Picture of Arthur Young

Arthur Young


places mentioned

19th to 30th June 1776: Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Westmeath

Next Selection Previous Selection

A
TOUR, &c.

JUNE 19th, 1776, arrived at Holyhead, after an instructive journey through a part of England and Wales I had not seen before. Found the packet, the Claremont, captain Taylor, would sail very soon. After a tedious passage of twenty-two hours, landed on the 20th, in the morning, at Dunlary, four miles from Dublin, a city which much exceeded my expectation; the public buildings are magnificent, very many of the streets regularly laid out, and exceedingly well built. The front of the parliament house is grand; though not so light as a more open finishing of the roof would have made it. The apartments are spacious, elegant, and convenient, much beyond that heap of confusion at Westminster, so inferior to the magnificence to be looked for in the seat of the empire. I was so fortunate as to arrive just in time to see Lord Harcourt, with the usual ceremonies, prorogue the parliament. Trinity college is a beautiful building and a numerous society; the library is a very fine room, and well filled. The new exchange will be another edifice to do honour to Ireland; it is elegant, cost 40,000 l. but deserves a better situation. From every thing I saw, I was struck with all those appearances of wealth which the capital of a thriving community may be supposed to exhibit. Happy if I find through the country, in diffused prosperity, the right source of this splendor! The common computation of inhabitants 200,000, but, I should suppose, exaggerated. Others guessed the number 140, or 150,000.

JUNE 21st, introduced by Colonel Burton to the Lord Lieutenant, who was pleased to enter into conversation with me, on my intended journey, made many remarks on the agriculture of several Irish counties, and shewed himself to be an excellent farmer, particularly in draining. Viewed the Duke of Leinster's house, which is a very large stone edifice, the front simple but elegant, the pediment light; there are several good rooms; but a circumstance unrivaled is the court, which is spacious and magnificent; the opening behind the house is also beautiful. In the evening to the Rotunda, a circular room, 90 feet diameter, an imitation of Ranelagh, provided with a band of music.

THE barracks are a vast building, raised in a plain stile, of many divisions, the principal front is of an immense length. They contain every convenience for ten regiments.

JUNE 23d. Lord Charlemont's house in Dublin, is equally elegant and convenient, the apartments large, handsome, and well disposed, containing some good pictures, particularly one by Rembrandt, of Judas throwing the money on the floor, with a strong expression of guilt and remorse; the whole group fine. In the same room is a portrait of Csar Borgia by Titian. The library is a most elegant apartment of about 40 by 30, and of such a height, as to form a pleasing proportion; the light is well managed, coming in from the cove of the cieling, and has an exceeding good effect; at one end is a pretty antiroom, with a fine copy of the Venus de Medicis, and at the other, two small rooms, one a cabinet of pictures and antiquities, the other medals. In the collection also of Robert Fitzgerald, Esq; in Merion square are several pieces which very well deserve a traveller's attention.—It was the best I saw in Dublin. Before I quit that city, I observe, on the houses in general, that what they called their two-roomed ones, are good and convenient. Mr. Latouche's, in Stephen's Green, I was shewn as a model of this sort, and I found it well contrived, and finished elegantly. Drove to Lord Charlemont's villa at Marino, near the city, where his Lordship has formed a pleasing lawn, margined, in the higher part, by a well-planted thriving shrubbery, and, on a rising ground, a banqueting room, which ranks very high among the most beautiful edifices I have any where seen; it has much elegance, lightness, and effect, and commands a fine prospect; the rising ground on which it stands slopes off to an agreeable accompanyment of wood, beyond which, on one side, is Dublin harbour, which, here, has the appearance of a noble river crowded with ships moving to and from the capital. On the other side is a shore spotted with white buildings, and beyond it the hills of Wicklow, presenting an out-line extremely various. The other part of the view (it would be more perfect, if the city was planted out) is varied, in some places nothing but wood, in others, breaks of prospect. The lawn, which is extensive, is new grass, and appears to be excellently laid down; the herbage, a fine crop of white clover, (trifolium repens) , trefoile rib-grass, (plantago lanceolata) , and other good plants. Returned to Dublin, and made inquiries into other points, the prices of provisions, &c. The expences of a family, in proportion to those of London, are, as five to eight.

HAVING, the year following, lived more than two months in Dublin, I am able to speak to a few points, which, as a mere traveller, I could not have done. The information I before received of the prices of living is correct. Fish and poultry are plentiful and cheap. Good lodgings almost as dear as they are in London; though we were well accommodated (dirt excepted) for two guineas and a half a week. All the lower ranks in this city have no idea of English cleanliness, either in apartments, persons, or cookery. There is a very good society in Dublin in a parliament winter —a great round of dinners and parties, and balls and suppers every night in the week, some of which are very elegant; but you almost every where meet a company much too numerous for the size of the apartments. They have two assemblies on the plan of those of London, in Fishamble-street, and at the Rotunda; and two gentlemen's clubs, Anthry's and Daly's, very well regulated; I heard some anecdotes of deep play at the latter, though never to the excess common at London. An ill-judged and unsuccessful attempt was made to establish the Italian Opera, which existed, but with scarcely any life, for this one winter; of course they could rise no higher than a comic one. La Buona Figliuola, la Frascatana, and ill Geloso in Cimento, were repeatedly performed, or rather murdered, except the parts of Sestini. The house was generally empty, and miserably cold. So much knowledge of the state of a country is gained by hearing the debates of a parliament, that I often frequented the gallery of the house of commons. Since Mr. Flood has accepted the vice-treasurership of Ireland, he has ceased to exert his amazing powers: Mr. Daly, Mr. Gratten, Sir William Osborn, and the prime serjeant Burgh, are reckoned high among the Irish orators. I heard many very eloquent speeches, but I cannot say they struck me like the exertion of the abilities of irishmen in the english house of commons. Before I conclude with Dublin, I shall only remark, that walking in the streets there, from the narrowness and populousness of the principal thoroughfares, as well as from the dirt and wretchedness of the canaille , is a most uneasy and disgusting exercise.

JUNE 24th, left Dublin and passed through the Phoenix park, a very pleasing ground, at the bottom of which, to the left, the Liffy forms a variety of landscapes: this is the most beautiful environ of Dublin. Take the road to Luttrell's town through a various scenery on the banks of the river. That domain is considerable in extent, being above 400 acres within the wall, Irish measure; in the front of the house is a fine lawn bounded by rich woods, through which are many ridings, four miles in extent. From the road towards the house, they lead through a very fine glen, by the side of a stream falling over a rocky bed,—through the dark woods,—and on the sides of declivities, at the bottom of which the Liffy is either heard or seen indistinctly; these woods are of great extent, and so near the capital, form a retirement exceedingly beautiful. Lord Irnham and Colonel Luttrel have brought in the assistance of agriculture to add to the beauties of the place, they have kept a part of the lands in cultivation in order to lay them down the better to grass; 150 acres have been done, and above 200 most effectually drained in the covered manner filled with stones. These works are well executed. The drains are also made under the roads in all wet places, with lateral short ones to take off the water instead of leaving it, as is common, to soak against the causeway, which is an excellent method. Great use has been made of lime-stone gravel in the improvements, the effect of which is so considerable, that in several spots where it was laid on 10 years ago, the superiority of the grass is now similar to what one would expect from a fresh dunging.

