Picture of Arthur Young

Arthur Young

places mentioned

21st to 31st August 1776: Roscommon, Sligo and Mayo

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AUGUST 21st, to Strokestown, the seat of Thomas Mahon, Esq; Passed through Longford, a chearless country, over an amazing quantity of bog, and all improvable; a great one in particular, on the banks of the Shannon, two miles over, and I found it reached many miles beyond Lanesbro'. Mr. Mahon has 5000 acres of it. A great fall lies every way, a good road is made over it, and lime is burnt on the edges for 3d. a barrel roach; besides lime, they have lime-stone, gravel and sand everywhere, which laid on the bog, drained or not drained, produces a sheet of white clover; what a field is this for improvement, yet nothing done! Crossed the Shannon, which is here a considerable river, and entered Connaught. The first appearance of Strokestown woods are very noble, from a hill which looks down on them; they are very extensive, of a great growth, and give a richness to the view, which is a perfect contrast to the dreary scene I had passed. Mr. Mahon neglected no means of having me well informed in the following minutes. Land about Strokestown sets at 25s. The average of the whole county is 11s. including bog; mountain there is very little. The county of Leitrim, 2s. on an average. A great part of Roscommon, particularly from Athlone to Boyle, 30 miles long, and 10 broad, is sheep-walk, and lets on an average, 12s. an acre. It is generally walk, only patches of potatoes and corn for the workmen. The soil of it lime-stone. These sheep-walks I had heard so much of, that I was eager in my enquiries concerning them; they were some years ago divided into much larger farms than at present, for there were men who had 20,000 sheep, whereas now 6 or 7000 is the greatest flock. The farms rise to 3000 acres, few under 4 or 500. They stock commonly at the rate of two sheep an acre, and reckon the profit to be lamb and wool, the lamb sold in August at 12s. and 5lb. of wool from the ewe, at better than 1s. per lb, or 17s. a head.

THEY feed them all the year on grass, having no turnips; but in severe weather give them hay. They have much other cattle with them, such as yearlings, two-year olds, three-year olds, &c. selling them four-year olds to such as want them for fattening. In wet years they are in some places troubled with the rot, but it is not at all common. These sheep-walks decrease as the people become more numerous: parts are ploughed up, but very few instances of sheep gaining upon tillage. The cottars are never suffered to keep sheep, but have cows grazed for them, as in other parts.

THIS part of the country is not populous, but more so than it was. These sheep-walks are here reckoned much better than the Curragh of Kildare. They are not regular in stocks of ewes, but keep a various stock. A man that has 1000 sheep will have 400 ewes, 200 yearlings having sold 200 of the worst lambs, 200 two-year olds, and 200 three-year old wethers, which he sells fat; consequently his annual sale will be 200 lambs, 200 fat wethers, and 100 of the worst old ewes.

  £. s. d.
200 lambs, casualties and missing
reducing them to 150, at 10s.
75 0 0
200 fat wethers, at 20s. 200 0 0
100 old ewes, 10s. 50 0 0
Wool, 1000 sheep, 4s. 200 0 0
  525 0 0

THE country is divided into inclosures by stone walls generally, so that one shepherd is all that is kept to a flock. The wool goes mostly to Corke, where it is spun into worsted and exported; this is the account I had in this country. All these sheep-masters mix, as I before observed, other stock with their flocks; besides 2 sheep per acre, they will keep at the rate of 40 yearlings, and 2 or 3 year olds to every 100 acres. The soil is brown loam on limestone gravel. Farms about Strokestown consist generally of Rundale ones; upon 2 or 300 acres, there will be 10 to 15 families, nor is it thought here a bad system. Much the greatest part of the land is grass; but what they have in tillage they arrange in the following course:

1. Potatoes. 2. Potatoes. 3. Flax. 4. Barley. 5. Oats. 6. Lay out for 6 or 7 years; None of them sow grass seeds;

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

MUCH land is let for grass potatoes, from 5l. 5s; to 4l. and 4l. 4s; afterwards for a crop of flax. They plant 4 barrels, at 5? cwt. each; and they get about 50 barrels an acre, the price from 4s. to 15s. average 8s. To sell them growing, 10l. is reckoned a high price. Of flax seed they sow 11 pecks per acre; an acre sold on the foot (that is as it grows) is worth 8l. on an average. They commonly sow a barrel, or 20 stone of wheat to the acre; Mr. Mahon only 12; They get 6 barrels in return. They sow 2 barrels of barley, and get 9. Of oats they sow 2 barrels, and get 10; Lime-stone gravel the great manure; they put 1500 load, at 5 cwt. each, on an acre, and it costs ll. or 1l. 1s. It does best on strong land, especially free-stone; it will last 7 years, in which time they will take 7 crops. Of lime they use no great quantity; but when they do, lay 50 barrels an acre; Mr. Mahon compared different quantities of it, from 50 to 100, and the more he laid the better, but the lime-stone gravel much superior. About Strokestown, Mr. Mahon can have turf in one hole and lime-stone in another, and he burns it in arched kilns, with several eyes, and 200 barrels of lime to each eye; it burns in 60 hours, each eye takes 10 clamps of turf, at 4s; including drawing, each clamp 30 kishes. Quarrying, breaking, burning, filling, building and emptying, 2l. an eye, or 4l. for 200 barrels roach, or about 5d. a barrel. They have both white and grey marle under the bogs, the light sort, but the gravel and sandy lime-stone is so much better that nobody uses it. They plough with 4 horses, 2 and 2 a-breast. Mr. Mahon, with 2 abreast by boys, taught by a ploughman he had from Bury in Suffolk, who by ploughing in that manner, without a driver and with a Suffolk plough, did as much in one day as the country people in three: by teaching lads for Mr. Mahon and his neighbours, he was the means of very much improving the tillage of the neighbourhood. Land sells at 21 and 22 years purchase: it let within 3 or 4 years at 5 per cent. less than 15 years ago, but it is now rising. Tythes are sometimes taken in kind, but more commonly let to the farmer. Wheat 8s. Flax 8s. Oats 3s. Barley and bere 8s. Much land let to those who do not occupy it, but who re-let it to others at an advanced rent.

THE linen manufacture of spinning is spread not only through Roscommon, but all Connaught, and in Roscommon they raise flax enough for their own use; weaving is creeping in by degrees, about a twentieth part of their yarn is woven in the country, into linens of 10 or 12 hundred, and sheetings half quarter wide, at 10d. to 1s. 4½d. a yard. The yarn spun is mostly 2 hank yarn. A woman will spin 6 hanks a week, of 4 hank yarn, at 4d. a hank, 4d. a day by 4 hank yarn, and 3d. a day by 2 hank yarn. The people are upon the increase, but not much; they are better fed than 20 years ago, and better cloathed, but not more industrious, or better housed. They live on potatoes and milk, and butter. Scarce any but what keeps a cow or two; they are not allowed to keep pigs in general, but many will a tolerable quantity of poultry. The rent of 1 acre, and a house, is 20s. the grass of a cow, 1l; 2s. The men dig turf, and plant potatoes, and work for their landlord, and the women pay the rent by spinning. There has been a great rise in prices, butter one-third, beef one-fourth, poultry one-half. Price of a car 1l. 14s. a plough 10s. 6d. Oak timber 3l. 3s. to 5l. a ton, ash ditto 2l. to 3l. elm ditto. A mud cabbin 5l. 5s; ditto stone and slate 15l. A mason's perch of a wall 4s; Near Castle Plunket, a bog of Mr. Arthur Irvin's, let at 1l . 2s. 9d. a perch, 160l. per acre, it is 21 deep of fine turf.

MR. Mahon's wood's are all of his own planting, and having besides 100 acres, a vast number of hedgerows well planted round many inclosures, which join those woods, they all take the appearance of uniting into one great range of plantations, spreading on each side the house. It is one of the strongest instances of a fine shade being speedily formed in the midst of a bleak country that I have any where met with, being a perfect contrast to all the neighbourhood. He began 35 years ago with ash, which trees are now 70 to 80 feet high.

BUT the generality of the plantations are from 17 to 30 years old. and are for that age, I think, the finest woods I ever saw; they consist of ash, oak, English and French elm, beech, maple, spruce, Scotch and silver fir, larch, &c. Of all these the beech are the finest trees, and of the greatest growth, many of them 3 and 4 feet in circumference, and 30 to 40 feet high. The bark is bright and beautiful, and every tree gives the strongest signs of agreeing perfectly with the soil. One very particular circumstance of this tree, Mr. Mahon tried, which deserves the attention of those who have deer; he made a plantation of all sorts of forest trees in his park, in order to see how far the deer would let them escape: they eat up every tree he planted, the beech alone excepted, not one of which did they touch either leaf, branch, or bark; it was 18 years ago, and they are all now as fine trees as ever were seen. Next to the beech, the largest tree is the silver fir, of which he has many in 20 years, of a great size. After this the oak, which thrives admirably well; then the English elm. But the tree which outgrows these and every other, he has planted but 5 years, it is the Lombardy poplar. The growth almost exceeds belief! In 5 years they are 35 feet high, and I saw many of 2 years old 12 feet. His hedge-rows, Mr. Mahon has planted with uncommon attention, the ditches are single, with a row of trees among or above the quick, another row on the back of the bank, and a third on the brow of the ditch; these, with a lofty growth of the quick, form so thick a shelter, that one cannot see through it, so that almost every inclosure has the appearance of a field, surrounded by a wood. Of these inclosures thus planted, he has 16 from 6 to 20 acres each. Mr. Mahon's breed of both cattle and sheep are improved by a bull and a tup, which he bought of Mr. Bakewell; and has bred from them with great success. He is in the succession system, which is, buying in a certain number of yearlings every year, and killing the same number fat, from 5 to 7 years old: but in common they are only kept till 4 or 5.

AT Clonells, near Castlerea, lives O'Connor, the direct descendant of Roderick O'Connor, who was king of Connaught 700 years ago; there is a monument of him in Roscommon church, with his scepter, &c. I was told as a certainty, that this family were here long before the coming of the Milesians. The possessions formerly so great are reduced to 3 or 400l. a year, the family having fared in the revolutions of so many ages, much worse than the O'Neils and O'Briens. The common people pay him the greatest respect, and send him presents of cattle, &c. upon various occasions. They consider him as the prince of a people involved in one common ruin.

ANOTHER great family in Connaught is Macdermot, who calls himself prince of Coolavin; he lives at Coolavin in Sligo, and though he has not above 100l. a year, will not admit his children to sit down in his presence. This was certainly the case with his father, and some assured me even with the present chief. Lord Kingsborough, Mr. Ponsonby, Mr. O'Hara, Mr. Sandford, &c came to see him, and his address was curious: "O'Hara! you are welcome. Sandford, I am glad to see your mother's son: (his mother was an O'Brien). As to the rest of ye, come in as ye can." Mr. O'Hara, of Nymphsfield, is in possession of a considerable estate in Sligo, which is the remains of great possessions they had in that country: he is one of the few descendants of the Milesian race.


