Picture of Arthur Young

Arthur Young

places mentioned

11th to 20th August 1776: Donegal, Fermanagh and Cavan

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AUGUST 11th left Mount Charles, and passing through Donnegal, took the road to Ballyshannon; came presently to several beautiful landscapes, swelling hills, cultivated with the bay flowing up among them: they want nothing but more wood, and are beautiful without it. Afterwards likewise to the left, they rise in various outlines, and die away insensibly into one another. When the road leads to a full view of the bay of Donnegal, these smiling spots, above which the proud mountains rear their heads, are numerous, the hillocks of almost regular circular forms; they are very pleasing, from form, verdure, and the water breaking in their vales.

BEFORE I got to Ballyshannon, remarked a bleach green, which indicates weaving in the neighbourhood. Viewed the salmon-leap at that place, which is let for 400l. a year. The scenery of it is very beautiful; it is a fine fall, and the coast of the river very bold, consisting of perpendicular rocks, with grass of a beautiful verdure to the very edge, projects in little promontories, which grow longer as they approach the sea, and open to give a fine view of the ocean. Before the fall in the middle of the river is a rocky island, on which is a curing house, instead of the turret of a ruined castle, for which it seems formed. The town prettily situated on the rising ground on each side the river.—To Sir James Caldwell's; crossing the bridge, stopped for a view of the river, which is a very fine one, and was delighted to see the salmon jump, to me an unusual sight: the water was perfectly alive with them. Rising the hill, look back on the town; the situation beautiful; the river presents a noble view. Come to Belleek, a little village, with one of the finest waterfalls I remember anywhere to have seen; viewed it from the bridge. The river in a very broad sheet comes from behind some wood, and breaks over a bed of rocks, not perpendicular but shelving, in various directions, and foams away under the arches; after which it grows more silent, and gives a beautiful bend under a rock, crowned by a fine bank of wood. Reached Castle Caldwell at night, where Sir James Caldwell received me with a politeness and cordiality that will make me long remember it with pleasure.

AUGUST 12th. The following account of the husbandry around Castle Caldwell, Sir James favoured me with. The soil in the vale to Belleek is a yellow clay, 1 to 2 spit deep on a limestone rock, the whole interspersed with bog and morass. Large tracts uncultivated. Rents vary from 15s. to 20s. an acre cultivated, but mountain and mountain sides are not measured; wherever the plough goes, will yield 7s. at the lowest. In the mountains they pay but 3s. for the summer food of a cow; and for a horse 4s. 6d. The county of Fermanagh may be divided into 6 parts; one-sixth the lake at no rent. Mountains and bogs two sixths, the rest of the county at 12s.

THE course of crops is; 1. Potatoes. 2. Potatoes. 3. Barley or flax. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Lay out for grass. Wherever there are spots of meadow they are mown. Great numbers of farms are taken in partnership in rundale; indeed the general course is so, upon a farm of 100 acres, there will be 4, 5, or 6 families; but families will take such small spots as 5 or 6 acres. . Farms in general rise from 5 acres to 3 or 400; but all the large ones are stock farms; in general none so high as twenty: all in rundale , partnership or stock. Many of the latter part mountain, part arable, and these are the only farms of substance in the country. One of 80l. a year will require 4 or 500l. to stock it. These farmers buy year olds every year, and every year sells as many four year olds; he gives 30s. each, and sells at 5l. 10s. or 6l. and this he reckons a reasonable profit. Also 3 and 2 year old heifers that have missed the bull, keep them through the winter, and sell them in may, with 18s. to 20s. for wintering them on coarse grass without any fodder. In summer they feed on mountain. Those who buy the mist heifers are farmers in Monaghan and Cavan, on coarse farms, who turn them on the mountains, give them the bull, and sell them out in the spring to the weaving farmers in the linen country, who change their stock.

THE measures here are pecks and barrels; the weight of the peck of potatoes in Ballyshannon is 5 stone, 4lb. and 10 pecks, make a barrel: in the country they give 6 stones. The acre the plantation measure. Of potatoes, which they set all in the trenching way, they plant 4 barrels an acre, and get on an average 7 or 8 for one, that is, 32 barrels an acre. The price 8s. a barrel on a medium, or 12l. 16s. an acre; but it is obvious that this peck is a measure of their own. They manure generally for them with dung; but often with lime and bog mud mixed, and burnt clay, which they find does very well. In the county of Tyrone, towards Ardmagh and Dungannon, they will bring lime-stone 14 or 15 miles, burn it, and sprinkle their potatoe land with it to prevent the black rot. Rent of Tyrone on an average 7s.

OF barley they sow 20 stone; the barrel of barley is 25 stone, and of malt 20. An acre on an average will yield 10 barrels, at 16 stone. Of oats they sow a barrel, at 20 stone, and get 8 for one. Of bere they sow the same, and get 9 barrels; barley sells better than bere generally; for flax they plough once on potatoe land. The expence of an acre they reckon.

PRICE of lime at the kiln 6d. a barrel. Sir James Caldwell has his stone quarried, carried, broke and burnt, and drawn 100 yards, for 4d. a barrel labour; six score horse loads of turf cost 4s. cutting and saving, and leading by water, costs 5s. more, which 6 score loads will burn at the rate of a load and a half a barrel. They plough all with horses, 2 or 3 abreast.

LAND sells, at rack rent, at 20 to 24 years purchase: has not fallen. Rents are fallen in 5 or 6 years 2s. an acre. There is a great deal of letting lands in the gross to middle men, who relet it to others; these middle men are called terny begs , or little landlords , which prevail very much at present. They make a great profit by this practice. The people in all the neighbourhood increase very fast. They are all in general much more industrious, and in better circumstances than they were some years ago. Their food, for three fourths of the year, chiefly potatoes and milk, and the other quarter oatmeal: in the winter they have herrings. They have all a bellyful of food whatever it is, as they told me themselves; and their children eat potatoes all day long, even those of a year old will be roasting them. All keep cows, and some cocks and hens, but no turkies or geese. Six people; a man, his wife, and four children, will eat 18 stone of potatoes a week, or 252lb. but 40lb. of oatmeal will serve them. Rent of a cabbin, garden, and one acre, 20s. a cow's grass 30s. a cow requires one acre and a half for summer; and they buy a little hay for winter, and give the cow small potatoes and cabbage-leaves, &c.