MR. MACFARLAN the steward has at some distance from the grounds a farm which he is bringing into high order. His ditches are large, deep, and well cut, and he has made many drains. Lime he has used much, and experimentally against spots unlimed, and found the benefit very great; the soil, a strong, wet, stoney loam on lime stone. He lays 160 barrels an acre, at the expence of seven pence a barrel, and finds that it will last as long as the gravel. For meadow lands, he prefers it mixed with earth, but on tillage gravel. Soot he buys at Dublin for sowing over wheat in april to kill the red worm, for which it answers, and also improves the crop. Another circumstance in which he differs from the farmers, is cutting straw into chaff, and also in beginning to plough his fallows in autumn. He much prefers ploughing with oxen to horses. The following particulars he gave me of the general state of husbandry in the county of Dublin: farms about 100l. a year, more above than under, some to 300l. a year. The soil on the surface a stoney yellow clay, 18 inches deep on lime-stone gravel, with some exceptions of slate-stone, rents about 1l. 11s. 6d: from 10s. 6d. to 3l. 3s. courses most general, 1. Fallow. 2 Wheat. Sow 1 barrel, and get on an average 8 barrels. 3. Oats. Sow 2 barrels, get from 12 to 20. Sometimes 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat. 3. Oats. 4. Clover. 5. Wheat. 6. Oats. They plough four times for wheat, on clover but once, seed their clover the year through. No sain-foine.

MANY potatoes in the ridgeway 7 feet broad, and the furrows 3. Cut generally 18 to 24 inches deep, in order to throw up some lime-stone gravel: always dung for them, 320 one horse loads to an acre at about five or six to a ton, are spread over the seven feet. Lay the sets upon the dung, dig a spit and shovel it; then dig another spit, and another shovelling, the setts 12 inches asunder; from four to five barrels plant an acre. Weed, but no hoeing; take them up with the spade, and the crop from 60 to 70 barrels: all are planted for home-use, but they give their pigs the small ones, boiled; and they will fatten them to be fine bacon, but give some butter-milk, and a week or two before they are killed some offal corn. For fowls, boil them to a mash, and mix with butter-milk, which fattens them exceedingly well. The price of potatoes on an average 20 d. per cwt. the most productive sorts are the white kidney, and the white Munster. Limestone gravel the general manure of the country; they lay 3 or 400 one horse-cart loads per acre; it will last from 15 to 20 years, and is of the greatest benefit; it appears immediately: the expence usually 1l. 11s. 6d. per acre: spread it on the fallow, after the first plowing. They go much to Dublin for fullage of the streets to lay on their hay grounds. Good grass-land letts at 40 s. an acre; five miles round Dublin from 40s. to 10l. on an average about 3l. 8s. Mow most of it for hay; a good crop 20 load at 4 cwt. an acre round Dublin; through the county 12 load an acre. Many dairies kept for letting from 5l, 15s. to 6l. 5s. per cow; the dairyman finds labour, but has horses enough kept him to draw the milk to Dublin. On an average a cow will require, for her summer and winter food, an acre and a half, but not of the best grass.—Of that an acre would do.—The breed the old Irish; the English cows do not give so much milk: from 4 to 6 lb. of butter a cow the produce per week: the butter-milk sells from 4 s. to 6s. per barrel. A good cow should give eight quarts a day, if less the cowman rejects her. The winter food hay. Very few swine kept, except by cottagers. Sheep they buy in june or july, and sell them from september until march; buy in wethers three years old, at 20s. and sell them out at 1l. 11s. 6d, but give them hay. Plough with oxen four in a plough; but in goring , or cross-plowing , six, and do half an acre a day. To 100 acres arable there must be six bullocks and eight horses. Plough nine inches deep at goring ; price of ploughing, sowing, and harrowing, 16 s. to 20 s. an acre. Lay their fields in four foot lands. Keeping horses, 9l. a year each. No cutting of straw into chaff among the common farmers: the plough oxen they work on straw. They have more horses than oxen; put the latter to work at three years old, keep them at it till nine, then fatten them. They break their stubbles in may or june. In hiring and stocking farms, they will, with 80l. or 100l. take as many acres, dividing as follow on 80 acres.

s. s. d.
6 Horses at 3 3   18 18 0
4 Oxen 3 0   12 0 0
4 Cows 2 10   10 0 0
2 Pigs   18   1 16 0
4 Irish Cars 1 7   5 8 0
2 Ploughs       1 1 0
2 Harrows       0 16 0
Harness       4 4 0
Sundries       5 0 0
Furniture       5 0 0
House-keeping the first year   6 0 0
1 Man 4l. and 1 boy 2l. wages   6 0 0
1 Maid   1 10 0
Seed 13 acres, wheat 20s. } 23 8 0
Oats 13 acres ? 16s.  
  101 1 0

For part of which he will run in debt. Land sells in general, through the county, at 22 years purchase. Till within three years it rose much, from 1762 to 1772; since that it has rather fallen. Tythes are compounded by the acre. Wheat and barley 5s. 6d. Oats 2s. 9.d. near Dublin 5s. or 6s. Most of the people drink tea, and consume plenty of whisky and tobacco. Leases 41 or 61 years; many on lives, and also renewable forever. Rent of cottages 26s. to 30s. with a potatoe garden. No emigrations. The religion in general catholic. Labour through the year 10d. a day, about Dublin 1s. A ditch of six feet wide, five feet deep perpendicular, and two and a half at bottom, the earth all on one side, 2s. 6d. a perch. Threshing and cleaning wheat 9d. per barrel; barley 6d. Oats 4d.

PROVISIONS.

BREAD 10lb. of 14 oz. for 12d.—Bacon 6d.—Butter-milk 1d a quart. — New milk 2d. a quart.—Potatoes 1s. 6d. per cwt.—Candles 5d . per pound.—Soap 6d.—Firing all stolen.

BUILDING.

IRISH slate 15s. per 1000. English 20s.—Oak timber rather fallen in price in 10 years.—Elm 1s. 4d. Beech 1s. Soft wood 8d. Firs at 60 years growth, one ton to one and a half of timber, and worth 2l. 2s. Walling 1s. a perch, for labour of 7 feet high and 18 inches thick. Building a cottage 3l. ditto a farmhouse and all offices for 80 acres, 20l.

LEAVING Luttrelstown, I went to St. Wolstans, which Lord Harcourt had been so obliging as to desire I would make my quarters, from whence to view to the right or left.