  £. s. d.
500 wethers, at 20s. to 24s. 550 0 0
100 culled ewes, at 8s. 40 0 0
2000 fleeces, 5lb. at 10d. average 416 0 0
  That is 10s. a head 1006 0 0
  Profit on 100 young cattle 200 0 0
20 acres grass potatoes let at 3l.3s. to 4l. say 70 0 0
10 acres meadow sold at 50s. 25 0 0
5 fillies and colts 30 0 0
30 acres of wheat, bere and oats, at 5l. 150 0 0
10 Acres flax let at 3l. to 4l. 35 0 0
  1516 0 0
Rent 750 0 0
Cess 30 0 0
10 men 80 0 0
Wear and tear 10 0 0
Interest 2000l. stock, at 6 per cent 120 0 0
Tythe 40 0 0
Losses on stock 3s. a head on sheep 100 0 0
  1130 0 0
Produce 1516 0 0
Expences 1130 0 0
Profit 386 0 0

SINCE the bounty on the inland carriage of corn to Dublin, much is sent from the county of Roscommon, and even farther from Sligo and Mayo; and this business of carriage was mentioned to me as a proof of the great excellency of the Irish car. They carry from 9 cwt. to 12 cwt. with a single horse that is not worth above 5l. The distance from hence is 67 miles, and they are nine days going and returning: they come back loaded. For 16s. 3d, they will carry a load of any thing to Dublin with out the advantage of the bounty.

AUGUST 23d, leave Strokestown, and take the road to Elphin, through a country principally sheepwalks; the soil dry sound gravel, and stoney land. Waited on the bishop, who was so obliging as to procure me several valuable particulars concerning the neighbourhood.

His Lordship shewed me the particular of his bishoprick, which consists of very large tracts of land both in Roscommon and Sligo, from this the rental appears. The total of his particular are, 18,223 profitable acres, 5,382 uprofitable. Rent 1,742l. Fines 1,216l. 23,000 acres, let for 1,742l, must necessarily be very moderate. Respecting sheep-walks, the following is an account of what a farm of 1000 acres is on an average; 2000 sheep kept worth 14s. 100 bullocks, that is, 60 two year olds, and 40 three year olds.

FARMS in general are from 100 to 1500 acres; and rents from 12s. to 15s. an acre. Ten years ago flocks amounted to 9 or 10,000, but now not above 2000. Average rent of the whole county 10s. From Elphin towards Kingston, especially near the latter, the soil ranks among the finest I have any where seen. It is a dry sound mellow sandy loam, deep and very rich, the herbage excellent. It is generally under sheep, with many bullocks.

To Lord Kingston's, to whom I had a letter, but unfortunately for me he was at Spaw. Walked down to Longford hill, to view the lake; it is one of the most delicious scenes I ever beheld, the extent five miles by four, filling the bottom of a gentle valley almost of a circular form, bounded very boldly by the mountains. Those to the left rise in a noble slope; they lower rather in front, and let in a view of Strand mountain, near Sligo, above 20 miles off. To the right, you look over a small part of a bog to a large extent of cultivated hill, with the blue mountains beyond. Were this little piece of bog planted, the view would be more complete; the hill on which you stand has a foliage of well-grown trees, which form the southern shore. You look down on six islands, all wooded, and on a fine promontory to the left, which shoots far into the lake. Nothing can be more pleasing than their uncommon variety; the first is small, (Rock island) tufted with trees, under the shade of which is an antient building, once the residence of Macdermot. The next a mixture of lawn and wood; the third, which appears to join this, is of a darker shade, yet not so thick but you see the bright lawn under the trees, House island is one fine thick wood, which admits not a gleam of light, a contrast to the silver bosom of the lake. Church island is at a greater distance; this is also a clump, and rises boldly. Rook island is of wood; it opens in the center, and shews a lawn with a building on it. It is impossible to imagine a more pleasing and chearful scene. Passed the chapel to Smithfield-hill, which is a fine rising ground, quite surrounded with plantations; from hence the view is changed; here the promontory appears very bold, and over its neck you see another wooded island, in a fine situation. Nothing can be more picturesque than Rock-island, its ruin overhung with ivy. The others assume fresh and varied outlines, and form upon the whole one of the most luxuriant scenes I have met with.

THE views of the lake and environs are pleasing as you go to Boyle; the woods unite into a large mass, and contrast the bright sheet of water with their dark shades.

THE lands about Kingston are very fine, a rich, dry, mellow, sandy loam, the finest soil that I have seen in Ireland, all grass, and covered with very fine bullocks, cows, and sheep. The farms rise to,500 acres, and are generally in divisions, parted by stone walls, for oxen, cows, young cattle, and sheep separate. Some of the lands will carry an ox and a wether per acre; rents 15s. to 20s.

DINED at Boyle, and took the road to Ballymoat; crossed an immense mountain bog, where I stopped and made inquiries; found that it was ten miles long, and three and a half over, containing 35 square miles; that lime-stone quarries were around, and in it, and lime-stone gravel in many places to be found, and used in the lands that join it: in addition to this I may add, that there is a great road crossing it. 35 miles are 22,400 acres. What an immense field of improvement! nothing would be easier than to drain it, vast tracts of land have such a fall, that not a drop of water could remain. These hilly bogs are extremely different from any I have seen in England. In the moors in the North, the hills and mountains are all covered with heath, like the Irish bogs, but they are of various soils, gravel, shingle, moor, &c. and boggy only in spots, but the Irish bog hills are all pure bog to a great depth, without the least variation of soil; and a bog being of a hilly form, is a proof that it is a growing vegetable mass, and not owing merely to stagnant water. Sir Laurence Dundass is the principal proprietor of this.

REACHED Ballymoat in the evening, the residence of the Hon. Mr. Fitzmaurice, where I expected great pleasure in viewing a manufactory, of which I heard much since I came to Ireland. He was so kind as to give me the following account of it, in the most liberal manner:

TWENTY years ago the late Lord Shelburne came to Ballymoat, a wild uncultivated region, without industry or civility, and the people all roman catholics, without an atom of a manufacture, not even spinning. In order to change this state of things, his Lordship contracted with people in the North, to bring protestant weavers, and establish a manufactory, as the only means of making the change he wished; this was done, but falling into the hands of rascals, he lost 5000l. by the business, with only 17 protestant families, and 26 or 27 looms established. Upon his death, Lady Shelburne wished to carry his scheme into execution, and to do it, gave much encouragement to Mr. Wakefield, the great Irish factor in London, by granting advantageous leases, under the contract of building and colonizing, by weavers from the North, and carrying on the manufactory. He found about 20 looms working upon their own account, and made a considerable progress in this for five years, raising several buildings, cottages for the weavers, and was going on as well as the variety of his business would admit, employing 60 looms. He then died, when a stand was made to all the works for a year, in which every thing went much to ruin. Lady Shelburne then employed a new manager to carry on the manufacture upon his own account, giving him very profitable grants of lands, to encourage him to do it with spirit. He continued for five years, employing 60 looms also; but his circumstances failing, a fresh stop was put to the work.

THEN it was that Mr. Fitzmaurice, in the year 1774, determined to exert himself in pushing on a manufactory, which promised to be of such essential service to the whole country. To do this with effect, he saw that it was necessary to take it entirely into his own hands. He could lend money to the manager to enable him to go on, but that would be at best hazardous, and could never do it in the complete manner in which he wished to establish it. In this period of consideration, Mr. Fitzmaurice was advised by his friends, never to engage in so complex a business as a manufacture, in which he must of necessity become a merchant; also engage in all the hazard, irksomeness, &c. of commerce, so totally different from his birth, education, ideas and pursuits; but tired with the inactivity of common life, he determined not only to turn manufacturer, but to carry on the business in the most spirited and vigorous manner that was possible. In the first place he took every means of making himself a compleat master of the business; he went through various manufactures, inquired into the minutiæ, and took every measure to know it to the bottom. This he did so repeatedly, and with such attention in the whole progress, from spinning to bleaching, and selling, that he became as thorough a master of it, as an experienced manager; he has woven linen, and done every part of the business with his own hands. As he determined to have the works complete, he took Mr. Stansfield, the engineer, so well known for his improved saw-mills, into his pay; he sent him over to Ballymoat, in the winter of 1774, in order to erect the machinery of a bleach-mill, upon the very best construction; he went to all the great mills in the North of Ireland to inspect them, to remark their deficiencies, that they might be improved in the mills he intended to erect. This knowledge being gained the work was begun, and as water was necessary, a great bason was formed, by a dam across a valley, by which means 34 acres were floated, to serve as a reservoir for dry seasons, to secure plenty at all times. All the machinery of the mill is perfectly well constructed, and worthy of the artist who formed it; in general it is upon the common principle of other bleach-mills, only executed in a manner much superior to any other in Ireland, but in several particulars it is much improved; a washing-wheel, on the new construction used in England, is added; beetlers are improved in their motion on the cylinder, by giving something more of time to their rebound; the motion given to the rubbing boards is in a manner different from the common, and in general, the wheels are all so proportioned, that every operation may go on in the full velocity, without one part being stopped at all upon account of another, which is not generally the case; the water wheel is also formed to work with the least quantity of water possible; all the works going on with no larger quantity than will stow through a pipe of a nine-inch bore. Here are two beetling cylinders, three pair of rubbing-boards, a pair of stocks, a washing wheel, two large coppers for boiling or bucking, a room for drying, and another for folding, the whole contained in a well-erected edifice, 81 feet long, by 28 feet broad, and 17 high.

IN the first year, 1774, not having a bleach-green, he only kept the looms going, to sell the linens green; 65 in that year worked 1730 webs, each 50 yards long and 7-8ths broad, on an average ten-hundred linen. In 1775, the number of looms was 80, and they worked 2110 pieces of the same linen. At present the number is 90, and preparations are made for there being 120 by this time twelvemonth: and Mr. Fitzmaurice has no doubt of having 300 in two years time. In establishing and carrying on this manufactory, the increase has been by weavers from the North, for whom he builds houses as fast as he can, and has many more applying than he can supply by building. They come with nothing but their families, and Mr. Fitzmaurice fixes them in houses, finds them a loom, and every thing necessary for their work, and employs them upon his own account; their rent for their house and garden being proportioned to their idleness.

THE full rent he fixes for a stone and slate cottage, that costs him 50l. is 40s. if the weaver is idle; but in proportion to the number of webs he weaves his rent is lowered; besides which encouragement, he gives premiums for the best weaving and spinning throughout the manufactory.

