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knowledge their error, and candidly confess that the work is well executed, and promises to be effectual.
"It may be necessary, by way of instruction to others engaged in schemes of the like nature, to state, that had the drain been made less wide at the top (and the opponents insisted that it should have been only twenty-six feet wide) it would have collapsed, or fallen together; as it was, there were numerous and alarming slides, the repairing of which cost a considerable sum, and there can be no doubt, but something of this kind will happen for years to come; for the substratum, at the depth of sixteen feet, is so soft and morassy, that it gives way to the superincumbent clay, and rises up in the middle of the drain.
"This cut from the Dunbald sluice to the moor (a distance of about two miles and a half) cost four-pence per cubic yard, or in the whole about three thousand two hundred pounds; and the parochial drains, which were twelve feet wide at the top, four feet wide at the bottom, and six feet deep, cost on an average two shillings and sevenpence per rope (twenty progressive feet.) Expensive as this undertaking inevitably must be, yet the benefit resulting from it will most amply repay; for without saying any thing of the injury done to the health of the inhabitants in the circumadjacent country, and which this drain, by rendering the air more salubrious, will totally remove; we may fairly state, that the probable improved value cannot be estimated at less than four hundred and fifty thousand pounds*.
"The total amount of the expenditure is now ascertained; and it may give some satisfaction, if I inform my readers the sum total thereof. The following statement of the account Dr. and Cr. will approach pretty near the truth; but let it be understood, that this calculation is made under the idea of parochial subdivisions, without which little benefit will result either to the publick or individuals. The principles which I have, in my report on the North-East district, fixed as data, incontrovertible, viz. That all commons, however rich and fertile the soil, are unproductive of profit, in consequence of overstocking, must be here adhered to; and this argument is equally applicable to old inclosures. Let a farmer put ten head of cattle into a given piece of ground where only five should be depastured, and the cattle will be of less worth after the grass is consumed, than they were before: Of what value then is the land? "KING'S
*If we add to this the capital necessary to stock this moor, the pubHick utility and importance of the undertaking will be more strongly manifested. J. B."
"To act of parliament, and all other inci
Interest of money borrowed
Drains, sluices, bridges, and roads
To which add for subdividing in each parish To original value of the moor, say 10s. per acre, at twenty-five years purchase
365,375 15 4
By 12,000 acres, at 35s. per acre, and 25 years purchase
525,000 0 0
By improvement of 4000 acres of adjacent
land, at 10s. per acre
50,000 0 0
£.575,000 0 0
"The above is the real expenditure taken from the commissioners books, and about seven hundred acres have been sold to discharge the same..
"N. B. Had the commissioners been empowered to sell land at the commencement of the business, the expenditure would have been reduced five thousand pounds by the difference in the interest accompt.
"This is not the only improvement, for by the addition of such a quantity of rich and productive grass land, the upland inclosures, and common fields, may be greatly advanced in value. In short, it is difficult to point out all the benefits likely to accrue from this grand but arduous undertaking; beside, though the original value of the moor per acre is stated to be ten shillings, this is done merely with a view to give the arguments against the inclosure the greatest weight; and perhaps it would have been more
just to have stated its value at five shillings per acre, or even less than that, for a right of stocking could be rented for half a guinea per year.
"Nor is the improved value at all exaggerated. On the contrary, I am confident it will exceed thirty-five shillings per acre; for even in dry summers three tons of hay per acre have been cut on inclosed lands adjoining or near the moor, the soil of which lands is in no respect better than that of the moor."
P. 197. "Besides King's-Sedgmoor, there are other similar tracts of land on the adjacent rivers Tone and Yeo, on which no improvement has yet been attempted, namely, Normoor, near North-Petherton; Stanmoor, Currymoor, West-Sedgmoor, &c. near North-Curry; West-Moor, near Kingsbury; Wet-Moor, near Muchelny;* amounting in the whole to about ten thousand acres, independent of many thousand acres of low flooded inclosed lands, which might be greatly improved by judicious draining.