JUNE 25th, to Mr. Clements, at Killadoon, who has lately built an excellent house, and planted much about it, with the satisfaction of finding that all his trees thrive well; I remarked the beech and larch seemed to get beyond the rest. He is also a good farmer. Cabbages he has repeatedly tried, and used them generally for fattening sheep, and finds them much better for the purpose than turnips. Potatoes he cultivates largely, not only for family use, but also for fattening swine; boils them, and they fat exceedingly well, without any mixture of meal, both porkers and for bacon, giving them oats for three weeks at last. He has been very attentive to bring his farm into neat order respecting fences, throwing down and levelling old banks, making new ditches, double ones six feet wide and five deep, with a large bank between for planting, more effectually than ever I saw in England: also in hollow draining his wet lands. Remarking in one of his fields under oats one part, about an acre incomparably beyond the rest of the field, I enquired into the cause of it, and found it sown with an English oat, no other difference in the circumstances. His system of sheep is to buy ewes, in septemher, at 14s. 6d. and to fatten both lamb and ewe, selling the first at 9s. and the latter at 18s. The wool is 4s. They lamb the beginning of march. Observing the legs being long, his man assured me that the longer the legs, the better the sheep sold in Smithfield. A ridiculous prepossession! but not peculiar to Ireland; Wiltshire has it.

JUNE 26th, breakfasted with Colonel Marlay, at Cellbridge, found he had practised husbandry with much success, and given great attention to it from the peace of 1763, which put a period to a gallant scene of service in Germany; walked through his grounds, which I found in general very well cultivated; his fences excellent, his ditches five by six, and seven by six; the banks well made, and planted with quicks; the borders dug away covered with lime, till perfectly slacked, then mixed with dung, and carried into the fields; a practice which Mr. Marlay has found of very great benefit. He has cultivated the large Scotch cabbage for two or three years, which came to 16 or 17lb. on an average, applied them to fattening oxen that had been fed on grass; began to give them in november; has had two and a half acres: they fatten the beasts very well, full as well as turnips, but did not think they answered the expence, as they require, in order to have them of a great size, an immense quantity of dung.

TURNIPS.

HE has sown every year since 1763, always had from 4 to 17 acres; has usually drilled them in rows, the distances various; but those which answered best, were double at 12 inches, with intervals of three feet, horse hoed, hand hoed, and weeded them. Prepared for them by lime and dung; the crops fine, up to 21lb. a turnip, but on an average about 8lb. Generally fed beasts with them that had had the summer's grass, but with both gave some hay, and were very fat in four months. Continued them in the same ground for six or seven years together, manuring every second year. It is to be regretted that he did not change the land.

POTATOES.

PLANTS them with the plough, drawing furrows five feet asunder, fills them with dung, the sets on the dung, covered with the plough, and horse-hoed backwards and forwards; the crop 28 barrels per acre of very large ones.

CLOVER.

MR. Marlay has introduced this plant so generally, that he sows no corn without it. The profit exceedingly great, more than that of any other improvement.

LIME.

USED much, mixed with earth, and found great success from it, even on lime-stone land. Burns at 7d. a barrel; always leaves it on the ditch-earth to slack, and then mixes it before dung is added.

DRAINING.

HAS drained much in the hollow way, filling with stones, and found the benefit exceedingly great, can cart on the wettest lands at any time; two years have paid the expence.

PLOUGHING.

INSTEAD of the common draught of the country, he uses often only two oxen in a plough, having many sorts of ploughs from Mr. Baker, and from England.

COWS.

FROM three Kerry cows, from the middle of may to the middle of september, he had 24lb. of butter a week.

THE Colonel favoured me with the following particulars of the common husbandry about Cellbridge. Farms generally 100 acres; the medium of the county from 20l. to 100l. a year. Soil various; stoney loams, gravels, and clays, and on lime-stone quarries. Rents about 1l. 10s. on an average. Their course, 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat, sow a barrel and get seven. 3. Oats, sow two barrels and get 14. 4. Oats.

THEY plough three or four times for wheat. Turnips were sown in fields 30 years ago, but left off on account of the poor stealing them. Great quantities of potatoes planted in the trenching way, the expence 3l. in labour only to plant them if done by hire, and 40s. if for themselves. The cottagers pay the farmers 8l. an acre for the land ready dunged, and they require three car loads to every square perch.—This great manuring swallows up not only all the dung of the farm, but nine-tenths of that of the kingdom. They begin to plant in march, and continue to the end of may; most of them weed; the crop upon an average about 100 barrels, at 5 s. each. They are obliged to clear the land by the first of november, when the farmer ploughs and sows wheat and gets fine crops. The apple potatoe is liked best, because they last till the new ones come in. IN respect to other manuring, they use but little lime, depending principally on lime-stone gravel, 300 car loads to an acre; if taken out of a ditch on the spot, it costs about 18 or 19 s. an acre. It will last five or six years good. The tenants often lay land to grass; but their only way is to let it cover itself with such vegetables as may come, which upon some land form a very good turf. Few cows kept for the dairy. They apply their grass chiefly to fattening cows; there is some good meadow on the river; and, in grazing, two acres will fatten three cows, besides some sheep and winter food. Flocks rise to 3 or 400—they buy in wethers half fat, which are kept in the after-grass till christmas, then to hay, and sell in february and march; buy at 18 to 20, sell at 30 to 35. They plough with both horses and oxen, the draft four oxen, or two oxen and two horses. To a farm of 117 acres ten horses and two oxen are necessary. They plough five inches deep, and do one half, or three-fourths, of an acre a day. Lay their lands in three feet ridges.—The draft-oxen have hay when worked. Hire of a boy, a horse and car, 1S. 6d. a day; two cars and one man is. 6d. In hiring and stocking farms—for 50 acres

s. d.
4 Horses, at 3l. 3s. 12 12 0
3 Cows, at 3l. 3s. 9 9 0
2 Young cattle, at 16s. 1 12 0
2 Pigs 5s. 0 10 0
2 Cars 40s. 4 0 0
1 Plough 0 6 0
Harrows 0 5 0
No harness      
Sundries 1 0 0
Furniture 1 0 0
Housekeeping 1s. 4d. a day for half a year 12 0 0
Harvest, laboring, &c. 10 0 0
Seed, 10 acres, 10 barrels wheat 10 0 0      
10 Acres oats, 20 ditto 6 0 0      
5 Ditto, 5 ditto 3 0 0 19 0 0
      71 14 0
PRODUCE.            
3 Cows 5 lb butter a week, from 1st of
may to end of September 100 lb. at 8d.
} 3 6 8
2 Pigs 1 4 0
50 Barrels of wheat 50 0 0
10 Acres wheat straw 10 0 0
10———oats, 100 barrels 30 0 0
5 ———bere, 13 ditto 48 15 0
143 5 8
EXPENCES.      
Labour—————— ————— 10          
Rent and cess———— ————— 80   90 0 0

A FARMER that has a plough, a harrow, three cars, four horses and six cows, with 50l. in his pocket, will take a farm of 100 acres. Tythes—for wheat 7s. for oats and bere 3s. for mowing ground 5s. Land sells at 22 years-purchase; has fallen since 1772 one or two years. County cess paid by tenant for roads 1s. an acre. Leases usual three lives or 31 years, some renewable for ever. People rather increased. All catholics. Rent of a cabbin, and half an acre of land, 40s. Building a new cottage 10l. which, with half an acre, lets at 40s. for a farm of 50 acres, 40 to 50l. Building a wall 10 feet high, 18 inches thick, and 21 feet long, 34s. with mortar dashed 8s. less, slating a guinea a square.

