صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

committee, that no miller fhould be prevented from making fine flour for the confumption of any perfons who refide within the diftricts where the use of fine flour is not prohibited, fo far as the making fuch flour for the confumption of fuch perfons hath been the ufual

courfe of his trade.

4. That it is the opinion of this committee, that magiftrates be alfo empowered to prohibit, within their respective jurifdictions, for a limited time, the making for fale any other bread made of wheat meal alone, than fuch as fhall be made of the whole meal, deducting only at the rate of five pounds of bran out of fixty pounds of wheat.

5. That it is the opinion of this committee, that magiftrates be empowered, within their respective jurifdictions, to prohibit, for a limited time, the making of any bread for fale, except fuch as fhall be made of the whole meal of

wheat as above defcribed, or of fuch mixtures of wholesome farinaceous food, and in fuch proportions as they shall appoint.

6. That it is the opinion of this committee, that for the purpose of carrying the laft refolution into effect, magiftrates be empowered to oblige the millers, within their refpective jurifdictions, for a limited time, to grind and drefs, if required, and if confiftent with the powers' and mechanism of their mills, fuch forts of grain as fhall be neceffary for making the faid approved mixtures.

7. That it is the opinion of this committee, that magiftrates fhall not make any of the prohibitions before mentioned, without fufficient public notice.

8. That it is the opinion of this committce, that within the city of

London and the liberties thereof, the company of the bakers of the faid city, and in any other county, city, divifion, diftrict, town or place, any baker or maker of bread for fale, miller, or mealman, may, within the respective jurifdiction to which he or they do belong, or wherein he or they do exercife their trade, occupation, or myftery, have an opportunityof offering to fuch juftices as aforefaid, all fuch objections as fuch company of bakers, or fuch bakers or makers of bread for fale, or fuch millers or mealmen, may have and think fit to offer, against any fuch prohibition or regulation as aforefaid, at the time when fuch justices as aforefaid fhall have under confideration the ordering any fuch prohibition or regulation

Sir John Sinclair's Address to the Board of Agriculture, the 24th May 1796.

Igitur et de culturâ agri præcipere, principale fuit, etiam apud exteros; fiquidem et reges fecere, Hiero, bilometor, Attalus, Archelaus, et duces Xenophon, et Panus etiam Mago; cui quidem tantum honorem fenatus nofter (Romanus) habuit, Carthagine captá; ut cum regulis Africa bibliothecas donaret, unins ejus duo de triginta de agricultura volumina, cenferet in Latinam linguam transferenda, cum jam M. Cato præcepta condidiffet, perinyque lingua Punica dandum negotium, in quo præceffit omnes vir clariffimæ familiæ D. Syllanus.

PLIN. HIST. MUND. Į. xviii. c.



AS it will probably be extremely difficult to procure again a sufficient attendance of the members of the board at this feafon of the year, and during the buffle of a general election, I think it may


not be improper to take the opportunity of this meeting briefly to flate the progrefs we have made, fince I laft had the honour of addrefling myfelf to you at the conclufion of the preceding feffion.

It is on all hands acknowledged, that the exertions of the Board of Agriculture laft year, in promoting an extra cultivation of potatoes, was attended with the happieft confequences, the beneficial effects of which (both the culture and ufe of that valuable root having thus been greatly extended) will probably long be felt, when the circumftance from which it originated may be forgotten. In fact, in times of fcarcity and diftrefs, there is no article comparable to potatoes. They will grow in the pooreft foils; they can be taken up in detail as they are wanted; they require no manufacture of drying, milling, &c. previous to their being used; and they can be prepared in various ways for confumption. Above all, it is to be obferved, that there is a fpace of perhaps four months, which generally is fupplied from the old ftock, but in times of fearcity must be taken from the new crop. That is a circumftance of lefs confequence where fpring corn is the food of the people (but even there it is defirable to thresh the corn in winter rather than in the spring, as the straw is better for the cattle :) but where the people live upon wheat, which is fown in autumn, the cafe is otherwife; and it is impoffible to fay what diftref's it might occafion (when there is no old flock of wheat in the country), unlefs the aid of fuch an article as potatoes can be obtained, if the farmer is obliged, in a hurried and deftructive manner, to threth corn,

both for feed for himself, and food for the public. He might be tempted, indeed, by the high price of grain for food, to delay fowing his feed until the favourable feafon has elapfed, in which cafe it is impoffible to fay what damage would ultimately refult from it.