THE common people are remarkably given to thieving, particularly grass, timber, and turf, and they bring up their children to hoking potatoes, that is, artfully raising them, taking out the best roots, and then replanting them, so that the owner is perfectly deceived when he takes up the crop. A poor man's turf from 15s. to 20s. Living is exceedingly cheap here, besides the common provisions, which I have every where registered, wild ducks are only 3d. and powder and shot: plover 1½d. and ditto: woodcocks 1d. and ditto: snipes 1½d. and ditto: teal 2d. and ditto; and widgeon the same: salmon 1½d. a lb. trout, perch, pike, and bream, so plentiful as to have no price. Sir James Caldwell has taken 17cwt. of fish, bream and pike, in one day: cod 3s. a dozen: whiting from 8d. to 1s. a dozen: herrings from 3d. to 9d. per 100: lobsters from 3s. 6d. to 4s. a dozen : oysters 6d. to 20d. a 100: eels 2s. a dozen: crabs 1s. to 2s. adozen: wages, 6l. dairy-maids and others, 4l. There is very little weaving in this country, except what is for their own use, but spinning is universal in all the cabbins. They receive for spinning spangle yarn, or four hanks, 1s. 2d. a spangle, and they will spin it in four days. Country servants are hired at 3l. a year, who engage to do the work of the house, and spin a hank, that is a dozen a day, there are 12 cuts to the dozen.

IN the mountain tracts, the rents are paid by yarn, young cattle, and a little butter. They spin a good deal of wool, which they make into druggets, the warp of tow-yarn, and the weft of wool. The particulars of 34 of Sir James's labourers gave an average of 3½ cows per man, and 6 souls per cabbin.

NOTHING can be more beautiful than the approach to Castle Caldwell; the promontories of thick wood, which shoot into Loch Earne, under the shade of a great ridge of mountains, have the finest effect imaginable: as soon as you are through the gates, turn to the left, about 200 yards to the edge of the hill, where the whole domain lies beneath the point of view. It is a promontory, three miles long, projecting into the lake, a beautiful assemblage of wood and lawn, one end a thick shade, the other grass, scattered with trees, and finishing with wood. A bay of the lake breaks into the eastern end, where it is perfectly wooded: there are six or seven islands, among them that of Bow three miles long, and one an half broad, yet they leave a noble sweep of water, bounded by the great range of the Turaw mountains. To the right, the lake takes the appearance of a fine river, with two large islands in it, the whole unites to form one of the most glorious scenes I ever beheld. Rode to the little hill above Michael Macguire's cabbin; here the two great promontories of wood join in one, but open in the middle, and give a view of the lake, quite surrounded with wood, as if a distinct water; beyond are the islands, scattered over its face, nor can any thing be more picturesque than the bright silver surface of the water breaking through the dark shades of wood. Around the point on which we stood, the ground is rough and rocky, wild and various, forming no bad contrast to the brilliant scenery in view. Crossing some of this undressed ground, we came to a point of a hill, above Paddy Macguire's cabbin ; here the lake presents great sheets of water, breaking beyond the woody promontories and islands. At the bottom of the declivity, at your feet, is a creek, and beyond it the lands of the domain, scattered with noble woods, that rise immediately from the water's edge; the house, almost obscured among the trees, seems a fit retreat from every care and anxiety of the world: a little beyond it the lawn, which is in front, shews its lively green among the deeper shades, and over the neck of land, which joins it to the promontory of wood, called Ross a goul , the lake seems to form a beautiful wood-locked bason, stretching its silver surface behind the stems of the single trees; beyond the whole, the rocks of Turaw, give a magnificent finishing. Near you, on every side, is wild tossed-about ground, which adds very much to the variety of the scene. From hence we passed to the hill in the park, from whence the scenery is different; here you see a short promontory of wood, which projects into a bay, formed by two others considerably more extensive, that is Ross a goul and Rossmoor east. The lake stretches away in vast reaches, and between numerous islands, almost as far as the eye can command. In the great creek, to the right, which flows up under the mountain of Turaw, are two beautiful islands, scattered with trees, which give the most agreeable variety.

IN another ride, Sir James gave me a view of that part of his domain which forms the neck of Rossmoor; coasted it, and crossed the hills; nothing can exhibit scenes of greater variety or more beauty. The islands on every side are of a different character; some are knots or tufts of wood, others shrubby. Here are single rocks, and there fine hills of lawn, which rise boldly from the water; the promontories form equal distinctions; some are of thick woods, which yield the darkest shade, others open groves, but every where the coast is high, and yields pleasing landscapes. From the east point of Rossmoor, the scenery is truly delicious. The point of view is a high land of wood, lawn, &c. which projects so far into the lake as to give a double view of it of great extent. You look down a declivity on the lake which flows at your feet, and full in front is the wood of Ross a goul , at the extreme point of which is the temple: this wood is a deep shade, and has an admirable effect. At the other end it joins another wood, in which the lawn opens beautifully among the scattered trees, and just admits a partial view of the house; carrying your eye a little more to the left, you see three other necks of wood, which stretch into the lake, generally giving a deep made, but here and there admitting the water behind the stems and through the branches of the trees; all this bounded by cultivated hills, and those backed by distant mountains. Here are no objects which you do not command distinctly: none that do not add to the beauty of the scene, and the whole forming a landscape rich in the assemblage of all its parts. The other reach of the lake varying under Rossmoor is a different scene, bounded by the mountains and rocks of Turaw: to the right these reaches join the lake, which opens a fine expanse of water spotted with islands. It is upon the whole a striking scene. Little of the sublime, but the very range of beauty, gaiety and pleasure, are the characters of the spot; nature makes no efforts here but those to please; the parts are of extreme variety, yet in perfect unison with each other. Even the rocks of Turaw have a mildness in their aspect, and do not break the general effect by abrupt or rugged projections. It was with regret I turned my back on this charming scene, the most beautiful at Castle Caldwell, and the most pleasing I have any where seen. Rode round Ross a goul , the promontory in front of the house, from which the views are exceedingly beautiful, commanding a noble hanging wood on the banks of Rossmoor, and the woody necks that stretch from the land beyond the house, with several islands. On the point, Sir James has built an octagon temple, which takes in several views that are exceedingly pleasing; this neck of land is a wood of 40 acres, and a more agreeable circumstance so near a mansion can scarcely be imagined.