WALKED through Lauglinstown, the farm of the late Mr. John Whyn Baker, to whom the Dublin society, with a liberality that does them great honour, gave, for several years, 300l. annually, to make experiments. I had the pleasure of corresponding with him several years; melancholy it was to see the land of a man of so much ingenuity so soon after his death; and more so, to hear, with all his exertions, he was not able to answer the expectations raised of him. I found what I had suspected from reading his experiments, that he wanted capital; without a sufficient one it is impossible to farm well:—a man may have all the abilities in the world, write like a genius, talk like an angel, and really understand the business in all its depths, but unless he has a proper capital, his farm will never be fit for exhibition; and then, to condemn him for not being a good farmer in practice as well as theory, is just like abusing the inhabitants of the Irish cabbins for not becoming excellent managers. No idea could be more useful, than that of encouraging such a man as Mr. Baker; but a capital should have been furnished him for bringing his farm into order, and when it was so, he should have been directed not to try any experiments; because those trials were for the acquisition of knowledge in disputable points; the society wanted no such disquisitions; but the exhibition of a farm, cultivated in a manner which experience had rendered indisputable in England or elsewhere.

VIEWED Lucan, the seat of Agmondisham Vesey, Esq; on the banks of the Liffy; the house is rebuilding; but the wood on the river, with walks through it, is exceedingly beautiful. The character of the place is that of a sequestered shade. Distant views are every where shut out, and the objects all correspond perfectly with the impression they were designed to raise: it is a walk on the banks of the river, chiefly under a variety of fine wood, which rises on varied slopes, in some parts gentle, in others steep; spreading here and there into cool meadows; on the opposite shore, rich banks of wood or shrubby ground. The walk is perfectly sequestered, and has that melancholy gloom which should ever dwell in such a place. The river is of a character perfectly suited to the rest of the scenery; in some places breaking over rocks, in others silent, under the thick shade of spreading wood. Leaving Lucan, the next place is Leixlip, a fine one on the river, with a salmon leap, which, in a wet season, is considerable. Then St. Wolstans, belonging to the dean of Derry, a beautiful villa, which is also on the river; the grounds gay and open, though not without the advantage of much wood disposed with judgment. A winding shrubbery quits the river, and is made to lead through some dressed ground that is pretty and chearful.

Mr. CONOLLY'S, at Castle-town, to which all travellers resort, is the finest house in Ireland, and not exceeded by many in England; it is a large handsome edifice, situated in the middle of an extensive lawn, which is quite surrounded with fine plantations disposed to the best advantage: to the north these unite into very large woods, through which many winding walks lead, with the convenience of several ornamented scats, rooms, &c. On the other side of the house, upon the river, is a cottage, with a shrubbery, prettily laid out; the house commands an extensive view, bounded by the Wicklow mountains. It consists of several noble apartments. On the first floor is a beautiful gallery, 80 feet long, elegantly fitted up.

JUNE 27th, left Lord Harcourt's, and having received an invitation from the Duke of Leinster, passed through Mr. Conolly's grounds to his Grace's seat at Cartown, the park ranks among the finest in Ireland. It is a vast lawn, which waves over gentle hills, surrounded by plantations of great extent, which break and divide in places, so as to give much variety. A large but gentle vale winds through the whole, in the bottom of which a small stream has been enlarged into a fine river, which throws a chearfulness through most of the scenes: over it a handsome stone bridge. There is a great variety on the banks of this vale; part of it consists of mild slopes, part steep banks of thick wood; in another place they are formed into a large shrubbery, very elegantly laid but, and dressed in the highest order, with a cottage, the scenery about which is uncommonly pleasing; and further on, this vale takes a stronger character, having a rocky bank on one side, and steep slopes scattered irregulary, with wood on the other. On one of the most rising grounds in the park is a tower, from the top of which the whole scenery is beheld; the park spreads on every side in fine sheets of lawn, kept in the highest order by 1100 sheep, scattered over with rich plantations, and bounded by a large margin of wcod, through which is a riding. From this building his Grace has another sort of view, not every where to be met with; he looks over a great part of 60,000 acres, his own property, which lie nearly contiguous around him; and Ireland is obliged to him for spending the revenue on the spot that produces it. At a small distance from the park is a new town, Manooth, which the Duke has built; it is regularly laid out, and consists of good houses. His Grace gives encouragement to settling in it, consequently it increases, and he meditates several improvements. Reached Kilcock.

JUNE 28th, breakfasted with Mr. Jones of Dollestown, who was so obliging as to answer my inquiries concerning the husbandry of his neighbourhood. He informed me, that the town of Kilcock contained six great distilleries for making whisky, and that all the wash and grains were used in fattening either hogs or beasts, generally the latter. About november they put them to it, and though quite lean, they will be completely fat by easter: those who are more attentive than common, give them also some bran or hay. Mr. Foster of Branchale, at some distance from the town, has a more complete distillery, and fats more beasts than any other person.

FARMS here rise from 20 to 100 acres; at 21s. an acre, except about the town, where they are higher: but they have fallen 5s. an acre in five or six years. The course most common is, 1. Potatoes, which yield 60 barrels an acre. 2. Bere sown in november, three quarters of a barrel per acre, the crop 13 or 14. 3. Oats, 1 and a half to two barrels sown, the produce 13. 4. Oats. 5. Summer fallow. 6. Wheat, sow three quarters, get 7. 7. Oats. 8. Oats.

They plant some potatoes on lays without dung; but for this the land must be very good, or the lay old: it is not esteemed so good a way as on stubble. The cottars give 5l. 5s. to 6l. an acre dunged for planting potatoes, and their expences are as follow;

RENT 5 15 0
Digging and putting in 3 10 0
10 Barrels of seed, at 5s. per barrel 2 10 0
Planting and spreading the dung 0 10 0
Digging and gathering 3 10 0
15 15 0

THE cutting the sets, and weeding done in broken days: sixty barrels at 5s.—15l.Consequently, the prime cost to them is 5s. a barrel, or 1s. 3d. a bushel, English, which is an evident proof that this is the worst mode of planting in the world. They have not done taking them up till christmas. Limestone gravel is the general manure of the country; it is found at two feet depth, and the worse the ground is the better the gravel does upon it. They use it only for ploughed land. A good dressing of it costs 50s. an acre, and it lasts seven years. But few cattle or sheep kept, for tillage has increased within twenty years very much, owing to the culture of potatoes, not to the bounty on the inland carriage of corn. They plough entirely with horses, use four in a plough, and do three-fourths of an acre a day. In laying their wheat and bere lands, they are very attentive to do it well; if the soil is dry on broad lands, if wet, on narrow; and after it is sown and harrowed, they go once with the plough in every furrow, and shovel out all the loose moulds; a practice which cannot be praised too much. They are, upon the whole, in much better circumstances than formerly, have fewer holidays, and more industry. Tythes are compounded. Meadow 3s. Wheat 5s. Bere 5s. Oats 3s. Leases are from 21 to 31 years. Rent of a cabbin and small garden 40s. Building one 5l. A farmhouse and offices for 50 acres, 40l. I remarked, all the way I came, great quantities of poultry in the cabbins and farms.

