Picture of Arthur Young

Arthur Young

places mentioned

21st to 31st July 1776: Down, Armagh and Antrim

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JULY 21st, took my leave of this prince of improvers, who gave me a letter to Mr. Forster of Rossy Park; bent my course thither, but he being from home, went on to Atherdee; and one of the finest sheets of corn I ever beheld is from the hill which looks down on that town. It is a glorious prospect, all waving hills of wheat as far as the eye can see, with the town of Atherdee in a wood in the vale.

To Dundalk, the view down on this town also very beautiful, swelling hills of a fine verdure, with many rich inclosures backed by a bold outline of mountain that is remarkable. Laid at the Clanbrassil Arms, and found it a very good inn. The place, like most of the Irish towns I have been in, full of new buildings, with every mark of increasing wealth and prosperity. A cambrick manufacture was established here by parliament, but failed; it was, however, the origin of that more to the north.

JULY 22d, left Dundalk—Took the road through Ravensdale to Mr. Fortescue, to whom I had a letter, but unfortunately he was in the south of Ireland. Here I saw many good stone and slate houses, and some bleach greens; and I was much pleased to see the inclosures creeping high up the sides of the mountains as they are. Mr. Fortescue's situation is very romantic on the side of a mountain, with fine woods hanging on every side, with the lawn beautifully scattered with trees spreading into them, and a pretty river winding through the vale, beautiful in itself, but trebly so on information, that before he fixed there, it was all a wide waste. Rents in Ravensdale 10s. mountain land 2s. 6d. to 5s. Also large tracts rented by villages, the cottars dividing it among themselves, and making the mountain common for their cattle.

BREAKFASTED at Newry, the globe, another good inn.—This town appears exceedingly flourishing, and is very well built; yet 40 years ago, I was told there were nothing but mud cabbins in it: this great rise has been much owing to the canal to Loch-Neagh. I crossed it twice—it is indeed a noble work. I was amazed to see ships of 150 tons, and more, lying in it, like barges in an English canal. Here is a considerable trade. Take the road to Market-hill: the town parks about Newry let up to 2l. and 3l. an acre, which is here English measure. They sow oats chiefly as I advanced, with a little barley—no fallows, and but little clover. Within four miles of Market-hill, the course, 1. Oats. 2. Oats. 3. Oats. 4. Oats. 5. Oats, and then leave it to the rubbish, which comes for 3 or 4 years: some potatoes, and after it flax. I am now got into the linen country, and the worst husbandry I have met wit; my lord chief baron is right. Rents 10s. to 13s. the English acre; all the farms are very small, let to weavers, &c. They measure by the boll of 10 bushels, a good crop of oats three to four and an half.

THIS road is abominably bad, continually over hills, rough, stoney, and cut up. It is a turnpike, which in Ireland is a synonymous term for a vile road, which is the more extraordinary, as the cross ones are the finest in the world. It is the effect of jobs and imposition which disgrace the kingdom; the presentment roads shew what may be done, and render these villainous turnpikes the more disgusting.

CALLED at Lord Gosfort's, to whom I had been introduced by Lord Harcourt, but he was not yet come from Dublin; his steward, however, gave me the few following particulars. About Market-hill they measure by the English acre, and let from 8s. mountain, to 12s. and 14s. The courses are, 1. Oats. 2. Oats. 3. Oats. 4 Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Oats, then leave it to itself to graze three or four years, this on good strong land; on worse three or four of oats, and three or four of grass, that is weeds, they reckon the best management to lime it on the sod, then three crops of oats, and three years left, and that one liming will last many years. Measure by bolls, each 10 bushels; sow six bushels of oats to an acre; a good crop 60 bushels, but that is extraordinary; 4 or 5 bolls common; and the crops will hold good through the whole course, the first will be the worst. Another course, 1. Potatoes. 2. Flax, or oats. Also after several crops of oats, plough thrice and sow flax seed, two bushels to an acre, and yield 12 to 18 stone to every bushel of seed. Never sow flax twice running. Plant 16 to 18 bushels of potatoes on an acre; they do not live entirely on them, but have oatmeal, oaten bread, and sometimes flesh meat, once or twice a week. In spinning a woman will do 5 or 6 hanks a week, and get 30s. for it by hire, as wages for half a year; a girl of 12 years old three-halfpence, or two-pence a day. A man will earn, by weaving coarse linen 1s. 2d. and 1S. 6d. by fine. The manufacturers live better than the labourers; they earn 3s. 6d. a week in winter, and 4s. in summer. Manufacturers have all from 6 to 15 acres from 6s. to 20s. an acre, and the house into the bargain: generally two or three cows, and a bit of flax. The country labourers have also from 6 to 10 acres. A cabbin without land 1l. 1s. a year. Cloth and yarn never so dear as at present, and the people all employed—none idle. A cottage-building 5l. ditto stone and slate 80l. A great rise of both labour and provisions; 20 years ago beef 1d. and 1? d. per lb. and labour 3d. and 4d. a day. Religion mostly roman, but some presbyterians and church of England.—Manufacturers generally protestants. Their wives drink tea for breakfast. No cattle but for convenience among the small farmers. No farms above 100 acres, and those stock ones, for fattening cows and bullocks. Very few sheep in the country. Manures are lime, of which 20 to 60 barrels per acre, at 1s. 6d, will last for ever; best; for light land—marle grey and white, best on heathy ground. Some soapers waste at Ardmagh and Newry, but not much. Reached Ardmagh in the evening; waited on the primate.

JULY 23d, his Grace rode out with me to Ardmagh, and shewed me some of the noble and spirited works by which he has perfectly changed the face of the neighbourhood. The buildings he has erected in seven years, one would suppose, without previous information, to be the work of an actve life. A list of them will justfy this observation.

HE has erected a very elegant palace, 90 feet by 60, and 40 high, in which an unadorned simplicity reigns. It is light and pleasing, without the addition of wings or lesser parts, which too frequently wanting a sufficient uniformity with the body of the edifice,, are unconnected with it in effect, and divide the attention. Large and ample offices are conveniently placed behind a plantation at a small distance: around the palace is a large lawn which spreads on every side over the hills, and skirted by young plantations, in one of which is a terrace, which commands a most beautiful view of cultivated hill and dale. The view from the palace is much improved by the barracks, the school, and a new church at a distance, all which are so placed as to be exceedingly ornamental to the whole country.

THE barracks were erected under his Grace's directions, and form a large and handsome edifice. The school is a building of considerable extent, and admirably adapted for the purpose: a more convenient or a better contrived one, is no where to be seen. There are apartments for a master, a school-room 56 feet by 28, a large dining-room and spacious airy dormitories, with every other necessary, and a spacious play-ground walled in; the whole forming a handsome front: and attention being paid to the residence of the master (the salary is 400l. a year), the school flourishes, and must prove one of the greatest advantages to the country of any thing that could have been established. This edifice entirely at the primate's expence. The church is erected of white stone, and having a tall spire makes a very agreeable object, in a country where churches and spires do not abound—at least such as are worth looking at. Three other churches the primate has also built, and done considerable reparations to the cathedral.

HE has been the means also of erecting a public infirmary, which was built by subscription, contributing amply to it himself.

A PUBLIC library he has erected at his own expence, giving a large collection of books, and endowed it. The room is excellently adapted, 45 by 25, and 20 high, with a gallery, and apartments for a librarian.

