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230. The vine in England continued to be cultivated for wine ; but not generally, for the vineyards of the Lords Cobham and Williams of Thames, are pointed out by Barnaby Gooch as eminently productive. It is probable this branch of culture declined with the suppression of the monasteries, and the more general culture of barley; as farmers and others would soon find that good beer was a cheaper and better drink, than any wine that could be made in this country. Though in 1565, in this reign, the potato was introduced from Santa Fé by Capt. Hawkins, yet it did not come into general use, even in gardens, for nearly two centuries afterwards.
231. The principal agricultural authors of Elizabeth's reign are, Tusser, Googe, and Sir Hugh Platt. Thomas Tusser was born at Rivenhall in Essex, in 1527. Having a fine voice, he was impressed for the royal chapel, and sang in St. Paul's, under a celebrated musician. “ Afterwards he was a scholar at Eton, and next a student at Cambridge. He next became, by turns, musician, farmer, grazier, and poet ; but always unsuccessfully, although guilty of neither vice nor extravagance." His Fire Hundred Points of Husbandry was published in 1562, and has been recommended by Lord Molesworth to be taught in schools. (Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and employing the Poor, Dublin, 1723.) It is written in hobbling verse, and contains some useful notices concerning the state of agriculture in different parts of England. Hops, which had been introduced in the early part of the sixteenth century, and on the culture of which a treatise was published in 1574, by Reynolds Scott, are mentioned as a well known crop. Buck-wbeat was sown after barley. It seems to have been the practice then, in some places, to "geld fillies” as well as colts. Hemp and flax are mentioned as common crops. Enclosures must have been numerous in several counties; and there is a very good “ comparison between champion (open fields) country, and severall.” There is nothing to be found in Tusser about serfs or bondmen, as in Fitzherbert's works. (Encyc. Brit., art. Agricul.) 92. The rest writer is Barnaby Googe, a Lincolnshire gentleman, whose Whole Art of Husbandry was printed in 1578. It is, for the most part, made up of gleanings from all the ancient writers of Greece and Rome, whose absurdities are faithfully retained with here and there some description of the practices of the age, in which there is little novelty or importance. Googe mentions a number of English writers vbo lived about the time of Fitzherbert, whose works have not been preserved.
233. Sir Hugk Plata's Jewel Houses of Art and Nature was printed in 1594. It is chiefly a compilation from other writers. The author appears to have been a lawyer of Lincoln's Inn, but he had a seat in Essex, and another in Middlesex, where he spent great part of his time. - The Rev. William Harrison, a contemporary of Platt, and chaplain to Baron Cobham, wrote a description of Britain, and translated Boethius's History of Scotland. In the former work are many valuable hints on the progress of bus. bandry in the early part of the reign of Elizabeth. Among other curious things he asserts that the Spanish, or Merino sheep, was originally derived from England.
234. The seventeenth century is distinguished by some important improvements in agriculture, among which are the introduction of clovers and turnips in England; of hedges in Scotland and Ireland ; and the execution of extensive embankments and drainages. Some useful writers also appeared, especially Norden, Gabriel Plattes, Sir Richard Weston, Hartlib, and Blythe, to whom may be added Evelyn.
235. For the adoption of the clover, as an agricultural plant, we are indebted to Sir Richard Weston, who, in 1645, gives an account of its culture in Flanders, where he says " he saw it cutting near Antwerp, on the 1st of June 1644, being then two feet long, and very thick ; that he saw it cut again on the 29th of the same month, being twenty inches long; and a third time in August, being eighteen inches long." Blythe, in 1653, is copious in his directions for its cultivation ; and Lisle (Obs. on Husbandry), in the beginning of the eighteenth century, speaks of it as commonly cultivated in Hampshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and other counties.
236. Turnips were probably introduced as a field crop by the same patriotic author, though they may probably have been grown in the gardens of the church establishments long before. They are cultivated, he observes, “ for feeding kine in many parts of England ; but there is as much difference between what groweth in Flanders and here, as is between the same thing which groweth in a garden and that which groweth wild in the fields.” It is probable the English turnips he alludes to were rape, which is mentioned by Googe in 1586; but, though Gerarde, in 1597, and Parkinson, in 1629, mention the turnip as a garden Fegetable, yet neither of these authors gives the least hint of their field culture : be that as it may, Ray, in 1686, informs us, that they are sown every where in fields and gardens, both in England and abroad, for the sake of their roots. Lisle also, in 1707, mentions their being common in Norfolk, Hampshire, Berkshire, and various counties. The common story, therefore, that their culture was first introduced by Charles Lord Viscount Townsend, cannot be true; but their culture was probably greatly improved by him, when he retired from public business to Rainham in Norfolk, in 1730.