MR. JONES, in an attentive practice of agriculture, has tried some experiments of consequence. Potatoes he has cultivated for cattle; and had, at one time, twelve store bullocks keeping upon them—they liked them much, and eat three barrels a day. They weighed 5 cwt. each; and had they been kept long enough on the potatoes, would have been fattened. Each bullock, eating one bushel of potatoes in a day, and supposing him to be four months in fattening, he would eat 120 bushels; a good English acre should produce, at least, 480 bushels of the cluster potatoe, and would consequently fatten four bullocks. I should think this might answer. For his horses, he boils the potatoes, gives them, mixed with bran, and finds that they do very well on them without oats. Mr. Armstrong of King's-county, had 80 sheep in the snow last winter, which got to his potatoes, and eat freely, upon which he picked 40 of the sheep and put them to that food regularly; they fattened very quick, much sooner than 40 others at hay, and yielded him a great price at Smithfield.

MR. JONES has improved some poor rough land that produced nothing, first by hollow draining thoroughly, and then manuring with limestone gravel, which brought up a great crop of white and red clover, and trefoile. He also spreads this manure on lays he intends breaking up; and observes that the use of it is very great, for, when dug out of ditches, you gain at once manure, drains and fences. He has seen some of it dropt on a bog in carting, and whereever it falls, is sure to bring up the white clover.

FROM hence took the road to Summerhill, the seat of the Right Hon. H. L. Rowley; the country chearful and rich; and if the Irish cabbins continue like what I have hitherto seen, I shall not hesitate to pronounce their inhabitants as well off as most English cottagers. They are built of mud walls 18 inches or two feet thick, and well thatched, which are far warmer than the thin clay walls in England. Here are few cottars without a cow, and some of them two. A bellyful invariably of potatoes, and generally turf for fuel from a bog. It is true, they have not always chimnics to their cabbins, the door serving for that and window too: if their eyes are not affected with the smoke, it may be an advantage in warmth. Every cottage swarms with poultry, and most of them have pigs. It is to the polite attention of Mr. Rowley, I owe the following information. About Summerhill the soil is mostly strong stoney land on clay, but naturally fertile. He lets it at about 20s. an acre, which is the average rent of the whole county of Meath, to the occupier; but if the tenures of middle men are included, it is not above 14s. This intermediate tenant, between landlord and occupier, is very common here. The farmers are very much improved in their circumstances, since about the year 1752. At a rack-rent, the land sells at 21 years purchase; but according to circumstances, to 26 and 27. Whenever a number of years purchase of land is mentioned in Ireland, it implies a neat rent, without any deductions whatever. A course of crops very common here is from the lay.

1. Wheat, the crop 6 barrels. 2. Wheat. 3. Oats, the crop 10 barrels. 4. Oats. 5. Clover. 6. Clover.

Potatoes are much planted, the best land yields 100 to 120 barrels per acre, but a middling produce 80, at 32 stone the barrel. The poor pay 6l. or 6l. 6s. an acre rent for grass land to plant, and 3l. or 4l. for a second crop. They are every where used for seeding hogs and poultry. Mr. Rowley has fattened worked oxen of five years old in eight weeks on them parboiled, with hay besides. Much marle is used here on the lighter lands, but for the heavy soils limestone gravel is preserred. In hiring farms the lower tenants will take them of 50 acres, if they have a few cows and horses, without a shilling in their pockets.

Mr. Rowley keeps a very considerable domain in his hands; adjoining to it is a black turf bog of admirable use for firing. I viewed it attentively, and am clear, that all such bogs as this, with a fall from them for draining, might very easily be improved into excellent meadow. The surface is covered with heath about a foot high, and under that eight or nine feet deep of puffy stuff, which when burnt yields no ashes; then the bog turf ten feet deep cuts like butter, and under that a marly lime-stone gravel. They have found at fourteen feet depth, evident marks of the plough in the soil at bottom, also remains of cabbins, cribs for cattle, mooses horns, oaks, yews, and fir, being good red deal. In working for fuel, they dig out the black bog and throw the upper stratum in its place, through which open drains being kept, the turfs, as they are dug, are spread on it for drying. In many spots I remarked the vernal grass (anthoxanthum odoratum) , the holcus (lanatus) , narrow leaved plantain (plantago lanceolata) , docks (rumex) , white and red clover; and on the banks of the master drains a full crop of fern (pteris aquilina). Upon cutting small surface drains on the bog the heath (erica) doubles its growth. The expence of cutting drains in the bog six feet wide at top, six deep, and one wide at bottoms is 8d, or 9d. a perch of 21 feet. The plantations and ornamented grounds at Summerhill are extensive, and form a very fine environ, spreading over the hills, and having a noble appearance from the high lands above the bog. The house is large and handsome, with an elegant hall, a cube of 30 feet, and many very good and convenient apartments.

WENT in the evening to Lord Mornington's at Dangan, who is making many improvements, which he shewed me; his plantations are extensive, and he has formed a large water, having five or six islands much varied, and promontories of high land shoot so far into it as to form almost distant lakes, the effect pleasing. There are above 100 acres under water, and his Lordship has planned a considerable addition to it. Returned to Summerhill.