TAKE my leave of Castle Caldwell, and with colours flying, and his band of music playing, go on board his six-oared barge for Inniskilling; the heavens were favourable, and a clear sky and bright sun, gave me the beauties of the lake in all their splendor. Pass.the scenes I have described, which from the boat take a fresh variety, and in all pleasing.

EAGLE island first salutes us, a woody knole. Others pass in review; among the rest, Herring island, noted for the wreck of a herring-boat, and the drowning of a fidler; but the boatmen love herrings better than music, and gave their name to the isle, rather than that of the son of Apollo. Innisnakil is all wood. Rabbit island 40 acres of pasture, which rises bold from the water. Innismac Saint also 40 acres of grass. Then comes a cluster of woody islands, which rise in perfect hills from the water's edge, the wood dipping in the lake, and they are so numerous that the lake is cut by them into winding straits, more beautiful than can be thought. The reader may imagine how exquisite the view must be, of numerous hills of dark and complete wood, which rise boldly from so noble a sheet of water: they form a most singular scene. Wherever the shore is seen, it is rising land; in some places woods, in others cultivated hills. Passing these sylvan glories, we come next to the Gully island, all of wood, 100 acres: much of it bold rising land, and the oak dips in the water. What a spot to build on, and form a retreat from the business and anxiety of the world! Nature here is blooming. It is in the midst of a region where one would think she has almost exhausted herself in producing scenes of rural elegance. It belongs to Lord Ely; I envy him the possession. The only thing it yields its owner is a periodical profit from cutting its beautiful woods. Shelter, prospect, wood and water, are here in perfection; what more can be wished for in a retreat, if an unambitious mind gilds the scene with what neither wood nor water can give — content? The sacrilegious axe has desolated three parts in four of its noble covering; and it will be 15 years before the rough ground and naked stubs are again cloathed.

PASS the hanging grounds of Castle Hume Saint; some of them very beautifully crowned with wood, and the opposite coast of the lake, wood and cultivation. Car and Ferny islands bold lands cut into fields of corn give a fresh variety, and the woods of Castle Hume Saint surround a bay to the right, at the bottom of which is the Castle half hidden with trees. It opens, however, to the view soon after, and accompanied on each side by a fine wood, and the surrounding ground various. The lake then takes the form of a bay, between some pretty cultivated slopes on one side, and Devenish island on the other, with its tower full in view. Advancing, the coast on the right is cultivated, divided into inclosures by hedges, and the waving hills rising one beyond another in a various and pleasing manner; the opposite shore is the same, but the view more distant. The island of Devenish is part of it very rich land; the poor people pay 51. an acre for the old grass for one crop of potatoes. About Ballyshannon it is 3l. or 4l. per acre. The barley on the island after the potatoes is exceedingly fine. When you come abreast of the round tower, look backwards to the right, the scenery is very beautiful, the wood at the extremity, the waving hills under grass and corn, which spread over this whole coast, form the front view, and unite with the lake to make a most pleasing landscape. Landed at Inniskilling, and that evening reached Castle Cool, the seat of A. Lowry Corry, Esq; who was absent in the county of Tyrone, but Mrs. Corry was so obliging as to procure me the information Iwished.

AUGUST 15th, rode to the Topped Mountain, from whence is an immense prospect of many counties, and commanding Loch Earne from one end to the other, in length above 40 miles; the great sheet is towards Castle Caldwell; that to Belturbet is so thickly strewed with islands, that the water has more the appearance of several woods. Around Inniskilling, &c. land lets on an average at 10s. to 12s. an acre that is cultivated, but there is some mountain and bog that lets for little or nothing. Farms are various, many small ones of a few acres, but the most common size is 40 to 70 acres, with some large stock ones of 2 or 300l. a year: the soil is principally a wet tenacious clay. The system of these stock farms is to keep cattle of various ages, from year-olds to fat ones of five years, according to the quality of the land: they keep but few sheep. Weaving is but just coming in, but increases much; the spinning is common all over the county in every cabbin, by the women and girls: they do not quite raise flax enough to supply their own demand.

THE course of crops most general: 1. Potatoes. 2. Barley. 3. Oats. 4. Flax. 5. Laid out for grass. Farms very much taken in the rundale way by partnership.

THE people increase very fast in this neighbourhood, and are in better circumstances than they were some years ago. Some live on potatoes and milk, for all keep cows, and they eat some fresh meat. The number of little farmers who are supported by their farms alone, is considerable, from whence it is plain that linen has not taken deep root. There are two bleach greens within seven miles, and all they bleach is made in the country. A woman will earn 4d. a day by spinning, and do something in the family besides. The manure principally used is lime, which on an average costs them about 8d. a barrel, and they lay 80 and upwards per acre.

AUGUST 15th, to Belleisle, the charming seat of the Earl of Ross, It is an island in Loch Earne of 200 Irish acres, every part of it hill, dale, and gentle declivities; it has a great deal of wood, much of which is old, and forms both deep shades, and open, chearful groves. The trees hang on the slopes, and consequently shew themselves to the best advantage. All this is exceedingly pretty, but it is rendered trebly so by the situation: a reach of the lake passes before the house, which is situated near the banks among some fine woods, which give both beauty and shelter. This sheet of water, which is three miles over, is bounded in front by an island of thick wood, and by a bold circular hill, which is his Lordship's deer park, and is itself backed by a considerable mountain. To the right are four or five fine clumps of dark wood; so many islands, which rise boldly from the lake, that the water breaks in straits between them, and forms a scene extremely picturesque. On the other side the lake stretches behind wood, and forms Belleisle. Lord Ross has made walks round the island, from which there is a considerable variety of prospect. A temple is built on a gerttle hill, commanding the view of the wooded islands above-mentioned; but the most pleasing prospect of them is coming out from the grotto: they appear in an uncommon beauty; two seem to join, and the water which flows between takes the appearance of a fine bay, projecting deep into a dark wood: nothing can be more beautiful. The park hill rises above them, and the whole is backed with mountains. The home scene at your feet also is pretty; a lawn scattered with trees that forms the margin of the lake, closing gradually in a thick wood of tall trees, above the tops of which is a distant view of Cultiegh mountain, which is there seen in its proudest solemnity.