237. The first notices of sheep being fed on the ground with turnips, is given in Houghton's Collections on Husbandry and Trade, a periodical work begun in 1681. In 1684, Worlidge, one of Houghton's correspondents
, observes, “ sheep fatten very well on turnips, which prove an excellent
nourishment for them in hard winters, when fodder is scarce ;
for they will not only eat the greens, but feed on the roots in the ground, and scoop them hollow even to the very skin. Ten acres," he adds, “ sown with clover, turnips, &c, will feed as many sheep as one hundred acres thereof would before have done.” (Houghton's Collections, vol. iv. p. 142–144.)
238. Potatoes, first introduced in 1565 (230.), were at this time beginning to attract notice. “ The potato,” says Houghton, " is a bacciferous herb, with esculent roots, bearing winged leaves, and a bell flower. This, I have been informned, was brought first out of Virginia by Sir Walter Raleigh; and he stopping at Ireland, some was
30 planted there, where it thrived very well, and to good purpose; for in their succeeding wars, when all the corn above ground was destroyed, this supported them ; for the soldiers, unless they had dug up all the ground where they grew, and almost sifted it, could not extirpate them. From thence they were brought to Lancashire, where they are very numerous, and now they began to spread all the kingdom over. They are a pleasant food, boiled or roasted, and eaten with butter and sugar. There is a sort brought from Spain that are of a longer form (Convolvulus Batatas) (fig. 30.), and are more luscious than ours; they are much set by, and sold for sixpence or eightpence the pound.” (Ib., vol. ii. p. 468.)
239. Embankments were made on the eastward of England, in various places, by the Romans, when in possession of the country, and afterwards by some wealthy religious houses, and by the government. Considerable exertions were made at Boston during the reign of Henry VII., under the direction of Mayhave Hake, a Flemish engineer, and fourteen masons; but the principal effort, as far as respects gaining land for agricultural purposes, was made during the protectorate, by Col. Vermuyden, a Fleming, who served in Cromwell's army. Speaking of this engineer's exertions, Harte observes,“ if my account stands right (and it comes from the best authority extant), our kingdom in the space of a few years, till the year 1651 only, had recovered, or was on the point of recovering, in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, and Kent, 425,000 acres of fens and morasses, which were advanced in general, from half a crown an acre to twenty and thirty shillings. So that, perhaps, few statesmen and generals have better deserved a statue or monument from this country than Vermuyden, the principal undertaker.”
240. The exportation of corn was regulated by various laws, during the sixteenth century; and importation was not restrained even in plenty and cheapness. In 1663 was passed the first statute for levying tolls at turnpikes. Enclosures by consent and by act of parliament began also to be made during this century.
241. The agriculture of Scotland during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries continued to languish, especially upon the estates of the barons, where the profession of a soldier was regarded as of greater importance than that of a cultivator of the ground; but the ecclesiastical lands were considerably improved, and the tenants of them were generally much more comfortably circumstanced than those upon the estates of laymen. The reformation of religion, beneficial as it was in other respects, rather checked than promoted agricultural improvement; because the change of property, which then occurred, occasioned a similar change of tenantry, and almost took husbandry out of the hands of the monks, the only class of people by whom it was practised upon correct principles. The dissolution of the monasteries and other religious houses was also attended with injurious consequences in the first instance; though latterly the greatest benefit has been derived from tithes and church lands having come into the hands of laymen. It is probable, had not these circumstances occurred, that the tithe system would have still remained in force, and Scottish husbandry have continued under a burthen, which sinks and oppresses the cultivator of England and Ireland. But tithes having got into the hands of lay titulars, or impropriators, were in general collected or farmed with such severity as to occasion the most grievous complaints, not only from the tenantry, but also from the numerous class of proprietors, who had not been so fortunate as to procure a share of the general spoil. This, added to the desire shown by the crown to resume the grants made when its power was comparatively feeble, occasioned the celebrated submission to Charles I., which ended in a settlement, that in modern times has proved highly beneficial, not only to the interest of proprietors, but likewise to general improvement. Tithes, in fact, are a burthen, which operate as a tax upon industry, though it was a long time before the beneficial consequences of withdrawing them were fully understood. (Edin. Encyc., art. Agr.)
