Picture of Arthur Young

Arthur Young

places mentioned

1st to 10th October 1776: Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary

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OCTOBER 1st, rode over the mountain improvements which William Blennerhasset, Esq; of Elm Grove, has made. I viewed it with very great attention: for it projects far into a mountain of heath, that lets only at 1s. an acre. I saw the progress of the improvement in different stages. He has done 250 Irish acres, and inclosed 300 more, and has been offered 20s. an acre for them, but the farmhouses were not built; at present he has four, to which he purposes to throw the whole.

THE method he pursued has been first to enclose with double ditches, four feet deep, and five broad, and the earth out of both thrown on to a parapet, ten feet broad, and some more, planted with rows of trees, and of osiers, the expence in labour, 2s. a perch. While this work is doing, he ploughs nine or ten inches deep, and as soon as the weather will admit, burns; then he tills it again once or twice, and burns again; and before the last ploughing, limes 100 barrels an acre, which costs him (burning it himself) sixpence a barrel, including carriage and spreading: upon this he sows corn, has tried wheat, rye, and oats, but oats answer the best; has tried potatoes, and they did pretty well, followed them with corn, and then laying it out , that is, leaving it to grass itself. The other is to sow corn as long as it will yield any, when it is exhausted, to lay it out two or three years, and then plough and lime, take two crops of corn, and lay it out again; and this way he thinks is the best, from the experience of forty years, for so long the improvement has been making. Trees of all sorts have grown perfectly well, but the ash has done best. A ploughing costs 6s. an acre. Grassaning and burning, 2l. an acre. Mr. Hasset's stock at present on this farm, 30 horses, mares and foals, 100 cows, 100 sheep, 100 young cattle, 8 plough bullocks: a noble stock of cattle for a spot which was all heath.

MR. BLENNERHASSET has also tried lime-stone sand, over one part of a field, and lime upon the rest, spread but lately, yet the appearance is much in favour of the sand.

OCTOBER 2d, to Ardfert by Tralee, through a continuation of excellent land, and execrable management. Mr. Bateman tried rock salt on grass land for a manure, half a ton to the English acre, but found not the least benefit from it. But of lime he has used large quantities, and with great success; burning it for 6d. a barrel, in a standing kiln with turf, four eyes or fires to each; lays on 50 barrels to an acre, and has advanced some land by draining and liming, from 5s. to 20s. an acre, the soil a cold stiff clayey gravel.

To the west of Tralee are the Mahagree islands, famous for their corn products; they are rock and sand, stocked with rabbits; near them a sandy tract, 12 miles long, and one mile broad, to the north, with the mountains to the south, famous for the best wheat in Kerry. All under the plough. Their course:

1. Buck potatoes. 2. Barley. 3. Wheat. Also corn on some land, without any intermediate crop. Manure for every crop, if potatoes with sea weed, and get great crops; they get 20 for one of wheat and barley. All grain is remarkably early; they have sown English barley, and made bread of the crop in six weeks; these lands let at 14s. or 15s. an acre, but some much higher. Farms are large, one, two, or three hundred acres, but some are taken in partnership. I was assured, that in these islands, they have known two crops of barley gained from the same land in one year, and the second better than the first. They sowed the first of april, and reaped the middle of may, and immediately sowed a second, which they reaped the end of august. This was done by John Macdonald, of Maharaghbeg.

ARRIVING at Ardfert, Lord Crosby, whose politeness I have every reason to remember, was so obliging as to carry me by one of the finest strands I ever rode upon, to view the mouth of the Shannon at Ballengary, the scite of an old fort: it is a vast rock separated from the country by a chasm of a prodigious depth, through which the waves drive. The rocks of the coast here are in the boldest stile, and hollowed by the furious Atlantic waves into caverns in which they roar. It was a dead calm, yet the swell was so heavy, that the great waves rolled in and broke upon the rocks with such violence as to raise an immense foam, and give one an idea of what a storm would be, but fancy rarely falls short in her pictures. The view of the Shannon is exceedingly noble; it is eight miles over, the mouth formed by two headlands of very high and bold clifts, and the reach of the river in view very extensive: it is an immense scenery. Perhaps the noblest mouth of a river in Europe.

CROSSED in the way a large bog, highly improveable, saw some little spots taken in with heaps of sea sand for carrying it on.

LORD GLENDOUR manures his ground with lime, sea sand, and sea weed, the last is the worst, the sand best. Land lets at 12s. or 13s. an acre on an average; it rises from 10s. to 20s.

ARDFERT is very near the sea, so near it, that single trees or rows are cut in pieces with the wind, yet about Lord Glendour's house there are extensive plantations exceedingly flourishing, many fine ash and beech; about a beautiful cistertian abbey, and a silver fir of 48 years growth, of an immense height and size.

