes a varied winding course, sometimes lively, breaking over a rocky bottom, at others still and deep, under the gloom of some fine woods, which hang down the sides of steep hills. Narrow slips of meadow of a beautiful verdure in some places form the shore, and unite with cultivated fields that spread over the adjoining hills, reaching almost the mountain tops: these are large and bold, and give in general to the scene features of great magnificence. Passed Sir John Halter's, on the opposite side of the river, finely situated, and Mr. Nicholson's farm on this side, who has very extensive copses, which line the river. Coming in sight of Sir W. Fownes's, the scenery is striking, the road mounts the side of the hill, and commands the river at the bottom of the declivity, with groups of trees prettily scattered, and the little borough of Innesteague, in a most picturesque situation; the whole bounded by mountains. Cross the bridge, and going through the town, take a path that leads to a small building in the woods, called Mount Sanford; it is at the top of a rocky declivity almost perpendicular, but with brush wood growing from the rocks. At the bottom is the river, which comes from the right, from behind a very bold hanging wood, that seems to unite with the hill on the opposite shore: at this pass the river fills the vale, but it widens by degrees, and presents various reaches, intermixed with little tufts of trees, the bridge we passed over is half hid. Innisteague is mixed with them, and its buildings backed by a larger wood, give variety to the scene. Opposite to the point of view there are some pretty inclosures, fringed with wood, and a line of cultivated mountain sides, with their bare tops limit the whole.

TAKING my leave of Mr. Bushe, I followed the road to Ross. Passed Woodstock, of which there is a very fine view from the top of one of the hills, the house in the centre of a sloping wood of 500 English acres, and hanging in one noble shade to the river, which flows at the bottom of a winding glen. From the same hill in front it is seen in a winding course for many miles through a great extent of inclosures, bounded by mountains. As I advanced, the views of the river Nore were very fine, till I came to Ross, where from the hill, before you go down to the ferry, is a noble scene of the Barrow, a vast river flowing through bold shores, in some places trees on the bank half obscure it; in others it opens in large reaches, the effect equally grand and beautiful. Ships sailing up to the town, which is built on the side of a hill to the water's edge, enliven the scene not a little. The water is very deep, and the navigation secure, so that ships of 700 tons may come up to the town; but these noble harbours, on the coast of Ireland, are only melancholy capabilities of commerce: it is languid and trifling. There are only four or five brigs and sloops that belong to the place.

HAVING now passed through a considerable extent of country, in which the white boys were very common, and committed many outrages, I shall here review the intelligence I received concerning them throughout the county of Kilkenny. I made many inquiries into the origin of those disturbances, and found that no such thing as a leveller, or white boy, was heard of till 1760, which was after the landing of Thurot, or the intended expedition of M. Conflans. That no foreign coin was ever seen among them, though reports to the contrary were circulated; and in all the evidence that was taken during ten to twelve years, in which time there appeared a variety of informers; none were taken, whose testimony could be relied on, that ever proved any foreign interposition. Those very few who attempted to favour, it, were of the most infamous and perjured characters. All the rest, whose interest it was to make the discovery, if they had known it, and who concealed nothing else, pretended to no such knowledge. No foreign money appeared; no arms of foreign construction; no presumptive proof whatever of such a connection. They began in Tipperary, and were owing to some inclosures of commons, which they threw down, levelling the ditches; and were first known by the name of levellers. After that they begun with the tythe-proctors (who are men that hire tythes of the rectors) and these proctors either screwed the cottars up to the utmost shilling, or re-let the tythes to such as did it. It was a common practice with them to go in parties about the country, swearing many to be true to them, and forcing them to join, by menaces, which they very often carried into execution. At last they set up to be general redressers of grievances——punished all obnoxious persons who advanced the value of lands, or hired farms over their heads; and having taken the administration of justice into their own hands, were not very exact in the distribution of it. Forced masters to release their apprentices, carried off the daughters of rich farmers, ravished them into marriages, of which four instances happened in a fortnight. They levied sums of money on the middling and lower farmers, in order to support their cause, by paying attornies, &c. in defending prosecutions against them; and many of them subsisted for some years without work, supported by these contributions. Sometimes they committed several considerable robberies, breaking into houses, and taking money, under pretence of redressing grievances. In the course of these outrages, they burnt several houses, and destroyed the whole substance of men obnoxious to them. The barbarities they committed were shocking. One of their usual punishments (and by no means the most severe) was taking people out of their beds, carrying them naked in winter, on horseback, for some distance, and burying them up to their chin in a hole filled with briars, not forgetting to cut off one of their ears. In this manner the evil existed for eight or ten years, during which time the gentlemen of the country took some measures to quell them. Many of the magistrates were active in apprehending them, but the want of evidence prevented punishment, for many of those who even suffered by them had not spirit to prosecute. The gentlemen of the country had frequent expeditions to discover them in arms; but their intelligence was so uncommonly good by their influence over the common people, that not one party that ever went out in quest of them was successful. Government offered large rewards for informations, which brought a few every year to the gallows, without any radical cure of the evil. The reason why it was not more effective was, the necessity of any person that gave evidence against them, quitting their houses and country, or remaining exposed to their resentment. At last their violence arose to a height which brought on their suppression. The catholic inhabitants of Ballyragget, six miles from Kilkenny, were the first of the lower people who dared openly to associate against them; they threatened destruction to the town, gave notice that they would attack it; were as good as their word, came 200 strong, drew up before a house in which were 15 armed men, and fired in at the windows; the 15 men handled their arms so well, that in a few rounds they killed 40 or 50. They fled immediately, and ever after left Ballyragget in peace—indeed they have never been resisted at all, without shewing a great want of both spirit and discipline. It should, however, be observed, that they had but very few arms, those in bad order, and no cartridges. Soon after this they attacked the house of Mr. Power, in Tipperary, the history of which is well known. His murder spirited up the gentlemen to exert themselves in suppressing the evil, especially in raising subscriptions to give private rewards to whoever would give evidence or information concerning them. The private distribution had much more effect than larger sums which required a public declaration; and government giving rewards to those who resisted, without having previously promised it, had likewise some effect. Laws were passed for punishing all who assembled, and (what may have a great effect) for recompensing, at the expence of the county or barony, all persons who suffered by their outrages. In consequence of this general exertion, above 20 were capitally convicted, and most of them executed; the goals of this and the three neighbouring counties, Carlow, Tipperary, and Queen's-county, have many in them whose trials are put off till next assizes, and against whom sufficient evidence for conviction, it is supposed, will appear. Since this all has been quiet, and no outrages have been committed: but before I quit the subject, it is proper to remark, that what coincided very much to abate the evil, was the fall in the price of lands, which has taken place lately. This is considerable, and has much lessened the evil of hiring farms over the heads of one another; perhaps also the tythe-proctors have not been quite so severe in their extortions: but this observation is by no means general; for in many places tythes yet continue to be levied, with all those circumstances which originally raised the evil.

FROM Ross took the road towards Wexford, and found, upon enquiry, that I was in quite a different country from what I had left, the soil not near so high let, for several miles it is from 5s. to 15s. and is in general dry sound land. This soil, so excellent in the turnip culture, never lets at its real value in unimproved countries: it is the introduction of turnips alone that ascertains that value. In 8 or 9 miles I found some rising to 20s. The course: 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat. 3. Oats. 4. Barley. 5. Oats. 6. Barley. 7. Oats. With such management, no wonder the rents are low. There is a great quantity of rough land overrun with furze (ulex europoeus). They burn them here, and I remarked uncommon quantities of bog-wood at the doors of the cabbins: yet their turf-grounds are rather boggy bottoms than bogs.

