Page images
PDF
EPUB

"Throughout all the embanked marshes of Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, a premature enclosure from the sea has never failed to disappoint the expectations from the enterprise. Had the lots below where the new Customhouse is built in Dublin, been left open to the tidal-waters (and which are there very turbid, and highly charged with sediment) from the end of the north wall and towards the sheds of Clontarff, and the expense of the enclosing mounds and walls been applied in continuing the north wall in a line nearly parallel with the south one, the waters of the Liffy, thus confined in their descent, would have scoured out and preserved a deep channel for their discharge into the bay of Dublin, and perhaps contributed to the removal towards deeper water, those bars so justly dreaded and so highly injurious to the shipping and commercial interests of that important city: at all events, the navigation and access to the port must have been greatly benefited by a work of this nature; and at this time, or perhaps a few years hence, such a deposition of sediment would have been made by the unrestrained flowing of the tides over what are now the old enclosed lots, as to have rendered them equally rich and fruitful with some of the most favoured spots in the neighbourhood of that metropolis.

"These observations may be considered as rather foreign to a report on the agriculture and internal improvements of the county of Devon; but the Surveyor has been led to the discussion, in order to illustrate his idea of the difference between salt-marsh, ripe and fit for exclusion from the sea, from that which may be prematurely enclosed, and also of embankments made with a view of enclosing portions of invincibly steril and shear sea-mud."-Those are well matured remarks which bring conviction to the mind, at sight. ROADS. The following description of a washway road! is welcome to a place, here. See my MIDLAND COUNTIES, on such roads.

P. 371. "As to the application of water, as a means of preserving, it has been so far beneficial (if such it may be called) as to wash and scour away every particle of clay or loam which would have tended to unite the loose stones together, and wear them down to a more even and regular surface than is at present exhibited by most of the side-hill roads and lanes in the country. As there are but few wheel carriages to pass along them, the channel for the water, and the path for the pack-horse, are equally in the middle of the way, and which is altogether,occupied by an assemblage of such large and loose stones only, as the force of the descending torrents have not been able to sweep away or remove."

[ocr errors]

SOCIETIES.

SOCIETIES. P. 439. " An Annual Meeting of the South Devonshire Agricultural Society is alternately held at Totness and Kingsbridge. Neither this Society, however, or that formerly instituted in North Devon, are kept up with that spirit, perseverance, and liberality, which the nature of such institutions require, and by which they are conducted and preserved in other parts of the united kingdom.”

RURAL ECONOMY.

TENANTED ESTATES.

STATES.-P. 80. "If we except a few individuals, who, in reference to others, may be considered as owners of large estates, the landed property in this county will appear to be very much divided; a large proportion of it being in the hands of a respectable yeomanry, and other estates belonging to the sees of Exeter, York, and Salisbury, the Dean and Chapter of Windsor, the Universities, and the Duchy of Cornwall, forming no inconsiderable part of the whole county."

TENURES.-Church Leasehold.-P. 84. "The church property, consisting of tithes and demesnes belonging chiefly to the see of Exeter, are frequently held in perpetuity by the nobility and gentry of the country, renewable with certain or arbitary fines: these are justly considered valuable possessions, and are by them disposed of in such a manner as comports with the general arrangement of their other property. An indulgence is sometimes given, and formerly went to a far greater length, enabling the widow of the last surviving tenant to the church-lands in possession, to hold over the estate so long as she remained unmarried; but as this in some instances led to intrigues of a loose and disreputable nature, great care is now taken by the Bishop, and those who have the management of these affairs, to prevent in future any disgraceful abuse of such humane and generous concessions."

Life Leasehold.-P. 81. "The mischievous consequences inseparably connected with, and resulting from, the want of agricultural knowledge in those who have the direction and management of such estates, and who, to cover the want of the necessary qualifications of a land agent, most commonly advise the proprietor to grant those lifehold tenures so frequently heard of in Devonshire and South

Wales,

Wales, are more injurious and extensive than is generally apprehended."

IRRIGATION.-This operation is repeatedly mentioned, incidentally, in different sections of the work. Mr. Vancouver appears to be fully aware that much depends on the specific quality of the water, applied to the purpose of irrigation. He speaks highly of the waters of the Mole and the Bray; two brooks in the northern part of North Devonshire. But he does not specify the substrata out of which they issue. Indeed, his ideas on the subject, at the time he wrote, were, it is evident, insufficiently mature, to write on it with profitable intelligence.

MANAGEMENT of ESTATES.-The following remarks are so justly made, that I willingly give them a place, here.P. 80. It is believed, that in no part of England are the care and management of estates so generally deputed to the superintendance of attornies and other unqualified persons, as in the county of Devon: in what view their education, professional pursuits, and habits, can be deemed qualifications for the important duties of land agent, is not easily to be understood; particularly, as the essential endowments of the latter are so widely different from those of law agents, whose exclusive attention should be directed to the title. Different, however, are the qualifications for a land steward, for it is to him, and him only, that we must look for projecting, directing, and carrying into execution such works as the nature of the estate requires, and by the most economical and judicious means, effecting the permanent improvement of his employer's property."

