« PreviousContinue »
on the pediment of the entrance, and have not been removed by Lord Elgin.
An exact copy of these drawings, by the Marquis de Nointel's painter, is given in M. Barry's works; which are rendered more valuable on account of the destruction of a considerable part of the temple in the Turkish war by the falling of a Venetian bomb, within a short time after the year in which they were made; which, however, must have been prior to the date of 1683, affixed to the plate in Barry's works, (2 vol. p. 163. London, 1809.)
Some notes of M. Fauvel, a painter and antiquarian, who moulded and took casts from the greatest part of the sculptures, and remained fifteen years at Athens, are given with the tracings of these drawings; in which it is said, with regard to these pediments, "These figures were adorned with bronze, at least if we may judge by the head of Sabina, which is one of the two that remain; and which, having fallen, and being much mutilated, was brought to M. Fauvel. The traces are visible of the little cramps which probably fixed the crown to the head. The head of the Emperor Hadrian still exists. Probably this group has been inserted to do honour to that emperor, for it is of a workmanship. different from the rest of the sculpture."
Agricultural State of the Kingdom, being the Substance of the Replies to a Circular Letter sent by the Board of Agriculture.
The Board of Agriculture, on
assembling after the Christmas vacation, considered it as an incumbent duty to the Public, to take the necessary measures for ascertaining the real state of the kingdom, in whatever most intimately concerned its Agricultural Resources; and for this purpose, ordered the following Circular Letter and Queries to be immediately dispatched to all their Correspondents:
Sir;The Board of Agriculture, attentive to those circumstances which concern the Agricultural Interest of the Kingdom, beg your attention to the underwritten Queries; to which they request the earliest possible Reply. The importance of the subject, in the present state of the Kingdom, will without doubt induce you to be carefully accurate in the answers with which you may favour us. I am, Sir, your obedient, and very humble Servant,
J. FANE, Vice-President. (Signed by Order of the Board.) 13th February, 1816.
noting the distress of the farmers, have come to your knowledge, which may not be included under the above queries ?
5. Is the present distress greater on arable, or on grass farms?
6. Have flock-farms suffered equally with others?
7. Does the country in which you reside, suffer from a diminished circulation of paper?
8. What is the state of the labouring poor; and what is the proportion of poor-rates, compared with the years 1811 and 1812?
9. What remedies occur to you, for alleviating these difficulties?
To these queries the Board received 326 letters in reply, from which the following statement has been collected.
First Query.-Occupancy. Three hundred and thirteen replies, describing the state of occupation, have been received, which may be thus arranged : Letters, mentioning farms unoccupied by tenants, being thrown on the landlord's hands..... Letters, in which no such
want of occupancy occurs. Letters, in which farms are stated to have been uncultivated for want of being occupied by the landlords,
It is necessary to observe, in relation to the 127 letters, that their not containing the article of occupation by tenants, is not singly to be taken as a sign of prosperity, as a great number of them are amongst those the most descriptive of agricultural dis
tress; and 64 of them also add, that notices have been given to quit; a circumstance marking, in some degree, the progress of the evil.
It may further be remarked, that these letters represent a large quantity of land to be uncultivated.
Second Query.-Notices to Quit.
Three hundred and twenty-two replies have been received to this query, which may be thus arranged:
Letters, in which the expres
sion is, many farmers have given notice to quit..... 103 Letters, in which the expres
sions are, several, or a few, have given notice to quit.. 111 Letters, in which the expression is, all that can, have
given notice to quit. . . . . . Letters, in which the expression is, none have given notice to quit ..
It is scarcely necessary to remark, that until the present period of declension commenced, such an idea, as giving notice to quit a farm, except for the purpose of hiring a better one, may be said to have been almost unknown in the kingdom; and no circumstance can more clearly mark the present degradation of the employment, than these notices to quit.
Third Query.-Reduction of Rent.
There have been 212 returns, specifying the proportionate reduction of rent, and the average of them all is 25 per cent.
It should however be remarked, that
that this applies only to the letters which specify the amount of the reduction many others speak of the same fact, without giving precisely the proportion.
The land rents of the kingdom, according to the returns of the property-tax, have been stated at 34,000,000; if the real fact should exceed this by only two millions, the total will be 36 millions, and the loss of 25 per cent. will give a total of 9,000,000 to landlords alone; but this will by no means, according to the letters received by the Board, be the whole of one year's loss, as the amount of unpaid arrears is stated in many of the letters to be very great indeed, and property not only distrained for rent, but also for taxes.
The distress of the present period will scarcely permit of a doubt, were it proved by no other circumstance than the curious fact which occurs more than once in the correspondence, that the mere occupation of farms,. free of all rent, is considered as a benefit, with the Norfolk assertion, that the year's rent of the county will be lost such assertions may not be accurate, but they could not be ventured, if the distress was not very great proved also by twenty advertisements of sales for distress of rent, in that one county. Fourth Query-General State of Husbandry in the present Period.
By far the greater number of the letters enter into considerable details on the circumstances which denote the present deplorable state of the National Agriculture.Bankruptcies, seizures, executions, imprisonments, and farmers
become parish paupers, are particularly mentioned by many of the correspondents; with great arrears of rent, and in many cases, tithes and poor-rates unpaid; improvements of every kind generally discontinued ; live-stock greatly lessened; trades men's bills unpaid; and alarming gangs of poachers and other depredators. These circumstances are generally expressed in language denoting extreme distress, and absolute ruin in a variety of instances.
