Picture of Arthur Young

Arthur Young

places mentioned

1st to 10th September 1776: Galway, Clare, Limerick and Cork

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SEPTEMBER 1st. toTuam; dined with the Archbishop. All this country is a good sound lime-stone land, and famous for sheep; but upon enquiry, I found it did not materially vary from the neighbourhood of Holymount, or Moniva, whither I was going in the evening. Reached Mr. French's, at that place, to whose very obliging attention I am indebted for the following interesting particulars, and a reception I shall long remember with pleasure. He has improved 60 acres of bog, and 290 of moor, which he began in the year 1744, with a great red bog, from 20 to 30 feet deep, so wet and spongy, that no turf, fit for burning, could be found to cut in it, so very wet and loose, that a man could not go on it without jumping from tuft to tuft; no heath on it, except at the verge; the only spontaneous growth red and white moss.

THE following account of this great improvement, Mr French sent to the Dublin Society. It was never published. I insert it therefore with the utmost satisfaction.


Copy of a letter to the Dublin Society, for which they granted him a gold medal.

DEAR SIR,                                               Moniva, Jan. 24th, 1769.

ALTHOUGH I have not hitherto applied for a medal or premium, yet for above twenty years past, during which time the works I describe have been carrying on, I have observed the useful hints of the Dublin Society, tried many experiments recommended by them, and have followed their instructions, which have turned to my pleasure, profit, and advantage. I observe, that it is necessary to lay before the Society the quality of the bog, and the method pursued in reducing it, but fear their patience may be tried upon the present occasion.

THE castle of Moniva, now part of my dwelling-house, is very ancient, and was built for a place of defence; it stands upon a dry gravelly soil, which, like a peninsula of five acres, run between two very high, red, deep, wet bogs, impassable for any beast of burthen, very difficult even for men to pass. The bog, on the north side, contained above 13 acres; the other, on the south, is of a great extent. The east side of the castle was defended by a deep winding river, a few perch beyond which was a large extent of extreme wet red impassable bog, so high as to prevent, from the lower rooms of my house, a view of the country beyond it, and of a great part of an high island of land of about 15 acres, which lay towards the middle of the bog. A large old wood, which stands on in acres, in a semicircular form, partly round a lawn of 70 acres, upon a gentle rising dry ground, desended the west of the castle. The river, on every heavy rain, overflowed to the verges of the bogs, and very near to the castle. That I may not assume too much of the following improvements to myself, I must let you know, that my father formed a scheme to turn the course of the river through the great east bog, which was from 26 to 28 feet above its level, and made a considerable drain through the bog for the purpose. He also made a deep mearing drain, near a mile in length from the river, through the large south bog, and divided about 90 acres thereof, by cross wide and deep drains, into 5 divisions, and by two drains through the north bog, laid out an approach, 7 perch wide, to his house, but his life proved too short to execute his extensive scheme.

UPON his decease, in the year 1744, I first pursued his plan to turn the course of the river, widened the drain made by him to 27 and 30 feet, according to the height of the bog, and sunk the drain to the gravel, where I could do so, and in some parts two and three feet deep into the gravel, which proved excessive hard. In other parts of the drain, the bottom of the bog was much lower than the level of the river, in which parts, as the water could not be drained off, there was no digging to the gravel. The sides of the drain were so high, that I was obliged to cut them in some parts into benches, in the form of stairs, to prevent the men at the bottom from being overwhelmed, which would once have happened, only that a man standing on the surface, observing the bog to burst, gave the alarm, by which he saved the lives of several men; for in a few moments many perches in length of the drain were filled up to the top, more difficult to be again shovelled out, than if it had not been cut before; it required sometimes four or five men standing upon different benches, to convey what the lowest shovel took up to the top, besides the necessity of removing the stuff from the edge of the drain, to prevent the frequent burstings in of the bog. The greatest difficulty was to draw up prodigious large roots of fir trees, which lay firmly fixed and very sound, just over the gravel, at the bottom of the bog all along the drain. This I effected, by laying two large beams from the top, so as to form an inclined plain to the bottom; then drove down into the bog above, a strong beam perpendicular, and made it firm by stones; to this, I fixed a great pulley, and another pulley to the root below, first separating it by hatches and iron crows from its large arms, which run under the bog: then by running a cable through the pullies, the united strength of 16 or 20 men drew up the largest roots along the sliding plain. The men, as they drew up the roots, usually stood upon the firm gravel at the bottom of the drain, the top being in many places too soft for footing.

HAVING compleated the drain or water-course, which is above ninety perches in length, through the great east bog, I set about making a strong bank, from the east to the south bog, 20 perches in length, and from 15 to 50 feet broad across the old river, which was 16 feet deep. For this purpose I drove down a row of long wooden piles, and a second row across the river, and made the bank by filling up the intermediate space with sods well rammed and pressed down.

I had the satisfaction to observe, when I had made a second bank, at the lower or north end of the new drain, to prevent the water from returning back into the channel of the old river, but at much less expence than the former cost, that the river run its new channel, that I immediately gained about 10 acres of fine bottoms for meadows upon each side of the old river, and as the new river was three or four feet higher than the old, I obtained a fall for a mill, which I observed might be increased, by running a deep drain through the north bog for a tail race, which would also contribute to reclaim that bog: this I perfected, run it 11 feet wide down to the gravel, 94 perch in length, and in some parts into the gravel, to preserve the level. I built a bleach mill, the first built in the province where the fall lay, and the bog since reclaimed about it, is part of the green for bleaching linen.

FROM my new river, to a lake which lay about 230 perch to the east in the great bog, I cut a large drain of that length, to supply my mill with water from the lake, when the river should prove low in summer. This work was thought to be impracticable, the bog between being many feet higher than either the lake or the river, but I know that the lake was higher than the river; indeed, for the first and second year, it proved impracticable, the drain, though laid out above ten feet wide, still filling up as it was made: but by perseverance, and still opening the drain at the end where the fall lay, at length the lake, to the surprise of many, run into the river, and gave me a new command of water. The whole bog, in ten years time, sunk amazingly, and disclosed to me, from the windows of my house, the prospect of a country which could not be seen from them before; but works of this kind require patience and perseverance: for at the end of three years, when curiosity led me to see the effects of a great flood after a very heavy fall of rain, I had the mortification to see the great bank, which I made across the river, float way, like a boat before me. The neighbours, who for years past had insisted that my father and I had undertaken an impracticable work, applauded their own judgment upon the occasion, and endeavoured to dissuade me from any further pursuit; but instead of following their advice, I immediately provided a boat, (for horses and cars could not, without great difficulty, be brought to the place) and with its assistance conveyed stones sufficient to fill up the channel of the old river, the breadth of the bank, and afterwards, by bog stuff brought by boat, and sunk in the front of the bank, I made it staunch; then raised it by sod work, and planted trees on the top of it, by which means it has remained firm, and answered my whole design for these nineteen years past. When I erected my mill, and made sluices to keep up the water for it, I observed that my new river thereby became navigable for a boat, as well as the old river, and that it might prove very advantageous for the conveyance of manures, if a communication was made from one to the other; but this was difficult, as the new river, in time of flood, was four or five feet higher in its level than the old river, yet I overcame the difficulty, by cutting a navigable line 16 perch in length, where was firm gravel at the bottom, from river to river, and built a water-lock at the edge of the new river, where I found a firm foundation at the bottom of the bog. It answered my purpose, gave me a great command of water; for by opening the sluices of the lock, I can at any time overflow my meadows, which lie on each side of the old river: it has stood now for about 18 years. When I observed the advantages which arose from being able to convey manures by boat, I proceeded, and cut a navigable line 30 perch long, 20 feet wide from the new river, above the great bank into the south great bog, and cut another navigable line 32 perch long, 12 feet wide, from the old river northward into the north bog, and another navigable line through the same bog westward, in a winding direction, for the sake of beauty, 50 perch long, and 20 feet wide; and cut another line 21 perch long, and 14 feet wide southward, from the western line, which brings my boat into my farm-yard, and enables it to proceed through all the navigable lines which communicate with each other. Several springs of water rose from the uplands, which lye west of the north bog, and probably were the cause of that bog in the before-mentioned navigable line, which run towards these springs. I built a second water-lock, and turned an arch over it, as it stands in one of the approaches to my house; by shutting the gates of this lock, the springs which run into the river, being intercepted, a sheet of water overspreads near two acres in my lawn, which lies between the wood and my house, and the boats are thereby enabled to go to the highlands, where there is plenty of gravel to manure the bogs. I made my navigable lines by banking out the water, and keeping the drains empty by screw-pumps of about 13 feet long, which were worked by two men, relieving each other day and night, which my own carpenter made, and also built my locks before he had seen any thing of the kind, until he admired his own works. Whilst I was executing the works which I have described, I proceeded to reclaim the bogs adjacent to them. The lines I have mentioned divided the north bog into four parts, which I inclosed by smaller drains into so many little parks; it is entirely reclaimed, and has been for several years past under tillage and meadow, and yet, now, though it has subsided considerably, an iron borer of 18 feet, does not in several parts thereof reach the bottom of the bog: it was full of holes, out of which turf for fuel had been formerly cut, the levelling of which added much to the expence of reclaiming. The east bog, from the island to the old river, is all reclaimed, except two or three acres towards the south, and has likewise been under tillage and meadow for some years past. I reclaimed these two bogs, by covering the surface with lime-stone gravel, then laid a coat of dung over it, and planted potatoes upon the dung; the next year sowed oats, or rye and grass seeds, and the following year mowed the produce: the bog was so wet, that I cut several small drains, which I since filled up, when they had performed their office. To lay the gravel on, I was obliged to make roads with hurdles, to bear up small horses, which carried the gravel in baskets upon their backs, and to remove the hurdles from place to place, as occasion required; the boats laid the gravel and manures upon the sides of the rivers and the drains, from whence the horses conveyed them. The subsiding of this bog is remarkable; if I should say from fifteen to twenty feet, I think that I should not exceed: when I first cut the new river, the bog rose in a hill between it and the old river; there is now a fall the whole way, except where the hill stood, which is the lowest part. The bog is now so firm as to bear a loaded cart. I sloped the sides of the hollows, where for some years I had cut turfs; being advised to cut the bog away, but that would be the work of ages; and where the surface was cut off proved most barren, and required most manure: these hollows are now little green vales; and posterity will puzzle, as some do at present, to find the cause of them. After the first crops were taken off, and mowed for two or three years, I observed little tufts of heath began to appear in the meadows; where these appeared, some parts I tilled again; put dung upon others; but lime effectually banished them; and so did a mixture of kelp and ashes, the refuse of the bleach-green, which proved the richest manure. I spread river-mud upon one or two acres, which had little effect, only produced a sedgey spirey grass, until dung was laid over it; marle had somewhat a better effect than the river-mud, but marle, mixed with dung, proved very good; lime, dung, or kelp, broke fine into powder, proved the best. I reclaimed above one acre, by gravelling, and laying a coat of fresh lime over the gravel, and planted potatoes upon the lime, without any dung; the potatoes were small, and lay thin when dug out, but the corn which succeeded them, proved very good, and the bog was thereby well reclaimed. It should be observed, that all the stone and gravel of this country is lime-stone. I tried to reclaim part by burning, but the red bogs, which mine were, proved too wet and spongy; the ashes were white, and so light that they had little effect. In the manner I have described, I reclaimed about five acres of the south bog, which lay within the navigable line; but not being able to pursue my navigation into this bog, the gravel at the bottom of the bog rising above the level of my upper river, without considerable expence, and the addition of another water-lock, I made a firm gravel road into the bog, first dividing one of the large divisions, made by my father, by two cross drains ten feet wide, into four divisions, which made the bog pretty dry; I then laid dung, two or three inches thick, upon the surface of the bog, without any gravel or other manures under: I observe, that the crops of potatoes, corn, and meadow following, were full as good as those where the gravel was first laid on, which in wet bogs sink too suddenly; I would therefore advise, and intend to pursue, the laying on of gravel after the bog has been mowed for two or three years: the expence of gravelling an acre at the first, is, at the least, from four to six pounds; and as you proceed further into the bog, the expence must increase; therefore where dung is to be had in plenty, it is the best material for reclaiming a bog; but I think that composts made with lime and earth mixed, or lime and moor, may answer the end of dung, which I have not yet sufficiently tried, but intend so to do.