OCTOBER 3d, left Ardfert, accompanying Lord Crosby to Listowel. Called in the way to view Lixnaw, the ancient seat of the earls of Kerry, but deserted for ten years past, and now presents so melancholy a scene of desolation, that it shocked me to see it. Every thing around lies in ruin, and the house itself is going fast off by thieving depredations of the neigbourhood. I was told a curious anecdote of this estate, which shews wonderfully the improvement of Ireland: The present Earl of Kerry's grandfather, Thomas, agreed to lease the whole estate for 1500l. a year, to a Mr. Collis, for ever , but the bargain went off upon a dispute, whether the money should be paid at Corke or Dublin. Those very lands are now let at 20,000l. a year. There is yet a good deal of wood, particularly a fine ash grove, planted by the present Earl of Shelburne's father.

PROCEEDED to Woodford, Robert Fitzgerald's, Esq; passing Listowel bridge, the vale leading to it is very fine, the river is broad, the lands high, and one side a very extensive hanging wood, opening on those of Woodford in a pleasing stile.

WOODFORD is an agreeable scene; close to the house is a fine winding river under a bank of thick wood, with the view of an old castle hanging over it. Mr. Fitzgerald is making a considerable progress in rural improvements; he is taking in mountain ground, sencing and draining very completely, and introducing a new husbandry. He keeps 30 pigs, which stock he seeds on potatoes, and has built a piggery for them. Turnips he cultivates for sheep, and finds they answer perfectly. Not being able to get men who understand hoeing, he thins them by hand. He has five acres of potatoes put in drills with the plough, and designs ploughing them out: they look perfectly well, and promise to be as good a crop as any in the trench way. The common course in this neighbourhood is,

1. Potatoes. 2. Potatoes. 3. Wheat. 4. Oats. 5. Leave it to grass and weeds.

FARMS are very much in partnership, and improvements exceedingly backward on that account. The poor live on potatoes and milk all the year round, but are rather better off than they were twenty years ago. The labour of the country is generally done for land in the manner I have so often described, rated at an exorbitant price, to pay 4d. in winter; 5d. in summer; some 6d. round. Three-fourths of Kerry mountain and bog, at 1s. 6d. the rest at 15s.

IN 1765, Mr. Fitzgerald was travelling from Constantinople to Warsaw, and a waggon with his baggage, heavily laden, overset; the country people harnessed two buffaloes by the horns , in order to draw it over, which they did with ease. In some very instructive conversation I had with this gentleman, on the subject of his travels, this circumstance particularly struck me.

OCTOBER 4th, from Woodford to Tarbat, the seat of Edward Leslie, Esq; through a country, rather dreary, till I came upon Tarbat, which is so much the contrary, that it appeared to the highest advantage; the house is on the edge of a beautiful lawn, with a thick margin of full-grown wood, hanging on a steep bank to the Shannon, so that the river is seen from the house over the tops of this wood, which being of a broken irregular outline, has an effect very striking and uncommon; the river is two or three miles broad here, and the opposite coast forms a promontory, which has from Tarbat exactly the appearance of a large island. To the east, the river swells into a triangular lake, with a reach opening at the distant corner of it to Limerick: the union of wood, water, and lawn, forms upon the whole a very fine scene; the river is very magnificent. From the hill, on the coast above the island, the lawn and wood appear also to great advantage. But the finest point of view is from the higher hill on the other side of the house, which looking down on all these scenes, they appear as a beautiful ornament to the Shannon, which spreads forth its proud course, from two to nine miles wide, surrounded by highlands: a scenery truly magnificent. I am indebted to Mr. Leslie's good offices sor the following particulars.

ARABLE land about Tarbat lets at 14s. on an average; Mr. Leslie, in 1771, let several farms at 17s. but the fall of that period reduced the rents 3s. Farms are from 50 acres to 3 or 400: it is common to have the poor people hire them in partnership, but only the small ones; the large are all stock farms. The tillage course;

1. Potatoes, produce 28 barrels, at 16 pecks each, and the peck 60 lb; or 26,880 lb. in all. 2. Potatoes. 3. Oats. 4. Lay out for several years. The second crop of potatoes more numerous, but not so large; they manure for them only with dung. The oats yield six barrels, each 26 stone, being double ones. Very little wheat sown but by gentlemen or large farmers, who burn the land; plough it, and burn the sod, which they call beating , and manure with lime or sea sand; 40 barrels of lime at 1s. The stone is brought from an island towards Limerick. They get sand at the same place. Lime does best for tillage, and sand for grass. The stock farms are either under dairies, or in the succession system, of buying in year olds from the county of Clare, and keeping them till three or four years old, the heifers till they calve; buy at a guinea to 30s. sell from 3l. 5s. to 4l. 10s. at four years old. There are also some cows fattened: bought in in general at 3l. or 3l. 10s. sell in october at 4l. 10s. to 5l. The dairies are set to dairymen, the price is one cwt. of butter, and 10s. to 15s. horn money; the dairyman has all the calves, and must sell off at michaelmas. His privilege is a house and potatoe garden, and grass for a cow for every ten. A collop here, is one cow, one horse, two yearlings, six sheep; two acres to feed a collop, and some two and a half. Every cabbin has a bit of flax, which they spin and manufacture for their own use, there being some weavers dispersed about the country. A little pound yarn is sold besides to Limerick, but not much. Some wool is spun for their own use, and wove into frize.