Fifth and Sixth Queries.-Arable and Grass Lund, and Flock Farms, compared.
The replies to the fifth query, very generally assert the distress to be much greater on arable than on grass land; but many of them observe, that of late the prices of grass-land produce have so much declined, that the difference promises soon to be but small. In general, it is asserted, that flock farms have suffered much less than others; but they have begun to feel it heavily, yet not equally with arable land.
Seventh Query.-Circulation of Paper.
ness of the inconvenience may be easily conjectured from the case of Lincolnshire, where that diminution is stated to amount to no less than two millions and a half sterling; and in Wiltshire to 300,000l. But a few others are of opinion, that the present amount of paper is adequate to the object of buying and selling at the present reduced prices. Eighth Query.-State of the Labouring Poor, and Poor-Rates.
The total number of letters containing replies on the first of these subjects, amounts to 273.
Two hundred and thirty-seven letters describe the state of the poor under various expressions, denoting a want of employment, in terms more or less forcible.
One hundred and one of the above letters, expatiating on the degree of this want of employment, describe the extreme distress resulting from it as amounting to great misery and wretchedness, and in some cases to an alarming degree.
Eighteen letters describe the state of the labouring poor as neither better nor worse than formerly.
Twenty-five letters give a favourable report, representing their state as not in want of employment, and therefore not distressed.
These forty-three cases, SO much more favourable than the rest, require a few words of explanation, as in fifteen of them there occur circumstances tending to shew, that whatever the present state may be, it will soon become not superior to that of the rest. In seven of these cases,
they are attended by minutes of unoccupied farms, and notices to quit. In two others, poor-rates are stated to be high and increased. In one other, the favourable report combines with the fact of fifty farmers being distrained for rent. In another case, the favourable report is confined to one or two parishes, with much distress in their vicinity. In one other, in which the poor are represented as not suffering, it is admitted that they have less employment than heretofore. another case, employment is found by manufacturers; and in one, the reporter employs all the poor of his parish, on a principle of charity.
Cottagers, Land, and Cows.
The Board of Agriculture, on occasion of the scarcity in the years 1795 and 1796, made various inquiries into the state of the labouring poor; which produced some interesting memoirs on the best means of supporting them. Among these, one from the Earl of Winchelsea, on a practice which had been common in Rutlandshire for time immemorial, that of attaching land to cottages, to enable the poor to keep cows, was particularly distinguished; and queries on the same subject were also satisfactorily answered by the late lord Brownlow, and some other correspondents. In the year 1800, the Secretary of the Board was directed to employ the summer in examining the effect of a great number of parliamentary enclosures, as well in respect to the interest of cottagers, as to those general beneficial results well known to flow from
the measure of enclosing; and as it appeared upon that inquiry, that many cottagers were deprived of the benefit of cows, without any necessity for such deprivation, the Board, in order the better to understand the question, dispatched a person in 1801, for the express purpose of fully ascertaining it in the two counties of Rutland and Lincoln: the report of that journey was one of the most interesting memoirs ever laid before the public; and proved unquestionably the immense advantages resulting from the system, to the landlord, the farmer, the cottager, and the public. A few short extracts will fully support the assertion. Lord Winchelsea thus expresses himself:
"I am more and more confirmed in the opinion I have long had, that nothing is so beneficial, both to the cottagers and to the land-owners, as their having land to be occupied either for the keeping of cows, or as gardens, according to circumstances.
"By means of these advantages, the labourers and their families live better, and are consequently more fit to endure labour; it makes them more contented, and more attached to their situation; and it gives them a sort of independence, which makes them set a higher value upon their character. In the neighbourhood in which I live, men so circumstanced, are almost always considered as the most to be depended upon and trusted: the possessing a little property certainly gives a spur to industry; as a proof of this, it has almost always happened to me, that when a labourer has obtained a cow, and land
sufficient to maintain her, the first thing he has thought of, has been, how he could save money enough to buy another; and I have almost always had applications for more land from those people so circumstanced. There are several labourers in my neighbourhood, who have got on in that manner, till they now keep three, and some four cows, and yet are amongst the hardest working men in the country, and the best labourers. I believe there are from seventy to eighty labourers upon my estate in Rutland, who keep from one to four cows each; and I have always heard that they hard-working industrious men; they manage their land well, and always pay their rent.
"In a village near me, where there are a great number of labourers who keep cows, the poor's rate is not at this time above sixpence in the pound: the number of inhabitants 335.
"Some difficulties may occur, in establishing the custom of labourers keeping cows, in those parts of the country where no such custom has existed: whereever it has, or does exist, it ought by all means to be encouraged, and not suffered to fall into disuse, as has been the case to a great degree in the Midland counties; one of the causes of which I apprehend to be, the dislike the generality of farmers have to seeing the labourers rent any land. Perhaps one of their reasons for disliking this is, that the land, if not occupied by the labourers, would fall to their own share; and another, I am afraid, is, that they rather wish to have the labourers more dependent upon