To enumerate several other drains which I made in the east and south bogs, to prepare them for reclaiming, would prove too tedious. I usually cut them ten feet wide; but it is difficult in a wet bog to ascertain the depth of a drain until the bog has subsided for years. In making the drain, which I have mentioned from the lake to the river, 30 or 40 men working in the same part of the drain for four or five days without intermission, except at night, could not bring the drain, in the evenings, to be deeper than from one to two feet deep, and both the overseer and men were all so out of patience, that they were with difficulty persuaded to continue the work; but as I rode round the bog, I observed that the bog was subsiding, and that they were gaining the level, though they did not perceive it; for the flush flung by the shovels out of the drain pressed down the bog and squeezed out the water into the drain which ran off, as I begun where the fall lay; the bog was so soft that the men were obliged to stand upon boards as they worked, to prevent them from sinking: the bogs which I first reclaimed are still subsiding. I had, the last summer, 32 acres of the bogs, which I have described, all under tillage and meadow; I also mowed ten acres of the bottoms on the river sides, between the reclaimed bogs; and other ten acres of bottoms by the same river, made meadow by banks cast up round them, to guard against floods, planted with alder and sallows: I have six acres more of the east bog reclaimed by a coat of gravel only, never tilled, but reserved for pasture; but they are far inferior to the tilled bogs, and will not be meadow until covered with other manure, and tilled. I cannot ascertain the depth of several parts of my reclaimed bogs, as my borer of 18 feet long does not reach the bottom of the north and east bogs; the south bog is all 12 and 13 feet deep: but towards the verge they are shallower. The navigable lines which I have described, encompass 31 acres, except on part of the west side, where my house stands; these I call my garden or small farm, through which the old river winds; clumps of spruce fir, beech and alder, grow well on the sides of the new river, where gravel was thrown on the banks from the bottom when it was first made; the broad-leaved elm interspersed through the meadows reclaimed from the bog, also thrive; I have two small groves on each side of the water-lock, of a spontaneous growth, from the deep reclaimed bog, consisting of quicken or mountain ash, birch, holly, and fallow, some of which are from 17 to above 20 feet high. In making my navigable line, which runs west to the edge of my lawn, I discovered by my borer that a bed of white marle, at the depth of 16 feet, lay under the north bog; the bed of marle proved to be five feet thick, under which lay a stratum of gravel, from six to nine inches thick, under which stratum of gravel lay another bed of marle, four feet thick. In the last dry summer, by the aid of my screw-pumps, I raised a great quantity of this marle, which leads me to claim a medal for reclaiming dry heathy mountain, upon which, after ploughing, I spread the marle. But I fear that I have tired you, as I have myself, and shall, for the present, only present my respects to the Society, and assure you that I am,

Dear Sir,
Your most obedient servant,

IT may be objected, that the works were begun previous to the publication of the premiums; I doubt whether it be possible to reclaim such bogs in less than eight or ten years; the water must have time to ouze from sponges, which such bogs are: to reclaim them very expeditiously would exceed the expence of a private fortune.

To the Rev. Peter Chaigneau,
assistant secretary to the Dublin Society.

MR. FRENCH remarks, that the expence of improving bogs, equally spongy and wet, with this, is very considerable, for the drains will for some time fill up almost as fast as made. When the draining is finished, the main drains should be left five feet deep, and the breadth just sufficient to keep the banks up: cross drains, of a smaller dimension, must be made, which, when the bog is perfectly drained, may be filled up again. As to the expence, he observes, that it must necessarily vary greatly; but the very worst sort may be completely done for 6l. an acre. Manuring with gravel, lime, or clay, may in general be estimated at 6l. Then Mr. French would by all means plant potatoes, in the trenching manner, for the sake of mixing the manure, which is laid on with the surface of the bog, and also for the use of the trenches as surface drains. The crop of potatoes, if a moderate quantity of dung is spread for them, will be equal to any in the country, that is, worth 10l. an acre; but if no dung, they will not more than pay the expence of feed, planting, and taking up. In the spring after, dig it slightly, level the trenches, and sow oats; the digging will not cost more than 10s. an acre. The crop of oats will be 12 barrels, or rye, will be a great produce. With this corn the grass seeds should be sown; rye grass (lolium perenne) and white grass (bolcus lanatus) do well; common hay seeds good. The first year a car must not go on, but the hay brought off by men. The second year it will bear cars, and would then let for 10s. an acre, for three years only; 21s. an acre for hay. After that, a fresh manuring, with a compost of lime and earth, or lime and gravel, and then would let at 15s. If the land for potatoes is well dunged, the poor will pay 4l. an acre for it; and the hay, instead of 21s. will let at 3l.

IN relation to his mountain-moor improvement, the state of the soil before improving was that of continued heath, (efica vulgaris) with great quantities of lime stones on the surface. Mr. French, in the first place, ploughed it with six bullocks, which did not do more than one-fourth of an acre a day, as the roots of the heath made it strong work. As they turned up the stones, or were impeded by them, they were drawn away in cars to make the walls. Left it after the ploughing from half a year to a year, and then broke it, cross-ploughed, and harrowed, in all four ploughings, after the last, harrowed it smooth, and limed. Began with 60 barrels an acre, but increased it to 100, and to 200, and found the crops better and better, in proportion to the quantity. Upon the liming sowed the wheat, and harrowed it in. The crop has been generally from five to seven barrels an acre. The following year either barley or oats: of barley the crops have been middling, about 8 barrels. Of oats, 12 barrels. After either the barley or oats, another crop of oats, equally good, and with that sowed hay seeds, or rye grass and clover. Before the improvement it let at 4s. 9d. 25 years ago, and if the same heath was to be let now, it would be worth 8s. After the oats abovementioned, has let it readily at 14s. Dividing the lands into divisions of from 15 to 20 acred pieces, clears them of stones, and the expence of the walls, is,

  s. d.  
Drawing the stones 2 6 per perch.
Building dry 1 1  
  3 7  
If cropped and dashed, the additional expence will be 2 6  
  6 1  

They are all lime-stone lands, and make very fine sheep-walks. Before the improvements very many sheep died on these grounds, of the red-water, but since the liming this has not happened; nor would it before give flax, but now very fine.