LAID at Taghmon, at as good an inn as the appearance of the place could allow of, though I was told it was very good. There was a bed in which I rested in my cloaths, but the stable had neither rack nor manger. I should have gone on to Wexford, but found that Mr. Neville, member for that town, to whom I had a letter of recommendation, in order to procure intelligence concerning the baronies of Bargy and Forth, was in England; I therefore determined to turn off here, and make a circuit through them to get to Wexford. The landlord seemed to know something of the country. I asked him what gentlemen were in it that took any pleasure in husbandry; he named several, and from his accounts I determined to call on Mr. Nun, at St. Margaret's.

JULY 12th, sallied from my inn, which would have made a very passable castle of enchantment in the eyes of Don Quixote, in search of adventures in these noted baronies, of which I had heard so much. They were completely peopled by Strongbow; and from having retained a sort of Saxon language peculiar to themselves, without any of them understanding the Irish, in all probability the country was at that time uninhabited or desolate. I had been told that they were infinitely more industrious and better farmers than in any other part of Ireland, and this account was confirmed to me by several common Irish farmers I met with upon the road. It was not long before I was in the barony of Bargie, and I was much surprised to see no great appearance of any thing better than common. In one respect, I remarked the vilest husbandry, which was exhausting the land by successive corn crops, and then leaving it cover itself with weeds, and grass by degrees: for it is to be observed, that I have not seen, in Wexford, any of that fine land I have mentioned so often, which, if thrown by in this manner, is almost immediately covered with white clover. Land, I found, let five or six miles from Taghmon, from 10s. to 20s. an acre; they have no fallow, but sow oats and barley, and beans and pease, (which they call black corn) in succession for many years, and without any such practice as hoeing. And though the land is light, dry and sound, not a turnip is sown; so that, in 21 miles, I sow not a single fallow for them. Sowing beans and pease is, however, common, and they have farther a notion that doing so refreshes the land. I saw no beans in Ireland till I came here. They told me their crops were, barley and oats 6 to 12 barrels. Beans 8 to 10 barrels. They use both marle and lime; of the former they lay 400 car loads per acre, and it lasts 12 crops. Much of their wheat is sown on lays, marled and dunged, and the crops were very good. Potatoes not the food of the people the year through, as in other parts of Ireland; they live on them only in the winter, and have oatmeal the rest of the year. Barley is the crop that succeeds them.

ADVANCING further I had fresh accounts.—Wheat they sow on lays, with only one ploughing, and get from 7 to 10 barrels an acre; and of oats and barley, on good land, sometimes so high as 15 to 17 barrels. They lime much, and usually take but 4 or 5 crops of corn running, upon which they seemed to pride themselves much, as being good farmers. Farms in Bargie generally from 40 to 100 acres. Here I understood there was a part of the barony of Shelmal inhabited by quakers, rich men and good farmers. A farmer I talked to said of them: The quakers be very cunning, and the devil a bad acre of land will they hire. From this account I wished for a recommendation to one of these sagacious friends. I observed all the way I went, that the cabbins were generally much better than any I had seen in Ireland: large ones, with two or three rooms, in good order and repair, all with windows and chimnies, and little styes for their pigs and cattle. As well built as common in England. Entering Forth I did not perceive any difference, but the soil is a reddish good loam without stones. I went to St. Margaret's, and introduced myself to Colonel Nun, who gave me the following particulars, with the assistance of a neighbouring farmer. Barony of Forth and Bargie farms generally 20 to 80 acres; but many of them hired in partnership, and when the children marry are subdivided into smaller portions. Rent of the two baronies on an average a guinea. The courses:

1 Potatoes.   1 Summer fallow.
2 Flax or barley.   2 Barley.
3 Leave it for a sod, but
most sow clover
and grasses.
  3 Beans.
  4 Oats.
  5 Grasses.
1 Beans on lay.   1 Fallow and marle.
2 Barley.   2 Wheat.
3 Oats.   3 Barley.
4 Barley.   4 Oats.
5 Clover or trefoile, for
2, 3, or 4 years.
  5 Barley.
  6 Clover, &c.

For wheat they plough but once on the lay, harrow in the seed and shovel the furrows; sow in october to of a barrel: some use spring wheat sown in march. The crop generally is 10 to 20 barrels. For barley, which is their principal crop, they plough twice; sow 1 barrel, get 10 to 15 barrels an acre. For oats they plough but once, sow 1 barrel, and get 10 or 12 barrels an acre. For pease or beans they plough but once, sow many beans on a lay on one ploughing, 1 barrel per acre; chopping and dressing the clods fine, get 5 to 20 barrels an acre, and sow barley after it. No turnips among the common farmers, though much of their land is fine, dry and sound, but some is very wet. Flax enough for their own use. Potatoes they have of late began to put in with the plough, but in common they are in the trenching way. Their crops are very good. Marle is very much used: it is a blue sort. They lay large quantities on the sod, let it lie a year or two before they plough it up, which they find better than ploughing it directly. They marle the same land often; they drain only with open cuts, no hollow ones done. Cattle very little attended to: only a cow or two for the use of their families, and a few sheep; but they keep a great many pigs. All that live near the sea, turn their pigs to the shore for fish, sea-weed, &c. Manure with sea-weed, which they lay on for barley; some fresh from the sea, others lay it in heaps to rot, but many reckon it best fresh. Ploughing all with horses, four in a plough; lay their lands round to shoot off the water. In ploughing grass for corn, they leave 1/3 of every ridge unploughed in the middle, but covered up with the furrows, in order for tilling the year following, and think they get the best crops there. Execrable!

LAND sells from 22 to 25 years purchase; nor have rents fallen at all, rather the contrary. County cess 8d. an acre. Tythes either gathered or appraised every year. Leases generally three lives, or 31 years. Carry their corn to Wexford. The people increase prodigiously. Rent of a cabbin and an acre 3I. generally have a cow and pigs, and plenty of poultry. Religion generally catholic. Many lads go to Newfoundland in may, and come home in october, and bring from 15l. to 24l. pay 3l. passage out, and 1l. 10s; home. Poors' firing, sod, furze, and fern, coals very scarce. Building a cottage 5l. to 7l. to a farm of 50 acres 150l. The people are uncommonly industrious, and a most quiet race—in 15 or 20 years there is no such thing as a robbery. The little farmers live very comfortably and happily, and many of them worth several hundred pounds. They are exceedingly attentive in getting mould out of the ditches and banks, to mix a little dung with it, and spread it on their land. Particulars of a farm: 70 acres; 16 cows; 4 to each partner; 20 horses, each 5; 80 sheep; 60 swine; stock worth 300l. 4 families. And this farm by old accounts has had 90 crops of corn without a fallow or grass, in succession, but they manure with sea-weed and sea-sand every year. They are always on the watch for sea-weed; and when the tide comes in, if it is in the middle of the night, they go out with their cars and get all they can. Some of the fields are so covered with great rocks, that one would think it impossible to plough them, but they manage it by attention. They all speak a broken Saxon language, and not one in an hundred knows any thing of Irish. They are evidently a distinct people; and I could not but remark, their features and cast of countenance varied very much from the common native Irish. The girls and women are handsomer, having much better features and complexions. Indeed the women, among the lower classes in general in Ireland, are as ugly as the women of fashion are handsome. Their industry, as I have mentioned in several particulars, is superior to their neighbours; and their better living and habitations are also distinctions not to be forgotten. The poor have all barley bread and pork, herrings, &c. and potatoes. On the coast a considerable fishery of herrings: every creek has four or five boats—none barrelled by the people, but the merchants of Wexford barrel them for the West Indies,

FROM St. Margaret's I took the road to Wexford, the whole way through the barony of Forth. I saw nothing but straw hats for men as well as women, and found that they were worn through the whole county, they give a comic appearance to every group one meets. Laid at the King's-arms at Wexford, a very clean and good inn. There are 14 or 15 small ships belonging to this port, but a bar at the mouth of the harbour prevents large ones from coming in.