JUNE 29th, left it, taking the road to Slaine, the country very pleasant all the way; much of it on the banks of the Boyne, variegated with some woods, planted hedge-rows, and gentle hills: the cabbins continue much the same, the same plenty of poultry, pigs, and cows. The cattle in the road have their fore legs all tied together with straw to keep them from breaking into the fields; even sheep, pigs, and goats are all in the same bondage. I had the pleasure of meeting the Rt. Hon. Mr. Burton at the castle, in whom I was so fortunate as to find, on repeated occasions, the utmost assiduity to procure me every species of information, entering into the spirit of my design with the most liberal ideas. His partner in Slaine mills, Mr. Jebb, gave me the following particulars of the common husbandry, which, upon reading over to several intelligent farmers, they found very little occasion to correct. Farms rise from 100 to 300 acres, the soil, a stoney loam upon a rock, and lets on an average at 25s. and the whole county throughout the same. The courses of crops; 1. Fallow with lime, 120 barrels an acre, at 7d. besides carriage. 2. Wheat, sow a barrel, and get 6 to 7, sometimes 11. 3. Barley or oats, if barley, sow one and a quarter, and get 13. 4. Oats, sow two barrels, the crop 16. Also, 1. fallow, 2. wheat, 3. barley, 4. oats, 5. clover, for two years, 6. barley. Another, 1. fallow, 2. wheat, 3. spring corn, 4. spring corn, 5. fallow, 6. wheat, 7. barley, and red or white clover or trefoile and hay seeds. Another, 1. fallow, 2. wheat, 3. clover, 2 years, 4. barley, 5. oats. A common practice is, for the farmers to hire any kind of rough waste land, at three guineas, or three pounds an acre for three crops, engaging to lime it if the lime is found them; 120 barrels per acre, which come to 3l. 10s. from 9l. 9s. leaves six for three years. They cultivate it in the common course of, 1. fallow, 2. wheat, 3. barley, and 4. oats. Turnips not generally come in, but farmer Macguire has 20 to 40 acres every year, but does not hoe them, he seeds sheep on the land, and then sows barley and clover. Clover would be more general, was it not for the expence of picking the stones for mowing, which costs 10s. or 12s. an acre. Sometimes mow it once, and seed afterwards; the crops exceedingly great. A few tares sown for the horses. On the banks of the Nanny water, many white pease instead of a fallow, the crops good, and wheat sown after them. They also sow beans about Kilbrue. Every farmer has a little flax, from a rood to an acre, and all the cottages a spot if they have any land, they go through the whole process themselves, and spin and weave it. From hence to Drogheda, there is a considerable manufacture of coarse cloth, which is exported to Liverpool, at about 1s. a yard. At Navan there is a fabrick of sacking for home consumption; the weavers earn 1s. a day at these works.

POTATOES are a great article of culture; the cottagers take land of the farmers, giving them 4l. 10s. an acre, dunged. All in the trenching way, the ridge six feet, the furrow two and a half; always weed; the best season for planting the middle of April. The crop 64 barrels on an average, and the price 3s. 6d. a barrel. They have got much into the apple potatoe.

. s. d.
Rent 4 11 0
Spreading dung, 0 2 0
Seven barrels of feed 3s. 6d. 1 4 6
Cutting and laying, 0 6 6
Trenching and earthing up 4 0 0
Taking up picking three halfpence a barrel, 64 0 8 0
  10 12 0

From whence it appears, that the prime cost of the potatoes is 4s. a barrel. Wheat is sown after them, sometimes barley; the barley good, but the wheat generally a bad crop and bad grain. If this fact is accurately stated, I can only account for it by supposing the soil so light as to want adhesion to be given to it, whereas potatoes act in a contrary manner: for fat hogs they boil them, and at last mix some bran or oats; a hog of 2cwt. will fatten in two months on six barrels and one barrel of oats. Much poultry is also reared and fed in all the cabbins by means of potatoes.

WASTE lands have been brought in and cultivated at Grange Geath, the soil stoney and overrun with heath (erica vulgaris) and whins, (ulex europoeus) let before the improvement at 4s. but lets now at 20s. They ploughed up the surface and spontaneous growth, summer fallowed and limed at 150 barrels an acre, sowed wheat, and pursued the course above mentioned, the crops of oats exceedingly great, 20 barrels an acre; of this land there were 2500 acres. The great manure of the country is lime, which is always laid on fallow; they find the advantage of it so clearly as to be seen in the effect to an inch; but when sand is got much out of heart, then the lime will not do; and they lay it down to clover for several years till there is something of a turf, after which it will answer well. Hollow draining is generally used, even by the common farmers, who have found by experience that their lime will do no good till the land is drained. The fences about new inclosed pieces, and those made in general by gentlemen, are ditches six feet deep, seven feet wide, and 14 inches at bottom, with two rows of quick in the bank, furze sown on the top, or a dead hedge of brush. Good grass land for meadow lets for 3l. or 4l. an acre; mow it all and get three tons of hay an acre or fifteen Irish load. Many dairies of cows, up to 50 and 60, kept here for butter. Mr. Kelly, near the obelisk, Drogheda, has 200 cows let at 5l. The breed is half English and half Irish, worth 5 to 7l. each; the farmers let theirs to dairy-men, who are common labourers, at a piece; but if they won't give five or seven quarts at a meal they may be rejected; a good one will give ten quarts of milk per meal, the produce about 5l. conseauently there is 20s. a head profit. As buttermilk is the food of all the people, the number of swine kept is very small, it is carried to Drogheda, and sold at six quarts a penny. The cows are fed in winter on hay alone; all are kept abroad in the day, but housed at night. They rear all the calves, weaning them at six weeks or two months old: at a fortnight they sell at 3 or 4s. Some, but not dairy-men, give them in rearing, hay tea. They fatten many cows, having much grass; an acre to a cow. Swine fatten from one to two cwt. Many are kept upon potatoes alone, and fattened intirely upon that root, which is thought to be a very profitable use; the potatoe fed pork much firmer than that on pollard. There is a great demand this year, many ship loads alive being bought up for England; and the price being good, encourages the breed incredibly. Many sheep are kept, bought in every year in autumn, mostly ewes, but some wethers, at 12 to 15s. Sell the lamb, fat, in may or june, at 10S. cut four or five pounds of wool, worth 5s. and fat the ewe to 19 or 20s. profit 1l. 1s. a head. Buy wethers at 20 to 25s. sell at 30 to 42s. with a fleece of seven pound; in winter they have hay, and some sheaf oats. No rot here. Plough all with horses, six to a plough, and do an acre a day, working often from six in the morning to eight at night, and stiring eight or nine inches deep. They keep 10 or 12 horses to 100 acres in tillage, and breed them all themselves: the year's expence to a farmer 5l. each horse; very seldom give them any oats. The price of ploughing 8s. an acre. The whole preparation of a fallow worth 25s. an acre; and for barley 12s. The form of lands, narrow ridges, three or four feet wide. They never break their stubbles till about christmas; the plough generally used is an imperfect swing one. In hiring and stocking farms, they will take 100 acres or more with scarce any money; but then they must have to the value of

. s. d.
8 horses at 5l.     40 0 0
4 Cows 5l.     20 0 0
2 Sows   10s.   1 0 0
6 Cars 3l.     18 0 0
8 Ploughs   12s.   1 4 0
No rollers used          
Harness 10s. a horse   3 0 0
Sundries 10 0 0
Household furniture 5 0 0
1 Sack of oat-meal 1 0 0
Labour supplied by letting land to others
for potatoes; no seed, as he pays the
preceding tenant the eighth sheaf of the
winter corn, and the fourth of the spring,
in lieu of the seed and sowing
     
100 17 0

A very intelligent labourer, sent for by Mr. Burton, gave me the following account for 40 acres, 10 of them grass.