THE state of the poor is something better than it was twenty years ago, particularly their cloathing, cattle, and cabbins. They live upon potatoes and milk; all have cows; and when they dry them, buy others. They also have butter, and most of them keep pigs, killing them for their own use. They have also herrings. They are in general in the cottar system, of paying for labour by assigning some land to each cabbin. The country is greatly more populous than twenty years ago, and is now increasing; and if ever so many cabbins were built by a gradual increase, tenants would be found for them. A cabbin, and five acres of land, will let for 4l. a year. The industrious cottar, with two, three, or four acres, would be exceedingly glad to have his time-to himself, and have such an annual addition of land as he was able to manage, paying a fair rent for it; none would decline it but the idle and worthless.

TYTHES are all annually valued by the proctors, and charged very high. There are on the Shannon about 100 boats employed in bringing turf to Limerick from the coast of Kerry and Clare, and in fishing, the former carry from 20 to 25 tons, the-latter from five to ten, and are navigated each by two men and a boy.

OCTOBER 5th, passed through a very unentertaining country (except for a few miles on the bank of the Shannon) to Altavilla, but Mr. Bateman being from home, I was disappointed in getting an account of the palatines settled in his neighbourhood. Kept the road to Adair, where Mrs. Quin, with a politeness equalled only by her understanding, procured me every intelligence I wished for.

LAND lets about Adair from 10s. to 40s. an acre, average 20s. the richest in the country is the Corcasses on the Maag, which let at 30s. to 36s. a tract five miles long, and two broad, down to the Shannon, which are better than those on that river; the soil is a kind of yellow and blue clay, of which they make bricks; but there is a surface of blue mold. The grass of them is applied to fattening bullocks, from 7 to 8 cwt. each, and an acre fats one, and gives some winter and spring food for sheep. When they break this land up, they sow first oats, and get 20 barrels an acre, or 40 common barrels, and do not reckon that an extra crop; they take ten or twelve in succession, upon one ploughing, till the crops grow poor, and then they sow one of horse beans, which refreshes the land enough to take ten crops of oats more; the beans are very good. Wheat sometimes sown, and the crops very great. Were such barbarians ever heard of?

IN the common course of lands about Adair, the courses of crops are,

1. Potatoes. 2. Ditto. 3. Wheat. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Lay out.

1. Potatoes. 2. Ditto. 3. Wheat. 4. Wheat. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Oats. 8. Lay out.

1. Potatoes. 2. Ditto. 3. Wheat. 4. Oats. 5. Lay out.

Potatoes they plant on grass without dung, a good crop, 60 barrels to an acre, at 8s. a barrel average. When they hire it, they pay six guineas an acre; they dung tillage land and poor lays for them. Of wheat they sow a barrel an acre, and the crop in general eight to ten of those barrels. Oats they sow two to an acre, and get twelve to sixteen. The low moory and rushy bottoms they plough, and burn the furrows; upon that burning plough, in the ashes, and harrow in rape seed, a pottle, or three quarts to an acre; never feed, but keep it for seed, and get eight Bristol barrels an acre; it sells usually at 14s. to 18s. a barrel; they sow bere afterwards, the produce ten barrels an acre; then a crop of oats, twelve to sixteen barrels, and then leave it to lay. No grass seeds sown.

FARMS rise from forty acres to 2000l. a year; some few of the little ones are taken by cottars, in partnership, but not common; the large farms are all stock ones. Turnips have been sown many years, but by few; a little on pared and burnt land in the bottoms, instead of rape; the crops very large; they give them all to fat sheep, in order to keep their flesh for a better market after christmas; it is found to be a very advantageous practice, but not increasing. No hoeing. Hemp is sown a little by the palatines, but by few others. Flax, by every cabbin, in order for a little spinning for their own use.

THE system of the stock farmers is in general dairying, but upon the best lands they fatten bullocks, cows being only kept on lands which they think will not do for bullocks. The cows are all let, and paid for principally by butter, one cwt. to a cow, and 25s. horn money. The dairyman's privilege is a cabbin, a garden of an acre, and the grass of a cow or horse to every twenty cows, and may rear half the calves, and keep them to november or christmas. To 60 acres, 24 cows, 1 horse, 30 sheep; this is just two acres a head, and it is about the average of the country. The dairymen are not in good circumstances, making a mere living. The swine here are of a large white sort, and rise to two cwt. they are mostly fattened on potatoes, but have some oats at last to harden the fat. A great many sheep; the system is to keep the lambs till three year old wethers, and sell them fat at 20s. each; the fleeces 7 lb; Tythes, wheat 6s. barley 5s. oats 4s. rape no tythe. Potatoes 8d. to 10d. mowing ground 1s. to 3s. sheep 2d. each.

THE poor people do not all keep cows, but all have milk, and pigs and poultry; they are not better off than twenty years ago. Of a potatoe garden, one-half to three-fourths of an acre carries a family through the year; they live entirely upon them, selling their pigs. They pay a guinea for a cabbin, and 10 perch; if half an acre, 2l. 2s. A whole acre, and a cabbin on poor ground, 3l. 3s. but not so cheap if near a village. Labour paid in land, in general. Grass of a collop 2l. 2s. if a cow hayed, 50s.