HE has further ornamented the city with a market-house and shambles, and been the direct means, by giving leases upon that condition, of almost new building the whole place. He found it a nest of mud cabbins, and he will leave it a well built city of stone and slate. I heard it asserted in common conversation, that his Grace, in these noble undertakings, had not expended less than 30,000l. besides what he had been the means of doing, though not directly at his own expence .

WHEN it is considered that all this has been done in the short term of 7 or 8 years, I should not be accused of exaggeration, if I said they were noble and spirited works undertaken upon a man's paternal estate, how much more then are they worthy of praise when executed not for his own posterity but for the public good? Amidst such great works of a different nature, it is not to be expected that his Grace should have given much attention to agriculture; yet has he not neglected it. In order to improve the breed of cattle in the country, he brought from England a bull and several cows of the true Teeswater breed, of a vast size, with short Holdernesse horns; they give a great quantity of milk, and he has preserved the breed pure and to their size, by feeding the calves with much attention: they have a considerable quantity of milk given them while at grass.

IN the husbandry of the neighbourhood no other corn is raised than oats, and they have a notion that wheat will not do here: to convince them of the contrary, the primate has fallowed a large field, manured it differently for a comparison, and sowed wheat. The crop I viewed, and found it a very fine and a very clean one.

IN order that I might be well informed about the linen manufacture, his Grace was so obliging as to send for one of the most considerable merchants in the city, Mr. Mageough, who very intelligently gave me all the particulars I wanted.

THE following circumstances I owe to his information. About Ardmagh the farms are very small; the principal people occupy from 40 to 60 acres, these sow some flax as well as raise corn, but in general they are from 5 to 20 acres; the only object the linen manufacture. This is the case all the way to Newry; also to Monaghan, but in that county the farms are somewhat larger. Towards Lurgan, Dungannon, and Stewart's-town, much the same. Rents around Ardmagh are from 7s. to 15s. Much mountain let in gross by town lands not measured; average 10s. The whole county much lower. To Newry 10s. To Dungannon 11s. To Lurgan 10s. The manufacturers, under-tenants on the church lands, have leases of 14 years; on other lands 3 lives, which make a visible difference in culture. A manufacturer who has 10 acres will keep 2 cows and a horse, a pig, but not much poultry; he will sow 1 or 2 bolls of oats on 3 acres—a bushel, or 1? of flax-seed on a rood or a rood and an half, and half an acre of potatoes, or as much as he can dung. His course is,

1. Potatoes. 2. Flax. 3. Oats, and let it then lay for pasture, not sowing in general any grasses— some of them a little clover ; the benefit of which is very great. When his son grows up and marries, he universally divides his farm with him, building a new mud cabbin: thus farms are constantly growing less and less. This is found very hurtful, by reducing them so low that they will not supply the people with necessaries. Scarce any of them have potatoes and oats to feed their families; great importations from Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Cavan, and Tyrone, besides what comes occasionally from England and Scotland. Their food principally potatoes and oatmeal; very little meat; the better sort, however, buy some beef for winter, but it is not common. Many of them live very poorly, sometimes having for 3 months only potatoes and salt and water. There are few labouring poor unconnected with the manufacture, but when it is not in a very flourishing state, they live better than those employed by linen. No flax farmers; scarce any but what is raised in patches by the cottars. Upon light or mountain lands they prefer the American flax-seed. Upon heavy or clay lands they sow Riga, Dutch, or Flanders seed; the quantity they get is more and better in quality than from the American, and will last 20 years. For fine linens they never save seed, pulling it green: but for coarse linens they save as much as they can.

I was informed that the produce of the flax depended on the oiliness of it, and that the goodness of the linen on not being too much bleached, which is only an exhalation of the oil. If so, it should appear that perfecting the seed must injure both linen and flax: but still the contrary is the opinion here. The quantity of seed from 2 to 3 bushels per acre: or 4 bushels of their own, from the idea that it is not so well saved.

THEY plough their potatoe-land or barley-stubble once the end of march or april, and sow it. But it is found by several that the best flax, and the greatest quantity, is by sowing their poorest lands that have been run out by oats, upon 3 ploughings, and the reason they do it not more is for want of ability to give the 3 ploughings. They weed it very carefully. They generally pull it the latter end of july and the beginning of august, and immediately ripple it to get the seeds off, and then lay it into water from 6 or 7 to 12 days, according to the softness of the water, trying it before they take it out: the softer the water the shorter the time, generally bogs or pools, the bog the best. They lay it so thick as to fill the pool. When they take it out, they spread it on meadow ground from 10 to 15 days, according to weather; if that is very bad, much of it is lost. Upon taking it up, they dry by laying it in heaps on a hurdle fixed upon posts, and making a fire of turf under it. As fast as it dries, they beat it on stones with a beetle, then they scutch it to separate the heart or the shoves from the rest. Mills are invented for this, which if they use, they pay 1s. 1d. a stone for it, which is cheaper than what their own labour amounts to. They next send it to a flax-heckler, which is a sort of combing it, and separates into two or three sorts; here generally two, tow and flax. In this state it is saleable. The crop is from 18 to 48 stones per acre of flax rough after scutching. The medium is 30 stones, and it sells from 6s. 8d. to 9s. Much Dutch flax is imported, also from Riga, Koningsberg and Petersburg, which generally regulates the price of their own; the 12 head Petersburg is much the best of the common sort, 12 head Narva not so good, but Marienburg better than Narva. The 9 heads to a bunch coarse. Dutch blay and Dutch white, good and wirey; but the best of all is the silver blay from Bristol, which comes down the Severn: it is fuller of oil, softer and better than any other sort. The average price of their own 2l. 8s. to 2l. 12s. per cwt. or 7s. to 7s. 6d. a stone. It is liked better than the imported.

WE next come to the manufacture. The stone-rough after heckling will produce 8 lb. flax for coarse linen, and 3 lb. of tow. The 8lb. will spin into 20 dozen of yarn, or 20 hanks or 5 spangles fit for a ten hundred cloth, which is the common sort here; and the earnings in spinning will be from 5s. to 6s. 8d. the five spangles, and tis very good work to do that in 20 days by one woman; in common 25 days, consequently they earn something better than 3d. a day. Seven and a half spangles will weave into a piece of linen (ten hundred sort) of 25 yards long, and yard wide. Thus one stone and a half of flax at 7s. a stone, market-price, will make that piece. But the tow remains 4 lb. which is 2s. 2d. of which they make a coarser linen. 30 stone, the produce of an acre, make therefore 20 such pieces. The price of this cloth is from 10d. to 11d. a yard brown, the state in which they sell it. Average 11d. The fixed price for weaving it is 2 d. a yard. But this is when the poor are not able to raise it, and work for hire for those who advance them the yarn. A great deal is done in this manner, as well as by those who raise the flax, and go thro' the whole of the operation. When the weaver has made his piece of cloth, he goes into the market of Ardmagh, which is every Tuesday, and sells it to the draper as he would any other commodity, always receiving the money on the spot, as there is no credit. The draper names the price, and the man takes or refuses it. There are many drapers, so that the man tries whom he pleases: there is no combination against the seller, but rather a competition. The draper generally has the bleach greens; and the expence to him of bleaching is 4l. 10s. to 5l. a pack of 30 pieces, or 3s. to 3s. 2d. a piece. Then he either sends it to factors in London or Dublin, or sells it at the linen-hall in Dublin. Some go over to Chester fair themselves, and dispose of it there. In London he gives seven months credit: in Dublin two or three; but if he goes himself to the hall, he gets part ready money. The London factor has six per cent. for selling and advancing the money as soon as sold, and half per cent. for warehouse room and insurance from fire. This is the principal part of the trade about Ardmagh.