MR. FRENCH burns the lime in perpetual kilns with turf, laying in the turf and stone in layers, the same as culm, and all expences included, amount to 4d. a barrel roach, of 32 gallons. Two cubical yards of turf will burn one cubical yard of stone. If the turf is very good one and an half will do. He tried French kilns, in which he burned 1500 and 2000 barrels, but found it very uncertain, frequently having the stone come out unburnt. A kiln of 1500 barrels, comes to 25l. but often it ran to 40l. he has upon the whole, found it far better to use the other sort, which are cheaper, and more certain. Another sort of mountain land, is the wet boggy sort, one to four feet deep, which he improved by digging off almost all the bog for lime; then ploughed it with six bullocks, and let it to the poor from a guinea to 30s. an acre, for them to burn, harrow, and plant potatoes; after which they pay as much more for a crop of oats, then limes it, takes another crop of oats, and sows grasses with it; after this improvement lets as well as the other. White marle, from under a bog, Mr. French tried, for improving 14 acres of dry mountain land; the effect was much the same as that of lime, but more expensive from the difficulty of getting it. In the year 1744, when Mr. French came to his estate, there was no other linen manufacture than a little bandle linen, merely for their own consumption, with no other spinning than for that, and even for this, there was not more than one loom in 100 cabbins. In 1746, he undertook to establish a better fabric, and with more extensive views. He first began by erecting spinning schools, and sowing flax, 21 acres of which he sowed on his own account. The linen board gave at that time 1d. a day to all children that went to any spinning schools, which was of use; but the providing flax Mr. French found of the greatest use. In 1749, he established eight weavers and their families, and the same year built a bleach mill, and formed a green, and to carry it on to advantage, sent a lad into the North, and bound him apprentice there, in order to learn the whole business. Upon his return, he managed the manufactory for Mr. French, buying the yarn, paying weavers for weaving it by the yard, bleaching and selling it. In this manner it went on for 15 years; but as in this state it was dependent on Mr. French's life, he enabled this manager to take the whole upon his own account, binding him to keep every weaver on the estate employed, whatever might be the number. The progress of this undertaking, united with the agricultural improvements, will be seen by the following returns of the Moniva estate, at different periods.

In 1744. There were three farmers, and six or eight shepherds and cow-herds.;
In 1771. There were 248 houses, 90 looms, and 268 wheels.
In 1772. 257 houses, 93 looms, and 288 wheels.
In 1776. 276 houses, 96 looms, and 370 wheels.

Here, in a few words, is the progress of a most noble undertaking; and I should observe, that it is doubly beneficial from one circumstance. All these weavers are mere cottagers in a town without any land, except a cabbage garden, by which means they have nothing to do with farming, but become a market to the farmers that surround them, which is what all manufacturers ought to be, instead of spreading over the country, to the destruction of agriculture. Another circumstance in which Mr. French has given a new face to Moniva, and its environs, is by planting; he found a considerable wood of birch, which being an unpleasing tree, and not improving, he cut them gradually down, and planted oak, elm, and beach, with various other sorts; he began this 30 years ago, and no year passes without his making some new plantation. By properly managing this wood of 111 acres, he has made it pay him 150l. a year ever since, and there is now more than thrice the value of timber in it, to what there was when he began. Whatever he has planted has answered well, but the growth of the beach is the greatest. That of the oak is very great, and more flourishing than ever Mr. French expected to see them at the time of planting. The broad-leafed elm thrives very well upon the bogs, after they are cultivated. Mr. French has tried most sorts of trees in rows along the hedges, but none of them have succeeded, the west winds cut them in pieces; since which he makes inclosures, and plants them thick.

I OUGHT not to forget observing, that Mr. French supports a charter-school at his own expence, wherein are from 20 to 40 children, constantly supported, cloathed, and taught to read and write, and to spin and weave.

FARMS around Moniva consist, principally, of large stock ones, from 200 to 500 acres, with very few cabbins upon them; the tillage of the country is principally carried on by villagers, who take farms in partnership. Mr. French's are generally from 20 to 130 acres. There will sometimes be from 10 to 30 families on a farm of 200 acres; but Mr. French finds that they do not thrive well if there are more than six families to one farm. The soil to the west of Moniva, is a lime-stone gravel, mixed with a clay, some of it upon clay: to the east it is a deeper and richer clay, and lime-stone all the way to the Shannon. The whole county lime-stone, except the mountainous tracts on the west, beyond Loch Carril, and the mountains to the south of Loch Rea. Rents in this neighbourhood rise generally from 12s. to 16s. except old leases, which are 6s. or 7s. The richest part of the county is between Lochrea and Portumne, thence to Eyre-court, Clonfert, and Aghrim. The third of the county is bog, lake, and unimproved mountain; but most of the latter yields some trifling rent, the whole third, perhaps 3d. an acre; the other two-thirds 12s. at an average. The isles of Arran contain 7000 acres, belong to John Digby, Esq; and let at about 2000l. a year. The great tract of mountain is the three baronies of Eyre Connaught, Ross, Ballynahinch and Moycullen; they are 40 miles long, and 15 broad, and are in general uncultivated. The principal proprietors are, Robert Martin, Esq; Thomas French, of Moycullen, Esq; and Patrick Blake, Esq; of Drum; —— Lynch, of Barna; —— Geohagen, Esq; of Bowown; —— Lynch, Esq; of Drumrong ; Sir John O'Flaherty, &c. Mr. Martin has the largest tract; he has let to Mr. Popham, 14,000 Irish acres, for 3 lives, at no rent at all; then three lives more at 150l. a year; and after them for 61 years at the same rent; and Mr. Popham has some men at work upon improving, from England and Leinster.1 There is lime-stone gravel upon a part of the land, but not generally in Eyre Connaught, any more than lime-stone; at least according to common report.

Courses of Crops about Moniva.

1. Potatoes. 2. Bere. 3. Oats. 4. Oats.

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

THERE are some good tillage farmers towards the Shannon, who sow grass seeds. They also sow successive crops till the land is exhausted, and leave it for some time to graze itself. No ploughing or harrowing by the tail, nor any burning the corn instead of threshing, but these practices were very common 30 years ago. The measure of potatoes is the barrel of 42 stone; five plant an acre, the average price 6s. or 8s. at the beginning of the season; 10s. or 12s. at the latter end. The average produce 25 barrels, or 10l. Oats yield about 8 barrels. Of flax, a hogshead sows two acres. It is but lately that they have saved their seed, but it is now coming in; a good common crop 4cwt. of scutched flax, and the medium price 40s. a cwt. There are considerable improvements of mountain, and some of bog, that have been carried on by the poor villagers. They dig and burn the mountain, and get by that means very fine potatoes without dung, paying 20s. an acre for it. If they have the land to themselves they will, after the potatoes, get good wheat, and after that several crops of oats, till the land is exhausted. These village farmers, I remarked, as I went through the country, were industrious in forming composts of boggy moor, turf, and lime-stone, with what dung they can raise. They were now making them ready against the winter's dung; these are for potatoes the following spring, and they find it answer so well that the practice increases very fast. Such of them as are near the bogs, Mr. French gives the bog to them for 10 years rent free, and then they pay him 10s. an acre for it. They drain, manure with limestone gravel, and a little dung, and plant potatoes, getting fine crops and good corn afterwards. In one of the bogs which a village was cutting away, the men called Mr. French to shew him the old ridge and furrow at the bottom, which he found perfect. It was four feet deep: that this country was once generally cultivated, there are other signs. There are vast numbers of lime-stone gravel pits among the mountain heathy lands, though there is not the least tradition when thev were used.

THE principal stock in this country is sheep for breeding, the sale being wethers, which they sell fat at Ballinasloe; and wool, of which they clip from the ewes 4lb. and from the wethers 5lb. sells now at above 1s. a lb. Mr. French remembers the price of wool, 50 years ago, at 6s. and 7s. a stone; 1744 was reckoned a very high year, and he sold 27 bags, at 10s. 6d. a stone: but as he got out of stock, he has not since had more than two bags. In 1745, &c. it fell to 8s. a stone. The great rise of the price of wool, Mr. French attributes to the low price of spinning and the increase of tillage. The stock farmers, who are good managers, have two farms, one as a dry one, in this neighbourhood for winter, and another in the deeper richer lands in the eastern part of the county, for summer feeding and fatting. Three year old wethers, from the light soils here, sell from 15s. to 25s. each. It is reckoned good land that will support three sheep per acre the whole year round. The system of grazing is to buy yearlings, from 35s. to 3l. 3s. and sell out at four year old, from 4l. 4s. to 6l. 6s. They sometimes sell them at three years old.

THEY plough with horses, but the gentlemen mostly with oxen; they have not the Mayo custom, of walking backwards before them, nor do they harness them all abreast, but two and two. They will take a grazing farm, with three years rent, for stock. Land sells at 21 years purchase. The rents have fallen since 1772, but are now rising from the great price of wool, black cattle, and linen. Tythes are compounded by the proctors with gentlemen, but they screw up the poor people to the utmost. There are still many men who make it their business to hire large tracts of land in order to relet at advanced rents. Population increases greatly, yet many of them live very poorly upon potatoes and water, with some oatmeal. There are many that have no cows, only a house and a garden. The grass of a cow is 30s; This is not the case, however, at Moniva; there they have all cows, and are very rarely without milk. Rent of a cabbin and an acre 20s. building the cabbin for themselves; and 30s. if it is built for them. There were many emigrants from Galway to America, but only of the loose idle people. The general religion is roman catholic, but about Moniva chiefly protestant.

