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man skill can render it perfect at first. But experience will teach us how the measure works.
I could wish that Mr. O'Connell's proposition of making the absentee landholders, who deprive the working class and labourers of much employment from their not spending a fair portion of their income by residence among them, pay double rates, could be adopted. This would add to the popularity of the measure on one side ; but then it would tend to make not a few influential men rather unfriendly; and as it is of great consequence, in making this benevolent innovation, to get all persons to assist in promoting it, this had better be postponed.
I have more than once hinted at what I conceive will be the result of such a measure. I shall only say, at present, it seems seems to me calculated to produce a greater and more favourable change among the lower ranks of Irishmen than any measure ever yet attempted. It will necessarily tend to raise the miserable style of living, directly or indirectly, among three or four millions of them; and this alone, amid such a mass, will, by degrees, create an immense amount of employment. But the grand beneficial effect which it will have, will be its giving an Irishman a country.
The spirit of the poor-law of England, as I have observed before, and as I have heard it often actually expressed, showed itself in these words :--Thank God, let the worst come to the worst, I have a parish I can go to. This law will give to every poor Irishman a country, which he never had before; for he never had one, that impressed itself on his mind, as paying any attention to him, or to his poverty and miseries. That day on which this intended measure passes into a law, the poorest Irishman will feel, and he can say : Come what can come, or come what may come, I am no longer obliged to be beholding to, or to distress my poor neighbours. Thanks to our King, Lords, and Commons, I have now, as well as the Englishman, a country that cares for me, and to which, in my distress, I can fly for protection and for succour.
In sum, this great measure is calculated, in every point of view, to do what babblers have said of what would only do harm : real, solid, substantial justice to Ireland.
SIMON GRAY. 2, MORNINGTON CRESCENT,
25th February, 1837.
LIVERPOOL AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY'S THIRD ANNUAL
The annual ploughing match took place at Bold, on Thursday, the 9th March, 1837. Twenty-six candidates signified their intention to compete for the premiums, but when the names were called over previous to commencing operations, twenty-three only answered to the call. The day was remarkably fine. There were some excellent ploughmen, and upwards of 2000 spectators appeared at one time on the field. The dinner was provided by Mr. Turner, of the Griffin, at Bold Heath. The chair was filled by R. Statter, Esq., of Knowsley, the chairman of the committee. The judges, whose decisions appeared to give general satisfaction, were Mr. Okill, of Sutton, near Frodsham, Mr. James Tinsley, of Rainhill, and Mr. Hendrie, of Knowsley, who awarded the premiums as follows :
Premium Ist.–To Mr. Samuel Scotson, of Toxteth-park, the sum of £4, as the owner, for the ploughing best finished in the shortest time, with a pair of horses double, without a driver; and the sum of £l to William Tipping, the ploughman.
Premium 2nd.—To Mr. Thomas Seddon, of Windle, the sum of £3, for the second best ditto ditto, with a pair of horses double, without a driver; and the sum of 15s. to John Fairclough the ploughman.
Premium 3rd.-To Mr. Hugh Clare, of Sankey, the sum of £2, for the third best ditto ditto, with a pair of horses single, with a driver; and the sum of 10s. to William Hill, the plough
Premium 4th.—To Mr. Thomas Kilshaw, of Burtonwood, the sum of £1 10s. for the fourth best ditto ditto, with a pair of horses single, with a driver; and the sum of 7s. to Thomas Kilshaw, the ploughman.
Premium 5th.—To Mr. Robert Robinson, of Sutton, the sum of £1, for the fifth best ditto, with a pair of horses single, with a driver; and the sum of 5s. to John Tabernor, the ploughman.
Premium 6th.—To Richard Pilkington, Esq., of Windle, the sum of 12s. for the sixth best ditto ditto, with a pair of horses single, with a driver; and the sum of 2s. 6d. to Joseph Monks, the ploughman.
REMARKS ON THE MANAGEMENT OF AN ESSEX FARM.
Towards the end of the month of July in the last year, I paid a visit to a friend of mine, a farmer, in the county of Essex, and was so much pleased with his successful practice in several points of his business, that I cannot resist the temptation to hand you a few remarks concerning my friend's management, and which, perhaps, may be of service to some of your readers.
Luckily for my friend, he is more a grazier than an arable farmer, one-third of his land only being under the plough, and this he keeps entirely subservient to the purpose of feeding live stock, of which he keeps a numerous head, both sheep and black cattle.
His crops, which were then rapidly ripening, and looking remarkably well, showed evidently the rich condition of the land, and the skill and care bestowed on its cultivation. Не drills his turnips as well as his mangel wurzel, and always sows a considerable breadth of these invaluable crops.