IN order to shew how far this system of employment is of importance to the neighbourhood, I may observe that the 80 looms, besides the 80 weavers, employed 80 persons more, who are usually women quilling, warping, and winding; the quilling by children: in all, 80 men, 80 women, and 40 children.

THE 2110 pieces worked last year consumed 132,930 hanks of yarn, at 63 to each, allowing for accident and waste, which is spun here, and as a woman spins a hank a day (it is three-hank yarn) it employs at 300 days to the year, 443 women.

I SHOULD be particular in remarking, that all the houses he built for the weavers, have no more than half a rood of potatoe-garden to them, Mr. Fitzmaurice finding them a cow's grass, for which they pay 30s. He does this because he would not wish to have them farmers, which he thinks does not at all agree with their business of weaving. He has planned much greater works; has procured a patent for a market, which he designs to establish; to build a large handsome market-house, at an expence of 1000l. to pull down all the old cabbins in the town, and rebuild them in regular streets, of good houses, for weavers and mechanics. To convert a large house, at present used in the manufactory, into a handsome inn; a large house for a master weaver, and lastly, a mansion-house for himself in the stile of a castle, and suitable to the antient ruins, situation, and grounds. For these purposes, he has employed Mr. Paine, the architect, to give designs, and execute the whole. These are great works for the ornament and improvement of a country, and united with the flourishing progress of the manufactory, promise to make Ballymoat a considerable place. Too much praise cannot be given to a man, who, in the prime of life, when pleasure alone usually takes the lead, should turn his attention and expence to objects of such national utility and importance, which have for their aim, the well-being, happiness, and support of a whole neighbourhood.

IT may be of use to inform those, who may entertain thoughts of a similar establishment, what the expence of these works have been, with this view I requested the particulars of Mr. Fitzmaurice, and they are as follow: forming the reservoir of water, the bleach-mill, a green, a boiling-house, a house for the master bleacher, and three or four houses tor bleachers, cost in the whole 1500l. of this 160l. was for forming the reservoir. A house of stone and slate sufficient to contain a family, and four looms, costs 55l. and the four looms 8l. 8s.

IN order to shew the full expence of establishing a manufactory, that employs 100 looms, the following particulars will be of use; they will also shew, that views of private profit have not actuated Mr. Fitzmaurice to this undertaking, as it is nothing but a very skilful management, or fortunate prices that can make it advantageous to a gentleman, whose views ought to be more distant, to the increase of useful population, and thereby of the rental of his estate.

  £. s. d.
The bleach-mill and green 1500 0 0
25 cottages for the 100 looms, at 55l. 1375 0 0
Other building for a clerk and master weaver 200 0 0
100 looms, yard-wide or under 210 0 0
Total buildings, &c. 3285 0 0
Interest on that sum, at 6 per cent. for a year 197 0 0
163,800 hanks of yarn, at 63 to each piece, and 26 pieces to each loom, per annum, at 5¾d. per hank 3924 7 6
Purging the yarn, one halfpenny a hank. N.B. it is now 6½d. and even raising, but that is very high. 5d. is a low price. 341 5 0
One per cent. on ditto, 3900 for carriage and expences 39 0 0
Pay of 100 weavers at 3½d. a yard for a ten-hundred cloth, or 14s. 7d. a piece, say 15s. as they run to 51 yards, 2637 1977 15 0
Pay of a master weaver 100 0 0
Pay of a yarn buyer and sorter 25 0 0
Needle-marking 2637 pieces, at 1d. each 10 19 9
As to bleaching, the fairest way, is to suppose, that the expence of it amounts to as much as the bleachers' charge, which is 1¾d. a yard, this includes the bleachers' profit, 6s. 4½d. a piece 840 10 0
Package 5s. per pack, of 100 pieces, each 25 yards 13 4 0
Carriage to Dublin 20s. a pack of 100 53 0 0
Commission to the Dublin factor 2 per cent. on 5274 pieces, at 1s. 3d. a yard, or 1l. 7s. 1d. a piece, or 8239l. two per cent. on this sum 164 15 0
N.B. on fine goods, 5 per cent. owing to the tediousness of selling them, and 5s. credit instead of 2.      
Porterage in Dublin, 2s. 6d. a pack 6 10 0
10978 6 3
        £. s. d. Interest of the first stock 197 0 0 Yarn 3924 7 6 Purging and carriage 380 0 0 Weavers 1977 15 0 Overseers 125 0 0 Marking 10 19 9 Bleaching 840 10 0 Packing and carriage 66 4 0 Commission 164 0 0 Porterage 6 10 0 7962 6 3   £. s. d. As the money is turned just twice a year,
half this is to be charged as stock or 3846 0 0 Buildings 3285 0 0 Therefore the capital for the undertaking is 7131 0 0 Interest on that, at 6 per cent. 427 0 0 Sundry expences on 5274 pieces 7692 0 0 8119 0 0 PRODUCE.       5274 pieces, at 1l. 11s. 3d. 8239 0 0 Expences 8119 0 0 Remains 120 0 0

HENCE there appears to be some profit on this account, besides all that is on the bleaching; also the rent of 25 houses, which may be reckoned at 100l. a year.

BUT if they sell only at 1l. 7s. 1d. the account would then be:

  £. s. d.
Expences 8119 0 0
Produce 5274, at 27s. 1d. 7141 0 0
Loss 978 0 0

LET me observe upon this, that such accounts are never accurate, and they should be taken rather for framing general, than particular ideas, At first sight, it might be thought, that proving too much in the little or no profit of such an undertaking, is proving nothing, as the trade could never be carried on; but this would not be a just conclusion. The linen business is not conducted thus; the drapers, who are bleachers, purchase the linen, not weave it on their account; and here lies probably much of their profit, they take advantage of the variation of times , to use a commercial term, and often get the linen under its fair value; they have the opportunity of taking advantage of all temporary necessities among the weavers; but at all events, they know to a farthing the value they can give, and they do not buy a piece more than suits them. But if the weaving was done on their account, they would be obliged to make the linen, however dead the markets or else have their men idle: Another observation which goes generally to all undertakings of this sort is, that the uniting in one person the several branches of a manufacture, will rarely be found advantageous. If every step is a distinct trade, alone occupying both capital and attention, the fabric is the more like to thrive. That Mr. Fitzmaurice, with great activity and a good understanding, can make himself a master of the business, nothing but contraction can doubt; but I question whether the most sagacious draper in Ireland would make considerably, if he wove the cloth as well as bleached it; hence therefore, the part of the preceding calculation the most applicable to gentlemen, is the detail of the expenditure of 3285l. because for that sum, 100 weavers and a bleacher would be set to work, to whom the landlord might give what encouragement he pleased in bounties per piece, made and bleached, but neither the one or the other on his own account. After all, I see every reason to assert, that a gentleman, for a shilling he will ever make by a manufactory, will profit a guinea by the improvement of land; have rascals to deal with in one line, and honest men in the other.

MR. FITZMAURICE observes, that the art of bleaching depends so much on niceties, and not a little on matter of opinion in the drapers, who buy the linen, that it is difficult to lay down any rules for it; there are some points however, which deserve attention; first, in respect to the use of lime, which though great chymists have proved to be perfectly harmless and useful, if used with skill and caution, yet the bleachers positively deny the use of it, whether to indulge the prejudice of the common people against it, or for profit in making the worst ashes equal to the best, cannot be well ascertained. As to bucking and boiling, it is very observable, that the finest linens being made of the hardest and toughest fibres of the flax, which stand the operation of scutching (which by the way is a very strong reason why the finest linens should be incomparably more lasting than the coarser ones) make a distinction between boiling and bucking, the first is the most severe operation, and therefore necessary for the tough materials, the other proper for the coarse and weaker ones. But they are the same thing if done with attention; a thorough bucking is equal to a mild boiling, but depending both on the degree in which they are performed. With regard to rubbing-boards, the general prejudice to them being founded on fact, can only arise from the bleachers saving soap; if used in a proper quantity, there is not the least objection to them.

ACCOUNT of flax about Ballymoat. The greater part of the poor people about Ballymoat allot about half a rood of land to the growth of flax, the rent 7s. 6d. this is sown with about five gallons of seed, medium price 5s. 6d. the five gallons. From breaking and scutching, the above yields to the grower, from 84 to 112 cwt. that is, 6 to 8 stone. If the flax be dried, as well as broke and scutched at the mill, the charge is 16d. a stone; if only the two latter, it is only 14d. or if scutched, only 10d. After scutching, it is worth, rough, 5s. to 6s. a stone.

  DR.     CR.
  £. s. d.     £. s. d.
Rent 0 7 6   Value of 8 stone 2 0 0
Seed 0 5 6          
Breaking, drying
and feutching
0 10 8          
Profit for labour 0 16 4          
  2 0 0     2 0 0

AFTER scutching, it is heckled or split into small pieces of different qualities; one half produces the best sort, which is spun to about three hank yarn, that is, three hanks to the pound; the half of the remaining half, i.e. one quarter of the whole, is called hackled tow, and is spun into an inferior sort, two hank yarn, the remainder is called backings , and is spun into the coarser stuff, of which is made sacking, coarse sheeting for the poor, &c. At this period the weight is not diminished above 4lb. in the cwt. and the best sort is worth at a medium, 9d. a lb, the second sort worth 6d. and the coarsest about 1½d. after payment of 1d. per lb. for the two first sorts.

  DR.     CR.
  £. s. d.     £. s. d.
Rough flax 2 0 0   56 lb. heckled of best sort 2 2 0
Heckling 0 7 0   28 lb. at 6d. 0 14 0
Profit 0 12 0   Backings 0 3 0
  2 19 0     2 19 0

THE hecklers generally travel about to the houses of poor people to get this work to do. Four men will be taken up two days in doing the above quantity. Spinning is performed by women and children; one diligent person will spin about one hank, containing 12 ents , each ent having 120 rounds, from two yards and a half in circumference in a day. If carried then to market, it generally produces 5d. per hank, or a dozen to the spinner, and is generally bought by jobbers or by poor manufacturers. Upwards of 40,000l. per ann. in yarn is exported from Sligo to Manchester and Liverpool. It is supposed that there is as much yarn exported raw from Ireland, as is manufactured in it. The first step taken by the manufacturer is to steep the yarn in lukewarm water for a day or two; it is then boiled 12 hours in a strong lee of barilla ashes, after which it is bleached for 3 weeks or a month, and when dry, is dressed and softened by being hung in a frame, and rubbed in a clipped stick, after which it is sorted into different degrees of fineness, first by weight, and then by the eye, when it is ready to be delivered to the weaver, with the reed and geers adapted to manufacturing it. The grist or fineness of the yarn, determines the set or fineness of the reed through which it is to be wrought. The reed is divided into beers , each beer containing 20 splits, each split two threads. These threads are called the warp. The threads thrown across by the shuttle are called the wooft. Five beers are what is commonly called a hundred , the number of which hundred is regulated by the skill of the manufacturer, so as to make the cloth thick or thin in the breadth: and the number of these hundreds constitutes the fineness and value of the cloth. N. B. The extremities are from 400 splits in the breadth of one yard to 2500. The rule to ascertain the true value of any given piece of cloth by inspection with a glass. Apply the glass to the cloth, reckon the number of threads in the warp, which are magnified by the glass, and by as many threads as are so counted, so many hundreds is the fineness of the cloth, which hundreds when doubled, and half of the first number added, i. e. 10 threads giving as many hundreds, them doubled make 20, and half added 25. Of so many hanks of yarn does a piece of cloth of 20 yards consist of, fairly and honestly made. Learn the value of yarn, add the weaving and bleaching, and the addition gives the value out of the manufactory.

