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character of the labouring classes; in most of whom seems to be awakened that spirit of industry and independence which once distinguished the peasantry of England; but which the old system of reliance on parish relief in every emergency had well nigh utterly subdued and destroyed. It has been the policy of some to decry the new system as fraught with hardship and oppression to the poor. Never was a greater falsehood uttered. The old and infirm are better off than they were. Their allowances, if out of the house, have not been diminished, but in many cases increased ; and if admitted into the house, certainly they never were more comfortable : and as for the able-bodied labourers, they can find work now, though, under the old system, they reckoved it an impossibility. Where, then, is the hardship of the new system? True, many families have migrated to the manufacturing districts, compelled, it may be said, by the working of the new law; and where is the hardship of this again? They and their families, as agricultural labourers, formerly earning a bare pittance of 10s. or 12s. a week, and now receiving perhaps 30s. and upwards ! Is this a case of hardship? The same may be observed of emigrants to America : we happen to know a poor man who went to Canada. He had a family of 8 or children—wages totally inadequate to their support in this country,he had not been there many months before he became the owner of 68 acres of land, and in the receipt of 4s. 6d. a day for his services as a labourer! This, again, is one of the hardships of the new poor law !
MARCH 20th, 1837.
GENERAL REPORT FOR ENGLAND.
But few of us can recollect a winter, in which there has been so long a succession of wet weather, as has been generally experienced over the whole kingdom, since the month of September, up to nearly the end of February. This has been attended by the usual concomitant circumstances of delaying wheat sowing in the autumn-rendering the pastures cold, and the grass washy—the live-stock unthrifty-protracting the getting in of beans and peas, and throwing a very great accumulation of labour to be performed in this present month, Luckily, however, a favourable change has taken place; a keen and drying wind has set in from the northward, which is rapidly drying up the redundant moisture from the surface of the land, and which, if it continues, will soon render the soil fit for the operations of the plough and har
We have already had an abundant share of March dust, an accident which is always viewed with delight by the farmer, as it is an assurance not only that it will recover the thin and sickly appearance of his wheat on cold soils, but will enable him to lay in his Lent corn in good condition.
This change of the weather, however, will not immediately relieve him from the effects of the long wet winter. His sheep will be found to be little benefitted by the turnips they have eaten; and his breeding ewes will be in no robust condition to drop healthy lambs; and, while in this debilitated state, care will be required to keep them from any kind of rank herbage, unless they have also, at the same time, some good dry and hearty trough-meat twice a day. It is at this season that live-stock, of every description, require particular attention to keep them progressing, until the tares and spring grass come sufficiently forward. Those intended to be fatted must be well and abundantly fed, to yield any thing like profit; and therefore, the best mixed troughmeat must not now be withheld.
It is not likely that wintered stock will pay much this season, owing to the scanty crop of turnips, and the cold and wet winter.
One thing will, however, counterbalance this in some measure,
the somewhat higher and steady price of all sorts of corn ; for, although wheat is not generally at a remunerating price, yet other descriptions of grain have commanded fair rates.
The following were the prices in Mark Lane, on the 13th inst., viz. :
Wheat.-White English, from 52s to 64s ; red, from 52s to 60s ; Scotch from 52s to 56s; Barley from 30s to 36s; grinding from 22s to 28s; Oats, English feed, from 22s to 26s; Poland and potato, from 25s to 28s; Beans, new, 34s; old, 38s to 45s; Peas, boiling, from 32s, to 36s; Hog ditto, from 32s to 34s; Malt, from 50s to 60s; Rye, from 32s to 36s; Tares, from 40s to 50s per quarter ; Flour, North country, from 48s to 55s; Irish, from 38s to 48s per sack of 280 lbs.
London Averages, ending March 7.—Wheat, 58s 5d ; Barley 32s 3d ; Oats, 23s 10d ; Beans, 32s 1d; Peas, 35s 5d; and Rye, 35s 3d.
Clover.-New red, from 40s to 80s ; prime old, 100s to 108s per cwt. ; white, 50s to 56s; extra, 70s to 78s; trefoil, 15s to 20s. The foreign samples are rather higher priced.
Turnip Seeds.—New Swedes, 20s to 25s; other qualities, 14s to 20s
Notwithstanding there is a general complaint of the shortness of pasturage, particularly for sheep, there is in most of the cattle fairs and markets a pretty lively demand for store stock, when any thing of the kind offers, and for which, if any way fresh, good prices are given. Many of such stock now appearing in market are, however, in very
low condition, and only parted with because the owners can no longer keep them. Fat stock sells well every where, and particularly in the manufacturing districts. The meat markets continue to be well supplied in the metropolis, as well as in those in the vicinity. The ruling prices are as follow:
Beef, from 2s 6d to 3s 6d ; the best Scots, 4s to 4s 4d; mutton, from 2s 100 to 4s 8d, and prime Southdowns, from 4s 6d to 58 ; veal, large,
4s 8d to 4s 10d ; well fatted small, from 5s to 5s 8d ; lamb, 7s to 7s 8d; pork, from 4s 2d to 5s per stone of 8 lbs., sinking offal.