THE palatines were settled here by the late Lord Southwell, about seventy years ago. They have in general leases for three lives, or 31 years, and are not cottars to any farmer, but if they work for them, are paid in money. The quantities of land are small, and some of them have their feeding land in common by agreement. They are different from the Irish in several particulars; they put their potatoes in with the plough in drills, horse-hoe them while growing, and plough them out. One-third of the dung does in this method, for they put it only in the furrows, but the crops are not so large as in the common method. They plough without a driver; a boy of twelve has been known to plough and drive four horses, and some of them have a hopper in the body of their ploughs, which sows the land at the same time it is ploughed. Their course of crops,

1. Potatoes. 2. Wheat. 3. Wheat. 4. Oats.

1. Potatoes. 2-. Barley. 3. Wheat. 4. Oats.

IN which management they keep their land many years, never laying it out as their neighbours do. They preserve some of their German customs; they sleep between two beds. They appoint a burgomaster, to whom they appeal in case of all disputes; and they yet preserve their language; but that is declining. They are very industrious, and in consequence are much happier and better fed, cloathed, and lodged, than the Irish peasants. We must not, however, conclude from hence that all is owing to this, their being independent of farmers, and having leases, are circumstances which will create industry. Their crops are much better than those of their neighbours. There are three villages of them, about seventy families in all. For some time after they settled, they fed upon sour crout, but by degrees left it off, and took to potatoes: but now subsist upon them and butter and milk, but with a great deal of oat bread, and some of wheat, some meat and fowls, of which they raise many. They have all offices to their houses, that is, stables and cow-houses, and a lodge for their ploughs, &c. They keep their cows in the house in winter, feeding them upon hay and oat straw. They are remarkable for the goodness and cleanliness of their houses. The women are very industrious, reap the corn, plough the ground sometimes, and do whatever work may be going on; they also spin, and make their children do the same. Their wheat is much better than any in the country, insomuch that they get a better price than any body else. Their industry goes so far, that jocular reports of its excess are spread: in a very pinching season, one of them yoked his wife against a horse, and went in that manner to work, and finished a journey at plough; The industry of the women is a perfect contrast to the Irish ladies in the cabbins, who cannot be persuaded, on any consideration, even to make hay; not being the custom of the country; yet they bind corn, and do other works more laborious. Mrs. Quin, who is ever attentive to introduce whatever can contribute to their welfare and happiness, offered many premiums to induce them to make hay, of hats, cloaks, stockings, &c. but all would not do.

FEW places have so much wood as Adair: Mr. Quin has above 1000 acres in his hands, in which a large proportion is underwood. The deer park of 400 acres is almost full of old oak and very fine thorns, of a great size; and about the house the plantations are very extensive, of elm and other wood, but that thrives better than any other sort. I have no where seen finer than vast numbers here. There is a beautiful river runs under the house, and within view are no less than three ruins of franciscan friaries, two of them remarkably fine, and one has most of the parts perfect, except the roof.

IN Mr. Quin's house, there are some very good pictures, particularly an annunciation, by Dominicino, which is a beautiful piece. It was brought lately from Italy by Mr. Quin, junior. The colours are rich and mellow, and the airs of the heads inimitably pleasing; the group of angels at the top, to the left of the piece, are natural. It is a piece of great merit. The companion is a magdalen; the expression of melancholy, or rather misery, remarkably strong. There is a gloom in the whole in full unison with the subject. There are, besides these, some others inferior, yet of merit, and two very good portraits of Lord Dartry, (Mrs. Quin's brother) and of Mr. Quin, junior, by Pompeio Battoni. A piece in an uncommon stile, done on oak, of Esther and Ahasuerus: the colours tawdry, but the grouping attitudes and effect pleasing.

OCTOBER 7th, to Castle Oliver, by Bruff, passing through a very fine tract of rich reddish loam. The Right Hon. Mr. Oliver was assiduous to the last degree to have me completely informed. About his seat, the soil is brown stone on different slate strata, mountainous; the mountain tops are thrown into the bargain; mountain farms, tops, bottoms and sides, 1s. an acre; furze land reclaimed, some from 15s. to 20s. Farms of all sizes, but the occupying tenants have from 15 to 100 acres, some 300. The course of crops:

1. Potatoes. 2. Potatoes. 3. Potatoes. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Lay out: sometimes only two of potatoes.

THEY manure for potatoes with all the dung they can get. Very little under tillage, and the grass applied chiefly to dairies. In one particular they are very attentive; which is, to conduct the mountain streams into their grass lands; cutting little channels, to introduce the water as much as possible over the whole; and though it comes from a poor mountain of brown stone, or turf, yet the benefit they find to be very great. This is a general custom among all the little occupiers; and they are frequently coming to Mr. Oliver, with complaints of each other for diverting or stealing one another's streams. This is an instance of excellent husbandry, which I do not recollect meeting with before in Ireland. They always mow it the year they water it, and their crops of hay two ton, or 2½ an acre. They do not reclaim any mountain, but sometimes a little furze land for potatoes. They have some lime-stone sand; but being at a distance, they use it in small quantities, a few barrels an acre sown for potatoes, which is effectual in preventing them from being wet or rotting. The state of the poor people better in these mountainous tracts than upon the rich flats of Limerick, from there being more employment and greater plenty of land for them. Some few farms taken in partnership. The cattle system is generally dairying cows, which are all let to dairymen. There has been a fall in rents since 1771-2, of 2s. 3s. or 4s. an acre, but it is not falling at present. Building a cabbin 4l. to 5l. Ditto stone, slate, &c. 25l.