To Lord Ross's very obliging attention I am indebted for the following particulars:—Rents about Belleisle are upon an average 10s. an acre for grass and arable, but mountain sides are set by the lump, according to the number of cattle they feed. The soil is all blue clay. Farms are generally 50l. or 60l. a year; where there are weavers they are very small, but the number does not exceed a twentieth of the whole. They, however, increase fast; they have doubled their number in 10 years. Seventeen years ago, there not being a bleach mill, Lord Ross erected one; after which more were built, but in the whole county not more than ten. Average rent of cultivated land in Fermanagh, 10s. Course, 1. Potatoes, 2. Barley, 3. Oats, 4. Oats, 5. Oats. 6. Laid out six or seven years. 1. Potatoes, 2. Barley, 3. Oats, 4. Flax, 5. Laid out, some sow grass seeds. Potatoes yield 20 barrels an acre; each 4 bushels; they plant two and an half to an acre; the price from 2s. 6d. to 20s. generally 10s. on stiff land, two crops of potatoes, but not on light. Barley yields from 10 to 15 barrels; oats from 6 to 10 barrels, but sometimes not 5.

THE linen wove here, is from 6 to 1800, but in general 1200. A woman spins one hank, for which she has three halfpence and board, if no board, fourpence; the length of the webs vary, some ten yards, but in general double ones of fifty yards; it takes two hanks of yarn to every yard of the web; the weavers have five-pence a yard for weaving it, and they will do three yards a day; they sell it at monthly markets. They breed up their sons more and more to weaving, as it increases much, and these people pay their rents by it, but they send off much more yarn than they weave.

THE food of the poor is potatoes, butter-milk, and oat bread. They all keep cows and pigs. Most of the country is under grazing, some of which farms rise to 500l. a year. They generally buy in year old calves, for which they give, on an average, 1l. 1s. to 1l. 5s. and keep them till they are four years old, and sell them lean to the graziers of other countries, who have land that will fatten: sell. them from 5l. to 6l. a bullock; thus, every year, they buy in, and sell out a stock. Upon a farm in the neighbourhood, of 350l. a year, besides horses, cows, and sheep, the farmer sells one hundred bullocks every year. Many cows are fattened, bought in in may, at 2l. 10s. to 5l. and sold out in november, at 1l. 11s. 6d. profit, and a good acre will carry one of them, but in general it will take more. No dairies. Some sheep are kept, the lambs sold, at three and four months old; at 5s. to 10s. 6d. each, 7s. or 8s. in general; the wool of the ewe, 4s. 4d. Some buy two or three year old wethers, for fattening, in june, at 15s. and sell them fat in march or april following, at 1l. 1s. to 1l. 6s. Breeding ewes reckoned the most profitable, unless the land is very good. In moory land, they use lime for manuring, at 7d. a barrel, but if the farmer burns it himself, and has the stone convenient, it is done for 3d. with turf. A good deal of hollow draining, filled with stones, some with sods, but done only by gentlemen. Much corn, &c. by poor people, put in with spades, which they call loys , because they have no horses, and one acre of oats dug, is worth one and a half ploughed; some do it on this account, though they have horses.

LORD Ross has generally a small field of turnips and cabbages for feeding sheep in the winter; finds that cabbages are much the best, and last the longest.

AUGUST 17th, rowed to Knockinny, the deer park, three miles across the lake, through a maze of woody islands. Land on Lady Ross's, of 40 acres, in which she has cut walks leading through a great variety of ground; in some places through open groves of large trees, in others close dark wood; through lawns and rough ground, from some of which there are various views of the lake, and from others it is so perfectly excluded, that one would not think water was so near. There is a cabbin for a poultryman, a covered bench, and a spot marked out for a cottage. As the boat approached Knockinny, a pretty bay opened upon us, round which, on one side, is a projecting point of wood, and on the other, the hill of Knockinny, with the wood rising up its side, uniting with that of the point to form one mass. From the hill the view is very fine; you look down on 11 or 12 wooded islands scattered over the lake, with others cultivated, and the country rising around it. Belleisle appears to stand in the midst of a very large wood. The fish, in this part of the lake, are perch, pike to 40 lb. trout, eels, bream, &c. It is extraordinary that perch should appear in all the lakes of Ireland and in the Shannon at the same time, which was about 17 years ago. Large flights of swans sometimes appear here in winter, and are sure signs of a severe one.

REACHED Florence Court, Lord Inniskilling's seat, situated on an eminence under a great ridge of mountains. That nobleman procured me, with the politest attention, the following particulars.

THE soil in general is a thin surface, 4 to 8 inches of stoney mould, under that a tough yellow clay of 14 to 18 inches, and under that a purple lime stone gravelly clay, a good manure for tillage, but bad for grass. Lets on an average at 10s. an acre the new leases; but if there is bog or mountain, it is thrown in at that rent. Mountain sides of dry lime-stone soil will let at 6s. heathy ones thrown in. About Inniskilling, Lord Inniskilling has a considerable property; and heathy mountain within two miles of the town lets at 9s. The town parks from 40s. to 3l. 3s. The cultivated land, not town parks, from 12s. to 20s. In respect to the advance of rents, it will best appear by inserting the totals of some of Lord Inniskilling's farms, at old and new rents, in various soils and situations at Florence Court, Inniskilling, near Swadling-bar, and Ballyshannon. Fifty-three farms, containing 11,000 acres; the old rent 981l. the new, 3807l. The extremes of date were from 1730 to 1770, or 40 years; the average of the period would be 20 years; but we may safely say that in 30 years the rent is quadrupled. The courses of crops;

1. Potatoes; 2. Potatoes, reversing the lands. 3. Oats. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Lay out for weeds, &c.

