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in the business of Estate Agency.-His QUALIFICATIONS, as a Reporter of agricultural concerns are less evident. We meet with very little, in the production under view, which manifests the author's experience in that most difficult art. His observations on the practice of professional men, however, must necessarily have been considerable.
Regarding his method of collecting information, Mr. Claridge has been almost singularly ingenuous.-P. 48. "The preceding information respecting the county of Dorset, has been collected by me, partly from twenty years experience in the cultivation" (?)" and management of landed property in that county, as well as in most parts of England; and by a tour made through it, on purpose, in the course of the month of September last, in which I endeavoured to collect all the intelligence I possibly could, from many gentlemen and farmers, who assisted me with their best information, and to whom I am obliged for their service and assistance in this business, and shall not fail to state their names to the Board of Agriculture whenever opportunity offers."
The most striking defect, in the Report under consideration, is want of digestion, or methodical arrangement: a sin, however, which, in my creed, is not deadly. Saving a few distinct heads, ill associated, the whole matter may be said to be thrown together, miscellaneously; without chapters, sections, or other divisions.
An apology, perhaps an allowable one-may be made for that and other defects. The original Report of Dor-setshire was one of the very first that was printed. And to those who know how the early Reporters were spurred and goaded, as if the appointment of the Board had been but for a few months, weeks, or days,-a thousand deficiencies may appear to be excusable.
The number of pages-fortynine.
XTENT.-P. 5. "Dorsetshire is a maritime County of about one hundred and sixty miles in circumference; in length, from east to west, about fifty-five, and in breadth from North to South, about thirty-five, containing about 775,000 acres of land."
That extent Mr. Claridge subdivides according to the several existing states of its lands, at the time he wrote. On what ground the estimates were made does not appear.
P. 5. "The greater proportion of the land is in pasfurage, ewe leas, or downs for sheep, of which the follow ing proportions are estimated in round numbers, (viz.) 250,000 Acres in tillage.
woods and plantations.
SURFACE.-P. 6. "The greater part is uneven ground, and much of it very hilly; it has chiefly a high cliff towards the coast, and a very small proportion of marshy or fenn land."
WATERS.-P. 6. "It has three rivers, (viz.) The Stower, the Piddle, and the Froome; the Stower, which is by much the most considerable, runs quite across it, from the vale of Blackmoor to the sea, by Sturminster, Blandford and Winborn-Minster. The Piddle, from Piddletown and BereRegis, to Wareham: and the Froome from the country north of Maiden Newton, by Dorchester to Wareham. The two latter are much divided in many places, into a variety of small streams, by the branches of which, great advantage is derived in watering of the meadow land through which they pass."
SOILS.-P. 6. "The soil is mostly shallow, upon a chalk bottom, a large proportion of it very poor, but some parts of it (particularly the vale of Blackmoor) extremely rich."
P. 17. "The country north of Sherbone, which adjoins the vale of Blackinoor, affords some of the best arable land in the county. The soil is a stone brach, very easy to work, and about three parts in four, are ploughed." FOSSILS.-P. 6. "It possesses great quantities of stone, chalk, lime and pipe-clay."
Portland Stone.-P. 41. "As to quarries, the whole island of Portland seems to be one intire mass of the most beauti ful stone, chiefly used in the metropolis and elsewhere for the most superb buildings, and is universally admired for its close texture and durability, surpassing any other. The raising of it, is a laborious business, sometimes employing upwards of a hundred men, to break down a large jam of it, afterwards it is divided into blocks, and then conveyed in cars by horses to the shore."
“There are many proprietors of quarries in the island," but those called the King's quarries, which belong to the crown, are by far the most considerable; from thirty to forty
thousand tons of this stone, are annually shipped off from the island."
Purbeck Stone.-P. 41. "The quarries in the island of Purbeck, are found in the parishes of Sandwich (called Swannage) Langston and Worthe, near the sea, where up wards of four hundred people are employed in digging and tooling the stone which is raised here from pits, some twenty others forty feet deep; they are not open to the top, but are undermined and underbuilt; it is excellent stone for walling, floors, steps, and in particular for foor pavement for towns, for tomb-stones, troughs, and feet and caps for rick staddles. Another sort of stone is here foundand used for pitching streets, and some of the thin stones on the tops of these quarries are used for covering of buildings: about fifty thousand tons are annually shipped at Swannage."
Pipe Clay.-P. 43. "On Norden and Burshen Heath," about a mile distant from the borough of Corfe Castle, is found large quantities of pipe clay, which is in great estimation, and absolutely necessary for the use of the potters in Staffordshire and other places. About eleven thousand tons are annually sent from this place for that purpose, and about one hundred men are constantly employed in digging it. Some of the pits are not more than ten or twelve feet deep. The mode of digging it, is to cut it with a thin spade, whilst in a soft state, in square pieces, which is forked up by another person, to the conveyance for carrying it off. It is of a white colour when first dug out, and dries to a hard substance of rather a blue cast.