TENANCY.-Covenants of Repairs.-P. 88. "The repairs of the farm-houses, such as walls, floors, roofs and doors, are usually done by the landlord; all others, except the finding of stuff for gates, rails, and posts, are performed by the tenant; it has, however, been generally noticed, that the tenant for years keeps his occupation in repair, being first put in that condition by the landlord at the commencement of the lease. The cottages are also generally kept by the tenant farmer in repair."

WOODLANDS.

ON woods, whether of timber or coppice, I have de

tected, in the Report under examination, nothing that demands particular mention.

On the practice of propagating woods, I arrest the sub

joined passage; which I know contains much truth.-P. 263. "It would afford the author of this Report much pleasure, to be able to dwell at some length on the principal articles of this section; but so little attention has been paid by the inhabitants of this district," (North Devon.) "in the culture of forest trees, that excepting those plantations only that have been made by Lord Fortescue, on the old limeworks at Filleigh, the plantations of Mr. Basset, of Watermouth, and a small grove chiefly of the pine tribe, raised by the Reverend Mr. Sweet, of Kentsbere, the cultivation of deciduous or ever-green trees is seldom seen extending beyond the pleasure-grounds or homesteads of the inhabitants; where they have been planted for the purpose of ornament, a little shade, or shelter."

Under the present head, may be mentioned the well matured EXOTIC TIMBER GROVES of Mamhead; which stand on an elevated stage,-facing the east,—on the western bank of the estuary of the Exe.

P. 260." In Lord Lisburne's park, at Mamhead, the ever-green oak, acacia, or black locust of North America; the double flowering ash, wainscot, or white oak of North America; cork tree of Portugal, Russian moss, and American red oak, seem all to flourish with peculiar excellence; as do also the cedar of Lebanon, spruce, Scotch, and silver firs, with many other native and exotic plants of great variety.'

FARM

AGRICULTURE.

ARMS.-P. 100. "It is extremely difficult to speak with any degree of certainty on a subject in which there is so wide a range for the striking an average, with respect to the extent of the occupations of a country, which vary from 10l. to 400l. a year; in general, however, it may be stated, that persons who come within the description of what may be called farming tenantry of the district, rent or otherwise occupy from 200 to 300 acres of land, the greater part of which is subject to a system of up-and-down husbandry, and to which is generally attached a small proportion of permanent pasture, and of marsh or meadowland."

OCCUPIERS. The subjoined extract evinces much natural good sense; and extensive knowledge of the superior class of English farmers.

P. 430." With regard to a farther dissemination of knowledge

ledge among the farmers, however fashionable it may be to stigmatize them as ignorant and obstinate, because they do not adopt the wild theories and hypothetical opinions of modern writers on husbandry, still, so far as the observation of the Surveyor extends generally, he has met with but few instances of that invincible ignorance so commonly asserted, or of any judicious and actual improvement being made clear to the judgment of the farmer, that he has not gradually and ultimately adopted. In truth, the farmer has by far too much at stake, to be easily seduced from the course of husbandry pursued by his forefathers, and which, by his own practice, has yielded to him the means of raising his family, paying his rent, tradesmen's bills, and meeting the parochial payments, to forego the certain means of procuring these supplies in order to pursue a different system of management, dressed up in all the parade of science, and altogether in a language he does not comprehend; but let the advantages of a superior management be once demonstrated to his understanding by a series of beneficial results, and there is an absolute certainty of his soon becoming a convert to the better practice."

OBJECTS of HUSBANDRY. · "North Devon." - P. 139. "The proportion of tillage to the enclosed grass-ground in this district, may be stated as one part in eight, that is, seven parts of enclosed grass-ground to one part in corn, or in preparation for it by fallow, turnips, and potatoes; out of this seven-eighths, there is estimated to be only oneeighth under permanent pasture, marsh, and meadow; hence seven-eighths of the whole enclosed country are subject to a convertible system."

P. 209. "It has been already observed, that about oneeighth part of the enclosed cultivated lands in this district are annually under corn crops, or in preparation for them. The remainder will always be found lying in permanent pasture, or subject to such a course of tillage as the caprice of the occupier may choose, either as to the time he may keep the land open, or the course of crops he may employ

it with."

WORKPEOPLE.-Servants.-P. 361. "The general rule in hiring servants, is to engage them at Christmas, to come home the Lady-day following, and to continue in service until that time twelvemonth. The usual wages to the head man, or carter, is 107. per annum, with board, washing, and lodging. The inferior departments of his establishment are often filled by parish apprentices."

Parish Prentices.-P. 359. "Some difference of opinion was met with in the course of the Survey, as to the general utility of this system, but the reasons stated for its continu

ance

« PreviousContinue »