MR. ANDREW FRENCH, of Rathone Galway, who I met at Moniva, favoured me with the following particulars. At Galway there is a salmon fishery, which lets at 200l. a year; and in the bay of Galway they have a considerable herring fishery. There are belonging to the town 200 to 250 boats, 40 or 50 of which are employed in the spring fishery, for cod, hake, mackarel, &c. These boats are from four to six tons, some nine tons. They cost building 20l. a boat, and the nets and tackle 15l. the nets are of hemp, tanned with bark. There are five or six men to a boat; they fish by shares, dividing into sixty: they have had this fishery time immemorial. The plenty of fish has decreased these 15 years. A middling night's take is 5000 fish; all they get is sold into the country, and the demand is so far from being answered, that many cargoes are brought in from the North. The fish sell from 1s. 4d. to 2s. 2d. a hundred; but the men are far from being industrious in the business: some weeks they do not go out twice.

ON the coast of Conna Marra there is, from the 10th of april to the 10th of may, a fishery of sunfish, which is done by the herring boats. It is not by shares, but the owners of the boats hire the men for the fishery. One fish is reckoned worth 5l. and if a boat takes three fish in the month, it is reckoned good luck. There are 40 or 50 boats employed on this. Along the whole bay there is a great quantity of kelp burnt; 3000 tons are annually exported from Galway: the present price is 40s. to 50s. a ton. The shore is let with the land against it, and is what the people pay their rent by. They use a great quantity of sea weed, drove in by storms for manuring land. In november they carry it on, the field being ready marked out in beds for potatoes, and leaving it on them, it rots against the planting season, and give them great crops. They also do this successfully with fern, cutting it in autumn, and laying it on to the beds. The poor people near Galway are very industrious in buying the fullage of the streets of that town; they give 3d. for a horse load of two baskets, and carry it three miles.

ONE circumstance, relative to the progress of the linen manufacture in this country, the town of Galway can instance. Mr. Andrew French of that place, 16 years ago, imported the first cargo of flax seed of 300 hogsheads, and could only sell 100 of them, whereas now the annual importation rises from 1,500 to 2,300. Twenty years ago there were only 20 looms in Galway, now there are 180. They make coarse sheetings seven-eighths wide, at 9½d. to 11d. a yard, dowlas, 28 inches wide, at 7d. Osnaburgs at 7d. also. There are eight or nine bleach-greens in the county, but they bleach, generally speaking, only for the country consumption: the great bulk of the linens are sent green to Dublin. In the town and neighbourhood of Lochrea, there are 300 looms employed on linens that are called Lochreas , of 28 inches in width, which sell at 7d. a yard. All the flax worked in the county is, generally speaking, raised in it. The yarn spun is pound yarn, not done into hanks at all. Very many weavers are in the towns, without having any land more than a cabbage garden. The linen and yarn of the whole county has been calculated at 40,000l. a year.

SEPTEMBER 3d, left Moniva, and took the road to Woodlawn, the seat of Frederick Trench, Esq; passed many bogs of considerable size, perfectly improveable, and without the uncommon exertions I have just described.

WOODLAWN is a seat improved entirely in the modern English taste, and is as advantageous a copy of it as I have any where seen. The house stands on the brow of a rising ground, which looks over a lawn swelling into gentle inequalities; through these a small stream is converted into a large river, in a manner that does honour to the taste of the owner; it comes from behind a hill, at the foot of which is a pretty cottage hid by plantation, and flows into a large mass of wood in front of the house: the grounds, which form the banks of this water, are pleasing, and are prettily scattered with clumps and single trees, and surrounded by a margin of wood. The house is an excellent one, so well contrived, that the same disposition of apartments would be agreeable upon almost any scale of building.

MR. TRENCH'S improvements of bog made me solicitous to view them; he was so obliging as to give me a full account, and no body could be more anxious to have me in general well informed, The first method of improving he took was with a bog of 12 acres, exceedingly wet, at the bottom of hills 16 feet deep to his knowledge, but he never yet was able to measure it to the bottom. A red bog, of a light fuzzy substance, like a bed of tow, which would not burn in turf; no other product than bog berries. Part of it so very wet, that he could not cut the drains at first wider than four feet and two spits deep; repeated this before the hard frost of 1765; had yet made no progress, it being almost as wet as ever: but took advantage of that frost, to cover the ice two inches thick with clayey gravel; when the thaw came, the gravel sunk, and pressed out the water. The expence of this manuring was 3l. 10s. an acre. This gravelling had such an effect, that in the may following, about half of it bore horses with baskets, for carrying on dung, and where it would not bear them, it was carried on by men. The quantity six bushels to the square perch, and immediately planted with potatoes in the common trenching manner. The crop, per acre, 40 barrels, each 44 stone, at 8s. Levelled the potatoe trenches in digging for barley, in doing which attended minutely to not burying the manure; this digging cost 30s. an acre, and the barley covered with the spade, which they do very fast, and the expence included in the 30s. The crop of barley 10 barrels an acre, at 8s. After this crop, took no more trouble with it; very rich and luxuriant grass sprang up directly, and would let readily in meadow, at 25s. but part of it in a few years would let at 2l. Two acres were not perfectly reclaimed; it was of the moory nature; dug and burned it, and put in turnips, the crop very good: then dung it for barley, the produce 14 barrels an acre, and the meadow good ever since. I was over it, and found it a perfect improvement; the hay was fine, the herbage good, and carried the complete appearance of a meadow, except in the drains, where the heath still appears.


TWENTY-FIVE acres of spongy fungous bog, from 8 to 16 feet deep, had been cut into very great turf-holes, which holes, though they held water, and had drowned many a cow, yet had so far drained the bog as to make the less draining necessary; effected it, and then levelled the holes; but as they sunk much levelled them a second time. Upon this, took the advantage of a frost to manure it with clay and gravel, at 2l. 10s. an acre; then dunged a part with the quantity mentioned already, and the rest of it manured with the ashes of moor, which burned yellow. Upon this manuring planted potatoes; the crop 10l. an acre, pretty equal, being as good after the ashes as after the dung. After the potatoes, levelled the trenches, and dug it and sowed wheat; the crop 6 barrels an acre; barley 10 barrels, oats 9 barrels; then left it for meadow, the value 2l. an acre.


ANOTHER piece of bog of the same sort, light and spongy; drained, and then manured with clayey lime-stone gravel, mixed with ditch earth. In the summer planted potatoes; the crop 15 barrels an acre; then dug for oats, 6 barrels an acre, meadow ever since, and perfectly good, would let at 1l. 10s; an acre.


ANOTHER bog of the same sort well drained, manured with lime, 80 barrels an acre, at 4d. a barrel; planted with potatoes; the crop not worth digging; dug it for oats, the crop not worth reaping: then left it in grass, which was indifferent, not worth more than 5s. an acre.


ANOTHER experiment was on the same sort of bog, which, when well drained, was manured in spring with lime-stone gravel, and then with marle instead of dung, and planted with potatoes; the crop 4l. an acre: then dug it for oats, the crop six barrels; and then left to grass, worth 1l. 5s. an acre.


ANOTHER experiment, the same as the preceding, except lime laid instead of marle: the effect in every respect on a par with the marle. Neither of them yielded half the produce which dung or ashes would have done.


ANOTHER bog of the same sort was, after draining, manured with lime-stone gravel, and then with the scowering of ditches and earth, to the amount of three inches and a half deep on the surface: expence in all 4l. an acre. Then left, and nothing more done to it; very good grass came the next season, worth for grazing 18s. an acre.


ANOTHER spongy bog drained, and then well gravelled, at 2l. 10s. Left so for three years; scarce any grass came, the heath still remaining: planted potatoes on it without any dung or other additional manure; the crop 4l. an acre; then dug it smooth, and nothing sown in it, but came immediately to very good pasture, worth 15s. an acre.

MR. FRENCH recommends, from his experience, the following mode of improving bogs: first, the great object is draining; main drains should be made on each side the bog, near the firm land; these cuts should be six feet deep and eight wide, and will cost 1s. a perch. Then cross drains from main drain to main drain, at from 5 to 10 perch from one to the other, at three feet deep and four wide, at the expence of 3d. a perch. Here is the first year's work. The next year go into all the drains and sink them, which will cost 1d. a perch: if a frost comes, carry on the lime-stone gravel, let it be a coat of two inches, thick; if three it will be better; two inches will cost 3l. if not carried farther than half a quarter of a mile; if carried a quarter of a mile, it will cost 4l. 10s. if half a mile, 6l. 15s. if a mile 9l. Prefers the clayey lime-stone gravel to every other manure: if that is not to be had, clay; and if not clay, other gravel; if no gravel or clay, then lime; if nothing else, then the light marle under bogs. Upon this manuring spread a compost, one-third dung, one-third ditch earth, and one-third lime-stone gravel, nine bushels to the square perch; if dung only, six; and upon that plant potatoes in the common manner. The crop will, on an average, be 30 barrels, at 8s. or 12l. an acre. The poor people will readily give three or four guineas an acre for liberty to plant them. Upon this crop of potatoes spread two bushels of dung more to the perch, and plant a second crop of potatoes, making the furrows where the ridges were, and make the ridges of both crops nine feet wide, and the trenches four. This crop of potatoes will be full as good as the first. Then dig it, levelling the trenches, scooping the sides, to fill up with, and the manured part on the surface; sow barley; the crop will be 12 barrels on an average; with this barley sow grass seeds, and it will immediately be worth for meadow 1l. 10s. Let this go on for seven years; then give it a light gravelling, at 1l. 10s. an acre; dung it four bushels per perch; plant potatoes, 12l. an acre; then barley 14 barrels; and then meadow worth 40s. In this circumstance of letting meadow it should be remarked, that they will hire it at great prices, such as minuted, but the same lands would not let at more than 18s. upon a lease; for in one case you stand the chance of keeping the land to its present heart, and in the other the tenant has that chance.