The board not having yet obtained the privilege of franking, its correfpondence is much more limited and lefs regular than it ought to be, and is attended with a degree of trouble and inconveni- " ence to the perfon who prefides at it, of which it is difficult to form an adequate conception. In confequence, however, of the want of this privilege, so effential to a public inflitution, and the great reftrictions recently impofed upon the privileges enjoyed by a member of parliament, it has been found impoffible to keep up that extenfive and regular correfpondence, and to procure that extent of information, from which the public might derive fo many important advantages. By the active zeal, however, of many friends to the inftitution, information was at a very early period fent to the board, containing rather unfavourable accounts of the laft year's crop of wheat.

thought it a duty, therefore, incumbent upon me, to make ufe of every degree of influence which my fituation as prefident of this board gave me with the public, to recommend, in the strongest manner, an extra cultivation of wheat last autumn. My letter upon that subject, dated 11th September 1-95, was fent to all the members of the board, was tranfmitted to the quarter feffions of the different counties. and was printed in above fifty different newspapers. It is with rauch Ff4 pleature

pleasure I add, that the recommendation was attended with more extenfive confequences than could well have been expected. From all parts of the kingdom intelligence has been received, that a greater quantity of wheat was fown laft autumn than perhaps at any period in the memory of man; and fhould the enfuing harveft prove favourable, this kingdom will be as well stocked with grain as it was fome years ago. At any rate, by these measures, much risk of an immediate fcarcity feems to be obviated.

The high price of corn, at the commencement of the laft feffion, naturally directed the attention of parliament to confider the best means, not only to remedy the prefent diftrefs, but to prevent it in future. For attaining the first object, a felect committee was appointed, known under the name of the corn committee, whofe anxious zeal to do every poffible juftice to the great fubject referred to their confideration merits the utmost praife. The measures recommended by that committee have fince been confidered unneceffary by fome individuals, in confequence of the price of grain having had a temporary fall-But it will probably yet appear, that, had it not been for the earnest recommendation of that committee to economize the confumption of bread, to ufe other kinds of grain as sub1titutes for wheat, and to encourage the importation of foreign corn by bounties of uncommon magnitude, the price of grain would not probably have decreased, and complaints would have been made of the inattention of government to the diftreffes of the country; á


more ferious ground of accufation than any over anxiety, which, at all times, particularly in regard to fo critical a matter as the fubfiftence of the people, is at least excufable, but on the present occafion was not only neceffary, but has proved extremely beneficial.

It was a matter, however, of still greater importance to prevent, by fome great and effectual measure, the risk of fcarcity in future, and our being under the difgraceful and fatal neceffity, not only of depending upon foreign grain for our fubfiftence, but alfo of encouraging its importation by high bounties. With that view, in confequence of the directions of this board, I had the honour of moving in parliament for the appointment of a felect committee, to take into its confideration the means of promoting the cultivation and improvement of the wafte, uninclofed, and unproductive lands of the kingdom. The paffing of a general bill of inclosure though long ardently wished for, has hitherto been attempted in vain, and by many was held to be impracticable. By the exertions, however, of the felect committee, to whom the drawing up the bill, and the confideration of the whole subject was referred, a bill has at laft been prepared, which, in the opinion of many intelligent perfons converfant in that fubject, is fully adequate to the object in view; and had not the laft feffion been closed rather

earlier than was expected, it would probably have received the sanction of the legislature this year. truft, however, that the first feffion of the enfuing parliament will have the credit of completing this important and valuable fyftem, on

which the future fubfiftence of the country depends. It is not likely at leaft to fail, if it can be effected by the exertions of the Board of Agriculture.

Another meafure recommended by the board, of infinitely lefs importance, but at the fame time beneficial to the agricultural interefts of the country, has already paffed. I allude to the exemption of linfeed and rape cakes from duty, by an act of last feffion, 36. Geo. III. c. 113*. The firft article, linfeed cake, is of confiderable importance to the feeders of cattle, and may be had, it is fuppofed, in abundance from America, where a great quantity of linfeed oil is made ufe of in painting their wooden honfes. The refuse, known under the name of linfeed oil or cake, is of little value there, in confequence of the fuperabundance of other kinds of provifion for cattle: Nothing would be more defirable than thus to eftablish a new fource of trade, beneficial to two countries, inhabited by a race of men speaking the fame language, defcended from the fame common origin, and who ought to confider themselves as the fame people. As to rape cake, it is found to be a valuable manure in many parts of this kingdom. Confiderable quantities of this article, it is fuppofed, may be obtained from the continent of Europe; and fince this regulation has taken place, Rape will probably be cultivated in America. Were Ruffia alfo to devote fome part of her boundless territories to the culture of that plant, the foundation of a

commerce might be laid advantageous to both empires.