The beef from Norfolk and Scotland was considered the best in last Monday's Smithfield market. The first grass-lamb appeared on that day; and, considering the late wet season, were in excellent condition. The prices of the different kinds of butcher meat in Smithfield market on Monday, the 13th March, 1837, were, on an average, very nearly what they were on the corresponding market-day in the last year.
The British wool trade has been for some time stationary ; but there are symptoms of an improvement near at hand, and which, it is to be hoped, will take place before the next clip. Some of the fat stock in the London markets are already shorn, and which must be most distressing to the naked animals in this rigid weather, more especially as the object of the shearers is not apparent, except on the speculative view that wool will be much dearer.
Good hay of all descriptions fetches good prices, say from £4 to £5 per load, and straw is very dear; even oat straw is worth, in Smithfield market, from 45s to 50s per load, which, at 24 loads to the acre, (the usual quantity), is almost equal to the value of the grain.
The potato markets about London are supplied from Scotland, Ireland, Guernsey and Jersey, Yorkshire, Essex, Kent, and other southern counties. They are usually sold by the ton of 40 bushels, (each bushel of course weighing 56 lbs). The present prices are, for kidneys, 100s ; Devonshire reds, 100s ; Essex whites, from 85s to 100s ; Guernsey blues, 100s ; Yorkshire reds, from 100s to 110s ; Scotch reds, 855 to 95s; Shaws, for planting, 100s; and Irish, at about 80s per ton ; with every expectation that these prices will be maintained throughout the season. The late failures of this useful vegetable in various parts of Ireland, Scotland, and the north of England, is now attributed to improper storing, either where grown, or during their stowage on board ship.
The Central Agricultural Association still continue their meetings, and keep collecting information from all quarters to enable the members to make out a case to lay before Parliament, or to devise some salutary measure for the protection and encouragement of the farming interest. But neither of these objects are yet, it seems, matured ; as, at the last meeting, it was resolved that no application should be made to Parliament at present; they having no measure to propose, which would have any chance of being seriously entertained by the legislature.
The Commissioners for the Commutation of Tithes are proceeding slowly; but, where they have been employed, we understand, satisfactorily. The tenants on church lands are interested in the Government plan of abolishing church-rates. The proposers and abetters of the plan insist that neither the church nor her tenants can possibly be injured by the proposed scheme, and this is so far well ; but, it being an illegal interference with the rights and property of the church, many consider it an unconstitutional innovation.
March, 18th, 1837.
PRICES OF CORN FROM JANUARY 6TH TO MARCH 4Th, 1837.
Enormous Cabbage.—At a late meeting of the Linnæan Society, the chairman exhibited a stalk of the “cow tree,” or Jersey cabbage,” which was 9 feet 4 inches long, the circumference at 18 inches from the root being 44 inches, and in two other parts 3 inches. A worthy tailor, hearing of this colossal cabbage, declared it must belong to the dungs, and not to the flints.
Garlic.—The Hungarian jockies frequently tie a clove of it to their racers' bits, when the horses that run against them fall back the moment they breathe the offensive odour. It has been proved that no horse will eat in a manger, if the mouth of any other steed in the stable has been rubbed with the juice of this plant. I had occasion to ascertain this fact. A horse of mine was in the same stall with one belonging to a brother officer. Mine fell away and refused his food, while his companion throve uncommonly well. I at last discovered that a German groom, who had charge of the prosperous horse, had recourse to this vile stratagem. It is also supposed that men who eat garlic knock up, upon a march, the soldiers who have not made use of it. Hence, in the old regulations of the French armies, there existed an order to prohibit the use of garlic when troops were on a march.
Agriculturial Experiments.—The following simple but very important experiment, which has been communicated to us by an extensive and intelligent farmer in the neighbourhood, demonstrates, we think, the necessity or propriety of proving the different kinds of spring corn intended for seed before sowing. It may be proper to state that the trial, of which the result is subjoined, was made by planting a given number of corns in pots, within doors ; and as this may have assisted the germination, a certain allowance ought to be made on that account; at all events, we think great care should be taken not to sow any of the very light grain.—Montrose Review.
Useful Field Turnip Washer.—That which C. Hillyard, Esq. recommends consists of a trough, four feet long, three wide, and two deep, set on low wooden wheels; an open-staved cylinder washer, two feet in length and two in diameter, turned by an iron handle, and raised out of the water by a double lever, in which there are grooves for the cylinder to run down in, and on the door being opened, the washed turnips are deposited in a skip. The water to be changed daily, but about ten pails full will be wanted during the day to supply the waste. One man and a boy will thus wash and cut a sufficient quantity of turnips to feed 200 sheep, without any part of the turnip being wasted. Lambhogs, or tegs, as they are called, fed thus, will be fit for the butcher as soon as shorn.
young sheep that are very poor be put to sliced Swedes, many are likely to die from plethora, brought on by the change from poor to good feeding.