942. Of the state of agriculture in Scotland during the greater part of the seventeenth century very little is known; no professed treatise on the subject appeared till after the revolution. The south-eastern counties were the earliest improved, and yet, in 1660, their condition seems to have been very wretched. Ray, who made a tour along the eastern coast in that year, says, “ We observed little or no fallow grounds in Scotland; sonne ley ground we saw, which they manured with sea wreck. The men seemed to be Fery lazy, and may be frequently observed to plough in their cloaks. It is the fashion of them to wear cloaks when they go abroad, but especially on Sundays. They have neither good bread, cheese, nor drink. They cannot make them, nor will they learn. Their butter is very indifferent, and one would wonder how they could contrive to make it so bad. They use much pottage made of colewort, which they call kail, sometimes broth of decorticated barley. The ordinary country houses are pitiful cots, built of stone, and covered with turfs, having in them but one room, many of them no chimneys, the windows very small holes, and not glazed. The ground in the valleys and plains bears very good com, but especially bears barley or bigge and oats, but rarely wheat and rye." (Sated Remains of John Ray. Lond. 1760.)
943. It is probatle that no great change had taken place in Scotland from the end of the fifteenth century, except that tenants gradually became possessed of a little stock of their own, instead of having their Larms stocked by the landlord. “ The minority of James V., the reign of Mary Stewart, the infancy of her on, and the civil wars of her grandson Charles I., were all periods of lasting waste.' The very laws sich were made during successive reigns, for protecting the tillers of the soil from spoil, are the best posis of the deplorable state of the husbandman.” (Chalmers's Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 732. ; Encyc. Brit., art sgt.)
244. The accession of James VI. to the crown of England is understood to have been unfarourable to the agricultural interest of Scotland ; inasmuch as the nobles and gentry, being by that event led into great expenses, raised the rents of the tenantry considerably, whilst the very circumstance which occasioned the rise, contributed to lessen the means of the tenant for fulfilling his engagements. Scotland, however, was much benefited by the soldiers of Cromwell, who were chiefly English yeomen, not only well acquainted with husbandry, but, like the Romans at a former period, studious•also to improve and enlighten the nation which they had subdued. The soldiers of Cromwell's army were regularly paid at the rate of eightpence per day, a sum equal at least to the money value of two shillings of our currency; and as this army lay in Scotland for many years, there was a great circulation of money through the country. Perhaps the low country districts were at that time in a higher state of improvement than at any former period. In the counties of Lanark, Renfrew, Ayr, and Kirkcudbright, the rentals of various estates were greater in 1660, than they were seventy years afterwards ; and the causes which brought about a declension in value are ascertained without difficulty. The large fines exacted from country gentlemen and tenants in these counties, during the reign of Charles II. and his brother James, were almost sufficient to impoverish both proprietors and cultivators, had they even been as wealthy as they are at the present day. In addition to those fines, the dreadful imprisonments, and other oppressive measures pursued by those in power, equally contrary to sound policy and to justice and humanity, desolated large tracts, drove the oppressed gentry and many of their wealthy tenants into foreign countries, and extinguished the spirit of industry and improvement in the breasts of those who were left behind.
245. Yet in the seventeenth century were those laws made which paved the way for the present improved system of agriculture in Scotland. By statute 1633, landholders were enabled to have their tithes valued, and to buy them either at nine or at six years' purchase, according to the nature of the property. The statute 1685, conferring on landlords a power to entail their estates, was indeed of a very different tendency, in regard to its effects on agriculture; but the two acts in 1695, for the division of commons, and separation of intermixed properties, have facilitated in an eminent degree the progress of improrernent. (Encyc. Brit., art. Agr.)