An acre here.

  £. s. d.
Forty gallons seed, 1s. 6d. 3 0 0
Two ploughings 1 0 0
Two harrowings 0 6 0
Clodding, four women 0 2 0
Weeding, ten ditto 0 5 0
Pulling, twenty women, a day, 3d. and diet, 3d. 0 10 0
Binding, four men, 6d. and 3d. diet 0 3 0
Carrying, six horses, a day, at 1s. 6d. 0 9 0
Watering and sodding, six men 0 4 6
Taking out, four men 0 1 6
Spreading, twelve women 0 6 0
Lifting, twelve women 0 6 0
Carrying, two cars and four men 0 6 0
Drying, four men and four women 0 5 0
Twelve kishes turf, 8d. 0 8 0
Beetling, forty women 1 0 0
Scutching, 1s. a stone, fifty-six stone 2 16 0
Heckling, 8d. a stone for the flax, 1d.
per lb. for the tow, 4 lb. of the first to
the stone, scutched, or 14 stone, heckled,
at 8d.
0 9 4
Three pound of tow to the stone, 168 lb. at 1d. 0 14 0
Rent 0 16 0
  13 10 4
If the land is hired ready dressed 11 8 4
Rent 2 0 0
  13 8 4
This if a cottar, but if not the rent is
3l. which will make it
14 8 4
Value of the heckled flax, 7d. to 1s. average 9a. a lb. or 12s. a stone 8 8 0
One hundred sixty-eight pound of tow, at 6d. 4 4 0
Six pound of backings to the stone, 336 lb. at one halfpenny 0 14 0
  13 6 0

VERY little weaving in Sligo, but a little scattered spinning every where; the women earn 3d. or 4d. a day, by a hank a day. 80,000l. of yarn last year exported from the port of Sligo. Price of labour, cottars 5d. others 6d. Heaps of weeds burning all over the country for ashes for boiling the yarn, by poor people. An acre of weeds has been sold for 6l. 6s. One sixth of the county bog and mountain, the rest 15s. an acre. The farms rise to large ones, that are grazing, but all the tillage is carried on by cottars, or very inconsiderable ones. The courses are;

1. Potatoes. 2. Flax. 3. Oats. 4. Oats.

1. Potatoes. 2. Potatoes.

BARONY of Corra, the best in the county; the high lands all lime-stone. Rent about Ballymoat, 20s. Potatoes yield 26 barrels, at the average price of six shillings, it weighs 10 cwt. Wheat yields six and a half, or seven barrels. Oats 10 ditto. A great plenty of marle, and lime-stone, and lime-stone gravel in all the country, but none used, except by such as are forced to do it by their landlords. Of these the most generally used is the lime-stone gravel. A good deal of mountain, improved by little farmers, by their landlords directions. John Kelly, a little cottar on Mr. Fitzmaurice's estate, is a strong instance of this, and his mode of doing it has been by paring and burning, and spreading the ashes. He then puts in potatoes immediately, gets good crops, then good oats, and would, if he was able, sow grass seeds.

SUNDAY, august 26th, to the Rt. Hon. Joshua Cooper's, at Mercra, who not only received me with the utmost politeness, but was so obliging as to send for a neighbouring gentleman, in order between them, with other assistance, to answer all my questions, which was done in the most attentive and satisfactory manner. About that place the rent of land, on an average, 15s. Some of the mountains, that are not lime-stone, let for very little, 2s. but the lime-stone ones are good land universally, and yield almost as high rent as the rest of the country. Farms in culture are exceedingly small, the poor people divide and take them in partnership, four or five to a plough land of 100 acres, but they subdivide down to five or six acres, and in general all the tillage is done by these little occupiers. There are some large grazing farms up to above 1000 acres, which are under sheep and bullocks. One seventh of the county may be reckoned bog, and unimproved mountain, and the other 6-7ths, 15s. Mayo one-third, perhaps half, bog and mountain, and two-thirds, at 12s. Galway more than one-third bog, mountain and lakes. The courses of crops pursued here;

1. Potatoes. 2. Barley. 3. Oats. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Oats. 8. Left out seven years to sheep.

1. Potatoes. 2. Flax. 3. Barley. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Oats. 8. Oats. 9. Lay out.

1. Potatoes. 2. Flax. 3. Barley. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Potatoes.

1. Potatoes. 2. Barley, which is the best course I have met with in Ireland. Wheat is coming in in the following course,

1. Potatoes. 2. Wheat. 3. Oats, 4 or 5 years. Some wheat on summer fallow. Grass land hired for potatoes, at 5l. if not an acre, is

  £. s. d.
Rent 0 15 0
Cess 0 0 4
Tythe 0 0 0
Manuring labour, 20 men, and 3 horses 1 5 0
Seed, thirty pecks, each 6d. 0 15 0
Putting in first digging, 30 men, at 6d. 0 15 0
Second covering, shoveling ditto 0 15 0
Third ditto, fifteen men 0 7 6
Weeding, eight men 0 4 0
Digging up, sixty men a day 1 10 0
Picking and gathering, one man to four 0 7 6
Carrying home, five men and five horses 0 5 0
Picking over and shifting 0 5 0
  7 4 4
300 pecks, 56 lb. each, at 6d. per peck 7 10 0
If they, which is very common, hire grass land for it, the rent is 4l. 4s. on an average, then      
Rent 4 4 0
Other expences as before 6 9 0
  10 13 0
Three hundred and fifty pecks, at 6d. 8 15 0
  1 18 0

MANY are planted in bogs that are drained; they are the first thing they plant, manuring with both lime-stone gravel and dung, the first will not do alone, but very little dung will do: the crops are superior in quantity to those from any other land, they will get 50 pecks more than from the grass land. They feed their cows and pigs with them when plentiful. Mr. O'Hara of Nymphsfield fatted many bullocks with them, and found that they did exceedingly well. Of barley they sow a barrel per acre, which is here 14 stone, and get on an average 14 barrels an acre. In Terrera barony they get great crops, sometimes 20 barrels an acre. They sow 2 barrels of 12 stone of oats, the mean produce 10 barrels, some not above 5 or 6. Of wheat they sow 12 stone, and the crop 6 barrels. Every body sows a patch of flax; a farming cottar, with 6 or 7 acres, will sow 6 or 8 gallons. The quantity of seed 40 gallons per acre. The value sold on the foot is in general 8l. and the crop is calculated that a gallon of seed produces a stone of scutched flax, or 40 stone per acre. The quantity of waste improved is very considerable; it is moory mountain, about 12 inches deep. In much of this, immediately under the moor, is a thin stratum of what they call lack-clay , which is like baked clay, the thickness of a tile, and no water gets through it. Under it lime-stone gravel. Trenching the land for potatoes, breaks this stratum, and lets the water through at once, and no other drains are necessary. In less than a century, almost the whole country, as well as Roscommon, was a moor. The mode taken has been by lime-stone gravel chiefly, and this goes on so much, that the moors are worth a considerable rent; the crops they give at first are very great. The expence of gravelling is 2l. 2s. an acre. 2000 horse-loads in baskets on their backs is the quantity, it changes the nature both of moors and clays intirely, and lasts for ever.

IN this country there are large tracts of grass land, which will rear the largest oxen, but will not fatten them; but if gravelled, will fatten them perfectly. Lime not used as a manure in common, though there is an amazing quantity in the country; the price of burning will be four-pence halfpenny a barrel of roach lime. A barrel of turf will burn a barrel of lime; a barrel of turf is one-third of a kish. Turf mold laid on a clay meadow will give one good crop. The system of cattle is various; the graziers upon good grass buy in cows in the month of may, at 3l. 10s. average, and sell out in november and october, at a profit of 1l. 10s. also buy oxen 3 year old in october, give them coarse hay, and sell them fat or in good order the autumn following; buy in at 4l. 10s. and sell out at 7l. and he will take for meadow half an acre of hay, and one and a half for summer; besides which there will be one sheep and a half per acre the year through, which will pay 12s. Upon worse land they go into the succession system, which is buying year olds at 25s. on an average: these, at 4 year old, come to 5 cwt. which is the common size of the county: kept 3 years, and sold them lean at 4l. 10s. but these systems are always united on the same farm, as they have all sorts of cattle to suit different soils. No dairies.

THE sheep system is not of consequence, for there are scarce any flocks kept. Twenty years ago the baronies of Corra and Terrera were continued sheepwalks; but now the former is all potatoes and barley, and much of the latter is broken up, so that upon the whole tillage has gained very much on grass. The sheep there kept are both fattening and breeding; they keep their lambs till three-year wethers, and sell them fat at 16s. that is, 18 lb. a quarter, at 2d. a lb. The ewe lambs will be kept, and old ewes culled and sold off half fat, at 10s. The fleeces on the average of the whole will be 4 lb. Mr. Ormsby gets 8 and 10 lb. from his wethers. Swine increasing, no pork exported from Sligo till last year, but now they are getting into it. Horses are used for tillage only, 4 in a plough abreast, and some harrowing still done BY THE TAIL; they will plough half an acre a day, or more commonly three days to an acre. Upon wet lands they plough into ridges arched, but never water furrow. As to hiring and stocking farms, they manage so as to do without capital; a grazier will re-let to his cottars as much of his land as high as he can; enough to pay his rent or near it, and as to the poor fellow, he manages with very little. 3l. per acre will do for buying the cattle for a grazing farm.