JULY 13th, crossed the harbour in a ferry-boat, in order to take the lower road to Gowry. Passed over much sandy land by the sea side, covered with fern; large tracts of it, and divided into inclosures, as if it had been cultivated. Near the town I observed some heaps of sea-weed rotting for manure. At the 60th mile-stone large sandy tracts, covered with furze and fern. As profitable land for improvement as any I have seen; lets for 6 or 7s. an acre, but there is much other land, at 15s. Their course here is: 1. Oats, 7 or 8 barrels. 2. Barley, 6 ditto. 3. Oats. 4. Barley. 5. Clover and rye-grass 3 to 6 years. Towards Wells, and from thence, to Gowry, land is higher, much of it at 20s. and some higher still.

To Lord Courtown's, who with an attention highly flattering, took every means to have me well informed. His seat at Courtown is a very agreeable place, and in some respects a singular one; for the house is within 600 yards of the sea, and yet it is almost buried in fine woods, which from their growth and foliage, shew no aversion to their neighbour, who is so often pernicious to their brethren. The views of the sea are fine, every where broken by wood, or hilly varied ground. All the environs consist of undulating lands, which give a pleasing variety to the scene: a river enters the garden, and pursuing for some distance a sequestered course, shaded on one side by a rocky bank well wooded, and on the other by lofty trees, with a very agreeable walk under them, pours itself into the sea at a small distance from the house.

LORD COURTOWN is a very good farmer. The first field of turnips I saw in Ireland was here, and he was thinning and weeding them with boys, in order to hoe with the more effect, the land in order, well dunged, and the plants forward and flourishing. He generally has 7 or 8 acres, feeds his cattle with them in a farm-yard, well littered with fern and straw, and sows barley after, getting very fine crops. His sandy lands by the coast he marles richly, and with such effect that the crops are very great. The finest wheat I have seen yet in Ireland was on this sand. Some of his Lordship's fields are wet from a stratum of clay; these he throws into lands gently arched, lays down so, and finds them sound enough for winter feeding without poaching, whereas when flat, they are quite kneaded if any cattle go into them. On this clay soil he finds the best manure is sea sand and shingle from the beach.

JULY 14, Sunday—to church, and was surprised to find a large congregation: this is not often the case in Ireland out of a mass house.—Gallop on the strand; it is a fine firm beautiful sand for miles. The paddies were swimming their horses in the sea to cure the mange, and keep them in health.

THE following particulars of the husbandry of the neighbourhood his Lordship and his brother gave me. At Courtown, and around Gowry, farms in general small: but from 40 or 50 to 2 or 3000 acres, yet 200 acres are a large one, but very many small of 30 to 50. The soil is a skirting of sand against the sea, the rest is gravel and gravelly loam: also a thin stratum of loam on a yellow miserable clay, 12 inches thick, and under it universally a fine blue marle of great depth. Rents rise from 10s. to 30s. average 15s. to 20s. and of the whole county 15s. A good deal of mountain, which in its wild state does not let for more than 3s. The little farmers improve it much by fallow and lime, which they bring from Carlow, 25 miles. When improved, it is worth 16s. an acre, and they pay that for it at the expiration of the lease. Their courses are: 1. Potatoes. 2. Barley, yielding 10 or 12 barrels. 3. Oats, the produce 10 or 12: and then more crops of oats, or barley, till the soil is exhausted, when they leave it to turf itself, which it will not do under 10 or 15 years. Also, 1. Summer fallow. 2. Wheat, seven barrels; and then spring-corn crops, till the land is exhausted. No pease or beans. Not a turnip in the country among common farmers, though the finest sands and grounds imaginable for them: nor clover. A little flax is sown, generally after potatoes, and the culture of it increases gradually. Potatoes in general in the common manner; but I heard of one or two farmers, who on dry ground plant them with the plough: always dung or pare and burn; no hiring of land for them, only in their own gardens and little fields; they do not often raise more than enough for half a year, buying for the other half. It is not a sheep country, and no such thing as folding known. Lime is not used, except in the mountains, from Carlow: but marle is very general, a good blue sort, which they spread amply on the sod, and plough it for wheat. The good farmers take three crops upon it, but the little ones will take eight or ten, as long as the land will yield any thing. The deeper they dig the marle, the better it is. They dairy much here, some having 20 cows for butter chiefly. It has been a common idea, that one good cow will make 1 cwt. of butter at 42s. and 1 cwt. of cheese at 25s. and rear her calf. They all keep many pigs, and the more upon account of their dairies. Some calves are fattened for Dublin market, one will suck two cows, and be worth 4l. at three months old. No large flocks of sheep, but most of the farmers have a few; generally wethers bought in and sold out every year. Give them hay in bad weather. Three fleeces to a stone of wool, the present price 16s. Between 30 and 40 years ago 3s. a stone 3 and 20 years ago 10s. to 11s. Tillage is performed all with horses, four in a plough, and do half an acre a day. Hire of a car 1s. In hiring and stocking farms, they will take them with scarce any thing but a few cows and horses; yet they pay their rents very well, and few of them fail. Land, at rack rent, sells at 20 years purchase; but within these 10 years 22 or 23. Rents have been rising for 15 years; they have not fallen of late years as in other parts of Ireland, though in some places are beginning. Tythes are valued every year, and the 10th taken as, wheat at 18s. a barrel. Barley 8s. Oats 6s. The 10th lamb 2s. 6d. No tea in the labourers cabbins, but in those of little farmers they have it, and it increases much. Leases generally three lives to protestants, and 31 years to catholics. The system of middle men going out——none in new let lands. Barley carried to Wexford for exportation, and wheat to Dublin by means of the bounty on inland carriage. The people increase considerably. Rent of a cabbin with an acre 40s. if more added 20s. an acre. All keep cows, and generally a horse and a pig or two, with plenty of poultry reared on potatoes. —They live on oat-cakes when potatoes are not in season; the little farmers that have 40 or 50 acres, eat a good deal of meat; fish is a great article with the poor, particularly herrings and cod. In general much improving, and more industrious than formerly. In about four years, 40 or 50 persons emigrated to America. They are beginning to improve mountain and bog, which, from being worth nothing before, now let at above 20s. an acre. No farms hired in partnership.

THE white boys were violent for about three months in 1775, chiefly from Kilkenny and Carlow, but suppressed immediately by the spirited associations of the gentlemen. They were heard of in the south, under other names before Thurot or Conflans. Poors' firing, turf seven miles off; 20 kish at 1s. 6d. a good stock; in common it may be reckoned 1l. 1s. Building a cabbin 6l. to 7l. 7s. Of stone and slate 20l. Ditto for a farm of 50 acres, stone and slate 25l. Fowls crammed with potatoes and oatmeal and milk 2s. to 2s. 6d. each. Since these particulars were taken at Courtown his Lordship, by letter, has favoured me with the following, from an intelligent farmer.


1. WHEAT. Number of ploughings, four before sowing. First in november. Second in april, by cross cutting. In june harrow it down well, then put on your manure. Third ploughing in july; harrow it down again. Fourth ditto in august, which will leave it prepared for sowing. Seed to the acre, fourteen stone. Crop, at a medium, eights barrels. 2. Barley. Two ploughings. First in november. Second at the time you sow, having first cross harrowed. Seed to the acre, fifteen stone. Crop, nine barrels. 3. Oats. Most farmers plough but once. Seed, 22 stone. Crop, nine barrels. For Potatoes. Let your ground lie ploughed all winter; to every acre put 500 load of dung. Seed, eight barrels. Crop, 80 ditto. Price, per barrel, 5s. Use of lime very profitable on dry ground; quantity, per acre, from 40 to 50 barrels. Cow's produce. One cow will give ten quarts of milk a day; will produce 100lb. of butter. Profit, 3l. Sheep. Two acres will support one collop, or eight ewes.