246. The literary history of agriculture, during the seventeenth century, is of no great interest till about the middle of that period. For more than fifty years after the appearance of Googe's work, there are no systematic works on husbandry, though several treatises on particular departments of it. From these it is evident, that all the different operations of the farmer were performed with more care and correctness than formerly; that the fallows were better worked; the fields kept free of weeds; and much more attention paid to manures of every kind. A few of the writers of this period deserve to be shortly noticed.
247. Sir John Norden's Surveyor's Dialogue, printed in 1607, is a work of considerable merit.
The first three books of it relate to the rights of the lord of the manor, and the various tenures by which landed property was then held, and the obligations which they imposed : among others, we find the singular custom, so humorously
described in the Spectator, about the incontinent widow riding upon a ram. In the fifth book, there are a good many judicious observations on the oi different natures of grounds, how
they may be employed, how they may be bettered, reformed, and amended.” The famous meadows near Salisbury are mentioned ; and when cattle have fed their fill, hogs, it is pretended, “ are made fat with the remnant, namely, with the knots and sappe of the grasse.” So many extravagant assertions have been made about these meadows by several of our early writers, that we ought to receive their statements with some degree of scepticism, wherever they seem to approach the marvellous. “ Clover grass, or the grass honeysuckle” (white clover), is directed to be sown with other hay-seeds. « Carrot-roots were then raised in several parts of England, and sometimes by farmers." London street-dung and stable-dung were carried to a distance by water; though it appears from later writers to have been got almost for the trouble of removing. And leases of twenty-one years are recommended for persons of small capital, as better than employing it in purchasing land ; an opinion that prevails very generally among our present farmers.
248. Bees seem to have been great favourites with these early writers; and among others, there is a treatise by Butler, a gentleman of Oxford, called the Feminine Monarchie, or the History of Bees, printed in 1609,
full of all manner of quaintness and pedantry. 249. Markham, Mascall, Gabriel Plattes, Weston, and other authors, belonged to this period. In Sir Richard Weston's Discourse on the Husbandry of Brabant and Flanders, published by Hartlib, in 1645, we may mark the dawn of the vast improvements which have since been effected in Britain. This gentleman was ambassador from England to the Elector Palatine and King of Bohemia, in 1619, and had the merit of being the first who introduced the great clover, as it was then called, into English agriculture, about 1645, and probably turnips also. In less than ten years after its introduction, that is, before 1655, the culture of clover, exactly according to the present method, seems to have been well known in England, and had made its way even to Ireland.
250. A great many works on agriculture appeared during the time of the commonwealth, of which Blythe's Improver improved and Hartlib's Legacy are the most valuable. The first edition of the former was published in 1649, and of the latter in 1650; and both of them were enlarged in subsequent editions. In the first edition of the Improver improved, no mention is made of clover, nor in the second of turnips; but, in the third, published in 1662, clover is treated of at some length ; and turnips are recommended as an excellent cattle crop, the culture of which should be extended from the kitchen-garden to the field. Sir Richard Weston must have cultivated turnips before this ; for Blythe says, that “ Sir Richard affirmed to himself, he did feed his swine with them; they were first given boiled, but afterwards the swine came to eat them raw," and “ would run after the carts and pull them forth as they gathered them;" an expression which conveys an idea of their being cultivated in the fields.
251. Blythe's book is the first systematic work in which there are some traces of the convertible kusbandry, so beneficially established since, by interposing clover and turnip between culmiferous crops. He is a great enemy to commons and common fields; and to retaining land in old pasture, unless it be of the best quality. His description of different kinds of ploughs is interesting; and he justly recommends such as were drawn by two horses (some even by one horse), in preference to the weighty clumsy machines which required four horses or oxen, or more. Almost all the manures now used seem to have been then well known; and he brought lime himself from a distance of twenty miles. He speaks of an instrument which ploughed, sowed, and harrowed at the same time, and the setting of corn was then a subject of much discussion. “ It was not many years," says Blythe, “ since the famous city of London petitioned the parliament of England against two anusancies or offensive commodities, which were likely to come into great use and esteem; and that was Newcastle coal, in regard of their stench, &c.; and hops, in regard they would spoyle the taste of drinck, and endanger the people !".
252. Hartlib's Legacy is a very heterogeneous performance, containing among some very judicious directions, a great deal of rash speculation. Several of the deficiencies which the writer (R. Child) complains of in English agriculture, must be placed to the account of our climate, and never have been nor can be supplied.