"The ground where the pipe-clay is dug, is on the surface extremely poor and barren, and although the clay has the appearance of being a most excellent manure, I find that it has been tried without success, as it is supposed to contain some acid matter, which is highly detrimental to vegetation."
MINERALS.-P. 40. "There are no ores of any kind found in this county, nor are there any mines of coal."
PPROPRIATION,-Common Pastures.-P. 43. “Of the commons in Dorsetshire, the greater part of them in the inclosed country are stinted, one horse or two beasts to a leas; the horse leas, is estimated worth thirty shillings,
and half that sum for a beast. The land in general overrun with furze and ant-bills, does not in its present state, return more than seven or eight shillings per acre; but most of them highly proper to cultivate, and if converted would be worth eighteen or twenty shillings an acre, as lime for manure is so easily obtained.
"The greatest proportion and extent of waste lands in the county, is in its south-eastern part, from below Bere-Regis; southwards towards Lulworth and the sea, extending all the way to Corfe Castle, Wareham and Poole, from thence towards Christ-Church, in Hampshire, and within a small distance of Winborn Minster, the greater part of which, ex-) cept a few cultivated parishes which intersected it, is in its present state a most dreary waste, and almost the only advantage derived from it at this time, is the support in summer of a few ordinary cattle and sheep, and the heath, which is pared up by the surrounding villages for fuel."
Common Fields.-P. 46. Very few parishes in this county, have of late years been inclosed, there are some however, between Winborn Minster and Blandford, and in the vale of Blackmoor, which are said to answer extremely well, and to have much increased the value of the property. therein."
PROVISIONS.-P. 46. " Provisions are plentiful, and besides a great abundance of most excellent fish, the markets are supplied in most parts of the county with beef at four, pence per pound; mutton at four-pence halfpenny; chick ens at fifteen pence per couple; geese half a crown each, and turkeys at three shillings and six-pence each."
FUEL.-P. 40. "The supply in this article" (coals)" is. either from Newcastle to its ports, where they cost from two pounds fourteen shillings to three pounds per chaldron,... of thirty-six bushels; or from Wales, which cost about. thirty-two shillings per ton weight. The proportion be tween the Newcastle and the Welsh coals, is as thirteen and a half bushels of the former, to one ton of the latter.", MANUFACTURE.-P. 37. " Among various others of great. import to the community, in the county of Dorset, the principal one, is in the manufactory of flax and hemp, in the neighbourhood of Bridport and Beminster; where all sorts of twine, string, pack thread, netting, cordage, and ropes are made, from the finest thread used by saddlers, in lieu of silk, to the cable which holds the first rate man of war. The nets made for the fishery at Newfoundland, as well as for home use; and the sails for shipping of every.. kind, is manufactured of the best quality, as well as sacking for hammocks, &c. and all kinds of bags and tarpaulin; and in addition to the great quantity of flax and hemp used
bere, not more than one-third of it is allowed by the manufacturers to be of British growth; the remaining twothirds of it, is imported from Russia and America, as raw
PUBLIC DRAINAGE.-P. 13. " Through this vale" (Blackmoor)" runs the river Stower, which is now undergoing a great improvement, from the general Act of Sewers, by cutting down the sides and removing obstructions, which will tend to the general drainage of the country, and be a lasting improvement."
ENURES.-P. 22. “There is a considerable part of the county (though perhaps the fee of the whole parish belongs, at most, to one or two persons) which is leased out for lives, and generally the land is here intermixed and confused by copy hold and freehold tenures. The customary terms for renewal of leases for lives, are nearly as follows: For copyhold, two years purchase is taken for one life; eight, for two lives; sixteen, for three lives; besides the widowhood. On leasehold, two years purchase for one life; seven, for two lives; fourteen, for three lives. Though this mode of letting land on lease is much less practised now than formerly."
DRAINING FARM LANDS.-P. 26. "Draining, except in the water meadows, is very little practised in any part of the county. Some of the tillage-land, which is gravelly and springy, might be much improved by it."
IRRIGATION.-P. 34. "The flooding of meadow land, is another business, of great importance, in the agriculture of Dorsetshire. The proportion of water meadows is no where so great, or any where better managed; the early vegetation produced by flooding, is of such consequence to the Dorsetshire farmer, that without it, their present system of managing sheep, would be almost annihilated."
Seeing what Mr. DAVIS and others have written on this subject, the slight sketch offered, by Mr. Claridge, requires not transcription. He properly refers to Mr. BOSWELL'S
TENANCY.-For remarks on Life Leases, see the head Tenures, above.