  . s. d.
Each sheep a lamb, at 5s. each 2 0 0
Wool from the eight sheep, one stone, at 0 17 0
  2 17 0
Two acres, at 20s. per acre 2 0 0
Profit on eight sheep, at an average 0 17 0

PROPORTION of the rise of labour is not more than 2d. per day. Particulars of a farm. Arable 20 acres, 10 of barley, 4 of wheat, 6 of oats. Pasture 67 acres. Meadow 13 ditto.—Total 100 acres. —Stock, 24 Cows, 8 horses, 7 two-year old heifers, 4 year old ditto, and four calves.—Rent 100l. Three labourers.

MARLE. Quantity, per acre, on stiff clay ground, from 5 to 600 load, of about 600 weight; on dry gravely ground, from 800 to 1000 ditto, according to the soil, will last 40 years with management.

JULY 15th, leaving Courtown, took the Arklow road; passed a finely wooded part of Mr. Rams, and a various country with some good corn in it. Flat lands by the coast let very high, and mountain at 6s. or 7s. an acre, some at 8s. or 10s. Passed to Wicklow, prettily situated on the sea, and from Newrybridge walked to see Mr. Tye's, which is a neat farm well wooded, with a river running through the fields.

REACHED in the evening Mount Kennedy, the seat of Gen. Cunninghame, who fortunately proved to me an instructor as assiduous as he is able. He is in the midst of a country almost all his own, for he has 10,000 Irish acres here. His domain, and the grounds about it, are very beautiful, not a level can be seen; every spot is tossed about in a variety of hill and dale. In the middle of the lawn is one of the greatest natural curiosities in the kingdom; an immense Arbutus tree unfortunately blown down, but yet vegetating, one branch, which parts from the body near the ground, and afterwards divides into many large branches, is 6 feet 2 inches in circumference. The general buried part of the stem as it laid, and it is from several branches throwing out fine young shoots: it is a most venerable remnant. Killarney, the region of the Arbutus, boasts of no such tree as this.

JULY 16th, rode in the morning to Drum; a large extent of mountains, and wood, on the General's estate. A vast rocky glen; one side bare rocks to an immense height, hanging in a thousand whimsical, yet frightful, forms, with vast fragments tumbled from them, and lying in romantic confusion; the other a fine mountain side covered with shrubby wood. This wild pass leads to the bottom of an amphitheatre of mountain, which exhibits a very noble scenery. To the right is an immense sweep of mountain completely wooded; taken as a single object, a most magnificent one, but its forms are picturesque in the highest degree; great projections of hill, with glens behind all wooded, have a noble effect. Every feature of the whole view is great, and unites to form a scene of natural magnificence. From hence a riding is cut through the hanging wood, which rises to a central spot, where the General has cleared away the rubbish from under the wood, and made a beautiful waving lawn with many oaks and hollies scattered about it; here he has built a cottage, a pretty whimsical oval room, from the windows of which are three views, one of distant rich lands opening to the sea, one upon a great mountain, and a third upon a part of the lawn. It is well placed and forms upon the whole a most agreeable retreat. The following particulars of agriculture I had from General Cunninghame, who took every means of having me well informed.

ABOUT Mount Kennedy the country is inclosed within various mountains and high lands; farms are generally very small, from 20 acres to 100, except in mountainous tracts, where they are larger, some from 300 to 600 acres. The soil is in general a dry sound gravel, hanging to the south east, and protected by mountains from the north west. The rent, on an average, from 30s. to 50s. not mountain, which is usually 8s. or 10s. The skirt of the whole county, from the mountain down to the sea, is from 30s. to 50s. an acre, being a sixth of it. One third of it, uncultivated and uninhabited, lets for not more than 6d. an acre. Another third lets for 20s. The remaining sixth at 9s.—Average of the whole 15s. an acre. The courses of crops are: 1. Potatoes; all the dung of the country used for them. 2. Wheat; sow one barrel, and get on an average eight barrels.—All the furrows shovelled. 3. Oats; sow near two, and get 10 barrels. 4. Oats. 5. Barley; sow 5 and get 10, and then leave it for lay for five years, never sowing any grass seeds. If produces nothing at all for three years, but after that white clover comes slowly. Barley has been more cultivated upon account of the quantity of ale and beer which are brewed here, being the common beverage through the county, and more famous for it than any other. The barrel, 2-thirds of a hogshead, sells at 40s. Malt malted here 14s. a barrel; the barley 10s. 6d. Another course: 1. Marle, or lime-stone gravel, on the lay, 1,600 loads an acre, and sow barley. 2. Wheat. 3. Oats or barley. 4. Oats or ditto, till left to lay again. Gravelling they generally consider as a right to six or eight crops. Their wheat after potatoes they sow so late as christmas. Very few pease, and no beans, nor any rape; and not a turnip, though I saw great tracts perfectly adapted to that crop. They sow very little flax, having no manufacture. Their potatoes universally planted on an old lay; they spread their dung in beds for the trenching way, none under the plough. Plant 8 to ten barrels on an acre, laid at six inches from one another. When the plants are about an inch or two high, they cover them a second time from the trenches; hand weed them. No hiring land of farmers for it, but all on their own account. There are many copses on the sides of mountains of birch, oak, am, and holly, which are cut generally at 25 years growth for poles for building cabbins; the bark for tan, and the smaller branches for charcoal. They are worth from 12l. to 25l. an acre. Many of them on very steep sides of mountains, and to a great height; but no great oak woods, since the Shillaly ones were cut down about 12 years ago. There are considerable tracts of mountain land improved; if dry heath land, they plough, cross plough, burn, and then sow rye, getting 8 barrels, after which they have oats, and crop as long as it will produce. Unimproved mountain, consisting of rock, and yielding furze, (ulex europ?us ) fern, (pteris aquiline) &c. but dry, lets at 8s. an acre, at which rent they have it for 31 years. The improvement is reckoned very profitable. No folding sheep: there is not such a thing as a hurdle known. They pare and burn the mountain as the only way to improve, though contrary to an absurd act of parliament against it. Lime they use in very small quantities, and no wonder, for it is the Sutton stone they bring from the hill of Howth to Wicklow, where it is burnt, and the common farmers bring it from thence at the expence of 2s. 6d. the statute barrel of 32 gallons. They lay from 20 to 60 on an acre, chiefly on mountain ground. Grey marle, with lime-stone gravel in strata, abound all over the country, with other strata of sand, all which have an effervescence with acids; in digging they mix together, and prove of infinite benefit to the fields. Very few dairies, so that they make scarce any butter. Their cows are subservient to their lamb suckling, and leave them free only in summer, when they fat calves for Dublin market. Four or five quarts of milk at a meal is the common quantity. In the winter they have hay, but only in hard weather. No grazing of oxen. As to sheep their system is particular; it is all suckling lambs for Dublin market.

GENERAL Cunnihghame carried me to a farmer who is reckoned the most able in that business of any in the country, and the following is the account he gave me of his management. He breeds his own lambs from a stock partly bought in every year. The rams he puts to the ewes the middle of may, in order to have them lamb at michaelmas, or a little after. They are left in the field for a week, and then taken into the house. The ewes are brought to suckle them twice a day in general; but three or four times, while young; they have cows milk given them by women from their mouths, squirted down the lambs throats, to the quantity of a noggin a day at first, and rises to 1 and 2. A noggin is one-eight of a quart. They keep them till three weeks before christmas, and then begin to sell them. Their ewes are kept on grass only, unless in bad weather, when they have hay. He sells 75 lambs annually, from a stock of 80 rams and ewes, at 33s. on an average, some up to 40s. for these lambs he has 8 cows, 5 of them in full milk, and if he has not cows enough, buys in for the purpose. The ewes are bought in at 9s. each in july, and some old ones are sold every year at 6s. 14 acres of grass will keep 80 sheep until the stubbles are ready for them.