IN general the manufacture was at the height in 1770 and 1771. In 1772 and 1773 there was a great decline both in price and quantity. In 1774 very low, till May; when a sudden rise from a speculation of sending to America, and for the demand of the Spanish flota, which was detained a year for want of coarse linens, not being able to be supplied from Germany as usual: and since may, 1774, it has continued very flourishing, but is not yet equal to what it was. The decline in 1772 and 1773, owmg to tne destruction of credit, and to the want of a market; but let me observe that a convulsion in credit necessarily contracts the market. Another circumstance was the price of bread in England, which they think, was so high, that the English could not afford to buy much of these coarse linens, of which they are the great consumers. Germany they consider as the great rival, and not Scotland. It is thought that their flax is well culvitated, and admits of no great improvement. The emigrations were chiefly in 1772 and 1773. .Many weavers and spinners, with all their families, went. Some farmers, who sold their leases, went off with sums from 100l. to 300l. and carried many with them. They stopped going when the war broke out. In 1772 and 1773 many turned farming labourers, which is not the case when the trade is high.

The religion generally roman, some presbyterians: protestants emigrated most. The oak boys and steel boys had their rise in the increase of rents, and in oppressive county cesses.

JULY 24th, took my leave of his Grace, and breakfasted with Maxwell Close, Esq; at ——, who was so kind as to mention a few circumstances in addition, and some in contradiction, to what I had learnt at Ardmagh.

THE manufacture at it's greatest height at present; the price greater, and the quantity also. The emigrations nothing about Ardmagh; but Antrim, and Downe and Derry, many, chiefly idle fellows, who have not been the least missed: some went with money, but the sums not considerable. It was said that Lord Donnegal's high rents were the cause, but when they went they sold their leases, and got 20l. 30l. or 40l. for many, and it was this money chiefly carried. A weaver will earn from 1s. to 1s. 4d. a farming labourer 8d.

COURSE OF CROPS. 1. Potatoes. All their dung for them, the produce 40 or 50 barrels; the best sorts are the London lady, French white, black Spanish. 2. Bere. 3. Flax, the produce 48 stone, scutched, at 8s. 4. Oats.

LIME used much, the price 10d. to 1s. 6d. a barrel. Marle under the bogs, white and light, but little used. Tythes, oats 2s. 6d. to 3s. 6d. Barley 5s. Year's purchase of land fell much in 1772 and 1773. There are many middle men.

THE oak boys began at Blewstone upon the county cess; but in a moment rose to rents, tythes, bogs, and everything else.

MR. Close has had very fine turnips, with which he fed fat wethers from autumn for the spring markets, and gained thereby 1 d. a lb, difference in price.

TOOK a ride to see the neighbouring country by Killilean-hill, Fellows-hall, Woodpark-lodge, Lisloony, Tinan, and Glaslough, which indeed is a round that shews the country to advantage; it is a continued picture: stop where you please, you are in the midst of a beautiful landscape. The hills are waving in every variety of outline that can be imagined; there is a great plenty of wood, every tree of which is seen to advantage from the inequality of surface. It is a chearful, beautiful country, and well worth a traveller's time to take this ride, in order to see it. Ireland, notwithstanding her general nakedness, contains some scenes of beauty, in which wood bears a considerable share. Called in our ride at Mr. Lesly's at Gaslaugh, viewed some of his great improvements: he was absent, but Mrs. Lesly was so obliging as to walk thro' the woods with us. The lake is a large one, containing 120 acres, and the wood of 100 more spreads over a fine bold hill, and hangs down to the water in one deep shade, the effect remarkably beautiful: additional plantations are made, and walks cut through the whole. In the evening Mr. Lesly came to Mr. Close's, and I then had the pleasure of learning that much of his domain, from being a poor waste tract of little value, was converted to what I had seen, that is, to very fine grass land. The soil is stiff cold clay, the spontaneous growth rushes, &c. ploughed most of it first, and then manured it with either lime or marle: of lime from 100 to 120 barrels per acre, at 7d. a barrel on the ground from stone and turf of his own. Then took a crop of wheat, which proved very fine: after the wheat, laid it down with oats and hay-seed, the oats very good. Sowed the seeds of a hay-loft with clover: has used much compost made of ditch scowerings, lime, marle, &c. and spread it in the same manner as the lime; some, after the land was laid to grass, but did it best on the fallow. Much of the land so wet, that hollow drains were necessary, and made so as to lay them dry, the cuts very numerous, and proved effective. His fences are excellent, two rows of quick, and a ditch six by seven, a dry hedge at top, and the back dressed and planted with forest trees paled in, Mr. Lesly has found the business of improvement profitable, so that if a tenant had the money necessary, he would find it to be the best work he could engage in with a view to profit alone,

JULY 25th, returned through Ardmagh. Passed Sir Capel Molyneux's domain, which seems an extensive and very fine one. Near it I observed that the soil was one of the finest red sandy loams I have any where seen, and several pieces of potatoes were planted in drills, which is a practice I had not yet remarked. Dined with Mr. Workman, at Mahon; about that place the size of their farms are from 10 to 20 acres, at about 12s. to 15s. an acre; and some of them hiring 20 acres, will let off five or six at 18s. to 20s. an acre. They are in general very well off as to living; their food is stir-about , potatoes, bread of maslin or wheat, and some meat once a fortnight. They are well cloathed, and have plenty of fuel; a man with 20 acres will have 150 kishes of turf a year. A man of 15 acres will have between a rood and half an acre of flax; one acre of potatoes; two to four acres of oats, and will mow two acres; one horse, two or three cows, one young beast, and a pig, but not much poultry. Pigs depend on potatoes. Their course: 1. Potatoes. 2. Flax. 3. Oats, or 4. Oats, and then leave it to grass itself. Scarce any fallow, a few sow clover, which increases, to mow for soiling their cows. The weavers universally earn much more than the few country labourers there are. The best flax seed for clay land the Dutch, and for light land the American. Scarce any of them save their own seed, consequently no rippling; it must stand then till dead ripe, which they think lessens the quantity, and makes it coarser. The richer the land the better. Sow generally on one ploughing. They weed it with much care. In watering, clay water reckoned much better than bogs, which they are leaving off. In general they scutch it themselves, and it is cheaper than the mills. Mr. Workman has paid 1s. 6d. for it by hand, and 1s. 1d. to the mills, and sound the former cheaper; more flax from hand, and much cleaner. Immediately after scutching it is saleable in the market. Price of flax 6s. to 13s. scutched.

THE rough stone, after heckling, will produce 8lb. flax for coarse linen; and 4lb. of dressed tow, and some for backens. The spinners earn from 3d. to 4d. a day. The weavers earn 10d. to 1s. 4d. The coarse cloths and yarn never so high as at present. Weavers very often turn labourers, which is attributed to so many being, contrary to law, bound apprentices for 2 years, instead of 5, by which means they are bad hands, and can only do the very coarsest work. As to health, they rarely change their profession on account of the sedentary life; they take exercise of a different sort, keeping packs of hounds, every man one, and joining, hunt hares: a pack of hounds is never heard, but all the weavers leave their looms, and away they go after them by hundreds. This much amazed me, but I was assured it was very common. They are in general apt to be licentious and disorderly; but are reckoned to be rather oppressed by the county cesses for roads, not of general use. There is some wheat, about Kilmore much; a middling crop 5 barrels. Oats yield here, 6, barrels on an average. Mr. Workman, 9 yeara ago, introduced the use of lime, and they are since coming fast into it; the effect very great, though the soil is a wet loam on clay without any stones. No draining. They are in general very bad farmers, being but the second attention,, and it has a bad effect on them, stiffening their fingers and hands, so that they do not return to their work so well as they left it.