RELATIVE to the rich lands of this country, they are principally found, first in the barony of Small County, which is rich; Coonagh has much; Coshlea a great deal, and much mountain; Clanwilliam, a good share. The rich land reaches from Charleville, at the foot of the mountains, to Tipperary, by Kilsenning, a line of twenty-five miles, and across from Ardpatric to within four miles of Limerick, 16 miles. Bruff, Kilmailock, and Hospital have very good land about them; the quantity in the whole conjectured to be 100,000 acres. It is in general under bullocks, but there is some tillage scattered about, to the amount probably of a fifteenth of the whole; the rents are from 25s. to 40s. but average 30s. an acre.

THE county of Limerick, besides the rich grazing, has a light lime-stone land for sheep and cows, at 15s. to 20s. There are also yellow clays, from 10s. to 20s. also middling land of furze and fern, from 10s. 6d. to 1l. 1s. Some mountain 1s. likewise fifteen miles of corcasses on the Shannon, two to three miles broad. Average of the whole county, 20s. The county of Tipperary, 18s.

As to the soil I am able to speak of it particularly, for Mr. Oliver was so kind as to ride through a great variety of it, a man with a spade following to dig; the finest in the country is upon the roots of mountains; it is a rich, mellow, crumbling, putrid, sandy loam, eighteen inches to three feet deep, the colour a reddish brown. It is dry sound land, and would do for turnips exceedingly well, for carrots, for cabbages, and in a word for every thing. I think upon the whole, it is the richest soil I ever saw, and such as is applicable to every purpose you can wish ; it will fat the largest bullock, and at the same time do equally well for sheep, for tillage, for turnips, for wheat, for beans, and in a word, for every crop and circumstance of profitable husbandry.

THE lower lands are wetter, and under them a yellow clay, whereas in the upper, it is sandy loam to a considerable depth. The rent in England would be considerably higher than this of the bullock land in Ireland.

THE farms are of all sizes. The bullock farms rise to 600 acres, which quantity is a large farm; but there are many small ones under cottars and dairymen: the general run in stocking is a bullock of four and a half to seven cwt. average five hundred and a half to the acre, and quarter for the summer's grass; but their not generally having a bullock to an acre, is owing to their keeping sheep and calves so late, even to june. The winter's hay amounts to about a rood, besides the acre for the summer food. These beasts are bought in at autumn, at three or four years old, average price 5l. they are fed regularly through the winter with hay every day in the fields where they are to be fattened in summer; they chuse the dry fields for it, but still mischief is done by it. All the hay is stacked in the fields for this purpose. The time of selling autumn. The profit they make per bullock, on an average, about three guineas. The principal winter system is buying calves, at 1l. 1s. to 2l. 2s, keeping them till may, and then selling them at 20s. to 30s. profit, but give them a bellyful of their best hay. A great many sheep are also sent to be wintered from Tipperary, which is extraordinary, as their own lands are much drier than those of Limerick: they do this by hiring farms for the purpose. This is one of the most profitable articles; they bring the spring lambs in october, and keep them till may, and then send them back to Tipperary, and they are much better than others left there.

THE graziers are many of them rich, but generally speaking, not so much from the immediate profit, as from advantageous leases. I wanted much to be informed of their profit, but it is exceedingly difficult to come near it, for not a grazier in the country but denies his making any thing considerable: this is supposed to be a great piece of art, but I am very apt to think the truth not so far from the declaration, at least as well as I am able to judge from the information I have received.

  £. s. d.
Rent of an acre and a half for a bullock 2 12 6
County cess, at 6d. 0 0 8
Mowing and making one-third of an acre of hay 0 3 0
A bullock 5l. interest at six per cent. 0 6 0
Labour 1s. 6d. an acre 0 2 3
  3 4 5
Profit on a bullock 3 3 0
Winter food, two sheep at 5s. 0 10 0
  3 13 0
Expences 3 4 5
Profit 0 8 7

From this is to be deducted the whole of chances, the loss of cattle, &c. and from what I was able to pick up, I have reason to believe that it does not exceed 10s. an acre at most. The sum necessary to stock 6l. an acre. I must observe that the profit is very low for land to yield, which is of such extraordinary fertility; it is of that soil which would do very well for tillage, for though it is not dry, yet it has not the wetness of our English clays, and would in a course of good tillage, pay infinitely better, as every person must admit, who are at all acquainted with the wet lands of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, &c. I am however very far from recommending it, for if the Irish tillage should be introduced, the very contrary would be the case, and the landlord suffer exceedingly from his estate being exhausted. In no part of Ireland have I seen more careless management than in these rich lands. The face of the country is that of desolation; the grounds are over-run with thistles (carduus) ragwort, (senecio jacobœa) &c. to excess; the fences are mounds of earth, full of gaps; there is no wood, and the general countenance is such, that you must examine into the soil before you will believe that a country, which has so beggarly an appearance, can be so rich and fertile.