LAND sells at 20 years purchase, rack rent. The rents are less than 5 or 6 years ago, but are rather rising at present. Tythes are generally taken in kind; they are let to tythe proctors, who are paid, wheat 8s. Barley 6s. Oats 4s. Flax 8s. Potatoes none tythed in Connaught. Hay 3s. Leases 3 lives, or 31 years. Much of it let on leases renewable for ever. Middle men, who occupy none, is a practice declining, but not gone out. Two bolting mills erected, which begin to increase the crops of wheat, and promise to change the face of the country. The people throughout it increase very fast. Their circumstances in general are infinitely better than 20 years ago; they are cloathed and fed better; are much more industrious; spalpeens going from hence decline much, and will soon be entirely out. Rent of a cabbin and garden 20s. The grass of a cow 30s. There were some emigrations to America, but not considerable, and some that went are come back again. The religion in general catholic; but more protestants than in any other county in Connaught. In the baronies of Liny and Corra, there are many Milesian Irish; in Mayo more still, all of the Spanish breed. The food of the poor people potatoes, milk, and herrings, with oaten bread in summer; all keep cows, not pigs, and but a few poultry. They have an absolute bellyful of potatoes, and the children eat them as plentifully as they like. The average price of oatmeal something less than 1d. a pound. All of them have a bit of cabbages. They prefer oat bread both to potatoes and to wheat bread. All afford whisky. A year's turf will cost a family 30s. The common people are so amazingly addicted to thieving every thing they can lay their hands on, that they will unshoe the horses in the field in the barony of Liny; they are also lyars from their cradle, but wonderfully sagacious, cunning, and artful.

WITHIN 10 miles of this, in Leitrim, is a great country of good coal near the surface; but for want of being well worked, sells at 7s. a ton: and near Ballysodare is a lead mine, but not worked with success, though very rich. As to the linen manufactory, it has made some progress; there are 6 bleach greens in the county, and there are many weavers. Spinning is universal in all the cabbins. A woman will earn two-pence halfpenny at it. The rents are mostly paid by yarn.

MR. Cooper has reclaimed, and is reclaiming 65 acres of bog, which is 12 feet deep, and was so wet and rotten, that no animal could go on it without being swallowed up: much of it had been so mangled and cut in holes to get turf, that the levelling in order for the plough was put out at 1l. 10s. an acre. A great drain was made round it 9 feet broad at top, 10 deep, and quite narrow at bottom, and these drains were repeated, but not so large at the distance of 60 yards from each other. A drain of 9 feet wide at top, and 6 deep, costs 10d. a perch. The above drains were done by the day. In one year after, the bog was dry enough to plough, which he did, and burnt the furrow and sowed rape: the crop middling, eat it with sheep. The second year ploughed and burnt it again, and had a second crop of rape; after which another year of rape and turnips, and it now lies with the grasses that came of themselves after these operations: it is but indifferent, except in one place where some lime-stone gravel was scattered, and there it is good, promising well. Adjoining the bog is a wet springy bank full of rushes, from which Mr. Cooper apprehends the water comes that breaks out in the bog, which it does in a few places, for want of the surrounding drain on that side being completed. To such as have bogs to improve, he would recommend to surround the space to be improved with a drain so deep as to go to the gravel, which is a point he thinks very necessary; as when this is done, if there is any fall at all for the water, the drain will keep open, and not close up, as it will do if not so deep, for want of a hard surface for the water to run on. A year after this work, plough it, burn the furrow, and sow rape for sheep food, levelling the land by ploughing and burning; repeat this till level, or if there is any dung, potatoes are much the best crop, and will be a great produce. As soon as the land is level, sow oats and hay seeds, and when there is a skin of turf gained, then carry on the limestone gravel in preference to every thing else, if it is to be had: the effect is so strong as to change heath to white clover at once upon drained land. The more soapy the gravel the better: and Mr. Cooper, from experience, knows that it would then set as meadow at 30s. an acre as long as it was kept from returning to its original state. As to the quantity of draining, cutting it into oblongs of 300 yards by 60, would be fully sufficient: these have laid his bog dry.

TURNIPS Mr. Cooper has cultivated these 17 years regularly, with success, for stall-feeding oxen, and has found them of great use. Cabbages he has had these four years, the Scotch sort, borecole, and Reynold's turnip-cabbage; these he has used for fattening sheep, and never had such sheep as by this means. He much prefers cabbages to turnips for all uses, can get larger crops, what he gets goes farther, and are much preferred by both cattle and sheep: after them, exceeding fine barley. In the breed of cattle Mr. Cooper has taken pains to improve by means of a Lancashire bull, of Mr. Parker's breed, and this with such success, that his cattle are all very fine, large, and well made; all Lancashire long horns, with a mixture of the Stafford and Warwick. He has also found that this improvement of the breed for fatting has not hurt his dairy, for his cows give 8 quarts of milk at a meal, which is esteemed very well here: for fattening the breed is excellent. Oxen he has used for tillage 18 years, instead of horses; works them in common yokes, and bows, 4 or 6 in a plough; but he thinks that four horses will do more work in a day than four oxen: yet finds the latter incomparably the most profitable. Mules he finds of the greatest use. They are much longer lived than horses, hardier, easier fed, and more profitable: but this is principally applicable to the small Irish mule, and not the large ones from Spanish asses, which are not so hardy, and more liable to disorders. They are never fed so well as horses, yet go through more labour: and are much superior to them for carrying burthens. One caution, however, should be used in relation to their food. If wheat straw is cut into chaff and given, it will kill them; the late bishop of Elphin lost all his mules by it. Mr. Cooper has fattened many hogs on potatoes, and he has found that raw potatoes will fatten them very well, but the fat will be flabby and greasy; but if the potatoes are parboiled, and well sprinkled with salt, the flesh will be firm, and perfectly good. He once tried fattening a cow on them, and she did admirably, but eat so much, that at the very lowest price it would not answer to give them. He has improved much land by hollow draining, with sods, and found that it answers perfectly.

SLIGO is the only sea-port of this country, and the state of its trade may be taken, as no bad explanation of the improvement of the country around it with which it communicates.

A view of the duties on imports and exports in the port of Sligo for twenty years, ending Lady-day , 1775.

Years.   Imports.   Exports.
    £. s. d.   £. s. d.
1756   1208 11 4   26 11 7
1757   216 12 0   15 13 10
1758   425 10 1   23 11 11
1759   504 11 6   45 1 0
1760   518 9 8   45 6 3
1761   384 19 4   51 13 0
1762   640 6 11   73 17 11
1763   1017 11 7   104 17 7
1764   1187 15 3   131 3 2
1765   1458 9 4   102 17 0
1766   406 12 7   120 1 4
1767   486 7 2   92 17 7
1768   1178 12 3   160 8 6
1769   998 14 6   487 17 2
1770   1122 2 4   523 6 7
1771   1554 19 0   309 2 0
1772   841 16 7   471 9 1
1773   2477 17 11   835 11 10
1774   2418 5 4   730 11 4
1775   2256 8 1   956 0 6

MR. Cooper has remarked, that the great improvement of this part of Ireland commenced about the year 1748, and that rents now are, to what they were before that period, as fifteen to six. Some farms bought in 1725, at 5s. 6d. an acre, and twenty years purchase, are now lett at 18s.

AUGUST 26th, left Mercra, and went to Ballasadore, when I had great pleasure in viewing the falls; the river breaks over rocks in the most romantic manner, from edge to edge, in many falls, for the space of two hundred yards before it comes to the principal one, which is twelve or fourteen feet perpendicular; the scenery about it is bold, the features of the mountains are great, and Knocknaree in full relief; if the falls were through a dark wood, the scenery would be among the finest in the world.

To Tanrego, the seat of Lewis Irwin, Esq; (who favoured me with several articles of useful intelligence) situated in the barony of Tyrera, which is twenty-seven miles long, and cultivated from one and an half to three in breadth, by the sea side; lets from 12s. to 17s. an acre, a little for 20s. The soil a light sandy loam, on lime-stone, one foot to two deep. Farms are in general from twenty to thirty acres; many taken in partnership, four to eight families take two hundred acres.

1. Manure with wrack for potatoes. 2. Potatoes. 3. Barley. 4. Barley. 5. Oats.

1. Potatoes. 2. Barley. 3. Oats. 4. Potatoes again.

1. Potatoes. 2. Barley. 3. Oats. 4. Lay out for grass.

No seeds, in one or two years white clover will come if not over-cropped. For potatoes, they lay from 100 to 150 horse loads of sea weed, mix no dung with it. Plant twelve pecks, each 56 lb. and get twelve to twenty fold, that is 144 to 249 pecks. Of barley, they get thirteen or fourteen barrels per acre. Of oats, ten barrels. They burn vast quantities of kelp; in the whole barony three hundred tons, all in summer; in winter or spring they manure with it. The brown alga, which is the more luxuriant, and fuller of the saponaceous liquid, they don't manure with, thinking it too strong for the land, burning it up as they call it; but if they would lay it in heaps till rotten, or made composts, neither of which they ever do, this would not be the case. They manure with it every six or seven years. Mr. Irwin spreads it in his pound upon a stratum of potatoe-stalks, and over both, one of turf and mould, for cattle to tread on; this is a most excellent practice. The mountains nearest to the sea, are chiefly stocked with sheep, and farther in, with young cattle. Upon a part of these mountains, of three miles in extent, whatever sheep sfed, are immediately killed by the staggers, and horses affected; there is a good deal of limestone, and the land is dry, and to appearance, and in fact, good; it fattens bullocks; the noxious effect is attributed to the lead mines, which this part is supposed to be full of. When first affected, if brought down to a salt marsh, it recovers them immediately. Within a few miles of Tanrego, is Glanesk, and Loch Alt, six to ten miles broad, and twenty long, one continued chain of mountain and bog. Three-fourths of Sligo bog, and uncultivated mountain. In the above tract, lime-stone every where, in some lime-stone gravel, and a good road runs through it; in all this, no cultivation or improvements. Mr. Irwin, upon a part of this country, tried about an acre of boggy, moory mountain, to see if paring and burning would do; it answered greatly, and the best potatoes in the country were there next year. Lime he also tried, and with great success; he did this in order to shew the people that their wastes were improveable. Upon the sea-shore are immense beds of oyster-shells, which are burnt into lime for building and plaistering, as they take much less fuel; these hills received no little increase from all the gentlemen of the interior country coming to the sea-coast to eat oysters, where having filled themselves sufficiently in the mornings, they got drunk in the evening; this was in the un civilized times. Most of the gentlemen of this country were Cromwell's soldiers, and many Welch families, Jones's, Morgan's, Wynn's, &c. In the barony of Tyrera flax is universally cultivated; a man with twenty acres will have a rood, which is sown with five gallons of seed; all the females spin, but the number of weavers is inconsiderable. Walked down to the coast of Tanrego, immediately opposite Knocknaree, which rises very boldly; the bay of Ballysadore comes up under it, and Ylanabaolane island, of five or six acres, so rich, that it will fatten nine sheep an acre; it forms Sligo bay.

To Sortland, the seat of ——– Browne, Esq; to whom I am obliged for the following particulars.

THE barony of Tyreragh, black mold on limestone 6 inches to a foot deep, lets at 18s. on an average. The farms are various, generally taken in partnership, which is found a most mischievous custom, and destructive to all good husbandry. The course,

1. Potatoes manured with sea weed. 2. Barley produce 15 barrels. 3. Oats 10 barrels. 4. Oats. Very little ever laid to grass.