IN this system much depends on having them take the ram in proper time for the Dublin market. In order to accomplish this seemingly difficult business, they treat the ladies with a cup of generous Wicklow ale, and drive them about the field, in order to create the proper ferment between their blood and the ale, and then at the critical moment let in the gentleman. Some managers more attentive than common, treat them with claret instead of ale: perhaps the swarms of children in the cabbins are owing to the prolific quality of this excellent ale of Wicklow.

THE wool of the country is all wrought up by the inhabitants, spun, combed, and wove into flannel and frizes, and to such an extent, that the mountain farmers pay half their rents by this manufacture. They also buy much, not having enough of their own: it is done by the smallest farmers going through the whole manufacture employing cottars in it. By spinning, a woman can earn 3d. a day. Wool now 14s. to 17s. the stone of 16lb. 20 years ago us. no rot among the sheep. On the mountains many goats are kept for the milk, which is drank very much by people from Dublin, who take lodgings for drinking goats whey. Kids flesh reckoned very fine.

THEY plough with both horses and bullocks: two horses and two bullocks, and one bullock and three horses, and do from one-half to three-fourths of an acre a day. Stir 5 inches deep. Very few or no oats given to horses. They work their draught oxen in winter on straw. Hire of a car, a horse, and a driver, 1s. 6d. a day. With 4 cows, 2 horses, a yearling, and 20 sheep, General Cunninghame has had tenants professedly take 50 acres.

LAND sells at rack rent for 18 to 21 years purchase; 5 or 6 years ago it was at 22. Rents are fallen in the same time 4s. in the pound. Tythes are paid by composition; the crops are viewed, and they agree for one year. An acre of wheat 10s. Barley 4s. Oats 4. No tea in the cabbins on the mountains, but in the towns they have it. Leases are three lives, or 31 years, a vast proportion re-let 3 or 4 deep. The people increase much. Rent of a cabbin in a village, with a very small garden, 2l. 2s. to 3l. if not in a village it is less. On a mountain 50s. to 3l. for a cabbin and 5 acres, but generally have a common pasture for their cows, &c. Farms much taken in the mountains by partnership; 3 or 4 will take 100 acres, and divide among themselves as in Kilkenny. Lower people all roman catholics. No emigrations, nor white boys. They have plenty of potatoes; all keep a cow, some more; all a pig and poultry of every kind. Their fuel is turf from the mountains; they are universal pilferers of every thing they can lay their hands on: great lyars, but full of quickness and sagacity, and grateful to excess.

KISH of turf 10d. delivered. Oak ribberies (spars) for cabbins 4s. 6d. a dozen. Building a cabbin 25 feet long, 14 feet wide, with a door and 2 windows, 5l. 10s. Ditto stone and slate 20l. Ditto farm house and offices for 50 acres, of stone and slate 200l.

EXPENCES and produce of General Cunninghame's farm,

  . s. d.      
Rent 375 0 0      
Labour 150 0 0      
Wear and tear 30 0 0      
  555 0 0      
  . s. d.
48 acres mown, at 10 loads an acre, at 10s. 240 0 0
5 acres of wheat 10 barrels, at 1l. 1s. 52 10 0
10 —— barley 14 ditto, at 10s. 6d. 73 10 0
17 —— oats 13 ditto, at 10s. 110 10 0
2 —— pease 9 ditto, at 10s. 9 0 0
10 —— sundries, at 5l. 50 0 0
70 sheep at 15s. 52 10 0
Swine 5 0 0
10 young cattle 40s. 20 0 0
16 horses, 36 weeks, at 2s. 6d. 72 0 0
5 oxen, ditto 2s. 6d. 22 10 0
    707 10 0

IN two acres of land summer-fallowed for wheat, the General was persuaded not to sow it, as the redworm would infallibly destroy the crop, he, therefore, kept it for barley; but manured it with lime, 90 barrels an acre at 21d. each, from the hill of Howth in august; the barley was eaten notwithstanding the lime; it was a very poor crop, and in some places none at all. Sowed the stubble with pease, which I saw, and were very fine. He tried a very extraordinary experiment upon breaking up an old mossy grass lay in an orchard, and laying it down again without having any corn: it was manured with plenty of sand, then ploughed in august; directly cross-ploughed; harrowed thoroughly, and threw about 20 barrels of lime an acre ; burnt the roots, weeds, and tufts of grass, spread the ashes, harrowed, and upon that, about the beginning of september, hay seeds sowed. This was done to escape the trouble of a course of tillage among trees. The success great as possible; I saw the crop of hay mown, and it is not less than 16 loads an acre. This is a system which, in many cases, would be of the greatest use in reviving old hide-bound pastures without the trouble of a course of tillage. It should, however, be observed, that the climate of Ireland is peculiarly favourable to laying land to grass at that season, for it grows luxuriantly quite till christmas. Another instance of this natural tendency of the soil to grass, is a trial the General accidentally made. He had a small field under turnips, which he hoed well, and were a fine crop; upon being drawn to feed the plough bullocks with, he found much grass upon the land, so much, that it induced him to let it stand, and the rather as it was laid very flat and smooth with the turnips, he rolled in some grass seeds, and it turned out a very fine meadow. He was the first who sowed red clover here, and is not yet followed by the farmers. He encourages his tenants to lime, and lends them money for it. Much land is laid to grass at Mount Kennedy, and all of it done in a perfect manner, the surface laid completely smooth, without the least sign of a furrow, and the grasses luxuriant; all manured richly with gravel and marle. I saw two large compost dunghills turning over and mixing, a sight not common in Ireland. It pleased me more than the sight of a palace would have done. The General's crops I found all exceedingly fine, one field of oats the best I had seen in Ireland.

JULY 17th.—Took my leave of General Cunninghame, and went through the Glen of the Downs in my way to Powerscourt. The Glen is a pass between two vast ridges of mountains covered with wood, which have a very noble effect, the vale is no wider than to admit the road, a small gurgling river almost by its side, and narrow flips of rocky and shrubby ground which part them: in the front all escape seems denied by an immense conical mountain which rises out of the Glen, and seems to fill it up. The scenery is of a most magnificent character. On the top of the ridge to the right Mr. La Touche has a banqueting room. Passing from this sublime scene, the road leads through chearful grounds all under corn, rising and falling to the eye, and then to a vale of charming verdure broken into inclosures, and bounded by two rocky mountains, distant darker ones filling up the scene in front: this whole ride is interesting, for within a mile and an half of Tinnyhinch (the inn to which I was directed) you come to a delicious view on the right, a small vale opening to the sea, bounded by mountains, whose dark shade forms a perfect contrast to the extreme beauty and lively verdure of the lower scene, consisting of gently swelling lawns rising from each other, with groups of trees between, and the whole so prettily scattered with white farms, as to add every idea of chearfulness. Kept on towards Powerscourt, which presently came in view from the edge of a declivity. You look full upon the house, which appears to be in the most beautiful situation in the world, on the side of a mountain, half way between its bare top, and an irriguous vale at its foot. In front, and spreading among woods on either side, is a lawn whose surface is beatifully varied in gentle declivities, hanging to a winding river. Lowering the hill the scenery is yet more agreeable, the near inclosures are margined with trees, through whose open branches are seen whole fields of the most lively verdure. The trees gather into groups, and the lawn swells into gentle inequalities, while the river winding beneath renders the whole truly pleasing.

BREAKFASTED at the inn at Tinnyhinch, and then drove to the park to see the water-fall. The park itself is fine; you enter it between two vast masses of mountain, covered with wood, forming a vale scattered with trees, through which flows a river on a broken rocky channel: you follow this vale till it is lost in a most uncommon manner, the ridges of mountain closing, form one great amphitheatre of wood, from the top of which, at the height of many hundred feet, bursts the water from a rock, and tumbling down the side of a very large one, forms a scene singularly beautiful. At the bottom is a spot of velvet turf, from which rises a clump of oaks, and through their stems, branches, and leaves, the falling water is seen as a back ground with an effect more picturesque than can be well imagined; these few trees, and this little lawn, give the finishing to the scene. The water falls behind some large fragments of rock, and turns to the left, down a stony channel, under the shade of a wood.