THERE is a circumstance which should be mentioned, the skin of the turf should not be broken for some years by heavy cattle; for wherever they make a hole, the rushes grow at once, which cannot be easily destroyed. Mr. French does not think it at all necessary to keep an improved bog under grass, as he has found by experience, that the more they are cultivated the better they grow. In the winter he feeds his reclaimed bogs with sheep ; they have a perpetual spring of grass all through that season, and are of a nature so contrary to that of rotting sheep, that they will recover those which are threatened with that distemper.

HE has planted several large clumps in his reclaimed bogs, and has found that almost every kind of tree thrives well in them: I thought the spruce fir seemed to get up the quickest, but all of them appeared perfectly healthy.

Calculation of improving a square mile upon the preceding plan; supposing 9 miles of main drains, and 64 of cross ditto.

  £. s. d.
2881 perches of main drains, at 2s. 288 0 0
20,480 perches of cross drains, at 6d. 511 19 9
Two miles of road, 10 feet wide, at 75l. 150 0 9
Gravelling, on an average of the distance, 6l. per acre 3840 0 0
Labour on the dunging, 40s. per acre 1280 0 0
  6069 19 9
Deduct rent of the land for potatoes, at 3l. 1920 0 0
  4149 19 9
Manuring second crop of potatoes, labour 20s. an acre 640 0 0
  4789 19 9
Deduct rent for potatoes, as before 1920 0 0
  2869 19 9
Levelling and digging for the barley, 30s. an acre 960 0 0
A barrel an acre of barley seed, 8s. an acre 256 0 0
Reaping, harvesting, and threshing, 20s. an acre 640 0 0
  4725 19 9
Deduct the value of the crop, 9 barrels, at 8s.—3l. 12s. an acre 2304 0 0
Remain, total expences of the improvement 2421 19 9

Rent of 640 acres, at 16s. an acre, 512l. which income is 21l. per cent. for the expenditure of 2421l.

SEVERAL great deductions are made in this account, because the bog is supposed to be a very large one.

MR. TRENCH buys in year-old bullocks and some spayed heifers, at 1l. 15s. each; sells them out at three-years old, good stores, but not fat, at 6l. 3s. on an average. He has 930 sheep, consisting of 300 ewes, 180 lambs, 270 yearlings and two-year olds, and 180 fat sheep. The annual slaughter and sale is 180 fat wethers, at 1l. 3s. ——60 culled ewes, at 15s. In order to save dung for his bog improvement, he has cut a large drain from his yards and stables through the garden, paved it, and keeps it filled with, bog earth, and all the urine of the cattle, &c. running into it, makes an excellent compost for the gardener.

AVERAGE rent of the improved part of the county of Galway, 14s. an acre. About Woodlawn 14s. to 18s. The soil all lime-stone gravel, or lime-stone fine sound land. The size of farms varies; there are many small ones of from 30 to 100 acres, part grazing and part tillage; also many stock ones, up to 1000 and 1500 acres; and these graziers re-let to the cabbins part of it at a very high rent, by whom are carried on most of the tillage of the country. Mr, Trench remarks, that if good land is let to the poor people, they are sure to destroy it; but give them heath, or what is bad, and they will make it good.

1. Potatoes on the grass. 2. Summer fallow. 3. Wheat. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Lay out.—No feeds.

1. Potatoes. 2. Barley. 3. Wheat. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Oats.

1. Potatoes on grass. 2. Gravel and fallow. 3. Wheat. 4. Barley. 5. Oats. 6. Leave it for grass.

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

AVERAGE produce of potatoes, 30 barrels, at 42 stone, at 8s. or 12l. Of wheat, 8 barrels, at 20 stone. Of barley, 12 barrels, at 16 stone. Of oats, 12 barrels, at 14 stone.

EVERY poor man sows some flax, but still they do not raise enough for their spinning, for that is universal. Lime-stone gravel is the general manure. No lime, though it is everywhere to be had; the price to burn is 4d. a barrel of 3 bushels roach. Every cabbin has eight or nine acres, and two or or three cows, or two cows and one horse; and about half have horses, two or three pigs, and many poultry; half a rood of flax, one acre potatoes, or half at a medium. They live on potatoes, oats, or barley-bread, or butter; like oats better. Their circumstances are much improved in 20 years. They pay rent 12s. to 14s. an acre.

SEPTEMBER 4th, to Kiltartan, the seat of Robert Gregory, Esq. who is engaged in pursuits which, if well imitated, will improve the face of the country not a little. He has built a large house with numerous offices, and taken 5 or 600 acres of land into his own hands, which I found him improving with great spirit. Walling was his first object, of which he has executed many miles in the most perfect manner: his dry ones, 6 feet high, 3 feet and a half thick at bottom, and 20 inches at top, cost 2s. 6d. the perch, running measure. Piers in mortar, with a gate and irons complete, 1l. 14s. Walls in mortar, five feet high, cost 6s. a perch. He has fixed two English bailiffs on his farm, one for accounts and overlooking his walling and other business; and another from Norfolk, for introducing the turnip husbandry, of which he has 12 acres this year: what particularly pleased me, I saw some Irishmen hoeing them; the Norfolk man had taught them; and I was convinced in a moment, that these people would by practice soon attain a sufficient degree of perfection in it. The soil around is all a dry found good limestone land, and lets from 10s. to 12s. an-acre, some higher. It is in general applied to sheep. Mr. Gregory has a very noble nursery, from which he is making plantations, which will soon be a great ornament to the country.

SEPTEMBER 5th, to Drummoland, the seat of Sir Lucius O'Brien, in the county of Clare, a gentleman who had been repeatedly assiduous to procure me every sort of information. I should remark, as I have now left Galway, that that county, from entering it in the road to Tuam till leaving it to-day, has been, upon the whole, inferior to most of the parts I have travelled in Ireland in point of beauty: there are not mountains of a magnitude to make the view striking. It is perfectly free from woods, and even trees, except about gentlemen's houses, nor has it a variety in its face. I do not, however, speak without exception; I passed some tracts which are chearful. Drummoland has a pleasing variety of grounds about the house; it stands on a hill gently rising from a lake of 24 acres, in the middle of a noble wood of oak, ash, poplar, &c. three beautiful hills rise above it, over which the plantations spread in a varied manner; and these hills command very fine views of the great rivers Fergus and Shannon at their junction, being each of them a league wide. For the following particulars I am indebted to Sir Lucius O'Brien's very friendly attention.

AVERAGE rent of the county of Clare, 5s. The bad tracts of land are the east mountains, part of the barony of Burrin, and the great peninsula, which forms the north shore of the Shannon. Great tracts are let at nothing at all, but there are 20,000 acres from Paradise-hill, along the Fergus and Shannon to Limerick, which let at 20s. an acre. These lands are called the Corcasses. The soil of them is either a rich black loam, or a deep rich blue clay; and all the higher lands are lime-stone, or lime-stone gravel. The mountains are generally grit-stone. The size of farms is various; Capt. Tim. Macnamara farms 7000 acres, but part in other counties. Mr. Singleton, 4000 acres. A farm of 300l. a year is a very small one; 500l. a year middling; this is speaking of stock-farms. The tillage of the country is carried on by little farmers, from 20l. to 100l. a year; but most of it by the poor labourers, who are generally under-tenants, not holding of the landlords. The courses of crops are,

1. Potatoes. 2. Bere. 3. Wheat. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Lay it out to grass.

1. Beans. 2. Bere. 3. Barley. 4. Wheat. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Oats. 8. Lay it out, or beans again.