1. Potatoes. 2. Barley. 3. Oats. 4. Flax on spots.

THE sea-weed the only manure, they depend intirely on it, and apt to do that too much, neglecting other parts of management. The circumstances of the people are not at all improved in 20 years, they are not better fed or cloathed, or in any respect better off than formerly. Nor are they at all industrious; even of sea-weed they do not make one half the advantage they could, they might get an hundred loads where they get one. They increase in number very greatly, so as to be evidently crowded; this has been the case particularly since inoculation was introduced, which was about ten years ago. They live upon potatoes and milk, and for three months in the year on oatmeal. Mr. Browne is convinced from every observation, that the potatoes are a very wholesome and nourishing food. The linen manufacture consists only in spinning, which is universal in all the cabbins, so much, that they are assisted by it, in paying their rents. They earn 3d. a day by spinning: one pound of flax for three hank yarn a woman is four days spinning.

WITHIN a mile of Sortland is a vast bog, which stretches ten miles in length, and two or three over. It is a black one, 16 spit deep. There are hillocks in it of lime-stone gravel, but lime-stone is not to be found near it in general, though not searched for with any attention. It is, however, so cheap here that any improvements might be worked; Mr. Browne can burn it at 3d. a barrel roach. He hires 1100 acres of this bog, as Mr. King, of Ballina, at 4 l. a year, though he has not improved it, has no doubt of its being improveable, and remarks that he never yet saw a bog that had not a fall enough to drain by. In the barony of Tyreragh, there are a few grazing farmers, but not many. Mr. Nesbit is the greatest, he farms above 3000 acres. Not a third of the county is bog and mountain, but more than half Mayo is so: average rent of the whole county, exclusive of bog and mountain, 16s. an acre. The shore is a very fruitful one in sea weed, which is burned into kelp in summer; they pay a rent for it by the ton of what they get.

FROM the slate quarry to Enniscrone, nine miles, they make 200 tons of kelp. The men have 17s. to 20s. a ton for serving, making, and burning, and it sells at 2l. 2s. There is not half so much used in manure as in burning. It is made all the way from this country to Galway. Mules, Mr. Browne thinks superior to horses, for carrying back loads, but much inferior in drawing ploughs and cars. They are so long lived, that the age is scarce ever asked when they are bought; they will live, in common, in full work, to 30 years. They will also in bog, draw out their legs infinitely better, though they go deeper in. From 100 ewes, Mr. Browne sells 100 three year old wethers, fat at 18s. to 20s. also 20 old ewes at 13s. 300 fleeces at 4lb. at 1s. or 45l. Buys in yearling bullocks at 40s. and sells out at 7l. gets thereby 5l. for keeping two years and a half. No hay given, except in snow. He has improved 20 acres of dry moor from heath (erica vulgaris) it would not yield any rent, but now would let for 15s. an acre. The moor was one foot deep on lack clay, and under that a loose gravel, not lime-stone. Marled it with white marle from under a bog, at the rate of 150 barrels art acre, which cost in labour 5s. spread it, and left it for a year, which killed the heath effectually, then ploughed it twice, and took two successive crops of potatoes, without dung, the first an extraordinary one, the second not bad: then two crops of barley, which were very good: then oats, two crops, both very good, and then let it at 15s. an acre. If he had ever such quantities of this land, he would never stop from the improvement, being amazingly profitable.

AUGUST the 27th, to Ballyna, where I experienced the most polite reception from the Right Hon. Mr. King. The views of the distant mountains is very fine; the country is almost encompassed by them. Those of Donnegal to the right, a great ridge, which separates Tyreragh to the left, Nephin-noble in the front, and Knockaree behind. Manv kilns for drying corn in the road. Passed three miles of pasturage under cattle, before I came to the river leading to Ballyna. The views there are beautiful, it spreads in different reaches. That of Ballyna is uncommonly pleasing; the river gives a noble bend to a few rising grounds on which a part of the town is seen; beyond it the bridge, and the whole crowned by the Nephin mountain, which rises with a magnificent regularity from its base, and is one of the finest mountains I have seen.

AT Ballyna is a salmon fishery, let for 520l. a year, which is one of the most considerable in the kingdom; generally 70 or 80 tons salted, besides the fresh. Close almost to this fishery is a very pretty and well planted farm, belonging to Mr. Jones. Mr. Lindsay, the owner of this fishery, improved 16 acres of heath moor, in the following manner: he covered it with lime-stone gravel, at the expence of 30s. an acre, left it two years, by which time the heath was all dead; then ploughed it the end of summer, and in a month harrowed it; ploughed it, and harrowed it again after Christmas, and in the spring let it to poor people, for potatoes, at 4l. an acre; they got a very good crop; next year ploughed it, and let it for a second crop, reversing the ridges, at three guineas. After this barley, and got a good crop, sowing grass seeds with it.

MR. GORE, of Ballyna, had been mentioned to me as one of the most considerable farmers, in cattle, of any person in Connaught; he was not at home, but his son-in-law, Mr. King, was so kind as to procure me the particulars of his domain. Mr. Gore's breed of horned cattle is fine. Some years ago he sold heifers at 50l. a-piece, and now from ten to twentyguineas; the breed not declined, but purchasers not quite so mad as they were. Yearling bulls 20 guineas. This breed he got from Yorkshire 30 or 40 years ago. His breed of sheep is also excellent, being much improved by rams from England. He improves much moory land and bog, generally 10 or 15 acres every year, by lime-stone gravel and marle. Average rent of Tyreragh 12s. Walked in the evening to a most noble garden, walled and planted by Mr. King: it is one of the completest I have seen in Ireland.

AUGUST 28th, took my departure from Ballyna, and waited on the Bishop of Killala. I wished to have some information concerning that vast wild and impenetrable tract of mountain and bog, the barony of Erris. His Lordship and Mr. Hutcheson were so kind as to give me every particular in their power. The only cultivated part is the peninsula called the Mullet, where they plant a good deal of potatoes, barley, and flax, by means of sea weed; there is a rabbit warren, the skins of the rabbits yielding 100l. a year. The rest of it is without cultivation, except in small patches here and there; it is supposed, generally speaking, to be without lime-stone or limestone gravel, but probably no great search has been made in so dreary a region. It is no easy matter to get in or out of it in winter; and very few persons ever attempt it from november to easter, having impassable bogs in the way. There were 896 families in the barony in 1765, 400 of which are inhabitants of the Mullet: 47 protestant, and 849 popish. The bishop of Killala has built a house in the Mullet for a clergyman, who resides there; the living is between 50l. and 60l. a year, and 40 acres of land, which the bishop has given from the see lands. This may truly be called a sphere for content, and the philosophic virtues to exert themselves in; there is not a post-house, market-town, or justice of peace, in the whole barony, which is also the case with another barony in this county, Costello. A post-house and a market are excellent things, but a justice may very well be dispensed with. There are many herds of small cattle, and some sheep kept, which are sold from thence. There is not a tree in the whole barony of Erris; a man going out of it to pay his rent, &c. his son with him, a lad of near 20, when he came near Killala, and saw a tree, "Lord, Father! what is that?" But bare of wood as it is at present, it was, in the sylvan age of Ireland, completely covered: for in no part of the kingdom is there found more or larger in the bogs.

THE barony of Tyrawly is among the best parts of the county of Mayo; 800 bullocks, most of them fat, are sold from it annually at Ballynasloe fair, which are kept here from being year olds, and sold at 4l. The quantity of tillage is very inconsiderable, but what there is is vastly improved by the use of sea weed. Lands near the sea let at 20s. which at two miles, would yield but 14s. merely from being too far, as they reckon, to carry the weed. The poor people in this barony are not improved in their circumstances in 18 years past, that the Bishop has resided at Killala. There is some weaving, so that there is scarcely a market at Ballyna, or Killala, without some linens sold. Spinning is universal in all the cabbins, but the yarn is only four-hank yarn. They spin and weave wool enough to cloath themselves, with drugget, yard-wide, for the women, at 1s. a yard, and frize for the men, at a flatt , or measure, four feet two inches long, and 20 to 23 inches wide, which sells from 1s. 11d. to 2s. 4d. Their food is potatoes, cockles, herrings, and a little meal; and when the potatoes are out, on oatmeal only. They do not all keep cows, but the majority do, and those who do not, buy milk. Beef 1d. per lb. in autumn, 20 years ago, now 1½d. Fish very plentiful: I partook of three gurnets, two mackarels, and one whiting, enough to dine six people, at the Bishop's table, which his steward bought for 6½d. Lobsters plentiful. Turbot 3d. a pound. There are 150 boats belonging to the bay of Killala, or Moy; and to the town from 20 to 25, five men to a boat; the boat has a fifth, the nets two fifths, and the crew two fifths; the two fifths belonging to the crew are subdivided into sixths, of which the skipper has two. The herrings are caught near the bar, and in the river Moy; the fishery begins in October, and lasts only two or three weeks. They judge of the shoal being there by the Gant, a bird that pursues the fish; they sometimes get each boat 10,000 herrings, which is a full load, but this is very rare, in general a good night's work is from 3000 to 5000, and the price from 13d. to 2s. 6d. the medium 1s. 8d. per hundred, or 16s. 8d. per thousand; consequently a night's work 2l. 10s. The boat is four tons, and costs 20l. and the nets 10l. Seven share of nets to each boat, each share sixty yards long, and four fathom deep, eight score mesh. The nets are all made here ; the poor people use flax, but others use hemp; they bark them, but none use tar and oil. The fishery was once much more considerable than at present. There is no ship belonging to this port, they had one, but that wicked fellow Thurot took her, and quite un-shipped the harbour.

AUGUST 29th, took my leave of the good Bishop, to whom, and his son, Mr. Hutcheson, I am obliged for the preceding particulars and many civilities. Breakfasted with the Rev. Mr. Garrat, at Foxford; passed over some very fine reddish sandy loams, till I came to a hill, from whence an extensive tract of bog is seen. Rents about Foxford are 12s. for cultivated, arable, and pasture, and thence to Castle-bar the same. From Foxford to Tubercurry 16 miles of bad country; the best of the cultivated land 12s. some at 8s. and 10s. but these rents are only the improved spots: they are improving the moors and mountains very fast, particularly the estates of Mr. Rutledge and Lynch. It is done with white marle from under bogs. It must not be imagined that when I speak of mountains and moors in Mayo, or its wild barony Erris, that these lands yield no rent; they are let in the lump, and applied to feeding cattle. They put on two year old bullocks, and keep them till full three, when they bring them to the good grounds, and from thence take them to Ballynasloe. These mountains will not do for year olds. Some of them are unhealthy for cattle; for if they are left more than a month or six weeks on them, they are disordered with lumps on their joints, so that they cannot rise from the ground; yet at the same time shall be in good order, it disappears on a change of pasture. Red deer run wild in the mountains of Erris.