IN the evening reached Mr. Brownlow's; at Lurgan, to whom I am indebted for some valuable information. This gentleman has made very great improvements in his domain: he has a lake at the bottom of a slight vale, and around are three walks, at a distance from each other; the center one is the principal, and extends 2 miles. It is well conducted for leading to the most agreeable parts of the grounds, and for commanding views of Loch Neagh, and the distant country; there are several buildings, a temple, green-house, &c. The most beautiful scene is from a bench on a gently swelling hill, which rises almost on every side from the water. The wood, the water, and the green slopes; here unite to form a very pleasing landscape. Let me observe one thing much to his honour; he advances his tenants money for all the lime they chuse, and takes payment in 8 years with rent.

UPON enquiring concerning the emigrations, I found that in 1772 and 1773, they were at the height; that some went from this neighbourhood with property, but not many. They were in general poor and unemployed. They find here, that when provisions are very cheap, the poor spend much of their time in whiskey-houses. All the drapers wish that oatmeal was never under 1d. a pound. Though farms are exceedingly divided, yet few of the people raise oatmeal enough to seed themselves; all go to market for some. The weavers earn by coarse linens 1s. a day, by fine 1s. 4d. and it is the same with the spinners, the finer the yarn the more they earn; but in common a woman earns about 3d. For coarse linens they do not reckon the flax hurt by standing for seed. Their own flax is much better than the imported.

THIS being market-day at Lurgan, Mr. Brownlow walked with me to it, that I might see the way in which the linens were sold. The cambricks are sold early, and through the whole morning; but when the clock strikes eleven, the drapers jump upon stone standings, and the weavers instantly flock about them with their pieces: the bargains are not struck at a word, but there is a little altercation whether the price shall be one halfpenny or a penny a yard, more or less, which appeared to me useless. The draper's clerk stands by him, and writes his master's name on the pieces he buys, with the price; and giving it back to the seller, he goes to the draper's quarters, and waits his coming. At twelve it ends; then there is an hour for measuring the pieces, and paying the money, for nothing but ready money is taken; and this is the way the business is carried on at all the markets. Three thousand pieces a week are sold here, at 35s. each on an average, or 5,250l. and per annum 273,000l. and this is all made in a circumferance of not many miles. The town parks about Lurgan let at 40s. an acre, but the country in general at 14s. The husbandry is exceedingly bad, the people minding nothing but flax and potatoes.

LEAVING Lurgan I went to Warrenstown, and waiting upon Mr. Waring, had some conversation with him upon the state of the country. He was of opinion, that the emigrations had not thinned the population, for at present they are crowded with people; but he thinks if the war ends in favour of the Americans, that they will go off in shoals. Very few roman catholics emigrated. The rising of the steel-boys was owing, as they said, to the increase of rents, and complaints of general oppression; but Mr. Waring remarked, that the pardons which were granted to the oak boys, a few years before, were principally the cause of those new disturbances.

CROSS the road to Mr. Clibborn's, who gave me much information of the greatest value concerning the linen manufacture.

THE stone of flax, rough after heckling, will produce 3lb. or 3lb. of flax for 1800 linen, and the 3lb. will spin into 60 hanks. Spinners are generally hired at 10s. 6d. to 12s. the quarter, besides board and lodging; and for that they spin 4 hanks a week of 6 hank yarn for 1600 linen, and 3 a week of 8 and 9 hank yarn for 1700 linen. As soon as the yarn is spun it is boiled. The boiling changes it 1 hank in a pound; 6 hank yarn will become 7. If flax is given out to be spun, they will get 3d. a hank for 6 hank yarn for spinning it, and they do one a day. The linen made here is from 8 hundred to 24; of coarse linen 10 hundred the common; and of fine, 13, 14 and 15. The pieces are 25 yards long, and yard wide. — 53 hanks for a web of 1600, — 63 for 1800.—49 hanks will make a piece (a web) of 1400, which sells at 20d. brown. The weaver is paid 10s. for weaving the 14 hundred web, and he will weave it in 9 days. For cambricks the yarn is not boiled, and therefore so much finer; they will earn more at it than at linen, but it is not so saleable.

MUCH done by drapers advancing the yarn, and paying for the weaving at so much a yard. For 8 hundred 2d. a yard.—10 ditto 3.—13 ditto 3d.—16 ditto 7d. — 18 ditto 10d. — 24 ditto 1s. 7d. — The finer the linen the more they earn. In fine linen, going from it to the plough or spade, &c. hurts their hands so much, that they do not recover it for a week; but not common for them to do it.

1 STONE, 3lb.—60 hanks—15 weeks—1 woman. 2 stone 30. 3 stone 45. stone 7. 3 stone 52.— Weaving 63 hanks into a web of 1800, he has 20s. for it, and does it in 12 days; but all preparations, dressing, &c. included, it will be three weeks, at which rate he can work for a year. The prices of the cloth are:

  Market low. Market high.
  s. d. s. d.
8 hundred 0 8 0 11
10 ditto 1 0 1 2
12 ditto 1 2 1 4
15 ditto 1 7 1 9
17 ditto 2 4 2 6
20 Ditto 3 10 3 10
24 ditto 7 0 7 0

BLEACH-GREEDS sometimes belong to the drapers, sometimes not. In bleaching it is steeped in cold river water, or sometimes not at all; then to the wash-mills for washing; then boiled in barilla ashes, (or American or Russian pot-ash) imported from Alicant to Newry or Belfast; the quantity of the barilla uncertain, about half a bushel to 100 pieces. Boiling 6 hours. Washed thoroughly after this and spread on grass for 4 days; lift it and boil it again as before; then to the grass again, and repeated till nearly white for rubbing. Next put it into a scald of soap, and from thence into the rubbing boards; if coarse cloth one rub sufficient, but for fine three or four. After rubbing, washed, and put to sower in vitriol and water, 24 hours will do, but 10 days no injury; fine cloth 3 serves, one after every rub, but for coarse one rub is sufficient. This sowering merely for cleansing and purging. After sowering it has a scald of soap, from which well washed, wrung, and made ready for starch and blue; then dried and beetled, which is done by a mill, after which done up with a screwing machine for sale. The expence of bleaching 3s. a piece, for coarse 4s. middling 5s. fine 6s. These the particulars commonly known among bleachers; there are secrets in the trade which they of course do not communicate, but not so many I apprehend as generally supposed; for where there are few, or even none, but with an appearance of them, all is supposed by the vulgar to be mystery. Upon the above account I have only to remark, that the rubbing appears to me an operation for giving the cloth beauty at the expence of strength. It is a most severe operation, being drawn between boards full of teeth, which are made for the professed purpose of adding to the friction; and the effect is such, that large quantities of knap are constantly taken out of the machine. This is a very fine invention for wearing out a manufacture as soon as made.