OF wheat they sow 10 to 15 stone an acre; the crop, in the corcass grounds, 8 barrels, in the other lands 5 or 6: 20 stone to the barrel. Potatoes they measure by the barrel of 48 stone: they plant 6 to the acre, and the average produce 50 barrels. They never plant them on the corcass lands, for they will not grow there. Mr. Fitzgerald, of Shepperton, has had 100 barrels per acre; the favourite sorts are the apple, the Castania, and the Buck, being a species of the Howard. They fat pigs on them; but what much amazed me, was fattening hogs on grass, which they do very generally, and make them as fat as a bullock, but put them up to beans for three weeks to harden the fat. Of barley they sow 14 stone an acre, and get six barrels, at 32 stone each. Bere, two rowed barley, called English here, and four rowed, called Dutch , and of these the bere yields best. Mr. Singleton has had 40 barrels of bere per acre, each 16 stone on the corcass land. Of oats they sow 21 stone to the acre, and get 12 barrels, on an average 14 stone each; and on the corcass sand 16. Of beans they sow 35 stone to the acre, sow them on the green sod soon after christmas, and plough them in; never hand-hoe or weed them: the average crop 20 barrels, at 20 stone; 30 the greatest; they are used for home consumption in dear years, and for exportation in cheap. The poor people make bread of them, and eat them boiled, and they prefer a bushel of them to a bushel of wheat; but they will not eat them, except in a scarcity. No pease sown, but rape in considerable quantities in mountain grounds, or boggy, both of which are burnt for it. They plough the furrow very shallow;, and burn it: they never seed it. The crop of seed 8 barrels, at 16 stone, at from 7s. 6d. to 18s. a barrel, generally from 14s. to 17s. It is pressed into oil at the mills of six-mile bridge and Scariff, near Killaloe, but the greatest part is bought up by the merchants of Limerick for exportation to Holland, and last year some part of it has been sent to Great Britain, in consequence of the act which passed last sessions. The rape cakes are all exported to England for manure: the price of them 45s. to 42s. per ton. The rape and bean-straw are burnt to ashes for the soapboilers; and Mr. Singleton has a kiln contrived on purpose for burning lime with it, collecting the ashes at the same time that the lime is burnt. No clover is sown, except by Sir Lucius O'Brien. Flax is sown in small quantities by the poor people for their own consumption; and some yarn sold, but not much from the whole county. Spinning is by no means general; not half the women spin. Some linens, bandle-cloths, and Clare dowlas, for exportation in small quantities, and other sorts, enough for home consumption. Wool is spun for cloathing the people, into worsted yarn for serges, and into yarn for stockings. Great quantities of frizes are sold out of the county.

MUCH heath waste land, many hundreds of acres every year are brought in by paring and burning for rape, but use no manure for it; after that wheat, and get good crops, and then two, three, or four crops of oats, good ones; then left for grass, and comes tolerable herbage, worth 5s. an acre.

THE principal grazing system consists in a union of both of rearing and fattening; the rearing farms generally at a considerable distance from the rich lands on the Fergus and Shannon. The most profitable management of grazing, is to buy in year-olds, but it can only be done, by having a variety of land. It is found much more beneficial than buying in bullocks in autumn, and cows in may, as the Meath graziers do.

THE average price of the year-olds, is from 2l. 2s. to 2l. 10s. and the price sold at four and a half year-olds, weighing 4½ cwt. 4¾, to 5¼ cwt. is on an average at 8l. For cows bought in in may, 3l. 3s. to 3l. 12s. and sell at 5l. 10s. An acre of the corcass land will fatten one of these bullocks, but then it must not be winter-fed at all. Sheep, on an average, shear three to a stone of 16 lb. and sell at 1s. per lb. Mr. Macnamara sold this year 55 bags, besides his lambs wool; the weight is from six hundred, to seven and a half, fifty stone, and this year's price 17s. 6d. a stone. Upon the lime-stone sheep-walks of this county, they keep from one and a half to five; on an average, three. The loss on stock-sheep, bullocks, &c. will not amount to more than one per cent. on the value. For hiring and stocking a grazing farm, three rents are reckoned to do. Those bullocks that are to be fattened the summer following, they give hay most part of the winter, for four or five months, as much as they will eat, which will be half an acre of good meadow.

THERE are 4000 bullocks fattened annually in the county of Clare; bought in at 6l, and sold out at 10l. and 3000 cows, bought in at 3l. and sold fat at 5l, also 6000 fat wethers, sold out of the county annually at 20s. each.

THIS country is famous for cyder-orchards, the cakagee especially, which is incomparably fine. An acre of trees yields from four to ten hogsheads per annum, average six, and what is very uncommon in the cyder counties of England, yield a crop every year. I never beheld trees so loaden with apples as in Sir Lucius O'Brien's orchard; it amazed me that they did not break under the immense load which bowed down the branches. He expected a hogshead a tree from several.

LAND sells at twenty years purchase. Rents sell in the rearing lands 5s. or 6s. in the pound, but rich lands sell very little. Tythes are compounded by a composition made every year by the piece. Fat bullocks nothing. Sheep, 20s, per hundred. Wheat, 5s. Barley, 3s. Oats, 2s. Potatoes, 10s. Middle men, not common, but much land re-let, arising from the long tenures which are given of three lives, &c. The poor live upon potatoes ten months of the year; but if a mild winter, and a good crop, all the year on them. They keep cows very generally, but not so many as in the list of Sir Lucius's tenants. Lahour is usually paid for with land. Working-days of roman catholics may be reckoned 250 in a year, which are paid for with as much land as amounts to about six pounds, and the good and bad master is distinguished by this land being reckoned at an high or a low rent. The state of the poor, on comparison with what they were twenty years ago, is that they are much increased in numbers, and better clad than they were, and more regularly fed, in being freed from those scarcities which were felt before the laws for the increase of tillage. Relative to religion, there was a return to the committee of religion, in the house of Commons, in 1765, when the return of Clare was as follows, in five divisions:

No. 1 896 protestants. 16831 catholics.
  2 1089   12156  
  3 291   2694  
  4 99   786  
  5 101   4677  
    2476   37144  
      Total 3962  

16 to 1, and 404 over.

LUCERNE, Sir Lucius cultivated for some years, and found while it was attended to, and kept clean, that it was of great use for horses, but his absence and neglect destroyed it. Relative to smuggling wool from Clare, he gave me several strong reasons for believing that there had not been any for some years; that county is well situated for it, and some ships smuggled brandy and tobacco, and could carry it away with great ease, yet not one goes. Sir Lucius was executor to a man who made a fortune by it twenty-five years ago, but he would never smuggle when above 10S. a stone; I had the same account in Galway. The cause of the high price of wool, is the admission of woollen yarn in all the ports of England, and the increased demand in the Manchester fabric for that yarn, which demand would have operated in England as in Ireland, had the cheapness of spinning been equal. Another cause, the increase of population, and the people being better clad. Sending a pound of wool to France, smugglers compute to be sixpence, which is fifty per cent. on the present prime cost. Thus the French could get wool much cheaper from England, where the prime cost is lower. There is none from Cork, for being a manufacturing town, the people would not allow it. A duty of 4d. per stone of 18 lb. on woollen and worsted yarn exported, marks the quantity which Ireland grows beyond its own consumption. Raw wool, two thousand to 10,000 stone, the rest yarn, which is nearly doubled in value by the manufacture. The quantity of broad-cloth and serges, that is, old and new drapery, imported from England, equals the export of woollen yarn. It is remarkable that upon the corcass lands in this county, there are several tools in use, which are called Dutch , a Dutch spade, a Dutch plough, &c.

PARTICULARS of some of Sir Lucius O'Brien's labourers.

Average of 43 souls per cabbin 6
  Cows 3
  Acres potatoes 1
  —— corn

SIR Lucius Obrien introduced me to two of the most considerable graziers in the county, Mr. Singleton, and Mr. Fitzgerald, and rode through a part of their farms. Mr. Singleton's corcass meadows were one continued bed of rushes, till he destroyed them by a method which alone proved effectual, which is digging up the rush, and turning it topsy-turvy into the hole again, this he finds effectually destroys them, and the expence is not so great as might be imagined. This gentleman has more tillage-land than common upon grazing farms; he shewed me a haggard , well silled with wheat stacks; seventeen acres of that grain yielded him 196 barrels, Mr. Fitzgerald is a very attentive farmer, and in several particulars, conducts his business upon principles different from those which are common in Ireland. He has built excellent farming-offices; particularly a barn, exceedingly well contrived; the corn may be thrown at once from the part of the barn where it is stowed on to two threshing-floors, the one over anqther, and from the stacks through a window into the barn. His hay is also thrown in the same manner, down into the cow-house, and his potatoes into a vault. These conveniencies, which are a great saving of labour, are gained by the buildings being raised on the side of a steep hill, cut away for the purpose. His cows he keeps in the house all winter, by which means they are better wintered, and he raises a great quantity of manure. The chaff of his corn crops he saves carefully, which is directly contrary to the farmer's practice; and what is much more, cuts much hay and straw into chaff, with an engine, which he finds to answer perfectly well; the man works it with one hand, and supplies it with the other, being fixed against the wall.

SEPTEMBER the 8th, left Drummoland. Sir Lucius rode with me through Clonmelly, to the hill above Bunratty Castle, for a view of the Shannon. Clonmelly is a division of Drumline parish, 900 acres of Carcass land in one lot, which is cheap, at 30s. an acre. I went into some of the pastures, which were stocked with very fine bullocks, at the rate of one to every acre. In this neighbourhood, Mr. Hickman has a close of 20 acres, which, when in his own hands, fattened him 2 cows per acre, and in winter fed him 100 wethers, to the improvement of 6s. each. The profit by the cows was 4l. and by the sheep 1l. 10s. per acre: in all 5l. 5s. I had this fact from his own mouth. The richness of these corcasses, which are flat lands on the river side, that have been gained at different times from the salt-water, is very great. When in tillage, they sometimes yield extraordinary crops; 50 stat barrels an acre of bere have been known, sixteen of barley, and from 20 to 24 of oats are common crops. From Clonmelly Hill, the prospect is very noble. There is a view of the Shannon from Limerick to Foynes Island, which is 30 miles, with all its bays, bends, islands, and fertile shores. It is from one to three miles broad, a most noble river, deserving regal navies for its ornament, or what are better, fleets of merchantmen, the chearful signs of far extended commerce, instead of a few miserable fishing-boats, the only canvass that swelled upon the scene: but the want of commerce in her ports is the misfortune, not the fault of Ireland. Thanks for the deficiency to that illiberal spirit of trading jealousy, which has at times actuated and disgraced so many nations. The prospect has a noble outline in the bold mountains of Tipperary, Cork, Limerick, and Kerry. The whole view magnificent.