1. Potatoes. 2. Potatoes. 3. Oats. 4. Oats. 5. Flax. 6. Oats. 7. Lay it down.

1. Potatoes. 2. Potatoes. 3. Barley. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Lay it out.

TILLAGE farms rise from nine acres subdivided, to large tracts in grazing ones. The manures are marle, limestone. gravel, lime, bog, and sod ashes: the marle is white and light, found under bogs, and in banks; that in the banks, about Florence Court, is upon clay, or gravel with springs under it, which makes the marle run into forms like cinders, petrified, and of a reddish cast, as if from vitriolic acid. The whole country abounds with sulphureous, and other mineral springs. Very little of this marle used; they use the lime-stone gravelly clay most, which gives them very good crops. The expence of lime, carriage included, is 8d. a barrel stacked; they lay sixty barrels an acre. They burn their mountain land, lime, and marle it, and set potatoes. In the year 1774, tbere were claimants for the Dublin Society's premiums, for 174 acres of bog reclaimed, and 120 of mountain. In 1773, 38 moor, and 120 bog. No draining done by the farmers, but much by the gentlemen.

POTATOES they plant all on lays; plant four barrels per acre, each barrel 6 cwt. they are measured by the peck, so piled up as to weigh 3 stone each: the price from 5s. to 16s. the barrel; average, 8s. No hiring of land merely for planting potatoes, but the farmers will let the cottars take a crop, if they dung. The produce, on an average, will be 32 barrels: thirty-two men will set an acre a day, with five children: when the potatoes appear, they shovel the furrows, which four men will do in a day: eight men will weed an acre in a day, and sixty-four men take them up.

  £. s. d.
Rent 0 10 0
County cess 0 0 4
Four barrels of seed 1 12 0
Planting, 32 men, at 8d. ditto, five children, at 5d. 1 3 5
Shoveling, four men, 8d. 0 2 8
Weeding, eight men, 8d. 0 5 4
Taking up, sixty-four men, 8d. 2 2 8
Sorting and picking, sixteen men, at 8d. 0 10 8
Drawing home, seven horses 0 7 0
Manuring, 200 loads, at 1d. 0 16 8      
Drawing, four cars, 4 men, and 4 boys, 0 6 8 1 3 4
7 17 5
Thirty-two barrels, at 8s. 12 16 0
Expences 7 17 5
4 18 7
Of oats, they sow two barrels an acre, and some more, and the crop twelve barrels. Of barley, they sow five bushels an acre, each eight gallons, the crop eight barrels. Much stubble, and potatoe land, in wet soils, are dug for corn, and it takes eighteen men to dig an acre a day. Much flax is sown, both on the land by its owner, and hired by cottars, who have no land fit for it; they hire a peck sowing, at two bushels and a half, or 2l. 14s. 2d. but the land is ploughed and harrowed into the bargain.

THEY spin all the flax they raise into three to five-hank yarn, on an average four. Many servants are hired for spinning, at 12s. a quarter, who do the business of the house, and spin a hank a day; if they do it for pay, it is 3d. a hank. A stone spins into 64 hanks; and when they have done it, it is sold at the markets and fairs: the tow they spin into two-hank yarn, which is wove into seven-hundred cloth, for home consumption. The weavers earn on an average, 10d. a day. Many cows are kept, and much butter made by every little farmer, which they put into tubs of 1? cwt. and if one has not cows enough to make it, they join. Two cows will rear two calves, feed the family, and make a tub, which sells for 40s. per cwt. on an average, or 2l. 10s. the two cows; a cow requires two acres for her summer food, or if they have it, more, and her winter's hay, 10s. A good cow, if no milk is taken, will make 7lb. of butter a week; a middling one, four pounds and a half, and she will give twelve quarts a day. Many pigs kept, but no proportion observed to the number of cows; which are kept in the house at night in winter, but out all day. The calves suck the cows three months before weaning; many do not suck at all, but are weaned in a few days. The management of the grazing farmers, is to buy in year olds, at 20s. on an average, keep them till they four years old, and sell them from 4l. to 10l. Some of these farmers occupy very large farms, even to 1000l. or 1500l. a year, but these are rare. Some buy in at three years old, and sell out at four; some at four, and sell at five; some at yearlings, and sell out at three, according to their lands. The common farmers buy in mist heifers, in november, and sell them in may, when they buy dry cows, which they sell fat in november, and make on the fattening 30s. a head, and on the mist heifers 16s. on an average. The little farmers that have lands fit for sheep, keep a few for cloathing their families, very many of them spinning wool enough, and weaving it for their own cloaths, petticoats, blankets, &c. also stuffs for the women. The girls are seen in summer in their striped linens and whites of their own making, and in winter in their woollen stuffs. They clip from an ewe, about 3lb. on an average.

GOATS were so common that every person had them from the ease of keeping, as they brouse only on bushes, and 20 were not reckoned a sum. This term should be explained, it implies a portion of land sufficient for a given stock; for instance, keeping a cow is a sum; a horse a sum and an half; 8 sheep; 6 ewes and 6 lambs; 3 year olds; a 2 year old, and a year old ; a 3 year old; 20 geese; a barrel of potatoes setting; a peck of flax sowing; a barrel of corn sowing; and a cow's grass; all these are sums. They plough all with horses, except gentlemen, 3 abreast, and do half an acre a day. Drawing by the tail not done these 7 years. The price per acre 10s. Of digging by the acre 12s. and the crop 10s. an acre more; but they reckon that nothing in the world wears out the land more than digging. They lay their wet lands in narrow ridges of 5 furrows. The horses get no oats; yet they are not more than from 6s. to 12s. a sack, of 2 barrels measure; the barrel weighs 9 or 10 stone. Average price 9s. In hiring a little farm no attention given to what stock they have. Land sells at 21 years purchase, rack rent, which is lower than 4 or 5 years ago. Rents are fallen in 4 years 2s. an acre. Tythes compounded, small and great. The leases most common are 3 lives, or 31 years. Tierney begs are now done with; The people increase considerably, notwithstanding the emigrations, which were great till within these 2 years. Their circumstances vastly improved in 20 years; they are better fed, cloathed, and housed; more sober and industrious in every respect. Their food potatoes, oaten bread, and a bit of beef or bacon for winter; All keep cows, most of them pigs, and some poultry; many turkies and geese. No drinking tea: The religion some catholic, but a great many protestants. In 20 years there is a rise of 2d. a day in labour. In provisions there has been a considerable rise; 20 per cents in meaL A sledge car costs 2s. 2d. Wheel car 1l. 14s; 1½d; A plough 11s. 4½d. A poor man's turf for a year will cost him 20s. Building a sod cabbin 2l. Ditto of stone and thatch 15l.

