« PoprzedniaDalej »
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 questions :
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 namber 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
practice not only obviates many difficulties to which the farmer was exposed by the method formerly pursued, but by leaving a firm bottom for the roots of wheat, it has precluded the common malady of root-fallen crops.” “ This general rejection of tillage by the plough, whenever circumstances permit, I consider,” says Mr. Young,* “ as one of the greatest, if not the greatest improvement in modern husbandry. It has changed the face of the greatest part of this county, and will change the face of ot hers as fast as it is introduced with skill and intelligence.” In consequence of the adoption of this system, drilling has become very general, especially upon clay land; and appears likely to spread to every
; part of the county. Dibbling is also very common.
The management of the arable land, and the courses of crops, differ essentially, in the four distinct soils of which Suffolk consists. In the strong soils, the more general course includes summer fallow as the common preparation for the rotation of cornproducts, on the principle that when once given, the farmer will be enabled to omit it at the second return, and even at the third also, by means of clover, tares, pease, &c. This principle governs many variations, but where sufficient manure can be procured, the hest course is as follows: 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat. 3. Beans. 4. Barley. 5. Clover. 6. Wheat.
On the rich loam and sand, the rotation called the Norfolk husbandry is very generally introduced. It is this: 1. Turnips. 2. Barley, 3. Clover, 4. Wheat.
On the sand districts, the management differs according to the badness of the soil, but it is uniform in one feature, that turnips are every where the preparation for both corn and grass. After them barley is generally sown, and grass seeds succeed, but with variations. In Samford Hundred, where the farmers are excellent managers, their course is: 1. Turnips. 2. Barley. 3. Trefoil and ray-grass. 4. Peas dibbled. 5. Barley.
In the fenny part of the county, the method generally pursued, is to sow cole-seed on one plowing, after paring and burning,
then • General View of the Agriculture of Suffolk, p. 70.
then oats twice in succession; with the last of these they lay down with ray-grass and clover for six or seven years, then pare and burn, and repeat the same husbandry.
The crops commonly cultivated in Suffolk are: wheat, barley. oats, rye, beans, pease, buck-wheat; which, on the very poorest sands, is more common than in many other parts of England, and is for such soils a very valuable crop; tares; cole-seed, one of the principal productions of the fen-district, and which, as food for sheep, exceeds turnips both in regard to fattening and milk; turnips, clover, trefoil, white clover, and sainfoin.
The crops not commonly cultivated consist of hops, cabbages carrots, lucerne, chicory, potatoes, and hemp.
The cultivation of hops, introduced into England in the reign of Henry VIII. seems to have been early attended to in this county. Bullein, who wrote his Bulwarke of Defence in the middle of the sixteenth century, mentions their growing at Brusiard, near Framlingham, and in many other places. The same writer, in his Government of Health, observes, that " though there cometh many good hops from beyond sea, yet it is known that the goodly stilles and fruitful grounds of England do bring forth unto man's use, as good hops as groweth in any place in this world, as by proof I know in many places in the countie of Suffolke, whereas they brew their beere with the hops that groweth upon their own grounds.” From the manner in which Tusser, who was a Suffolk farmer about the same time, mentions them, and the frequent directions which he gives respecting their management, it may be inferred, that almost every person who bad a proper spot, cultivated some at least for his own use. This crop, however, is very little cultivated at present in Suffolk, except at Stowmarket, and in its neighborhood, where there are about 200 acres.
In 'regard to cabbages, Mr. Young observes, that the heavy part of Suffolk is the only district in England, where, to his knowledge, their culture is established among many common farmers. It is, however, of late years considerably declined, from the idea +
that this plant exhausts the ground, an opinion which that celebrated agriculturist thinks founded on ill management.
The cultivation of carrots in the Sandlings, or district within the line formed by Woodbridge, Saxmuudham, and Orford, but extending to Leiston, is one of the most interesting objects in the agriculture of Britain. From Norden's Surveyors' Dialogue, it appears that carrots were commonly cultivated in this district two centuries ago; a fact which demonstrates how long such practices may be confined to the same spot, and how much time is required to extend them. For many years they were chiefly raised for the London market; but other parts of the kingdom having rivalled Suffolk in this supply, they are now principally cultivated as food for draught horses. It has been found by long experience, that this food keeps those animals in much finer condition, and enables them to go through all the work of the season better than corn and hay. For horses that are ridden fast, they are not equally proper. They are also found to be of the greatest use for fattening bullocks, and feeding cows, sheep, and swine. The expense of an acre is about eight guineas, and the value from twelve to fifteen.
The merit of introducing chicory into the husbandry of England, belongs to Mr. Young, a native and inhabitant of this county.
The tract in which hemp is chiefly found, extends from Eye to Beccles, and is about ten miles in breadth. It is cultivated both by farmers and cottagers, though it is very rare to see more than five or six acres in the hands of one person. This is an article of considerable importance, on account of the employment afforded by the various operations which it requires. In the above-mentioned district, indeed, the poor are entirely supported by this manufacture. The Suffolk hemp is superior in strength and quality to that of Russia; the cloths woven from it are of various degrees of fineness and breadth, from 10d. a yard, half ell wide, to 4s. and 4s.6d, ell wide. It also makes very good huckaback for towels, and common table-cloths. The low-priced hemps are a general wear for servants, husbandmen, and laboring manufacturers; those from 18d. to 25. a yard, for farmers and tradesmen; while the