To Castle-bar, over an indifferent country, and a vile stoney road; about that town the husbandry is admirable. They have three customs, which I must begin with ; first they harrow by the tail, item the fellow who leads the horses of a plough, walks backward before them the whole day long, and in order to make them advance, strikes them in the face. Item, they burn the corn in the straw, instead of threshing it. Among their customs it may be worth mentioning, that at the wakes or funeral entertainments, in addition to the circumstances I related at Castle Caldwell, both men and women, particularly the latter, are hired to cry, that is, to howl the corps to the grave, which they do in a most horrid manner: they are not so disagreeable, as I was told, in Munster. The quantity of whiskey and tobacco consumed upon these occasions is pretty considerable. In the lake of Castle-bar, near that town, is the char, and the Gillaroo trout with gizards, and it is remarkable that there are no pike in the lakes of this country. Land lets at 15s. to 20s. cultivated, both grass and arable: town parks 40s. The mountains are reclaiming by lime-stone sand and gravel; it is the common cottars who do it. There are more than 500 affidavits sent to the Dublin Society upon this account, in which I was told they are apt to be deceived, as well as in the corn standings. There are very large farms in this neighbourhood, even up to 2000l. a year : but all the great ones are stock farms, and most of the tillage of the country is performed by little fellows, cottars, and tenants to these large farmers. Eight or nine years ago there were no linens here, but now 300 pieces are sold in a week, 200 looms are employed in the town and neighbourhood, yet great quantities of yarn are sent off. The town, which belongs to Lord Lucan, is greatly rising from manufactures; the houses are well built, yet only 31 years, or three lives, granted.

IN the evening reached Westport, Lord Altamont's, whose house is very beautifully situated, upon a ground rising gently from a fine river, which makes two bold falls within view of his windows, and sheltered on each side by two large hanging woods; behind, it has a very fine view of the bay, with several headlands projecting into it one beyond another, with two or three cultivated islands, and the whole bounded by the great mountain of Clara island, and the vast region of Crow-Patrick, on the right; from the hill above the wood, on the right of the house, is a view of the bay, with several islands, bounded by the hummocks, and Clara Island, with Crow-Patrick immediately rising like the superior lord of the whole territory, and looking down on a great region of other mountains that stretch into Joyce's country.

IN Lord Altamont I found an improver, whose works deserved the closest attention; he very readily favoured me with the following account: he began to improve mountain land in 1768, and has every year since done some, making it a rule to employ whatever labourers offer for work. All of it covered with heath [erica vulgaris) and the soil on the surface moor; would let for 2s. an acre for turning young cattle on, the only use to which it was applied.


IMPROVED a piece of mountain land, of the above description, by spreading lime-stone sand. (N. B. The marle called here sand , is what I have generally found under the denomination of lime-stone gravel; the stones in it are of the size of a man's double fist, it is clayey, and very hard bound together in the stratum; the harder to raise, the better it is. It has a strong fermentation with acids.) Spread the sand on the heath, and left it for one year, at the expence of 1l. 1s. dunged it, and planted potatoes; found great difficulty in digging it from the roots of a kind of grass, like a rush, called keeb don , in English, black heeb. The crops very bad. Dunged it the year following for oats; the crop very fine, and repeated them the next year. Left the oat stubble, and it covered itself so with good natural grass, that the next year mowed a crop of hay, and the same two years more. Finding it not well reclaimed from having ploughed it too soon after the sanding, gave it a new manuring at nearly the same expence; did not plough it any more, but such of the stones as had not sunk of themselves were beat in with mallets, at the expence of 2s. 6d. an acre, in order to smooth it for mowing. This was very practicable, having two spits of boggy turf on the surface. Ever since it has been excellent meadow, worth 1l. 2s. 9d. an acre.


IN 1764, improved another piece, sanding it at 40s. an acre, owing to the distance; left it two years on the land, and then let it at 40s; to the poor people for potatoes; after which took three noble crops of oats. Then left to grass, and the first year mowed a great crop, and let it for 16s. an acre.


IN 1765, began with fifty acres more of mountain land, but full of heath. First drew off the stones, and made a wall round it six feet high, and the stones not wanted for this, threw down the river, some of which were so large that it took 16 bullocks to draw them. Expence 30s. an acre, besides 1s. 6d. a perch for the wall. Dug and burned it, and spread the ashes, 2l. 2s. an acre; it was before too rough and coarse to plough. Then ploughed it with bullocks, and sowed rape; the crop middling, where the ashes were yellow good, where white bad; seeded the rape, and then dug it, and limed it, 160 barrels an acre. Would not use lime had not the hill been too steep to lead gravel up: he had 19 lime-kilns burning at once. Upon this liming ploughed for oats; the crop tolerably good. A second crop of oats, which were very fine, and then let it run to grass; let it at 15s. an acre. Observed that the burning brought up a great quantity of rushes, which had not appeared before.


ANOTHER considerable piece, where turf had been cut, was manured, part with lime-stone sand, and part with mortar rubbish, and another with graulagh. , or coralline shelly sand; the expence each about 1l. 2s. 9d. an acre. Ploughed and burned it, and sowed it with turnips; a very noble crop. Drew the turnips, and fed them in a pasture. The spring following planted it with potatoes without any other manure, and the crop much the greatest he ever saw in his life; from one stalk had 143 potatoes, then took three crops of oats, which all proved exceedingly good. The black Frizeland oat, and the second crop, yielded 26 barrels an acre, each 14 stone. Sowed Dutch clover with the last, and could let it at 20s. an acre.


ANOTHER piece of heath mountain, not entirely dry, worth 1s. an acre, manured very richly with lime-stone sand, at the expence of 30s. an acre, and left so without any other improvement. In three years it was worth 5s. in eight years 10s. an acre, and in twelve years 1l. 1s; and so has remained.


ANOTHER piece, worth 5s. an acre, was sanded at 1l. 2s. gd. which was left three years on it, and then planted with potatoes, by the country people, who paid 3l. 10s. an acre. After which it was sown thrice with oats, the crops very good, left for meadow, and let it at 30s. an acre.


SANDED another piece, at 1l. 5s. left it three years, and ploughed it up in dry weather, in may; left it till after wheat sowing, and then cross-ploughed it, and in the spring harrowed it with great ox harrows, and planted it with potatoes; after which two crops of oats, great crops, and then left it for grass. Worth immediately 1l. 2s. 9d. an acre.

A CURRAGH of one hundred acres, that is a wet quaking bog, which will not do for turf, with a long sedgy grass on it. Part of a farm at 30l. a year, Lord Altamont took into his hands, with the consent of the tenant; he drained it to the amount of 30l. at 7d. a perch, five feet deep, and ten feet wide; this simple thing improved it so much, that without any other improvement, he let it to the same tenant, at 70l. a year. Made perfectly sound, so that bullocks of 8cwt. could graze on it.

UPON the whole, Lord Altamont is of opinion, from a variety of experience, that the best method of breaking up heathy mountain land, is by manuring with lime-stone sand, to the thickness of an inch, which at present costs 1l. 11s. 6d. per acre. If sand is not to be had, then the white marle from under moory bottoms; and if there is none of that, then lime. Objects to lime, as it brings the land infallibly to moss, which is so powerful as to choak the grasses, but marle is an excellent manure. To leave it for three years, or till daisies (bellis) and white clover (trifolium repens) appear, then to plough it in may or june, and again in autumn; and in the spring to plant potatoes, in the common trenching way, and after the potatoes, would sow oats successively, till the chickweed (alpine media) appears, which is a sign that the tillage has so enriched the land, that the crops will be too great, and then leave it for grass. This is what he has on experience found to be the best way. If sea weed is plentiful, he would manure the potatoes with it, and then would have the first crop barley instead of oats. A large portion of these mountains are wet, owing to the lack clay, but the potatoe trenches break it, and let off the water; after which the land settles by degrees, and becomes perfectly dry. There are great tracts of many miles extent of heath mountain in this neighbourhood which are capable of the above improvements.

  £. s. d.
To shew what the advantage would be of doing it on a perfect and extensive scale, I shall calculate a square mile of 640 acres, enclosed in 64 divisions, 10 acres each, and the walls would amount to 5760 perches, two miles of road, at 50l. 100 0 0
Lord Altamont has found that his walls of six feet high, two feet and a half wide at bottom, and 16 inches at top, built dry, cost him on an average, 5s. a perch running-measure, of 21 feet, including all expences, 5760 at that rate, 1442 10 0
Forty gates of iron, at 50s. piers, &c. &c. 5l. 200 0 0
Of wood they cost 2l. complete      
Ten-acre divisions would completely clear the land of stones.      
Sanding at 1l. 11s. 6d. an acre 984 0 0
  2726 10 0
Left for three years interest of 10ool. to begin with for that time, at 6l. per cent. 180 0 0
This is an unfair charge; Lord Altamont observed, that the improved value would more than pay it.      
Ten farm-houses, with offices, at 501. Each 500 0 0
Total first improvement 3406 10 0

THE potatoes will pay their own expences and 40s. an acre profit. The crops of oats, on an average, 40s. an acre profit, after paying all their own expences. Lord Altamont could have this price as rent, for liberty to sow them.

  £. s. d.
Profit by potatoes 1280 0 0
Ditto on oats, three crops, at 40s. 3840 0 0
  5120 0 0
Deduct seven years interest at six per cent. on 3400l. 1428 0 0
Neat profit 3692 10 0
Original expence 3406 10 0
Profit 285 10 0
Let, on an average, at 15s. an acre, which is what Lord Altamont is clear is the lowest price it can be reckoned at; it is per ann. 480 0 0

AN income of 480l. is created without expence. This for a landlord: if hired at 2s. an acre, the account will be the same, except the deduction of that for rent. I forgot to observe, that when the heath dies, which it does in three years, then daisies appear, and white clover, which are signs that the land is fit for culture. There is. something very extraordinary in this circumstance, that laying on a powerful manure for cultivated vegetables, should prove poison to the spontaneous growth. It is only to be accounted for by supposing that the heath is nourished by an acid in the soil, which being neutralized by the alcali, is no longer the food of that plant, after which it dies for want of its usual support. It is very remarkable, that all the wild mountains in this country have marks, and to a great height of former culture, mounds of fences, and the ridges of the plough. Lord Altamont's great grandfather found the estate a continued forest; in 1650 these woods were of much more than a century's growth, so that no cultivation could have been here probably of 300 years. There is a tradition in the country that it was depopulated by the plague, and upon that the wood sprung up which formed those forests. At present, there is no wood on any of the hills, except immediately about Westport.