To shew the rise of land, Sir Harry Hartstonge has a farm of 400 acres, which his grandfather let in 1676, at 4s. 6d. an acre, and thought so dear that an offer of a score of sheep and two goats were offered to be off; it would let now at 30s. I had this fact from himself. The breed of cattle here is all long horned. There are some cows fattened also, but not near so many as oxen. Likewise some dairies, which are let for one cwt. of butter, and 20s. horn money. The dairyman's privilege is two or three cows, a cabbin and a garden. The number seldom above a score; but the men are found so troublesome and imposing, that the owners have taken a different method, and employed dairywomen on their own account.

GREAT quantities of flax sown by all the poor and little farmers, which is spun in the country, and a good deal of bandle cloth made of it. This and pigs are two great articles of profit here; they keep great numbers, yet the poor in this rich tract of country are very badly off. Land is so valuable, that all along as I came from Bruff, their cabbins are generally in the road ditch, and numbers of them without the least garden; the potatoe land being assigned them upon the farm where it suits the master best. The price they pay is very great, from 4l. to 5l. an acre, with a cabbin; and for the grass of a cow, 40s. to 45s. They are, if any thing, worse off than they were 20 years ago. A cabbin and an acre of land 40s. and the grass of two cows, the recompence of the year's labour: but are paid in different places by an acre of grass for potatoes at 5l. Those who do not get milk to their potatoes, eat mustard with them, raising the seed for the purpose. The population of the country increases exceedingly, but most in the higher lands; new cabbins are building every where. The tillage in these rich lands consist in,

1. Potatoes. 2. Potatoes. 3. Barley. 4. Wheat. 3. Oats. 6. Oats.

1. Potatoes. 2. Potatoes. (On spots ½ or ¼ acre flax after the second potatoes.) 3. Wheat. 4. Barley. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Oats. 8. Oats. 9. Lay it out.

MR. OLIVER has known 150 Bristol barrels, each; four bushels heaped of potatoes, which make six bushels, or 900 from an acre. The weight, strike measure, 15 stone. The common crop, 150 heaped barrels, at 4s. average price. Opinions differ much, whether the second crop is better or worse, but from one practice they have, I am clear which it must be; for they trust to the small potatoes left in the ground as seed, which are necessarily irregular: and I have found, by various trials, that a slice of a middling potatoe is far better than a whole small one.


  £. s. d.
Rent 5 13 8
Seed, 16 barrels and a half, at 10s. 2 15 0
Cutting seed 0 5 6
Digging 0 14 0
Carrying out 0 2 6
Trenching and sowing 1 5 0
Weeding 0 10 0
Digging out 1 10 0
Gathering 0 10 0
Carrying home 0 9 6
Housing 0 6 0
Picking 0 10 0
Tythe 0 12 0
  15 3 2


  £. s. d.
150 barrels, at 4s. each 30 0 0
Expences 15 3 2
Profit 14 16 10
100 barrels, at 4s. each. 20 0 0
Expences 15 3 2
Profit 4 16 10

The Bristol barrel, which is here charged at 4s. is heaped, and weighs 22 stone. The quality of the corn raised on these rich lands is much better than any other in the country; the quantity of barley, per acre, 12 Bristol barrels.

MR. RYVES, a gentleman of the neighbourhood, I had the pleasure of meeting at Castle Oliver: on 3¾ acres sowed nine bushels of bere, from which he had 111 Bristol barrels, striked measure. Of wheat, the crops fluctuating, but a middling one 12 barrels. Mr. Ryves has had 20 of oats, generally 15. All these crops are with good tillage; there are many who do not get near so much.

THERE is a bolting mill at Limerick, at Annsgrove, at Marlefield, at Clonmel, at Castle Hyde, at Castle Hyde: hence therefore there is no want of a market in this country for corn. I was surprized to find that land, in this rich country, sells at as many years purchase as in mountain tracts. Limerick is famous for cyder; the finest cakaggee is at Mr. Waller's, Mr. Massey's, Mr. Westrope's, Mr. Monson's, &c. The soil of the orchards thin, on lime-stone.

MR. OLIVER has practised husbandry on a pretty extensive scale. A considerable part of his land is improved mountain, which he grubbed and cleared of spontaneous rubbish, and manured with lime-stone sand; and then cultivated some for corn, and some for turnips: where the land is boggy, he burns, in order to get rid of that soil which he considers as worth but little. Whatever he sows, the land runs at once immediately to thick fine grass, even on the mountain top; so that a stubble will, in the first year, yield a great crop of hay. A strong proof how adapted this country is to pasturage. In the breed of cattle he has been very attentive, purchasing bulls and cows, at the expence of 20 guineas each, of the long-horned Lancashire breed, and from them has bred others. I saw two exceeding well-made bulls of a year old of his breeding, which would have made a considerable figure in Leicestershire. Turnips he has cultivated for many years, applying them chiefly to feeding deer, but he has fattened some sheep on them with good success. Hollow draining he has practised upon an extensive scale, and laid a large tract of wet land dry by it.