253. Houghton's valuable Collections of Husbandry have been already mentioned. (237.)
254. Worlidge's Systèma Agriculture was published in 1668 ; it treats of improvements in general, of enclosing meadows and pastures, and of watering and draining them, of clovers, vetches, spurry, Wiltshire long-grass (probably that of the meadows of Salisbury), hemp, flax, rape, turnips, &c. A Persian wheel was made by his direction in Wiltshire, in 1665, that carried water in good quantity above twenty feet high, for watering meadows, and another near Godalming in Surrey. Sowing clover and other seeds preserved the cattle in the fatal winter of 1673, in the southern parts of England; whereas in the western and northern, through defect of hay and pasture, the greater part of their cattle perished. Hops enough were not planted, but we imported them from the Netherlands of a quality not so good as our own. The authors he chiefly quotes are Weston, Hartlib, and Blythe.
255. Among other writers of this century may be mentioned Bacon, who, in his natural history, has some curious observations on agriculture; Ray, the botanist, whose works are rich in facts; and Evelyn, a great encourager of all manner of improvements, as well as a useful writer on planting.
256. Some of the works of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are now very scarce,
and most of them little known to agriculturists of the present day. In almost all of
957. The general history of the old Ultra-European countries, during this period, is not known with sufficient precision and detail, to enable us to give a progressive account of their agriculture. There is no evidence of any improvement having been made in the agriculture of the Indian and Chinese nations, from the earliest period of their known history to the present time. The agriculture of Persia, of the African shores of the Mediterranean sea, and of all the countries under the Turks, seems, if any change has taken place, rather to have declined than advanced during the latter centuries of the
258. The history of the new Ultra-European countries of America and Australasia, only dates its commencement (with the exception of part of America) from the latter end of the period under notice, and therefore cannot furnish sufficient materials for any useful acount of their agriculture. Under these circumstances we think it better to defer an account of the origin and progress of Ultra-European agriculture till the succeeding Chapter, where it will precede some account of its present state. We have adopted the same plan with respect to the agriculture of some of the northern European nations, as Russia and Sweden, and also with regard to that of Spain and Ireland..
Present State of Agriculture in Europe. 259. Agriculture began to be studied, as a science, in the principal countries of Europe, about the middle of the 16th century. The works of Crescenzio in Italy, Olivier de Serres in France, Heresbach in Germany, Herrera in Spain, and Fitzherbert in England, all published about that period, supplied the materials of study, and led to improved practices among the reading agriculturists. The art received a second impulse in the middle of the century following, after the general peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. Then, as Harte bas observed (Essays, i. p. 62.), “ almost all the European nations, by a sort of tacit consent, applied themselves to the study of agriculture, and continued to do so, more or less, even amidst the universal confusion that soon succeeded.” During the 18th century, the march of agriculture has been progressive throughout Europe, with little exception ; and it has attained to a very considerable degree of perfection, in some districts of Italy, in the Netherlands, and in Great Britain. în Spain it has been least improved, and it is still in a very backward state in most parts of Hungary, Poland, and Russia. We shall, in the following sections, give such notices of the agriculture of these and the other countries of Europe, as we have been enabled to glean from the very scanty materials which exist on the subject. Had these been more abundant, this part of our work would have been much more instructive. The past state of agriculture can do little more than gratify the curiosity, but its present state is calculated both to excite our curiosity and affect our interests. Independently of the political relations which may be established by a free trade in corn, there is probably no European country that does not possess some animal or vegetable production, or pursue some mode of culture or management, that might not be beneficially introduced into Britain ; but, with the exception of Flanders and some parts of France and Italy, there are as yet no sufficient data for cotaining the necessary details.
Sect. I. Of the present State of Agriculture in Italy. 260. Italy is the most interesting country of Europe in respect to its rural economy. Its climate, soils, rivers, and surface are so various, as to have given rise to a greater variety of culture than is to be found throughout the rest of Europe ; while the number of govertiments and petty states into which it is divided, has occasioned an almost equally great variety in the tenure of land, and the political circumstances which affect the cul tivator. The great advantage which Italy possesses over the rest of Europe, in an agricultural point of view, is its climate ; for though, as the learned Sismondi has shown (Annals of Agric., vol. i.), it is, in point of health and agreeableness, one of the worst in the