Picture of waterfall at Powercourt

Plate I: Waterfall at Powercourt

RETURNING to Tinnyhinch, I went to Inniskerry, and gained by this detour in my return to the Dargle, a beautiful view which I should otherwise have lost; the road leads on the edge of a declivity, from whence there is a most pleasing prospect of the river's course through the vale, and the wood of Powerscourt, which here appears in large masses of dark shade, the whole bounded by mountains. Turn to the left into the private road that leads to the Dargle, and presently gives a specimen of what is to be expected by a romantic glen of wood, where the high lands almost lock into each each other, and leave scarce a passage for the river, which rages, as if with difficulty forcing its way. It is topped by a high mountain, and in front you catch a beautiful plat of inclosures bounded by the sea. Enter the Dargle, which is the name of the Glen, near a mile long. Come presently to one of the finest ranges of wood I have any where seen: it is a narrow vale formed by the sides of two opposite mountains; the whole thickly spread with oak at the bottom (the depth is immense) it is narrowed to the mere channel of the river, which tumbles from rock to rock. The extent of wood that hangs to the eye in every direction is great, the depth of the precipice immense, which with the roar of the water forms a scene truly interesting. In less than a quarter of a mile, the road passing through the wood leads to another point of view to the right: it is the crown of a vast projecting rock, from which you look down a precipice absolutely perpendicular, and many hundred feet deep upon the torrent, which finds its noisy way over large fragments of rock. The point of view is a great projection of the mountain on this side, answered by a concave of the opposite, so that you command the Glen both to the right and left; it exhibits immense tracts of forest, that have a most magnificent appearance. Beyond the wood, to the right, are some inclosures hanging on the side of a hill, crowned by a mountain. I knew not how to leave so interesting a spot; the impressions raised by it are strong. The solemnity of such an extent of wood unbroken by any intervening objects, and the whole hanging over declivities is alone great; but to this the addition of a constant roar of falling water, either quite hid, or so far below as to be seen but obscurely, united to make those impressions stronger. No contradictory emotions are raised—no ill-judged temples appear to enliven a scene that is gloomy rather than gay. Falling or moving water is a lively object; this being obscure, the noise operates differently. Following the road a little further, there is another bold rocky projection, from which also a double view to the right and left. In front so immense a sweep of hanging wood, that a nobler scene can hardly be imagined: the river is at the bottom of a precipice, so steep, and a depth so great, as to be quite fearful to look down. This horrid precipice, the pointed bleak mountains in view, with the roar of the water, all conspire to raise one great emotion of the sublime. You advance scarcely 20 yards before a pretty scene opens to the left, a distant landscape of inclosures, with a river winding between the hills to the sea. Passing to the right, fresh scenes of wood appear; half way to the bottom a different one is seen; you are almost inclosed in wood, and look to the right through some low oaks on the opposite bank of wood, with an edging of trees through which the sky is seen, which added to an uncommon elegance in the outline of the hill, has a most pleasing effect. Winding down to a thatched bench on a rocky point, an uncommon scene opens. Immediately beneath is a vast chasm in the rock, which seems torn asunder, to let the torrent through that comes tumbling over a rockky bed far sunk in a channel embosomed in wood. Above is a range of woods, which half overshadow it, and rising to a vast height, exclude every object. To the left the water rolls away over broken rocks: a scene truly romantic. Followed the path; it led me to the water's edge, at the bottom of the Glen, where is a new scene, in which not a single circumstance weakens the principal character. In a hollow formed of rock and wood (every object excluded but those and water) the torrent breaks forth from fragments of rock, and tumbles through the chasm, rocks bulging over it, as if ready to fall into the channel, and stop the impetuous water. The shade is so thick as to exclude the heavens; all is retired and gloomy; a brown horror breathing over the whole. It is a spot for melancholy to muse in.

RETURN to the carriage, and quit the Dargle, which upon the whole is a singular place, different from all I have seen in England, and I think, preferable to most. Cross a murmuring stream clear as chrystal, and rising a hill, look back on a pleasing landscape of inclosures, which waving over hills, end in mountains of a very noble character. Reach Dublin.

JULY 18th, once more to Lord Harcourt's at St. Woolstan's, where I was so fortunate as to meet Colonel Burton: he gave me a fresh packet of recommendations into the North of Ireland, and taking my leave of his excellency, passed Manooth to Kilrue. From Celbridge to Manooth is a line of very fine corn. Passed Dunboyne, from thence to Kilrue; the soil is clay, flat and strong, and I observed much hollow draining, with very fine crops of wheat and oats. The land about Mr. Jones is a very fine rich strong loam, call here clay. Mr. Lowther, to whom I had a letter, not being at home, I was forced to take refuge in a cabbin, called an inn, at Ratoath. Preserve me, fate! from such another. In their strong lands about Kilrue their courses are: 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat, yielding 8 to 15 barrels an acre. 3. Oats, 9 to 20 barrels.

1 Potatoes 80 barrels. 1 Potatoes.
2 Beans 7 to 15. 2 Barley 9 to 14.
3 Oats. 3 Oats.

LIMESTONE gravel they use in great quantities; lay it on a fallow, and it lasts 7 years, the expence from 4l. to 8l. Lime they use, but find that it will not last like gravel. Hollow, called French drains, are very general, even among the common farmers: some done with stones, but much with sods, laid an edge in the ground; they dig them 2 or 3 feet deep ; at 2 feet, the expence is 5d. a perch. At 3 feet it is 8d. Clover they sow pretty much, let it lie two years, and then break it up for oats on one ploughing. They sow it on both winter and spring corn. The poor give 5l. 5s. an acre for lay to plant potatoes on, and the same for stubble-ground dunged. A cabbin and half an acre of land, 30s. rent, and 30s. more for a cow's food. Farms rise to 300 acres, and rents from 18 to 25s. an acre.

JULY 19th, left Ratoath, passing Robert's-town, found much of the land a strong loam without stones, with all the appearance of being a very fine soil. Got to Baron Hamilton's at Hampton, near Balbriggen, by breakfast. His house is new built, and stands agreeably by a fine shore, with a full view of the mountains of Mourn, at 16 leagues distance, and the isles of skerry near him, much improving the view. He favoured me with the following account.

ABOUT Hampton, the soil clay or strong loam, and many stones in it; lets from 20 to 30s. Farms rise from 40 acres to 100 and 150. No taking in partnership. Courses:

1. Fallow. 2. Wheat, 7 barrels. 3. Barley, 10 to 12. 4. Oats, 10.

1. Fallow. 2. Wheat. 3. Barley. 4. White pease.

1. Fallow. 2. Wheat. 3. Barley. 4. Oats. 5. Clover for 2 years. 6. Wheat or fallow.

THE manures lime, sea sand, marle and lime-stone gravel got three feet deep. Lime 6d. to 8d. at the kiln; they lay from 100 to 150 barrels, which last 8 or 9 years; on the dry soils does best. On clay well drained, they spread of lime-stone gravel, that has a strong fermentation, 300 to 400 loads, generally out of drains, ditches, &c. lasts long, it is best on strong land. Sea sand on poor clay excellent; lay 300 barrels an acre, which is a good dressing; lasts many years, and changes it from scutch (triticum repens) to white clover (trifolium repens); it has an effervescence with acids. The white marle under black bottoms; 300 loads an acre. On new lays the Baron has found a very fine effect from it. Flax chiefly after potatoes, and then barley. Sow enough for their own use, not enough for manufactures for sale. For potatoes they pay 4l. an acre for dunged land, or lay on dung and have it for nothing. Much hollow draining, 4 feet deep, and 5 inches broad at bottom; fill with stones, and the improvement found very great; the common farmers do much. Tillage performed mostly with horses. In hiring farms they will take 100 acres with 200l. Tythes are generally compounded. The Baron has 800l. a year in tythes, and they pay upon an average 2s. an acre. If distinguished, wheat is 8s. or 9s. Barley 8s. Oats 5s. Pease 4s. Meadow 4s. 6d. Many lands are hired to be relet. Population increases very fast, and the country in every respect improves amazingly. A cottage and half an acre 40s. to 3l. for a cow 30s. they generally have 2 cows. A bellyful of potatoes and oatmeal for stirabout; keep 2 or 3 pigs, and a great deal of poultry. They are universally much better off in every respect than 20 years ago: more industrious, owing perhaps very much to the high rents; insomuch, that they have been the parent of all improvements. All the manures have been found out within 20 years. Lime has not been used more than 10 years. When Baron Hamilton built the pier at Balbriggen, in the year 1763, there was only one sloop of culm for burning lime in a season, but now from 60 to 100.