In looking over his Swedes, which had been already hoed out, many of the plants had suffered from the attack of wire-worm. On my expressing surprise at meeting with so many of these destructive insects, he confessed that he was himself to blame for introducing those pests upon his farm. He stated that those insects are invariably attracted by a crop of coleseed; that is, the perfect insect, a kind of beetle, (elater?) visits the growing plants, and probably lives on the leaves, or some other part of them; and in all likelihood lays its eggs in the soil, which are afterwards hatched and become larva, to feed on the succulent roots of any plant in their way.
Coleseed is extensively sown in some districts for sheep and lamb feed in the spring, and particularly in some parts of Cambridgeshire ; but I never heard from the farmers in that county that they were more annoyed by the wire-worm after coleseed than after any other crop. My Essex friend, however, seemed to have no doubt about the matter; he decidedly attributed the presence of the worm to the previous crop of coleseed. This fact should teach farmers to be on their guard against sowing either turnips, or planting potatoes on land which has a short time previous been used for coleseed.
The wire worm here alluded to, is about three fourths of an
inch in length, of a yellow colour, with a brown head. It is remarkably tough, and hence its common name. They abound most in fresh loamy land: and when any of this description of soil is brought into the garden, these insects prove a plague to the gardener, by destroying his finest bulbs. To attract and capture them, he burys pieces of potatoes and turnips in the soil, as traps to allure them. There is no known remedy against their depredations in fields, except by encouraging the visits of rooks, which are the natural enemies of the wire-worm.
Every thing else I witnessed in walking over the farm, showed superior management; but there is one particular circumstance, or rather several concurrent circumstances, of which my
friend avails himself in conducting his business, which is at once convenient, profitable, and deserves imitation by every farmer who can adopt the plan.
Luckily, there are four or five cottages upon the farm, all of which are tenanted by his own labourers, who rent under him, and who, with their families, do all the work of the farm. They are a band of industrious, sober, and well-behaved men, and willingly unite in executing every kind of work which can be done by the piece. The two important seasons of hay-making and harvest cost the master, in fine weather, neither care nor attention. The hay is cut, made, ricked, and thatched, for a certain sum per acre, the master, of course, allowing the use of his horses, carriages, and straw for thatching. All his corn is cut and carried on the same terms. Every crop is cut with the scythe, the wheat only being bound in sheaves. Mowing wheat is usually thought to be a slovenly and destructive proceeding. But from several years' experience, my friend is decidedly of opinion, that from the neat and expeditious manner in which it is performed by his men, he suffers no loss either in grain or in quality of the straw. Besides the expedition of getting down a field of wheat with two or three scythes, there is great comfort in having it done by a band of men all equally interested in getting-on with the work, and having only one party to pay, instead of, perhaps, half a dozen sets of reapers. The general cleanness of the farm obviates another objection made against mowing wheat, namely, the much greater quantity of weeds collected along with the corn by the scythe than by the sickle. In my friend's case, this is no objection, as his whole farm is kept like a garden.
Mowing wheat is not yet a general practice, although there has been a gradual approach to it, more especially since wheat has been so low priced. Bagging the crop with a heavy hook
NEW SERIES, VOL. I, No. I.
is only a kind of hand-mowing; and the Hainault scythe operates much in the same way; though both are particularly necessary implements in countries where every inch of straw is valuable.
Some object to the use of the scythe for wheat, from a charitable feeling that it is injurious to the poor, in depriving them of the most productive part of their yearly labour, and on which they mostly depend as enabling them to pay the rent of their cottages. But such is the spirit of the times, that, in farming, as in all other occupations, attempts are making to supersede human labour by machinery; and no doubt, among other means of abridging labour and curtailing expences, mowing wheat will become as common as mowing barley or any other kind of corn. Economy and expedition are now the “order of the day,” and farmers have been told by the highest authorities that, nothing but the most rigid economy, and indefatigable perseverance, can assist them through their present difficulties. The Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, have just offered “a premium of 500 sovereigns, for the first successful application of steam power to the cultivation of the soil.” This will be, when accomplished, a mighty departure from the old and present processes of husbandry: but such are now the powers of civil engineers, that there can be little doubt but that steam ploughs will be generally in use in a few years.
But to return :-my friend informed me that he gets the whole of his crops of hay and corn, cut and carried, stacked and thatched," for ten shillings per acre, in every year, according to a standing agreement between master and men; and without reference to the state of the crops, whether light or heavy, or any limit as to time.
The master congratulates himself on his adoption of this plan of carrying on his field business, as he is often from home; always making a point of purchasing his own live stock, at markets however distant, and always also acting as his own salesman in Smithfield market. It must be allowed, however, that the whole of this his system of carrying on business, depends entirely on the confidential and trust-worthy character of his men; and, as both parties are benefitted, it is surprising that the example is not more generally adopted, which it certainly might be, by many farmers, were it sufficiently known.
MIDDLESEX, 7th March, 1837.