MR. CLIBBORN was ready enough to confess that this work is carried too far, but the London drapers, he says, demand thick cloths, and this operation contracting the breadth of the piece gives it a thick appearance, which they are fond of. The beetling does not appear to me to be near so severe an operation. It is a continued system of perpendicular strokes upon the cloth wound round a cylinder, for the purpose of smoothing it, and giving it a gloss. It is sold at Dublin; half the manufacture to London from Newry, Belfast, or Dublin. Cambrick all sold in Dublin: it increases much. In 1771 more goods made than at present. England the great consumption of Irish linens. Scotland nor Germany interfere with those above described. No rivals in the Irish 7-8ths and 3-4ths yard wide, but in the dowlas and diaper the Germans; and in sheeting the Russians; The dowlas and sheeting are made in King's and Queen's counties, and Westmeath. Diapers here, in which the same yarn as above, the breadths various, and the weavers make more by it than by linen. The trade as brisk at present as the rest. Hands are plentiful for the demand, notwithstanding the emigrations; but the men do not work more than half what they might do, owing to the cheapness of provisions making them idle, as they think of nothing more than the present necessity. A general remark of all who know the trade, that when provisions are dear the more goods come to market; what they raise themselves not half feeding them. A child 7 years old earns 1d. a day spinning. There are as many employed in diaper as in cambricks. Manufacture not doubled in 15 years, about 1-3d or 1-4th increase in that time. The present high price of linens and yarn attributed to the increased demand at Manchester for yarn: it is now 9d. a hank. Also to the Spanish market for linen being almost a new trade. Likewise to foreign linens coming dearer at market than formerly. The weavers and spinners generally live upon oatmeal and potatoes, and milk, with meat once a week, and have their bellyful.

A FARM of 6 acres — 1 hay: 1 rood flax: 1 acre potatoes: 1 oats: 2 cows, 1 horse, 2 sheep. Rent 5l. 12s.

1. POTATOES usually 160 bushels to the acre. 2. Flax. 3. Oats. 4. Left 2 years.

1. PLOUGH 3 or 4 times for flax. 2. Wheat, or barley. 3. Oats. 4. Oats. 5 Left.

VERY few save their seed; but this more than usual, owing to the import from America falling off. Much damaged by standing for seed from firing , and a great chance run of losing the crop; but if the weather is good not the worse for coarse linen, but will not do at all for fine. Clay land does best for it. They use much lime, 140 barrels per acre, at 1s. 1d. at kiln, and 6d. more carriage: they lay it on for wheat and barley. It is reckoned to pay so well, that all use it who are able.

  . s. d.
Rent of a cabbin and garden, 1 10 0
Grass for a cow, 1 10 0
Hay for ditto, 1 10 0
  4 10 0

MANY weavers' families have tea for breakfast. Rents rather lower than 4 or 5 years ago. Leaving Warrenstown, reached Hillsborough that nights passed through Dromore, a miserable nest of dirty mud cabbins. Lord Hillsborough has marked the approach to his town by many small plantations on the tops of the hills, through which the road leads. The inn of his building is a noble one for Ireland.

JULY 27th, walked to the church built at the expence of Lord Hillsborough; there are few such in Ireland. It is a very handsome stone edifice, properly ornamented, and has a lofty spire, which is a fine object to the whole country. The form of the church is a cross, the body of it 160 feet long, and the cross-isle 120. The step to the communion table is of one;stone out of his lordship's quarry, 21 feet long, and 2 broad. To the improvements—the lake, woods and lawn are pretty; but a well built and flourishing town in the hands of an absentee, whose great aim is to improve and adorn it, does him more credit than twenty domains.

REACHED Lisburne, and waited on the bishop of Downe, who was so obliging as to send for an intelligent linen-draper, to give the such particulars as I wanted of the manufacture in that neighbourhood. About this place chiefly fine cloth, from 14 to 21 hundred. The spinners are generally hired by the quarter, from 10s. to l2s. lodging and board, and engaged to spin 5 hanks of 8 hank yarn in a week. To the 14 hundred linen 46 hanks—18 ditto 58 hanks—21 ditto 66 hanks. In weaving it is common for one man to have several looms, at which journeymen weavers work, who are paid their lodging and board, and one-third of what they earn, which may come to 2s. a week on an average. The drapers advance the yarn, and pay for the weaving by the yard;—for a 13 hundred 4d.—18 ditto 9d.— 21 ditto 1s. 1d. For 18 hundred linen, a woman spins 6 hanks a week, which 6 hanks weigh about a pound, at the price of 8d. a hank. The manufacture carried on in the country very much by little farmers, who have from 5 to 10 acres, and universally it is found, that going to the plough or spade for a day or two spoils them for their weaving as many more. Think that flax that has stood till seed is ripe, will not do for more than a 1600 web. Rent for sowing flax on potatoe land 4d. a perch long of 21 feet and 10 broad. The crop at a medium 10 stone from a bushel of seed. The stone 16lb. A stone of good flax, rough, will produce 8lb. after heckling, and spin into it as many hanks per lb. as the sort is, that is, 6 hanks of 6 hank yarn, 7 of 7. The weavers, spinners, &c. live in general on potatoes and milk, and oat bread, and some of them meat once a week. Will work only for support; meal and cloth never cheap together, for when meal is cheap, they will not work. Rent of land from 10s. to 22s.

LEAVING Lisburne, took the road to Belfast, repeating my enquiries; in a few miles I found the average rent 16s. per Cunningham acre. Much flax sown; 3 bushels of seed generally sown to an acre. Eight stone of flax from half a bushel of seed is reckoned a very good crop. If they have not land of their own for sowing, they pay 12s. rent for what half a bushel requires; this is 4l. 4s. per acre, but it includes ploughing, harrowing, and getting ready for the seed. Heckling is 1s. 2d. a stone, and half the weight is lost; the produce will be 4lb. flax and 4lb. tow, which the Scotch generally buy at 3d. a lb. To a stone heckled there are 96 hanks; and to the web of cloth there are 28 hanks for the weft, and 30 for the warp. A weaver is 3 weeks doing it, and is paid 17s. From Lisburne to Belfast on the river Leggon, there are 12 or 13 bleach-greens. The counties of Downe and Antrim are computed to make to the amount of 800,000l. a year, and near one third of it in this vale.

PASSED Lord Dungannon's at Bever, whose plantations are got up to a fine shade by means of planting very thick; went to Castle-hill, Mr. Townley Blackwood's. Rents there are 15s. an acre, Cunningham measure. Average of the county of Downe 10s. Sowing clover with flax is practised here, coming in much, and found to be very beneficial.

IN the evening to Belfast. I had letters to Mr. Portis and Mr. Holmes; but upon calling at their houses, found the first in England and the other in the country: so considerable a place as Belfast demanded a better account than I could give without assistance. At dinner at Mr. Blackwood's, Dr. Haliday was mentioned as a gentleman of general knowledge, and at the same time of a liberal disposition: it was the only name I knew at Belfast after my two letters proved useless. I determined to make known to Dr. Haliday my wants, and beg his assistance in gratifying them, and accordingly wrote a note and sent it. He also in the country. Still I was unwilling to give up all thoughts of Belfast; and as I had planned going to Strangford, and from thence to Lisburne in my way north, I determined upon returning again to Belfast, in order for a further chance of meeting with somebody that could answer me a few questions about the progress of the commerce of the place.