AUGUST 18th, took the road by Swadling-bar for Farnham. That spaw of the north of Ireland is a little village, which appears to be but a poor residence for the numbers that resort to it. I took the Killishandra road, from thence to Farnham; in about 3 or 4 miles it leads along the edge of a lake, through a pretty wood which hangs to the water. Passed Mr. Henry's, a house very agreeably situated amidst woods, which spread to the right and left, and above it. Many lakes are in this country; I passed several large ones, which communicate with each other by a river. The road crosses a variety of bog and moory ground, perfectly improveable; lime cheap, but little seems to be done or doing. At Mr. Nesbit's enter a rich woodland country. The bishop of Kilmore's palace is on a considerable hill, yet sheltered by very fine trees; the country here is beautiful. I had been favoured with an invitation from the bishop, but he was then at Dublin. The woods of Farnham appear very finely from hence. Reached that place in the evening time enough for a ride with the Earl on the borders of his lakes. These are uncommonly beautiful; they are extensive, and have a shore extremely varied. On one side large thick hedge row trees, with meadows behind them; on the other a most noble range of hanging wood, which spreads on each side to a great distance, covering a bold shore, and to a considerable height, nor are they uniform in their outline; the hills over which they spread vary greatly; in some places presenting a continued sweep, in others breaking the line, and projecting into the lake. In one part the shore consists of grass inclosures, the hedges scattered with trees, and mounting upon the slopes, form a very fine scenery. Nothing can be more pleasing than the whole to the right of the lake; the meadows are of undulating lands that wave about in a variety of mild forms; a most pleasing scenery. These beautiful fields rise above the lake, which they command in some places, and in others retire from. Upon the whole Farnham is one of the finest places I have seen in Ireland; the water, wood, and hill, are all in a great stile, and abound in a variety of capabilities.

CABBAGES Lord Farnham has cultivated three years ; in 1774, he had 4 acres manured with lime and earth, and of different sorts, flat Dutch, early Yorkshire, and green borecole, the seed was sown in the spring, and planted out in june, in rows 3 feet asunder, and horse-hoed clean; found them for milch cows much better than turnips; also for plough and fattening bullocks, that had the summer grass, throve very well on them; lasted till the latter end of february; the borecole longer; the cabbages came to a good size, and the crop paid extremely well. Tares and beans were sown after them, and yielded a great produce.

IN 1775, six acres, manured with lime and ditch earth, well mixed, and at planting time, a little dung laid to each root; the sorts the same as last year, with some red cabbage; the crop very fine, many came to 16lb. used for the same purposes, and answered perfectly well. This year I viewed the crop, and a very fine one it is, clean, well horse-hoed, and promises to be a great produce. Upon the whole, Lord Farnham strongly recommends the culture from experience; if he was to farm 40 years, he would never be without them for his cows, his plough bullocks, and for finishing those fat beasts which have had the summer's grass; he thinks them far better than turnips; that an acre will go farther, is easier cultivated, and got from the land with less damage. Nor is this opinion founded from any ignorance of turnips, his Lordship lived several years in Norfolk, and attended to the immense advantages reaped in that county from their cultivation; he introduced them at Farnham the same time as cabbages; they are difficult to cultivate in Ireland, from the ignorance of the people in hoeing; he has drilled part, and had part broad cast; the drilled much the best, from their being so much better hoed; drills in furrows two feet asunder; I saw this year's crop, and found them very fine, clean, and promised to be good. Since this was written, Lord Farnham informs me, that in 1777, he had 14 Irish acres of turnips, which kept 50 working and fattening oxen, and dairy cows, besides 60 fat sheep; some of the oxen were sold fat from them, at from 17l. to 20l. each; the Lancashire breed that had been worked. The same year he had one acre of carrots, which he applied to feeding horses, and instead of giving 4 barrels of oats a week, they had only one, the rest being deducted on account of the roots. That in England, he fed his whole stud with them, nor would the horses touch an oat, while they could get carrots. Washing he found so expensive, that to lessen it, he put them in baskets in a stream, and this saved half; the soil not light. They were left in the ground, and drawn in the winter, as wanted.

LORD Farnham mentioned one circumstance of turnips, new to me, which was his feeding horses in Norfolk with them. His brood mares, and hacks, of which he had a great number, ran in the park at Hunston, with his bullocks, that were fattening on turnips, and they followed the carts as eagerly as the beasts; had no other food, and did perfectly well on them. His Lordship has made great improvements in some of his lands by means of hollow draining. Very wet clays, over-run with rushes and other aquatic rubbish, he has converted into dry, sound, healthy pastures. The principal drains are filled with stones, the lesser ones with sod.

IN the breed of cattle he has been equally attentive, having been at a considerable expence to procure the very best Lancashires; and what is uncommon, without spoiling his dairy: for his cows give much milk. After falling off a good deal, they make 6lb. or 71b. of butter each a week, besides supplying his numerous family with milk and cream. The bull-calves he rears for oxen, works till they are six years old, and then fattens them. Draft oxen he finds infinitely more beneficial than horses. The breed of strong horses he has also been very attentive to improve, buying a stallion.of Mr. Bakewell, and has bred many, which sell readily at 25l. at 4 years old.

