Statistical Survey of the County of Clare, 1808

By Hely Dutton

Chapter V - Section 13

State of farming or agricultural societies

THERE is scarcely a county in Ireland, where a farming society is more wanting than in this very backward one. As the majority of the land-holders are graziers, they, in common with gentlemen of that description, are very far behind other parts of Ireland in agricultural pursuits, and consequently not a little obstinate in defence of old practices. It will take some years to convince them, that small bone in cattle and sheep can carry as much meat as large, and that a fleece of South Down wool, which sells this year (1807) for 16s., is more profitable than that of the ugly thick-legged, big-headed animal they are so fond of, which is worth on an average of only about 6s. A few years since a farming society was proposed by some enlightened gentlemen, but after a few meetings, and collecting about thirty guineas, for what reason I am ignorant, every thing died away. When the very great benefit, that has accrued to the country from the exertions of the different farming societies of Ireland, be considered, I am at a loss to account for this very culpable apathy; if any thing can rouse them from their torpor, I would beg leave to propose the following list of premiums, and I look with confidence to the present members for the county, whom I happy to have in the list of not only resident but improving proprietors, for carrying this beneficial plan into execution. No excuse can be made on account of the expense; the amount of the premiums not exceeding 100l. annually, even supposing they were all claimed, which, I fear, would not be the case. 

CLASS I.

For comfortable Habitations.

I.

To the gentleman or farmer, who shall have the most comfortable habitations for his labourers, a medal.

II.

To the three persons living by their labour, who shall have their children, houses, and gardens in the neatest, cleanest, and most decent and most decent order:

 

.

 

s.

 

d.

III.

To the first,

2 0 0
IV.

To the second,

1 10 0
V.

To the third,

1 0 0
VI.

To the person living by labour, and paying not more than 40l. a year rent, who shall have his house, farm, and offices in the best and neatest order,

 

3

 

0

 

0

N. B. The mode of cultivation, cleanness of the ground, and thriving state of the quicksets, will very much influence the decision of the premium.

N. B. No person to be admitted as a claimant of any of the premiums of this class, who shall not, once at least, within the year preceding the decision, have white-washed or coloured his house inside and outside, and kept a paved or gravelled way in front, free from dunghill or dirt, and not admitted his pig to sleep in his dwelling-house, and who has not a yard or place enclosed from the road, for his cows, pigs, turf-stack, dunghill, &c. and who has not a chimney, that draws the smoke, and windows, that open with a sash or hinges in each room.

CLASS II.

     

For industry and fidelity.

     

No. I. To the person, who shall have lived the greatest number of years in the service of any member of this society, with honesty, sobriety, di-ligence, and fidelity, not less than ten years

 

.

3

 

s.

0

 

d.

0

To the second

2 0 0

To the third

1 0 0

No. II. To the labourer, who shall have earned most money (not less than five pounds) by working at task work

.

2

s.

0

d.

0

To the second

1 0 0

No. III. To the labourer in husbandry, who shall have worked the greatest number of days in the year 1808, in the service of any member of this society, to the satisfaction of his employer, not less than 250 days at labouring work only

 

2

 

0

 

0

To the second

1 10 0

To the third

1 0 0

No. IV. To the son of a labourer, under fifteen years of age, who shall have worked the greatest number of days in the year 1808, in the service of any one member of the society, to the satisfaction of his employer, not less than 250 days at labouring work

 

2

 

0

 

0

To the second

1 10 0

No. V. To the wife or widow of a labourer, who shall have spun the greatest quantity of linen or woollen yarn (not less then 60lbs.) in the year 1808, with her children only, under the age of sixteen years

 

1

 

10

 

0

To the second greatest quantity

1 0 0

To the third greatest quantity

0 10 0

No. VI. To the wife or widow of a labourer, who shall have knit the greatest number of pairs of stockings, with the assistance of her children only, under the age of sixteen years, within the year 1808

1

s.

10

d.

0

To the second

1 0 0

To the third

0 10 0
       

CLASS III.

     

To the school-master, who shall have the best abilities and character for honesty, sobriety, and regularity, who shall have his school-house and his scholars in the neatest and cleanest order, and whose scholars,on examination, shall be best instructed in reading, writing, and arithmetic

 

5

 

0

 

0

To the second

3 0 0
       

CLASS IV.

     

Crops.

     

No. I. To the labourer in husbandry, holding not more than twenty acres, who shall have the largest, cleanest, and best crop of red clover, (not less than one acre,) and sown with seed not less than at the rate of 2lbs. per acre

.

2

s.

0

d.

0

No. II. To the farmer living by agriculture, and paying not more than thirty pounds per annum rent, who shall have the largest, cleanest, and best crop of drill potatoes, not less than half an acre

 

2

 

0

 

0

To the second

1 0 0
       

CLASS V.

