« PreviousContinue »
ponds are drawn, which is generally once in four years, and weigh at that age about three or four pounds each."
This is an extention of the Surrey and Sussex practice; which will be noticed in this volume.
PROFIT of FARMING.-P. 114. "Though this county is distinguished for the number of its intelligent and independent cultivators, and though I was particularly anxious to obtain some accurate estimates of expences and profits, I found it impossible to succeed. Several keep a correct account of expenditure; but on a farm, it is scarcely possible to strike a balance annually, and without this, how vague must every calculation be!
Besides, so much depends on judgment, industry, and capital, that one person will make double the profit, with those advantages, which another will, without them. It is not always the nature of the soil, or the quantum of rent, that makes a farmer successful or otherwise: under the most favourable circumstances there are failures, and under the worst, there are instances of doing well.
By the most sensible men who occupied their own property, it was admitted, that an average clear profit of ten per cent. on the capital employed was a fair return."
The insufficiency of that percentage has been shown, -again and again. See the NORTHERN DEPARTMENT, County of Northumberland. And the Review of Reports from other Counties.
Before I put aside the volume now before me, I think it right to say, that, in the analysis and abstraction of it, I have experienced much gratification and satisfaction; and to express an opinion that it is one of the very few Reports to the Board which are entitled to a place in a gentleman's library:-in the library of a man, be it put, who reads for general information, on the useful arts, and who has not leisure and assiduity enough to dig into the depths of practice. He will understand Dr. Mavor, and will rarely be led astray by unguarded assertions, and ill grounded propositions.
THE NATURAL and AGRICULTURAL distinctions of this me
tropolitan County have been noticed, in speaking of the Department at large.
It contains within its outlines no entire DISTRICT. That part of the Vale of London, which is situated on the north side of the Thames, occupies the principal part of its area. The irregular range of rising grounds which form the northern banks of the Vale, assimilates, as has been said, with the southern margin of Hertfordshire.
OF THE COUNTY OF
MIDDLE S E X,
OBSERVATIONS ON THE MEANS OF THEIR IMPROVEMENT.
LAND-SURVEYOR, DEAN-STREET, SOHO..
DRAWN UP FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF
The Board of Agriculture and Internal Improvement.
THIS is an original Report, from Middlesex, on quartɔ
paper; and has not been published *.
The QUALIFICATIONS of its author, so far as his profession leads us, we see in the title page. His acquirements, as a Reporter of rural practices, in the several branches of Agriculture,
I have some recollection of a meager Report of Middlesex being, previously to Mr. F's, sent in to the Board, by a Mr. Baird, whose name is mentioned by Mr. Foot.-Whether Mr. B's sketch was printed, or remained in manuscript, I do not remember.
culture, and its various relations, we can learn from his performance, only.-Neither on the subject of Agriculture, proper, nor even on that of Estate Agency, (abstractedly considered from Landsurveying); nor on Natural and Poli tical Economy, as they are connected with agricultural science, do we perceive in this work any convincing evidence of much experience or mature judgement; excepting. what appears on the subject of Soils, and on that of the Appropriation of Commonable Lands.
Mr. Foot's manner is sufficiently appropriate for the occasion; as will be seen in the extracts from his Report. Mr. F's plan of Report would seem to be all his own.
The number of pages-ninetytwo.
A map of the different states in which the lands of the County lay, at the time of Reporting,-whether in "arable"" principally meadow or pasture," or in "nursery grounds and gardens,”—is prefixed to the work.
XTENT.-P.7. "It extends about 23 miles in length, is nearly 14 miles in breadth, and 115 in circumference, and contains 240 square miles, or two hundred and seventeen thousand six hundred acres."
WATERS.-P. 8. "Besides the river Lea, and the river Thames, aforementioned, there are the rivers Brent and the New-River; the latter of which supplies the greater part of London with water."
SOILS.-In his "Introduction," the Reporter is bold to say, p. 8, "the soil of this county is abundantly fertile, and for pasturage, and grain of all kinds, is not excelled by any other county."
In his division, ". the Soil," Mr. Foot gives a sketch of the soils of each Hundred of the County, with the states in which they were, at the time of writing. I copy his section, entire.
P. 9. "The soil of the Hundred of Edmonton, including South Mims, the land of which is about one-third arable and two-thirds meadow; Enfield, the land of which is about three-fourths arable, and one-fourth meadow; Edmonton, the land of which is about one-half arable, and one-half meadow; and Tottenham, the land of which is chiefly meadow, consists of clay, strong-loam, and a small part gravel.