. s. d.
4 Horses 18 4 0
4 Cows 20 0 0
10 Sheep 7 0 0
1 Sow 0 15 0
1 Plough and harness 2 5 6
2 Harrows 1 2 9
10 Sacks 1 0 0
  Winnowing sheet 0 10 0
  Furniture 10 0 0
15 Acres oats seed, two barrels and a half an acre 18 10 0
6 Acres barley one and a half, 9 barrels 12s. 5 8 0
  Labourers 20 16 0
2 Boys and a maid servant 3 8 3
  Provisions 8 cwt. of oatmeal 3 4 0
4 Barrels meslin at 16d. 3 4 0
  Wear and tear 2 5 6
4 Cars 9 2 0
  Poultry 0 13 3
    127 8 3

WITH this expenditure they fare no better than common labourers, and do not improve in their circumstances. Land sells at rack rent 22 and 23 years purchace; as well now as in 1768; the bankruptcies in 1772 did not affect the purchase of land. County cess 8d. to 1s. an acre; tythes for wheat 7s. barley 5s. oats 3 to 4s. mowing ground 3s. 6d. nothing for land fed, and no small tythes. No tea drank among the cottagers. Leases in general 31 years to catholics; to protestants three lives or 31 years. Rent of cabbins 40s. with a potatoe garden; if a cow is kept 40s. more. No emigrations. The catholic religion general among the lower classes.

LABOUR.

DITCHING 6 feet by 5, 20d. a perch
4   by 5, 1s. 2d.
6   by 7, 2s. 6d.

Threshing wheat 1s. a barrel. Barley 8d. Oats 5d. No servants hired. Women 8d. a day in harvest. Rise in the price of labour in ten years, from 5d. and 7d. to 8d. and 10d. but they work harder and better.

PROVISIONS.

BACON 5d. bread 1d. potatoes 2d. Halfpenny a stone, new milk 1d. a quart, ducks 3d. candles 6d. halfpenny, soap 6d. halfpenny; firing, of the poor, furz and coals to a trifling amount. The farmers burn their straw, for which they deserve to be hanged.

BUILDING.

SLATE 12s. per 1000. Elm 2l. 10s. to 3l. a ton. Fir 3l. Dry walls dashed 2s. Building a cabbin 5l. Ditto a farm-house and offices for 100 acres 50l. Hire of four cars, one man and a boy 4s. a day; 23 miles from Dublin it takes the whole week to go twice. The price to go there 10s. a week, 4s. of it expences on the road. The load six cwt. each car. But Mr. Jebb has sent 18 cwt. to Dublin with one horse, and not an extraordinary one, 15 or 16 cwt. often.

IN the improvements making about the castle, it was necessary to move a large hill of lime stone, and as the readiest way, Colonel Burton is burning it to lime. The kiln, like most I have seen in Ireland, is a very good one. It is in the shape of an egg, 19 feet deep, and 9 diameter in the swell; when new it burnt 400 barrels in a week, each three bushels; but as the lining is worn, it is now from 350 to 400. A ton of culm, which costs at Drogheda 13s. and 2s. freight from thence, burns 50 barrels of lime. Quarrying and burning the stone is three-halfpence a barrel, expences in all 5d. and it sells at the kiln for 7d. The stone is laid in in layers eight or nine inches thick, and is always kept supplying at top and emptying at bottom. The kiln cost 35l. building, and it employs three hands.

LORD Conyngham's seat, Slaine Castle, on the Boyne, is one of the most beautiful places I have seen; the grounds are very bold and various, rising around the castle in noble hills, or beautiful inequalities of surface, with an outline of flourishing plantations. Under the castle flows the Boyne, in a reach broken by islands, with a very fine shore of rock on one side, and wood on the other. Through the lower plantations are ridings, which look upon several pleasing scenes, formed by the river, and take in the distant country, exhibiting noble views of waving cultivated hills, with the castle finely situated in the midst of the planted domain, through which the Boyne winds its beautiful course. Under Mr. Lamber's house, on the same river, is a most romantic spot; rocks on one side, rising in perpendicular forms very boldly; the other steep wood, the river bending short between them like a land-locked bason. Lord Conyngham's keeping up Slaine Castle, and spending great sums, though he rarely resides there, is an instance of magnificence not often met with; while it is so common for absentees to drain the kingdom of every shilling they can; so contrary a conduct ought to be held in the estimation which it justly deserves.

JUNE 30th, rode out to view the country and some improvements in the neighbourhood: the principal of which are those of lord chief baron Foster, which I saw from Glaston Hill, in the road from Slaine to Dundalk. Adjoining to it is an extensive improvement of Mr. Fortescue's; ten years ago the land was let at. 3s. 6d. now it is a guinea, which great work was done by the tenants, and lime and fallow the means pursued. These and other improvements, with the general increase of prosperity, has had such an effect in employing the people, that Colonel Burton assured me, 20 years ago, if he gave notice at the mass houses that he wanted labourers, in two days he could have 2 or 300; now it is not so easy to get 20, from the quantity of regular employment being so much increased. I observed weavers looms in most of the cabbins: went into one, and the man informed me that he could weave a web 65 or 66 yards long, and 26 inches wide, at 8d. a yard price, in a. week. 34 to 36 lb. of yarn makes it, which costs 15d. per lb. he and his journeyman could earn 7 or 8s. a week by it. He paid 4l. 4s for the grazing of ,a cow, a rood of potatoe garden and the cabbin. They were burning straw, which I forgot to remark I have found very common where there is no turf: a most pernicious custom, it is in fact what I have often heard literally reported, that they burn their dunghills in Ireland. Passed through several farms much improved, and found great attention given to fences, the ditches very large, and the banks well planted. Lord Boyne's estate appears to be very rich, and the tenants beyond the common run. The country, is well wooded, and has an appearance of some of the best parts of England. Walked into Mr. Maurice's fields; he is a considerable farmer, buys his fattening cows in may from 3l. to 6l. 6s, sells fat, from august to Christmas, with 30s. profit: he has laid down a meadow to grass with so much care,, that the expence was 10l. an acre. In one of his fields he sowed red clover, with the third crop of corn it failed, but an amazing sheet of white clover came, which I saw, and was, indeed, surprised at such a proof of the excellency of the soil, even under such exceeding bad management; but not a human being that I have met with has any notion of sowing clover with the first crop.

RETURNING to Slaine, dined with Mr. Jebb, and viewed the mill, which is a very large edifice, excellently built; it was begun in 1763, and finished in 1766. The water from the Boyne is conducted to it by a wear of 650 feet long, 24 feet base, and 8 feet high, of solid masonry; the water let into it by very complete flood gates. The canal is 800 feet long, all faced with stone, and 64 feet wide; on one side is a wharf completely formed and walled against the river, whereon are offices of several kinds, and a dry dock for building lighters. The mill is 138 feet long, the breadth 54, and the height to the cornice 42, being a very large and handsome edifice, such as no mill I have seen in England can be compared with. The corn, upon being unloaded, is hoisted through doors in the floors to the upper story of the building, by a very simple contrivance, being worked by the water-wheel, and discharged into spacious granaries which hold 5000 barrels. From thence it is conveyed, during seven months in the year, to the kiln for drying, the mill containing two, which will dry 80 barrels in 24 hours. From the kiln it is hoisted again to the upper story, from thence to a fanning machine for re-dressing to get out dirt, soil, &c. And from thence, by a small sifting machine, into the hoppers, to be ground, and is again hoisted into the bolting mills, to be dressed into flour of different sorts, pollard and bran. In all which progress, the machinery is contrived to do the business with the least labour possible: it will grind with great ease 120 barrels, of 20 stone each, every day. Beginning in 1763, for a few years, about 13,000 barrels per ann. were ground, of late years, up to 17,000 barrels. It may be observed, that this mill is very different from the English ones, they not being under the necessity of kiln drying or dressing. The expence per barrel, of the drying in coals and labour is 3d. and the waste is 1-20th in the weight: but the contrivance reduces the expence of dressing to a trifle. The whole charge of manufacturing the wheat into flour in mere labour, is 9d. a barrel, and the 3d. drying makes 1s. The barrel weighs 20 stone, 14 lb. to the stone, of which

  Flour 14 ft. 8 lb.
  Bran } 4 ft.
  Pollard
Dirt, waste, grinding and dressing 1 ft. 6 lb.
On average of the year 20 ft.