AT the foot of this hill is the castle of Bunratty, a very large edifice, the seat of the O'Briens, princes of Thomond; it stands on the bank of a river, which falls into the Shannon near it. About this castle, and that of Rosmanagher, the land is the best in the county of Clare; it is worth 1l. 13s. an acre, and fats a bullock per acre in summer, besides winter seed.

To LIMERICK, through a chearful country, on the banks of the river, in a vale surrounded by distant mountains. That city is very finely situated, partly on an island formed by the Shannon. The new part, called Newtown Pery, from Mr. Pery, the speaker, who owns a considerable part of the city, and represents it in parliament, is well built. The houses are new ones, of brick, large and in right lines. There is a communication with the rest of the town by a handsome bridge of three large arches, erected at Mr. Pery's expence. Here are docks, quays, and a custom-house, a good building, which faces the river, and on the opposite banks a large quadrangular one, the house of industry. This part of Limerick is very chearful and agreeable, and carries all the marks of a flourishing place.

THE exports of this port are beef, pork, butter, hides, and rape-seed. The imports are rum, sugar, timber, tobacco, wines, coals, bark, salt, &c. The customs and excise, about 16 years ago, amounted to 16,000l. at present 32,000l. and rather more four or five years ago.

Whole revenue 1751 —   — 16000
  1775 —   — 51000
Revenue of the Port of Limerick, Year ending
March 25 1759 —   — 20494
  1760 —   — 29197
  1761 —   — 20727
  1762 —   — 20650
  1763 —   — 20525
  1764 —   — 32635
  1765 —   — 31099
Com. Jour. vol. 14. p. 71.

Account of Duties paid on Goods imported and exported in Limerick.

    Imports. Exports.
Years.   £. s. d.   £. s. d.
1764   19,869 15 9   2195 6 7
1765   2,1332 4 8   1964 5 2
1766   16,729 8 2   1815 11 8
1767   16,316 10 0   2365 4 4
1768   16,571 12 8   2229 17 2
1769   20,237 12 7   1855 0 8
1770   22,138 0 4   1941 3 8
1771   20,213 12 6   2455 2 2
1772   22,003 2 0   3046 11 10
1773   20,606 15 7   2282 1 7
1774   17,317 0 9   2150 13 9
1775   16,979 10 6   2647 5 9

Salted, last year, 43,700 pigs; average 1½cwt. The number of bullocks killed here in a year amounts to 13,000; increased pretty considerably in twenty years. They have been salting pigs all summer. Pork now 29s. 3d. per cwt. was only 12s. seven years ago. The value of bullocks hides are on an average 35s. and those of cows 24s. per cwt. Butter exported in casks, from two to three cwt. each, now 44s. a cwt. 6 years ago only 25s. The shipping belonging to the town, 1 of 120 tons.

1   150  
3   150 to 250
1   140  
1   96  
1   50  

but not increased. A good deal of rape seed shipped off for Holland, and one hundred tons of rape cakes to Wells and Lynn in Norfolk, at 40s. a ton. Till this last year at 25s. a ton. Many thousand loads of dung thrown, into the Shannon, both in the town and many places along the river. Within five or six years they have taken some away, but not much. Town parks let at 4l. 4s. to 5l. for 10 miles every way the rent is 25s. to 30s. Much flour goes to Dublin from this county and Tipperary on the land-carriage bounty. There is a great increase of tillage; thrice the corn grown that there was formerly: there has been much pasturage broken up on this account; some bullock land, and some sheep land. Great quantities of butter made within a few miles of Limerick. Scarce any spinning here, or in the neighbourhood, either of wool or flax. The poor live upon potatoes and milk, generally speaking, with some oatmeal. They do not all keep cows; those who do not, pay 1d. for three quarts of skim milk. The rent of their cabbins and one-fourth of an acre 15s. to 20s. build them themselves. They are in a better situation in most respects than twenty years ago. Pigs are much increased, chiefly or entirely bred by the cottars, and the high price has been of prodigious consequence to them. They are much better clad than they were. Date their increase of this from the open cattle trade to England. Population has much increased within twenty years, and the city also, but was more populous six years ago than at present. Emigrations were known from hence; two ships went commonly till the war. Between 1740 and 1750, there were only four carriages in and about Limerick, the bishop's, the dean's, one other clergyman's, and one neighbouring gentleman's. Four years ago there were above seventy coaches and post-chaises in Limerick, and one mile round it. In Limerick district, now 183 four-wheeled carriages, and 115 two-wheeled ditto.

Price of Provisions.

Wheat, 1s. 1d. a stone
Barley and oats, 5d¾ to 6d.
Scotch coals, 18s. Whitehaven, 20s.
A boat load of turf, 20 tons, 45s.
Salmon, three halfpence
Trout, 2d. very fine, per lb.
Eels, 2d. a pound
Rabbits, 8d. a couple
Wild ducks, 20d. to 2s. a couple
Teal, 10d. a couple
Plover, 6d. a couple
Widgeon, 10d. ditto
Hares, 1s. each, commonly sold all the year round
Woodcocks, 20d. to 2s. 2d. a brace
Oysters, 4d. to 1s. a 100
Lobsters, 1s. to 1s. 6d. if good.

Land sells at twenty years purchase. Rents were at the highest in 1765, fell since, but in four years have fallen 8s. to 10s. an acre about Limerick. They are at a stand at present, owing to the high price of provisions from pasture. The number of people in Limerick are computed at 32,000, it is exceedingly populous for the size; the chief street quite crowded; many sedan chairs in town, and some hackney chaises. Assemblies the year round, in a new assembly-house, built for the purpose; and plays and concerts common.

UPON the whole, Limerick must be a very gay place, but when the usual number of troops are in town, much more so. To shew the general expences of living, I was told of a person's keeping a carriage, four horses, three men, three maids, a good table, a wife, three children, and a nurse, and all for 500l. a year:

    £. s. d.   £. s. d.
A footman   4 4 0 to 6 6 0
A professed woman cook           6 6 0
A house-maid           3 0 0
A kitchen-maid           2 0 0
A butler   10 0 0 to 12 0 0

A barrel of beef or pork, 200lb. weight. Vessels of 400 tons can come up with spring-tides, which rise 14 feet.

SEPTEMBER 9th, to Castle Oliver; various country, not so rich to appearance as the corcasses, being fed bare: much hilly sheep-walk, and for a considerable way, a full third of it potatoes and corn: no sign of depopulation. Just before I got to the hills, a field of ragwort (senesio jacobœa) buried the cows. The first view of Castle Oliver interesting. After rising a mountain so high that no one could think of any house, you come in view of a vale, quite filled with fine woods, fields margined with trees, and hedge plantations climbing up the mountains. Having engaged myself to Mr. Oliver, to return from Killarney by his house, as he was confined to Limerick by the assizes, I shall omit saying any thing of it at present.

SEPTEMBER 10th, reached Annsgrove, the seat of Richard Aldworth, Esq; to whom I am obliged for the following particulars. Farms about Annsgrove, in the parish of Castle Town Roche, rise from 50 acres to 200, a few smaller. It abounds exceedingly with land jobbers, who have hired large tracts, and re-let them to tenants, and those to under ones, but gentlemen are getting out of this system now. No graziers here; the rents are made by tillage and sheep, and a few dairies; the soil is all lime-stone; much fine hazel loam, from 4 to 18 inches deep. A hill runs through this country, which is wet woodcock clay. It lets in general from 7s. to 22s. plantation acre, average 15s. The barony of Orrery in this county (Corke) is as rich as Limerick; lets from 25s. to 35s. an acre. The next is Fermoy 13s. Duhallow has much mountain and unimproved land; vast tracts of it heath, but rears at present great numbers of young cattle, and many dairies, average rent 7s. Condons and Clangibon 15s. Imokilly, a very fine corn country. Barrymore, rough, 7s. Barrets, mountains with bog, 4s. Musherry, rough and un-cultivated, 4s. Kinalea yields more corn than any of them; lets at 14s. the English acre. The baronies of Kerrycurihy and Courcy's upon the coast are all high let, from situation, 10S. the English acre; In Carbery, there are great quantities of wild country, and much uncultivated; provisions are extravagantly cheap, from want of communications. The whole county, upon an average, 7s. The course of crops about Annsgrove:

I. Potatoes. 2. Wheat. 3. Oats. 4. Oats, 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Leave it for three years.

1. Potatoes. 2. Bere. 3. Oats. 4. Oats. 5. Oats. 6. Oats. 7. Leave it for three or four years.

FLAX sown in patches upon lay, and sometimes after potatoes. That root they plant in a most slovenly manner, leaving the small ones in the ground the first crop, in order to be seed for the second, by which means they are not sliced: sometimes a sharp frost catches them, and destroys all these roots. They plant many on grass without dung, on the rich land, and pay 25s. to 50s. an acre for liberty to do it. Of wheat they sow 20 stone per acre, and get on an average 7 barrels. They seldom sow it till february; they think the first dark nights in that month the best seed time in the year. But it is in fact owing to their taking their potatoes up so late, which they do not begin till near christmas. Some, however, are earlier, and get their wheat in in november and december. They sow, of oats, a kilderkin, or 4 bushels of 32 gallons. Neither pease, beans, nor rape in the country, but turnips and clover are creeping in among gentlemen. Flax is sown by every body for their own use, which they spin, and get woven into linen for themselves, and what they have to spare, sell in yarn. But there are very few of these weavers.

