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PROPERTY.---The state of property in this county may be considered beneficial in its division. The largest estate is supposed not to exceeed 8,5001. a year; there are three or four others which rise above 5,000l. and about thirty others of 3,0001. and upwards. Below this standard there are many of all sizes: but a circumstance which strongly indicates the prosperity of this portion of the kingdom, is the great number of yeomen, or farmers occupying their own lands, of a value rising from 1001. to 4001. a year. These, as Mr. Young emphatically remarks, are a most valuable set of men, who having the means, and the most powerful inducements to good husbandry, carry agriculture to a high degree of perfection."

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The great mass of the county is freehold property; but copyholds are numerous, and some of them extensive. The farms in Suffolk must, in a general light, be reckoned large; and to this circumstance chiefly may be attributed the good husbandry so commonly found in the county. In the district of strong wet loam there are many small farms from 201. to 1001. a year; but these are intermixed with others rising from 1501. to 3001. and even higher. In the sand districts they are much larger, from 3001. to 8001. or 9001. Here owing not a little to these large occupations in the hands of a wealthy tenantry, agriculture is carried to great perfection.

The usual terms for leases are seven, fourteen, and twenty-one years. Few counties have been more improved by the latter than Suffolk. By means of such leases, whole tracts in the sandy districts have been converted from warren and sheep-walks into productive inclosures. They have caused large tracts to be hollowdrained; and occasioned an improved cultivation in almost every


respect, where it depended on the expenditure of larger sums than are laid out by farmers unable or unwilling to make such exertions.

Mr. Young* gives the following estimate of the total rental of the county, founded upon the division of it according to the soil:

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BUILDINGS---On a survey of the buildings in general of this county, the neglect of elegance and convenience in those of gentlemen of a certain property, as well as in farm-houses, cannot fail to strike the observer. The latter, indeed, are much improved within the last twenty or thirty years, but even at present they are too often built of lath and plaister, which decaying in a short time, cause repairs to be so heavy a deduction from the receipts of an estate.†

Though some individuals have most laudably distinguished themselves by building neat and comfortable cottages for the laboring poor, the small profit which the rent affords, has prevented this practice from being frequent. The cottages of Suffolk in general are bad habitations, deficient in contrivance for warmth and convenience, the state of repair bad, and the want of gardens too common. The general rent of them is from two to three pounds, with or without a small garden.

STATE OF THE POOR.---The amount of money levied in this county in 1803, for the maintenance of the poor, was 149,6461. being

* General View of tho Agriculture of Suffolk, p. 20.

The extent to which this evil operates in the eastern part of the kingdom is scarcely credible. Mr. Young informs us, that on one estate of about 1,5001, a year, the repairs amounted in eleven years to above 4,0001.

being at the rate of 4s. 101d in the pound. The most singular circumstance relating to the poor in Suffolk, is the incorporation of various hundreds for erecting and supporting houses of industry.. The local inconvenience and distress arising from the number of poor, and the expence of maintaining them, occasioned many districts in the county to apply to parliament for the power of incorporating themselves, and of regulating the employment, and maintenance of the poor by certain rules not authorized by the existing poor laws. Several acts of parliament accordingly passed, incorporating those districts, where the poor have since been governed and supported according to the power given by such acts. The result of an actual examination of these institutions by T. Ruggles, Esq. is given by Mr. Young in the following terms :*

"In the incorporated hundreds, the houses of industry strike one in a different light from the cottages of the poor. They are all built in as dry, healthy, and pleasant situations, as the vicinity affords. The offices, such as the kitchen, brewhouse, bakehouse, buttery, laundry, larder, cellars, are all large, convenient, and kept extremely neat ; the work-rooms are large and well aired; and the sexes are kept apart, both in hours of work and recreation. The dormitories are also large, airy, and conveniently disposed; separate rooms for children of each sex, adults and aged. The married have each a separate apartment to themselves; mothers with nurse children are also by themselves. The infirmaries are large, convenient, airy, and comfortable; none without fireplaces. All the houses have a proper room for the necessary dispensary; and most of them a surgeon's room besides. The halls in all are large, convenient, well ventilated with two or more fireplaces, and calculated, with respect to room, for the reception of full as many as the other conveniences of the house can contain.

"The chapels are all sufficiently large, neat, and plain; several of them rather tending to grandeur and elegance. There were two houses which had no chapels: one of them made use of a room ample enough for the congregation, properly fitted up, and kept

General View of the Agriculture of Suffolk, p. 251.


very neat; the other attended the parish church. The apartments for the governor were in all the houses large and conveniently disposed. In one or two these apartments were rather more spacious and elegant than necessary. There are also convenient storehouses and warehouses for keeping the manufactures of the house, the raw materials, clothing, &c. for the use of the inhabitants.

"The land belonging to the houses, and the gardens in particular are calculated for producing a sufficient quantity of vegetable diet, so necessary to the health, as well as agreeable to the palate of the inhabitants.

"In general the appearance of all the houses of industry in the approach to them, somewhat resembles what we may suppose of the hospitable large mansions of our ancestors in those times when the gentry of the country spent their rents among their neighbors.

"The interior of these houses must occasion a most agreeable surprise to all those who have not before seen poverty but in its miserable cottage, or more miserable work-house. Their neatness, which had so pleasing an effect on the eye, was the cause also that the other senses were not disgusted by that constant attendant on collected filth and foul air, a noisome stench, as deleterious to human life, as it is in general nauseating to those who accidentally breathe such an atmosphere.

"The practice of frequent white-washing, does much toward preserving the air of these houses sweet and wholesome; but the constant attention of those who perform the offices of the house is absolutely necessary; and even that is insufficient, unless the halls, working rooms, and dormitories, have the external air admitted through the windows, whenever it can be done with safety to the inhabitants with respect to catching cold. The neatness and cleanliness which prevailed in their halls at the hour of refection, were also laudably observable; most of these houses of industry being visited at the hours of breakfast, dinner, or supper.”

Mr. Ruggles, who furnished the preceding observations on the houses of industry, proceeds to examine three important ques tions:

1. Have

1. Have these institutions amended the morals of the poor? 2. Have they tended to diminish the burthen of expense to society attending their relief and maintenance?

3. Have they increased, or do they tend to decrease the chance of human life?

The two first questions he answers unequivocally in the affirmative, supporting his opinion by facts; and with regard to the third, he says:---"That it is not on experience determined in their favor also, arises from the difficulty of requiring every information necessary to its investigation; and from the inability of the writer to apply with precision, and certainty of proof, such facts as he had obtained. He still believes that this point will, whenever it falls under the pen of a more accurate inquirer and able political arithmetician, conduce also to the recommendation of district incorporated houses of industry, as tending to increase the chance of life and population."

It appears from the list in the office of the clerk of the peace for the county, that those admirable institutions, benefit clubs, flourish considerably in Suffolk. The number of these clubs amount to 219, containing 7709 members.

AGRICULTURE.---It is no small praise for the farmers of this county to assert, that they are little, if at all, behind their northern neighbors in the improved cultivation of their lands; and indeed several beneficial practices are to be observed among the former to which the latter are still strangers. To point out these peculiarities, will be one of the principal objects of this article.

Though the dairy district of Suffolk is extensive, and the number of sheep great, yet the arable part of the county is by far the most considerable. One of the greatest improvements in the management of arable lands, particularly if they be of a strong wet nature, was, till very lately, confined to this county. It consists in avoiding all, or nearly all, spring plowings. Enlightened cultivators have extended this system to autumnal sowings: they scarify and scuffle, rake, clear, and burn, till the surface is fine enough for the drill to work, and then leave it till rain comes for drilling. This


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