I OBSERVED, besides this great range of mountain improvement, that Lord Altamont prosecutes various parts of husbandry with much spirit. He has been at great expences in introducing the best breed of English cattle. I had no slight pleasure in seeing great composts formed of dung and earth, and sea ore, well mixed together, and then carried into his meadows. Stands were also building for corn stacks, and under them standings for cows or oxen, and vaults for potatoes: they are executed in the most perfect manner. A sort of oat he has introduced into cultivation, a few grains of which he got by accident, cultivated them carefully in drills, and has got a large quantity now. They are of so great a body that he calls them patagonian oats. He favoured me with a few for seed. In introducing the linen manufacture, his Lordship has made great exertions. He found it to consist principally in spinning flax, which was sent out of the country, without any looms in it, except a very few, which worked only for their own use. In order to establish it, he built good houses in the town of Westport, and let them upon very reasonable terms to weavers, gave them looms, and lent them money to buy yarn, and in order to secure them from manufacturing goods, which they should not be able readily to sell, he constantly bought all they could not sell, which for some years was all they made; but, by degrees, as the manufacture arose, buyers came in, so that he has for some time not bought any great quantity. The first year, 1772, he bought as much as cost him 200l. the next year, 1773, 700l. the next, 1774, as much as 2000l. and in 1775, above 4000l. worth : and this year, 1776, the number of buyers having much increased, he will not lay out any more than 4000l. the same as last year. This year he has also given such encouragement as to induce a person to build and establish a bleach-green and mill. The progress of this manufacture has been prodigious, for at first Lord Altamont was the only buyer, whersas for two years past there has not been less than 10,000l. a year laid out at this market in linen; yet with all this increase, they do not yet weave a tenth part of the yarn that is spun in the neighbourhood. The linens made are all coarse, generally 8 to 1100, from 9d. to 1s. 1d. a yard. They are double webs of 42 yards and upwards, and 32 inches wide; and they earn 1s. a day by weaving it, on an average of workmen. It is of 2½ to 3½ hank yarn, and the spinners earn 2½d. to 3½d. a day by spinning it. The price of it has been in five years gradually rising from 4d. to 7d. a hank. All of it is spun of flax raised in the country.

THE poor in general live on potatoes and milk nine months out of the twelve, the other three months bread and milk. All of them have one or two cows; fish is exceedingly plentiful, particularly oysters for 1s. a cart-load, and sand eels, yet they eat none; herrings, however, are an article in their food. In their domestic œconomy, they reckon that the men feed the family with their labour in the field, and the women pay the rent by spinning. The increase of population is very great. Lord Altamont is of opinion that the numbers have doubled on his estate in 20 years.

THE farms around Westport are in general large, from 400 acres to 4 or 5000, all which are stock farms; and the occupiers relet the cultivated lands, with the cabbins, at a very increased rent, to the oppression of the poor, who have a strong aversion to renting of these tierney begs. The soil in general is a cold spewy stoney clay and loam; the best lands in the country are the improved moors. Rents rise from 2s. for heath, to 16s. for good land. Average 8s. about three-fifths of the country unimproved mountains, bog and lake. Great tracts of mountain, but bogs not very extensive. Clara island 2,400 acres, at 300l. a year; Achill 24,000 acres, at 200l. a year; Bofin 100l. a year, and is above 1200 acres. It belongs to Lord Clanrickard. The course of this Country, 1. Potatoes, manured with sea-weed: this is so strong that they depend entirely on it, and will not be at the trouble to carry out their own dunghills. On the shore, towards Joyce's country, they actually let their dunghills accumulate, till they become such a nuisance, that they move their cabbins in order to get from them. A load of weed is worth, at least, six loads of dung. They do not take half what is thrown in. On the shore, open to the Atlantic, there is a leather sort of fucus , which comes in in the spring. The kelp weed grows only where it is sheltered. The coast of Lord Altamont's domain and islands let for 100l a year for making kelp. Courses:

1 Potatoes. 1 Potatoes. 1 Potatoes.
2 Barley. 2 Barley. 2 Barley..
3 Oats. 3 Oats. 3 Oats.
4 Oats. 4 Flax,    

POTATOES they measure by the barrel of 12cwt. and in each barrel 16 pecks of three quarters each. They plant 10 bushels, of 3cwt. each, at the average price of 12s. a barrel, or 1s. per cwt.

  £. s. d.
Manuring with sea weed 1 1 0
Rent 0 8 0
Country cess and parish charges 0 1 0
Seed 1 10 0
Planting, 30 men a day 0 15 0
Shovelling, 10 ditto 0 5 0
Weeding, 3 ditto 0 1 6
Taking up, and carring home, 60 men 1 10 0
Sorting, &c. 3 men 0 1 6
  5 13 0
They will not carry sea weed above a mile; if dung is used, the expence will be 2 2 0
Twenty barrels, or twelve tons, at 12s. 12 0 0
Expences 5 13 0
Profit 6 7 0

A MAN, his wife, and four children, will eat a bushel of 3 cwt. every week: in 39 weeks, therefore they eat 117 cwt. or 5 ton, 17cwt. this if just half an acre for the family. Of oatmeal, the common allowance is a quart of oatmeal a day for a labourer. A mower that is fed is allowed that quantity, and 6 quarts of butter milk a day, or as much bonny clobber. To explain what this is I must observe, that they set the milk three days for the cream to rise, and having then skimmed it, the milk that remains is as thick as blamange, and as sour as vinegar, and this is bonny clobber.

OF barley they sow six pecks, each 21 quarts, and the crop is generally from 20 to 30 fold, or at 25 it is 150 pecks. Of oats they sow a barrel of 24 stone per acre, and they get six such barrels. Of flax they sow 40 gallons, and it will sell in common on the foot at 8l. they find that it enriches the land. No wheat sown but by gentlemen for their own consumption. They burn their corn, instead of threshing it. The grazing system is generally the succession, buying in at year olds, or if the lands are very bad, two year olds, keep them till four year olds, and then sell them lean at Ballinasloe. They give 10s. 6d. to 3l. 10s. for yearlings; average 40s. For two-year olds, they give 3l. They sell for 6l. what they gave 2l. and for those they gave 3l. they will sell at four year old for 6l. They keep but few sheep, but generally buy year old wethers; hoggerills in may, at 8s. to 10s. each, sheer them and turn to the mountains; bring them on to their arable lands in winter, sheer them again the following year, and send them to the mountain again, and in the following summer sheer again, putting them on their best pastures, and selling fat at Ballinasloe, at 15s. or 16s. their fleeces 5lb. at 1s. a pound. There are some dairies, as far as ten or twelve cows, which are employed for butter. Twenty years ago cows were let for 1cwt. of butter for the year, and rearing the calf. Very few swine kept, and of a bad kind. They plough all with horses, four in a plough, directed by a man, walking backwards, who to make them move forward, strikes the beasts in the face. Young colts they harrow with by the tail. Twelve horses are necessary for one hundred acres in tillage! No wonder.

LORD Altamont mentioned descriptive of Mayo husbandry, acts of parliament to prevent their pulling the wool off their sheep by hand; burning their corn; and ploughing by the tail. In hiring and stocking farms, the common computation is, three rents for a grazing one. Land sells at twenty-one and twenty-two years purchase, at rack rent. Rents have fallen within five years, 1s. in the pound; they are at present on a balance, with a tendency to rise. Tythes are compounded in the lump. Leases, three lives, or thirty-one years, also twenty-one years. Much land let to those who re-let. The rents in Mayo are trebled in forty years. No emigrations. Farms are generally let in partnership, but the term Rundale not known. Labour generally done by cottars, who have land let to them, or grass for cows, under agreement to work for the landlord. Provisions, which the poor eat, not risen, but butchers meat doubled. They pluck their geese alive every year. All carriage done by horses with baskets: the bottoms of which fasten with slicks, and let out the load. The industry of the people very much increased; an astonishing change in industry, sobriety, &c. and are in much better circumstances in every respect, than twenty years ago. They have a practice common among them, which shews an increasing civility in the change from Irish names to English ones. Even surnames, for instances Stranaghan , Irish for birds , which they call themselves. Markahau , Irish for a rider , which name they take; Cullane , Irish for a whelp , which name they assume; others call themselves Collins. Conree , Irish for a king, which they call themselves; Ruddery , a knight , and many others. Among Lord Altamont's labourers, is one Mowbray Seymour; his great grandfather was master-worker of the mint at London. There are many Mortimers, Piercys, &c. and within a few years, a Plantagenet, in the county of Sligo. Eagles abound very much in this country, and do great mischief, by carrying away lambs, poultry, &c. they also watch the salmon jumping, and seize them when out of the water, by darting with that celerity, of which they are such masters; this is so common, that men with guns are set to kill and frighten them.

AUGUST 30th, rode to Rosshill, four miles off, a headland that projects into the bay of Newport, from which there is a most beautiful view of the bay on both sides; I counted thirty islands very distinctly, all of them cultivated under corn and potatoes, or pastured by cattle. At a distance, Clara rises in a very bold and picturesque stile; on the left, Crow Patrick, and to the right, other mountains. It is a view that wants nothing but wood.

AUGUST 31st, to Newbrook, over a various country, part waste, and much cultivated. About Castle-Burk, the road crossed a most remarkable stoney natural pavement, regularly surrounded with grass trenches, all on a flat. Passed the ruins of a very fine abbey; reached Holymount, Mr. Lindsay's, a very considerable grazier; about which place, the soil is in general, a stoney clay, from six inches to two feet deep, on lime-stone gravel; it is quite dry sound land, and the stones are lime-stone. Lets from 12s. to 15s. an acre. Farms are very extensive, up to three or four thousand acres, all stock ones, with portions re-let to cottars, who are the principal arable men here. They are in the succession way, buying in year-olds at 40s. keep them till three or fouryear olds, sometimes only keep them two years, they pay about 20s. per annum, on a medium. They are sold, at whatever age, for stores to the graziers in the rich countries. Another system is, to buy in cows in May, at 2l. 12s. 6d. to 3l. and make about 1l. 10s. profit. A cow will take an acre, but there will be an after-grass, worth 5s. an acre, for sheep. The sheep system is breeding and selling three-year old wethers fat, the wool, and the culled ewes, Above half the county bog, mountain, and lake. Folding sheep, I suppose, will come in here, for they have got very near it. They drive their sheep to a spot of grass,, which they let for grass potatoes, at 3l. 10s. to 5l. an acre, doing this at night, till the land is well dunged. The crops are eight tons on an average:

1. Potatoes. 2. Bere, if sanded, 8 to 10 barrels. 3. Bere. 4. Oats, 8 to 10 barrels. 5. Oats, 8 barrels. 6. Oats, 8 barrels. 7. Flax. 8. Wheat. Sand for the bere, if for potatoes the sand does hurt, unless it lies two or three years on the grass. 3 cwt. the barrel of bere, 4 cwt. of wheat.

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

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