JULY 28th, took the road to Portaferry, by Newtown, where I breakfasted; it is an improving place, belonging to Mr. Steward, who has built a very handsome market-house, and laid out a square around it, which he designs building. I was informed here that the linen manufacture is much less considerable than it was. Since the decline of 1772 and 1773, many weavers they told me had turned labourers, but the spinning business continues as much as ever. Leaving the town, the road leads at once to the shore of Strangford Loch, where I observed heaps of white shells, and upon enquiry found that they dig them at low water in the Loch in any quantities: they lay them on their lands, but do not find that they last so long as lime. Farms rise to 40 acres; rents 15s. to 21s. Cunningham measure. Wheat yields to 30 bushels; oats to 40. As I advanced, making farther enquiries, still I was told that the weaving, at present, was not near so good as 7 years ago. Flax, in some parishes, pays no tythe; in others it is taken in kind. Two bushels of potatoes on a ridge 7 yards long and 2 wide are a very good crop. Rents from l0s. to 21s. A common course: 1. Oats on lay. 2. Wheat. 3. Oats. 4. Barley. 5. Oats. 6. Barley. 7. Oats. 8. Left for lay, a few sow clover or rye-grass for two years.

PASS Newtown Stewart, a row of neat stone and slate cabbins, in the neighbourhood of some new plantations which surround an improved lawn, where Mr. Stewart intends building. The soil is in general light, dry, sandy or gravelly. Sea-weed is collected for burning into kelp all along the coast of the loch. There are many lime-kilns all the way to Portaferry I was told 35, and that 15 years ago there was only one, so much is the improvement of land increasing. The stone is brought by sea from Carlingford, and burnt with coals and turf. The expence reckoned 1s. 1d. a barrel. It lasts 10 years. Shells are some time before they work, but they last longer than lime, directly contrary to what I was told before. Rents 16s, to 20s. Remarked several great rocks on the shore, which seem to have no connection with the coast, which is not rocky, nor at all in unison with such fragments. Reached Portaferry, the town and seat of Patrick Savage, Esq; who took every means of procuring me information concerning that neighbourhood.

JULY 29, collected some concerning the fisheries. It is a summer herring-fishery for the home consumption of the country; they are now taken chiefly off the peninsula of Ards. Formerly the great take was in the loch, till within these four years, To the whole coast they reckon that there are 400 boats; they are of four or five ton burthen, and cost 15l. a boat, the nets cost 10l. and there are four to each boat. A boat will catch six maze of herrings in a night, each 500; and they sell at 8s. 8d, a maze on an average: it is, however, a precarious fishery. In 1774 it was very good: in 1775 very bad; this year it has begun finely. It begins the 12th of july, and finishes the end of september. It is in general carried on by shares; the boat and nets have one half, and the four men the other half. They earn, upon an average, 1l. 1s. each a week by it: 110 boats belong to Portaferry. The men are chiefly from the country; the whole barony of Ards are fishermen, sailors, and farmers, by turns. This little port has a tolerable share of trade; they have 12 ships, which go annually to Loch Swilly herring-fishery, which is a winter one, on the bounty of 20s. a ton; they have 15 ships belonging to the place, from 30 to 150 tons, at six men each, and many others trade here. Coals are brought from Whitehaven; and from Gottenburgh and Norway timber and iron. Trade increases, and the place is much more flourishing than it was.

RODE in the evening to Millen Hill on the coast of Ards, to see the herring fleet go out. It is in the town-land of Tara, and is an excellent spot for a light-house, which is much wanted on this coast, for it is exceedingly rocky and dangerous from St. John's point to Donaghadee, so that no winter passes without shipwrecks, and in some there are a dozen. Under the hill appeared the north and south rock, with foul ground all around. A light-house might be built here for 60l. and the annual expence would not exceed 150l.

THE barony of Ards is in general a wet, strong, or clay soil, with a good deal of bog; lets on an average at 10s. 6d. an acre, the whole county 10s. the size of the farms on a medium about 40 acres, a few up to 100, and many down to five in weavers hands: Course of crops, 1. Potatoes dunged for. 2. Wheat, yields from 28 to 40 bushels, but reckon it by cwts. 3. Barley. 4. Oats. 5. Clover for three years, or clover and hay-seeds in case designed to lay longer. 6. 7. and 8. Oats. Also, 1. Potatoes. 2. Flax. 3. Corn, &c.

A GREAT deal of lime used from Carlingford, the stone is brought and burnt with Milford or Scotch culm, and costs them, when burnt, about 11d. a barrel. It has been found very beneficial, has been used about 10 or 12 years: it does best on middling land, neither very dry nor wet. Sea-sand is much used for strong clay, and brings the finest crops that can be. White marle from under the bogs they prefer to lime; it improves land so much that it will never be as bad again. Wherever they can get shell sand they do, and find the benefit very great: seaweed they also use for their barley lands what they get in winter, but in summer, they dry and burn it into kelp. Cattle very trifling, only small stocks for convenience. The principal religion is presbyterian.

If a weaver has, as most have, a crop of flax, the wife and daughter spin it, and he weaves it; if he is not a weaver, but employed by his farm, they carry the yarn to market. The diet of the poor is oaten bread, potatoes, milk, herrings, &c. The little farmers generally have meat once a week in summer, and salted for winter. All keep cows, pay for summer grazing 1l. 7s. and buy hay for the winter to the value of 1l. 10s. They all keep pigs, not much poultry. Their fuel both turf and coals; coals 13s. a ton. Car, horse, and driver, a day, 1s. 4d. A new car 40s. to 3l. A plough 10s. 6d. A harrow 15s. Eight pound of flax, and three of tow, worth 6d. the stone, rough; make 30 hanks of yarn for a 1400 linen; one woman will spin it in 30 days, and earn 4d. a day. Forty-two hanks make a web of 25 yards, which is wove in two weeks, and he earns 5d. a yard or 4d. and will sell green for 17. or 18d. a yard. Not a bleaching green in all Ards for want of water. All along, the coast of Ards and in Strangford Loch, sea weed is collected by the country people with great-diligence, for burning into kelp; it yields at, present from 40s. to 50s. a ton, the bleach greens have much of it, and the rest exported to England. Some gentlemen, who keep their shores in their own hands, pay the men 20s. a. ton for collecting and burning: at other times they pay rent for the shore. In Loch Strangford the kelp is better than on the open shore: an instance of industry in this Loch deserves to be recorded. It is not uncommon for the men to draw stones from their fields, and spread them on the shores in order to make the weed (fucus) grow; a good crop being only obtained from rocks and stones. Upon the coast of Ards, they have in winter much tangle weed, which they collect very carefully, form into heaps, and when rotten spread it on their barley lands, and get very fine crops, but it is not lasting.

THE plentifulness of the country about Portaferry, Strangford, &c. is very great: this will appear from the following circumstances, as well as the register of butchers meat and common poultry elsewhere inserted. Pigeons 2s. a. dozen. Rabbits 4d. a couple. The fish are, turbot 4s. sole 10d. a pair; bret and haddock 1d. each; lobsters 5s. a dozen; oysters 19d. a hundred; john dory, gurnet; whiting 4d. a dozen; mackarel, mullet, partridges, and quails in plenty. Wild ducks 10d. to 1s. Widgeon 6d. a couple, barnacle 10d. each; teal 6d. a couple, plover 3d.

THIS country is in general beautiful, but particularly so about the straights that lead into Strangford Loch. From Mr. Savage's door the view has great variety. To the left are tracts of hilly grounds, between which the sea appears, and the vast chain of mountains in the Isle of Man distinctly seen. In front the hills rise in a beautiful outline, and a round hill projects like a promontory into the streights, and under it the town amidst groups of trees; the scene is chearful of itself, but rendered doubly so by the ships and herring-boats sailing in and out. To the right the view is crowned by the mountains of Mourne, which, wherever seen, are of a character peculiarly bold, and even terrific. The shores of the Loch behind Mr. Savage's are bold ground, abounding with numerous pleasing landscapes; the opposite coast, consisting of the woods and improvements of Castle-Ward, is a fine scenery.