In regard to collecting and circulating agricultural information, the true foundation of all thofe various improvements, which, under the aufpices of the board, will probably be effected, confiderable progrefs has been made. The general views of the agricultural state of the different counties, with the exception of two fmall districts in Scotland (Clackmannan and Kinross,) a part of each of which is already printed, have been completed. The corrected reports of Lancashire, Norfolk, Kent, Staffordshire, and Mid Lothain, are published; and those of several other counties are almoft ready for the prefs. A va-` Juable addition has been made to the printed paper on manures. The sketch of a report on a point which has of late been much difcuffed, namely the fize of farms, has also been printed, and throws much light upon that fubject. A valuable communication from Lord Winchelsea, on the advantage of cottagers renting land, was ordered to be printed, with the unanimous approbation of those who had the fanction of being present when that paper was read to the board.

It is impoffible, in this fhort abftract of our proceedings, to give any idea of the numerous communications tranfmitted to the Board, or of the various points to which its. attention has been directed. experiments in regard to the compofition of bread, and information transmitted to it upon that fubject,


Intituled "An Act for allowing the Importation of Arrow Root from the British Plantations, and alfo of Linfeed Cakes and Rape Cakes from any foreign country, in British built fhips, owned, navigated, and registered according to law, without paying of duty.'


would of itfelf have been fufficient fame work. It would alfo be de

to have occupied the full attention of many focieties. The perfection to which the manufacturing of barley flour has been carried under the aufpices of this inftitution, is a difcovery of great importance, as it is thus afcertained, that from the meal of pearl or pot barley, bread may be made, in tafte and colour, and probably in nourishment, little inferior to that of wheaten flour; and that in the proportion of at leaft one-third, fuch meal may be mixed with the produce of wheat, fo as hardly to be diftinguished. A very general correfpondence has been established, for the purpose of afcertaining the price of flock, both lean and fattened. Experiments on a great fcale, under the directions of that able chymift Dr. Fordyce, are now carrying on at Gubbins in Hertfordshire, the feat of Mr. Hunter, for the purpose of afcertaining the principles of vegetation, and the effects of manures; and fieps are now taking, in order to procure fuch information refpecting the various forts of live flock in the kingdom, as will enable us to give, in the course of next year, complete information to the public upon that important fubject.

I have ever confidered it to be a wife principle for the board to adopt, not to print books for reference, but books for ufe; not maffy volumes on a variety of different fubjects, beyond the income of the generality of the people to purchase, or their time to perufe but, if poflible, diftinct publications, each of them on one article, exclufively of every other, avoiding the intermixture of various topics, and diftricts in the


firable, that no paper fhould be publifhed by the board until it has been before it is printed, circulated among all thofe who are likely to corre&t, and improve it, and thus brought to fome degree of perfection previous to its publication. Agriculture though often treated of, has hitherto never been difcuffed, and it can never be much improved, until information respecting it has been collected from all quarters, has been afterwards thoroughly canvaffed, and has ultimately been condenfed and fyftematized. Such, however, has been the great number of communications tranfmitted to the board upon various important fubjects, in particular farm buildings, cottages, and the fate of the poor, embankments, roads, the conftruction of mills, and of hand mills in particular; together with a variety of interefting papers refpecting the agriculture of foreign countries, that the board has refolved to print a fpecimen of thofe papers in one volume quarto, in order to afcertain the opinion of the public refpecting that mode of laying be fore it the papers we have received, in addition to the county reports now publishing.

The bufinefs gone through by the board of agriculture is certainly more than could poffibly be expected from an inftitution poffeffed of fuch limited powers, and of fo confined an income. The time, however, it is to be hoped, is not far diftant, when it will be put on a better and more refpectable footing;-when the fuperior impertance of fuch inquiries, the fuperior value of agricultural refources, and dreadful expence, and


« السابقةمتابعة »