CATTLE of all sorts a very inferior object. This place is in Fingal, which is a territory from near Dublin, extending along the coast, inhabited by a people they call Fingalians; an English colony planted here soon after their landing, speaking nearly the same language as the Barony of Forth, but more intermixed with Irish in language, &c. from vicinity to the capital.

A HORSE and car and driver 1s. two cars to a driver. The rise of labour great in 20 years, from 4d. to 6d. An extraordinary circumstance is, that Ireland has been very prosperous on comparison with former times, and yet interest of money now 6 per cent. and 20 years ago 4; and 5. Land sells at under 20 years purchase, fallen from 24 in 4 or 5 years, owing partly to the rents being run up too high.

BARON HAMILTON has been a considerable improver; he took in near Hampton 150 acres, mountain land, covered with scutch grass, (triticum repens) furz (ulex europ?us) and a little heath (erica vulgaris); stubbed it up, ploughed it 4 times, limed 140 to 150 barrels each acre. Sowed rye, sold on the land for 7l. 10s. an acre. For two successive years let it at 4l. 10s. an acre for two crops of oats, which yielded from 16 to 20 barrels an acre; then two years more at 3l. 15s. and 3l. 10s. the crops 14 barrels. Fallowed it to destroy scutch grass for maslin, and then a crop of spring corn with grass seed. This is the course in which the rough ground has been generally improved. This soil clay without much stone. In its rough state worth only 5s. an acre to remain so, but the Baron paid 16s. 6d. The first year's expence was, crop included, 10l. an acre, now worth 20s. to 28s. an acre.

THE Baron carried me to Balbriggen, a little sea port of his, which owes its being to his care and attention. It subsists by its fishing boats, which he builds; has 23 of them, each carrying 7 men, who are not paid wages, but divide the produce of their fishery. The vessel takes one share, and the hands one each, which amounts on an average to 16s. a week. A boat costs from 130l. to 200l. fitted out ready for the fishery: they make their own nets. The port owes its existence to a very fine pier which Baron Hamilton built, within which ships of 200 tons can lay their broad sides, and unload in the quay. Such vessels bring coals and culm from Wales, &c. The base of the pier is 18 feet thick, and on the outside is a considerable rampart of great fragments of rock, sunk to defend it against the waves. In moving these huge stones, some of which weigh 8 or 10 ton, he made use of a contrivance which deserves to be generally known. They are spread along the shore, between high and low water mark, but to get them to the place where wanted was a very difficult business. He lashed puncheons to them at low water, which floated them when the tide came in, and conveyed them over the spot where wanted; but in disengaging the casks from the stone to sink the latter, he often had them broken, and found many difficulties. To remedy this, he had a contrivance very simple and ingenious, which answered the purpose completely. The puncheons were hooped strongly with iron near each end, and between these irons was a chain, from the center of which went an iron tongue. The stones, at low water, were lashed round with a chain with open irons that corresponded with those tongues in the cask chains, the one went into the other, and when closed had a female screw through all three; through the two jaws of the one, and the tongue of the other, a male screw at the end of a bar was then screwed in when the stone was ready to move. One of 8 tons required 10 puncheons: upon being floated over the spot where wanted these bars were unscrewed, and the stone and casks disengaged at once without trouble, the one sinking, and the casks floating away with the chain that was lashed round the stone.

LEFT Balbriggen and went to Bally-garth, the seat of ——Pepper, Esq; a place very agreeably wooded on a rising ground above a river. Mr. Pepper keeps a considerable domain in his hands, and has practiced several parts of husbandry with much attention; he has laid down large tracts to grass, which he has made so good that he could let it readily for 50s. to 3l. an acre. His course of crops has been sometimes, 1. Turnips. 2. Barley. 3. Clover. 4. Wheat; and has cultivated turnips in considerable quantities. In several particulars, which I saw myself, Mr. Pepper appears an excellent farmer. His quick fences were in perfect order; his wet lands hollow drained, and the mouths of the drains well faced with stone. The old ditch earth on the borders of his fields was carting away to form composts; he did it by contract, the men digging and leading it from 20 to 30 perches, driving and finding horses and cars at 5d. a score loads, each a barrel. This is much against the Irish cars, for four horses carry but 16 bushels of earth, whereas three in an English cart would carry double that. Mr. Pepper is much a friend to them for some things, but in others thinks that two-horse carts are preferable; with two horses in a well-made cart, he sends 10 barrels to Dublin, whereas two horses in two cars carry but five or six barrels, which is a great inferiority; but he likes the little one-horse cart better still, which brings him three barrels of coals, lime, &c. A circumstance in the fattening of cattle, in which he is peculiar, is, not letting his bulls go among his fattening cows; he never does this, and finds that they fat as well without as with it. In breeding sheep he is attentive, finding it a profitable branch of farming. He keeps his lambs till they are two-year-old wethers, and sells them in spring at 35s. each on an average; but could not do it without the assistance of turnips. His ewes clip 8lb. of wool, and his lambs 7lb. 20 acres of grass will carry 100 through the year, except the turnip season. Sea sand Mr. Pepper spreads on his clay meadows, and finds the benefit of it very great.

IN conversation on the common people, Mr. Pepper assured me he never found them more dishonest than in other countries. They would thieve slightly till they found him resolute in punishing all he discovered; even his turnips have suffered very little depredation.

JULY 20th, to Drogheda, a well built town, active in trade, the Boyne bringing ships to it. It was rnarket-day, and I found the quantity of corn, &c. and the number of people assembled very great; few country markets in England more thronged. The Rev. Mr. Nesbit, to whom recommended, absent, which was a great loss to me, as I had several enquiries which remained unsatisfied.

To the field of battle on the Boyne.—The view of the scene from a rising ground which looks down upon it is exceedingly beautiful, being one of the completest landscapes I have seen. It is a vale, loosing itself in front between bold declivities, above which are some thick woods, and distant country. Through the vale the river winds and forms an island, the point of which is tufted with trees in the prettiest manner imaginable; on the other side a rich scenery of wood, among which is Doctor Norris's house. To the right on a rising ground on the banks of the river is the obelisk, backed by a very bold declivity; pursued the road till near it, quitted my chaise, and walked to the foot of it. It is founded on a rock which rises boldly from the river. It is a noble pillar, and admirably placed. I seated myself on the opposite rock, and indulged the emotions, which, with a melancholy not unpleafing, filled my bosom, while I reflected on the consequences that had sprung from the victory here obtained. Liberty was there triumphant. May the virtues of our posterity secure that prize which the bravery of their ancestors won! Peace to the memory of the Prince to whom, whatever might be his failings, we owed that day memorable in the annals of Europe!