The waste, in re-dressing the corn (which is what the farmers ought to do) is about 3 lb. a barrel. The pollard Mr. Jebb tried, for six years, in giving to pigs. Bought in stores in september, at 7s. to 20s. each, and put them to pollard given wet, about the thickness of gruel; it could have been sold for 2s. a barrel of 6 stone, and in feeding, it did not produce more than 10d. a barrel; pork from 18s. to 20s. per cwt. Thinks it would not more than pay the 2s. a barrel if pork was 40s. per cwt. Tried also breeding, bought Berkshire sows fed upon the pollard, but it did not answer better than the other method. The pork fed upon it was soft, and not near so good as potatoe fed. Mr. Jebb thinks, however, that if he had had plenty of straw for litter, as the stone-yard foundered them, and clover for the summer food, that it would have paid the 2s. a barrel, but not more, the dung being then the profit. The sows did exceedingly well, and the pigs also in rearing. The corn is brought to the mill from all the country round to the distance of 10 miles. The farmers send it in, and leave the price to be fixed. The raising the mill and offices, complete, cost 20,000l. has established, in a fine corn country, a constant market; and has preserved the tillage of the neighbourhood, which would have declined from the premium on distant carriage. The flour is sent to Dublin, and the manufacturing country to the north about Newry, &c. It employs constantly from 10 to 12 hands; the common ones at 6s. 6d. a week. They sow much earlier, and the corn is drier of late years than at first.

THE parish of Monknewton, in the county of Meath, lying between Drogheda and Slaine, nearly midway, formerly belonging to the rich abbey of Melifont (whose beautiful gothic ruins are in the neighbourhood), consists of very fine corn land, and mostly belongs to John Baker Holroyd, Esq; of Sheffield-place, in the county of Sussex: a gentleman, who having favoured me before with excellent intelligence in that country, took pleasure in repeating it on occasion of my Irish tour. Towards Mattock-bridge, the soil is a light rich loam, but the north western is a strong fertile clay. The whole estate had been let out to two or three considerable people for 61 years, and they underlet it in the usual style of the country. The leases expired in 1762, when Mr. H. visited the estate, and found it as ill used as it possibly could be. However, great rents were offered. He declined the proposals of several considerable men, to take the whole to underlet at rack rents as before, knowing that the same wretched husbandry and poverty must continue if he did, although it would secure his rents most effectually. He was very well satisfied with the rents offered by persons who would reside on the estate (dividing with them the profits of the middle man) and voluntarily engaged to pay for the masonry and principal timber of farm houses, barns, staples, &c. He made large ditches, planting them with quick, round each farm. He allowed half the expence of inner fences. He provided an excellent lime-stone quarry in the neighbourhood, besides lime-kilns on different farms. He built about the centre of the estate a very large double kiln, calculated to burn 1000 barrels per week. He allows 30s. for every acre on which 100 barrels of unslacked lime shall be laid, within a certain number of years, and on condition that the land hath a winter and summer fallow at the same time. In some instances he allows 40s. per acre, which is nearly the whole expence of liming; and in some instances, when 100l. is laid out on an house, he allows 50 or 60l. but as yet no great advantage is taken of his encouragement to build. He endeavoured to prevent the scattered style of building; to have the barns, stables, &c. built round a farm yard, and that the house should have a story or floor above. Some objected, that a floor raised an house too high, and exposed it too much : the estate is rather low as to situation, and sheltered by hills on every side, but I understand some considerable houses are to be built next year. The common farmers, however, prefer living on the ground, surrounded by mud walls, have no idea of the cheerfulness of large windows, but let in barely light enough to do their business through apertures not much better than loopholes; neither has the encouragement to lime been taken advantage of in the degree it might be expected. Mr. H. is an hearty well-wisher to Ireland, and ready to embrace any scheme of improvement for its advantage. He wished to make some return to the country for spending the income of the estate out of it. He was ready to allow almost the whole of every expence that could be laid out on the lands, knowing the poverty of the common Irish residing tenantry, and their characters to be such, that they could not improve them as they should be; yet I understand they are not much better satisfied than other tenants: and the rent seems high. The farms were mostly let at a time when the spirit of taking land was greater than at present, but it is far from an high rent for land so circumstanced and situated, built and improved at the expence of the landlord. There is much in the neighbourhood, especially towards Drogheda, let at two guineas, and three pounds and upwards, per acre. He is a great friend to agriculture, has considered the subject much, and was very anxious to introduce something like the best English husbandry on his Irish estate, but that is still at a great distance. He endeavoured to break through the barbarous custom of having the whole farm laid waste at the end of a lease, and every inch ploughed up, but could not carry his point farther, than by giving great present advantages to the tenants, to induce them to agree, that the third part of the farms should not be ploughed the last four or five years of the lease. The soil is so good, that if used ever so ill in that time, it will recover, and there will be a very good sward. According to the common method of leasing lands in many parts of Ireland, the country is nearly waste and unprofitable, to the great prejudice of the public, during seven or eight years in every 31 years, the usual lease. For the tenant, not restrained by proper clauses, nor obliged to any particular management, or to manure, ploughs up every thing, and for some time before the expiration of his term, pursues the most ruinous system for the land, disposed even to lose some advantage himself, rather than his successor should have any benefit; consequently, the three or four last years the crops hardly pay expences, and three or four years more are lost before it can be brought into any condition. Good and straight roads are made through and across the estate, and bridges built where necessary. Such a disposition in the landlord to improve, must do much for the country. Notwithstanding the attention that has been paid to the estate, the young white thorn hedges, (of which a great quantity had been planted, and which grew most luxuriantly) serve as spring food for sheep and other cattle. The estate is now divided into farms, from 70 to 150 acres, and let in general for 31 years, at 40s. and 35s. per acre, some part at 30s. and a small part at 36s. The lands are tythe-free, and there are no taxes of any kind paid by the tenants, except assessments for making and repairing the roads of the barony, which some years have amounted to 10d. per acre, and is laid on by the grand jury at the assizes.

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

Next Selection Previous Selection