MR. OLIVER planted a colony of palatines 15 years ago, from about Rathkeal, 66 families in one year, which made 700 protestants, on his own estate. Fixed them upon spots, of from 13 to 30 acres each, charging them only two-thirds of the rent which he could get of others; built houses for them at the expence of above 500l. gave them leases for three lives. The benefit has been introducing much tillage; in proportion to their little farms, they till much more than the Irish. They drill their potatoes, and on stubble land worn out. House their cattle, feeding them with hay, and raising thereby dung. They are cleaner and neater, and live much better; are better cloathed, and all of them have neat little kitchen gardens. Many of them labour for nobody but themselves, and none of them constantly for others, being employed principally on their own farms. They live partly on four crout.

CASTLE OLIVER is a place almost entirely of Mr. Oliver's creation; from a house, surrounded with cabbins and rubbish, he has fixed it in a fine lawn, surrounded by good wood. The park he has very much improved on an excellent plan; by means of seven feet hurdles, he fences off part of it that wants to be cleaned or improved, these he cultivates and leaves for grass, and then takes another spot, which is by much the best way of doing it. In the park is a glen, an English mile long, winding in a pleasing manner, with much wood hanging on the banks. Mr. Oliver has conducted a stream through this vale, and formed many little waterfalls in an exceeding good taste, chiefly overhung with wood, but in some places open with several little rills trickling over stones down the slopes. A path winds through a large wood and along the brow of the glen; this path leads to an hermitage, a cave of rock, and to some benches, from which the views of the water and wood are in the sequestered stile they ought to be. One of these little views, which catches several falls under the arch of the bridge, is one of the prettiest touches of the kind I have seen. The vale beneath the house, when viewed from the higher grounds, is pleasing; it is very well wooded, there being many inclosures, surrounded by pine trees, and a thick fine mass of wood rises from them up the mountain side, makes a very good figure, and would be better, had not Mr. Oliver's father cut it into vistas for shooting. Upon the whole, the place is highly improved, and when the mountains are planted, in which Mr. Oliver is making a considerable progress, it will be magnificent.

IN the house are several fine pictures, particularly five pieces by Seb. Ricci, Venus, and Æneas; Apollo and Pan, Venus and Achilles; and Pyrrhus and Andromache, by Lazzerini; and the rape of the Lapithi, by the centaurs: the last is by much the finest, and is a very capital piece; the expression is strong, the figures are in bold relief, and the colouring good. Venus and Achilles is a pleasing picture; the continence of Scipio is well grouped, but Scipio, as in every picture I ever saw of him, has no expression. Indeed, chastity is in the countenance so passive a virtue as not to be at all suited to the genius of painting; the idea is rather that of insipidity, and accordingly Scipio's expression is generally insipid enough. Two fine pieces, by Lucca Jordano, Hercules and Anteus; Sampson killing the lion: both dark and horrid, but they are highly finished and striking. Six heads of old men, by Nogari, excellent; and four young women, in the character of the seasons.

OCTOBER 9th, left Castle Oliver. Had I followed my inclination, my stay would have been much longer, for I found it equally the residence of entertainment and instruction. Passed through Kilfennanand Duntreleague, in my way to Tipperary. The road leads every where on the sides of the hills, so as to give a very distinct view of the lower grounds; the soil all the way is the same sort of sandy reddish loam I have already described, incomparable land for tillage: as I advanced, it grew something lighter, and in many places free from gravel. Bullocks the stock all the way. Towards Tipperary I saw vast numbers of sheep, and many bullocks. All this line of country is part of the famous golden vale. To Thomas Town, where I was so unfortunate as not to find Mr. Mathew at home; the domain is 1500 English acres, so well planted, that I could hardly believe myself in Ireland. There is a hill in the park, from which the view of it, the country and the Galties, are striking.

To the Earl of Clanwilliam's, where I was particularly fortunate in meeting Messrs. Macarthy and Keating, sons to two of the greatest farmers that ever were in Ireland. The country is all under sheep, and the soil dry sandy loam. The sheep system of Tipperary is to breed and keep the lambs till three-year old weathers, fat, and sell them at 26s. at an average; keep the ewe lambs, and cull the old stock, selling an equal number of fat ewes at three to four years old, the average price 20s; in october the wool of all the stock in general amounts to three fleeces, per stone, of 16lb. or 6s. a head. From hence to Clonmell there are many sheep; to Cullen in Kilkenny, three or four miles beyond Thurles, within two miles of Cullen, three or four and twenty miles N. to S; and from Cullen to within three miles of Callen, which is 30: generally speaking, this is all sheep, but there are many spots in in it where bullocks are fed. The stock mixed with sheep are usually calves, bought in at six to eight months at 30s. to 40s. average 32s. and when they are three years old, send them to the richer lands in the county of Limerick, (where every Tipperary grazier has a farm) to fat. When they have not enough of their own rearing, they buy three-years old at Ballynasloe, and fatten them in Limerick. In general, this land will carry three to five sheep to the acre, and bear some calves besides. One acre and three quarters carry a bullock the year through, half an acre of it for hay.

Arrangement of a flock of 2,500 sheep.