IN planting, Lord Famham observed, that no tree grows speedily to so large a size as the silver fir. He has many great ones, planted by his father 40 years ago, in a wet clay soil on a rock; we measured some of them 12 feet in circumference at the ground, and one 7½ at 5 feet high: this tree contains 76 feet of solid timber. What is very uncommon, he pointed out many oaks that are destroying the Scotch firs planted with them, having outgrown and rising completely above them. This I do not remember having noticed before. In the same plantation the beech generally beats the Scotch fir and the ash, though the latter suits the soil very well; indeed the beech, oak and silver fir are the capital trees. One use he has put the silver fir to, in which it answers perfectly, which is boat-building; he has a boat built of it, which has lasted as well as if of the best oak. This is a hint which may prove of infinite use. I remember Mr. Mitford in Hampshire flooring his library with silver fir, fresh cut down, and the boards not contracting in the least: a quality very valuable in ship-building. He can sell Scotch fir out of his woods readily at 40s. a ton, even very poor trees.

The soil about Farnham is in general a good loam, from 4 to 10 inches deep, and under it a yellow or blue clay 2 feet deep, and under that a slaty gravel, a quarry of lime-stone, or blue whin-stone. It is in general very wet; hollow drains lay it dry, if there is a fall. From Cavan to Belturbet it is dry, rough, rocky ground. From Killishandra to Knockwinn, dry gravel. From Cavan to Virginy, heathy, which yields good corn, with lime. Rents by new leases in general, 14s. to 20s. old ones 5s. to 10s. Cavan and Kilmore the highest. There is a great deal of bog and mountain, which with lakes, amount to half the county. Average rent about 6s. By another account I had it is 7s. 6d. Farms are generally about 100 acres, 50 to 100, and these relet, from 2 to 10 acres, to the poor people, who are cottars, and pay their high rent by labouring.

Courses :—1. Summer fallow. 2. Wheat. 3. Oats or barley. 4. Potatoes. 5. Wheat or barley.

1. Fallow. 2. Wheat. 3. Oats. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Oats. 8. Oats. 9. Lay out for grass. No seeds sown.

1. Potatoes. 2. Potatoes. 3. Flax. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Lay out for grass.

THEY sow 4 bushels of wheat, or 20 stone an acre, and it yields 7 barrels. There is a good deal sown, and several flour mills in the country. Of barley they sow 4 bushels, and get 9 barrels, 16 stone to the barrel. They sow 8 bushels of oats, and get on an average 10 barrels. Of potatoes they plant 14 barrels to the acre, each 20 stone, and the crop is usually 60, and the price 5s. to 10s. Average 7s. 6d.

  £. s. d.
Rent 0 16 0
14 barrels 5 5 0
Planting, 36 men a day, at 1s. no board, 6d. with it 1 16 0
Shovelling, 8 men 0 8 0
Weeding, 10 boys, at 4d. 0 3 4
Taking up, 72 men 3 12 0
Manuring 1 0 0
  13 0 4
60 barrels, at 7s. 6d. 22 10 0
Expences 13 0 4
Profit 9 9 8

But little lime used in the country, though in some places lime-stone is plentiful; the price is 6d. to 10d. the barrel slack. Much marle used about Ballyconnel and Killishandra; the white light sort from under bogs: they use it on heathy moors with success, for which purpose they use lime also. Before they plough it they lay the lime on, 150 barrels roach, and then either sow oats, or plant potatoes, and this perfectly kills all the heath, (erica vulgaris) and makes very fine land after it. Upon dry heathy ground at Ballyconnel, Mr. Swan, Lord Farnham's manager, has seen heaps of lime-stone laid on the heath near kilns, and has remarked, that where this stone was laid without burning or breaking, there the heath was completely killed, and a full crop of white clover {trifolium repens) came up, from the dust that had rubbed off; a strong proof that pounded lime-stone would be an admirable.manure. The stock farmers, who, however, are not large ones, 150 acres being a good farm, are many of them in the succession business of buying in young cattle, and selling them out older without fatting; others on better lands, buy in dry cows in may, and sell them fat in november, making from 30s. to 40s. a head. But few fat bullocks, nor is it a great sheep country, nor any dairies; but all the little farmers and cottars, keep one, two, or three. If they pay for grazing a cow, it is 20s. to 30s. They keep also many pigs, from one to five in, every house. They plough all with horses, three or four in a plough, and all abreast. Here let it be remarked, that they very commonly plough and harrow with their horses DRAWING BY THE TAIL: it is done every season. Nothing can put them beside this, and they insist, that take a horse, tired in traces, and put him to work by the tail, he will draw better: quite fresh again. Indignant reader; this is no jest of mine, but cruel, stubborn, barbarous truth. It is so all over Cavan.

LAND sells at 22 years purchase, rack rents: it has fallen two years. Rents have fallen within four or five years considerably; those that were taken seven or eight years ago, have fallen from 3s. to 8s. an acre. Tythes are generally hired by proctors, who view the farmers crops, and compound with them, making a considerable profit by it. They screw up the tenants and poor people very severely. The people are in general in much better circumstances than some years ago; more industrious, better fed, cloathed, and lodged: they increase very much. Potatoes, and milk and butter are their food, and oaten bread when the potatoes are not in season: scarce any fresh meat among them. The linen manufacture consists principally in spinning, which is universal all over the county for girls and women; but weaving is by no means general, nor does it increase in this neighbourhood. A woman, by spinning, will earn 4d. on an average. They do not raise enough to supply their wheels, for much is brought from Dublin. There are four bleach-greens in these parts, at Ballyconnel, Ballyna, Scrabby, and Ardvagh. Building a mud cabbin 4l. 4s. ditto of stone, lime and slate, 30l. ditching, six feet wide and five deep, 1s. 1d. a drain, two feet deep and three wide, 2d. to 3d. a perch. Threshing wheat 1s. a barrel. Oats 7d. Barley 8d. Farming man's wages 5l. A lad 3l. to 4l. A woman in summer 6d. a day. A wheeled car costs 1l. 10s. A plough 9s. A pair of harrows 12s.

Before I quit Farnham, let me give upon review the expences, produce and profit of an acre of flax, as I may now consider myself as entirely out of the linen country. Upon an average of all the North, from my first entering it at Market-hill, the following table is the medium of every article.