"The soil of the Hundred of Gore, including Hendon, Harrow, Edgware, Stanmore, and Wemley, the land of
which is almost, without exception, meadow, consists generally of a stiff clay, with a small portion of gravelly loam. "The soil of the Hundred of Oselston seems to be distinguished by five kinds.
First. In the vicinities of Barnet, Finchley, Highgate, Hornsey, and Hampstead, the land of which is meadow, the soil consists chiefly of clay, with small portions of gravel and loam. Around Wilsdon a deep stapled soil clay, with a mixture of loam and gravel, prevails.
"Second. In the vicinity of Newington, Clapham, Hackney, Bethnal-Green, and Stepney, the laud of which is meadow, intermixed with garden-grounds and nurseries, the soil is rich and mellow; but the vicinities of Hackney frequently partake of a strong loam, approaching to a clay of that species which is called brick-earth.
"Third. The soil around Islington, Pancras, and Paddington, which is almost wholly employed first in making hay, and then in pasturage, consists of a gravelly loam, tending in some parts, but in small portions, to clay.
"Fourth. In the vicinity of Kensington, Brompton, Chelsea, Fulham, and Chiswick, the soil varies from a strong, to a tender or a sandy loam, and from a black and fertile, to a white and sharp sand and gravel; and, in the parish of Chiswick, it is remarkable, that in the deepest soil the gravel lies within two feet of the surface. The land of these districts is, in a small proportion, devoted to the plough, but is chiefly employed in raising plants and vegetables for the London markets.
"Fifth. The two remaining places of this Hundred, Acton and Ealing, the lands of which are partly arable and partly pasture, seem to possess a soil in a great measure similar to that of Chiswick; about Acton, however, are sometimes discovered soils of lean gravel, and of a deep staple sandy loam. In the neighbourhood of Brentford the soil is of a deep gravel, and towards Greenford and Perival of a strong loam and clay. The lands of these districts, are, almost without exception, arable.
"The Hundred of Isleworth contains the places bordering on the river Thames, viz. Isleworth, Twickenham, and Teddington, the land of which is arable, meadow, and garden-ground, and consists mostly of a hazel loam, or rich mellow soil. The parish of Heston, the land of which is chiefly arable, contains a small portion of light gravel, but is, in general, a strong loam.
"The Hundred of Elthorne, in the vicinity of Cranford, Harlington, Hillingdon, Uxbridge, and Cowley, the land of which is for the greater part arable, consists of strong loam, and a small part gravel.
"The soil in and around the parishes of Harefield and Riselip, the land of which is about three parts arable, and one part meadow, chiefly consists of strong loam, with a small part gravel. The soil of the parishes of Harmondsworth and Drayton, consists chiefly of light loam and gravel, and is almost entirely devoted to the purposes of the plough. The parishes of Northolt, Hayes, Southall, and Northcott, consist of a soil partaking of a strong loamy clay and gravel.
"In the Hundred of Spelthorne, the parishes of Teddington and Hampton, which are chiefly occupied by gentlemen, together with those of Sunbury and Shepperton, consist of a lean gravel, and of a light loam; Littleton, Laleham, Staines, and Stanwell, of a lean gravel and strong loam; Bedford, Feltham, Ashford, and Hanworth, of a lean gravel and light loam. The whole of the lands of these districts is chiefly arable."
PPROPRIATION.-" Waste Lands.”—P. 30. "There are many thousand acres of land in the county of Middlesex, within a few miles of the capital, which at present lie waste, and are of little or no value to the individuals interested in them; an absolute nuisance to the public; and yet capable of very great improvement."
After speaking on the advantages growing out of the Appropriation of such Lands;-on the burdensomness of the present method of procuring separate Acts of Inclosure; and on the benefit that would accrue from a general act, Mr. Foot proceeds to enumerate the Commons in the County of Middlesex.
Common Pastures.-P. 32. "Among the commons, now uncultivated in the county of Middlesex, are HounslowHeath, Finchley-Common. The remains of Enfield-Chace.
"The commons in the parish of Harrow, are HarrowWeald Common, Pinner-Common, Sudbury-Common, Pinner-Marsh, Roxhull-Green, Apperton-Green, WembleyGreen, Kenton-Green, Green hull-Green.
"The commons in the parish of Hillingdon and Uxbridge are Uxbridge-Moor, Uxbridge-Common, Memsey-Moor, Hillingdon-Heath, Gould's Green, Peil-Heath.
"There are also Riselip-Common, Sunbury-Common, Hanwell-Common, Worm-wood shrubs, in the parish of Fulham, and between four and five hundred acres of wastelands in the parish of Hendon, &c."
Common Meadows.-P. 69. "There is a large tract of