     

Planting.

     

No. I. To the artificer or labourer, who shall, within the year 1808, plant and protect the greatest quantity of sallow, ozier, or willow, of any kind

 

2

 

0

 

0

No. II. To the person in this district, who shall, within the year 1808, enclose the greatest quantity of ground, not less than half an acre, and stock it with forest-trees, shrubs, and whitethorn quicks, for sale as a nursery

 

5

 

0

 

0

To the second 3 0 0

No. III. To the farmer living by agriculture, and not holding more than fifty acres of ground, who shall plant and protect the greatest number of trees, within hedge-rows, not more than six feet asunder

.

3

s.

0

d.

0

       

CLASS VI.

     

Improving and manuring.

     

No. I. To the person, not holding more than fifty acres, who shall put the greatest quantity of lime upon his farm, not less than eighty barrels to the acre, and not less than three acres

 

5

 

0

 

0

No. II. To the person, who improves the greatest quantity of bog, not holding more than twenty acres, and lays it down with grass-seed, not less than two acres

 

3

 

0

 

0

To the second 2 0 0

No. III. To the best compost maker, in quantity and quality, not holding more than twelve acres

 

3

 

0

 

0

       

CLASS VII.

Cattle.

     

I. To the person, who shall keep the best bull for the use of the barony he resides in, a silver cup, or
II. To the farmer living by agriculture,

.

5

s.

0

d.

0

who shall produce at one summer shew the best cow and calf his own property

4 0 0
To the second 3 0 0
To the third 2 0 0
       

CLASS VIII.

     
       

Sheep.

     
       

To the person, who shall keep a ram of an approved breed (the new Leicester) for the use of the barony he resides in, a silver cup.

     
N.B. No person to have the use of said ram, who holds more than fifty acres of land; also not to send more than five ewes, and to pay for each three pence per night for grass.
       

CLASS IX

     
       

Horses.

     
       

To the person, who shall let to mares the best draught horse in this district

.
15
s.
0
d.
0
       

CLASS X.

     
       

Swine.

     
       

I. To the person, who shall keep for public use a boar of an improved breed, a silver cup, or

5 0 0

II. To the labourer, who shall produce the best sow and her pigs in the year 1808, his property

2 0 0
To the second 1 0 0
       

CLASS XI.

     
       

Ploughing

     
       

I. To the person, who shall plough twenty perches of lea in the best manner, the cup presented by the Farming Society of Ireland.

     
To the ploughman .3 0 0
To the second 2 0 0
To the third 1 0 0
       

CLASS XII.

     
       

Ploughs.

     
       

To the carpenter or plough-maker, who shall produce at our meeting the best and cheapest plough, made by himself, and who will contract, if required, to furnish ten of the same at the price of the one produced

 

5

 

0

 

0

       

CLASS XIII.

     
       

Carts and Cars.

     
       

To the artificer, who shall produce the best constructed cart, car, or other vehicle, which will combine strength with ease of draught, and contract as in class the twelfth

 

5

 

0

 

0

To the second 3 0 0
       

CLASS XIV.

     
       

Smith’s work.,

     
       
To the smith, in the county, who shall produce the best shod wheel, or any piece of iron work belonging to agri-cultural use  

.2

 

0

 

0

To the second 1 10 0
To the third 1 0 0

1st. Resolved, We pledge ourselves to each other, that we will not take into our service any artificer, servant, or labourer, who may be discharged or dismissed the service of any member of this society for any species of misconduct; and we pledge ourselves to part with the person immediately, if through inadvertance we might happen to engage such a one in our service; and we declare, that, while on the one hand we will encourage and protect the sober and industrious, we will, on the other, use every exertion in our power to bring to justice the idle and profligate, and to punish all those, who shall be detected in plundering the crops and destroying the property of their industrious neighbours, to the great discouragement of all agricultural exertion and improvement, and for this purpose we will pay, to whoever shall discover, and prosecute to conviction, any person or persons guilty of stealing corn, hay, turnips, or other crop, sheep, or fowl of any sort, or of cutting or stealing any timber, young trees, or hedges, the sum of THREE GUINEAS.

2d. Resolved, That any person, who shall in future employ the amount of the premium, or any part of it he or they may receive, in getting drunk or making others so, is declared incapable of ever becoming a candidate for any premium again. The reward given by the Society being meant for the benefit of the sober and industrious, not for the encouragement of drunkenness and rioting, its usual consequences.

3d. Resolved, That the Society will meet but two days in each year. One of the days to appoint the committee for inspecting the different claims; the other day for paying them for the next twelve months.

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