  £. s. d.
Rent from 8s. to 2l. 12s. 1 6 0
Tythe from 11d. to 9s. 0 4 8
Seed from 1l. 4s. to 3l. 2 2 0
Sowing 0 0 6
Ploughing from 5s. to 10s. 10d. 0 7 8
Clods and stones from 1s. 4d. to 5s. 4d. 0 2 4
Weeding from 2s. to 8s. 0 4 0
Pulling from 4s. to 13s. 6d. 0 7 0
Rippling 0 6 7
Watering from 1s. to 16s. 0 5 7
Taking out and grassing from 2s. to 11s. 0 5 8
Lifting from 2s. to 8s. 0 4 4
Drying 0 8 0
Beetling 0 15 0
Scutching from 1l. 1s. to 5l. 2 10 6
9 9 10
36 stone scotched at 8s. 6d. 15 6 0
Expences 9 9 10
Profit 5 16 2
Heckling 1 10 5

AUGUST 20th, took my leave of Farnham, and passed by Cavan to Granard; got in that neighbourhood, into a fine tract of dry, sound, gravelly land, which lets, on an average, at 1l. 1s. through the barony: use it very much for fattening bullocks, but cows chiefly, and a few sheep. The farms are in general large, many about 200 acres. It is all a lime-stone gravel. In the town of Granard, is one close of 50 acres, called Granard Kiln, immediately under a mound of earth, an antient Danish intrenchment, which regularly supports 50 fat cows, 100 sheep, 6 horses, and is reckoned the best spot in the county, worth 35s. an acre. The country, all the way from Cavan to near Carrickglass, within two miles of Longford, is exceedingly bare of trees.

REACHED Ballynogh, the seat of W. G. Newcomen, Esq; who has many trees, and well planted hedge-rows, about him; he favoured me with the following particulars: about that neighbourhood, lands let at 13s. 6d. from 7s. to 20s. The rent of the whole county of Longford may be reckoned at 12s. an acre, on an average, of all that is cultivated, and one-sixth part bog and mountain, which yields no rent. The soil is in general, a tolerable vegetable mould on the surface, for three or four inches deep; under that, two-inch thick of blue clay: which retains water under that yellow clay for two or three feet, and then every where lime-stone gravel. This is generally the soil of the whole county, except the barony of Granard, and a part called the Callaw, which is a light lime-stone reeky ground, producing fine wheat, and good sheep.

LEITRIM lets at 4s. on an average. In Leitrim there are many mountain improvements, by setting fire to the heath in summer, liming it the following spring; they marle upon that, and then plant potatoes, get great crops, and make fine land of it. The size of farms commonly to 5 or 600 acres, but in general about 100 acres, with many small ones: Rundale , or the hiring of farms in partnership, is very common; three or four families will take 100 acres. A great part of the country let to tenants, who do not occupy, but re-let at advanced rents to the poor people. The course of crops is: 1. Potatoes. 2. Potatoes. 3, Bere. 4, Barley, or oats, 5. Oats. 6. Lay out for weeds, four or five years.

1. Potatoes. 2. Bere. 3. Oats. 4. Oats. 5. Lay it out.

1. Potatoes, 2. Flax. 3. Bere. 4. Oats, 5. Oats.

Of potatoes, thev sow four barrels to an acre, each 64 stone, and get 40 in return; the price 5s. to 14s. average 8s. Of bere they sow 20 stone, and get 10 barrels. Of barley ditto, get 12. Oats they sow 2 barrels, at 14 stone, and get 15. The waste mountains are improving very fast, by families hiring spots of heath, building their cabbins on them, and improving them under a rent of 5s. to 8s. an acre. They bring it all in by potatoes, but use no lime, though they could have it cheap, for lime-stone is on the spot, and plenty of turf to burn it with; this is the case with Cornclanew, near Carrick Glass. White marle is found under the bogs, but scarce any of it used. The system of cattle most common, is to buy yearlings, at 40s. and keep them till 3 or 4 years old, and sell them lean at 5l. to 5l. 10s. buying in some every year, and selling out the same number. Fatting cows is also very common, bought in may, at 3l. to 5l. and sold out in 0ctober, at 30s. to 40s. profit. It is not reckoned bad land, if three acres fatten two. No cows for dairies, they are kept only by poor people. Ploughing all with horses, a pair a-breast, but no drawing by the tail; this practice they utterly deny here. Land sells rackrent at 18½ years purchase. Let for ever and well secured, 20 years purchase. The price has fallen within four years; rents have also fallen three shillings in the pound in six years, and are at present falling, from the low prices of grain. Tythes taken generally by the proctors, who are very civil to gentlemen, but exceedingly cruel to the poor. The country evidently increases very much in population: the people are in better circumstances than they were 20 years ago, better cloathed, better fed, and more industrious, yet at present it is found, and I have had the same remark made to me, at many other places, that they only work to eat, and when provisions are plenty, will totally idle away so much of their time, that there is scarce any such thing as getting work done. The religion is principally roman; no emigrations. There is a better yeomanry than is common in Ireland. Many farmers, of from 100 to 250 acres. Rent of a cabbin and garden, 30s. A cow's grass, 1l. 10s. All the cottars have some land: all keep cows, and many pigs and geese. I remarked for some time of late, that the geese are plucked, and upon enquiry, that every goose yielded three farthings or a halfpenny in feathers per annum. These Irishmen are disciples of Columella. They make a dreadful ragged figure. The poor live upon potatoes and milk, it is their regular diet, very little oat bread being used, and no flesh-meat at all, except on an Easter sunday, or Christmas-day. Their potatoes last them through the year; all winter long only potatoes and salt. Firing costs them 30s. a year for labour in the bogs. Building a mud cabbin, 4l. Ditto of stone and lime, 37 feet by 15, 17l. Another, 30 feet by 14, 11l. These are the measures of two, which Mr. Newcomen has built at that expence. The linen manufacture spreads through Longford. It has increased considerably, from a remarkable circumstance which happened three years ago, which was a gentleman unknown, giving 500l. to be distributed to poor weavers, in loans of 5 l. each, to be repaid at 25s. a quarter, to enable them to carry on their business with more ease. This had great effects. There are three bleach greens in the county; the weaving increases; spinning is universal throughout all the cabbins, and likewise through all the county of Leitrim, but there is not so much weaving as in Longford.

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

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