500 ewes
500 lambs
500 hoggarts
500 two-year olds
250 fat weathers
250 ewes, added to stock, instead of 250 older ones sold off
2500 at 5 to an acre 500 acres
    £. s. d.
250 fat wethers, at 26s. 324 18 0
250 culled ewes, at 20s. 250 0 0
2000 fleeces, at 6s. 600 0 0
    1174 18 0

A part of the stock of fat wethers is kept over from October to the spring, for the Dublin market, not merely for the high price, but because underlings, and not fat in autumn, and sell for less than the rest, seldom more than 19s. or 20s. To 3000 sheep a grazier in this neighbourhood has 30 acres of turnips, in order to feed this part of his wether stock. Mr. Macarthy with 8000 sheep, has seldom more than 30 acres. This system will be further explained by Mr. Allen's stock,

1,200 acres — 2,000 sheep, besides lambs — Sells 200 four-year old wethers, at 26s. — 200 three-year olds, at 26s. — 200 barren ewes, at 18s. — 2,000 fleeces, at 5s. — 400 two-year olds — 400 year olds — 500 brood ewes—500 lambs—Land to feed this flock, 1000 acres. Also 120 bullocks—40 cows and spayed heifers and working bullocks for work, milk and breeding—30 horses, mares, &c. — 30 labourers, 5 shepherds—20 acres of wheat—10 barley—10 oats— 10 turnips — 8 potatoes — 60 mowing ground—Rent of this large tract of sheep-land from 20s. to 25s. an acre.

FARMS are generally large, commonly 3 or 4000 acres, and rise up to 10,000, of which quantity there is one farm, Mr. Macarthy's, of Spring-house, near Tipperary, and is I suppose the most considerable one in the world. Here are some of the particulars of it:

9,000 acres in all—10,000l. rent—8,000 sheep— 2,000 lambs—550 bullocks—80 fat cows—20,000l. value of stock 200 yearlings——200 two-year olds — 200 three-year olds — 80 plough bullocks— 180 horses, mares and foals—150 to 200 labourers— 200 acres tillage.

MR. RICHARD DOGHERTY, of Locklogher, sold 76 bags of wool at 500lb. to 600lb. each this year. The loss of sheep and cattle one-half per cent. No folding. For hiring and stocking 5l. an acre. A shepherd is allowed four cows, a horse, a cabbin, and three acres of garden, and as much hay as they like for their cattle.

SLAUGHTER at Corke of cows and bullocks undoubtedly lessened. The increase of tillage is in Tipperary owing to bolting mills.

THE quantity of tillage in this country trifling, but the crops are large; there are several courses. The turnip husbandry often upon burnt land, some on lime and fallow, and some on fallow alone.

1. Turnips. 2. Fallow. 3. Wheat. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Oats. 8. Oats. 9. Oats. 10. Lay it out.

1. Turnips. 2. Fallow. 3. Potatoes. 4. Bere. 5. Wheat. 6. Oats. 7. Oats. 8. Oats. 9. Oats.

1. Burn for rape seed. 2. Potatoes. 3. Wheat. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. Lay out. And sometimes they take two crops of wheat. They never hoe turnips.

MR. DEXTER, of Cullen, has a ram, half a guinea a leap, and great numbers of ewes were sent to him, the breed much improving.

PRODUCE of potatoes 80 to 100 Bristol barrels, at 5s. average price, and the poor people pay five to six guineas for the land. They often take two crops with adding some seed, paying the same price for the second; the same for turnip land burnt; grass potatoes not generally known. The quantity of wheat 10 barrels to 15.—Bere 15 to 18.—Barley 12 to 18.— Oats 12 to 15. Their turnips they seldom sow before the 12th of July. Their manures are lime and lime-stone gravel, the gravel for crops, and lime for grass; they use it on lime-stone land, and with great success. The soil a mellow, dry sandy, or gravelly loam, on lime-stone or lime-stone gravel. Much bog in this country, that of Allen comes in a line through the Queen's County to within three miles of Cashel. One-fifth of Tipperary mountain, the rest 20s. an acre. Land sells at 20 years purchase. Rents have fallen four or five shillings an acre since 1771 and 1772.


YEARLING bullock, 3l. to 3l. 10s. Store bullock, 6l. to 7l. Fat ditto, 10l. to 12l. Profit on a bullock, 4l. to 4l. 10s. A bullock fat of ten guineas, weighs 6cwt.

NEWTOWN, 250 acres, a farm of Mr. Dogherty's, under bullocks from may to november, and 1100 lambs all winter through.

I HAD heard much of the late Mr. Keating's farm, of Garranlad, as the largest that ever was; his son gave me the following particulars of it:

10,000l. a year rent. 13,800 Irish acres. 3,000 head of black cattle. 16,300 sheep. 300 horses. 500 couple of ducks. 300 turkies. 90 hogsheads of cyder a year. He had most of the ground from Golding to Clonmel. Collops here in order are: 1 horse. 6 sheep. 1 cow. 1 fat bullock. 2 yearlings. 3 calves.

Arthur Young, A Tour in Ireland, made in the years 1776, 1777, and 1778 (London: T. Cadell, 1780)

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