LIME is the great manure; they lay 100 common barrels to the acre, lasts seven or eight good crops, and leaves the ground the better for it: but their principle is to exhaust as fast as possible in consequence of liming. It costs them 8d. a barrel roach. Burn with culm from the coal-pits in the barony of Duhallow. This coal is only used for drying malt, smiths forges, &c. but not for common fuel. They have also a very rich manure, which is rotten limestone, as they call it. It is a rock, and rises very hard, like a lime-stone quarry, but when exposed to the air, falls into sand; it has a strong fermentation with acids, and gives great crops: they do not, however, carry it above a mile and half. Paring and burning they are very fond of for potatoes, and sometimes for bere, but the landlords prevent the practice. They get very great crops by it, and do it to chuse on waste lands; pare with an instrument they call a graffane , and the husbandry they call graffaning and burning. It is a very strong hoe with which they cut up the turf, rolling it up with their foot as they do it, and leaving it to dry in order to burn. They do it in march or april for their potatoe planting; and though it makes them very late, yet the crops never fail. Soot is thrown away; no malt dust, as they do not screen their malt. The fences of common farmers are making banks, and sowing furze seed. Grass lands are applied to feeding sheep and cows. Their sheep system is that of breeding. They keep their lambs till they are two-year old wethers, and then sell them to those who fatten near the coast. These they sell at 11s. to 18s. each; and they cull some ewes every year, which the butchers buy at 14s. or 15s. They sheer on an average 4lb. of wool, which sells at 13s. to 19s. 6d. a stone, at which amazing price some was sold this year. The cottars have all sheep, which they milk for their families. The poor people reckon their cattle by collops , that is, proportions. The heaviest collop is six sheep, the next is a horse, the next two heifers, and lastly the cow. Flocks rise to 500 sheep; no folding. Dairies are considerable. They rise from 20 to 50 cows, are employed in making butter only; in some parts of the county they make very good cheese. An acre and a quarter maintains a cow in summer and winter grass and hay. The farmer generally lets them out to dairymen, at 2l. a cow, and a guinea for horn money; the 40s. is for the butter, and the guinea for the other produce, four milk, pigs, and calf. But sometimes the rent is in butter a hundred weight per cow delivered in Corke, and the guinea is in cash. The produce is not much more than this cwt. of butter; for the dairyman's profit lies principally in having the grass of a cow, an acre of ground, and a cabbin and garden, and they are generally very poor. They rear many pigs on account of the dairies, about a pig to every cow, and a calf to every two cows, which they feed on four milk, giving them none new. They are attentive to have their cows calve in may. The tillage of the farmers is all done by horses; that of the gentlemen by oxen. Four horses and three men to every plough, one to drive, one to hold, and another with a pole; bearing on the beam to keep it in the ground; but they do an acre a day, by means of leaving a great space untouched in the middle of each land, where they begin by lapping the sods to meet. To 100 acres of tillage they keep about six horses; they make up their teams by borrowing of one another. Hire of a car, horses and driver, 1s. 6d; a day. Price of carriage ½d. per cwt. a mile. In hiring farms, they will manage to take 100 acres without a hundred pence. They will do it without teams or cattle, or any thing; by re-letting the land for potatoes, grass for cows, &c. and if a fellow gets 5l. by a 100 acres, he is very well satisfied. Land sells at 20 years purchase. Rents, at present, at a stand; rather upon the rise, owing to the price of butter; they sell 3s; 6d. in the pound in 1772 and 3; Tythes are compounded. Wheat pays 8s. the English acre: some 6s. Barley and Bere 6s. Potatoes 6s. Mowing ground 2s; Sheep 3d. Lambs 2d. Cows 2d; Leases are generally 31 years, three lives, or for ever.

THE poor people in general occupy from 10 to 15 acres; but the most common way is hiring in partnership in rundale; and they have changedale also. Most of them have only a cabbin and a cabbage garden, the size is usually enough for 100 plants; and their rent for it 20s; in this case they pay their neighbour for the grass of their cow; but I was sorry to find that some of them have no cows. They live the year through upon potatoes, and for half the year have nothing but water with them; They have all a pig, and some of them several, but kill one for themselves at christmas; Their circumstances are very generally better than twenty years ago, especially in cloathing, but in food no great difference. Spinning is the general business of the women: they spin infinitely more wool than flax. All the poor keep a collop of sheep; as soon as the lamb is fit to kill, they sell it, except enough to keep up the stock, in order to have the milk. In the little towns of Doneraile, Mitchelstown, Mallow, Kilworth, Kanturk, and Newmarket, are clothiers, who buy up the wool, employ combers in their houses, who make considerable wages, and when combed, they have a day fixed for the poor to come and take it, in order to spin it into worsted, and pay them by the ball, by which they earn 1¾d. to 2d. a day. The clothier exports this worsted from Corke to Bristol and Norwich. Of late they have worked a good deal of it into serges, which are sent to Dublin by land-carriage, and from thence to the North, from whence it is smuggled into England by way of Scotland. The poor people's wool is worked into frizes for the use of the men. The weavers who work these frizes and serges live about the country in the cabbins. Immense quantities of raw wool are seen to Corke from all parts; 500 cars have been seen in a line; and it is supposed to be sent in large quantities to France. No emigrations. All the poor people are roman catholics, and among them are the descendants of the old families who once possessed the country, of which they still preserve the full memory, insomuch, that a gentleman's labourer will regularly leave to his son, by will, his master's estate.

IRELAND has very few such farmers as Mr. Aldworth; for above 600 acres in tillage is such a business as I have no where met with. In his improvements, turnips formed a considerable article; in the year 1772 he began with one acre: in 1774 he had two acres: in 1775, five acres: and this year, eight. He has always hoed them, but not yet in any perfection, though improving. He fed them on the land with sheep by means of hurdles; they were chiefly fat wethers, and the benefit he found very great; being able by no other means, to keep them fat, which the turnips did in great perfection. He also carted some off for stall feeding bullocks and cows, which answered perfectly well. A very great advantage he found from turnips in the barley which succeeded, being incomparably better than after any other preparation. Mr. Aldworth is, upon the whole, so well persuaded of the advantage of the culture, that he is determined to increase the quantity every year, till he gets a fourth part of his farm under them. The effect of lime was never displayed in a clearer manner than upon Mr. Aldworth's farm. The soil, I should observe, is a loam and brick clay, on a rock of limestone, from nine inches to three feet deep; but what is remarkable, all the loose surface stones are grit, and all the quarries lime-stone. Upon this soil he has found the benefit surprizingly great: where he limes he gets very good crops; and where he does not he can get no crops at all. In my life I never saw this clearer displayed than in two of his fields this year, one wheat and the other barley; in each there was about an acre not limed, but all the rest had 100 barrels an acre; the parts limed had a very fine crop, but those two spots a wretched one; literally speaking, not worth mowing; and another smaller patch in the barley field the same; the crop excellent to an inch where the lime was laid, and immediately adjoining nothing but weeds. Another experiment, shewing the great efficacy, was a comparison he made of it with the sheep fold; he folded part without liming in a field, the rest of which was limed, and the superiority of the latter part was very great. Mr. Aldworth spreads it on his fallows for wheat, and on his potatoe land for barley. It is to be noted that this land was never limed before. Upon another part of his farm which had been limed, he does not find the benefit to be equal. He burns his lime in both running and standing kilns; in the former with culm, and the expence to him is 8d. a barrel roach. In the standing kilns he burns without breaking the stones, 1500 barrels at a time with faggots, and in this way it is 6d. a barrel. These kilns, he remarks, should be built with very great strength, or the extreme heat of the fire bursts the masonry, His liming has been upon so extensive a scale, that last year he had seven kilns burning, two of them standing ones, and burned in all above 10,000 barrels, and as much this year, all for manuring his own farm. Mr. Aldworth has erected a bolting mill, which will grind 5000 barrels of wheat, and it is curious to observe the effect of it as a newly-established market: the first year he ground 1100 barrels, being all he could get; the next year, the present, it will be 5000, He has also taken pains to improve the breed of sheep, by buying English ewes. The same attention he has given to swine and various other articles. Reynold's turnip cabbage he has planted two years for late feeding of sheep in the spring: he finds them of excellent use, and is determined never to be without them. He began to plant hops in 1772 upon half an acre of land, a fine rich red loam a yard deep; they succeeded perfectly well; and the second year yielded 8cwt. the half acre of good hops. In 1773 he added two acres: in 1775 he planted another acre: last year the crop failed, not getting above 3 or 4cwt. This year he has a very good appearance. Has not found the climate at all against them; and is clear that it may be a very advantageous branch of culture. He, however, remarked, that they are not so strong as English hops, owing, perhaps, to want of experience in drying, &c. He manures them every third year. Mr. Aldworth is the only person in this country that folds his sheep; he finds the practice very useful, but not equal, as observed before, to lime.

1 These works have since been discontinued with many other undertakings of the same person.

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

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