JULY 30th, crossed the streights in Mr. Savage's boat, and breakfasted with Mr. Ainsworth, collector of the customs; he gave me the following particulars of the barony of Lecale, of the husbandry of which I had often heard as something better than common. The soil varies near the sea, stoney loam, dry sound good land, some without stone between the rocky hillocks, some very stoney; the land is light, as may be judged from two horses being usually in a plough; lets on an average from 12s. to 28s. average 20s. the whole county 10s. The measure the plantation acre. The south coast is the richest. Farms rise from 5 to 30 acres; the little ones are all manufacturers: there are some of 30, and perhaps 40, that are not weavers, but most of them employ looms. The division of farms among the sons, have brought them so low that they have been obliged to weave for subsistence. In the richer parts they summer fallow, and the course then is;

1. FALLOW. 2. Wheat, average produce 18 cwt. 3. Barley ditto, a ton per acre: 4. Oats ditto, four hhds. each, 12 bushels. 5. Pease. 6. Barley. 7. Clover (of which they sow much) for two years. 8. Barley. 9. Oats. 10. Wheat.

1. POTATOES 400 bushels, 2. Barley, one ton and a half. 3. Barley. 4. Clover for two years, much of it soiled in the stable, a practice which encreases. Also,

l. PLOUGH-LAY for oats. 2. Wheat. 3. Barley. 4. Clover or pease.

1. POTATOES. 2. Flax. 3. Barley. 4. Barley. 5. Clover two years. Have lately got into the way of eating down a three-year old lay, and plough it in july, and once or twice more for wheat: but to sow such with pease or beans on one earth, and then take the wheat, would be much better. Pease esteemed a refreshment, and enables them to have 1 or 2 crops of white corn. Great quantities of barley sown, being their principal crop. No turnips. Their manures are marle, shells, and seaweed. Marle has been used greatly for many years, it is said for above 60: it is white marle from the bottom of bogs, and some of it immediately under the surface; they carry it on horseback in bags, which hold each four bushels, and they lay about 450 to 500 bags per acre. When the farmer has not marle on his own ground, he purchases it from his neighbour, and pays from 1l. 1s. to 1l. 10s. for liberty to raise it, and if they carry it a mile, or a mile and an half, it costs them 6l. an acre. They are reckoned very much to have exhausted their land; for upon the credit of a marling they will take 20 corn-crops running, and, as a proof of this, I was told, that the deanery of Down, which consists of tythes in Lecale, was 2,200l. a year, 35 years ago, whereas it is now no more than 1600l. owing to the decline of the Lecale crops; and this from the abuse of marle. Second marlings do not succeed, they think, but it has not been tried. Lime they use only on dry lands, and not often. They have the stone from Carlingford, and they burn it with coals; it costs them 1 1d. a barrel, lay from 80 to 150: the lighter the land the less they lay on it; it lasts eight or nine crops; does upon old marled lands better than a second marling. Sea shelly sand and gravel they have upon their own shore; lay them thick on stiff reddish clay soils, and find great effect from them; lay greater quantities much than of marle, about 800 one-horse loads, the best crops in the baroney are gained by it. Parts by shelling advanced, from 5s. to 25s. an acre. Very little grass land, and scarce any cattle but cows to every farm for convenience. The farmers are generally, not only in Lecale, but the whole county, much better and wealthier than formerly.

TYTHES generally compounded 2s. 2d. an acre for all under crops. The price of provisions has risen in general one-third in 20 years. And a cow which, 40 years ago, was bought for 25s. is now 5l. 5s. and as good a horse, 25 years ago for 4 to 5l. as now for 10l. to 12l.

THERE are some cottars who have not farms, only a potatoe garden, a patch of flax; grass for a cow, and a little straw for the winter, for all which they pay 2l. 2s. a year. Rise in the price of labour from 4d. and board to 5d. and 6d. and ditto in 20 years. The fuel generally coals, which are 13s. to 18s. a ton, and they send their children to pick up dung to burn; yet this is the country that I have heard commended for husbandry. Building a mud farm-house 8l. Ditto stone and slate 30l.

THE linen manufacture is carried on very generally through the barony. In Downpatrick there are 500 webs sold every week, at 1s. 1d; a yard, and 26s. each, being from 800 to 1400, in general 1200 linen; which 1200 web will take 38 hanks of four-hank yarn, and a woman will on an average spin the 38 hanks in as many days, being paid 4d. a hank; a weaver will make it in a fortnight, and has 10s. for it.

UPON the marling coming in, there was a corn-coasting trade opened from Strangford, and it flourished considerably, but sell off pretty much, as has been mentioned with respect to the deanery of Downe. The trade has, however, been upon the increase for about four years. From the 11th of september, 1775, to july the 1st, 1776, there were 100 cargoes of wheat and barley, about 50 tons each on an average, to Liverpool, Whitehaven, Lisbon, &c. and to Dublin. Two-thirds to Dublin, and one-third foreign, which export received the bounty. The export both foreign and coasting, in 1774, nearly the same as 1775. In 1773 about 75 cargoes: in 1772, 60 to 70. The trade in general of Strangford, export, import, ships and seamen, has been in general increasing for 10 years last past; but the year ending the 25th of last march higher than ever it was before, having every year been in a regular gradation. The decline of 1772 and 1773, in the linen manufacture, &c. not felt in the trade of this place.

To the port of Strangford, which includes Downpatrick, Dundrum, Killilea, Killoch, Portaferry, Comber, and Newtown, there belong 30 vessels, from 35 to 150 tons burthen, besides fishing vessels, of which 27 sail received the bounty in 1775: the same number in 1774, in 1772 twenty-three. The burthen of the vessels in 1775 from 28 to 75 tons, and the bounty about 700l. All up the channel, to Strangford and Killilea, and into the Loch, there is 30 feet water, and on the bar there is as much in the lowest springs. A ship of 100 guns might lie within 15 yards of the shore.

CALLED at Lord Bangor's at Castle Ward, to deliver a letter of recommendation, but unfortunately he was on a sailing party to England; walked through the woods, &c. The house was built by the present Lord. It is a very handsome edifice with two principal fronts, but not of the same architecture, one is gothic, and the other grecian. From the temple is a fine wooded scene; you look down on a glen of wood, with a winding hill quite covered with it, and which breaks the view of a large bay: over it, appears the peninsula of Strangford, which consists of inclosures and wood. To the right, the bay is bounded by a fine grove, which projects into it. A ship at anchor added much. The house well situated above several rising woods, the whole scene a fine one. I remarked in Lord Bangor's domains, a find field of turnips, but unhoed. There were some cabbages also.

TOOK the road to Downpatrick, through a various country; Down Bay is on the left, and exhibits an amazing variety of islands, creeks, and bays, which appear among cultivated hills in a most picturesque manner. Here I saw sheep grazing in a ditch, confined by a line fastened by two pins, and drove into the ground, and passing through rings which hung from a strap round their necks, so that they could move only from one end to the other. To Redemon, the seat of Arthur Johnston, Esq; got there late in the evening, but being absent, I desired the servants to give me a bed, dreading being caught again at a village cabbin.