RETURNED part of the way, and took the road to Cullen, where the Lord Chief Baron Forster received me in the most obliging manner, and gave me a variety of information uncommonly valuable. He has made the greatest improvements I have any where met with. The whole country 22 years ago was a waste sheep walk, covered chiefly with heath, with some dwarf furz and fern. The cabbins and people as miserable as can be conceived; not a protestant in the country, nor a road passable for a carriage. In a word, perfectly resembling other mountainous tracts, and the whole yielding a rent of not more fhan from 3s. to 4s. an acre. Mr. Forster could not bear so barren a property, and determined to attempt the improvement of an estate of 5000 acres till then deemed irreclaimable. He encouraged the tenants by every species of persuasion and expence, but they had so ill an opinion of the land that he was forced to begin with 2 or 3000 acres in his own hands; he did not, however, turn out the people, but kept them in to see the effect of his operations.

THESE were of a magnitude I have never heard before: he had for several years 27 lime-kilns burning stone, which was brought 4 miles with culm from Milford Haven, He had 450 cars employed by these kilns, and paid 700l. a year for culm: the stone was quarried by from 60 to So men regularly at that work; this was doing the business with incomparable spirit—yet had he no peculiar advantages, but many circumstances against him, among which his constant attendance on the courts, which enabled him to see Cullen but by starts, was not the least. The works were necessarily left to others at a time that he could have wished constantly to have attended them.

WHILE this vast business of liming was going forwards, roads were also making, and the whole tract inclosed in fields of about 10 acres each, with ditches 7 feet wide, and 6 deep, at 1s. a perch, the banks planted with quick and forest trees. Of these fences 70,000 perches were done.

IN order to create a new race of tenants, he fixed upon the most active and industrious labourers, bought them cows, &c. and advanced money to begin with little farms, leaving them to pay it as they could. These men he nursed up in proportion to their industry, and some of them are now good farmers, with 4 or 500l. each in their pockets. He dictated to them what they should do with their lands, promising to pay the loss if any should happen, while all the advantage would be their own. They obeyed him implicitly, and he never had a demand for a shilling loss.

HE fixed a colony of French and English protestant on the land, which have flourished greatly. In Cullen are 50 families of tradesmen, among whom sobriety and industry are perfectly established.

MANY of these lands being very wet, draining was a considerable operation: this he did very effectually, burying in the drains several millions of loads of stones.

THE mode in which the chief baron carried on the improvement, was by fallowing. He stubbed the furze, &c. and ploughed it, upon which he spread from 140 to 170 barrels of lime per acre, proportioning the quantity to the mould or clay which the plough turned up. For experiment he tried as far as 300 barrels, and always found that the greater the quantity, the greater the improvement. The lime cost him 9d. a barrel on the land: his usual quantity 160, at the expence of 6l. an acre, and the total of that expence alone 30,000l. After the liming, fallowed the land for rye, and after the rye took two crops of oats. Throughout the improvement, the lime has been so exceedingly beneficial that he attributes his success principally to the use of it. Without it, all other circumstances equal, he has got 3 or 4 barrels an acre of oats, but with it 20 and 22 of barley. Has compared lime and white marle on an improved mountain-soil for flax, that on the lime produced 1000lb. well scutched, the other 300lb.

HIS great object was to shew the tenantry as soon as he could, what these improvements would do in corn, in order to set them to work themselves. He sold them the corn crops on the ground at 40s. an acre: the three crops paid him therefore the expence of the liming, at the same time they were profitable bargains to the tenants. With the third corn crop the land was laid down to grass. Upon this operation, after the manuring, ditching and draining, the old tenants very readily hired them. Some seeing the benefit of the works, executed them upon their own lands; but their landlord advanced all the money, and trusted to their success and honesty for the payment. This change of their sentiments induced him to build new farm-houses, of which he has erected above 30, all of lime and stone, at the expence of above 40l. a house; the farms are in general about 80 acres each

AFTER six or seven years, the chief baron limed much of it a second time on the sod, and the benefit of it very great. It is all let now on an average at 20s. an acre. Upon the whole, his Lordship is clearly of opinion that the improvement has been exceedingly profitable to him, besides the pleasure that has attended so uncommon a creation, He would recommend a similar undertaking to others who possess wastes, and if he had such another estate he would undertake it himself.

HE also allotted a considerable tract of many acres for plantations, which are well placed and flourishing. Ridings are cut in them, and they form a very agreeable scenery. Mr. Forster, his son, takes much pleasure in adding to them, and has introduced 1700 sorts of European and American plants. The country is now a sheet of corn: a greater improvement I have not heard of, or one which did more genuine honour to the person that undertook it.

THIS GREAT IMPROVER, a title more deserving estimation than that of a great General or a great Minister, lives now to overlook a country flourishing only from his exertions. He has made a barren wilderness smile with cultivation, planted it with people, and made those people happy. Such are the men to whom monarchs should decree their honours, and nations erect their statues.

SOME other circumstances I learnt from his Lordship were—that more than half the county of Louth, which is one of the best in Ireland for tillage, is every year under corn: 25 years ago, it was all at 10s. an acre, now 21s. Corn-acre rents, 40 years ago, were 25s.—25 years ago 30s.—now 3l. 12s. Conjectures one family to every 10 acres in the county, exclusive of towns: founds this by observing generally four families to every farm of 40 acres.

THE general course of crops in Louth is: 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat, the produce 6 barrels. 3. Oats, ditto 15 barrels. 4. Barley, ditto 15 barrels. 5. Oats. 6. Grass seeds sown, or left waste to turf itself.

IN his Lordship's circuits through the north of Ireland he was, upon all occasions, attentive to procure information relative to the linen manufacture. It has been his general observation, that where linen spreads tillage is very bad. Thirty years ago the export of linen and yarn about 500,000l. a year; now 1,200,000l. to 1,500,000l. The chief baron has taken some pains to compare the linen and woollen manufacture for Ireland, and found, from the closest inspection, that the people employed in the linen earned one-third more than those in the woollen. One stone of wool is the produce of an acre of grass, which feeds two and an half, or three sheep. Raw, it is equal to one-third of the manufactured value, and at 10s. is only 1l. 10s. gross produce. An acre of flax at 8 cwt. and he has had 12 cwt. wrought into the worst linens, will amount to ten times the value of the acre under wool. It is found in manufacture, that it never flourishes when oatmeal is cheap—the greatest exports of linen are when it is dearest.

RESPECTING the thieving of the common people, which I had heard so much of, the chief baron was entirely of a different opinion—from his own experience he judged them to be remarkably honest. In working his improvements, he has lived in his house without shutters, bolts, or bars, and with it half full of spalpeens , yet never lost the least trifle—nor has he met with any depredations among his fences or plantations.

RAISING rents he considers as one of the greatest causes of the improvement of Ireland; he has found that upon his own estates it has universally quickened their industry, set them to searching for manures, and made them in every respect better farmers. But this holds only to a certain point; if carried too far, it deadens, instead of animating, industry. He has always preserred his old tenants, and never let a farm by advertisement to receive proposals. That the system of letting farms to be re-let to lower tenants, was going out very much: it is principally upon the estates of absentees, whose agents think only of the most rent from the most solvent tenant.

IN conversation upon the popery laws, I expressed my surprise at their severity: he n they were severe in the letter, but were never executed. It is rarely or never (he knew no instance) that a protestant discoverer gets a lease by proving the lands let under two-thirds of their real value to a catholic. There are severe penalties on carrying arms or reading mass; but the first is never executed for poaching which I had heard), and as to the other, masshouses are to be seen every where: there is one in his own town. His Lordship did justice to the merits of the roman catholics, by observing that they were in general a very sober, honest, and industrious people. This account of the laws against them brought to my mind an admirable expression of Mr. Burke's, in the English house of commons, CONNIVANCE IS THE RELAXATION OF SLAVERY, NOT THE DEFINITION OF LIBERTY.

THE kingdom more improved in the last 20 years than in a century before. The great spirit began in 1749 and 1750.

HE was assured that the emigrations, which made so much noise in the north of Ireland, were principally idle people, who, far from being missed, left the country the better by their absence. They were generally dissenters, very few churchmen or catholics.

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

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