Many of these moors are superior in their quality to King's Sedgmoor; and the example now set before them will, I trust, remove the mist from the proprietors' eyes, and make them see, in a true light, their own and the public interest."
URFACE.-P. 263. "Quantock, Brandon, and DunkryHills, may be noted for their wild and rugged scenery; and the part which is called Dunkry Beacon, is the highest land in the whole county."
"Most of these moors are now (1797) inclosed or inclosing."
CLIMATURE.-P. 263. "The climate, particularly of that part which is called the the Vale of Taunton Dean, is peculiarly mild and serene; and the soil highly fertile and productive. The eye is agreeably relieved by a judicious mixture of arable and pasture; and if it be contrasted with some parts of the Northern District, it may emphatically be called the Land of Canaan.
"There are, however, certain parts North-West of the said vale which are mountainous, and subject to that mutability of weather, and moisture of air, generally found on elevated situations."
SOILS. Of the Vale of Taunton.-P. 264. "The soil is a rich loam, interspersed in some places with clay, as part of Bradfield, Buckland, North side of Wellington, part of Sampford, Hill-Farrence, Ninehead, Oake, and Heathfield; and in other parts with sand, or a lighter mould; as Kingston, Bishop's-Lidiard, Halse, Fitzhead, Milverton, Langford, Thorne, and Runnington."
Of the Seacoast Districts.-"The soil of some part of this district is but little inferior to that of the former; but the hills and forests are for the most part left in a state of nature."
APPROPRIATION.-P. 286. “In an agricultural sur
vey of the county of Somerset, it will naturally be expected that particular notice should be taken of the forest of Exmoor; its vast extent, and capability of improvement, render it an object well worthy of attention.
"This forest extends from north to south about eight miles, and from east to west ten or twelve; containing, according to an accurate survey lately made, about nineteen thousand nine hundred acres."
Mr. B. enters on a description of this forest; and makes proposals for its improvement. I perceive nothing, however, in his observations, that appears, to me, either sufficiently instructive, or interesting to the public, for extraction.
P. 289. Besides Exmoor, there are several hundred acres of uncultivated land around Dunkry, and on Quantock and Brandon hills."
MANUFACTURES.-P. 295. "About a century ago the woollen manufactures in the town of Taunton were in a very flourishing condition, and of course some of their
benefits devolved to the agriculturist; but of late years the warmth of party at the elections of their representatives in parliament bas run so high, that it has not subsided from one election to another; by which means manufactures declined, and have been removed to Wellington and other places. So that it may fairly be inferred, that if the right of election to members in parliament has been injurious to any borough in the kingdom, it has been so to this."
P. 296. "Though the trade of Taunton has declined, yet considerable manufactories are carried on at Wellington, Wiveliscombe, and other places; and many thousand hands are employed therein."
TENURES.-P. 268. «The major part of the five hun
dreds of Taunton Dean, consists of customary lands of inheritance, held under the Lord Bishop of Winchester, paying an annual rent. These customary lands pass by surrender, paying to the lord fines and heriots on alienations. There are also many singular customs within the manor, difficult to be understood even by the tenants themselves. The descent is called that of Borough-English, with some variations. The wife is heir to her husband; and it is no uncommon thing for a widow, on the death of her husband, having children by bím, to marry again, and carry her estate into her second family, to the disinheritance of her first."
ORKPEOPLE.-P. 294. "The price of labour, throughout the whole district, is nearly the same, viz. Men, through the year, one shilling per day and beer; women, for weeding and common work, six-pence per day; and for mattocking the wheat and hay-making, eight-pence per day."
WORKING ANIMALS.-P. 291. "Oxen are principally used, and are for the most part worked in yokes.'
P. 293. "The oxen of this country are large, well made, and beautiful animals. They are almost all red. They are yoked at three years old, and worked till they are five or six, when they are sold to the graziers, at prices from ten pounds to twenty-two pounds each ox."
ORCHARDS.-In a note, by R. P. appendant to the chapter