JULY 31st, to Saintfield. Rents are 10s. 6d. an acre. Several bogs here; one in particular half cultivated, the rest unimproved; fine oats, potatoes, and barley, were on it. One piece of oats shoots directly into the uncultivated part, and shews plainly what might be done with all the bogs of this country. Reached Belfast in the forenoon, and was then fortunate enough to meet with Mr. Holmes, also a letter from Doctor Haliday, who being absent himself recommended me to several other gentlemen. Gained upon the whole the information I wished; it consisted of the following particulars.

THE imports of Belfast consist in rum, brandy, geneva, and wines. Till within these two years much grain; since that none, but have, on the contrary, exported some. Coals from Britain. lron, timber, hemp, and ashes, from the Baltic. Barilla from Spain for the bleach greens. Tea, raw sugars, hops, and porter, the principal articles from Great Britain. From North America, wheat, staves, flour, and flax-seed, all which cut off at present. The exports are beef, butter, pork, to the West Indies, and France. The great article linen cloth to London; formerly some to America. The balance much in favour of the place. Derry, Newry, and Belfast, the linen export towns; two thirds from Belfast, a little from Derry, the rest from Newry. There are three sugar houses here. The number of ships belonging to Belfast about 50 sail from 20 to 300 tons. A vessel of 200 tons, half loaded, may come to the quay, there being 9 and a half to 10 feet water; larger vessels lay two miles and a half down. The trade of Belfast was at its height in 1770; 1771, 1772, and 1773, were the worst years; 1774, and 1775, it has been mending; but 1774 and 1775 not equal to 1770, and 1771, by one third. It is curious to see from hence how the trade of this place has vibrated with the linen manufacture, that being just the account I have received of the progress of that fabrick. Calculated that the trade of Belfast in general encreased one third in fifteen years, ending in 1770, or 1771. The number of people supposed to amount to from 12 to 15,000. Belfast being the place from whence the emigrations were the greatest, I made inquiries concerning them, and found that they have for many years had a regular emigration of about 2000 annually, but in 1772 the decline of the linen manufacture encreased the number; and the same cause continuing in 1773, they were at the highest when 4000 went. In 1774 there were but few; and in 1775 there were none, nor any since. Some that went had property, and so had some of those that always went. In general they were the most idle and worthless, and not reckoned any loss to the country. In 1771 there were 300 looms in Belfast, but in 1774 there were only 180.

THERE is a considerable slaughter at this place. In 1775 cured 6000 barrels of beef, at 40s. a barrel, in the town; and 5,500 of pork at 50s. The principal part of the grazing land the lower part of Antrim from Ballymena towards Larne, and Ballymony; some from Meath and even from Sligo. The hogs from Ardmagh, Down, and Antrim, weigh, on an average two cwt. fattened mostly on potatoes; six or seven years ago they exported 500 barrels of pork. In 1775, 7000. In 1776, it will be 10,000. When oatmeal above 1d. or 1?d. a pound, the poor live entirely upon potatoes and milk; no meat; but herrings in the season. Price of provisions, &c. at Belfast are, potatoes 9d. a bushel, pigeons 6d. a couple, rabbits ditto, salmon 2d. a pound, lobsters 6d. plaice d. per lb. oysters 1s. to 4s. per hundred, fresh cod 1d. per lb. barnacle 1s. widgeon 1s. a pair, oatmeal three farthings per lb. lime 1s. per barrel, coals 13s. a ton. Labour the year round 1s. 1d. in the town, 8d. in the country. Seamen 30s. a month, and ship provisions. Spinners earn 3d. a day. Weavers 1s. 1d. they never go for labourers.

Gross custom including excise upon tobacco and foreign spirits.

Year . Year .
1763 32,900 1764 35,700
1765 49,600 1766 53,600
1767 50,800 1768 56,200
1769 51,500 1770 63,600
1771 62,100 1772 58,700
1773 59,900 1774 60,100
1775 64,800    

IN the year ending the 25th of march 1774, pieces of linen exported 147,218; yards 3,713,822.

FROM 1st. of nov. 1771, to 1st. may, 1772 85,402
Next half year 91,712
First half year 95,928
Second ditto 87,089
Total 18,3017

BELFAST is a very well built town of brick, they having no stone quarry in the neighbourhood. The streets are broad and strait, and the inhabitants, amounting to about 15,000, make it appear lively and busy. The public buildings are not numerous or very striking; but over the exchange Lord Donnegal is building an assembly room 60 feet long, by 30 broad, and 24 high; a very elegant room. A card-room adjoining, 30 by 22, and 22 high; and a tea-room of the same size. His Lordship is also building a new church, which is one of the lightest and most pleasing I have any where seen: it is 74 by 54, and 30 high to the cornice; the isles separated by a double row of columns; nothing can be lighter or more pleasing. The town belongs entirely to his Lordship. Rent of it 2000l. a year. His estate extends from Drumbridge, near Lisburne, to Larne 20 miles in a right line, and is 10 broad. His royalties are great, containing the whole of Loch Neagh, which is, I suppose, the greatest of any subject in Europe. His eel fishery at Tome, and Port-New on the river Ban, lets for 500l. a year; and all the fisheries are his to the leap at Colraine. The estate is supposed to he 31,000l. a year, the greatest at present in Ireland. Innishoen, in Donnegal, is his, and is 11,000l. of it. In Antrim, Lord Antrim's is the most extensive property, being four baronies, and 173,600 acres. The rent 8000l. a year, but re-let for 64,000l. a year, by tenants that have perpetuities, perhaps the cruelest instance in the world of carelessness for the interests of posterity. The present Lord's father granted those leases.

MR. Portis of Belfast, last year sowed three acres two rood of flax; let it stand till quite ripe, then stacked it like corn, and threshed it in march; produce of seed eight hogsheads, which sold at 4l. 4s. or 33l. 12s. He watered it then, and went through the whole operation as common. By being kept so long, he found it required less watering than in the common way. This is not the usual method of doing it.

  DR     CR
  . s. d.     . s. d.
3 acres 2 roods at 15s; per acre 2 12 6      By 8 hogsheads of clear seed sold at 41. 4s. per hogshead 33 12 0
Ploughing with two horses, ploughman and boy, at 4s. 2d. per day, 4 days 0 16 8      By 8961b. clean flax sold at 6d. a lb. 22 8 0
Harrowing and sowing, 5s.: 4d. and cleaning the furrows, 4s. 0 9 8      Would have sold for 7d. if it had been judiciously managed, by suffering it to lay a day or two longer in the water, which would have made the flax finer.      
One hogshead of feed 4 0 0     
Reaping 1 6 0     
Stacking, thatching and bringing home 0 15 0     
Expences of watering, drying, taking to the mill, and cleaning, at 2d. per lb. 8961b. a large allowance 7 9 4             
  17 9 2             
Net profit 38 10 10             
  56 0 0        56 0 0

Note, The ground was rather inclined to clay, was ploughed from lay, but received no manure for two years; ploughed about christmas, furrowed and sowed the latter end of march, but covered with a shovel from the furrows, from an inch to an inch and an half thick.

I WAS informed that Mr. Isaac, near Belfast, had 4 acres, Irish measure, of strong clay land not broken up for many years, which being amply manured with lime rubbish, and sea shells, and fallowed, was sown with wheat, and yielded 87l. 9s. at 9s. to 12s. per cwt. Also that Mr. Whitley, of Ballinderry, near Lisburne, a tenant of Lord Hertford's, has rarely any wheat that does not yield him 18l. an acre. The tillage of the neighbourhood for 19 miles round, is doubled in a few years. Shall export 1000 ton of corn this year from Belfast, most of it to the West Indies, particularly oats.

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

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